Monday, March 26, 2007

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A few online tomes about Hillary Clinton

Ron Brownstein argues in the Los Angeles Times that Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination because of her appeal to white, blue collar Democrats.

Michael Crowley argues in The New Republic that Hillary Clinton's foreign policy hawkishness is not a form of political calculation, but rather what she actually believes. This part does ring true:

[I]t's clear that the Clintonites left office deeply frustrated at the unsolved problem of Iraq and perhaps believing that some final reckoning was inevitable. "President Clinton recognized, as did I," Albright writes in her memoir, "that the mixture of sanctions, containment, Iraqi defiance, and our own uncertainty about Saddam's weapons couldn't go on indefinitely."

Bush's approach was clearly blunter than what Clintonite foreign policy would have dictated. But, even as the "smell of gunpowder" turned into a stench, the foreign policy experts to whom Hillary was closest remained supportive of war with Iraq. "Most of the top [Clinton] national security team had sympathy for what Bush decided, in the broadest terms," says a Democratic foreign policy analyst.

The most hawkish among them was former U.N. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, with whom Clinton conferred that fall. "If all else fails, collective action against Saddam is, in my view, justified by the situation and the record of the last decade," Holbrooke told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in September 2002. Holbrooke's standard for "collective" seemed to include only the British and perhaps a handful of other allies. And Holbrooke made clear that a war to topple Saddam was unlikely to be easy and that U.S. forces might have to spend years in a postwar Iraq. Nor was Holbrooke alone. Varying degrees of support for the Bush resolution came from the likes of Rubin, former Defense Secretary William Perry, and former Deputy National Security Advisor Jim Steinberg. And, though she raised red flags about the war's risks, Hillary's close friend Albright ultimately concluded that Bush "should have this authority."

posted by Dan on 03.26.07 at 11:22 PM


If nominated, Hillary will in all likelihood defeat the Republican candidate, be it Rudy or McCain or Romney.

But Hillary's nomination is not a done deal. Obama, Edwards and Richardson are strong contenders. Left Bloggers and many Californians (including myself) are against her - she just does not get Iraq right. Any candidate who is tainted by Iraq, it will be hard to get elected. She is one of them.

Bill Clinton was not the final word in Foreign Policy. So will be Hillary in case she becomes President. There is nothing inspiring about her policies including her Foreign Policy. She is just trying to project a 'tough leader' image. It is not that she will not fulfill her duties as a President; but just too much of triangulation for America’s good. It is doubtful she can solve America's true, long terms problems.

Except being a woman, there is nothing special there. And Left feels that they have proven their feminist credentials by backing Pelosi to the hilt for the Speaker's job and her House victory in 2006.

posted by: Umesh Patil on 03.26.07 at 11:22 PM [permalink]

Crowley's piece is not about what Hillary Clinton thinks. It's about what her friends, or at least certain former officials in her husband's administration, think.

We've been through this before -- twice, now, over the course of the last fifteen years -- tracking the course of a Presidential candidate's thinking on foreign policy by trying to interpret the statements of people he or she might appoint to high office if elected. Both times what we had at the core was a Presidential candidate who had not thought in any depth about foreign policy, and once elected had to make things up as he went along. Why should we not assume that Hillary Clinton's case (or that of Edwards, Obama, Romney and Giuliani) is the same?

By the way, a tome is not a newspaper column.

posted by: Zathras on 03.26.07 at 11:22 PM [permalink]

The democratic party is clearly divided.

There are those who are just opposed to the war on emotional and ideological grounds.

There are those who are opposed to losing the war because of the incompetence of the present administration. Hillary is clearly in this camp.
She actually has a foreign policy world view that rational republicans would find much more acceptable then essentially any other probable democratic candidate and maybe more acceptable then the world view of many extreme republicans..

posted by: spencer on 03.26.07 at 11:22 PM [permalink]

For a Clinton regime change look at Kenneth Pollack "Threatening Storm: the Case for Invading Iraq"

An interesting conference/interview here:

Kenneth Pollack was one of CIA analists that predicted Koweit invasion and was Clinton advisor for Middle East.

posted by: lucklucky on 03.26.07 at 11:22 PM [permalink]

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