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01 October 2007

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Jose

I guess she read this blog..lol

Good job to all!!!

Brigitte

Colonel Lang:
I am very glad that Senators Clinton and Webb teamed up on this and I would be more than happy if they were on a ticket together next fall.
I was very upset that Hillary Clinton voted last week with the Senate majority that urged the administration to declare the Iranian Republican Guard Corps a foreign terrorist organization. Of course, they are--but because Iran does sponsor terrorism (i.e., Hezbollah, Hamas). But since the Bush administration had already planned this designation, the Senate vote could be understood as authorizing military actions against the Guards and thus against Iran.
I am happy to learn now that Senator Clinton is of one mind with Senator Webb who voted against last week's resolution.

zanzibar

I wonder why more Democrats in the Senate don't rally behind Jim Webb on military and foreign policy matters. He is no slouch when defending American interests and he seems to have a sensible approach to these issues.

I just could not figure out why Sen. Reid did not make the Republican senators actually filibuster Webb's amendment on troop rest and conditions for placing US troops in combat including minimum training and equipment. By forcing Republican senators to stay up all night reading the phone book would have brought this issue into stark focus.

When did 60 votes become the basic threshhold for consideration in the Senate? What happened to the old fashioned notion that you had to actually filibuster a bill you disliked? What happened to the "nuclear option" that Sen. Frist continually threatened?

Why don't we see more folks ridiculing the idea that we can bomb Iran into submission? And questioning the credibility and veracity of anything relative to war coming from the corporate media and this Administration? Isn't the $trillion debacle with countless lives lost and enormous hardship on innocent Iraqis sufficient???

MacDonald

The question is how much does this mean in the present situation when Mrs. Clinton officially has declared the Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization - on which strikes are already abundantly authorized - AND defined the Iranian nuclear program as a terrorist activity?

"I voted for a non-binding resolution that designates the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization.

The Revolutionary Guards are deeply involved in Iran's nuclear program and have substantial links with Hezbollah."

http://clinton.senate.gov/news/statements/details.cfm?id=284561

Tim G

I recall few Presidents, possibly none, have accepted the restrictions imposed by the War Powers Act. This current Administration will not. What resolutions were passed post 9/11 regarding "terrorism" that the Administration can morph into a Congressional green light now that the IRGC has been designated a terrorist organization?

lina

While Webb would be an attractive VP candidate on anyone's ticket, he is needed in the Senate to maintain the (slim) majority. The Dems have a shot at a 60-vote majority next year. If they're smart (sigh) they won't lure Mr. Webb out of the Senate.

As for Mrs. Clinton, she remains all things to all people.

Will

Good Work Col. I see a lot of Clinton mention lately on this blog. Methinks you sometime have her ear. This work here has your imprint.

David Solomon

Colonel Lang,

I must say this is the first decent news I have heard out of Hilary Clinton.

Maybe, just maybe, she means it. Nevertheless, I am not yet sold.

She is constantly trying to be all things to all people. One never knows where she actually stands.

kim

one small step for hilary. still waiting for her to back off from the iraq forever notion, and some clarity (maybe i missed it?) on divided jerusalem.

JohnH

Unfortunately, none of the Democratic candidates--I call them Hillary and the Seven Dwarfs--has much to show on their resumes regarding legislative or executive accomplishments. Kucinich probably has the best, and that relates to his experience as Mayor of Cleveland, staring down the bankers and utilities, accepting bankruptcy rather than selling off the municipal electrical utility. Biden and Dodd chair committees. Hillary has Bill covering her back. But accomplishment at the national or global level? Nada. Zip.

So yes, it would be nice if Hillary could use some of her rising political capital. But I doubt if she has the skills or inclination to successfully maneuver a critical piece of legislation to passage. And that, frankly, speaks volumes about her fitness to be President.

writebite

Jim Webb probably knows better than anyone in Congress the dangers of getting tangled up with Iran, and that's why he's focused on it.

Clinton/Webb? Makes sense, gives Hillary the Southern flavor and military clout.

William R. Cumming

The DEMS are in an odd position. Only by focusing on ending the Iraqi deployment/war can they differentiate themselves from the Republicans. But if they truly want to wind the Presidency in 2008 they must do so. This is a good step but probably will just pass over the heads of most American voters. Iraq and the misnamed GWOT like it or not will again determine the outcome the outcome of the Presidency in 2008. This is the testbed and nothing else will matter because of the closeness of the vote on other issues and sorry to say the ignorance of the electorate.

rjj

"She is constantly trying to be all things to all people. One never knows where she actually stands."

[profanity deleted to conform to the local standards ...] The choice is between bad and malignant.

How much irreversible [!!!] damage did the Clintons and their policies do compared with the Cheney regime. That IS a stand -- of sorts.

kao_hsien_chih

I have to echo some of the sentiments expressed regarding Senator Clinton: she has been unabashedly shrill when it comes to possibility of a war against Iran...and suddenly, this pops up. Has she abandoned her old views? Doubtful, especially since everyone would be happy to play her prior public statements--e.g. regarding Iranian nuclear program and the Revolutionary Guards and how must be dealt with. Plus, it's not at all obvious whether there's any realistic chance that this will be translated into reality: thousands of bills are introduced, but most are never heard of again. I wouldn't expect it to be any more than a quick publicity ploy unless I see it making headlines as a realistic possibility.

Politically, given how things stand, a Clinton/Webb ticket makes good sense--it can be a potential election winner. Whether such a ticket can bring a solution to anything, I'm not so sure. I suspect that a key motivation for Cilnton's warlike rhetoric (at least before this resolution) was to preempt the natural expectation of "softness" from a woman (yes, it's unfair, but it is unfortunate truth). That won't go away even if she is elected president: at the risk of sounding blunt, I wouldn't trust a woman politician with control of military affairs not because she would be too weak, but because she'll be too warlike because too many people would expect her to be weak. I don't see President H. Clinton choosing a calm, reasonable course over something overly bombastic.

Will

Someone has repackaged Keirsey's four temperaments types of Artisan, Guardian, Rational, & Idealist as ... get ready

Improviser, Stabilizer, Theorist, & Catalyst.

I am beginning to think it's all baloney or bologna, as you wish. But I wonder where Hillary would fit in all of this? Guardian-Stabilzer? That would be a SJ

Bill is definitely an SP, Artisan-Improviser, b/ very skillful and informative rather than directive contrast with SP Dumbya

www.4temperaments.com/

Clifford Kiracofe

Sy Hersh's new piece in the New Yorker supports the idea that the White House wants war and is headed in that direction:

....
“They’re moving everybody to the Iran desk,” one recently retired C.I.A. official said. “They’re dragging in a lot of analysts and ramping up everything. It’s just like the fall of 2002”—the months before the invasion of Iraq, when the Iraqi Operations Group became the most important in the agency. He added, “The guys now running the Iranian program have limited direct experience with Iran. In the event of an attack, how will the Iranians react? They will react, and the Administration has not thought it all the way through.”

That theme was echoed by Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former national-security adviser, who said that he had heard discussions of the White House’s more limited bombing plans for Iran. Brzezinski said that Iran would likely react to an American attack “by intensifying the conflict in Iraq and also in Afghanistan, their neighbors, and that could draw in Pakistan. We will be stuck in a regional war for twenty years.”....
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/10/08/071008fa_fact_hersh?printable=true

At this time, I do not see the Senate of the United States opposing the war.
Here is the roll call vote on HR 1585, Defense Authorization:

Nays - 3
Byrd (D-WV)
Coburn (R-OK)
Feingold (D-WI)

Not Voting - 5
Biden (D-DE)
Clinton (D-NY)
Dodd (D-CT)
McCain (R-AZ)

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=1&vote=00359

Arun

Col. Lang wrote: ...not yielding to anyone where actual American interests are involved but, also not pursuing the chimera of revolutionary social change either.

I think some of America's problems stem from the fact that it has many times effectively blocked evolutionary social change so I hope neither tearing down nor propping up regimes is a plank in this platform.

ked

"She is constantly trying to be all things to all people. One never knows where she actually stands."

David, it's pretty clear - she's a skilled politician standing for President.

I could go on for some time criticizing her, however what distinguishes Hillary from other candidates, is that if elected, she is most likely to ACHIEVE whatever she intends. This is why she is so scary to the right wing (oh, & she's a girl). The underlying questions are, "what does she REALLY intend?" (unlikely to be the focus of the campaigns) and (of course) "is she electable?".

Webb should stay in the Senate (he can campaign effectively for the Dem ticket from there). VP office is ruined & he wouldn't last as SecDef.

GSD

Col. Lang,

It appears that Iran is dropping the US dollar. Now more than 85% of their oil business is done with other currencies.

The US/Iran war index just shot through the roof.

http://www.fxstreet.com/news/forex%2Dnews/article.aspx?StoryId=c306a07f-a9ec-42c2-ac2f-833c480fe768

-GSD

Binh

Does anyone here think it would be hard for the White House to get authorization to attack?

Also, because of her careful "triangulation," Hillary is in the absurd position of calling for "robust negotiations" with terrorists. If it's okay to that with Iran, why not OBL?

cletracsteve

So, while I support this I ask:

- What declaration of war has already been voted on to permit an attack of Iran that requires this legislation (we haven't attacked other countries simply because of a terrorist organization)?

- What signing statement is the unitary executive going to apply to this legislation?

- What congress is going to impeach the President if he invades?

- what (U.S. Supreme or International) court will take on this case?

- What relevance does this have if the President claimes he is ordering surgical cross-border strikes on safe-havens of militias interfering in the already approved Iraq or GWOT use of military force?

- What use is this once Israel provokes Iran and the President uses his existing authority for quick, short term response actions?

jonst

Lina,

You wrote: "As for Mrs. Clinton, she remains all things to all people.". Name me one politician, with a realistic chance to win who does not? Edwards? Obama? Spare me. Do you really know where they stand David Solomon? I don't buy this demonization of Hillary. Its not that the things people say about her are all that wrong. Or wrong at all. But you could certainly same the about ALL the politicians running for Prez. Both parties. And yet some how, some way, they always wind up saying it loud and clear about whomever the Dems select as their nominee. One thing that Hillary said recently that I really loved. When asked about her high negatives, she replied something along the lines of 'WHOEVER get the Dem nomination is going to be smeared, and if you don't understand that dynamic you have not been watching the way the game is played since 1988'. Now they are going after her laugh. Its calculated. We're told. And indeed it is. Damn calculated You think she is the only one with a calculated laugh? Its joke to even think that.

johnf

There are increasingly sure signs of a British General Election lasting til at least the end of October. I'd be very surprised if Brown - whose just announced more troop withdrawals - would go ahead with one unless he'd received cast-iron guarantees from Bushco that it would not be thrown into turmoil by an attack on Iran.

Whatever happens after it - provided he is re-elected - is anyone's guess. He's emiting both hostile and peaceful smoke. But the Tories - his main opposition - have just been lauding John Bolton at their annual conference.

Babak Makkinejad

Another view point:

http://www.payvand.com/news/07/oct/1015.html

Peter Principle

"I think there is some chance of a Clinton/Webb ticket."

Naw, he's too liberal for her, especially on economic issues.

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