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The Iraq war was one of, if not the biggest crime against humanity in my lifetime. Shouldn't that settle the morality question? Beyond any consideration of balance of forces, saying no to blatant wars of aggression is the very minimum I expect. If I can't call her evil for falling short on that very basic measure then the word has outlived its usefulness.
by generic on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 07:08:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fair point, but she has the excuse of having been misled by the Bush Administration's assertion of conclusive evidence of weapons of mass destruction being in Saddam's hands. Also, as you may recall, many progressives wanted to see the back of Saddam for his dictatorial ways, torturing opponents and using poison gas on his own people. If the USA had simply toppled Saddam, organised democratic elections, and left, the invasion might have been morally defensible, if politically naive.

I think the bigger problem with Clinton and most mainstream Democrats is that they are determined never to be blind-sided by Republicans on National Security.  Remember, it was JFK and LBJ who escalated the Vietnam war. Given that the Invasion of Iraq was happening anyway, Clinton probably felt that voting for it would change nothing in practice but would secure her right flank from accusations of a lack of Patriotism whilst US Troops were under enemy fire.

It was, of course, the biggest mistake of her career and the main reason Obama beat her last time around and one of the main reasons Sanders has been so successful this year. I can also see why it has resulted in many (most?) progressives seeing her as (at best) unprincipled in her approach to politics. She provided aid and comfort to the Bush regime at a time when progressives opposed to the war were at their most beleaguered.

In her world view, a vote against the war at that stage ran the risk of marginalising her in US politics for ever more for no tangible benefit in terms of stopping the invasion.  She clearly didn't anticipate the monumental fuck-up the Bush regime would make of the war, and most progressives have doubted her judgement ever since.   But (in my view), it is not progressives who will determine the result of the next Presidential Election: they will however determine the margin of her victory, the degree to which Democrats can control Congress, and the general policy direction of her administration. That is, if they can hold their noses and vote for her in the first place.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 07:49:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fair point, but she has the excuse of having been misled by the Bush Administration's assertion of conclusive evidence of weapons of mass destruction being in Saddam's hands.

Nah. If you are mislead into killing 100k people you don't go to the guy's parties afterwards for a hugout.

And more importantly: Not only should everyone in politics notice the PR waving off the selling pitch. No, even if Saddam had WMDs that is in no way or form a valid Casus Belly. Burning down a country because it could at some point do you serious harm is not defensible.
The problem with a nuclear first strike against the USSR was not just that it might not have worked. This is just the same on a smaller scale.

by generic on Sun May 22nd, 2016 at 08:02:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Millions and millions of Americans, even liberal ones, politicians or ordinary Joes & Janes were mislead in exactly the same way. Does it make Hillary stand-out as particularly evil?
Cos' it looks to me like she has a lot of company.
by Bernard on Sun May 22nd, 2016 at 09:43:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apples and oranges. Those who voted were among the most informed and knowledgeable in the USA. I expect that well over half of the Republicans suspected that the 'evidence' had been cooked. CIA analysts who were outraged by the distortion had almost certainly talked to many members and staffers off the record and there was plenty of contrary opinion in the press from former insiders casting doubt on these claims. Colin Powel and his top aides knew that the 'evidence' he put into the record was, at best, questionable. For him, for Hillary, for Barrack and for everyone the decision of the vote was based on far more than just the credibility of the 'evidence'. The 'evidence' was just a tissue of cover for what the administration wanted to do and most understood this to some degree. Some wanted to invade and they were fine with whatever it took to 'do the right thing' and be 'real men'. Most were concerned about the immediate political cost of opposing the administration on this issue. A few were more concerned about the long term consequences than the immediate political cost, Bernie and Barrack were among them, Hillary was not.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 22nd, 2016 at 12:40:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My point is not that this makes Hillalry 'evil'. My point is that it shows her to value operational factors over principle. To me that is a character weakness I would prefer not to see in a potential president. But we don't always have a clear choice. That is what makes the present situation so painful. Between Sanders and Clinton there is a significant difference on this very subject and we are making, IMO, the wrong choice.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 22nd, 2016 at 12:44:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For me it means H. Clinton does not question, does not think of the long or medium term, but will always do the immediate convenient.  That has been a failing of Democratic politicians in general as evidenced by Presidents B. Clinton and Obama.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun May 22nd, 2016 at 01:17:03 PM EST
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I think it is more a case of those at the top of their respective political trees choosing which battles to fight and which ones to avoid because the risk reward ratio ain't great.  For relative outsiders like Bernie the risks are much lesser - they have less to lose - and the possible rewards are much greater.  It depends on where you are trying to build your constituency - in the centre or on the left of the party. Vermont, being relatively liberal, tends to reward those further to the left of the spectrum. Hillary was trying to build a constituency right across the country and had less room for manoeuvre.  Of course Bush screwed up so royally that the whole Dem party moved to the left in Bernie's direction leaving the tide at a low ebb for Hillary.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun May 22nd, 2016 at 02:12:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The fact that this year has been the most favorable in four decades for a progressive/sociallist agenda should not diminish his accomplishment, such as it is, or his integrity and 40 year consistency of belief and advocacy. Thankfully, there was at least one politician willing and able to rise to this occasion. Hopefully, he will have shown the way for many more over the next two, four, six and eight years.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 22nd, 2016 at 04:22:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Millions of Americans don't have the experience of working in the WH and having high level access. In this position you really should know how a sales pitch looks like.
Of course millions have been tricked. The method was tried and true. You tell the people they have been attacked and now it is time to rally around the flag. Worked in my grandparents time. Never really got the chance to talk with them about it. I hear my grandfather was a strong opponent but then afterwards everyone was in the resistance. And I think we shouldn't forget the attacked part because it so seldom gets brought up. Anyone remember the Anthrax letters that by all accounts were sourced from US weapon stocks?
So it is quite natural that the government got its population behind its war, however it doesn't follow that they were individually entirely blameless. Just as my grandparents weren't entirely blameless.
More importantly how many of those millions are running for high office on their experience? Sure, as you say at the time it was politically difficult to do anything else. But does "I killed them to further my career" really sound like a good excuse to you?
And that discounts her later position on interventions by military force. Singular because as far as I know she was for all of them.
by generic on Mon May 23rd, 2016 at 04:16:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't know about the USA, but in Ireland, funerals are places where weapons and enmities are left at the door. You are expected to be at least polite, if not openly welcoming and sympathetic.  As for US foreign policy the majority would be even more belligerent, I suspect. Other than the isolationists, Obama stands out for his failure to actually invade anywhere - although he came close in Libya.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun May 22nd, 2016 at 11:22:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank Schnittger:
Other than the isolationists, Obama stands out for his failure to actually invade anywhere - although he came close in Libya.
Don't worry: Sarkozy was eager to pick this one up.
by Bernard on Sun May 22nd, 2016 at 11:50:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If I can't call her evil for falling short on that very basic measure then the word has outlived its usefulness.

At the very least it makes her highly suspect morally. IMO she always places political expediency at the top of her priority list. I doubt she really understands why anyone smart would do anything else. Ever.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 08:16:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And then it becomes the main task of progressives to ensure that it becomes politically expedient for her to appoint progressives to powerful positions, and to pursue progressive priorities and policies.

The Blue dogs have tended to control how far Democratic Presidents can go in pursuing progressive policies.  But what if they progressive caucus were to outnumber the Blue dogs, or even failing that, if they held the balance of power and voted down any Hillary proposals not to their liking?

Hillary would then be faced with a choice: look for Republican backing for her proposals, or accept that it is progressives who hold the balance of power and who must be appeased.

It seems unlikely that Republicans would ever support any of her proposals, which leaves her with only one choice...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri May 20th, 2016 at 08:54:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US Progressives lack political power to accomplish anything if the president isn't a Democrat.  They lack the political will to oppose the president if he is a Democrat.  Thus they can and are ignored.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun May 22nd, 2016 at 01:20:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Past time for the worm to turn.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 22nd, 2016 at 04:24:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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