Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Say Anything

Can Hillary supporters answer Christopher Hitchens' question: "Why on earth would we choose to put the Clinton family drama at the center of our politics again?":
During the Senate debate on the intervention in Iraq, Sen. Clinton made considerable use of her background and "experience" to argue that, yes, Saddam Hussein was indeed a threat. She did not argue so much from the position adopted by the Bush administration as she emphasized the stand taken, by both her husband and Al Gore, when they were in office, to the effect that another and final confrontation with the Baathist regime was more or less inevitable. Now, it does not especially matter whether you agree or agreed with her about this (as I, for once, do and did). What does matter is that she has since altered her position and attempted, with her husband's help, to make people forget that she ever held it. And this, on a grave matter of national honor and security, merely to influence her short-term standing in the Iowa caucuses. Surely that on its own should be sufficient to disqualify her from consideration?
Some specifics of Hillary's dissembling:
  1. Like John Kerry, Senator Clinton flat-out fibs on whether she favored invading Iraq:

    October 10, 2002:
    So it is with conviction that I support this resolution as being in the best interests of our nation. A vote for it is not a vote to rush to war; it is a vote that puts awesome responsibility in the hands of our President and we say to him - use these powers wisely and as a last resort. -- Floor Speech of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on S.J. Res. 45, A Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq
    February 7, 2007:
    Nearly four years ago, our President rushed us into war in Iraq. -- Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton Speaks on Iraq on the Senate Floor
  2. On the "surge" (which she opposed), Senator Clinton twice denied it was working then, last Sunday, took credit for its success:

    September 11, 2007:
    Despite what I view as your rather extraordinary efforts in your testimony both yesterday and today, I think that the reports that you provide to us really require the willing suspension of disbelief.

    In any of the metrics that have been referenced in your many hours of testimony, any fair reading of the advantages and disadvantages accruing post-surge, in my view, end up on the downside. -- Senator Clinton Questions General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker on Iraq at Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing
    January 5, 2008:
    MR. GIBSON: So I want to ask all of you, are any of you ready to say that the surge has worked? And Senator Clinton, let me start with you, because when General Petraeus was in Washington in September, you said it would take a willful suspension of disbelief to think that the surge could do any good.

    SEN. CLINTON: And that's right, because remember the purpose behind the surge was to create the space and time for political reconciliation, for the Iraqi government to do what only it can do and trying to deal with the myriad of unresolved problems that confront it. -- Hillary Clinton during the Democratic presidential debate at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H.
    January 13, 2008:
    MR. RUSSERT: If General Petraeus says, "Senator, in September you called the surge the suspension of belief. It has worked, and you know it's worked"--let me finish--"you can see on the ground. I'm saying to you, Senator, or president-elect Clinton, don't destroy Iraq. It's working, the surge is working. Keep troops there just a few more months to get this reconciliation complete."

    SEN. CLINTON: Tim, I'm going to go back to what the whole point of the surge was, and the testimony that we heard last fall. The point of the surge was to push the Iraqi government to make these tough choices. Now, if we put in 30,000 of our finest young men and women, who are going to go after the bad guys and quell violence in certain parts of Iraq, there's no doubt that can be done. The partnerships that have been created by the tribal sheiks in Anbar province and elsewhere gave us an extra advantage. But that doesn't in any way undermine the basic reality. The point of the surge was to quickly move the Iraqi government and Iraqi people. That is only now beginning to happen, and I believe in large measure because the Iraqi government, they watch us, they listen to us. I know very well that they follow everything that I say. And my commitment to begin withdrawing our troops in January of 2009 is a big factor, as it is with Senator Obama, Senator Edwards, those of us on the Democratic side. It is a big factor in pushing the Iraqi government to finally do what they should have been doing all along. -- Hillary Clinton appearing on Meet the Press
A present-day "fairy tale" for sure. But Senator Clinton's revisionism is more than a mere positional flip-flop. It's characterological--a willingness to invent in order to advance.

It's insulting to suppose voters wouldn't notice. Scary too.

(via Instapundit, Gateway Pundit, The Weekly Standard)


Anonymous said...

Those quotes prove nothing. In the first set, you just proved that she said that the vote was for continued inspection of Iraq for WMDs, and use war as a last resort--that we shouldn't rush into war. Bush betrayed Congress and DID rush us into war. That's what she's talking about in the second quote.

Carl said...

Sure it's inconsistent--unless you, or Hillary, can explain why it became a "rush to war" between October 2002 and Spring 2003, during which Saddam refused to budge and France, Russia and the other oil-bribed nations tied up the U.N.

OBloodyHell said...

Carl, to be honest, if you go back and read the link, I don't think it supports her being disingenuous on this point. It does call into sharp relief some other points where she has been disingenuous, however:

I believe the authority to use force to enforce that mandate is inherent in the original 1991 UN resolution, as President Clinton recognized when he launched Operation Desert Fox in 1998.
-- Clearly, SHE believes that force was authorized by the UN Resolutions (she does temper this as a part of concern for independent action, but it's clear that she believes it's only a problem because it may suggest such actions to be "ok" when India looks at Pakistan, Russia looks at Georgia, etc. -- i.e., for what it allows others to justify)

I think it is possible to waffle on what she meant with this. I think it's likely she's a lying sack of sh**, but there is enough ambiguity to give her an out (partly because I don't recall the specific timeline of events which followed and how much time was taken, and what, if any, success there was on the UN Resolution front. This is her main out, since she does call for invasion as a *last resort*).

OTOH, I do point up the closing words:

And it is a vote that says clearly to Saddam Hussein - this is your last chance - disarm or be disarmed.

I think a rational person would grasp that you HAVE to act before long once this demand is made, or lose all credibility in the international community. And 4-6 months is long enough -- esp. after over a decade of patience.

As I showed, though, in an e-mail I sent, she's definitely in waffle mode, pandering to her audiences. She speaks at a rally of hispanics in Texas, she'll promote amnesty, then go across town to Richardson and give a speech about how we have to tighten our borders and ship out any illegals found...
(At least, this is what she did in Iowa and then Nevada)