Why the 2003 Iraqi War Vote Matters in 2016-Take 2

When I posted What the Iraqi War Vote Has to Teach “Generation Next” (And All of Us, Really) About Voting in 2016, I asked my friend Scott to read it. Actually, I pestered him because I was convinced I had nailed it, and I was really looking forward to hearing how much he liked it.

This was our exchange…

What!!?? But I didn’t ask you to read the Selfie piece? It was as though I asked him how I looked in my dress and he responded, “Do you want to go to dinner?”

I was frantic.

When we got into, he thought that the article was dense, full of facts, and and humorless.

So, I did what any mature writer would do when they get constructive feedback. I pouted and sent sad face emojis 😕😕😕😕😕😕😕😕😕😕😕 to him throughout the course of the day.

So I attempted to rewrite that post - less factual, slightly humorous (to the extent one can be when discussing war and terrorism), and less “dense.”

Here goes…

Why the 2003 Iraqi War Vote Matters in 2016 Lite

I believe our world is in a shambles, and the end of times is upon us. I believe that there is really very little we can do about it because there is a no legitimate media that provides us critical information about the world, and the hideous exploits of our government, lobbyists, banks, and corporations.

What information there is has to be sought out and the vast majority of us don’t care enough to do so.

I have a vagina too, and I would like a woman President, but when Hillary was a Senator and cast her vote in favor of the Iraq war in 2003, I was done with her.

I believe that we have an off-chance of things being okay if we vote for Democratic candidate for President, Bernie Sanders.

Yes, Bernie Sanders instead of Hillary Clinton. And it all really boils down to a seminal decision they both made on a vote in 2003 on whether or not the U.S. should preemptively invade Iraq.

I have a vagina too, and I would like a woman President, but when Hillary was a Senator and cast her vote in favor of the war, I was done with her.

For those of you too young to have processed it, or those who want to see it again (I warn you, it is painful), here is Hilary’s vote:

This is painful to watch not only because she was dead wrong on all counts - Saddam Hussein never harbored terrorists and the whole weapons of mass destruction things was a big lie - but because of the conviction with which she was dead wrong.

On the other hand, Bernie Sanders, who was a Representative from Vermont in 2003, predicted all the destruction and mayhem that would occur should the U.S. invade Iraq. And he did it in just over 2 minutes.

I was in my forties in 2003, and I knew the whole Iraq war thing was a crock of nonsense. However, the majority of the public supported it because the Bush administration’s PR machine frothed them up with frightening phrases like the one below, and politicians like Hillary voted overwhelmingly to go with the popular flow.

On the other hand, Bernie Sanders, who was a Representative from Vermont in 2003, predicted all the destruction and mayhem that would occur should the U.S. invade Iraq. And he did it in just over 2 minutes. It’s worth watching - check out below.

If you didn’t take the time to watch the video, that’s okay. I’ll sum things up for you.

  1. Bernie is worried about the number of people - both American - and this is something nobody else seemed to care about at the time - Iraqi would be killed in a war. Turns out the number was big  4,497 American military casualties in Iraq, unofficial estimates of wounded in excess of 100,000, and 152,230–172,246 Iraqi civilian deaths from violence have since the 2003 invasion.
  2. Bernie is concerned about how much money this will cost. The Iraqi war cost $1.7 trillion. To put this in perspective it would cost approximately $1.31 trillion dollars to pay off all outstanding student loan debt that had been accumulated up until January 2015.
  3. Bernie is concerned about “unintended consequences.” The formation of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), the terrorist group responsible for the recent San Bernadino and Paris attacks, is a direct result of the Iraq War. Visit this site if you want to see the unintended consequences that ISIS is wreaking around the globe.
On the other hand, judgment, foresight, and the ability to make unpopular decisions as demonstrated by Bernie Sanders in his decision to vote against the Iraqi war is the basis from which all solid political decisions follow.

I am not trying to suggest that a decision as important to every individual as casting a vote for the individual that has to attempt to run our highly dysfunctional country should be boiled down to an individual issue. On the other hand, judgment, foresight, and the ability to make unpopular decisions is the basis from which transformative leadership springs.

When I started this post referencing my fear the end of the world was upon us, I was only marginally doing so with tongue in cheek. I am not unbalanced or particularly paranoid, but I am informed about national and world affairs.

And, make no mistake, it is scary out there.

Poisonous and black sludgy water pours from faucets in Flint, MI and Crystal City, TX. Methane gas clouds spew from the ground poisoning the air just outside of Los Angeles, California. And, as of 2015, 1 in every 122 humans today is someone who has been forced to flee their homes. And these are just a few sand grains on the beach of issues that face us.

Yeah, I know I didn’t do a good job of rewriting my first post.

I can’t make this subject light. I can’t make it funny. I can’t make it less frightening.

The only thing I can do is encourage you to vote for the person I think understands the situation we are in and has a record of trying to do the right thing in difficult circumstances.

Vote Bernie Sanders.