April 22, 2008
Hillary 'obliterate' Iran? What nonsense!
In the mad final days of the Pennsylvania Democrat Primary, Hillary is trying to out-troglodyte the voters. According to ABC News,
"Clinton further displayed tough talk in an interview airing on "Good Morning America" Tuesday. ABC News' Chris Cuomo asked Clinton what she would do if Iran attacked Israel with nuclear weapons.
"I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran," Clinton said. "In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them."
"Totally obliterate?" Good grief. There is no honesty coming from either Hillary or Obama these days, but this programmed remark is as contemptuous of the voters as 'Bama's "bittergate" blooper. Hillary is trying to sound like a Neanderthal about nukes, presumably because that's what she thinks will appeal to the God, guns, and beer guzzling folk buried deep in those small towns. It is a clear signal of her contempt for Americans who are serious about national security.
Liberals keep doing these weird things -- which tell us a lot more about their fantasy life than anything else. It was John Kerry who saluted the quarterdeck of the Democrat convention in 2004 and made millions of Americans cringe with embarassment at his phony "Reporting for duty!" This from a guy who spent all of three months in 'Nam, taking home movies of himself stalking the VC through the tall grass. It was a revolting parody of real combat veterans, who just don't act like fools when it comes to serious matters. Only a Democrat could take Kerry's act seriously as a credible way to impress voters. Mr. Kerry "swiftboated" himself just as he was trying to sound tough, and good riddance, too.
Contrary to Hillary's militant outburst, there are no sane conservatives who want to nuke Iran. No neocons and no paleocons, no con-cons. No sane people, period. Ronald Reagan hated the nuclear standoff with the Soviets, and seized the first opportunity to negotiate mutually stabilizing reductions on offensive weapons. Reagan had no desire to hurt people -- either our self-declared enemies or Americans; unless, of course, it had to be done as a last resort. That is why he always believed in building up viable missile defenses. It has been the Left, for deeply irrational reasons, that has consistently resisted anti-missile technology for the last thirty years.
If Iran attacks Israel, the latter has an estimated 200 well-tested nuclear weapons and delivery systems. Israel can retaliate with overwhelming force on its own if Iran attacks; which is why the Iranians have been operating through proxies like Hezbollah and Hamas. With its cruise missile subs, the IDF has a second-strike capacity even for the worst case attack that is now conceivable. But even a nuclear defensive response by Israel would exact a terrible political price. Nukes are truly a weapon of last resort.
The real point, of course, is to block the development of Iranian nukes in the first place so that the threat will never arise. Nobody raional fears Israel's nuclear weapons, which have been around for decades without destabilizing the Middle East. That seems like elementary logic, but the Left -- both in Europe and America -- has now made it much, much more difficult for the United States and Israel to act against Iranian nuclear weapons development. That's the big survival conundrum, and neither Hillary nor Obama seem to have the remotest idea of the knottiness of the problem.
The Left has crucified George W. Bush for knocking out Saddam Hussein with conventional arms, so that any future president will have far more trouble building an effective coalition to block or destroy Iranian nukes. It is the Left that has therefore sabotaged our anti-proliferation stance. That was never a rational political move; it is self-damaging to the Left politically, and it harms our national security -- as we will see soon enough if Iran explodes a Bomb and we can do nothing about it. The Left has rendered us nearly helpless, and it will take a very courageous US President to act against the likes of Ahmadi-Nejad armed with a Bomb.
So Hillary's militant-sounding promise to "obliterate" Iran is not just phony but obscene. You don't threaten to kill a nation, except for your own survival in the very worst case. Hillary is not in such a desperate survival corner, and if we are lucky, she will never be President and be charged with that terrifying responsibility.
So this was a particularly disgusting piece of political theater. John McCain has seen war and suffered from it. One thing we can expect from him, should he become president, is a decent respect for the seriousness of the military choices a president may have to make.
James Lewis blogs at dangeroustimes.wordpress.com