Okay, Let’s See if I Can Be Vituperative, Too

5 03 2008

Hillary Clinton is in fact uniquely experienced at answering the White House phone at any time of day, and taking a message for the President. Next question?




12 responses

5 03 2008

Whoa! How quickly we forget. . . I Googled “CNN Clinton” to add something here, and in the top five articles returned was Clinton on Iraq, quoted as saying “Iraq has abused its last chance” and ordering military strikes. Huh? Seems to be the wrong Clinton — I opened it, only to be transported back in time to what was happening 10 years ago, during that historic administration that gave the First Lady all that priceless military experience (which she won’t open up to scrutiny, but keeps assuring us was really good stuff.) This was the wag the dog incident, right? Funny how more serious it looks now, than it did then, when I think about what does go on at 3AM in the White House, and how it affects national security and our moral authority to help solve the world’s problems no matter who answers our phone.

Clinton: Iraq has abused its last chance

President Clinton addressed the nation from the Oval Office
Clinton spells out Iraq’s non-compliance
# Iraq repeatedly blocked UNSCOM from inspecting suspect sites.

# Iraq repeatedly restricted UNSCOM’s ability to obtain necessary evidence.

# Iraq tried to stop an UNSCOM biological weapons team from videotaping a site and photocopying documents and prevented Iraqi personnel from answering UNSCOM’s questions.

# Iraq has failed to turn over virtually all documents requested by the inspectors.

In this story:

* ‘Without delay, diplomacy or warning’
* Strikes necessary to stunt weapons programs
* Related stories and sites

December 16, 1998
Web posted at: 8:51 p.m. EST (0151 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) — From the Oval Office, President Clinton told the nation Wednesday evening why he ordered new military strikes against Iraq.

The president said Iraq’s refusal to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors presented a threat to the entire world.

“Saddam (Hussein) must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons,” Clinton said.

Operation Desert Fox, a strong, sustained series of attacks, will be carried out over several days by U.S. and British forces, Clinton said.

“Earlier today I ordered America’s armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces,” Clinton said.

“Their mission is to attack Iraq’s nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors,” said Clinton.

Clinton also stated that, while other countries also had weapons of mass destruction, Hussein is in a different category because he has used such weapons against his own people and against his neighbors.

‘Without delay, diplomacy or warning’

The Iraqi leader was given a final warning six weeks ago, Clinton said, when Baghdad promised to cooperate with U.N. inspectors at the last minute just as U.S. warplanes were headed its way.

“Along with Prime Minister (Tony) Blair of Great Britain, I made it equally clear that if Saddam failed to cooperate fully we would be prepared to act without delay, diplomacy or warning,” Clinton said.

The president said the report handed in Tuesday by Richard Butler, head of the United Nations Special Commission in charge of finding and destroying Iraqi weapons, was stark and sobering.

Iraq failed to cooperate with the inspectors and placed new restrictions on them, Clinton said. He said Iraqi officials also destroyed records and moved everything, even the furniture, out of suspected sites before inspectors were allowed in.

“Instead of inspectors disarming Saddam, Saddam has disarmed the inspectors,” Clinton said.

“In halting our airstrikes in November, I gave Saddam a chance — not a license. If we turn our backs on his defiance, the credibility of U.S. power as a check against Saddam will be destroyed,” the president explained.

Strikes necessary to stunt weapons programs

Clinton said he made the decision to strike Wednesday with the unanimous agreement of his security advisors.

Timing was important, said the president, because without a strong inspection system in place, Iraq could rebuild its chemical, biological and nuclear programs in a matter of months, not years.

“If Saddam can cripple the weapons inspections system and get away with it, he would conclude the international community, led by the United States, has simply lost its will,” said Clinton. “He would surmise that he has free rein to rebuild his arsenal of destruction.”

Clinton also called Hussein a threat to his people and to the security of the world.

Offensive Strike

“The best way to end that threat once and for all is with a new Iraqi government — a government ready to live in peace with its neighbors, a government that respects the rights of its people,” Clinton said.

Such a change in Baghdad would take time and effort, Clinton said, adding that his administration would work with Iraqi opposition forces.

Clinton also addressed the ongoing impeachment crisis in the White House.

“Saddam Hussein and the other enemies of peace may have thought that the serious debate currently before the House of Representatives would distract Americans or weaken our resolve to face him down,” he said.

“But once more, the United States has proven that although we are never eager to use force, when we must act in America’s vital interests, we will do so.”

5 03 2008

Via a blog I just found Googling, called Liberty Street:

“We have not hesitated to draw distinctions between the candidates and we’ll continue to do that,” said Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod.

“If Sen. Clinton wants to take the debate to various places, we’ll join that debate. We’ll do it on our terms and in our own way but if she wants to make issues like ethics and disclosure and law firms and real estate deals and all that stuff issues, as I’ve said before I don’t know why they’d want to go there, but I guess that’s where they’ll take the race.”

5 03 2008

The press is really doing a Hillary a favor today with all this all of her dramatic comeback. The actual change in delegate count was insignificant. She needs to win 60% of the rest of the votes to catch Obama in delegates. I don’t see that happening. Given another week Obama probably would have completely erased her 20 pt lead.

5 03 2008

…20 pt lead in Texas.

5 03 2008
Nance Confer

Amazing turnaround from the press too — from their “she should resign for the good of the party” line the day before.

I had hoped it would be all but over so we could stop hearing soooo much about it but that was just a silly dream. 🙂


5 03 2008

About that 3am phone call ad — I watched her defend it this morning on CNN. Suzanne Malveaux asked her to explain why she was the most experienced one to answer that call about “trouble somewhere in the world” and fighting to protect the kids, and she goes on about life experience and First Lady travel stuff and then Senator committee stuff for the past few years — and I am thinking, are you CRAZY?? John McCain has you beat in spades on all of that (never mind POW status and right up to and including how many times he’s campaigned for president!) — so are you determined that if it’s not you, then NO DEM gets to be prez??

Well, except he hasn’t actually been First Lady and he never failed to pass a secret universal health care plan. But who calls about any of that at 3am?

5 03 2008

Don’t you kinda want to find someone with her phone numbers, call at 3AM and see if she answers the phone and what mood she’s in, awakened from what little sleep she’s probably getting these days?

And then maybe ask her to define vituperative??
And record her response, which no doubt will be!

5 03 2008
Rolfe Schmidt

Almost everyone I’ve talked to about that 3AM ad in Texas thought it was an ad for John McCain at first. If voters want to buy fear and war, I’m pretty sure they know they’ll get a good product from the Republicans. And McCain could always get Nancy Reagan on his ticket if he needs some more executive experience.

Of course the Clintons did a good job displacing hundreds of thousands of people in Kosovo in order to “give NATO relevance” and lobbing missiles around the muslim world, so maybe she does have some experience there. I just don’t think it’s enough. And I really hope it is not what voters want.

5 03 2008

Maybe this is just me, but I think they are all suffering from their attempt to figure out what people want to hear rather than what it is they actually plan to do as President. “All things to all people.” : )

5 03 2008

Rolfe said:”McCain could always get Nancy Reagan on his ticket if he needs some more executive experience.”

5 03 2008

Like Dana, I see way too much “how can I get what I want, which is elected??” rather than “how could government serve America better, and what role can I best have in forwarding that goal?” The answer for almost everyone will be something other than “by being president!” 🙂

In fact, my ideal candidate would be someone reluctant to serve but drafted as perfect, the way Clark Gable was pressured by Margaret Mitchell and public demand into being Rhett Butler.

Oh, that reminds me, I heard on the radio yesterday about a new FDR book; the historian author was saying that FDR was very pragmatic about campaigning, making different speeches with changed emphasis in different states, and not being too specific in any promises and plans, how you needed the right can-do attitude instead, of tinkering around and trying stuff, then changing it if it doesn’t work right for the people.

He said Ronald (“Morning in America”) Reagan was very much an admirer and believer in that, had been an FDR student in his formative years, and learned everything successful from him. The implication I drew from it (it was very early in the morning) was that Obama was the rightful heir to that approach, and that it was working for him with good reason.

I’ll see if I can find a link, hmmm. . .

5 03 2008

That was easy! 🙂

Donald Ritchie, author of “Electing FDR: The New Deal Campaign of 1932”

Morning Edition, March 4, 2008 · Franklin Delano Roosevelt began his presidency 75 years ago today. It was in the depths of the Great Depression. During his first 100 days in office, Congress passed much of Roosevelt’s initiatives and programs known as the New Deal.

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