Archive for the ‘Hillary Clinton’Category

Time For Some Soul Searching: Human Rights vs. Security

On 15 November, the Democratic candidates debated each other in Las Vegas.  One issue in particular caught my attention, and that was the question posed by Wolf Blitzer when he asked, “When they clash, what is more important, human rights or national security?”  The framing of this question interests me – are these mutually exclusive goals in the 21st century?  And who set the framework for this type of conjecture? 

I think the answer to the latter is obvious as we have lived through a Presidency that would propose and carry out to limit the freedoms of its own citizens in order to provide – at least on the surface – a sense of security.  From the suspension of habeas corpus to the illegal spying of American citizens to soft media control, BushCo’s answer to the terrorist question is to become like them in order to fight them. 

Of course, the irrationality of our diminished freedoms at home stems from the fact that the great call of duty all neoconservatives assume upon their shoulders is the spread of democracy abroad.  As Bill Maher, one of the patron saints of this blog, observed:

[George Bush] is gonna spread freedom and democracy to the Iraqi people if he has to kill every last one of them to do it.

So we have the neocon’s answer to the question.  What about the Democratic candidates?

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If you needed more proof that Republicans continue to the frame debate, you need only listen to Blitzer’s assertion that “occassionally they could clash”, but also to Clinton’s and Dodd’s answer. 

Only Bill Richardson and Barack Obama maintained that the concepts are not mutually exclusive.  More importantly, I would maintain that if you tend to the issues of human rights, not only on a moral basis, but on an economic, social and political basis, it will make the United States safer. 

Samantha Power, Obama’s Foreign Policy Advisor, in her book A Problem from Hell, asserted the following:

… security for the Americans at home and abroad is contingent on international stability, and there is perhaps no greater source of havoc than a group of well-armed extremists bent on wiping out a people on ethnic, national, or religious grounds.

… the sad record of the last century shows that the walls of the United States tries to build around genocidal socities almost inevitably shatter.  States that murder and torment their own citizens target citizens elsewhere. 

~ Excerpt, page 513

We need only look to the lessons of the past – the lessons of Hilter who persecuted his own people and then moved across Europe, Saddam Hussein who tried to wipe out the Kurds and then waged war on Kuwait, and Molosevic spread his war from Slovenia to Bosnia and Kosovo – to see that leaders who will squelch the rights of their own citizens don’t necessarily play well with others, much less respect our borders. 

After all, the well-documented humanitarian crisis that existed under the Taliban reached our shores on September the 11th.  And we can see regimes today, like the government of Omar al-Bashir in Sudan, who not only mimic the Taliban in their cruelty, but also in their disrespect for the borders of their neighbors. 

We cannot build a wall around America, but we can ensure that the grievences of citizens around the world are not played out upon our national stage.  This does not mean policing the world, but it does mean that America needs to operate globally at a diplomatic intensity where the Geneva Convention is of utmost importance.  We need a President who understands that if the people of the world have their basic human rights, there will be no need to threaten our security. 

Hillary Plants Questions to Make Her Garden Grow

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Don’t you miss the simple days of Jeff Gannon asking softball questions like:

Why do Democrats hate our troops and this country so much? 

We on the Left condemned the practice because planting questions is for neo-cons – it is a veiled practice that calls into question not only the honesty, but the integrity of a politician positioning themselves in a Town Hall Meeting … It’s something a candidate or a President does when they don’t want to face the right of private citizens or journalists to ask valid questions.  And yet, the liberal blogs and commenters are condemning this as “distraction”. 

Why are we apologizing for her??? Why is it wrong when Bush does it, but not when Hillary does it? Arguing that Bush does it worse is no rational argument. It’s just apologist loser mentality.

Remember, for every planted question in a town hall meeting, there is a concerned citizen who won’t get to practice their right to question a future president.

That’s the complete antithesis of Democracy.

Are we so numb as citizens in a “free” country that this has become OK?  Have we been so abused by the current administration that we should take this type of behavior from someone who promises change?  Should we not demand more?  Should we not demand free and open dialogue to prevent another BushCo in the White House? 

I will not vote for Hillary.  She lost any chance of getting my vote when she cowardly voted for the Iraq War on a rushed National Intelligence Estimate transparent with holes and problems.  If you do not have the strength of character and reasoning to cast an unpopular – yet legitimate – vote against a bullshit war, why the hell do you think you have the consummate skills and strength to be President? 

We deserve more as citizens.  We deserve a free and open exchange of ideas from our candidates.  We deserve to question openly and deserve to be answered honestly. 

Hillary doesn’t want to do that. 

We deserve more than that.

Lunch with Chris & Hillary

OK, in the interest of full disclosure, Chris Matthews and I haven’t spoken to each other since 23 January 2006.  If you need a refresher, about a year ago, Chris compared the logic and language of Osama Bin Laden (the number one terrorist in the world, responsible for 9/11, still free to cavort in first class caves) to Michael Moore (American, filmmaker with lefty political logic [some dubious, some not], and problematic overeater).  I did – for the record – give Chris credit that he didn’t compare Michael Moore to the typical Adolf Hilter metaphor so in vogue in ‘06. 

Anyone who would suffer such a monumental loss of basic reasoning skills on the air would just apologize.  But not my old friend, Chris Matthews.  He said he was misunderstood and painted a picture of Osama Bin Laden (not to be confused with Barack Obama) as a card carrying member of the Democratic National Committee, getting “talking points” from the Democrats like he receives their newsletter. 

So I took this up with my old friend, Chris. 

Boo:  Yeah, Chris, my old friend … it couldn’t be that the other side has a different socio-political point-of-view that may hold some key insights into the logic of terrorists and the systematic hatred of the west.  It couldn’t be that the Project for a New American Century is wrong about fucking everything!!!

My old friend, Chris:  So you wanna use spitballs to defend the country??? 

And that was it.  I could no longer listen to the mad ravings of my old friend, Chris.  Tragically, it seemed that he was more of an advocating weather vane for whomever was popular at the time, rather than a “hard-hitting” journalist.   

But a new day has dawned, and I really don’t hold a grudge that long.  Chris called me to see if I would join him for lunch.  I told him that I was already scheduled to lunch with my old friend, Hillary.  He asked if he could join us, and we agreed that he could.  What transpired I thought would hold some interest for you, my readers, so I’ve provided some highlights and pictures below. 

We met at a quaint little restaurant in D.C.  Hillary was running late, giving my old friend, Chris, and I some time to catch up.

My old friend, Chris:  So … what do you think of the contenders for ‘08?

He spoke with that constant grin for which he’s so memorable.  You know the one – the modest smirk and glint in his eye as he pronunciates every syllable with that slight overbite.  I hate that freaking overbite …

Boo:  I’m still considering everyone.  You know, still doing my research, looking up voting records at primary source sites for the Senate and fact checking candidates. 

My old friend, Chris:  How do you do that?

He sprayed food on me.  I pretended it didn’t happen.

Boo:  I’ll tell you later.

He leaned in close to me like he was about to tell me the name of his sled.

My old friend, Chris:  Did you see Hillary in Iowa?

G-d I was afraid he was going to ask me that.  Do we need to discuss Iowa anymore?  So Hillary made a joke.  So Hillary is a woman.  So Hillary isn’t Bill Clinton.  So Hillary probably could beat the shit out of my old friend, Chris … what about the issues

Boo:  I think her position on the war -

My old friend, Chris:  Who do you think she was joking about?

Boo:   – is playing both sides against the middle -

My old friend, Chris:   But really, do you think she has some deep seeded pain about Bill?  Was it about Bill?

Boo:  I don’t care.  What about the issues?

My old friend, Chris:  And do you really think the voters will find her attractive enough to be President?  She’s definitely more attractive than Ann Coulter

Boo:  I don’t want to talk about it -

My old friend, Chris:  I’m asking you a question though.  Do you think -

Boo:  What does that have to do with anything?  How is that news?  How are you actually fulfilling the role of the fourth estate by being a blow-hard, high school minded retard?!?

I slammed my salad fork on the table so hard that lettuce flew all over the table.   Chris did what he always does when he’s frustrated … he stuffed his face. 

Chris takes it out on a brownie  Of course, Hillary shows up at this point in the conversation.  She has Terry McAuliffe with her, and thank G-d he didn’t bring his pom-poms to lunch this time.  Noticing the tension, Terry starts with the small talk the way only Terry can.

Terry:  ARE WE PSYCHED ABOUT HILLARY OR WHAT?!

I giggled until he started pumping his fists in the air, then I almost needed the Heimlich. 

Boo:  Hey Terry.  Hi Hillary. 

Terry:  WE ARE GOING TO CHANGE THE COURSE OF THIS COUNTRY AND IT STARTS WITH LUNCH!

Boo:  I’m just having a salad.

My old friend, Chris:  About Iowa -

Hillary:  Stop psychoanalyzing me, dough boy!

I shoved another brownie in Chris’s mouth.

Boo:  The salmon salad is superb!

Terry:  I’M SO EXCITED!

Hillary:  I will rip off your head and pump shit directly into your lungs if you don’t -

Boo:  Can you believe it’s Oscar season already?

Hillary:  I loved the Wizard of Oz as a child.  And I want to fix healthcare.

Terry:  WE ARE GONNA CHANGE THE WORLD. 

My old friend, Chris:  Do you think your hair is Presidential enough for the country?

Boo:  Her hair?  Why don’t you ask her about her panty lines as well.

My old friend, Chris:  Panty lines don’t play well with Midwestern voters.

Boo:  Are you going to ask Barack Obama about his hair or about his panty lines?

Terry:  YOU CANNOT TALK, THINK, DONATE, OR EVEN WHISPER THE NAME OF ANOTHER CANDIDATE, GOT ME?

Boo:  Back off.

My old friend, Chris:  What about pearls?  Is that too Nancy Reagan, or is that the point?  Vegas says you’re in the bag.

Hillary:  I really better be off.

Terry:  WE’RE OFF TO CHANGE THE FUTURE!

And like that, they were gone.  She didn’t even eat.  I barely touched a thing on my plate as my old friend, Chris, was wearing most of my food and his. 

I really need some new old friends … So I called my new friend, Barack.  He’s always good for tea.