Damn You, Ralph Nader and Katherine Harris!

Matt Barganier, October 26, 2011

Of all the daily affirmations liberals tell themselves, none soothes me more than the one about how an Al Gore presidency would have spared us the Iraq War. Why, wasn’t Al suitably smug about Dubya’s “cowboy” act in 2002? Didn’t Michael Moore open Fahrenheit 9/11 with a long rehash of hanging-chad chicanery? Who among us doesn’t yearn for the invention of time travel so that someone might mow down a certain consumer advocate with a sporty Corvair?

And yet … well, there is this from the Oct. 11, 2000, presidential debate:

MODERATOR: Well, let’s stay on the subject for a moment. New question related to this. I figured this out; in the last 20 years there have been eight major actions that involved the introduction of U.S. ground, air or naval forces. Let me name them. Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, the Persian Gulf, Somalia, Bosnia, Haiti, Kosovo. If you had been president for any of those interventions, would any of those interventions not have happened?

GORE: Can you run through the list again?

MODERATOR: Sure. Lebanon.

GORE: I thought that was a mistake. [See below.]

MODERATOR: Grenada.

GORE: I supported that.

MODERATOR: Panama.

GORE: I supported that.

MODERATOR: Persian Gulf.

GORE: Yes, I voted for it, supported it.

MODERATOR: Somalia.

GORE: Of course, and that again — no, I think that that was ill-considered. I did support it at the time. It was in the previous administration, in the Bush-Quayle administration, and I think in retrospect the lessons there are ones that we should take very, very seriously.

MODERATOR: Bosnia.

GORE: Oh, yes.

MODERATOR: Haiti.

GORE: Yes.

MODERATOR: And then Kosovo.

GORE: Yes.

So Gore had supported seven of the eight “major” U.S. military actions of the preceding two decades. Oh, make that all eight; he must have forgotten that he supported the U.S. intervention in Lebanon too. Less than a week before the bombing that killed 241 American servicemen in Beirut, Rep. Albert Gore Jr. was the subject of a story in The New York Times. He was asked about Lebanon:

Why had he voted to continue the presence of United States troops in Lebanon for 18 months? “The decision to send troops to Lebanon was not well thought through,” Mr. Gore said, “but since they are there and there are now negotiations with the Syrians, it would be a mistake to remove them.

“It’s important to learn the right lessons of Vietnam,” he continued. “A cat that sits on a hot stove won’t sit on a hot stove again, but he won’t sit on a cold stove, either.”

Well, cold stoves can get hot mighty quickly, but that’s no reason for a cat to just steer clear of stoves, is it?

Why am I revisiting all this ancient history? Here’s Al’s old running mate in Tuesday’s USA Today:

No one doubts that the road ahead for Iraq, under even the most optimistic scenario, will continue to be challenging. There is a world of difference, however, between a future in which Iraq’s inspiring but fragile democracy perseveres, versus one in which the country collapses back into civil war, becoming a failed state in the heart of the Middle East.

There is likewise a huge difference between a future in which Iraqis can secure their country for themselves, versus one in which Iran seizes controlling influence over Iraq’s security and politics.

In order to decrease the risk of the worst case scenarios for Iraq and America, our military leaders have long argued that it is critical to keep a small U.S. force in Iraq after this year, since the Iraqi Security Forces still lack key capabilities and the country’s stability is not yet secured. In fact, every military leader I have spoken to in recent years with any responsibility for Iraq has told me we must keep at least 10,000 troops there after this year to ensure that our hard-won gains are not lost.

It is therefore profoundly disappointing that, after all America and Iraq have been through together, President Obama and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki could not find the will or the way to reach agreement for a small U.S. force to remain in Iraq after this year, and instead gave up trying.

This decision stands in striking contrast with the spirit of the remarkable men and women in uniform who pulled Iraq back from the brink of chaos just a few years ago, and who refused to give up or accept failure even after all hope was seemingly lost.

This failure puts at greater risk all that so many Americans and Iraqis fought, sacrificed and, in thousands of cases, gave their lives to achieve. It also hands a crucial strategic opportunity to the fanatical regime that controls Iran and that threatens us all.

Rather than trying to portray the failure of these negotiations as a success, the Obama administration could still restart its efforts to reach agreement with the Iraqis to allow a small U.S. force to remain. For the sake of our national security, and all of the blood and treasure we have spent in Iraq, we should do so.

Don’t fret, Joe. Obama’s busy right now. But once he’s safely ensconced in a second term, he might be willing to have a beer summit with the 2000 Democratic vice-presidential nominee and reexamine this rare lapse in judgment.




19 Responses to “Damn You, Ralph Nader and Katherine Harris!”

  1. The neocons aren't too upset about the withdrawal from Iraq because now they can argue that Iran must be bombed to preserve Iraqi "independence." The timing is perfect because the MSM is still giddily promoting bombing as the humanitarian solution to all problems.

  2. So you are telling me that the guy who picked Joe Lieberman as his vice president was pro war?
    Who would have thought?

  3. What gets me and has gotten me for a decade…
    - They believe that somehow Nader voters agree with Gore (of all people!) on most issues and therefore that Nader's votes "belonged" to Gore. But of course Nader has always been strongly anti-intervention and for the rule of law and the constitional mandate that Congress declare war. Among dozens of other issues.
    - They apparently believe the Harris numbers at face value, stunning by itself.
    - Over 10% of registered Florida Democrats voted for Bush according to exit polling , which is about 220,000 people or many more people of ANY registration who voted for Nader in FL.
    - Some registered Republicans and independents who might have voted for Bush given the options of Bush or Gore instead voted Nader. Might not be a large number, but if you believe that less than 550 votes separated Bush and Gore it's well worth mentioning.

    This is all before we even get to the focus of this article, the Gore penchant for,um, gore. One might recall the sanctions and constant airstrikes on Iraq and the airstrike on Sudan during the Clinton-Gore years.

  4. Gore would have been backed into a corner on Iraq or face a public mutiny by his vp

  5. There is absolutely zero difference between Republicans and Democrats on foreign policy. They are all neo cons.

  6. The TRUTH of that is becoming apparent each day OWS continues. OWS is co-opted but the truth seekers seem to be ready to learn and confront disinfo with their own experiences over the last 10 years. I'm hoping the republicrats are flogged and put on display so that all can understand the basic truth about our Government ….. which is behemoth in greed and dictorial powers. NYPD and the other Banker funded assault forces will be met with more resistance as this progresses, all part of the plan to End America. Enter UN and Marshall Law … are we ready?

    How about the crumpled up piece of hemp paper with the writings of our forefathers, I know there are some invaluable pure thoughts that may be applied here now in this time of history.

    Rage against this Neo-Con control and the Bankers(FED).

    Militias are ready here, they will not accept anything less this time around in November 2012 ….. THAT is obvious.

  7. What gets me about the Demo-Stalinists is that they go on about a presidential election as if a Ralph Nader has no right to run against Gore, and anybody who wants to vote for Nader has no right to do that as well.

    A better way to frame this issue now looking back over the past 11 years is to ask any of the Gorecrats turned Obamacrats what is there confession now. They finally got what they wanted in 2000 three years ago. They have their far right hawk Democrat in the White House, and a lot of them aren't liking him all that much these days, including that biggest of all Democratic Party hacks:
    http://nation.foxnews.com/michael-moore/2011/10/2

  8. What? Are many people saying that Gore would have steered us from war? Am I missing something, or is this some kind of straw man? What exactly does the author want to say about Ralph Nader? Is there a lurking generalization here? Again, either I'm missing something, or this commentary lacks focus.

  9. Oh, wait a second–I was missing something. The intent was not to lump Ralph Nader with Al Gore but to recall Nader's effect on that election. My mistake.

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  11. [...] This again? Who knew Tom Hayden was such a party man? A certain jadedness has affected our consciousness after this very bad decade. Some people in the room didn’t believe Obama was actually going to pull out of Iraq. He would sneak in 5,000 manipulative mercenaries to take over from the last of the American troops. And what about those other wars? Wasn’t he worse than Bush? Yada yada yada, ad nauseam. [...]

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  14. -I was missing something. The intent was not to lump Ralph Nader with Al Gore but to recall Nader's effect on that election. My mistake.

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  18. katherine harris is guilty for 9-11 too.
    she helped Dick Cheney to rise by electoral fake and he dismantled USA defense protocols to perform the Global Hawk Attack on WTC.
    the world will not forget.

  19. Lol, ya… that's Katherine Harris for you… it just sucks