Please view the video, Clinton Discusses Visit with US Troops in Iraq & Afghanistan.  YouTube.

© copyright 2007 Betsy L. Angert
Hillary is resolute even while campaigning in Iowa.  She does not apologize for her position on Iraq.  The Senator from New York spoke in favor the war in 2002.  She voted for the invasion, and she still supports the effort.  Missis Clinton prefers we adjust the strategy.  Last week she called for a troop increase into Afghanistan.  However, for the Senator, the war must be won.  

Senator Clinton as he, George W. Bush thinks we must succeed in Iraq.  Neither proposes a swift exit from this battle.  President Bush wants a temporary surge in Iraq. Hillary believes we must extricate the troops slowly.  Bush must bear the burden and clean up his mess before he leaves office in January 2009.

Clinton has stayed steadfastly on a centrist path, criticizing President Bush but refusing to embrace the early troop withdrawal options that are gaining rapid favor in her party. This careful balance is drawing increasing scorn from liberal activists, frustrated that one of the party’s leading lights has shown little appetite to challenge Bush’s policy more directly and embrace a plan to set a timetable for bringing U.S. forces home.

Perhaps, Presidential candidate Clinton believes as she does because her husband Bill intimated “regime change” when he was President.  Former President Bill Clinton “hinted” that under Saddam Hussein the people of Iraq would never be able to “rejoin the family of nations as a freedom-loving and law-abiding member.”  In 1998, William Jefferson Clinton proclaimed . . .

Statement By The President
Today I am signing into law H.R. 4655, the “Iraq Liberation Act of 1998.”  This Act makes clear that it is the sense of the Congress that the United States should support those elements of the Iraqi opposition that advocate a very different future for Iraq than the bitter reality of internal repression and external aggression that the current regime in Baghdad now offers.

Let me be clear on what the U.S. objectives are: The United States wants Iraq to rejoin the family of nations as a freedom-loving and law-abiding member.  This is in our interest and that of our allies within the region.

The United States favors an Iraq that offers its people freedom at home.  I categorically reject arguments that this is unattainable due to Iraq’s history or its ethnic or sectarian make-up.  Iraqis deserve and desire freedom like everyone else.  The United States looks forward to a democratically supported regime that would permit us to enter into a dialogue leading to the reintegration of Iraq into normal international life.

My Administration has pursued, and will continue to pursue, these objectives through active application of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.  The evidence is overwhelming that such changes will not happen under the current Iraq leadership.

In the meantime, while the United States continues to look to the Security Council’s efforts to keep the current regime’s behavior in check, we look forward to new leadership in Iraq that has the support of the Iraqi people.  The United States is providing support to opposition groups from all sectors of the Iraqi community that could lead to a popularly supported government.

On October 21, 1998, I signed into law the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999, which made $8 million available for assistance to the Iraqi democratic opposition. This assistance is intended to help the democratic opposition unify, work together more effectively, and articulate the aspirations of the Iraqi people for a pluralistic, participatory political system that will include all of Iraq’s diverse ethnic and religious groups.  As required by the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for FY 1998 (Public Law 105-174), the Department of State submitted a report to the Congress on plans to establish a program to support the democratic opposition.  My Administration, as required by that statute, has also begun to implement a program to compile information regarding allegations of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes by Iraq’s current leaders as a step towards bringing to justice those directly responsible for such acts.

The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 provides additional, discretionary authorities under which my Administration can act to further the objectives I outlined above. There are, of course, other important elements of U.S. policy.  These include the maintenance of U.N. Security Council support efforts to eliminate Iraq’s weapons and missile programs and economic sanctions that continue to deny the regime the means to reconstitute those threats to international peace and security.  United States support for the Iraqi opposition will be carried out consistent with those policy objectives as well.  Similarly, U.S. support must be attuned to what the opposition can effectively make use of as it develops over time.  With those observations, I sign H.R. 4655 into law.

William J. Clinton
The White House
October 31, 1998.

President Bill Clinton acted on his beliefs and his Statement.  He ordered an attack on Iraq.  Operation Desert Fox was born.  The official intent of this mission was to “degrade” Saddam Hussein’s ability to produce weapons of mass destruction.  The targets were vast.  Facilities thought to be associated with chemical and biological weapons production were bombed.  Missiles were aimed at buildings intelligence sources claimed housed the regime’s secret police and elite Republican Guard forces.  Airfields, air defense sites, and a Basra oil refinery were all hit.

Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz reported 62 military personnel were killed and 180 injured.  Yet, there was more.  Many deaths occurred because the United Nations with the blessing of the United Sates imposed cruel and inhumane restrictions on the people of Iraq.  These sanctions were imposed while George Herbert Walker Bush was in office.  However, Hillary’s husband Bill did nothing to lift the authorizations.  Clearly, from his statement in 1998 a reader can only conclude he endorsed such horrors.

With “thanks” to sanctions against this Middle Eastern nation, one-half a million children perished in Iraq!  Children were slowly slaughtered, starved in mass!  Apparently, that was all right with the Clinton Administration as is evident in this article.  A Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting journalist offers . . .

“We Think the Price Is Worth It”
Media uncurious about Iraq policy’s effects- there or here
By Rahul Mahajan

Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: We have heard that a half million children have died.  I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima.  And, you know, is the price worth it?

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.

–60 Minutes (5/12/96)

Then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s quote, calmly asserting that U.S. policy objectives were worth the sacrifice of half a million Arab children, has been much quoted in the Arabic press.  It’s also been cited in the United States in alternative commentary on the September 11 attacks (e.g., Alexander Cockburn, New York Press, 9/26/01).

Perchance, Senator Hillary Clinton agrees.  The ends justify the means.  Hence, she supports a ‘successful’ combative mission, as long as it does not continue into her [possible] watch.  

We can presuppose that Senator Clinton, who openly states her support for brutal battles, can stomach sanctions that destroy young lives.  Unlike former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and I, war and death are options this Presidential candidate endorses.  For me, Mister Clark says it all.

Neighborhood Bully
Ramsey Clark on American Militarism
An interview by Derrick Jensen
The Sun

Clark is founder and chairperson of the International Action Center, the largest antiwar movement in the United States.  A vocal critic of U.S. military actions around the globe, he calls government officials “international outlaws,” accusing them of “killing innocent people because we don’t like their leader.”

[Clark] He has traveled to Iraq, North Vietnam, Serbia, and other embattled regions of the world to investigate the effects of American bombing and economic sanctions there.  The sanctions, he says, are particularly inhumane: “They’re like the neutron bomb, which is the most ‘inspired’ of all weapons, because it kills the people and preserves the property, the wealth.  So you get the wealth and you don’t have the baggage of the hungry, clamoring poor.”

After the Gulf War, in 1991, Clark initiated a war-crimes tribunal, which tried and found guilty President George Bush and Generals Colin Powell and Norman Schwarzkopf, among others.  Clark went on to write a book, The Fire This Time (Thunder’s Mouth Press), describing the crimes he says were committed by U.S. and NATO forces during the Gulf War. When asked why he focuses on the crimes of his own country, instead of those committed by Iraq, Clark says that we, as citizens, need to announce our principles and “force our government to adhere to them.  When you see your government violating those principles, you have the highest obligation to correct what your government does, not point the finger at someone else.”

I thank you Ramsey Clark for speaking out when others do not.  I appreciate that you advocate peace and policies that do cause no undue harm.  While I might admire former President Bill Clinton, and I do, on domestic issues, I have deep reservations when assessing his policies towards Iraq.  I cannot and do not support strategies that cause death, slow and sustained.  War and sanctions hurt the innocent.  Civilians, even or especially the children suffer when sanctions are imposed.  Imagine what a surge in Iraq or Afghanistan might do.  

I, for one, think if world leaders wish to argue over their differences, let them.  They alone can sit in a room together, perhaps, play a game of chess, or chat.  One never knows what might occur when communication is the first, last, and best option.

As for Hillary, when Senator Clinton is sincerely ready to begin a conversation, to be part of a discussion that stimulates a solution, I’ll be there.  I will be in her camp.  Until then, I will continue to talk, to chat.  I will start a dialogue about her ideas and mine.  Dear reader, if you are wondering, I believe sanctions and war cause great suffering, even death.  These are not options!  I ask for peace.  Might we give it a chance!

I thank you Max for once again, stimulating my mind.  May I present Back To The Future, By Max Sawicky.  MaxSpeak.  January 29, 2007

Why, for me, War is Not an option . . .

  • Clinton Discusses Visit with US Troops in Iraq & Afghanistan.  YouTube.
  • In Race for Iowa, Clinton Has to Make Up Ground, With Caucus a Year Away, Polls Show She’s Behind in the State, By Anne E. Kornblut and Dan Balz.  Washington Post.  Saturday, January 27, 2007
  • pdf In Race for Iowa, Clinton Has to Make Up Ground, With Caucus a Year Away, Polls Show She’s Behind in the State, By Anne E. Kornblut and Dan Balz.  Washington Post.  Saturday, January 27, 2007
  • Bayh, Clinton Call for More Troops in Afghanistan.  Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
  • 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.  October 10, 2002
  • Clinton Calls on Bush to `Extricate’ U.S.  From Iraq, By Patrick Healy.  The New York Times.  January 28, 2007
  • pdf Clinton Calls on Bush to `Extricate’ U.S. From Iraq, By Patrick Healy.  The New York Times.  January 28, 2007
  • Hillary Clinton Crafts Centrist Stance on War, By Dan Balz.  Washington Post. ?Monday, December 12, 2005; Page A01
  • pdf Hillary Clinton Crafts Centrist Stance on War, By Dan Balz.  Washington Post. ?Monday, December 12, 2005; Page A01
  • Clinton wants Bush to clean up situation Iraq before he leaves office,  By Mike Glover.  Associated Press.  San Diego Union Tribune.  January 28, 2007
  • pdf Clinton wants Bush to clean up situation Iraq before he leaves office,  By Mike Glover.  Associated Press.  San Diego Union Tribune.  January 28, 2007
  • The Iraq Liberation Act.  Office of the Press Secretary.  October 31, 1998
  • Sanctions Against Iraq  Global Policy Forum.
  • The Fire This Time  By Ramsey Clark.  Thunder’s Mouth Press.

    Betsy L. Angert or Be-Think

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