Friday, August 17, 2007

Hillary Pushes the Button

The Nation Blog: By Robert Scheer .
What in the world was Sen. Hillary Clinton thinking when she attacked Sen. Barack Obama for ruling out the use of nuclear weapons in going after Osama bin Laden? And why aren't her supporters more concerned about yet another egregious example of Clinton's consistent backing for the mindless militarism that is dragging this nation to ruin? So what that she is pro-choice and a woman if the price of proving her capacity to be Commander in chief is that we end up with an American version of Margaret Thatcher?
In response to the 9/11 hijackers, armed with weapons no more sophisticated than $3 box cutters, American military spending, with Senate Armed Services Committee member Clinton's enthusiastic support, has catapulted beyond cold war levels. Senator Clinton has treated the military budget as primarily a pork-barrel target of opportunity for jobs and profit in New York state, supports increased money for missile defense and every other racket the military-industrial complex comes up with, and still feels no obligation to repudiate her vote for the disastrous Iraq war.
Given her sorry record of cheerleading the irrational post-cold war military buildup, do we not have a right, indeed an obligation, to question whether Clinton is committed to creating a more peaceful world? Don't say that we weren't warned if a President Hillary Clinton further imperils our world, as she has clearly positioned herself as the leading hawk in the Democratic field. What other reason was there for first blasting Obama for daring to state that he would meet with foreign leaders whom Bush has branded as sworn enemies, and then for the attack on Obama's very sensible statement that it would be "a profound mistake" to use nuclear weapons in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the attempt to eliminate bin Laden?

You know, I'm really fed up with the "positioning oneself as tough" motif--as Jon Stewart would--or perhaps did--say, "I will eat their testicles." (Probably not the wisest choice of metaphor for a Clinton.) And Obama has done some of it himself. But is it really disqualifyingly naive to say that I would be open to meeting with our adversaries to see if we can improve our relationship after years--or decades--of fruitless and unproductive (or counterproductive) impasse, or that I would not employ nuclear weapons to resolve a political difference of limited magnitude (or megatonnage)? Who is really impressed by the silly, bellicose rhetoric? (Yeah--I'll cover your torture and raise you three Gitmo's! Fix that petfood and unpaint those silly dolls or I'll blast you back to the Stone Age!)

Maybe folks are ready for someone showing quiet confidence, problem solving inclination and ability, and an interest in building constructive relationships. Too bad the someone won't be a female, at least this time around.

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