"We must withdraw from Iraq in a way that brings our troops home safely, begins to restore stability to the region, and replaces military force with a new diplomatic initiative to engage countries around the world in securing Iraq’s future. To that end, as president, I will convene the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the secretary of defense, and the National Security Council and direct them to draw up a clear, viable plan to bring our troops home, starting within the first 60 days of my administration.
While working to stabilize Iraq as our forces withdraw, I will focus U.S. aid on helping Iraqis, not propping up the Iraqi government. Financial resources will go only where they will be used properly, rather than to government ministries or ministers that hoard, steal, or waste them.
As we leave Iraq militarily, I will replace our military force with an intensive diplomatic initiative in the region. The Bush administration has belatedly begun to engage Iran and Syria in talks about the future of Iraq. This is a step in the right direction, but much more must be done. As president, I will convene a regional stabilization group composed of key allies, other global powers, and all the states bordering Iraq. Working with the newly appointed UN special representative for Iraq, the group will be charged with developing and implementing a strategy for achieving a stable Iraq that provides incentives for Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Turkey to stay out of the civil war.
Finally, we need to engage the world in a global humanitarian effort to confront the human costs of this war. We must address the plight of the two million Iraqis who have fled their country and the two million more who have been displaced internally. This will require a multibillion-dollar international effort under the direction of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Meanwhile, the United States, along with governments in Europe and the Middle East, must agree to accept asylum seekers and help them return to Iraq when it is safe for them to do so."" HR Clinton
Yes. I know. It was written by a committee in the course of a political campaign. Nevertheless, it is a clear statement intent with regard to foreign and military policy and a detailed statement at that.
"As president, I will convene a regional stabilization group composed of key allies, other global powers, and all the states bordering Iraq. Working with the newly appointed UN special representative for Iraq, the group will be charged with developing and implementing a strategy for achieving a stable Iraq that provides incentives for Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Turkey to stay out of the civil war."
I can distantly hear the string section tuning up.
I can find nothing in this document that I disagree with and a lot that I would enthusiastically support.
She is likely to be president. What is the alternative, Giuliani? Hah!
I think this document deserves a thorough discussion by you all. pl
This brings me the first ray of hope in a very very long time. Her willingness to convene a pan-arabic congress also indicates a abandonment of the politics of terror and conflict, and is highly recomendable. I can imagine Bill doing the Middle East.
Now if she would only do a clear and conscise statement on renditions, presidential warpowers, torture and the whole issue of the Patriot Act and its myriad of little brothers.
She seems to be taking up your idea of the Concert of the Middle East.
Shoud she become the next US President, I would expect you to be offered a position there.
I should hope that if that transpires you will not forget your bloggers: how about a bash for all of us who contributed to this weblog?
Nah. I am not well suited (never was really) for bureaucratic life. I am 67. pl
Let us be careful not to allow perfect be the enemy of good. Mrs. Clinton’s plan is good.
The current economic situation with cascading defaults, bank runs in England and trouble at ‘C’ could quickly overshadow the present middle eastern situation.
The dollar amounts at risk dwarf the conceivable total spending on the war effort.
Next president? … too soon to tell.
My biggest complaint is her continuing to use the “War on Terrorism” phrase. IMO, until we treat terrorists as criminals and combatants as combatants, we are going to continue to be mired in an ambiguous situation.
Besides, why should we believe this is what she will really do? Does this proposal match her voting record in Congress?
I think her concept is decent, but It must be consistent with reality.
I think implementation of “viable plan to bring our troops home” need quite a long time.
IMHO, at least longer than one presidential term, Nixon timescale(6-7 years) practically.
I agree with Babak regarding the Concert of the Middle East. I look forward to finishing HRC’s Foreign Affairs piece, thank you.
Sir, what is your opinion of the late Philip Habib?
He was pretty special in my book.
Hillary’s “manifesto” is a lot of reassuring pablum trying to bring back the good old 1990s when America was loved and respected. It does nothing to address the central issue of our time–how to negotiate a reliable supply of oil and natural gas from an increasingly wary yet assertive group of energy giants (Russia, Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, etc.)
Hint: continuing to villify these energy giants won’t make them any more cooperative. Treating them as business partners is likely to prove more successful.
I’ll start with “all the states bordering Iraq” and I’ll ask a simple question:
Sounds nice enough. Looks to be what a car enthusiast might label; all show and no go.
I was not sure about H. Clinton, but I was impressed with this. As for Lesly being tired of neoliberal policies, I look forward to any kind of neo other than the one’s we presently have. This administration has made a mess of everything they have attempted, and I feel bad that our next president has such a mess to clean up, but then again, they want the job.
It reads as so reasonable I’m having to squint pretty hard to find anything to pick on. I, nitpicker-in-chief,can’t find it. The proof is in the pudding though. Even with Herself as 44, how much currency and credibility will the U.S. have at such a table?
I can see a lot of people responding to this:
“Finally, we need to engage the world in a global humanitarian effort to confront the human costs of this war. We must address the plight of the two million Iraqis who have fled their country and the two million more who have been displaced internally. This will require a multibillion-dollar international effort.”
“You broke it, you own, and as reasonable sef-interested peopkle we’ll help you fix it – on your dime. You fools borrowed a trillion or more from your grandchildren to create this clusterf**k, you borrow a couple more to fix it.”
And “incentives for Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Turkey to stay out of the civil war” will surely cost mucho dinero for the U.S. taxpayer, those recent arms packages could be just the start.
Assuming, with a nod to jCandlish’s comment above, the greenback survives the collapse of the house of cards it currently rests on.
I don’t find anything to argue with here but for that don’t trust her. No people sense, no vision. She is a corporate law firm senior partner by training and still thinks like one. I think that if things are as bad as I suspect that we’re going to need someone a good bit bolder, also someone who can connect with the country. Still, compared to Bush or worse yet Giuliani…
It’s got the two basic points right — bring troops home and engage in conference diplomacy. Until we show that we don’t intend to remain as neo-colonialist sin Iraq, we will have trouble getting much cooperation, esp. from the Iraqis. I like, but am skeptical about the aid and assisting the refugees– at that late date it will be difficult. The consequences of the Bush admin’s fiscal irresponsibility will land on the incoming admin, and under those circumstances public and Congressional support will likely be in short supply. At least Hil’s plan is grounded in reality. She is not my first choice for president, and I hate the fact that one year out from the election she is being ordained. On the other hand, if she can use the coming year to get some momentum (and concrete steps) behind her plan, then I think I could handle Clinton II.
Sounds like she read your blog or maybe you are advising her on Middle East policy, either way smart move.
Will she be elected?
Way to early to tell, just remember Howard Dean.
Several parts of the concert will require a careful maestro to conduct such complicated melody.
Please, forward your CV , ASAP. lol
Hillary isn’t the nominee, let alone the President yet. This time last cycle, weren’t we all eager for Larry King to introduce us to our next first lady, Mrs. Howard Dean? Of course it is good to have policy statements…too bad more candidates don’t…so we know, or think we know, what we are voting for. (A humble foreign policy and no nation building, anyone?)
97C. Hmm. Lucky you weren’t around me. pl
HRC talks often of bringing the troops home but when asked explicitly if all US troops would be out of Iraq in 2013 under a Clinton administration, she said know.
The issue of residual troops (estimated on HRC’s case at 60,000 or more) needs to be addressed.
This may be a pointless aside and if so please ignore. Couldn’t find the post from John you’re referring to. Is there a 97 Charlie in the house?
Hmmm…I didn’t plow through all eight pages of it, so I’m responding to your summary mostly.
First off, why should we believe her? What is the compelling proof she’s telling the truth?
“Financial resources will go only where they will be used properly, rather than to government ministries or ministers that hoard, steal, or waste them.”
What about private contractors? Haven’t they wasted, embezzled and stolen lots of money from the taxpayers? Why no accountability for the corporations that have lost DOZENS OF BILLIONS down a black rabbit-hole?
I’m thinking the ministers in Iraq aren’t who we should be worrying about here.
I still don’t trust that if AIPAC says bomb Iran, she will have the fortitude to disobey them. So far, she’s kowtowed down to them on everything that matters.
“As president, I will convene a regional stabilization group composed of key allies, other global powers, and all the states bordering Iraq.”
A group to do what? Sign away the oil profits to the Big Four? Set up a client-state?
Yes, she’s better than Rudy G-man.
But she still has al ot of ‘splaining to do as far as I’m concerned.
What, for example, is she doing to block an invasion of Iran? What’s she doing to stop the President and Vice President from doing anything?
What’s she doing to bring to light and hold them responsible for past violations of international and domestic law? What’s she doing to restore our constitutional rights and freedoms, or to restore habeas corpus, or stop torture?
Nothing. Except vote Yes to whatever Bush and Cheney send out to the floor.
That has to change before she’ll get my ear.
Say one thing, do another.
She makes big promises, but that’s easy to do when you know all along you aren’t going to keep them.
You say it’s a statement of her intent. As far as I can tell, the intent is to say whatever she must to get elected.
Sorry to sound jaded, but if she does win, we will need to really hold her feet to the fire to make sure she does even a fraction of all this great stuff she’s promising.
Two families running our country for 25-30 years?!!
Am I alone in thinking that it is inherently dangerous to our democracy to be led by two dynasties for an entire generation?
From the first eight paragraphs:
1.restore our leadership
2.To lead, a great nation must command the respect of others
3.Our world leadership was widely accepted and respected
4.Our nation has paid a heavy price for rejecting a long-standing bipartisan tradition of global leadership
5.The world still looks to the United States for leadership
6.The next president will have a moment of opportunity to restore America’s global standing and convince the world that America can lead once again.
7.We should aim to lead our friends and allies in building a world
8.We need more than vision, however, to achieve the world we want..
Ah, ok, I get it. America will lead once again. Look, I’m all for Hillary, or, whoever else the Dems nominate short of a Libereman type. And I will put my money and my time where my mouth is. But this manifesto is exhibit number 1 of a later half of the 20th century mind.
Now, perhaps whoever wrote this, as well as who reviewed it, thinks ‘this is what we have to give the yahoos to get them to vote for us’. Fine, whatever. But I suspect that not only are the times a changin’, they done changed. Lets get our own house in order…and worry about running for ‘leader of the world’ at another time. We will always be a big player…but its not 1949 anymore. The plan worked. Europe and Asia are, relatively speaking, back on their feet. Its time we understood this. This manifesto is evidence some don’t.
As campaign promises go, this is remarkably straight-forward. The question is, as someone above has stated: Will HC keep her promise? We don’t know, but at this point, her plan for peace in the middle east should be compared to those of others striving for the White House. And as to some of the others, we should fervently hope that they do not keep their promises, if elected.
Look at it this way, if during his first campaign George Bush had laid out a manifesto for the Middle East, in which he said that he would, upon the first available excuse/opportunity, launch an agressive war against Iraq, followed by a decades long occupation and further wars against other nations in the regions, we would have been much better off.
HC has now challenged all the Republican and Democratic contenders. She offers timetables, alternatives to violence, and a suggestion of a way to peace in the middle east. She has dared them to put their own plans to the public in a way which can be understood as having some reasonable chance of success in the real world.
Whether of not she will, or can, as President, apply her plan is going to depend to a great extent on conditions over which neither she nor any other future president will have contol. We have to accept that problem, there is no other way to proceed than to acknowledge that the US is not in control. Even so, HC is now way out in front on how to bring peace, rather than war, to the Middle East. That goal could become a defining issue of the campaign in the next few weeks, rather than the side show it has been till now.
I deleted the post but wanted to communicate to him. pl
i guess it looks good. i keep wondering how much clintonian parsing to look for in the statement.
troops will leave ‘starting the first 60 days’.
doesn’t mean much. you could do it like warner wants us to and bring 5000 or so home by christmas and not be any different from where we are now.
“AS we leave iraq militarily” we will replace force with diplomacy. alright, but how long is it going to take to really leave iraq militarily. if it is going to take a long time, why tie diplomacy to the withdrawal?
id be much more comfortable with her pledging to start the intensive regional diplomacy within 60 days of assuming office than making an empty pledge to reduce troops.
then, what is the goal of regional diplomacy? resolution of outstanding issues with all players present at the table? no. a new security framework for the middle east underwritten by the U.S. and understood by both Iran and Israel that can provide us with reliable access to energy while giving the inhabitants of the area a better than even chance of a stable life? no. It is ‘to keep the neighbors out of the civil war’. not very ambitious, and probably damn near impossible to enforce.
i guess im not convinced. maybe i’m just being another ‘typical oily’ with a suspicious mind.
im not hearing what i want to hear from clinton. not yet.
Regarding the Howard Dean comparisons. At this point in the process, Dean was little known. Mrs Clinton’s fellow Democratic candidates are all mostly known quantities (do I have to include Mr Gravel?). The less known Obama got a ton of early press/blog coverage and started off his campaign on a high. Now he appears to be mired in a distant second. I don’t think we can expect any Dean-like come- from-behind surprises this time around.
Like Col. Lang, I think it’s beginning to look like Hillary Clinton will be our next nominee, unless either Obama and Edwards finally decides to bust a Richardson-type move. But now, that becomes harder with Mrs Clinton releasing Iraq policy manifestos as reasonable as this one. Despite her yea vote on the Kyl-Leiberman Monstrosity and what Z. Brzezinski has to say about her foreign policy (“very conventional”), she landed Wesley Clark’s endorsement and now I’m finding myself drawn into the Clinton vortex against my will….
I have yet to hear a Democratic candidate call the fiasco in Iraq for what it is. An occupation. It is not a war, and hasn’t been since 2003. The Democrats have allowed the Bu$h cabal to frame the debate, and keep the Neocon favorite catch phrase “WAR” in the forefront. If Senator Clinton or any other Democratic candidate starts calling Iraq what it is then I will start listening.
I found it very encouraging that she speaks about pulling in China as an ally in more issues, and takes Putin quite strongly to task. A US/Chinese powerhouse is a very interesting idea, with almost limitless possibilities. One thing we can take out of the last chinese congress is that they are about to get *really serious* about enviromental issues. A green alliance across the pacific is a very good idea in my eyes..
my ‘choice’ is NOT hillary, but former sen. gravel instead. we need a prez who puts the u.s ‘first’ instead of the majority of the field of those in the prez race (on both sides) who are beholding to a corporate puppet-master of one persuasion or another.
your ’67’ is ‘young’ for ‘politics’, just look at sen. byrd’s ‘age’.
pat you’re a youngster, start kicking up your heels. 🙂
Warren Christopher was 67 when appointed Sec. of State in the first Clinton adm.
(I’m just saying. . .)
Let’s not delude ourselves.
The only first-tier candidate of either party who might faciliate an orderly withdrawal from Iraq by 2009, is Ron Paul.
Hillary is merely pulling a Nixon to get elected.
“Two families running our country for 25-30 years?!!”
Given the state of our “democracy,” it’s probably more accurate to think of them as brand names — like Coke and Pepsi, McDonalds and Burger King. People vote for what they know.
i detect “concert of nations” in there.
someone’s blog published the brain trusts of the various candidates. i eagerly scanned the clintonistas but did not detect our spymaster, but after all a spymaster would remain undetected.
the thing the bothers me about clinton is what what scott ritter said. Clinton same-same as Bush. the whole Iraq embargo that resulted in the deaths of all those children had nothing to do with disarming Irak. The UN had already disarmed Irak. It was all about regime change. Bush 41 and Clinton 42 colluded together and 43 ramped it up to dismember Irak.
And it appears that Clinton 44 has “OOps, I’ve done it again”, given 43 another blank check to start another war.
No longer is it about WMD. They must not have “the knowledge that could lead to WMD.” They shall not be allowed to learn calculus, then the next day Algebra, or Arabic numerals, then the next year allowed to read. New meaning about tasting the fruit of the tree of Knowledge.
I think this Clinton being a woman may worry some people. Could we possibly do any worse than Bush/Cheny? Come on give her a chance, she may be a Thatcher, only kidding.
Is HRC’s plan for withdrawal intended to begin implementation before or after the Army mutinies?
I know how decent and patient the troops are in the face of being conscripted to an unreasonable number of tours of duty. But these rotations are wearing, PTSD is affecting a large number of active duty, and at some point we are going to wake up in the middle of 1970.
to Donovan and Savrola –
Dennis Kucinich calls Iraq an occupation, voted against the authorization and has voted against funding each time it’s come up. He’s also filed HR1234 – To end the United States’ occupation of Iraq immediately, along with HR676 – Medicare for All and HRes333 – Impeachment articles of Vice President Richard B. Cheney.
I don’t see any way Rep. Paul can be considered “first-tier”. It’s just not going to be permitted. I disagree with him on almost every issue, but this media-driven, party-defined tiering of candidates is a serious betrayal of our democratic principles. My pal Dennis is in the same boat.
Charles’ comment above,
is “withdrawal intended to begin implementation before or after the Army mutinies? ” reminds me to wonder whether we are still on track for the breakdown of the army next spring as discussed last spring.
We have discussed many modes and timing of withdrawal but I don’t recall anyone specifically commenting on the political will/army breakdown/withdrawal vector in the context of the real world come next spring. How will the mooted breakdown that many were so exercised about affect. . . well, everything? Can a broken even withdraw in any semblance of order or safety? Is the army still on track for breaking?
I’d be interested in anybody’s knowlwedge in this regard. Will the army et al be able to do what must be done when called to do so?
The article “by” Hillary Rodham Clinton in the November-December 2007 issue of Foreign Affairs magazine is stunning in its support for the gangster foreign policy of the United States and the implementation of worldwide organizations with the essence
of governmental authority.
As a brief background, let us
never forget that Bill Clinton, and by extension Hillary, launched an aggressive war against Serbia/Yugoslavia in 1999, a country not an imminent, clear and present danger to the U.S., without a declaration of war or the current illegal fad: a resolution “authorizing” force in some strangely worded manner, against even a non-country.
Now for a few of the disturbing things in the Foreign Affairs article.
1. Not just nation building but world building. In the introductory section alone, “building a world” or its equivalent, and “create a world” appear four times, and the penultimate section is entitled “Building the World we Want”. We are to “make international institutions work” and bring them in line with the “power realities” of the twenty-first century and “such documents as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights” (paragraph 13).
We need to “engage the world” in a “global humanitarian effort to confront the human costs of this war” (which she voted for and still supports); this will “require a multi-billion dollar international effort” under the “direction of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees” (paragraph 20).
In the section “Strengthening Alliances”, India needs to be given a voice in “regional and international institutions, such as the UN”. And the U.S., Australia, India, and Japan
must find ways to cooperate on “global climate control”, “global energy supplies”, and “global economic development”. (Paragraph 46).
We need to strengthen “regional institutions” such as the “African Union”, which “seeks to emulate the European Union by requiring and supporting democracy among its members” (paragraph 48). You see, “democracy” is not a choice of the African people, but is “required” of them. Let’s not forget that France and the Netherlands, two of the biggest pushers of the European Union, voted down its next step, the European Constitution.
Despite the horrible failure of the federal “no child left behind” law in the U.S., and our appalling decline in the ability to read, write, and do arithmetic, Hillary will spread this failure throughout the world with an “Education for All Act”, to the tune of $10 billion. (Paragraph 51).
Don’t forget that we need “to reach a binding global climate agreement” (paragraph 54).
The “International Labor Organization” can enforce labor laws just like the (destructive) “World Trade Organization” was strengthened “to enforce trade agreements”. (Paragraph 53).
And whether China knows it or not, that country “must be integrated into the international system” (whatever that is). (Paragraph 8).
2. An aggressive, unilateral war can be launched against Iran. Without producing proof, Hillary says that Iran “seeks to acquire nuclear weapons” (paragraph 8) and has a “nuclear weapons program” (paragraph 35). She devotes paragraphs 33-35 to Iran and deceives the reader about the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Read the NPT for yourself, which the U.S. signed, and you will see that Iran has the absolute right to do what it is doing “without discrimination”, as long as the nuclear material is not diverted to make nuclear weapons and such weapons are not imported.
If Iran doesn’t comply “with its own commitments” (it currently is complying according to the IAEA) and with “the will” of the “international community”, all options “must remain” on the table (paragraph 34). If you can tell me when the “international community” last met, who was at the meeting, the text of what was decided, and what its “will” was, I would appreciate it.
Hillary repeats the current line of propaganda to gin up a war on Iran.
3. Any country can unilaterally be attacked in order to avert “an avoidable tragedy” (paragraph 11). For an example of this criminal policy, please see the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
4. Poor Afghanistan doesn’t realize what Hillary has got up her sleeve. The Iraq War is “diverting attention and resources from Afghanistan” (paragraph 16), which is “where our military effort must be reinforced” (paragraph 27). She claims that “current U.S. policies have actually
weakened President (laughter) Hamid Karzai’s government (more laughter) and allowed the Taliban to retake many areas”, and that an unimpeded heroin trade finances the Taliban and al Qaeda “terrorists” who are attacking our troops (paragraph 27).
Earth to Hillary: the folks we put in power in Afghanistan are the heroin pushers and warlords who in the past were so bad that the Taliban was accepted to drive them away. And I understand that the Taliban is not a separate tribe, but part of the Pashtun tribe, the largest in that troubled land.
And those pesky Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. “Redoubling
our efforts with Pakistan” will help “root out terrorist elements there” and send a “signal” to our “NATO partners” that the Afghan war and the “broader fight against extremism in South Asia” are battles that “we” can and must win. (Paragraph 28). Whew! Now that’s a tall order. So Hillary is going to whip those Waziristan tribes down, something no one has ever done. And who are the “we” who are going to win the battles against extremism in South Asia? NATO and us? I thought NATO had something to do with up north and mainly that area called Europe.
For a real Afghan women’s group, instead of Hillary’s
foolishness, check out the Revolutionary Association of
the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA).
5. Remember Kosovo? Well, that nasty Vladimir Putin has “thwarted a carefully crafted UN plan that would have put
Kosovo on a belated path to independence”. (Paragraph 40). Hold on a minute. I thought the aggressive war against Serbia/Yugoslavia had to do with something other than turning Kosovo into an “independent” Albanian gangster state.
6. We are not going to give up control of Iraq. The old Clinton doublespeak is back in paragraphs 17-21, in which she talks about bringing our troops home safely and redeploying troops from Iraq.
But don’t get your hopes up. “I will order specialized units to engage in targeted operations against al Qaeda in Iraq and other terrorist organizations in the region” (paragraph 21). And these “specialized units” will also “provide security for U.S. troops and personnel in Iraq” and train and equip Iraqi security services. And she will also “consider” leaving some forces in the Kurdish area of northern Iraq.
If these “specialized units” are going to provide “security for U.S. troops”, who are they? I thought U.S. troops provided security for themselves. Is she talking about mercenaries protecting U.S. troops and training Iraqi security forces? If the specialized units are going to protect U.S. troops, that means that U.S. troops are not leaving Iraq.
Nobody is fooled by the euphemism “targeted operations”. Her administration will
run a Murder, Inc. throughout Iraq and “the region”, which would include other countries, and go around doing extra-judicial assassinations of whoever it doesn’t like.
The war in Iraq will continue.
7. The Colonel’s idea for a Concert of the Greater Middle East will not happen if
she is president. Paragraph 19 speaks of “convening a regional stabilization group” which would work, of course, with the “UN special representative for Iraq”. But its purpose is not to smooth things over in the Middle East. Rather, it will have a narrow focus: “implementing a strategy for achieving a stable Iraq” that would make everyone except the U.S., Britain, and Israel “stay out of the civil war”.
8. Last and still least: the Palestinians. Read paragraph 22 very carefully several times. It starts with the lie that we will be “getting out of Iraq”. Then the key words, “peace process”. Those who do not want peace with the Palestinians love the peace “process”, because a “process” can go on for the next 500 years. Then there is the silly arrogance that the fundamental elements of a final agreement have been “clear since 2000”, which was when her husband was president. Elements of a final agreement have been clear for over 35 years, and they are not stated by her.
Notice that her “fundamental elements” speak specifically only about Israel; there is just a vague reference to a
“Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza”, which does not include the most important and only word with legal effect: “sovereign”. What matters is
the creation of a “sovereign Palestinian state”, which would include all sorts of nice things, like control of your own airspace and territorial waters off of Gaza, defined borders, and so forth.
She will continue the policy of trying to pick and control who the Palestinian “leaders” are when she talks of gaining “Arab support” for a leadership “that is committed to peace and willing to engage in a dialogue with the Israelis”.
And to make sure that there will be no change in the destructive status quo or a lessening of the oppression of the Palestinians, check out the beginning of the last sentence of paragraph 22: “Whether or not the United States makes progress in helping to broker a final agreement ….”
In conclusion, from all indications, Hillary Clinton is significantly more autocratic and dogmatic than her husband. She will not change the gangster foreign policy of the U.S. and will overlay it with her commitment to and promotion of world government.
I see nothing here other than the standard ‘agree to hold additional meetings’ principle of diplomacy. Relying on the United Nations for ANYTHING is simply ludicrous. They are nothing more than a congregation of diplomats living high on the American tax-payer, while simultaneously seeking new ways to extract even more. The continuous flow of tax dollars overseas must stop. While our national sovereignty is continually being sold at warp-speed to the highest bidder, the ‘establishment’ is muddying the waters with more long-term talk on Iraq and the greater middle-east.
The only candidate even remotely resembling a statesman in the Jeffersonian style is Congressman Ron Paul. We need to return to constitutional republican government ASAP, or the nation we hold dear is truly lost, as our middle class becomes extinct and we crumble into third-world status.
HRC is tacking hard center-right in order to attract moderates, but she is a socialist deluxe at heart. Do not think for a SECOND that she won’t make fine use of the various presidential powers Dubya has bequeathed himself. The die is cast, she merely awaits her coronation.
Conrad t Crazed: We are in exact opposition on the UN. As Iraq has proved it is the only way forward, though I admit it needs to change. Regional selfcontrol supported by a competent UN core is not a bad idea.
“HRC is tacking hard center-right in order to attract moderates, but she is a socialist deluxe at heart.”
We Americans truly don’t understand what socialism really is. It is more than just a collection of social safety nets. The UK prior to Maggie was a pretty serious socialist state with almost all heavy industry, utilities and transport systems owned by the government. Take a gander at what socialism really entails:
Former Nationalised Industries
We would never, ever go that far.
“Do not think for a SECOND that she won’t make fine use of the various presidential powers Dubya has bequeathed himself.”
This always befuddles me – how pols are so myopic. The second question I would ask myself before granting any more power to a sitting president is whether or not I would want the opposition to have that same power.
“I can distantly hear the string section tuning up.”
I haven’t had time to read all the comments, but I remember the campaign in 1992 when Bill got Robert Reich to work for his campaign and give persuasive talks about progressive labor policies only to see Reich leave after serving two years as Secretary of Labor when he couldn’t make any changes. Likewise Bill wouldn’t fix HIV public health policy even though he had sound reasons from the scientists and NIH administrators and such because he didn’t think he had any political backing. It’s telling that Al Gore and Jimmy Carter have Nobel Peace Prizes and Bill Clinton doesn’t. Being a leader sometimes means creating your own political support by going it alone if you have to. The Clintons were good at saying the right things, but they helped the Dems lose the Congress after their first two years in power. The Dems aren’t really being courageous right now in Congress. They can’t overturn Bush’s veto of the schoolchildren’s health insurance program, so what chance would they have even if a Dem got the White House? There would just be the chance of another GOP win in Congress and another stalemate like happened to Bill during his terms in office. As far as foreign policy, other than free trade (NAFTA) and the UN missions to Bosnia (which suffered from foot dragging) and Kosovo, what did Bill accomplish? He certainly allowed Bin Laden’s little group to become emboldened in their attacks and plans under his watch. Now we want his wife to fix things when she doesn’t have the charisma he had, and both of them were ineffective politically the first time?
I agree with Martin K–I’d like to hear Hillary addresss the raft of civil rights abuses we have incurred under this administration.
I also think Bill would be fabulous as some kind of goodwill ambassador. I also think he’d make a good secretary of state; surely better than the last two.
I am also with old bogus:
“until we treat terrorists as criminals and combatants as combatants, we are going to continue to be mired in an ambiguous situation.”
Per the Clinton dynasty and foreign policy, we may wish to keep the Balkans in mind given the rising Wahhabi and Islamic terrorist organization penetration there.
Chris Delisio’s take and new book “The Coming Balkan Caliphate”:
“… considering that the Balkan interventions were undertaken aggressively by the previous Clinton administration, I fear that it will only get worse if Hilary Clinton is elected president. Most of the people around her who are likely to crawl out of the woodwork and take up positions of power, like Richard Holbrooke, Wesley Clark, Madeleine Albright and their assistants have direct responsibility for the failed policies that have created such a dangerous situation today. They are certainly not going to acknowledge or apologize for this, of course.”
“One of the interesting things that has happened in this time has been the disappearance of former mujahedin who have gone ‘underground’ in the Balkans, according to regional intelligence sources to places like Sandzak in Serbia, Albania and Kosovo, or even further to Turkey and Chechnya. What is interesting to note is that the spread of radical Islamist groups in the Balkans has created a network of ‘safe houses’ and underground channels by which wanted terrorists or extremists are being circulated.”
“Since the Clinton administration, and a good section of the media that supported it, was so heavily in favor of the Muslim side during the fighting in Bosnia, it’s no surprise that the direct connections between Bosnia and major terrorist attacks, including 9/11, has been underreported.”
“Chapter 4 discusses the curious case of Wahhabi Islam in the (former Yugoslav) Republic of Macedonia, and the existence of several groups there that were of interest to the military intelligence services of Italy and France, among others, but have never before been reported in the media. This is a very interesting case because it is so unknown. The existence of a small number of radicals, and groups such as the Pakistani Tablighi Jamaat, among the minority Slavic Torbeshi Muslims comes as a surprise to not only foreigners but also locals. Such groups and their connections between diaspora Muslims from the country and Wahhabi groups in places like Italy and Austria, where they work, was closely watched by the foreign services and even manifested in a few detentions in the Trieste area last year, during an investigation of al Qaeda-linked networks in northern Italy.” Etc.
Would like to hear the Colonel’s (and everyone’s) response to this piece by 12 Army captains who served in Iraq:
The Real Iraq We Knew
By 12 former Army captains
Tuesday, October 16, 2007; 12:00 AM
Today marks five years since the authorization of military force in Iraq, setting Operation Iraqi Freedom in motion. Five years on, the Iraq war is as undermanned and under-resourced as it was from the start. And, five years on, Iraq is in shambles.
As Army captains who served in Baghdad and beyond, we’ve seen the corruption and the sectarian division. We understand what it’s like to be stretched too thin. And we know when it’s time to get out.
What does Iraq look like on the ground? It’s certainly far from being a modern, self-sustaining country. Many roads, bridges, schools and hospitals are in deplorable condition. Fewer people have access to drinking water or sewage systems than before the war. And Baghdad is averaging less than eight hours of electricity a day.
Iraq’s institutional infrastructure, too, is sorely wanting. Even if the Iraqis wanted to work together and accept the national identity foisted upon them in 1920s, the ministries do not have enough trained administrators or technicians to coordinate themselves. At the local level, most communities are still controlled by the same autocratic sheiks that ruled under Saddam. There is no reliable postal system. No effective banking system. No registration system to monitor the population and its needs.
The inability to govern is exacerbated at all levels by widespread corruption. Transparency International ranks Iraq as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. And, indeed, many of us witnessed the exploitation of U.S. tax dollars by Iraqi officials and military officers. Sabotage and graft have had a particularly deleterious impact on Iraq’s oil industry, which still fails to produce the revenue that Pentagon war planners hoped would pay for Iraq’s reconstruction. Yet holding people accountable has proved difficult. The first commissioner of a panel charged with preventing and investigating corruption resigned last month, citing pressure from the government and threats on his life.
Against this backdrop, the U.S. military has been trying in vain to hold the country together. Even with “the surge,” we simply do not have enough soldiers and marines to meet the professed goals of clearing areas from insurgent control, holding them securely and building sustainable institutions. Though temporary reinforcing operations in places like Fallujah, An Najaf, Tal Afar, and now Baghdad may brief well on PowerPoint presentations, in practice they just push insurgents to another spot on the map and often strengthen the insurgents’ cause by harassing locals to a point of swayed allegiances. Millions of Iraqis correctly recognize these actions for what they are and vote with their feet — moving within Iraq or leaving the country entirely. Still, our colonels and generals keep holding on to flawed concepts.
U.S. forces, responsible for too many objectives and too much “battle space,” are vulnerable targets. The sad inevitability of a protracted draw-down is further escalation of attacks — on U.S. troops, civilian leaders and advisory teams. They would also no doubt get caught in the crossfire of the imminent Iraqi civil war.
Iraqi security forces would not be able to salvage the situation. Even if all the Iraqi military and police were properly trained, equipped and truly committed, their 346,000 personnel would be too few. As it is, Iraqi soldiers quit at will. The police are effectively controlled by militias. And, again, corruption is debilitating. U.S. tax dollars enrich self-serving generals and support the very elements that will battle each other after we’re gone.
This is Operation Iraqi Freedom and the reality we experienced. This is what we tried to communicate up the chain of command. This is either what did not get passed on to our civilian leadership or what our civilian leaders chose to ignore. While our generals pursue a strategy dependent on peace breaking out, the Iraqis prepare for their war — and our servicemen and women, and their families, continue to suffer.
There is one way we might be able to succeed in Iraq. To continue an operation of this intensity and duration, we would have to abandon our volunteer military for compulsory service. Short of that, our best option is to leave Iraq immediately. A scaled withdrawal will not prevent a civil war, and it will spend more blood and treasure on a losing proposition.
America, it has been five years. It’s time to make a choice.
This column was written by 12 former Army captains: Jason Blindauer served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005. Elizabeth Bostwick served in Salah Ad Din and An Najaf in 2004. Jeffrey Bouldin served in Al Anbar, Baghdad and Ninevah in 2006. Jason Bugajski served in Diyala in 2004. Anton Kemps served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005. Kristy (Luken) McCormick served in Ninevah in 2003. Luis Carlos Montalván served in Anbar, Baghdad and Nineveh in 2003 and 2005. William Murphy served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005. Josh Rizzo served in Baghdad in 2006. William “Jamie” Ruehl served in Nineveh in 2004. Gregg Tharp served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005. Gary Williams served in Baghdad in 2003.