Senator Clinton is sure trying hard to court
the antiwar vote while still sustaining a muscular U.S. foreign policy agenda
as she runs for the presidency. On May 16, Hillary Clinton sided with 28 other
senators in support for advancing legislation to cut off funding for the war in
Iraq after March of 2008.
Despite her modest antiwar gesture, Clinton was still not
willing to predict how she would side on similar legislation in the future. �I'm not going to speculate on what I'm going to be voting
on in the future,� Clinton told reporters shortly after the vote. �I voted in
favor of cloture to have a debate.�
Hours later Clinton changed her
mind, and decided that she wanted to do more than start a debate on the matter.
�I support the underlying bill,� she said. �That's what this vote on cloture
was all about.�
Even though the race for the White House is still in its
infancy, Hillary Clinton has yet to take a coherent position on the Iraq war.
The senator from New York has continually blamed President Bush for putting
forth faulty information about Iraq�s WMD programs, as well as Saddam�s alleged
ties to al Qaeda while he was in power. Clinton, like the rest of us, was lied
to, and as a result she naively voted to give Bush the authority to invade Iraq
to destroy Saddam�s regime.
But Clinton�s maneuvers to evade
responsibility four years after the fact are meager, not to mention completely
without merit. In fact Clinton sold the same lies and deceptions as the Bush
cartel, which plunged us into this catastrophic war.
�In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence
reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological
weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program,�
Clinton said in October of 2002. �He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary
to terrorists, including al Qaeda members . . . It is clear, however, that if
left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage
biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear
Perhaps Hillary was taking a line from her husband Bill�s
repertoire, when as president he bolstered the same case for disarming Hussein.
�If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear,� said
President Clinton in February of 1998. �We want to seriously diminish the
threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program.�
What WMD program? As United States weapons inspector Charles
Duelfer explained in a fall 2004 report, Saddam Hussein had shut down Iraq�s
chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs following the first Iraq war
Hillary Clinton has tried to have it both ways on Iraq for
several years. Voting for phased troop redeployment, while also supporting
continued funding for the occupation. Her vote last month is surely not an indication of which way she�ll
turn in the future.
The Iraq war to Hillary Clinton is more about political
expediency than honesty or integrity, and it may well prove to be her Achilles'
Heel over the course of the next year. Like President Bush, and so many other
wayward politicians, Hillary is also to blame for the shameful bloodshed that plagues
Frank is co-editor of Dissident Voice and author of Left
Out!: How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush (Common Courage Press, 2005), and along with
Jeffrey St. Clair, the editor of the forthcoming Red State Rebels, to be published
by AK Press in March 2008.