What in the world was Sen. Hillary Clinton thinking when she attacked Sen. Barack Obama for ruling out the use of nuclear weapons in going after Osama bin Laden? And why aren’t her supporters more concerned about yet another egregious example of Clinton’s consistent backing for the mindless militarism that is dragging this nation to ruin? So what that she is pro-choice and a woman if the price of proving her capacity to be commander in chief is that we end up with an American version of Margaret Thatcher?
In response to the 9/11 hijackers, armed with weapons no more sophisticated than $3 box cutters, American military spending, with Senate Armed Services Committee member Clinton’s enthusiastic support, has catapulted beyond Cold War levels. Sen. Clinton has treated the military budget as primarily a pork-barrel target of opportunity for jobs and profit in New York state, supports increased money for missile defense and every other racket the military-industrial complex comes up with, and still feels no obligation to repudiate her vote for the disastrous Iraq war.
Given her sorry record of cheerleading the irrational post-Cold War military buildup, do we not have a right, indeed an obligation, to question whether Clinton is committed to creating a more peaceful world? Don’t say that we weren’t warned if a President Hillary Clinton further imperils our world, as she has clearly positioned herself as the leading hawk in the Democratic field. What other reason was there for first blasting Obama for daring to state that he would meet with foreign leaders whom Bush has branded as sworn enemies, and then for the attack on Obama’s very sensible statement that it would be “a profound mistake” to use nuclear weapons in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the attempt to eliminate bin Laden?…
Hillary’s supporters will no doubt insist that this statement reflects her true feelings on the matter and that “militarist Hillary” is just an act to get elected. Act or reality, it’s working. Pundits for the National Review, The Weekly Standard and other pro-war outlets have come to applaud Clinton. A host of political scientists and other campaign hustlers have also approved this image makeover; as a recent Boston Globe headline put it, “Tough talk drives Clinton effort: National security stance seen adding to image of strength.” One political scientist from Texas stated: “She’s come off as credible and serious on national defense—an issue that two years ago most of us would have thought would be a liability for her.”
So she’s either a real hawk or she’s lying.