[Marxism] Fact-checking Hillary Clinton

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Oct 10 07:39:45 MDT 2007

Candidate Watch
The Fine Print in Hillary's Promise to 'End the War'

     "If this president does not get us out of Iraq, when I am 
president, I will."

--Hillary Clinton, Democratic debate, South Carolina, April 26, 2007

     "I will immediately move to begin bringing our troops home when I 
am inaugurated...[But there] may be a continuing counter-terrorism 
mission, which, if it still exists, will be aimed al Qaeda in Iraq. It 
may require combat, Special Operations Forces or some other form of 
that, but the vast majority of our combat troops should be out."

--Hillary Clinton, Democratic debate, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, 
September 26, 2007.

So which is it? Getting out of Iraq altogether, or leaving troops in 
there, to wage war against Al-Qaeda and so forth?
The Facts

The Democratic front-runner has gone back and forth on this question for 
many months, leaving voters unclear about what she would do in Iraq if 
she became president. "If this president does not get us out of Iraq, I 
will" is a great applause line, invariably triggering cheers from her 
supporters. It shows that she is tough and very different from George 
Bush. It also distracts attention from her Senate vote authorizing 
military action against Iraq in October 2002.

Hillary has used several different versions of the "I will" line in 
different venues around the country, each with slightly different 
connotations. Sometimes, as in South Carolina, she promises simply to 
"get out of Iraq." At other times, she promises to "end the war." See 
the Iraq policy statement on her website here. And sometimes, she 
pledges to "end our involvement in Iraq." See the transcript of the 
Democratic debate hosted by Chris Matthews of MSNBC on June 16 here.

It is only when you examine the details--like the fine print in an 
insurance contract--that you discover that Clinton's pledge to "get out 
of Iraq" is far from iron-clad. There are numerous conditions attached. 
She enumerated some of them in the June 19 Democratic debate when 
pressed by Chris Matthews. Read the full transcript here. Clinton's list 
of "vital national security interests" in Iraq turns out to be quite 
# "We cannot let Al Qaeda have a staging ground in Iraq."
# "We have made common cause with some of the Iraqis themselves in Anbar 
# "We also have to look at the way the Kurds are being treated."
# "We also have to pay attention to Iranian influence."
# "We will have to protect our interests. We'll have an embassy there."
# "If the Iraqi government does get its act together, we may have a 
continuing training mission."

Here are a couple more reasons cited by Clinton for a continuing 
deployment of American troops to prevent Iraq degenerating into a failed 
state "that serves as a petri dish for insurgents and Al Qaeda." They 
come from an interview she gave to the New York Times back in March.
# Iraq "is right in the heart of the oil region."
# Leaving Iraq altogether would be "directly in opposition to our 
interests...to Israel's interests."

Somehow that doesn't sound like a firm promise "to get out of Iraq" or, 
even less, a guarantee to "end our involvement there."

full: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/

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