Running Scared: Observations of a Former Republican
[Home] [Former Republican] [About the Authors] [RSS Feed] [Pointless Vanity]

"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Hillary Clinton--Political Hack?

posted by Ron Beasley at 2/23/2005 05:50:00 PM


Juan Cole reports that Hillary Clinton made some inappropriate comments while in Baghdad.
Stephen Farrell reports for the London Times that a minor tiff occurred last week between Senator Hillary Clinton and prime ministerial candidate Ibrahim Jaafari:
Last week Hillary Clinton, the New York senator, visiting Baghdad, said that there were ---grounds both for concern and for . . . vigilance--- about Dr al-Jaafari's Iranian connections. Clearly irritated, the candidate --- at present Iraq's Vice-President --- brushed aside the remark yesterday. "We are not at an American traffic light to be given a red or green signal. I am speaking on behalf of a collective decision. I will stop when the Iraqi people say to stop," he said. "Hillary Clinton, as far as I know, does not represent any political decision or the American Administration and I don't know why she said this. She knows nothing about the Iraqi situation.

I take it that Hilary is laying out a Democratic Party strategy for the 2008 elections, which may well argue that Bush lost Iraq to Iran through his incompetence. The argument probably implies that Jaafari as a Muslim fundamentalist is not only close to Iran but will pursue policies and legislation that hurt women.

These points are not without some validity. But maybe Baghdad just after the elections wasn't the best time and place for her to criticize positive feelings toward Iran on the part of Shiite politicians (which, I have pointed out, is sort of like criticizing the Irish for feeling positively about the Vatican). Jaafari is an Iraqi patriot and he has a right to be offended at the idea that he might be a puppet for Tehran. Still, it does seem inevitable that some canny Democrat will figure out that the US public has severe doubts about the Iraq adventure, and find a way to parlay that into political advantage.

Jaafari for his part was ill-advised to lash out at Hilary. If he becomes prime minister, he will need a good working relationship with the US Congress on both sides of the aisle.
Although she is probably correct it was not the right time to say it. I have always seen Hillary as nothing but an opportunist political hack and this is just a further indication of that.