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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Mrs. Clinton's Patriotism Problem

James Taranto points out that Hillary "has joined the list of Democratic politicians who have publicly raised questions about their own patriotism."

As I have posted earlier, she received a rebuke from the Pentagon, and no, not the "whole Pentagon, as I know not everyone is in lock step. But the letter came from Eric Edelman, who is an "official voice" serving in the capacity of Undersecretay of Defense for Policy. Please note he is not just an aide or an intern acting as a loose cannon.

Anyway, more to the point, she was ciriticized for requesting a briefing from officials at the Pentagon, inquiring as to whether or not they have "undertaken serious planning" for the future withdrawal of troops from Iraq. She said the response was "outrageous and offensive" and she deeply resented "the administrations continuing effort to impugh the patriotism of those of us who are asking the hard questions."

Me thinks she dost protest too much.

Here is part of the letter with its' stinging and "offensive" criticism:
Premature and public discussion of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq reinforces enemy propaganda that the United States will abandon its allies, much as we are perceived to have done in Vietnam, Lebanon, and Somalia. Such talk understandably unnerves the very same Iraqi allies we are asking to assume enormous personal risks in order to achieve compromises on national reconciliation, amending the Iraqi constitution, and other contentious issues. Fear of a precipitate U.S. withdrawal also exacerbates sectarian trends in Iraqi politics as factions become more concerned with achieving short-term tactical advantages rather than reaching the long-term agreements necessary for a stable and secure Iraq.

Taranto points out that Edelman is only making the case that making public demands for early withdrawal by these politicians, Hillary included, is harmful and can embolden the enemy because our enemies, yes enemies - not "enemies" - see a "house divided" (my words) and it encourages our enemies to "stay the course." (Bush's words).

Not a tough concept... hope you can follow it.

There is not one word in the letter (full letter here) questioning her patriotism. Edelman, Taranto notes, is questioning "the wisdom and likely consequences of her actions," not her motives.

Taranto further wonders why these politicians think that "defensively denying that they lack patriotism is a winning approach".

Beats me.


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