Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Where Was Arcuri on Iraq in 2003?

On his campaign web site, Michael Arcuri now declares that when George W. Bush started the Iraq War, "The President made a bad, unnecessary decision."

I agree. But then again, everyone this side of Jerry Falwell now agrees with that statement.

For the 2006 campaign, the relevant question is this: Where did our candidates stand in March 2003?

March 2003 is when this terrible war was started by George W. Bush, along with the approval of many politically established Democrats. Was Mike Arcuri one of those Democrats?

Michael Arcuri claims to be a leader. Well, leaders use their power to make a difference on the issues that they care about. Did Arcuri care enough in 2003?

In early 2003, did Michael Arcuri use his powerful voice in Oneida County to support those of us who were marching in the streets begging George W. Bush not to start a war with Iraq? Or, did Mr. Arcuri abdicate his leadership and support George W. Bush's war? Even worse, did Michael Arcuri say nothing either way, remaining safely silent while American soldiers were sent to their deaths?

To all these questions, the only answer I can honestly give now is I don't know.

I've searched what news I can find of the time, and I can't find a single instance of Michael Arcuri making any public statements either way. Of course, that doesn't mean that Arcuri did nothing against the war. It just means that there's nothing on the record.

This issue is not about Monday morning quarterbacking. It's about whether the candidates did the right thing when it counted - when America had the chance to choose not to go to war.

Any Democratic candidate who did not oppose the war before it began, but now criticizes the war as a mistake, has serious credibility problem. Voters are going to notice the discrepancy, or the silence about it, in the general election, so it's best that New York's 24th District Democrats hash out the issue now.

If Michael Arcuri did support the Iraq War in 2003, and he gets into the House of Representatives in 2006, how do we know he won't make the same mistake again, and vote to approve another bloody, costly, pointless war just because it is the politically easy thing to do?

We deserve to know where ALL the candidates stood on the Iraq War before it began.

We can be pretty sure that Ray Meier and Brad Jones supported starting the Iraq War in 2003. After all, they still support keeping the Iraq War going now.

Les Roberts opposed the Iraq War before it began.

Bruce Tytler isn't running any more, but before he dropped out, Tytler openly admitted that he supported the Iraq War in 2003. He admitted that was a mistake, but was open about it.

As far as I can tell, Michael Arcuri hasn't said where he stood on the war in 2003.

If I'm wrong on this, and Mike Arcuri has made any public statement about his pre-war position on invading and occupying Iraq, then let me know. If there are any old sources showing Arcuri's position, I'd like to know of those too.

I've Googled, and gone through old newspapers, and looked around everywhere that I could - but just because I can't find anything doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.

Of course, Arcuri could just make a clear and simple statement on his web site, right?


Anonymous said...

I support Roberts for many, many reasons; his opposition to the war is only one of them. But to be fair to Arcuri, I imagine he was fully occupied with being D.A., and a position on Iraq was beyond the scope of his political/professional responsibilities. I'm not sure how relevant it is that he didn't take a public stand on the war (if indeed that is the case). Now, if you want to suggest that this matters because what the candidates were doing in 2003 shows us something important about their candidacy--one candidate was working on the national and international level, choosing work and actions on the basis of what could best address the most pressing issues; the other candidate was working and addressing pressing issues of law and order in one county--I could buy the relevance of that. But I don't hold a county official accountable for not taking a public stand on a national issue. Which isn't to say of course that I wouldn't greatly admire county officials who did take stands on pressing issues beyond the scope of their job descriptions.

24 Independent said...

I understand what you're saying, anonymous, but I DO believe that it was important for ALL Democrats to take a stand prior to the war began in March 2003.

I don't think that Arcuri should have come out against the war as District Attorney, but rather, as a private citizen who has a lot of political connections in Oneida County.

Arcuri could have done a great deal to help others be politically active in resisting the war in Oneida County.

Did he do that? I don't know. I'd like to find out.

Think back to 2003, and you'll remember that it took a lot of courage for ANYONE to stand up against the war, and a lot of people buckled under.

That makes a congressional candidate who did stand against the war before it started especially valuable, and it makes a congressional candidate who failed to do so especially questionable.

Above all else, we deserve to know what kind of decision Arcuri is likely to make on future wars. Is he the kind of guy to make a courageous stand for what's right, or is he the kind of guy who will knuckle under to political pressure, regardless of what's right?

Norway said...

Sorry, I agree with anonymous. I'd be suspicious of a DA or judge who was too far out in public politically. You never know when he/she might be called upon to prosecute or judge someone like Ithaca's St. Patrick Four. To be overly political would require recusal. I understand where you're coming from; I just don't believe you're headed in the right direction here.

Anonymous said...

Dear 24th,

Great website. Your link here to the Roberts campaign was missing the ".com" so it did not work.

Anonymous said...

can you provide links to where roberts came out against the war in march 2003? you provide a link to roberts website at the point where you say he was against the war in march 2003, but I don't see it under his position statement on Iraq that he was at the time. Roberts did a report after the war began, he is obviously against the war now, as is arcuri (and any other democrat with common sense). However, since you ask for public statements from arcuri at the time, I would like to know where they are from Roberts.

the point is that this post is clearly geared toward the assumption that arcuri said nothing at the time, which I don't know if he did or not, but as the other two have said thus far, it could be irresponsible for a D.A. to take such a stand considering at the time there were situations around the state, such as the one at the Albany mall with the two protesters.

It seems as though this post is negatively geared toward Arcuri, perhaps not on purpose. However, the way in which it is written may sway the opinion of an undecided democrat who has yet to make up there mind on the two with an implied suggestion that Arcuri was either for the war at the time or unwilling to stand up against it (when as a professional there is no way that he could have taken a public position).

Anonymous said...

Of course you won't find anything on Arcuri. Like every other wishy washy, no spine politican he's not going to stick his neck out until an opinion poll tells him to.