Monday, January 22, 2007
UPDATE: From our august colleague Roger Gathman of the always-delightful Limited, Inc., channeling nude model Peter Beinart (don't ask):
Now, I'm not saying Hillary has been treated fairly, or that she's one tenth the hellion she's made out to be. I'm not siding with the contemptible nutjobs who long ago convinced themselves that she's a Chinese communist agent who had a tawdry affair with Vince Foster and then killed him using the lead pipe on the grassy knoll. These same bastards happily call anti-war veterans "cowardly" for merely having a lick of goddam experience and sense, not to mention the occasional three limbs blown off, and they now try to imply Obama might have been on the wrong side of 9-11. They'd frame Bill Clinton for the Fatty Arbuckle case if they could. In their minds, Hillary is part Black Panther, part castrating mama figure, Tanya from the SLA in a Brooks Brothers catsuit, an evil so frightening that no lie can be greater.
It must suck to be Hillary sometimes. I get that.
But here's what sucks worse: the Iraq war is one of the deadliest, stupidest, and most criminal foreign policy mistakes of our lifetimes. (Just making that list is a major accomplishment, btw, considering Guatemala, East Timor, Cambodia, etc.) And Hillary, despite her recent weaseling -- sorry, triangulation is the term of art -- vigorously supported Bush's Iraq adventure from the start.
In the wake of 9-11, it wasn't just George W. Bush telling the world "every nation has to be either with us or against us." It was Hillary, as you can hear for yourself.
In October 2002, during the debate about giving Bush authorization to invade Iraq, it wasn't just Dick Cheney telling the world in that Saddam Hussein had links to Al-Qaeda. It was Hillary, from the floor of Congress.
And in February 2005, it wasn't just John McCain claiming that democracy was taking root in Iraq, and that the insurgency was in its last throes. It was Hillary, standing right at John McCain's side . . . .
It's no wonder that Hillary's announcement gives Iraq exactly one sentence, implying opposition but without taking any position whatsoever. If you read closely, you'll notice she instantly changes the subject to liberal-sounding blah about health care, conservation, and Social Security (while falsely adopting the right-wing talking point that Social Security is in financial trouble, incidentally) -- but all cleverly framed as open questions, so she doesn't have to take any position right now.
Or go back to the last war we fought with Iraq. Schell insisted that we could force Iraq to leave Kuwait with sanctions alone, rather than by using military force. But the years that followed that war made it clear just how impotent that tool was. Saddam Hussein endured more than a decade of sanctions rather than give up a weapons of mass destruction program that turned out to be nonexistent. If sanctions weren't enough to make him surrender his imaginary weapons, I think we can safely say they wouldn't have been enough to make him surrender a prized, oil-rich conquest.
Sometimes, the doves – who I give every credit to for their intentions – obscure the important issue. The most important issue of our time was simply this: Hussein would not surrender his imaginary weapons! An America that is threatened by imaginary weapons is an America that can never be as strong, as erect, as lubricated as the America I see in my dreams. In the future, we cannot allow the stockpiling of imaginary weapons – this is something we can all agree on, whether we are Joe Lieberman in the center or Hilary Clinton on the far appeasement left.