Thursday :: Oct 11, 2007

Hillary Clinton Single-Handedly Declares War on Iran (or Something Like That)


by eriposte

Paul Hogarth has a diary at Open Left that I will discuss in a separate post, but one of his observations focused on what Sen. Clinton has been recently criticized for in the center-left blogosphere and in the traditional media - by people like Harold Meyerson and Maureen Dowd (emphasis mine, throughout this post):

... this weekend in Iowa, Randall Rolph of Nashua managed to pierce the Hillary campaign bubble. At a forum in New Hampton, he asked why she voted for the Kyl-Lieberman resolution that calls the Iran Revolutionary Guard a "terrorist" group - a move that could give the Bush Administration a green light to start another pre-emptive war.

Let me take a moment to briefly comment about these recent criticisms of Sen. Clinton over her support for the following non-binding "Sense of the Senate" statement:

The Secretary of State should designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a Foreign Terrorist Organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189) and the Secretary of the Treasury should place the Iranian Revolutionary Guards on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists under Executive Order 13224 (66 Fed. Reg. 186; relating to blocking property and prohibiting transactions with persons who commit, threaten to commit, or support terrorism).

Oooops, scratch that. That was not a passage from the now infamous Kyl-Lieberman amendment. What I've reproduced above is a passage from Bill S.970 - "A bill to impose sanctions on Iran and on other countries for assisting Iran in developing a nuclear program, and for other purposes" - that was introduced into the Senate on 3/22/07 by GOP Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon (a huge hat tip to Alegre for this discovery which she discusses in this Daily Kos diary analyzing Hillary-hatred). As Alegre points out, S.970 included 68 co-sponsors. Here are a few of the illustrious co-sponsors of the Bill:

Sen. Barbara Boxer, Sen. Sherrod Brown, Sen. Maria Cantwell, Sen. Ben Cardin, Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Chris Dodd, Sen. Richard Durbin, Sen. Ted Kennedy, Sen. John Kerry, Sen. Robert Menendez, Sen. Barack Obama, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse

A who's who of the progressive membership of the U.S. Senate, you don't say! But, that just can't be true! According to the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary Rule Book, Hitlery, er., Hillary Clinton, unlike Obama or Dodd or Edwards, is alone in continuing to be overly hawkish, stupid and the worst ever Democratic enabler of George W. Bush's warmongering in American history. After all, she also failed to apologize for her Iraq vote - which makes her nothing less than George Bush in a skirt!

Everyone happy now? OK then!

P.S. A rewrite of this post for the reality based community follows, below the fold.

I want to make a brief comment about the recent criticisms of Sen. Hillary Clinton over her support for the following non-binding "Sense of the Senate" statement in the Kyl-Lieberman amendment:

that the United States should designate Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a foreign terrorist organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and place the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists as established under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and initiated under Executive Order 13224

It would have been a fairer criticism if Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Chris Dodd had also been criticized at the same time for their support for Bill S.970 which had virtually identical language. Instead, we mostly heard commendations or mildly positive comments about Sen. Dodd and Sen. Obama. Granted, those responding positively to Sen. Dodd or Obama were probably unaware of S.970 at the time, but, as they say, it's never too late to be fair and balanced. [NOTE: For the record, Senator Obama's campaign now has a different take on Kyl-Lieberman than the main point of criticism about the final amendment that originally permeated the blogs.]

Interestingly, this episode also reminds me of the pervasive myth that Gov. Howard Dean opposed a resolution in 2002 granting Bush authority to attack Iraq and that he therefore had the good judgment not to trust George Bush unlike Sen. John Kerry, Sen. John Edwards, or Sen. Hillary Clinton (emphasis mine):

However, as Kerry and Gephardt have pointed out and as Ron Fournier reported last week in the Associated Press, Dean supported an alternate resolution known as Biden-Lugar:

[T]he former Vermont governor rarely mentions his support of a resolution by Sens. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and Joe Biden, D-Del., that would have asked Bush to get a new U.N. resolution to enforce weapons inspections in Iraq.

If the United Nations had declined, the president would have had to make a formal determination that the Iraqi threat was so serious that the use of military force would be necessary.

Bush would have been required to send Congress a letter -- not seek a vote of approval -- before waging war, Kerry said. He argued there was no significant difference between the Lugar-Biden resolution and the one passed by Congress.

Dean acknowledged that the alternative resolution was not binding against the president, but argued that Bush would have somehow been more likely to use restraint.

"Biden-Lugar required the president to come back to Congress -- not for a vote," but only to certify that a number of actions were taken, including more diplomacy, Dean said. "Had the president done that, we would not have gone to war, because then he would have been forced to certify with his word ... all the claims he made that were not true."

Bwahahahaha! I love Gov. Dean and feel great that he is at the DNC, but really. He actually felt that Bush could be trusted on his written word and this reflected superior judgment compared to all the other brains in the Democratic party? Wonderful, and even more wonderfully the mythology marches on.

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