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?