Jim Heffernan on Hillary Clinton's Iran policy

Written by  //  October 9, 2007  //  James Heffernan, Politics, U.S., Wednesday Night Authors  //  No comments

The author, James Heffernan, is Professor of English Emeritus (Dartmouth) and a friend of Diana Nicholson since undergraduate days at Georgetown. In what is laughably called retirement, Jim has taken to blogging, frequently indulging his passion for politics, and often shares the results with Wednesday Night. In turn, we are delighted to give him some Northern Exposure


Why is Hillary Greasing the Skids for Another War?

While running for the White House on a pledge to end the war in Iraq, Senator Hillary Clinton has just voted to brand Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization — even before the Bush administration has done so.
Well now, is she racing to outflank the president on the right, or implicitly authorizing another war? Oh no, she assures us. When asked about her vote during a campaign stop in New Hampton, Iowa, on Sunday, she said that it simply gives the president authority to impose penalties.
Interesting. Back in 2002, when she voted to authorize the invasion of Iraq, she did so only ON HER OWN UNDERSTANDING that the president would first get approval from the United Nations. But she voted against an amendment — moved by Senator Carl Levin of Michigan — that would have required the president to do precisely that.
Now she claims that she’s authorizing only penalties, not war.
A lovely distinction. But if Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is indeed a terrorist organization, as Hillary’s vote says, doesn’t the War on Terror compel us to fight it with everything we have? Where are the brakes on the car that Hillary has just boarded?
There aren’t any. But as Seymour Hersh has just shown in the NEW YORKER, Hillary’s new car has a 500-horsepower engine all tuned up by Pentagon planners. Bored to tears with the futility of fighting in Iraq, not to mention Afghanistan (remember that one?), and overloaded with soldiers who have absolutely nothing to do after eighteen grueling months of combat, they’re just itching to open a third front in Iran. more

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