Flickr photo by sskennel
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate who, while on the campaign trail, said if Iran attacked Israel America would be able to “totally obliterate them,” has renewed talk of such an action.
The Times Online from the UK reports,
“Hillary Clinton refused yesterday to rule out a pre-emptive Israeli military strike on Iran. It was the first time that a senior member of the Obama Administration had openly discussed such a possibility.
The US Secretary Of State, speaking a few days before elections in Iran that will determine the fate of President Ahmadinejad, also warned that the country would face retaliation if it launched a nuclear attack on Israel.”
I don’t condone or support the building or construction of nuclear weapons nor do I support the use of nuclear weapons by any country at all, but I must ask—If America is aiming to enter talks with Iran without preconditions (like Obama has said on the world’s stage), why is Hillary Clinton creating this precondition? What good will come from talks if the entire time Iranian leaders fear we are just going to let Israel attack anyway?
Hillary Clinton spoke about “obliterating Iran” before 2008 Democratic Primary Election was complete.
"I want the Iranians to know that if I’m the president, we will attack Iran (if it attacks Israel)," Clinton said in an interview on ABC’s "Good Morning America."
"In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them," she said.
"That’s a terrible thing to say but those people who run Iran need to understand that because that perhaps will deter them from doing something that would be reckless, foolish and tragic," Clinton said.
This comment came weeks after pledging “massive retaliation” if Israel was attacked.
Her words may sound like just a warning, but that warning depends on whether you believe there’s a reason to warn Iran or not.
Since Obama has begun to talk about allowing Iran to have a civilian nuclear energy program, it seems like, perhaps, America was saber-rattling and now Hillary continues what the Bush Administration started.
As Robert Scheer, writer for Truthdig.com, wrote, these utterances are not to be taken lightly:
“…Seizing upon a question as to how she would respond to a nuclear attack by Iran, which doesn’t have nuclear weapons, on Israel, which does, Hillary mocked reasoned discourse by promising to “totally obliterate them,” in an apparent reference to the population of Iran. That is not a word gaffe; it is an assertion of the right of our nation to commit genocide on an unprecedented scale…
…What better argument do the ayatollahs need to justify their obtaining a nuclear “deterrent” than that the possible leader of the first nation to develop nuclear weapons, and the only one to ever use them to kill people, now threatens the people of Iran with obliteration?”
Scheer’s article reminds us not just of Hillary Clinton’s call to obliterate Iran during the election but also Barack Obama’s call to attack Pakistan. Indeed, it seems like this administration that many voted into power because of their so-called opposition to the Iraq War has a tendency to threaten aggressive military action.
In August of 2007, Obama began to discuss how he would handle America’s situation with Pakistan:
"If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will," Obama said.
Indeed, Obama was suggesting that with or without permission from Pakistani government America would act. So much for respecting a country’s sovereignty.
Interestingly, in addition to the fact that Hillary Clinton suggested during a debate held in Chicago just after Obama’s remarks that “you shouldn’t always say what you think if you are running for president,” Joe Biden explained and justified what Obama said.
“Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts," Biden said. "It’s already the policy of the United States — has been for four years — that there’s actionable intelligence, we would go into Pakistan.”
Threatening to attack a country, which is a violation of international law, is not just the policy of Hillary Clinton but many other members of the Obama Administration.
Jeremy Scahill pointed out in November of 2008 that Obama was going to load his Cabinet with “hawks” and not one anti-war voice was going to be a member of the Obama Administration.
Scahill wrote this about Hillary Clinton:
Hillary Rodham Clinton
For all the buzz and speculation about the possibility that Sen. Clinton may be named Secretary of State, most media coverage has focused on her rivalry with Obama during the primary, along with the prospect of her husband having to face the intense personal, financial and political vetting process required to secure a job in the new administration. But the question of how Clinton would lead the operations at Foggy Bottom calls for scrutiny of her positions vis-a-vis Obama’s stated foreign-policy goals.
Clinton was an ardent defender of her husband’s economic and military war against Iraq throughout the 1990s, including the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, which ultimately laid the path for President George W. Bush’s invasion. Later, as a U.S. senator, she not only voted to authorize the war, but aided the Bush administration’s propaganda campaign in the lead-up to the invasion. "Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile-delivery capability and his nuclear program," Clinton said when rising to support the measure in October 2002. "He has also given aid, comfort and sanctuary to terrorists, including al-Qaida members … I want to insure that Saddam Hussein makes no mistake about our national unity and for our support for the president’s efforts to wage America’s war against terrorists and weapons of mass destruction."
"The man who vowed to deliver us from 28 years of Bushes and Clintons has been stocking up on Clintonites," New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd recently wrote. "How, one may ask, can he put Hillary — who voted to authorize the Iraq war without even reading the intelligence assessment — in charge of patching up a foreign policy and a world riven by that war?"
Beyond Iraq, Clinton shocked many and sparked official protests by Tehran at the United Nations when asked during the presidential campaign what she would do as president if Iran attacked Israel with nuclear weapons. "I want the Iranians to know that if I’m the president, we will attack Iran," she declared. "In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them."
Clinton has not shied away from supporting offensive foreign policy tactics in the past. Recalling her husband’s weighing the decision of whether to attack Yugoslavia, she said in 1999, "I urged him to bomb. … You cannot let this go on at the end of a century that has seen the major holocaust of our time. What do we have NATO for if not to defend our way of life?"
If one recalls, in true American exceptionalism fashion, news commentators, policymakers, and politicians in America refuse to let go of the fact that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suggested that Israel should be wiped off the map.
Congress actually passed a resolution "Calling on the United Nations Security Council to charge Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with violating the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the United Nations Charter because of his calls for the destruction of the State of Israel." (Two congressmen had the moral fortitude to vote against it.)
Could you imagine what would happen if Iran called for the UN to charge Hillary Clinton for violating 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the United Nations Charter because of her calls for the destruction of the State of Iran?
Ahmadinejad is a Holocaust denier and a theocratic dictator so I don’t defend him, but I do, for the purposes of truth, liberty, and peace, emphasize that anytime a pundit or politician mentions Ahmadinejad’s comment they are not accurately translating what was said.
The real translation really called for the Israeli regime to vanish from the pages of time.
Even if Iran was threatening to wipe Israel off the map (as many Americans would like to believe), how can one excuse Clinton’s calls to obliterate a country or allow a major power to commit genocide and not excuse Iran’s leader for doing the same thing?
Better, how can one be against Ahmadinejad’s supposed call to eliminate Israel and nonchalantly be okay with Clinton’s pledge to allow Israel to “defend itself” or Obama’s call to just go in and attack a country whenever we think there might be terrorists there that don’t like us?
Well, coming on the heels of Clinton’s renewed pledge and just after Obama’s major speech to the Muslim World, Saudi Arabia wants the U.S. to follow up the speech with “tangible action” and apply “stronger pressure on Israel to accept a viable Palestinian state,” according to the Financial Times.
“The United States has the means to persuade the Israelis to work for a peaceful settlement,” Prince Saud al-Faisal, the foreign minister, said in an interview with Newsweek, a US magazine. “It needs to tell them that if it is going to continue to help them, they must be reasonable and make reasonable concessions.”
On top of that, when asked if the U.S. should withhold aid to Israel to make this happen, Prince Saud said, “Why not? If you give aid to someone and they indiscriminately occupy other people’s lands, you bear some responsibility.”
Hmm. Makes sense to me. But, something tells me that Barack "There’s Only One President at a Time" Obama will have a different take on the situation.