Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Two Parties Plus One Gender Equals Three of a Kind

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Two Parties Plus One Gender Equals Three of a Kind

Article excerpt

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice were the secretaries of state in three administrations. What seems undeniable now is that they had a similar inclination toward or reaction to the use of military power either by the United States or by an allied, client country. They also were alike in that they claimed that military force should be used only when all other options were exhausted. That, of course, is a standard refrain used by all those who are already determined and committed to the use of force, regardless.

Hillary Clinton, as is now known to the point of boredom, voted with the George W. Bush administration to invade Iraq. The result of that invasion was that more than 100,000 Iraqis were killed and more than that wounded (mostly civilians), approximately 4,500 Americans killed and more than 32,000 wounded both physically and mentally, 2,000,000 Iraqis displaced, Iraqi culture irreparably damaged and fragmented (libraries, museums, antiquities and relics were destroyed and the population divided along religious or ethnic lines), the Iraqi army summarily disbanded (thus providing the backbone for ISIS) and a lackey government installed that was a government in name only. Clinton has recently (and opportunistically) called her original approval a "mistake," but that does not exonerate her from the consequences of her original decision. Her vote meant that she thought replacing a foreign government, good or bad, was our right simply because we had the power and the pretext to do it. You cannot "dry-clean" that and act as if what you approved in principle was subsequently a "mistake."

Also as secretary of state, she encouraged vigorously the "leading from behind" campaign to destroy the Qaddafidictatorship in Libya. This again was regime change seen as an American right. Libya remains in shambles today, with rival factions battling for control and with ISIS moving into the void. When told that the dictator Qaddafihad been captured and reportedly bayonetted through the anus and shot, Mrs. Clinton replied dispassionately, "We came, we saw, he died." Then, as actually recorded on YouTube, she laughed.

As evidenced by her recent speech at the annual AIPAC convention, Clinton's close ties to Israel and Israeli policies show little hope for evenhandedness in a Clinton presidency. With her Super PAC already in receipt of more than $5 million from Israel-firster Haim Saban and her pledge before her AIPAC audience that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would be the first person she would invite to the Oval Office in the event of her election, the electorate can expect little to be changed. American vetoes at the U.N. will go on blocking reprimands of Israeli misbehavior, the annual billions will continue to flow to Israel, the illegal settlements will continue to expand to make the possibility of a dream-like two-state solution more and more unlikely, and the Palestinians will continue to suffer simply because they are who they are. A recent caricature of Clinton as Israel's lawyer is not far from the truth, but that is no more laudatory in an American president than her "So be it" pledge (never denied) that she would not condemn the next Gaza onslaught even if 200,000 Gazans were killed.

Madeleine Albright showed similar disregard for Middle East realities in a televised interview in 1996 with Lesley Stahl regarding the cut-offof medical and other humanitarian aid to Iraq via a U.N. resolution initiated by the United States. Stahl reminded Albright that the consequences of the cut-offresulted in the deaths of more than 500,000 children and that this number actually exceeded the number of children killed in the bombing of Hiroshima. …

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