FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Hillary Clinton’s Achilles Heel?

by JOSHUA FRANK

Senator Clinton is sure trying hard to court the antiwar vote while still sustaining a muscular U.S. foreign policy agenda as she runs for the presidency. On May 16, Hillary Clinton sided with 28 other senators in support for advancing legislation to cut off funding for the war in Iraq after March of 2008.

Despite her modest anti-war gesture, Clinton was still not willing to predict how she would side on similar legislation in the future. “I’m not going to speculate on what I’m going to be voting on in the future,” Clinton told reporters shortly after the vote. “I voted in favor of cloture to have a debate.”

Hours later Clinton changed her mind, and decided that she wanted to do more than start a debate on the matter. “I support the underlying bill,” she said. “That’s what this vote on cloture was all about.”

Even though the race for the White House is still in its infancy, Hillary Clinton has yet to take a coherent position on the Iraq war. The senator from New York has continually blamed President Bush for putting forward faulty information about Iraq’s WMD programs, as well as Saddam’s alleged ties to al Qaeda while he was in power. Clinton, like the rest of us, was lied to, and as a result she naively voted to give Bush the authority to invade Iraq to destroy Saddam’s regime.

But Clinton’s maneuvers to evade responsibility four years after the fact are meager, not to mention completely without merit. In fact Clinton sold the same lies and deceptions as the Bush cartel, which plunged us into this catastrophic war.

“In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program,” Clinton said in October of 2002. “He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members … It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.”

Perhaps Hillary was taking a line from her husband Bill’s repertoire, who as president bolstered the same case for disarming Hussein. “If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear,” said President Clinton in February of 1998. “We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program.”

What WMD program? As United States weapons inspector Charles Duelfer explained in a fall 2004 report, Saddam Hussein had shut down Iraq’s chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs following the first Iraq war in 1991.

Hillary Clinton has tried to have it both ways on Iraq for several years. Voting for phased troop redeployment, while also supporting continued funding for the occupation. Her vote last week is surely not an indication of which way she’ll turn in the future.

The Iraq war to Hillary Clinton is more about political expediency than honesty or integrity, and it may well prove to be her Achilles’ heel over the course of the next year. Like President Bush, and so many other wayward politicians, Hillary is also to blame for the shameful bloodshed that plagues Iraq today.

JOSHUA FRANK is co-editor of Dissident Voice and author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush (Common Courage Press, 2005), and along with Jeffrey St. Clair, the editor of the forthcoming Red State Rebels, to be published by AK Press in March 2008.

 

 

More articles by:

JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, co-edited with Jeffrey St. Clair and published by AK Press. He can be reached at joshua@counterpunch.org. You can troll him on Twitter @joshua__frank

February 22, 2018
Jeffrey Sommers
Bond Villain in the World Economy: Latvia’s Offshore Banking Sector
Mark Schuller
Haiti’s Latest Indignity at the Hands of Dogooders, Oxfam’s Sex Scandal
T.J. Coles
How the US Bullies North Korea, 1945-Present
Ipek S. Burnett
Rethinking Freedom in the Era of Mass Shootings
Manuel E. Yepe
Fire and Fury: More Than a Publishing Hit
Patrick Bobilin
Caught in a Trap: Being a Latino Democrat is Being in an Abusive Relationship
Laurel Krause
From Kent State to Parkland High: Will America Ever Learn?
Terry Simons
Congress and the AR-15: One NRA Stooge Too Many
George Wuerthner
Border Wall Delusions
Manuel García, Jr.
The Anthropocene’s Birthday, or the Birth-Year of Human-Accelerated Climate Change
Thomas Knapp
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Russiagate
February 21, 2018
Cecil Bothwell
Billy Graham and the Gospel of Fear
Ajamu Baraka
Venezuela: Revenge of the Mad-Dog Empire
Edward Hunt
Treating North Korea Rough
Binoy Kampmark
Meddling for Empire: the CIA Comes Clean
Ron Jacobs
Stamping Out Hunger
Ammar Kourany – Martha Myers
So, You Think You Are My Partner? International NGOs and National NGOs, Costs of Asymmetrical Relationships
Michael Welton
1980s: From Star Wars to the End of the Cold War
Judith Deutsch
Finkelstein on Gaza: Who or What Has a Right to Exist? 
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
War Preparations on Venezuela as Election Nears
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Military Realities
Steve Early
Refinery Safety Campaign Frays Blue-Green Alliance
Ali Mohsin
Muslims Face Increasing Discrimination, State Surveillance Under Trump
Julian Vigo
UK Mass Digital Surveillance Regime Ruled Illegal
Peter Crowley
Revisiting ‘Make America Great Again’
Andrew Stewart
Black Panther: Afrofuturism Gets a Superb Film, Marvel Grows Up and I Don’t Know How to Review It
CounterPunch News Service
A Call to Celebrate 2018 as the Year of William Edward Burghardt Du Bois by the Saturday Free School
February 20, 2018
Nick Pemberton
The Gun Violence the Media Shows Us and the State Violence They Don’t
John Eskow
Sympathy for the Drivel: On the Vocabulary of President Nitwit
John Steppling
Trump, Putin, and Nikolas Cruz Walk Into a Bar…
John W. Whitehead
America’s Cult of Violence Turns Deadly
Ishmael Reed
Charles F. Harris: He Popularized Black History
Will Podmore
Paying the Price: the TUC and Brexit
George Burchett
Plumpes Denken: Crude thinking
Binoy Kampmark
The Caring Profession: Peacekeeping, Blue Helmets and Sexual Abuse
Lawrence Wittner
The Trump Administration’s War on Workers
David Swanson
The Question of Sanctions: South Africa and Palestine
Walter Clemens
Murderers in High Places
Dean Baker
How Does the Washington Post Know that Trump’s Plan Really “Aims” to Pump $1.5 Trillion Into Infrastructure Projects?
February 19, 2018
Rob Urie
Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics
Richard Moser
Mueller the Politician
Robert Hunziker
There Is No Time Left
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Decides to Hold Presidential Elections, the Opposition Chooses to Boycott Democracy
Daniel Warner
Parkland Florida: Revisiting Michael Fields
Sheldon Richman
‘Peace Through Strength’ is a Racket
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail