September 30, 2007

Hillary Clinton’s unsatisfactory explanation why she voted for Wolfowitz’s War is worth revisiting. “Operation Iraqi Freedom” must be an embarrassment to her and to all the other establishment politicos who “authorized” the war. As it is, she blames Bush and Cheney for mismanagement. For the Democrats, Bush has become a wonderful punching bag and a gift from the gods. Like John Kerry in 2004, Hillary has complained for years about “the way” the war has been prosecuted, but not about the real issue, which is “What are we doing there in the first place?” She avoids that issue. She does not disavow her October 2002 vote authorizing the White House to go to war, even though no WMD turned up in Iraq afterwards and the U.S was in no conceivable danger. This blunder is ultimately going to cost the American taxpayers in the neighborhood of $2 trillion.

Senator Clinton does not admit that she was fooled by Bush and Cheney and their “neocon” jackals. Hillary has come up with the novel idea to the effect that she was not actually voting for war at all. Rather, she was voting to send the UN weapons inspectors back into Iraq and to give Bush the authority to use force as leverage to get Saddam to do the right thing, that is, disarm and come clean. But guess what? Saddam had come clean and Iraq had disarmed. And then Bush went crazy and misused the Senate authorization. Hillary says that if she knew in October 2002 what she knows now, she would have voted differently. That is her story. That is how gullible she regards the vast majority of the American people. She is correct when it comes to gullibility. Her successful career in politics and her husband’s comeback from impeachment prove it beyond a doubt.

It was known that Saddam had disarmed long before 9/11. The entire pretext for the 2003 invasion of Iraq was a gigantic, well-orchestrated, international fraud. Therefore, you might think that Hillary was fooled, along with so many others. You might think that she would not want to be fooled twice by the same duplicitous cast of characters in charge at the White House. And perhaps she may have learned from her mistake, even though she does not call it a mistake. But if so, then how does one explain her vote on a Senate resolution last Wednesday, which resolution provides Cheney and Bush with a short-cut to war against Iran? I am referring to the (John) Kyl-(Joe) Lieberman amendment, the original draft of which was prepared by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. It passed the Senate last Wednesday by a 76-22 vote, with both Hillary and Senate Leader Harry Reid voting in favor. Senator Jim Webb of Virginia, Secretary of the Navy under Reagan, called the AIPAC draft “Dick Cheney’s fondest pipe dream…” which “could be read as tantamount to a declaration of war.”

Does Hillary know what she is doing? Does Hillary want to bomb Iran? Does she buy the propaganda that Iran is engaged in a nuclear weapons program, as distinct from a nuclear energy program, just because Cheney and Bush say so? At this point, who could possibly take at face value what they say about anything? If Hillary actually believes their bunkum, then she does indeed want to start a new war. In fact, she has said so, as have most other presidential contenders. “All options on the table” is a code meaning that Bush can go to war against Iran without specific Congressional authorization. If Bush pulls the trigger on Iran, and it turns into another fiasco like Iraq, how is Hillary going to spin her vote on Kyl-Lieberman? Is she going to backpedal a second time? Frankly, I doubt that she cares about future explanations or has considered the adverse consequences of her vote as it relates to bringing more carnage to the Middle East. Why should she, if she can get what she wants in the near term? There is always an election around the corner here in America. Hillary is running for President. Every move she makes centers upon that goal.

Not for a nanosecond do I accept the notion that Hillary Clinton has been fooled, either five years ago or just the other day. She knew in October 2002 that she was voting for Bush to invade Iraq. So did the Democratic Party leadership. They all went to war arm in arm. Hillary gave the impression at the time that she was proud to be part of the process. And she knows perfectly well what her vote for the AIPAC-inspired Kyl-Lieberman amendment means today. She and Senator Harry Reid have voted to allow Cheney and Bush to do whatever they please with respect to “preemptive” military operations against Iran. In October 2002 they voted the same way with respect to Iraq. You are watching a rerun.

Why would the Democrat-controlled Senate vote to go down the same dead end street a second time? Ex-CIA analyst Kathy Christison and her husband Bill, who was a senior official at the Agency, may have the answer. They have studied the controversial book by Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, whereas I have only read the London Review of Books article, upon which the new book is based. The Christisons point out that M & W nail the Israel Lobby with a prime responsibility for the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. “The two authors devote more than 30 pages and a remarkable 175 footnotes to constructing an irrefutable case for an Israeli role in helping plan, and a large lobby role in pressing for, the war….  Israel and the lobby ‘played crucial roles in making that war happen.’ Without the lobby and particularly the core of neocon policy-makers inside government and neocon commentators and think-tank analysts on the sidelines, Mearsheimer and Walt conclude bluntly, ‘the war would almost certainly not have occurred’ and ‘America would probably not be in Iraq today.’”

In short, when it comes to the Middle East, domestic politics rule. Oil and “the spread of democracy” are secondary factors. This is one of the main contentions of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. It is all the explanation you need to understand Hillary’s vote to invade Iraq five years ago as well as her vote last week to enable a war against Iran. She was not fooled by Bush in 2002, any more than she is being fooled by Joe Lieberman today. There is no need for these politicians to fool one another, because they are perfectly aware what is going on and what they are doing. Hillary is a professional, Washington politician. She requires money, good will, and votes. Like her husband, Hillary’s actions are coldly calculated, often triangulated, and always self-serving. Everything is a career move. In their defense, one can only observe that Hillary and Bubba have plenty of company.


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