February 23, 2007
Unprincipled Clinton Unfit to be President
Greg C. Reeson
Despite voting to authorize the use of force against Iraq in 2002, Senator and would-be-President Hillary Clinton is now calling for a 90-day deadline to start the redeployment of American troops from what is erroneously called a Sunni â€“ Shiite civil war. Since Mrs. Clinton steadfastly refuses to apologize for her Iraq war vote, one has to wonder just what caused this sudden change of heart?
The truth is that itâ€™s really quite simple. Democrats, particularly those trying to win the White House, are running out of time to effect a course change in Iraq. The Democratic Partyâ€™s far left, anti-war base is demanding that the newly won House and Senate act to stop the war and bring the troops home now. Pressure is building for immediate and resolute action and both the Congress and the Presidential hopefuls know it.
So far, the House and Senate have tried desperately to make it appear as if they are doing something meaningful to challenge the Presidentâ€™s Iraq policy. The House pushed through, largely along partisan lines, a non-binding resolution purporting to support the troops while condemning their mission. The Senate failed in its attempt at an identical resolution.
Now the House, led by Nancy Pelosi and Jack Murtha, are looking at ways to attach stringent conditions on the funding for the war without making it look like they are cutting off the money, or tying the hands of the men and women doing the fighting. Harry Reidâ€™s Senate is considering changing the authorization for the use of force to restrict the role of American troops in a way that would undermine the fragile Iraqi government in Baghdad and probably lead to its collapse. Both of these efforts are nothing more than symbolic political ploys designed to appeal to the anti-war crowd without forcing Democrats to actually take any responsibility for the war or its outcome.
In fact, the entire strategy of the Democrats so far has been to criticize and obstruct without doing anything of substance, buying time in order to position themselves for the 2008 elections. They cannot support the so-called â€œsurgeâ€ because the anti-war base would not tolerate standing by the President and his â€œescalationâ€ of the war.
Yet they cannot stop the â€œsurgeâ€ either, because to do so would be to undermine the architect of the plan, General David Petraeus, after overwhelmingly approving his nomination to take command of operations in Iraq. Nor can they cut off the funds, at least not without accepting some, if not all of the blame when the inevitable explosion of violence and bloodletting overtakes Iraq and possibly the region.
The truth is that the Democrats want the Presidentâ€™s new Baghdad security plan to fail. They need it to fail because success would mean the President was right and they were wrong, leaving them out in the cold on the most important issue facing this country today.
So they take a middle-of-the-road approach, debating non-binding resolutions and ways to force the President to adopt their demands. That way the decisions are his, as is the blame if the new plan fails. They are gesturing to the base while trying to preserve their position in the Congress.
But the base is growing restless and will become even more vocal long before the elections in 2008. While her colleagues try to stall in the hope that the President will be proven wrong, Senator Clinton is quickly realizing that more immediate action is needed to secure for herself the Democratic Partyâ€™s nomination for the Presidency. With that realization has come a whole new level of selling her soul for political gain.
Senator Clinton is telling the people (of her party, at least) what they want to hear. She is politically astute and she knows how to work Washington politics. In a video statement on her campaign web site, Clinton appealed to the anti-war sentiment of the leftâ€™s base while knowing that what she was proposing would never come to pass: â€œNow itâ€™s time to say the redeployment should start in 90 days or the Congress will revoke authorization for this war.â€
Senator Clinton doesnâ€™t speak for the Congress and she knows that such a measure is likely to be blocked by Republicans in the Senate. But she can claim the high ground with the Democratic Party by saying she is proposing real action on the war, and by promising to end the war if she is elected President. Of course, I donâ€™t believe for a minute that she would immediately end the war in 2009. She is too smart, and too aware of the consequences, for that to happen.
So the rhetoric is necessary to further her political ambitions. For Senator Clinton, who is secure in her Senate seat, the only thing at stake is the White House. But it is precisely the rhetoric that she is using to win the Presidency that makes her unfit for the job. She has abandoned principle in her quest for power. Anyone who would propose actions or ideas that they know to be harmful to the national security interests of our country just to get elected is not worthy of the privilege of serving as commander-in-chief of the men and women charged with protecting our nation.
Greg Reeson is a Featured Author for The Land of the Free and The Veteran's Voice, and is a regular contributor to The New Media Journal. His columns appear regularly in several publications.