Ventura: Both Parties Responsible for Iraq Mess

We thought Memorial Day would be a most appropriate time to bring you a few thoughts on the Iraq War from former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura.

This onetime pro wrestler, Navy SEAL, politician and patriot has strong opinions about what’s happening to our country – and a few creative solutions to these problems, too.

Today’s installment is Part I of a two-part series on Governor Ventura, who is considering a run for the White House as an independent candidate. If Ventura runs, he says he wants Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as his VP.

We’ll tell you more about that tomorrow in Pt. II. You won’t want to miss it. 

Kinky Friedman and Jesse Ventura, 2006

Kinky Friedman, a Lone Star icon and 2006 independent candidate for Texas Governor, plots political strategy with former independent Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura (who has since shaved off those fabulous, freaky Fu Manchu whiskers).


In his new book, Don’t Start The Revolution Without Me, former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura reflects on how the Iraq war has served to deepen his independent convictions. He rightly blames the Bush administration and a Republican-controlled Congress for the start of the war, but certainly doesn’t spare the Democrats any blows, either.

On page 267, he body-slams Bush for The Big Lie which took us into Iraq:

“Okay, if we lie to our government, we go to jail. But what happens when the government lies to us?…Oh, that’s right, we go to war. And I make the point that I’m not talking only about the current war, but how the Vietnam War escalated after Lyndon Johnson’s administration concocted the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

I’m also very angry at the Democrats, who were cowards from the beginning of the Iraq ordeal. They seemed so frightenend of their political standing, or of what Karl Rove and the Bush machine had created, they wouldn’t just stand up and say no. Even now that the Democrats control Congress again, they will only go so far. They want a timetable for withdrawing our troops, but they don’t seem ready to hold Bush’s feet to the fire to get it. I, at least, give the Republicans credit for having courage, misguided though it may be. I don’t think anyone who voted for this war deserves to be president, Democrat or Republican.

What frustrates and angers me more than anything is this: It’s my generation. We’ve been lead down this primrose path once before already, with Vietnam. Shouldn’t we, of all people, know about being deceived? How dumb can we be? Now we’ve gone and done the very thing we protested so vehemently against in our youth. We’ve become what we feared.

Maybe it’s time we recalled the words of Robert F. Kennedy, when he was running for president in 1968: “I am concerned – as I believe most Americans are concerned – that the course we are following at the present time is deeply wrong. I am concerned – as I believe most Americans are concerned – that we are acting as if no other nations existed, against the judgment and desires of neutrals and our historic allies alike. I am concerned – as I believe most Americans are concerned – that our present course will not bring victory; will not bring peace; will not stop the bloodshed; and will not advance the interests of the United States or the cause of peace in the world. I am concerned that, at the end of it all, there will only be more Americans killed; more of our treasure spilled out; and because of the bitterness and hatred on every side of the war, more hundreds of thousands of (civilians) slaughtered; so they may say, as Tacitus said of Rome: `They made a desert, and called it peace.'”

RFK's 1968 campaign


Ventura is right, in a sense: had the political climate within the Democratic party in 1968 been what it is today, Robert Kennedy might have been forced to run as an independent. RFK’s turn against his party, his president, even his own late brother’s policy on Vietnam could have – and in today’s political world, likely would have – cost him the Democratic party nomination.

Try to imagine the Republican party nominating an anti-war candidate in 2008. Not gonna happen. No matter how unpopular their president is; no matter how misguided the policy which lead us into Iraq and keeps us there day after bloody day, they’re still towing the party line when it comes to the war.

Which brings us back to the here and now: if the majority of Americans want the war in Iraq ended as soon as possible, and two of the three U.S. Senators currently running for the presidency voted to authorize this war, does that leave only Barack Obama as “qualified” to be president, by Ventura’s logic?

Perhaps. But what we don’t know is this: would Barack Obama be opposing the war if a Democratic president had gotten us into it? Would Clinton?

It’s an interesting hypothetical, one to consider. Although Hillary Clinton undoubtedly made the wrong choice in voting to authorize our invasion of Iraq, at least we can evaluate her as a presidential candidate based on her vote (and her later mea culpa). In Obama’s case, we just don’t know. He wasn’t in the Senate at the time of that critical vote. We can only assume that his motivations to oppose the war are strictly moral, and not political.

Although Ventura says that Obama is the best of the two-party choices this year, he still has his doubts. Is Obama qualified? Will he be the strong leader we need now? Who’s really pulling his strings? Can he be trusted to uphold all those lofty campaign promises?

Obama’s a gamble, yes – but it seems the American people have nothing left to lose. We’re probably going to put Obama in the White House this November simply to free ourselves from more of the same-old, same-old, if for no other reason.

Unless some formidable independent contender should suddenly appear on the horizon to challenge the two-party system. With the exception of Ralph Nader, independent voters are left with a barren landscape of choices so far this year.

There is, of course, another option Ventura’s been thinking about. You know that old saying, “if you want a job done right, do it yourself?”

Perhaps we could add to that sage wisdom: “And always be sure to pick an unimpeachable running mate!”


For Jesse Ventura, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is exactly that man. In his new book, Ventura makes no secret of who he wants to run beside him, even going so far as to put forward a fantasy-scenario of this “dream ticket” burning up the campaign trail this summer.

And it all sounds really good – great, in fact – so good you find yourself starting to dream about it, too…Until the last two pages, when the dream turns into a nightmare.

Thankfully, that’s only fiction. What this blogger worries about, though, is that if strong, brave leaders like Ventura and Kennedy don’t offer themselves to represent the people during America’s “hour of maximum peril” (to quote JFK), we may wake up one morning soon to find that our worst nightmares have come true.

Ventura, to his eternal credit, has offered himself wholeheartedly (as any good soldier would when he hears the call of his country). He has said he is willing and able to run for president as an independent and believes he can win.

He’s not the coy, passively-reluctant candidate. This old fighter is just itching to get back into the ring for another round: “Give me ballot access,” he recently told Larry King, “and I’ll beat `em all!”

I’m in no position to disagree with that statement. The Maverickfrom Minnesota only needs two things right now to become the first independent President of the United States: 1) ballot access, and 2) RFK Jr.

But can Ventura convince Kennedy to leave the Democratic party and join him on The Quest?

We’ll explore that question in Pt. II tomorrow. Stay tuned…


Copyright Book excerpt copyright 2008 by Jesse Ventura. 

UPDATE: Jesse Ventura told CNN’s Larry King this week he is considering an independent bid for the Minnesota U.S. Senate Seat that Al Franken is currently running for. Should Jesse do it? Or is there already one comedian too many in this race?



Filed under election 2008, hillary clinton, impeach Bush, JFK, John F. Kennedy, LBJ, lyndon b. johnson, media, politics, president kennedy, RFK, RFK Jr., robert f. kennedy, robert kennedy jr., senator robert kennedy, texas, the kennedys, Uncategorized

8 responses to “Ventura: Both Parties Responsible for Iraq Mess

  1. Jack Mosel

    “would Barack Obama be opposing the war if a Democratic president had gotten us into it? Would Clinton?” Taken from New Frontier

    A Democratic President wouldn’t have gotten “US” in this war period. This is the NWO’s brave new world… The rigging and posturing for this “war” was set in stone well before 9/11/2001… We have to be vigillant about the facts New Frontier… We have to remember all the chronological sweeping turns and smokescreens this NAZI NWO regime has established and put in place to have everything roll out according to plan. Bush & Cheney are guilty of sabre rattling and manipulating these facts prior to and leading upto the unilateral descision to fabricate the ROVIAN and ZELICOWIAN LIE!!! Just like the burning of the Reichtstag immediately prior to the NAZI Party takeover of Post WWI Germany.

    The CIA and the FBI as well as Colin Powell can attest to this ramp up and witch hunt to fabricate facts to make Iraq the target for our anger and revenge… We know know that it is a flat out lie and we are fighting a sham worse than vietnam here.

    While I’m on the subject of Vietnam, Let’s get the record straight too about the players and the conditions. The Play book is copied and taken from the NAZI Party itself It’s called a false flag operation and it accomplishes the exact same results (every time). The same players in fact are involved as well… The Bush’s, Karl Rove and the CIA.. If we want real change, we need to make our House of Representatives use every ounce of legal fortitude they have left and apply all the weight of that branch of Government to arrest Karl Rove, Mock him (Don’t praise the S.O.B.) keep him in the jail under the Congress and not only make him testify under oath but polygraph him. This bafoon is the Lynch pin and he knows everything and is responsible and culpable for evrything as well…

    We have a government that is under seige and it is high noon people… I thought the Iraq War was supposed to pay for itself in Gasoline revenues or at least supply??? Anyone want to call me out on that one?

    Hell Yeah Kennedy and Ventura need to throw down! Throw down huge! We will regret as well as they will too if they don’t run!!! We have 120 days to call out the criminals and name names and cite crimes for who is responsible for screwing us up so badly for the last 8 years… Everyone needs to get into the act! Even Obama!!! Someone has to begin to call for justice and quit being such freeking pussies in the House and The Senate!!! C’mon Joe Biden this means you too… More of you folks at service to our country need to be patriots and real leaders for a change.

    We’ve been Bushwacked since LBJ… This can either be Their finest hour or ours… If you want the facts, their isn’t a better, more excellent way to have ease of access on google video and youtube… search for yourself and watch loose Change, watch Terror Storm, watch who killed JFK… If 10% of the facts are valid… Wholly Molly!

    When you inform yourself (like I did) you’ll cry and get depressed for about two weeks, then you’ll get a craving for more truth… And then you’ll blog like a real patriot and for the justice of all those who died hard and needlessly… Only to grease the wheels of the likes of Karl Rove and the Bush’s and Cheney and more… I was a registered Republican and a koolaid drinker “kill ’em all let God sort ’em out” yahoo for years… I’ve become informed and now I’m pissed.

    Let’s Roll!

  2. Jack Mosel

    “Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live.” — Robert F. Kennedy


  3. Hey Jack –

    Would the Democratic presidential contenders be opposing this war in an election year if a Democratic administration had gotten us into it?

    ah, the question that still vexes.

    I certainly agree with you that this is largely a Republican war – HOWEVER, let us not forget that the Democrats also deserve their fair share of the blame here, too.

    Not that they don’t have my sympathies. Let’s face it, no matter who was the president on 9/11/2001, the attack on America demanded a swift and strong retaliation. It was an act of war against the United states, and ANY president would have had to respond with a tremendous show of power and force. We had to attack somebody…but WHO???

    Had a Democrat (oh, let’s say, Al Gore, for example) been sitting in the White House that day, I’ll bet you my bottom dollar he would have authorized a war against Afghanistan and/or Iraq, if that is what his advisers told him to do. And the Republican-controlled Congress would have backed him up, just as they did for Bush in the aftermath of 9/11.

    A reminder…the Iraq Resolution vote again from October 11, 2002:

    In the House, 126 of the chamber’s 208 Democrats voted against the war resolution. Comment: (84 Democrats voted FOR war)

    (And that was STRONGER support than the first President Bush received in 1991 when the then-Democratic-controlled House voted 250-183 to authorize force against Iraq.)

    The Senate vote sharply divided Democrats, with 29 voting for the measure and 21 against. All Republicans except Sen. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island voted for passage.

    Now let’s reflect back on some of the little gems of wisdom that dripped from the mouths of Democratic babes that day: (Source: CNN)

    Ahead of the vote, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle announced Thursday morning he would support Bush on Iraq, saying it is important for the country “to speak with one voice at this critical moment.”

    Daschle, D-South Dakota, said the threat of Iraq’s weapons programs “may not be imminent. But it is real. It is growing. And it cannot be ignored.” However, he urged Bush to move “in a way that avoids making a dangerous situation even worse.”

    Daschle had expressed reservations about a possible U.S. attack on Iraq, and he was not part of an agreement between the White House and other congressional leaders framing the resolution last week.

    How’s about THIS for the most twisted pretzel-logic you ever heard?:

    Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Missouri, said giving Bush the authority to attack Iraq could avert war by demonstrating the United States is willing to confront Saddam over his obligations to the United Nations.

    “I believe we have an obligation to protect the United States by preventing him from getting these weapons and either using them himself or passing them or their components on to terrorists who share his destructive intent,” said Gephardt, who helped draft the measure.

    Yep, you read that right: according to Gephardt, if we authorize a WAR, it will bring PEACE. (Pass the crack pipe! Are you kidding us, Dick?)

    Let’s hear from the woman who wants to be our next Democratic president:

    In the closing hours of debate, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., said the decision to back the resolution was “the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, but I cast it with conviction. I want this president, or any future president, to be in the strongest possible position to lead our country, at the United Nations or at war.” (MSNBC)

    And now a few words from her Republican opponent, john McCain, on the day of the Iraq war vote:

    But Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said the United States needs to move before Saddam can develop a more advanced arsenal.

    “Giving peace a chance only gives Saddam Hussein more time to prepare for war on his terms, at a time of his choosing, in pursuit of ambitions that will only grow as his power to achieve them grows,” McCain said. (CNN)

    God bless the Crazy Old Man, Sen. Robert Byrd , who put up a heroic effort to bring his fellow Congresscritters to their collective senses before it was too late – alas, to no avail:

    Sen. Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia, attempted Thursday to mount a filibuster against the resolution but was cut off on a 75 to 25 vote.

    Byrd had argued the resolution amounted to a “blank check” for the White House.

    “This is the Tonkin Gulf resolution all over again,” Byrd said. “Let us stop, look and listen. Let us not give this president or any president unchecked power. Remember the Constitution.”

    Sadly, too many Democrats forgot their Constitutions that day – or checked them at the door. Am I still pissed at them? You bet. Jesse Ventura is right to speak out and lay blame squarely where it belongs – at the feet of BOTH parties!

    It is interesting to note that historically speaking, the Democrats are not the peace party, as is so often mistakenly believed. Looking back at the 20th Century, every major war America fought was on a Democratic president’s watch:

    WWI – Woodrow Wilson
    WWII – Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Korea – Harry S. Truman (that loving peacenik who dropped the atom bomb on Japan)
    Vietnam – JFK/LBJ (although that conflict actually began under the Eisenhower administration)

    With the exceptions of Theodore Roosevelt’s military excursions in Cuba and the Carribbean in the early part of the 20th century, and George Bush’s Desert Storm at the end (quick, quiet, low-key wars by comparison)- the stubborn fact remains that Democrats were the party who brought you all these big, wonderful wars.

    Ironically, throughout most of the 20th Century, the Republicans were the acknowledged anti-war party. It was the GOP who opposed America’s entry into WWI and WWII – and what a fiesty band of non-interventionists they were indeed back then! What happened to the Republicans? How did they morph by century’s end into a bunch of bloodthirsty, warmongering loons?

    So let’s see here…the “war score” for the past 100 years (including Afghanistan and Iraq, Episode II) is:

    Republicans: 4

    So it looks like the two parties are dead even when it comes to starting wars.

    All the more reason why it’s time to think outside the two-party system, outside the Beltway, and outside the box!

    Now more than ever!

    Blessed Be the Peacemakers…and oh by the way, Lord…if you’re not too busy, please send us one! Thanks.:)

  4. Patriot

    From a May 20th, 2008 interview with Alex Jones:


    Regardless of a public either unconcerned with the lies of government or unable to ask important questions, Jesse stated that he believes it is his duty to stand up to the federal government because centralized and entrenched power will always attempt to violate not only the rights of the states but individuals, from medicinal marijuana to dignity in death.

    In order to realize these rights and put an end to a predatory central government, we must “have a revolution and take our country back.” Ventura told Alex the reason he wrote his last book was specifically for this reason, as a “message and wake-up call,” to wake-up the country and tell citizens that the “two party system is corrupt” and “you have to change the system to change the government,” otherwise we may very well lose the republic. “That’s what Thomas Jefferson warned about, that’s what John Adams warned about, that political parties would eventually strangle the republic because decisions would be made on behalf of the political parties.”


  5. Jack Mosel

    Thanx New Frontier for the facts… The one that remains unanswered for me is Where’s OSAMA?!!!

    As well, Where’s the WMD’s? Since the whole missed point for our our being at war in the first place is VOID… Then 1) Where’s Osama? and 2) Did BUSH / CHENEY “Sell” “SPIN” or otherwise lie or have prior desires or designs to be at war prior to 9/11/2001???

    The record seems to show this, it is a mute point for us to argue amongst ourselves about coulda shoulda woulda today… Our efforts must be directed at what Bush and Cheney knew, when they knew it and to what extent did they circumvent our entire country and the entire country of Iraq to get their very expensive, Constitution eviscerating, unilateral descision making war… Period.

    Arrest ROVE!!! For Starters…!

  6. David

    right on, Jesse!

    youre right – both parties are equally responsible. period.

    btw, Rolling Stone has a great article by tim dickenson this month about the Spineless democrats in congress..(it’s the Guitar hero issue, dated 6/12). I laughed my ass of reading that piece, good stuff!

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  8. Jennifer

    Wonderful story and I couldnt agree more with Jesse!

    After the Senate’s vote on FISA yesterday and Obama’s betrayal of all of us who have supported him, I’m more disgusted with the Democrats than ever.

    I just changed my voter registration to independent, and ain’t looking back!!!!!

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