Before we leave the 10th anniversary of the Iraq war, it is important to do one more thing. While it has been important to remember the Bush and Cheney lies that tricked us into the war, it is also important to remember the Republicans who didn’t support the war, and the Democrats who did.
We live in an age of propaganda. History is often rewritten before our eyes and we must trust our own sanity to remember what really happened. To hear many Democrats today, you would think they fought against the Iraq war all along. Some of them did and some of them didn’t. And there were brave Republicans who stood against their president and their party to resist the rush to war.
Only seven Republicans stood against the war. They are a roll of honor:
Rep. John Duncan (Tenn.)
Rep. John Hostettler (Ind.)
Sen. Lincoln Chafee (RI)
Rep. Connie Morella (Md.)
Rep. Amory Houghton (N.Y.),
Rep. James Leach (Iowa)
Ron Paul (Tx)
Whatever our political differences, we owe a debt of gratitude to this handful of Republicans who stood against enormous pressure to do the right thing. We also have the less pleasant task of remembering the Democrats who went along with the Bush doctrine. The list is too long to put here, but here are three of the most notable from the Obama administration:
Joe Biden (DE)
Hilary Clinton (NY)
John Kerry (MA)
It is interesting that when Nobel Peace Prize winning President Obama constructed his inner circle, it was full of democratic warhawks and empty of peace activists. Hilary Clinton has since claimed she was really voting for further negotiations, but that would require us to believe that she didn’t really read what she was voting on.
This list is a reminder that the conservative vs. liberal debate is often a chimera. If we stop listening to what people say and merely record what they have done, the political landscape shifts at once. Lesson: Stop voting for personalities, start voting for principles.