Tuesday, September 26, 2006

On the Bill Clinton/FOX interview

Bill Clinton was on FOX recently and "smacked down" Chris Wallace (and anyone making bogus claims) about his attempt to try to "get" Osama Bin Laden.

While it's nice to have Republican propaganda effectively countered - I have doubts about the essential message that Clinton is promoting.

The idea that Americans are supposed to swallow is that the Republicans are so effective on foreign policy and "security" and that Democrats are weak. Clinton makes a convincing argument that he was not weak.

The Republicans thought that when Clinton was in office that he was exaggerating the terrorism problems and his response. And yet when G.W. does the same (only exponentially more so) - they seem to think that it's a wonderful thing for politicians to do. Maybe they have short memories. Clinton tried to remind them.

What gets me - is the notion that is adopted by so many - that if you oppose the US being an imperialistic country that you are against "security". I think that more people could be skeptical of politicians from both parties when it comes to how the "War on Terror" is sold to us.

The Democrats have not been representing their constituency when they argue that they would be even more tough than the Republicans have been. 60% of Americans oppose the war/invasion of Iraq - most of those are Democrats. Clinton is trying to sell us on the idea that Democrats can't be wimps - or mean old Karl Rove will see to it that the Democrats won't win.

The idea about "terrorists" is that they are people who work outside of any government or organization. The rogue person who gets a bomb and is desperate enough to blow himself up. Yet that idea has been turned into this this whole other thing - and becomes reasons to invade Iraq, for Israel to bomb Lebanon, for us to threaten Iran - as well as the reason to take away our constitutional rights, and the human rights of many other people.

I think the "War on Terror" has become the "US terrorizing the World". I have no respect for politicians of either side who promote that. Or who say that their side is "tougher" than the other. To play is to lose.

The National Intelligence Estimate that came out recently supports this idea. This is what the anti-war people have been saying since before the war began: "The war in Iraq has become the primary recruitment vehicle for violent Islamic extremists, motivating a new generation of potential terrorists around the world whose numbers are increasing faster than the United States and its allies are eliminating the threat."

Any politician who supports the idea that going around the world, threatening, torturing, invading, bombing and killing people is supposed to make us safer is part of the problem - not a part of the solution. And people who make the argument that doing those things promotes American security - are wrong.

The US military is not going to kill all of the terrorists. They are creating the conditions under which terrorism flourishes. Bush keeps saying that things are going according to plan - so I have to assume that this is his plan - to make the world a less secure place for us to live. To create the conditions for perpetual war.

The DLC - of which Clinton has been a member - has been very antagonistic toward anti-war people. It sounds like his message might be that the Democrats would be smarter in their acts of the "US terrorizing the World" - but how smart can that be?

I would like to hear him and others denounce the nonsense - not encourage it.

Snips From the transcripts (W.J.Clinton on FOX/Chris Wallace interview 9.22)

WJC:  Okay, let’s talk about it. I will answer all of those things on the merits, but I want to talk about the context (in) which this…arises. I’m being asked this on the FOX network…ABC just had a right-wing conservative on "The Path to 9/11" falsely claim that it was falsely based on the 911 Commission Report with three things asserted against me that are directly contradicted by the 9/11 Commission Report. I think it’s very interesting that all the conservative Republicans who now say that I didn’t do enough claimed (then) that I was obsessed with Bin Laden. All of President Bush’s neocons claimed that I was too obsessed with finding Bin Laden when they didn’t have a single meeting about Bin Laden for the nine months after I left office. All the right-wingers who now say that I didn’t do enough said (then) that I did too much. Same people.

They were all trying to get me to withdraw from Somalia in 1993, the next day after we were involved in Black Hawk Down.  And I refused to do it and stayed six months and had an orderly transfer to the UN. Okay, now let’s look at all the criticisms: Black Hawk Down, Somalia. There is not a living soul in the world who thought that Bin Laden had anything to do with Black Hawk Down or was paying any attention to it or even knew al Qaeda was a growing concern in October of 1993.

...after the Cole, I had battle plans drawn to go into Afghanistan, overthrow the Taliban, and launch a full scale attack/search for Bin Laden. But we needed basing rights in Uzbekistan, which we got (only) after 9/11. The CIA and the FBI refused to certify that Bin Laden was responsible while I was there. They refused to certify. So that meant I would have had to send a few hundred Special Forces in helicopters and refuel at night. Even the 9/11 Commission didn’t do (think we should have done) that.

...And if I were still President, we’d have more than 20,000 troops there trying to kill him. Now I never criticized President Bush, and I don’t think this is useful. But you know we do have a government that thinks Afghanistan is 1/7 as important as Iraq.

...Even if they agree with us about the Iraq war, we could be hurt by Karl Rove’s new foray if we don’t make it clear that we care about the security of this country... We’ve got a huge military presence in this campaign and you can’t let them have some rhetorical device that puts us in a box that we don’t belong in.

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