Friday, February 05, 2010

Figuring Out Hillary

Obama and his cabinet ministry may be afraid to mention the word "Islamic" in the same breath as "terrorists" or even "extremists" but Hillary sure isn't:

The video may generate more interest regards her apparent slip-up in saying that Iran already has nukes than her statement about the threat of trans-national terrorists. The Iran thing could have been Hillary flubbering around looking for the right phrasing (my money) but the terrorist thing was real--she's never shied from mentioning obvious threats.

Even during the campaign she never backed completely off her Iraq vote, instead choosing to nuance the explanation leading to a rather tortured line of reasoning that fooled no one. It's a mystery as to whether she refused to apologize out of hubris, pride, or out of insider knowledge of Saddam. Bill certainly knew a lot and chances are they talked about it once or twice. Then again, if Bill actually did use Iraq to wag the dog away from Monica he couldn't very well go overboard agreeing later that the tyrant was harmless, could he?

It seems to be gone from cyberspace now (aside from this incomplete video) but on 9/11 Hillary was calmly discussing retaliation and togetherness while others were babbling about bin Laden (or the bombing of TWA 800). In passing she mentioned something about taking care of Saddam along with the rest. She then backed it up about a year later in a speech and doubled down addressing the Code Pinkos a few weeks before Iraqi Freedom, steadfastly refusing to come down off that perch. Even when WMDs weren't found she largely held firm or remained silent.

In "Game Change" Halperin and Heileman detail the angst Obama caused Billary by touting his judgment chops in pointing to his anti-Iraq war 2002 speech. They knew a mea culpa might solidify Obama's position even more, but not doing one never helped her either. Is it beyond reason to think the Clintonistas could have pulled off a decent apology by simultaneously playing Obama as just a pup with no responsibility when he made his speech and who then changed tunes when he reached the big leagues?

Or was she actually afraid of getting too far out on the "Iraq was a dumb war" limb in case certain revelations were to emerge down the road? The answer may be as simple as raw pride, or too much strategy, or a feeling the press would go to bat for her in the end. But as her comments today suggest she's not one to sugarcoat our greatest threats.

Meanwhile, an apparent Silkworm missile was uncovered in the Iraq sand this week to the amusement of the Brit press but strangely it hasn't appeared to utter hilarity in ours yet. No real surprise, since even rabid sectarian violence can't get the traction it once did when Bush was around to defeat. Wonder if Obama is still planning to withdraw soon? Wonder what Hillary might advise him about it:
The Central Intelligence Agency is reported to have recently conducted secret contacts in Yemen with Iraqi Baathist leader Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, Saddam Hussein's former vice president, in a bid to negotiate a political accord between Sunni insurgents and the Shiite-led Baghdad government.

The Paris-based Intelligence Online Web site said other meetings were held with Baathist leaders in Damascus, the Syrian capital where Douri and his associates reportedly live.
After all..
If the CIA's strategy fails, Intelligence Online warned, "The American military could well leave behind a country in the midst of a civil war."

Maliki's security adviser, Safa Hussein, warned in December that al-Qaida in Iraq has now fallen under the influence of the Baathists, led by Douri and his main rival, Gen. Mohammed Yunis al-Ahmad.
Apparently the daughter of the mother of all battles still rages on.


Debbie said...

Very interesting. With everything going on in the world, we have seen very little of Hillary Clinton. When we do see her, most times she's doing some silly thing that could have been handled by anybody. Like that quick trip to Haiti. Behind the scenes may be something else.

I read this morning where she is insisting that Suunis be included in the elections in Iraq, ... what? I thought they already were? I thought all groups were being included? Is her plea a result of visits with Al Douri?

I get the feeling she's not too happy in her job these days...

Right Truth

A.C. McCloud said...

As my headline says, figure it out. I haven't yet, including why the media has suppressed the al-Douri in Yemen story. I searched the Washington Post for 'al-Douri' this morning and 0 results.