In all the excitement over the New Hampshire primary, a little noticed article about political turmoil inside Iran points to the danger of the Clinton approach to relationships with Iran and to Military policy in general. When Hillary voted for the Kyl-Lieberman Amendment (what Jim Webb called “Bush’s fondest pipe dream”)to declare the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a “terrorist organization”, the U.S. was denounced by Iran’s Supreme Leader who indicated full support for President Ahmadinejad. But as tensions rose and oil prices pushed higher, cooler heads inside the U.S. Intelligence community prevailed by releasing the N.I.E. that showed that Iran had suspended its nuclear weapons program. As with her refusal to apologize for backing Bush on the Iraq war vote, Hillary has not apologized for her Iran war vote. Since the release of the N.I.E. a split has developed between Ayatollah Khamenei and Ahmadinejad. As New York Times reporter Nazila Fahti files from Tehran,
There are numerous possible reasons for Mr. Ahmadinejad’s loss of support, but analysts here all point to one overriding factor: the United States National Intelligence Estimate last month, which said Iran had suspended its nuclear weapons program in 2003 in response to international pressure. The intelligence estimate sharply reduced the threat of a military strike against Iran, allowing the Iranian authorities to focus on domestic issues, with important parliamentary elections looming in March.
“Now that Iran is not under the threat of a military attack, all contradictions within the establishment are surfacing,” said Saeed Leylaz, an economic and political analyst. “The biggest mistake that Americans have constantly made toward Iran was adopting radical approaches which provided the ground for radicals in the country to take control.”
Hillary is surrounded & supported by Democratic hawks like Peter Beinart ,seen here in classic Georgetown schmooze role. She’s also the biggest recipient of money from the Military Industrial complex and the second biggest recipient of military earmarks (The Hill newspaper pointed out on June 13, Clinton secured 26 earmarks in the new Defense appropriations bill worth $148 million, more than any other Senator except the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee).
As Leonard Doyle of the Independant pointed out, long before the major Presidential campaign fundraising began,
While on the armed services committee, Mrs Clinton has befriended key generals and has won the endorsement of General Wesley Clarke, who ran NATO’s war in Kosovo. A former presidential candidate himself, he is spoken of as a potential vice-presidential running mate.
Mrs Clinton has been a regular visitor to Iraq and Afghanistan and is careful to focus her criticisms of the Iraq war on President Bush, rather than the military. The arms industry has duly taken note.
So far, Mrs Clinton has received $52,600 in contributions from individual arms industry employees. That is more than half the sum given to all Democrats and 60 per cent of the total going to Republican candidates
As Obama has pointed out, we can either live in a politics of fear, like we have since the election of Ronald Reagan, and have all of our domestic needs subservient to the Military’s unbounded spending–or we can have true change. The Clinton’s never gave us our “Peace Dividend” in the 90′s when we had no enemies. What would make one think that they would do any thing different in the next 8 years? President Eisenhower in his farewell address saw the danger we now live in:
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together
Change is not a slogan the Clinton’s can adopt with a wink, a nod, and a crocodile tear. They ruled over one major chance to tackle the Military Industrial complex from 1992-2000 and did nothing. If you read the work of Obama’s key foreign policy advisor, Samantha Power, you will see that real change is possible. It’s time to let the Obama team take their shot at tackling the overarching problem of our age. If not, as Warren Buffet has reminded us, we will end up as a “Sharecropper Society.”