The New Hampshire Union Leader published the following Op-Ed written by General Wesley Clark this Sunday Morning:
Clinton's approach deters a rush to war
I am not allowed to post the entire Op-Ed. Please read the entire piece for a full picture.
I post just excerpts below:
In the back and forth on Iran, one critical issue is being missed: which candidate will create the strategic shift necessary to deal with the challenge of Iran and help end the fighting in the Middle East? I believe that candidate is Hillary Rodham Clinton.
That is why I am so dismayed and disappointed about political attacks that misrepresent the senator's positions and betray a fundamental misunderstanding about how to conduct effective diplomacy in the 21st century.
In supporting legislation that seeks to exert diplomatic pressure on Iran, Senator Clinton is standing up to the Bush administration, which has recklessly refused to talk to Iran about its clandestine nuclear program. In voting for a non-binding resolution that urges the administration to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, she is forcing the Bush administration to apply diplomatic pressure. This is the best way to call attention to the problem, empower US diplomacy, and warn Iran that it must cooperate.
There is nothing in the non-binding Kyl-Lieberman bill that would give President Bush any authority whatsoever to go to war.
The issues we confront in the Mideast today are serious. Iran must not be allowed to build or acquire nuclear weapons. Neither must Iran be permitted to intervene with force, arms or terrorism inside Iraq. Actions like putting pressure and sanctions on the Revolutionary Guard are necessary and appropriate. And, as Senator Clinton has said, these actions must be combined with a far-reaching diplomatic initiative in the region that includes a dialogue with Iran.
This is not the time to rush to war, nor is it the time to do nothing. Rather, this is the time to work resolutely to avert the need to use force at some point in the future.
This Op-Ed is obviously a response to Barack Obama's Op-Ed attacking Hillary Clinton, published last week in the same newspaper, Union Leader.
I have great respect for Senator Dick Durbin, the senior Senator from Illinois. He is Obama's mentor and biggest supporter. I don't think that we can find a more honest arbiter on the issue of whether Obama's attack against Hillary Clinton is fair. He said that Obama is wrong about the Non-Binding "Sense of the Senate" resolution on Iran's Revolutionary Guard:
Durbin, 62, said Obama was wrong to upbraid Clinton for her Sept. 26 vote to label the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, a nonbinding resolution that Durbin also supported. Obama, who was campaigning in New Hampshire and missed the vote, said the language of the measure could potentially push the U.S. closer to war with Iran.
"It's rare that Barack and I disagree on an issue of this magnitude," Durbin, the second-highest ranking Senate Democrat, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television's "Political Capital with Al Hunt," scheduled to air today. "I have the same concerns that Barack Obama does about this administration and what they might do with the power that they have. But I don't think this resolution gives them a green light to do anything."
Also of concern to me is the fact that Obama skipped the vote. Ninety-eight Senators were present for this vote. If Senator Obama believed the measure was as dangerous as he says, wouldnt he have had some obligation to stand up, speak out, and fight against it? Obama's excuse for being absent was:
"This is one of the problems with running for president," Obama said. "You can't always anticipate which votes are which, but I put out a statement at the time stating that this was a bad idea and that I would have voted against it."
Obama blamed scheduling for the missed vote.
"If you're in New Hampshire, then it's hard to get back," he said.
But, Senator Joe Biden says differently:
"I wonder why he wasn't there to vote," Biden said. "We all knew that this vote was coming up."
I also want to bring attention to the fact that Obama co-sponsored the following BINDING bill:
The "Iran Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007," which Obama cosponsored on April 24, 2007, states clearly that:
"The Secretary of State should designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a Foreign Terrorist Organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189) and the Secretary of the Treasury should place the Iranian Revolutionary Guards on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists under Executive Order 13224 (66 Fed. Reg. 186; relating to blocking property and prohibiting transactions with persons who commit, threaten to commit, or support terrorism)."
Why did Senator Obama co-sponsor an actual bill (not a non-binding resolution) designating Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a "terrorist organization" (the ""Iran Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007") if he did not think that the Revolutionary Guard were engaged in "terrorist" activity; and further, where were the Revolutionary Guards engaging in the "terrorist" activity Obama wished to stop?
Wouldn't Obama's binding bill give Bush a greater rationalization to attack Iran as Obama claims the non-binding resolution provides?
Based on the facts that I presented above, I would like to express my profound dissapointment with Obama's attack upon Senator Clinton. I am in total agreement with Senator Durbin and General Clark that Obama is wrong in attacking Senator Clinton in this manner.