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Dissecting the Democratic Candidate's Responses in Philadelphia (Part 2)

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Continuing on from this previous article

Part 2: The Second Ten Minutes

The second ten minutes allowed for Chris Dodd and Joe Biden to enter into the debate and have their views heard but excluded Bill Richardson and Dennis Kucinich from the debate making it at least twenty minutes that both had to wait to be heard. Had the focus not been on Hillary and more so on how each candidate would lead and run our nation and had favorites not been played, the debate would have ran smoother. Nonetheless, this section delved deeper into the issue of Iran and gave Chris Dodd the opportunity to make the solid point that Democrats will be to blame if we go to war with Iran.

Russert: Senator Dodd, you said that bill was a justification for war in Iran.

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Chris Dodd: Well, Tim, I believe that this issue is going to come back to haunt us. We all learned, some of here painfully, back in 2002, that by voting for an authorization regarding Iraq, that despite the language of that resolution which called for diplomacy at the time, this administration used that resolution, obviously, to pursue a very aggressive action in Iraq.

I'm in a view here, what you didn't learn back in '02, you should've learned by now. And you don't just have to listen to this resolution. There's been a series of drumbeats by this administration, by Dick Cheney, by the president, by others, clearly pointing in a direction that would call for military action in Iran.

It is a dangerous view, in my view. And therefore, I thought it was incumbent upon us. It was interesting that people like Dick Lugar, the former Republican chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska -- Republicans who also had serious reservations and voted against that resolution the other day on September 26th.

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I'm very concerned that we're going to see those 76 votes come back, being waved in front of us here as a justification when the Bush administration decides to take military action in Iran.

So it was a moment -- it's a critical moment, when I think leadership is called for here. If you're going to seek the leadership of our country, this is the most serious time in a generation. You have an ascending China. You have an Iranian that's ambitious to acquire nuclear weapons. You have, obviously, a $4 trillion economy that's in trouble, a health care crisis in this country, energy and other issues that are going to confront the next president.

Good judgment and leadership at critical moments must be a part of this debate and discussion. That was a critical moment and the wrong decision was made, in my view.

As highlighted in an article by Scott Ritter, indeed, the issue of Iran will come back to haunt Democrats if they do not do something about it now and it will haunt them worse than the issue of Iraq because now that they control Congress, Democrats will not be able to blame Republicans for their failures. In fact, one could easily make the case that America should not elect a president who was fooled in 2002 and who did not do his or her homework. After all, an October 2002 analysis detailing how weak President Bush’s case for war was existed in the House and to anyone in Congress really. So not voting “no” to the Iraq war authorization and against funding of this Iraq war raises the question: Will you be fooled again? And in fact, some people are already trying to justify actions they have taken as a result of being fooled by Iran (Hillary Clinton).

Russert: Senator Biden, do you agree with Senator Webb: It was, de facto, a declaration of war?

Joe Biden: Well, I think it can be used as declaration. Look, we have a problem in the Senate -- and I'm not just directing this at Hillary; there were 75 other people who voted with her; we are in the minority -- that there are consequences for what we do.

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And it's not even about going to war. Let's look at what happened from the moment that vote took place. Oil prices went up to $90 a barrel.

Who benefits from that? All this talk of war, all this talk of declaring people to be terrorists droves up the price of oil.

Secondly, we have emboldened Bush, at a minimum, his talk of world war III -- totally irresponsible talk. We've emboldened him, Tim, to be able to move, if he chooses to move.

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for

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