Monday, October 15, 2007

Deja Vu, Clinton Style

By Cernig

Via Ezra, I see that Hilary Clinton has made her late entry into the Foreign Affairs magazine series which has given each prospective presidential nominee a chance to set out their foreign policy agenda.

Most of it is copperplate Democratic thinking on foreign policy - so much so that in many cases other candidate's essays did a better job of expounding it and Clinton almost seems to be offhandedly referring to those essays - as if she expects Richardson and Obama, at least, to be in her cabinet.

Ezra flags up the major hawkish point, though:
Iran must conform to its nonproliferation obligations and must not be permitted to build or acquire nuclear weapons. If Iran does not comply with its own commitments and the will of the international community, all options must remain on the table.

On the other hand, if Iran is in fact willing to end its nuclear weapons program, renounce sponsorship of terrorism, support Middle East peace, and play a constructive role in stabilizing Iraq, the United States should be prepared to offer Iran a carefully calibrated package of incentives. This will let the Iranian people know that our quarrel is not with them but with their government and show the world that the United States is prepared to pursue every diplomatic option.
Ezra's correct - this can't be understood any other way than as a clear statement that Clinton will go to war with Iran if it doesn't buckle under to U.S. demands.

But there's a wee problem with this. Earlier in her essay, Clinton writes:
After 9/11, the world rallied behind the United States as never before, supporting our efforts to remove the Taliban in Afghanistan and go after the al Qaeda leadership. We had a historic opportunity to build a broad global coalition to combat terror, increase the impact of our diplomacy, and create a world with more partners and fewer adversaries.

But we lost that opportunity by refusing to let the UN inspectors finish their work in Iraq and rushing to war instead (Emphasis Mine - C)
As we've mentioned a time or two on this blog, but folks like Clinton ignore every time, there's still a rather large question mark over the assertion that Iran actually has a nuclear weapons program at all. The experts at the IAEA have consistently said that they've found no evidence of such a program, that every time the U.S. provides them intelligence about some aspect of an alleged program they investigate and find the U.S. claims to be untrue, and that Iran is now steadily closing the knowledge gaps - again, with no sign of a weapons program in sight.

Apparently, Clinton doesn't learn from past experiences. What happens if Iran can't close its nuclear weapons program because it doesn't have one, if America doesn't believe either Iran or the IAEA just as it didn't believe Iraq and the IAEA's inspectors? Clinton will do as she did before and vote for aggressive and unwarranted warfare. Only this time, she'll be Commander In Chief, not just a Senator. And later, we'll be treated to exactly the same crap about "no-one believed Iraqn didn't have WMD" as we were last time.

But at least she managed to write a whole FP essay, mentioning a need to strengthen the NPT regime several times, without once mentioning the nuclear arsenals of India, Pakistan or Israel - all developed in secret and outwith the NPT entirely.


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