The Nation: Obama's Position on Mercenaries in Iraq

Just out at The Nation:

A senior foreign policy adviser to leading Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has told The Nation that if elected Obama will not "rule out" using private security companies like Blackwater Worldwide in Iraq. The adviser also said that Obama does not plan to sign on to legislation that seeks to ban the use of these forces in US war zones by January 2009, when a new President will be sworn in.

Obama's campaign says that instead he will focus on bringing accountability to these forces while increasing funding for the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the agency that employs Blackwater and other private security contractors. (Hillary Clinton's staff did not respond to repeated requests for an interview or a statement on this issue.)

Bottom line, according to Obama's senior advisor:

. "I can't rule out, I won't rule out, private security contractors." He added, "I will rule out private security contractors that are not accountable to US law."


As to what the import is:

But it's clear that Obama's "follow-on force" will include a robust security force to protect US personnel in Iraq, US trainers (who would also require security) for Iraqi forces and military units to "strike at Al Qaeda"--all very broad swaths of the occupation.

Question: Is Obama's exit plan really an exit plan?

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    I am so afraid of this (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:14:49 AM EST
    it isn't even funny.  I hope my husband doesn't mind if I use some of his words he frequently speaks but often he says, "I have an idea what to expect out of Clinton and she isn't perfect but she can say NO to people who are going to be mad at her for saying NO to them.  Obama doesn't seem to know what the word No is and claims to be able to tell everyone YES.  Someone MUST say NO to continuing almost everything that the Bush administration has done concerning Iraq and our military."

    This contractor stuff is dangerous as hell.  There is NO REASON why our own forces can't be protecting our representatives except that people at the top feel that a certain amount of lawlessness must be allowed for in the protection of their precious hindquarters.  What this soldier's wife wants to know is why is the possibility of their death so undesirable and so unthinkable when compared to yours or mine or the soldier serving this nation?  They aren't kings and queens!  If they don't want their fannies in danger then don't make wars and end the wars we are involved in out there quickly......today even!  Then all the contractors can put their guns down and go home!

    BUT HRC (none / 0) (#7)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:16:52 AM EST
    Has not said no to mercenaries, has she. According to the Nation HRC would not comment as to her position.

    I trust her to do the right thing (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:24:05 AM EST
    before I trust Yesman Golden Child Contractors are necessary Obama.  She has been to Iraq so I know that she knows and has experienced its dangers.  I'm grateful that she has made no comment as of yet because she must weigh what she has experienced and lived verses what could have been and what should be and what can be.  The stress of visiting Iraq right now must be one of those things that nobody forgets ever.

    But (none / 0) (#17)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:34:05 AM EST
    She has has plenty of time to address the issue. Another article at The Nation criticizes her for having Mark Penn as her advisor. His company worked for Blackwater.

    The right thing would be for her to state that she will eliminate US use of private security companies in war zones, or elsewhere. Don't hold your breath on that one Military Tracy, cause it is not going to happen.

    At best, imo, she will echo BHO's statement and demand accountability for the mercs.


    If she does I guess I'll just be voting (none / 0) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:10:31 PM EST
    me some Nader and I'll know that earlier than expected ;)  There are some things I can color a little outside the lines on but this isn't one of them.

    HRC on Contractors (none / 0) (#61)
    by cal1942 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 05:35:08 PM EST
    A while back Clinton said she would eliminate contract employees in the federal government.  Not a sexy issue but one of greater significance than is generally understood and one that foretells a significant commitment to progressive good government values.

    That may explain why AFCSME endorsed Clinton.

    Whether she would include ditching outfits like Blackwater was less clear, but, a commitment to ridding the government of privatization disease would seem to eventually include eliminating private armies for hire.

    It helped a little with the deep disapointment and depression when John Edwards dropped out.


    No reason?!?! (none / 0) (#50)
    by A DC Wonk on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:03:02 PM EST
    There is NO REASON why our own forces can't be protecting our representatives

    There sure is a reason -- a darn good one if you ask me.

    Our forces are stretched to the breaking point.  If, God forbid, another conflict broke out before we could draw down enough forces in Iraq -- we'd face a simple choice: private contractors or re-instating the draft.

    C'mon.  The standard line for any commander in chief is that you don't rule out strategic options ahead of time.

    I didn't see HRC ruling it out, either.


    Our forces are stretched to the (none / 0) (#55)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:30:40 PM EST
    breaking point because of the surge.  There is no surge end in sight either and having contractors only allows for our own forces to be more abused and worn more thin and once again silences this democracy.  Look, if the American people were behind this B.S. in Iraq our forces wouldn't be stretched thin at all.  People would be lined up outside the recruiters offices as I type this.  We would be so flush with serving soldiers nobody would be stretched.  Having mercs only leads to more brokeness.  Want to deal with being broken today or being even more broken tomorrow?  It's your choice as to what you want to support here.  I'm just stating the facts of life.

    I'm dumbfounded by how easily (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:40:24 PM EST
    it seems that so many people have become delusional about how that "all volunteer forces concept" was/is supposed to keep our nation out of wars not supported by the voters and citizens of this democracy!  NO MORE MERCS people.......you can't have them and make any sort of claim that you are a democracy.  As a serving soldier's wife, having to debate this issue with some folks in this thread has made me sick my stomach today.

    What US Laws is he taking about? (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:18:32 AM EST
    Isn't one of the main problems that they aren't accountable to the chain of command?  They aren't subject to "rules of engagement" orders?

    As I understand it, this is the only reason the Bush administration uses them, because they aren't accountable.

    What other purpose do they serve?

    Why would the Obama campaign be parsing on such an obvious issue?

    Different From Bush (none / 0) (#12)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:21:42 AM EST
    From the link BHO's position:
    "I will rule out private security contractors that are not accountable to US law."

    I can read (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:38:52 AM EST
    I'm asking what US laws is he talking about?

    Being subject to "rules of engagement" and following orders through the chain of command aren't US Laws that I'm aware of.

    It's just an odd construction to me ... "US Laws."

    I find it puzzling.


    The Same Us Laws (none / 0) (#29)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:50:02 AM EST
    That hold military personnel accountable for murder, rape, and robbery for starters.

    Is there a link to ... (none / 0) (#39)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:09:50 PM EST
    Obama or his campaign specifying that?

    It seems like a thorny issue.  Are there provision in US law for the indictment and trial of a US citizen for murder, rape or robbery in a foreign country?

    And what about contractors who aren't US citizens?  Some of them aren't. How would they be handled?


    No, mercs are exempt from our laws (none / 0) (#53)
    by Cream City on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:26:29 PM EST
    for rape, at least, so probably for the rest. (There are cases of rape -- by our merc men of our merc women -- not being prosecuted right now, much discussed on cable new and the 'Net, although certainly not discussed enough . . . if you want to search.)

    Insofar as (none / 0) (#19)
    by sancho on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:36:38 AM EST
    U. S. law does not interfere with "U. S. security issues," that is. Obama will put a new face on the occupation of Iraq but he will not substantially change Bush's foreign policy there: to protect U. S. oil interests (because our country runs on oil). This goes back to the so-called Carter Doctrine. People who think Obama is the anti-war candidate are fooling themselves. This is not to deny that many years ago Obama gave a speech that was, at the time, against the war. Not relevant now or in the future (or then, frankly). The troops will not come home (except to be replaced by more troops) and our Hessians will remain in the Middle East indefinitely.

    all you have to do is remeber what (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by hellothere on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:27:23 AM EST
    obama said about bombing pakistan to know that he is not antiwar. far from it!

    What purpose do they serve? (none / 0) (#24)
    by wasabi on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:44:05 AM EST
    "What other purpose do they serve?"

    Contractors make Republican's friends rich.

    With the "peace dividend" from the end of the cold war, the military reduced the number of personnel on active in the Army by 37%, the Navy (excluding the Marines) by 38%, the Marines by 10%, and the Air Force by 33%.

    There was never any push to enlarge the active duty by the Bush administration even with their plan to go into Iraq because this was supposed to be an in-and-out war with Chalabi left in control of the country.

    Without enough troops to actually accomplish the mission, typical combat support functions were shifted to combat functions and thus the need for the contractors...


    Bush uses them so (none / 0) (#35)
    by g8grl on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:00:36 PM EST
    he can throw big bucks to his Republican friends.   They don't do anything better than our military and they're paid 5 times more.  Sometimes our military even has to provide them cover and rescue them if they get in trouble.

    Bush also uses them (none / 0) (#51)
    by A DC Wonk on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:05:46 PM EST
    because we don't have enough of our own military personal.  Our forces are stretched thin and he'd never institute a draft.  So we have lowered and lowered our standards for military service.

    We still don't have enough folks.

    So, we have to resort to private contractors.


    I smell his mentor, again (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by scribe on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:19:03 AM EST
    It's that aroma of Lieberman.

    Makes me wonder if the dems (none / 0) (#52)
    by Daryl24 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:07:03 PM EST
    are close to nominating a Lieberman democrat. I get the feeling he's around somewhere.

    and don't forget (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Turkana on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:30:25 AM EST
    he keeps that little $1.3 billion a year "embassy."

    but he gave a pretty speech, in 2002.

    I'm on the fence, he's helping me fall off (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Dadler on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:35:33 AM EST
    Dumb statement, dumb policy.  Mercenaries should be out and gone yesterday.  Period.  Disgusting and cowardly he would even consider continuing this crap.  Idiots.  Those a*shole contractors do more harm than good and are accountable to no one.  Change the way Washington does things, eh Obama?  Shameful.

    In Nam the Private contractors Worked for the (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:15:47 PM EST

    Excellent point (none / 0) (#69)
    by jondee on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 07:11:24 PM EST
    Meet the new boss..

    Also, at some imaginary point in the past the U.S didnt torture people or train others to torture people.


    This is outrageous. (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by vicsan on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 05:21:42 PM EST
    I thought we were moving all of our troops OUT OF IRAQ? Now he's refusing to 1. sign legislation banning mercenaries??? 2. remove the mercenaries from Iraq?

    What? Is he planning on removing U.S. troops and leaving the mercenaries there to completely destroy the country? The Iraqis detest Blackwater and all the other mercenary groups over there! They're lawless and just because Mr. Hope believes he can pass laws they have to follow, it doesn't mean they will.

    Is he NUTS? They have created pure havoc over there.

    I wonder what stance Hillary will take on this? Nader may end up with my vote yet.

    Has HRC ruled them out? (none / 0) (#2)
    by NJDem on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:12:18 AM EST
    I recall her saying she would, but has she qualified the answer?  I know she has said she would end the no-bid contracts.  

    And of course accountability is the at the root of the problem--if they're private, they're private and can play with different rules.

    GOt A Link ? (none / 0) (#13)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:22:28 AM EST
    I could not find one.

    I remember her saying it in one of the debates (none / 0) (#23)
    by RalphB on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:42:23 AM EST
    Doing away with no bid contracts and the private military contractors in Iraq.  I've not seen it in a document, etc.  If I remember correctly, this was one of those "I agree with Hillary" moments for Obama.

    Yes, But (none / 0) (#27)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:47:36 AM EST
    That is a very far cry from taking a position against mercs.

    If she said she woul do away with private (none / 0) (#31)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:51:09 AM EST
    military contractors it is.

    She Never Said That (none / 0) (#34)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:56:21 AM EST
    Denial must be a wonderful thing (none / 0) (#37)
    by RalphB on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:07:58 PM EST
    yeah, when obama makes a (none / 0) (#67)
    by hellothere on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:29:08 AM EST
    statement that isn't well received, let's not discuss that. naw, let's start the typical , but, but, what about hillary?

    What is a merc? (none / 0) (#33)
    by RalphB on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:55:13 AM EST
    It's a private military contractor!

    End the war (none / 0) (#3)
    by wasabi on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:13:23 AM EST
    I don't really believe that either of the democratic candidates is going to get us out of Iraq any time soon.  Both moved to the left after Edwards came out strongly for an immediate drawdown.  Prior to that both were spouting how they would get out by the end of their first term.  

    As far as Blackwater and other contractors, the military does not have the capacity to do the same jobs that they used to.  There is by functionality, no more cooks, transportation specialists, etc. or any other Military Occupational Specialties that isn't related to direct combat.  All those traditional support roles are contracted out now.  They won't go away until the war goes away, then with the next ramp up in war related activities, they'll be back.  The best we can hope for is more oversite.

    You don't have enough soldiers (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:16:12 AM EST
    to continue without a draft.

    Why isn't it feasible? (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:16:45 AM EST

    Or any oversight (none / 0) (#10)
    by Joike on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:19:13 AM EST
    Iraq continues to a disaster of the highest magnitude.

    I'd be surprised if either candidate would agree to end the use of private contractors and hamstring their ability to maneuver.  McCain wants them there for the next 100 years of course.

    For McCain, the way out of Iraq is through Iran.

    I would like to see both Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton address how to DECREASE our dependence on these private security firms.

    Exactly (none / 0) (#11)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:21:24 AM EST
    it would be utterly foolish for either candidate to categorically state they would make any operational choices in Iraq.

    Political decisions about Iraq are one thing.  Operational decisions are another.


    Disagree (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:33:53 AM EST
    Security contractors are disgraceful.......they disgrace our country and the people who serve this nation in uniform and get paid regular joe wages.  Oh but the smell of money can purchase so much loyalty and motivation whether or not that loyalty or motivation is deserved or serves any higher purpose.  The loyalty to wealth and motivation of wealth that the security contractors serve silences the voice of this democracy in Iraq!

    Couldn't Agree More (none / 0) (#20)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:36:48 AM EST
    Mercs are the scum of the earth. But imo, HRC is not going to stop them. If she was we would have heard that by now.

    Not that I have any love for these forces (none / 0) (#30)
    by Joike on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:50:51 AM EST
    but I'm reading an awful lot of generalizations that aren't well thought out.

    "Scum of the earth?"

    There are angels and devils in every group.

    Let's focus on those that break the law (murder/rape/steal) and those that refuse to hold the law breakers accountable.

    Most of these security guys are former soldiers who (as others have posted here) honorably served in our military.

    Soldiers see private security forces getting paid 4 to 5 times more for basically the same work.  Why wouldn't more of them rotate out of the military and into the private arena?  It is an easy economic decision.

    It's the system that has been perverted to privatize everything (been going on for years) that ends up harming our military (the best and brightest can command higher salaries outside the military and still get in on the action) and taxpayers.

    Making matters worse is the Bush and GOP commandment of "Thou Shalt Not Hold Us Accountable".

    This is where the individuals feel they can commit murder and rape with impunity (because it turns out they can) while the corporations involved just try to cover up everything to keep the money rolling.


    They also are construction workers (none / 0) (#54)
    by Cream City on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:28:32 PM EST
    rebuilding what we bombed to he**, and those aren't all bad Americans, either. Nuance is needed.

    Sure (none / 0) (#26)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:45:42 AM EST
    I'm no fan.  But they are there already and you can't just categorically kick them out before understanding the real situation on the ground.

    Sure YOu Can (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:52:58 AM EST
    Kick them out, just as you can withdraw US troops. At the very least they need to be held to the same standard as either US civilians or US military. Now they are above all laws.

    Bawahahahaha, I love squeaky (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:06:26 PM EST
    Let's kick everybody out of Iraq that really doesn't belong there ;)  They say it'll take us about 10 months to kick our own soldiers out.  I don't see why we can't take about 10 months to kick the security contractors all out too!  It is the goal and it is the intent that we all need to watch here.  Why can't Obama say he is for finding different solutions to our security needs than using mercs and why can't he sign up for that?  Why can't Obama say he is for reversing the merc dynamic ASAP starting day one after he is sworn in?  And please dear God I hope everyone understands that most of these trigger happy mercs often have very limited professional military training.  Many of them have enough training to know they love shooting stuff and when the pay is terrific I'm losing this stupid red, white, and blue getup. our own forces often serving 20 plus years loyally have much cooler headed, accountable, and more accurate trigger fingered.  They have plans to live with all the rest of us for a really long time and they are committed to something other than brand new shiny things.

    It's not necessarily the (none / 0) (#41)
    by RalphB on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:10:43 PM EST
    former US spec ops troops who are the problem either.  It's the South African mercenaries and God knows who else is in our employ.

    Please.......Blackwater security? (none / 0) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:17:19 PM EST
    Before they had made a name for themselves with Americans of conscience they were the geniune "shoot em up and let Allah sort em out" article.  Iraq since then has devolved into all sorts of mercs from all sorts of countries flying corporate flags now.  Our very own American scumbags of ENTREPRENEURIALSHIP started it all though ;)  

    Blackwater employs (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by RalphB on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:27:32 PM EST
    lots of South African and other non-US mercs, including some Serbs who were up to their eyeballs in Bosnia.  My comment was not an attempt to excuse Blackwater in any way. In dact, I thought I was expanding the criticism of them.

    And you obviously were (none / 0) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:44:43 PM EST
    and now I obviously understand that ;)  

    Bush to Turkey - Do as I say not as I do (none / 0) (#22)
    by Joike on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:39:08 AM EST
    The disaster that is Iraq continues to get more disastery.

    Turkey has invaded northern Iraq with the awareness, the acceptance and, probably, the assistance of the Bush Administration.

    Now Bush wants Turkey out since their presence logically pisses off the Kurds.

    "The Turks need to move, move quickly, achieve their objective and get out," he told a White House news conference.


    Bush needs to listen to his own advice and get us out of Iraq, quickly.

    Seriosly... (none / 0) (#25)
    by mindfulmission on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:45:17 AM EST
    ... how does this contrast with anything that Hillary Clinton has said?

    Even the fact that the Clinton camp wouldn't comment on this issue shows that they would have a similar or worse answer.

    Don't get me wrong - I don't want mercenaries in Iraq or anything else.  

    But if Obama is going to be attacked for a position that he holds, Clinton should be held to the same standard.

    C'mon, why must you think the worst of Hillary (none / 0) (#38)
    by g8grl on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:08:27 PM EST
    There have been comments here that Hillary has said she'd get rid of mercs.  They've not been confirmed but listen to what you're saying.  If Hillary doesn't take a position on something that Obama has, it means she has a similar or worse answer.  Talk about bias.  Seriously

    Think the worst? (none / 0) (#42)
    by mindfulmission on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:15:12 PM EST
    Come on... don't make assumptions.

    First, I have yet to see a comment from the Clinton camp that would say that she would get rid of mercenaries.  None of the comments in this post that claim to say as much are cited, nor, in my opinion, do they actually say what people claim they are saying.

    Further... I do not believe that anytime Clinton does not take a position that means that she has a similar or worse position.  What I do believe is that if she was willing to get rid of mercenaries immediately, her campaign would have said as much when asked about it.  

    If you have been reading around here for awhile, you would know that I have been quite fair to Clinton.


    obama rules! bring up obama, and then (none / 0) (#68)
    by hellothere on Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 12:32:51 AM EST
    switch the debate instantly to hillary. i say let's stay on target and discuss obama.

    Because we do know (none / 0) (#28)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:49:58 AM EST
    If Clinton said the same thing, certain bloggers would scream "Perpetual War" until their throats were sore.  Obama says it,.... * crickets *.  He's a statesman building a bigger tent I suppose.

    I don't really have a problem with Obama's position here, and I do suspect Clinton's is the same.

    In which case, I defer to MilitaryTracy's excellent observations above.  When the policy position is the same, who do you think will better execute the policy?

    How about the (none / 0) (#46)
    by andrewwm on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:35:32 PM EST
    one who opposed Iraq and Kyl-Lieberman? Seems like as good a yardstick as any.

    He didn't oppose it (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:56:32 PM EST
    He didn't vote for or against it.

    I Agree with both votes (none / 0) (#49)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:00:02 PM EST
    There's a lot of insipid logic on the internet.

    One is that if you vote for funding then you approve of how that money is used.

    Another is that if you vote for authority then you approve of how that authority is used.

    "Yes", on K/L was the right vote.  Joe Wilson and Wesley Clark agreed with that vote, and I'm not about to smear them by implying their agreement is based on anything but their expertise and knowledge of diplomacy.


    Hmmm... (none / 0) (#57)
    by Lena on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 03:00:36 PM EST
    I wonder at what point the Nation is going to publicly admit that they royally screwed up in endorsing Obama?

    That endorsement certainly diminished my respect for the Nation's commitment to progressivism.

    Do you... (none / 0) (#58)
    by mindfulmission on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 04:54:43 PM EST
    ... seriously think that Clinton is more progressive?

    Most progressive organizations have ranked Obama as more progressive than Clinton.  Actually... I believe only one ranks Clinton better than Obama.

    Don't get me wrong, as I have said numerous times, neither are true progressives, and they are very similar in their voting records and policy positions.  

    But if The Nation was going to endorse a Democrat, you really cannot make much of an argument that Clinton is more progressive than Obama.  


    link (none / 0) (#59)
    by mindfulmission on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 04:56:20 PM EST
    Here is a link to back up what I am saying.

    The two are essentially equally progressive (or conservative, depending on how you want to look at it).  


    Actually, (none / 0) (#62)
    by Lena on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 06:13:33 PM EST
    I agree that neither are progressive (though they have taken progressive stances on certain issues, i.e. Clinton has done this by advocating mandates for universal health care).

    No, I think that the Nation shouldn't have endorsed anyone, since there are no progressives in the race.

    FWIW, I think they stayed out of the race in 2000 and refused to endorse Al Gore (I could be mistaken on that though).


    That is fair. (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by mindfulmission on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 06:24:26 PM EST
    though they have taken progressive stances on certain issues, i.e. Clinton has done this by advocating mandates for universal health care
    Well... I would disagree that mandates would be the progressive stance.  The progressive stance would probably be a single-payer system.  But sure, both candidates have taken relatively progressive positions on a lot of issues.
    No, I think that the Nation shouldn't have endorsed anyone, since there are no progressives in the race.
    I don't really disagree with you.

    I tried to find out what they did in 2000, but wasn't able to do it quickly.  They did endorse Kerry in '04 though.


    Bill had no problem employing mercs (none / 0) (#64)
    by Ben Masel on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 06:26:34 PM EST
    in Colombia and the Balkans. Dynecorp

    TL Fundraiser In Progress (none / 0) (#65)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 08:56:20 PM EST
    Don't mind me, I'm just tucking in here with a fund-raising suggestion:

    Let's all donate something tonight before we logout, no matter how big or small - according to our individual means.

    Heads up: I'll be posting this elsewhere tonight at TL.