[Marxism] Obama criticizes Clinton over her words about Iran

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sun May 4 10:22:44 MDT 2008

Obama criticizes Clinton over her words about Iran
By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer 29 minutes ago

INDIANAPOLIS - Barack Obama scolded Democratic rival Hillary Rodham
Clinton on Sunday for saying that the United States would "totally
obliterate" Iran if it attacks Israel, and likened her to President
Bush. Clinton stood by her comment.

The foreign policy dustup came as the two candidates appeared
separately on dueling Sunday news shows and as the drawn-out fight
for the Democratic nomination grew ever more fierce ahead of the next
pivotal pair of primaries, in Indiana and North Carolina on Tuesday.

Seeking the advantage, Obama seized on Clinton's recent answer when
asked what she would do if she wins the White House and Iran attacked
Israel with nuclear weapons.

"I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will
attack Iran," Clinton said April 22 in an interview with ABC. "In the
next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching
an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them."

On Wednesday, Iran strongly condemned Clinton for her remarks. Iran's
deputy U.N. ambassador, Mehdi Danesh-Yazdi, called her comment
"provocative, unwarranted and irresponsible" and "a flagrant
violation" of the U.N. Charter.

On "Meet the Press" Sunday, Obama said: "It's not the language we
need right now, and I think it's language reflective of George Bush.
We have had a foreign policy of bluster and saber rattling and tough
talk and in the meantime have made a series strategic decisions that
have actually strengthened Iran."

He also suggested Clinton's comments were politically motivated.

"Senator Clinton during the course of the campaign has said we
shouldn't speculate about Iran, we've got to be cautious when we're
running for president, she scolded me on a couple of occasions on
this issue, yet a few days before an election, she's willing to use
that language," he said.

Clinton, asked on ABC's "This Week" about Obama's criticism, said she
had no regrets about her comment.

"Why would I have any regrets? I'm asked a question about what I
would do if Iran attacked our ally, a country that many of us have a
great deal of, you know, connection with and feeling for, for all
kinds of reasons. And, yes, we would have massive retaliation against
Iran," Clinton said.

"I don't think they will do that, but I sure want to make it
abundantly clear to them that they would face a tremendous cost if
they did such a thing," she said.

The two also squared off anew over Clinton's proposal for a gas tax
holiday this summer, which Obama opposes.

Obama called the proposal a "classic Washington gimmick" that
wouldn't solve anything and would save only $28 for each person.
Asked if the proposal amounted to a politician pandering, Obama said,

Clinton, for her part, disputed Obama's suggestions that she and
Republican candidate John McCain were the same because they both
support a gas tax holiday.

"Senator McCain has said take off the gas tax, don't pay for it,
throw us further into deficit and debt. That is not what I've
proposed," Clinton said, adding that she wants the oil companies to
pay the gas tax instead of consumers this summer.

Pressed to name an economist who supports such a holiday, Clinton
demurred. "I'm not going to put my lot in with economists because I
know if we did it right, if we actually did it right, if we had a
president who used all the tools of his presidency, we would decide
it in such a way that it would be implemented effectively."

Obama leads in the hunt for convention delegates - 1,742.5 to
1,607.5, according to an Associated Press count Sunday - but has hit
a rough patch over the past month. That has Clinton sensing an
opening after a strong win in Pennsylvania nearly two weeks ago.
Still, the delegate math works in Obama's favor, and it will be
difficult for Clinton to overtake him.

Nevertheless, Clinton suggested anew she had no intention of dropping
out, saying on ABC: "When the process finishes in early June, people
can look at all the various factors and decide who would be the
strongest candidate" to go up against McCain in the fall.

Both candidates were focusing the bulk of their Sunday campaigning on
Indiana, where polls show the race extremely close. They stayed
overnight in Indianapolis hotels one block apart, and both were
campaigning within miles of each other in Fort Wayne before returning
to the capital city for the Indiana Democratic Party's Jefferson
Jackson Dinner.

But North Carolina was getting some last-minute attention, too. Both
candidates shuffled their schedules to dart back to the state on
Monday, reflecting the tightening contest there; polls show Clinton
trimming Obama's lead.

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