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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/15/14

Has Clinton Made Her Second Pro-War Mistake?

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In defending Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's deadly response to Hamas's rocket attacks, she sounded almost like a spokesperson for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

In talking about the threat of militant Islam more generally, her words echoed those of Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister, who has called for a generation-long campaign against Islamic extremism -- a proposal that one of his former cabinet ministers dubbed "back to the Crusades."

From youtube.com/watch?v=9BMIskk2IeU: Gaza shelled during Israel's limited truce
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Glenn Greenwald, writing in his new media outlet, Intercept, lifted quotes from Hillary Clinton in her Atlantic interview with Jeffrey Goldberg that mirror almost precisely the line Prime Minister Netanyahu has followed since this current conflict began. These are all Clinton quotes:

1) "Israel has a right to defend itself. The steps Hamas has taken to embed rockets and command-and-control facilities and tunnel entrances in civilian areas, this makes a response by Israel difficult."

2) "Israel did what it had to do to respond to the rockets."

3) On civilian casualties in Gaza: "That doesn't mean, just as the United States [tries to] be as careful as possible in going after targets to avoid civilians, that there aren't mistakes that are made. We've made them. I don't know a nation, no matter what its values are -- and I think that democratic nations have demonstrably better values in a conflict position -- that hasn't made errors, but ultimately the responsibility rests with Hamas."

4) Asked about the bombing of UN schools and killing of Palestinian children: "It's impossible to know what happens in the fog of war. Some reports say, maybe it wasn't the exact UN school that was bombed, but it was the annex to the school next door where they were firing the rockets. And I do think oftentimes that the anguish you are privy to because of the coverage, and the women and the children and all the rest of that, makes it very difficult to sort through to get to the truth."

5) On civilian casualties in Gaza: "There's no doubt in my mind that Hamas initiated this conflict. ... So the ultimate responsibility has to rest on Hamas and the decisions it made."

And there you have the essential Hillary Clinton commenting on Israel's assault against Gaza.

One leading political voice responding to the Atlantic interview came from Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, of Vermont. Sanders has hinted he might run for president himself.

He spoke in an interview with ABC's Jeff Zeleny a day after The Atlantic published the Clinton interview. Sanders indicated his respect for the former Secretary of State, while at the same time he cautioned against "assuming that she will be the Democratic nominee before she's even announced her candidacy."

"She has accomplished a lot of positive things in her career, but I'm not quite sure that the political process is one in which we anoint people," he said.

Michael Cohen, of the progressive Century Foundation, spoke for many progressives and perhaps centrists as well, when he noted: "She basically seems to be taking positions that are very similar to the vision of America's role in the world that [in 2008] Democrats rejected."

Democrats rejected candidate Clinton in 2008 in favor of Barack Obama. Now the 2016 Democratic nomination is hers to lose.

Will her endorsement of Israel's war strategy embellish her political credentials for 2016, or will that endorsement become her second major pro-war political stumble?

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James Wall served as a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois, from 1999 through 2017. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced (more...)
 

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