Yesterday the London Times reported central questions about Senator Obama’s shocking dearth of international experience: “Fresh doubts over Barack Obama’s foreign policy credentials were expressed on both sides of the Atlantic last night, after it emerged that he had made only one brief official visit to London – and none elsewhere in Western Europe or Latin America.” It also reported: “Mr. Obama had failed to convene a single policy meeting of the Senate European subcommittee, of which he is chairman.”

These basic facts, coming from a major foreign newspaper, are a sobering counterpoint to a gushing Boston Globe editorial that endorsed Obama for having “an intuitive sense of the wider world with all its perils and opportunities.” Intuition may be a laudable quality among psychics and palm readers, but for a professional American diplomat like myself, who have spent a career toiling in the vineyards of national security, it has no relevance to serious discussion of foreign policy. In fact, Obama’s supposed “intuitive sense” is no different from George W. Bush’s “instincts” and “gut feeling” describing his own foreign policy decision-making. We have been down this road before.

During my tenure as Senior Director for African Affairs in the Clinton Administration, I had the responsibility for helping to plan and execute President Clinton’s historic trip to that continent. It was a trip that forever changed the way American administrations think about Africa. I spent eleven days with President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton traveling to six countries and meeting with leaders from many more. She was a full participant in all of our activities and a key adviser–and for good reason. Hillary had previously traveled to Africa, leading a prominent U.S. delegation to several countries. On her return she was instrumental in persuading the president that he should invest that most precious of presidential assets–time–in his own trip. People who are now senior advisers to Senator Obama were involved in both of those trips. So it is mystifying to me that they have allowed themselves to “forget” the key role Hillary played in such a major shift in approach to that part of the world and have participated in a negative campaign tactic on the part of the Obama campaign to demean her significant contributions to foreign policy of which they are well aware.

Barack Obama attended elementary school in Indonesia before the age of 10, his chief period of time abroad. I, too, spent years overseas in my formative school years. While the experience certainly whetted my appetite for international relations, it did not provide me either with “intuition” or expertise in the conduct of my nation’s foreign policy. My understanding of international affairs came from twenty-three years of professional diplomacy, much of it spent overseas dealing at senior levels on crises such as serving as the acting U.S. ambassador to Iraq stationed in Baghdad during the first Gulf War.

In the Spring, 2003, I happened to debate William Kristol, one of the architects of the neoconservative agenda and an enthusiastic supporter for Bush’s invasion of Iraq and subsequent policy. He blurted out his judgment that “on the ground experience was highly overrated.” That arrogant assertion of ideology and preconceived ideas over practical experience has precisely led to the quagmire we find ourselves in today in Iraq and the Middle East.

Now, Senator Obama echoes and reflects the same attitude of contempt for “on the ground experience.” Acting on his superior “intuition” he has proposed unilateral bombing of Pakistan and unstructured summits without preconditions with adversaries such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong Il. As we have learned, the march of folly is paved with good but naïve intentions.

A number of us, like then Illinois state senator Obama, opposed the second Gulf War. My own opposition from the beginning has been well documented. I fought the fight in the arena itself, Washington DC, against a ruthless administration and its supporters while the senator’s opposition came from a far distance and carried no risk, given that he represented in Springfield, Illinois the district encompassing the University of Chicago. As an obscure but safe provincial political figure, he never was granted access to the distorted intelligence that was used to drive the Congress and the media. When I looked to the left or to the right for support, I never saw the state senator. In fact, I never heard of Barack Obama until he announced his intention to run for the Senate in the 2006 election.

After he came to Washington, Obama’s views were thoroughly conventional and even timid. In 2004, he said about the 2002 congressional Authorization for the Use of Military Force: “I’m not privy to Senate intelligence reports. What would I have done? I don’t know.” On Iraq-related votes in the Senate, Obama’s record identically matches Senator Clinton’s–with the exception that Senator Clinton voted against the confirmation of General George Casey as Army chief of staff. Obama’s vote was typically passive.

In the run up to the war and thereafter, I was in frequent discussions with senior Democrats in Washington, including Senator Clinton, and I was keenly aware of her demand for the full exercise of international diplomacy and allowing the weapons inspectors to complete their mission. Many of the most prominent early opponents of the war, including former General Wes Clark and former ambassador to the United National Richard Holbrooke support Senator Clinton for President, as do I. We do so because we know that she has the experience and the judgment that comes from having been in the arena for her entire adult life–and from close personal participation with her in the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. And we have trust in her to end the war in Iraq in the most responsible way, consistent with our national security interests.

We know that she has won and lost but always fought for her beliefs, which are widely shared within the Democratic Party. The battles she had been in have been fierce–and the battles in the future will be no less intense–and she has proven her steadfastness and is still standing. She does not have a cowardly record of voting “present” when confronted with difficult issues. She does not claim “intuition” as the basis of the most dangerous and serious decision-making. What she has is deep and vital experience, more important than ever in restoring our country’s place in the world.

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  • Steve Judd

    “I never heard of Barack Obama until he announced his intention to run for the Senate in the 2006 election.”

    I recommend correcting this error (or maybe typo) in the text. Senator Obama was elected in 2004, not 2006. Let’s be accurate—he’s been doing little else than running for president for three years, not just one.

  • Pingback: Hope & Change Wide Open Thread! : NO QUARTER()

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  • You know, it’s not fair of me to call him a beaurocrat or say anything about his job finding abilities so i’ll take that one back.

    But the point is: Hillary voted for the war, she voted for the KYL Lieberman LIEBERMAN HELLO amedment. I have a friend who is one of her constituents and wrote to her regarding last summers israel-lebanon war. he got back a form email with the lameest likud propaganda ever.

    So regardless of ones view of the state, Hillary cannot logically be said to be “good” on foreign policy. I mean, unless we are in bizarro world. she probably gave to the scooter libby defense fund

  • lester

    mr johnson- that’s not the point. he is OF the beltway. that he supports a beltway machine candidate like hillary is appropriate. the idea of restircting government is like kryptonite to a beaurocrat, as many of them have never had to have a real job. my “ilk” ? republican? you’ve got the zeal of the convert there which is to bad because the nation is pretty fed up with the dems as their 11% approval indicates.

  • Taters

    Well done. Thank you. The last time I called you Ambassador Wilson, you asked me to call you Joe.
    A very Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  • in case anyone forgot Mr Johnson and Mr Wilson live and work in the beltway aka the american green zone, topics like this will refresh your memory more than you ever wanted.

    kyl lieberman amdendment:

    clinton- yay

    • Typical ignorance of your ilk. Joe Wilson lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Get your facts straight before you start your lame attacks.

  • chris

    Amb. Wilson,
    The healthy part of our democracy allows us to disagree, even intensely. And I do not have faith in Hillary Clinton. However, I accept your points and feel well guided by your perspective. This helps me know which way to consider our candidates.

    They mostly all irritate the crap out of me.

    In a good holiday note: i gave my dear girl the Carnivale second season, awwww…
    and she gave me a box of Shaw Bros. Kung Fu films and…(drum roll) Fair Game.

    The beauty was standing in line checking out, and I leaned to the couple behind and said, (flipping intentionally through the front with the most redacted pages)…”should I get a discount if much of the book can’t be read?”

    They asked what that was all about, whats the book about.
    “Its a story about treason at the highest level.” and after a 2 minute backdrop while the lady took our money, I think I used treason or traitor at least 10 times. Not sure if the impression will linger, but it felt good to put it out there.

    Bless you Joe and Valerie Wilson, have happy holidays. And to Larry, Susan, and the NoQuarter community, may we all get our best in the new year. Indictments, imprisonment would be nice. On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, some handcuffs for Richard Cheney…(sing along) on the second day….

  • I think hegel was saying tha about the larger iraq war itself. obviously he was correct

  • Danube of Thought

    Those who want to refresh their memoories about Mrs. Clinton’s corruption should read non-partisan Stuart Taylor’s Trip Down Memory Lane. Ultimate conclusion: when confronted with any embarrassing fact her first instinct is to lie.

    In the meantime, what are we now to make of Chuck Hagel’s assertion earlier this year that the Surge was “the greatest foreign policy disaster in this country since Vietnam?” He now stands as humiliated as those who so shamefully slandered General Petraeus.

  • lester

    unlike bill kristol, obama is not an ASSHOLE. therfore, the fact that obama has simlar levels of knowledge about the world doesn’t make him a neo con.

    He’s against the iraq war, hillary is for it. that’s all the foreign policy I need to know.

    wes clark was not a prominent early opponent of the war. he was for it in the 04 campaign.

    • Shirin

      Lester, thanks for that little bit of reality.

      The thing is, I can accept Wes Clark changing his mind. Everyone makes mistakes. Not everyone acknowledges them and then works to undo the damage.

      Obama may have been opposed from the beginning to the aggression against Iraq, but he has not been altogether consistent in his opposition. Still, I give him credit for it. On the other hand, he has come out with some terribly inappropriately hawkish statements about Iran and Afghanistan, as well as some very Bush-like solutions for “why they hate us”, and he has displayed an appalling level of ignorance and patronizingly head-patting nonsense about the Muslim world. He may or may not be ready for prime time one day in the future, but he definitely is NOT ready now.

      Hillary Clinton has, to the best of my knowledge, not met a war she could not get behind. She certainly gave her whole hearted support to all of Billy’s military adventures. I don’t recall her ever commenting on the humanitarian issues caused by his Iraq policy of regime change by starvation and strangulation of the people. She certainly gave her all-out support for Bush’s aggression against Iraq, and looks like she is poised to claim the final prize – as I have said before, the ear of the bull that was prepped by her husband, and slaughtered by his successor.

      She has consistently exhibited a lack of respect for international law, and contempt for the United Nations. She has stated clearly that she plans to significantly increase the military budget, and the size of the military – why does the United States need a larger military unless she plans to stay in Iraq while invading and occupying still more unwilling countries (Obama has made the same pledge, which is yet another reason not to support him). And she is in the pocket of AIPAC.

      You see, it is quite, quite possible – easy, even – to list the reasons for not supporting Hillary Clinton without ever even hinting at the “b” word (although someone needs to advise her to lose that arrogant, sarcastic, derisive cackle she has been unleashing on Obama lately. It doesn’t help her image one bit.)

      • camac

        It is always amazing to see comments like yours, Shirin. I wonder how we could possibly be reading
        or seeing the same information and reach such dramatically different conclusions.

        I supported Wes Clark in 2003, against all previous
        suspicion of generals in politics, precisely because
        he was a general who was opposed to the invasion of
        Iraq. I read both of his books, found him to be
        an experienced man in international diplomacy as well as in Middle Eastern politics, and stayed with
        him through the primary because I believed he could
        extricate us from that region without leaving the region at risk for civil war and possibly genocide.

        And Hillary Clinton as a hawk in favor of all war?
        Goodness…that is a belief based on the imagination rather than facts. There is a difference between loving to make war and recognizing threats to our national security that
        exist in reality. For this reason, I trust her
        implicitly to act in ways that will extricate us from that beleagured country whose central authority the Bush Administration chose to overthrow…to their and our detriment…a decision that we must lay at their feet, not those
        in Congress who realized he could go to war without their approval if he so chose…or those
        who chose to try to influence the administration
        to readmit the inspectors.

        Nonetheless, I could not bear for our nation to
        lay the path for civil war and genocide in that

        It is with great relief that I find that you will sit the election out, however. I think that is wise of you.

    • Taters

      Actually Gen. Clark was one of the earliest opponents of going into Iraq, from his 2002 HSAC testimony. His opponent? Richard Perle. Senators Kennedy, Wellstone, Levin, Conrad and others of the 23 that voted nay cited that it was Clark’s testimony that convinced them. Ike Skelton and others in the house that voted nay also cited Clark as their reason. Did Barack take on Perle, like Clark did at the HSAC and sway many or any of those that did vote nay in Iraq? Solet’sputthings in perspective here and daelwith the truth atthe same time.
      Here’s an Op/Ed from Sept. 2002

      excerpts from that Clark testimony that was quoted by Senators voting NO…..
      Sept. 26, 2002

      CLARK: Well, if I could answer and talk about why time is on our side in the near term, first because we have the preponderance of force in this region. There’s no question what the outcome of a conflict would be. Saddam Hussein so far as we know does not have nuclear weapons. Even if there was a catastrophic breakdown in the sanctions regime and somehow he got nuclear materials right now, he wouldn’t have nuclear weapons in any zable quantity for, at best, a year, maybe two years.

      So, we have the time to build up the force, work the diplomacy, achieve the leverage before he can come up with any military alternative that’s significant enough ultimately to block us, and so that’s why I say time is on our side in the near term. In the long term, no, and we don’t know what the long term is. Maybe it’s five years. Maybe it’s four years. Maybe it’s eight years. We don’t know.

      I would say it would depend on whether we’ve exhausted all other possibilities and it’s difficult. I don’t want to draw a line and say, you know, this kind of inspection, if it’s 100 inspectors that’s enough. I think we’ve got to have done everything we can do given the time that’s available to us before we ask the men and women in uniform, whom you know so well (inaudible).

      The late Sen. Paul Wellstone–Oct. 3, 2002
      “As General Wes Clark, former Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe has recently noted, a premature go-it-alone invasion of Iraq “would super-charge recruiting for Al Qaida.”

      Sen. Kennedy, on Larry King who also cited Clark for voting nay…

      KENNEDY: Well, I’m on the Armed Services Committee and I was inclined to support the administration when we started the hearings in the Armed Services Committee. And, it was enormously interesting to me that those that had been — that were in the armed forces that had served in combat were universally opposed to going.

      I mean we had Wes Clark testify in opposition to going to war at that time. You had General Zinni. You had General (INAUDIBLE). You had General Nash. You had the series of different military officials, a number of whom had been involved in the Gulf I War, others involved in Kosovo and had distinguished records in Vietnam, battle-hardened combat military figures. And, virtually all of them said no, this is not going to work and they virtually identified…

      KING: And that’s what moved you?

      KENNEDY: And that really was — influenced me to the greatest degree. And the second point that influenced me was in the time that we were having the briefings and these were classified. They’ve been declassified now. Secretary Rumsfeld came up and said “There are weapons of mass destruction north, south, east and west of Baghdad.” This was his testimony in the Armed Services Committee.

      There were probably eight Senators on the Friday before the Thursday we voted on it. It got up to 23. I think if that had gone on another — we had waited another ten days, I think you may have had a different story.
      It’s only fair to set the record straight. Clark, Zinni and others were pelted by an onslaught of slings and arrows by the neocons and the rightwing smear machine. Words like anti Semite, coward and treasonous were used against Clark and Zinni by the neocons for standing up against the WH. Clark,who had taken four AK slugs in Vietnam and Zinni, who had much of his back blown out from an AK burst. The same way Gen. Shinseki was called names and ridiculed by the neocons – for telling the truth – he with a permanent limp and who left some of his foot in Vietnam but fought to stay in the Army. So to say Clark or Zinni was for invading Iraq – is a slap in the face of the truth and a disservice to their service and courage. Clark, Zinni and the others that stood up deserve better. Much better.

      • readerOfTeaLeaves

        Taters, thanks for this. The Bu$hCheney Agenda for Iraq tipped off their bogus claims when they tossed out Shinseki. That was ominous. Events have made Clarke. Shinseki, Zinni, et al more credible. That must rankle wtih Bu$hCo.

        Your remarks underscore the significance of Amb. Wilson’s observation: That arrogant assertion of ideology and preconceived ideas over practical experience has precisely led to the quagmire we find ourselves in today in Iraq and the Middle East.

        Experience is the best way to hone intuition. But trying to ‘channel Putin’, or any other ‘world leader’ is the height of stupidity.

        One only needs to read ‘lester’s’ comments (below) to see more of what Hillary is really up against. O.M.G.

  • Mary

    I’ve certainly been a supporter of Clinton in the past, but she has been such a horrible disappointment in every way and on every front since 9/11 that I can’t imagine ever voting for her and after long last, I agree with Shirin that it’s finally come time to quit voting for bad democrats as the lesser evil alternative to bad republican and start voting for people you can believe in.

    Powell’s presentation to the UN had the compelling impact of a collapsed balloon. Statement after statement was unbelievable or invalid or with no contextual import. Why Clinton chose to believe Rice and Cheney on aluminum tubes over the outspoken and solidly credentialed nuclear experts in this country who were publically discrediting those statements, is hard to fathom.

    But whether it has been voting to obliquely bless dropping cluster bombs on civilian populated areas during the Lebanon war, or voting against civil liberties and in support of the Patriot Act, or voting for the Iran resolutions, Clinton has been beyond disappointing. And in the efforts mounted at times by Feingold, Dodd, Leahy and others, her presence has been noted by its absence, whereas in situations like the CT Lieberman/Lamont race, she and Bill carefully played for the power seat with no concern for trying to do what is right for the nation – by that time, a crippled nation bleeding in the street.

    She has not led the charge on even one important civil liberties or war related issue -not one. She wasn’t there racing to Murtha’s side when he first dug in. She didn’t support Feingold’s efforts, she stayed away from the limelight on controversy and showed that she is incapable of true leadership for the good of the country if it comes at any political cost or corporate cost.

    She triangulated away on the MCA, tossing in a tsk tsk speech but never really supporting an effort to block the legislation and never coming out since as a leader on that issue. She and Obama both sit back and wait for Congressmen like Dodd, or overwhelming public sentiment, to lead their votes, but without ever engaging in strategy to truly fight. There was no way that the MCA would have come to the floor and passed with real leadership in the Democratic party.

    Bill’s administration, while nowhere near the Bush administration in its transgressions, is constantly being tied as an originating source for some of the worst of the Bush polcies and criminal behavior (where Bush took Clinton admin. endpoints and made them his springboard start points). Again, whether it is the datamining warrantless wiretap information now being revealed in connection with So. American drug operations, or the rendition to torture of the “Albanian returnees” that was engineered in the Clinton administration and which was used for propaganda purposes by Zawahiri in connection with the African embassy bombings, any true scrutiny and investigation and accountablity for the Bush crimes is going to involve embarassing ties to the Clinton years. Why would we needs or want a President who has a vested interested in keeping those bodies, quite literally, buried?

    Bush,Clinton Clinton, Bush Bush – – – please God in heaven, don’t let that string end with another Clinton. And again, I say that as someone who, before I saw the real Hillary after 9/11, would have voted for her for president in a heartbeat in 2000.

    But watching her since, with her lack of compassion, lack of insight, lack of leadership, lack of strength and lack of courage has left me jaded and dejected. She’s on the armed services committee and hasn’t taken the ball on medical treatment for our soldiers; Walter Reed conditions were something she had to read about instead of being the one standing up and telling us about; missing billions in Iraqi funds, US aid, weapons, etc. have all been things where her leadership is absent; the Iraqi refugee situatin, ethnic cleansing, tens of thousands in US detention camps, GITMO, etc. – again, she makes sure she puts a low profile speech or question in the record here and there, but hasn’t led on one item.

    When we look to the leaders in Congress, we’ve seen Murtha, Feingold, Waxman, Nadler, Leahy, Wyden – – but never has Clinton been there, been doing that.
    Everytime I’ve been shocked at what was happening and looked her way, I’ve only found a lack of leadership and moral cowardice. And I wanted very desparately to find something else.

    I wanted to believe.

    • TeakWoodKite

      please God in heaven, don’t let that string end , I take that personally. LOL

      To believe, you must trust. To trust you must verify. To verify you must know the truth. To know the truth you must question authority. To question authority you must be willing to sacrifice. To sacrifice you must ? Dam String.

      “Trust no one.” is the refrain of the oppressed.

    • Shirin

      Well said, Mary – thanks.

    • Sadly, my only recollection of Clinton addressing constitutional matters is this: She spent half of 2005 running around the country pushing for a flag burning amendment. Her Republican friends must have been proud.

      The sour taste still lingers…

    • Cee

      Again, whether it is the datamining warrantless wiretap information now being revealed in connection with So. American drug operations,

      or the rendition to torture of the “Albanian returnees” that was engineered in the Clinton administration and which was used for propaganda purposes


      I so agree with you.

      Give us more information on the above. Thanks!

    • Bill Keyes

      Excellent post Mary you said many things I hope the blinded by the rock star light of Hillary folks pay attention.

      You said..

      “I agree with Shirin that it’s finally come time to quit voting for bad democrats as the lesser evil alternative to bad republican and start voting for people you can believe in.”

      Absolutely the point I was trying to make in my post above thanks for saying simply (my wife says I am too verbose in my posts)

      I don’t think I have ever seen this in print but I just wonder whether this whole Hillary thing is just an excuse for Big Bill to get back in the game?

  • Cee

    People need to read this

    So, the stage seems set for another Bush-Clinton revolving door where the Bushes get a free pass as they leave in exchange for the Clintons hoping against hope that the powerful family will show them a little respect and maybe a touch of mercy.

    Or, as the Clinton friend suggested to me last week, maybe their real hope is that the Bushes won’t reveal what they’ve learned from the Secret Service records detailing where the Clintons have gone and with whom.

    • TeakWoodKite

      That was a real reminder about the house of cards we live in. Good interior line to ponder.

      I saw a guy leaving Costco; with two hams on top of and a new 40″ plasma TV. This is how we are going to choose our elected leaders?

  • Eclaire

    Reader of Tea Leave, Shirin, and Bill Keyes (and Ambassador Wilson, of course): thought-provoking mini-essays by you all have given me something to chew on (intellectually speaking) for the rest of the day. Thanks. You are all reasons why I check out No Quarter every day.

  • op99

    I find it ironic that Senator Clinton’s vaunted foreign policy “experience” was gained via her ceremonial role in the administration of a president who, when elected, had even fewer foreign policy credentials than Sen. Obama does now – an administration in which Amb. Wilson served and now tacitly endorses.

    Sen. Clinton’s record is admirable in many respects, but on the defining issue of Iraq, there is not much difference between her past hawkish rhetoric, her voting record, and her stated future intentions and that of the Bush administration. It doesn’t appear to me that her “experience” has informed her judgment, which has been sorely lacking regarding Iraq.

  • wethornet

    Few points.

    Joe, for me, you (and Val) embody one of my favorite quotes. Thomas Paine: “It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from his government.”

    Fyi. There is some movie that has Al Pacino playing the instructor at the CIA Farm teaching trainees. He does this great riff on what it means to be a NOC. Friendly suggestion: You might wanna get a copy of that, and have the audio and the text of Pacino’s speech. My thought is Pacino’s speech is a great tool that y’all can use to educate the Amer. public about what all is involved in being a NOC. (It also would be great to post it here on NQ; give us some great ammunition when dealing with wingnuts.)

    I will also say that Val’s situation encapsulates for me everything that is wrong with both political parties. The Rethugs think that consensual sex is impeachable. And the Dims won’t impeach when a CIA agent is outed. (In wartime no less.) And the Rethugs would be — rightly imho — ripshit furious and would impeach had this happened under a Democratic president.

    Or, to borrow from Yeats’ “Things Fall Apart.” “The center cannot hold….The worst are full of passionate intensity. The best lack all conviction.”

    I hope you and yours are enjoying your new digs in the great Amer. Southwest.

    Please say hi to missus for me. One day I want to meet y’all, look ya in the eye, say thanks and salute you.


    Your Airborne Ranger in the “Show-Me” state of Mizzourah.

    • TeakWoodKite

      Many Thanks to you and all the band of brothers and sisters who have served and give up their constitutional rights in order to defend the same.

      I recall the speech as well but can’t recall the movie. Do you?

      One day I want to meet y’all, look ya in the eye, say thanks. Same here.

    • Bill Keyes

      Where in Muzzarah?? My wife and I are now living in sunny az but lived for 35 years in St Louie.

  • It’s great to see Joe Wilson come out and speak for Hillary Clinton forcefully.

    I am puzzled by the pathetic press recently. When Hillary was riding high, everyone was talking about how she had won over her critics and how she had become inevitable. And then there were a few bumps, and everyone started to recycle the old doubts about her, like how she is polarizing, and it seems bashful just to praise here a bit.

    For the last 7 years, Hillary has proven in the Senate that she can deliver for the Democratic Party, she can win over her nemesis and she overcome the adversaries. She can too this time.

    • Shirin

      So, ummmmmm – winning is all that matters? Her positions on things, her record, her intentions are irrelevant?

      Or do you agree with her that keeping a (smaller) contingent of combat forces in Iraq indefinitely is the right thing to do? And that nuking Iran is a perfectly good option if they cannot be brought to heel? And that the United States needs an even larger military, and an even larger military budget than it has now? And that being an AIPAC minion, and an all-out supporter of whatever Israel decides to do is in the best interest of the United States? And how is that a significant improvement over Bush’s foreign policy?

      And by the way, for the record, I have had a lot of respect for Joe Wilson since long before most Americans had even heard of him. That is independent of my opinion regarding his support for Hillary Clinton.

      • Cee

        I have had a lot of respect for Joe Wilson since long before most Americans had even heard of him

        Same here. He put his life on the line. Most people wouldn’t dream of doing it.

        • Fred C. Dobbs

          Absolutely. That bit with the rope, essentially daring Saddam Hussein to hang him took more testicular fortitude than one can imagine…or shrewdness honed from experience.

          AMB Wilson puts every cattle buyer I knew growing up to shame. I’d hate to play poker with him for anything more than lunch money…I fear that he might try to raise on a pair of 3’s…but it would be a lot of fun to watch!

          And really: “…I will bring my own f**king rope!” ranks up there with, “Give me Liberty, etc,” and, “Nuts!” among Great American Quotations.

          He can drink out of my canteen anytime.

      • rjj

        So, ummmmmm – winning is all that matters?

        No. Getting rid of the fucking crazies is. After that damage control.

        • Shirin

          Interesting. That’s kind of what a lot of people said about Saddam. Get rid of the effing crazy guy, and then worry about the consequences.

          • TeakWoodKite

            And the loss of life is damage control? Sad insn’t?

  • Although it’s sad to write these words, your post called to mind a fairly recent conversation with a Really Smart Young Guy.

    It was a casual, holiday setting. Among the attendees, several extremely intellectual, extremely bright 20-somethings; the sort who have always excelled at anything they tried (particularly academics, including advanced degrees). Included in the group a 20-something currently teaching undergrads, another 20-something who is a minor exec at a very large, very well known software company’s gaming division. And several of their equally illustrious, equally award-laden, equally sought-after pals.

    Do any of them give two hoots that older attendees have interesting ‘life stories’ that include travel to remote lands, political activism, a range of business experiences that most would find interesting?

    Not so much.

    These are the New Annointed.
    As far as they’re concerned, they Know Everything They Need to Know. They are the Center of the Universe. Everyone wants to know them, hire them, ask their advice, sleep with them, dine with them… you get the idea. They are The Best and Brightest, circa 2007.

    Joe, I think your words are very, very wise. And important.
    But there’s a large demographic in the U.S. that doesn’t seem to regard ‘experience’ with much respect — or at least, not the respect that I think it deserves!

    Maybe I know too much about educational research and assorted, eccentric topics. Given that background, I fully recognize that background experience is a fundamental indictator of future performance.

    But the people to whom I allude, the Young Annointed, they care about what company you work for, where your illustrious degrees are from, what level of X game you rank, and other fairly eccentric, in-group identifiers.

    They care very much about the environment.
    Beyond that, as far as they seem to think, all politics is a bullshit-ridden pack of lies, belligerence, human rights violations, fraudulent budgets — in short, something that no self-respecting, ‘smart’ person would ever be involved in. They recognize that Bush, Cheney, and that cabal are criminals. But they also recognize that the law doesn’t seem to be laying a hand on the criminals. So why support or fund government, when (in their minds) it’s basically a front for oil multinationals, human rights violators, and a confusing cacaphony of Democrats in Congress seem ineffectual and inept in hauling the criminals off to jail?

    Seen in that light, one may understand that it’s hard to persuade them that politics is ‘relevant’, that they can make ‘a difference’, or that being involved might require more of them than hitting a PayPal link.

    Their lack of participation will leave them with no experience. Which will mean that they don’t value experience — at least, not the sort that requires one to forgo a hot shower, the latest movies, and the latest upgrades. The fact that Obama has not been to Europe will probably shock them, but as near as I can tell they don’t actually expect government to DO anything.

    They’re not convinced that it can.
    The last time we had competent leadership at the federal level, these Really Smart Young People were in their teens, and they thought government was a bad joke about stains on blue dresses.
    All through their college years, and early working lives, the term ‘government’ has looked like Katrina, Abu Gharib, illegal wars… need I continue?

    They despise government.
    They seem to respect Al Gore. But part of their respect seems to stem from the fact that he got screwed by the nutcases now running the US government, AND ALSO that he’s ‘Gone Global’.

    They might respect Al Gore’s experience. They also respect the experience of the following: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Sergey Brin, Larry Ellison, and the division managers at Pixar. But I can’t think of anyone in politics, other than Al Gore, whose ‘experience’ they seem to hold in any regard.

    I hope that I’m mistaken, and that I underestimate these fine young people. They have good hearts; they’d do the right thing if they could be persuaded it was actually linked to political activity.

    But Congressional strategies to undercut BushCheney are too nuanced, amorphous, and uncertain to be persuasive to them. Until they see Bush in chains, in an orange jumpsuit, they won’t believe there’s really much hope of justice. So they turn their attentions to the areas they can impact: business endeavors, their students, their work situations.

    I happen to agree that experience is extremely important.
    But it’s been clear to me in several recent settings that there are swaths of America that have lost faith that government can be fixed, can make a difference, can be worth their time and interest.
    That’s dangerous for all of us.

    • TeakWoodKite

      The ranks of K-12 are not much better. Civics is a paragraph or two in a textbook printed by neo-educational companies and taught by disillusioned left leaning educators. It is a weird mix. If it was not for Senator Byrd they would not be even teach the students about the U.S. Constitution. I have heard 10th, 11th, and 12th graders not know why we celebrate the 4th of July…all they know is they get to watch fireworks.

      • Shirin

        I have heard 10th, 11th, and 12th graders not know why we celebrate the 4th of July

        Oh, come on! That simply cannot be! That is in the blood of Americans, is it not? Who even needs to learn that in school?!

        • TeakWoodKite

          What would you have them learn? Isreal BAD? United States BAD.? What is an American?

          I can’t speak to what is in anyones blood but my own. They need to learn why oppressed people will struggle for the right to be free. ANY PEOPLE. And it really sucks that what ever is in an Americans blood, it is being spilled for Oil. Screw the dam fools who kill each other in the name of any religion.

    • Just Wondering

      Thanks for this excellent post.

      I have seen this is 30- and 40-something friends as well. Participation in government is optional to them. A draft of some sort would pique their interest in politics and government, but, of course, that will never happen.

  • Bill Keyes

    I think the real issue of this campaign should be a discussion of whether this country should continue on the course it has been for the last 7 years or go back to where it was before Nov 2000 or something in between.

    I would assume that most of you reading this do not under any circumstances believe in the words of Der Leader “We should stay the course”.

    So the issue then is how far back do we turn the clock?

    I personally do not see anything the Bush administration has done as even remotely good for the country that should be retained.

    In the ebb and flow of politics neither side ever gets everything they want so when there is a change in power at the top most of the time there is not a radical change in direction and those ascending to power do not spend their first 100 days undoing what those leaving power have done.

    This however is not the case today and the situation that exists today has never existed before in the history of this country.

    No one has ever so radically changed and altered the way this country has operates like the current criminals occupying the WH.

    So the issue here then is WE THE PEOPLE need to get back control of our country.

    We need to get things back to where they were before this country was before these criminals took over.

    So getting back to my premise what do you people want?

    More of the Same?

    Some of the Same?

    or back to the way things were before Nov 2000?

    After you have decided which of these three choices you want, then and only then can we the people have a rational discussion on what we the people want.

    Recently in a private email to Shirin whom I admire and respect, I said we should get behind a candidate who can win. This is her reply to me which says it all..

    “But I do not agree with you about getting behind the candidate who can win. I think that is a big part of what is wrong with the system in this country.
    People focus too much on supporting and voting for the one who can win for their party and ignore the really important things. I will not get behind a
    candidate just because I think they can win. I will support the candidate whose principles are closest to mine, and who does not cross any of my red lines.”

    So instead of blindly following the so called leading candidates especially this far ahead of the election, we should be comparing and challenging their positions on the issues that we think are important.

    I ask you then are these issues important to us?


    Do we want a president who plans to keep us in Iraq forever and force democracy on the Iraqi’s or do we want one who will get us out of iraq as soon as possible and let the Iraqi’s decide on their own form of government?


    Do we want a President who continues the phony ‘WAR ON TERROR” and the resulting loss of civil liberties
    in this country or do we want one who ends this phoney “War on Terror’ and works to restore all the civil liberties we have lost in the past seven years?


    Do we want a President who continues to believe there is a terrorist under ever bush and continues the unwarranted spying on Americans or do we want one who respects one of our constitutional rights, the right of privacy?


    Do we want a President who defines torture to fit the
    situation or one who respects not only the law on the land but the laws of God and the Geneva convention?


    Do we want a President who continues to get this country further in debt at the expense of our children and grandchildren or do we want one who says enough is enough and demands that Congress balances the budget?


    Do we want a President who will continue to flaunt the law of the land or do we want one who RESPECTS the law of the land abides by it and works within its structure for the common good of all people?


    Do we want a president who continues to favor helping out his rich friends or do we want one who believes that the wealth of this nation should be shared by ALL the people not just the privileged.


    Do we want a president who continues to lead us on a course which will destroy this planet or do we want one who respects this earth we have been allowed to occupy and realizes that is more important than the all mighty dollar of exploitation of all our natural resources.


    Do we want a President that believes we should control the destiny of the would and interfere in the affairs of other sovereign nations as it suits our so called “national interests” or do we want a President who uses the might and power of this country to promote peace and goodwill among all nations?

    I could go on but I won’t… get my point.

    But instead of us asking the candidates what they are going to do about these issues we should be DEMANDING AND TELLING them what they need to do about these issues and if they don’t give us satisfactory answers we should find and back a candidate who does regardless of race creed color party affiliation, how big their war chest is or anything else.

    • Shirin

      Good thoughts, Bill, but one small thing:

      It isn’t, and never was, democracy that the Bush regime has been trying to force on Iraq. In fact, there is a good chance that most Iraqis would choose some form of democracy if they were given the choice, but that would never be in the best interest of the United States.

      • Fred C. Dobbs

        You are correct. Given a choice between democracy and electricity, representative government and jobs, their choices might not make the ghost of Jefferson smile.

        But I’m not sure Jefferson would have us meddling in their affairs, either.

        • Shirin

          I would like to think that he would not, Fred!

          But the point I was trying to make was that bringing democracy to Iraq was not really what the invasion was all about – on the contrary, the only reason they held elections at all was that they were backed into a corner on the issue by Ayatullah Sistani. And even then they did their best to control and manipulate the results.

          You see, if the Iraqi people were actually able to exercise their will, it would not bode at all well for the United States’ imperial plans for the region.

  • Mr.Murder

    For the record, any plan to win Iraq(there’s none we know of in use at this time) can be considered a plan to lose Afghanistan.

    Pick your poison?

    NATO’s back is broken in Afghanistan, and we’re supposed to think they’ll bail out Iraq?

    Again, history is repeating itself.

    The presence of our troops in the Mid East is the same kind of catalyst that Russia invited in response as a reaction to regional insurgecy.

    Zbigniew saw the Persian/Afghanistani Muslims as moderates, inflamed by Soviet presence.

    Why have we made the same critical flaws at this time?

    It’s not fundamentally different from our continued support of the policy vs. Palestine. Outside solutions are not solutions.

    ZB is critical of the pan-Israeli policy as a combustible flash point in the region, but we are essentially driving the exact same emphasis within the context of the other Persian states.

    Have we forgot about Poland?

    What we’re seeing in any event is the formation of buffer states. Iraq as a buffer between Iran and Israel(continued) while Afghanistan serves likewise for a hot spot between Iran, Pakistan, and the new oil stans alongside Russia’s frontier.

    Ironically ZB was educated in just such a context. Right wingers saw Nazism as the answer to stopping Communism, it turns out both were of the same energy (authoritarian) and worked to similar parallel ends to an extent until energy supplies dried up.

    Poland paid the penultimate price for that, the world thereafter, after the buffer zone was divided between powers. Now multinationalism conquer the same spoils with state sponsorship.

    In later decades their liberation occurred at the hands of a political movement comprised of Labor interests. Strangely enough, nobody has made a call to note that Unions are in essence outlawed within the new Iraq.

    Without a secular plural model or cohesive economic infrastructure the reality that a country splits along traditional ethnic lines in its postwar phase intensifies.

    One would assume he would have already made a clear case for such models to develop as a way to accelerate democratic means. No push for unions and collective bargaining?

    He made an assertion the Soviet Union would evenutally break into various nationalities, it could be compared directly to the ongoing problem of trying to put leaders into these Mid Asian states with any expectation of unity, IMO.

    Nobody has drawn the same conclusion re: Iraq(their business to arrive at such a conclusion, not ours).

    The cost of Afghanistan is far more crucial at this time, since NATO is there. There remains a historical item that could work in our favor there also, if Bush had foregone torture sprees there…

    The fact also is: because we helped Afghanistan in the resistance, our situation in Afghanistan today is much better than it is elsewhere like Iraq. So many Afghanistan people today view us as friends for we helped them in that resistance.

    Last but not least, since the interview is directed for Chinese readers, let me say China was very much involved with us cooperatively and helping Afghanistans in the resistance. Chinese leaders regret that they did that?

    We can draw upon past support for Afghanistan’s sovereignty to develop their own solutions.

    Also it looks as if we’re using Iraq, the way we had Pakistan set up subversives in Afghansitan, only Iran is our target. This appears to be a slap at partner China.

    In his other writings he refers to a “Global Balkans” that more less seems to hint that instability lasts across the swath of south and central Asia, including western China.

    Combined with pressure from Taiwan it could create some intersting political divides in the near future. This is not mentioned in the piece, in fact he thinks any of the Island Republic’s claims will be moot in time.

    He just lays out a case of internal divisions in reference to overlying items acorss other regions in the same continent but never makes a direct conlcusion of such.

    It could be that free enterprise is accelerating to a point he doesn’t see certain actions as needed to implement change any more…

    …that would come back to the way change occurred this last time within Poland.

    Coming full circle would of course be an ironic way of connecting back to his origins. Other venture types do this as well, such as Mr.Soros…

    Zbigniew’s entire model called for acceleration of human rights to accompany any presence. So he’s still calling for a radical departure from where Bush treads, only he uses similar overall machinery to get there with different engagement rules in operation.

    Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight. Don’t put guns in the hands of fools. Limit Barney Bush Fife to one bullet if it comes to that. Let the coalition posse be the sheriff…

    Obama could perhaps do those things, provided he established a nominal track record. Running from the issue doesn’t mean it’s hunting season at cmapign time. You’ve ducked too many items to call hillary a Goose. You ‘present’ vote was a bigger egg, or as much of one.

    Who will end up with egg on face?

  • Cee


    How do you feel about AFRICOM?

  • cruzdelsur

    Mr. Wilson, first of all let me thank you for your service to this country and it’s people, as well as your sacrifice when you confronted this administration with their bogus intelligence.

    Maybe you can ask Ms. Clinton a few question in my behalf: What did she ever do to help Ms. Joyce Horman (wife of Charles Horman who was kidnapped, tortured, murdered, and finally disappeared in Chile during the Pinochet regime?

    Ms Horman resides in NYC, and as such, a constituent of Senator Clinton. Why is it that Ms. Horman has to go to a foreign country to ask for help to foreign people to help her get justice for the brutal murder of her husband?

    Does Senator Clinton believe that by ignoring those killed abroad by our allies will make those American travelling overseas more secure, or as I believe that by taking a tough stance and demanding those responsible to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, will insure that Americans abroad will be safer?

    And, since senator Clinton never moved a finger to aid and protect one of her constituents, why should I trust that she will have what it takes to protect us if she becomes President???

    • Cee

      Tell me more about what Joyce is doing.

      I justed watched Missing again two weeks ago.

  • Mr.Murder

    Don’t count that as naivety on Barack’s part. The Chicago School of Foreign Policy, that mindset of Leo Strauss that found full representation in the career of Sen.Scoop Jackson, that is the voting base Obama played to at critical times in his political development.

    It’s a deliberate position he takes.

    He did not need the Senate Intelligence briefings to go online and find that information on Iraq’s supposed nuclear proliferation was not being presented accurately.

    IAEA reports alongside subcontract material for Ingersoll-Rand and Schlumberger showed no facilities that mined or processed materials were operating at a capacity to meet the demands listed in the Niger forgery.

    There is a way Obama can make a pointed statement for why he could best represent the point at which divergent view meet. It’s less to do with his personal experience as it is to compare his own circumstances to the greater narrative of American experience. This applies both for minorities in North America and also our collective political awareness in the new ‘flat earth’ model that is mainly a buzzword for venture capitalists at this time…

    That’s a topic Hillary seems as much or more so capable of meeting at this time. That said, if Zbigniew Brzezinski sees Obama fit to endorse it adhere my contention that regardless of who is in office, the wonks will have say provided it’s a Democrat in the Oval Office.

    Besides, a newcomer is easier to influence and shape.

    Zbig basically jumped the shark, he backed Bush Sr. in previous times, for a man with credentials and quite a track record for an interventionist stance in terms of hard policy(sanctions) and soft, coercive forms of counterinsurgency, he’s had Obama make statements contrary to that history.

    That’s if you count arming our enemies’ enemies and providing field assistance for them to be ‘soft’ forms of action.

    War’s the new peace.

    The difference being that Zbigniew sees a need for talks with these parties we currently disagree with.

    That one item in and of itself could probably keep us ahead of the conflict models we’ve since seen develop.

    Engagement before intervention. That’s where you put political capital and get the best investment return.

    Again, it appears Hillary is better fit to do that through traditional channels at this time. Hillary’s practiced the Cold Shoulder to replace the Cold War but those remarks seem to be placed in the narrow context of AIPAC policy…

    Obama sees the demand to talk with these parties, that’s an important starting point.

    One doesn’t want to use traditional methods, the other doesn’t want those methods applied consistently.

    Determine the extent to which either would change their position. It’s my opinion both would, they are simply making positions that stand apart in terms they can gain some kind of traction or support from varied political subgroups.

    Both will eventually meet.

    It would appear siding the traditional route, and bristling at the polemic or static models, is what would best work as a starting point. It creates opportunities to approach things on understood development frames, and allows potential adversaries a chance to show they can initiate cooler language and policy.

    Which is what a good bit of the Cold War’s final years were. Their side trying to move forward to a new era and ours trying to cast it as a traditional story to be reshaped to the benefit of one party’s benefit. A different party will be in power this time, there’s a different kind of wall to bring down as well…

    As for the previous dealings, Zbigniew’s time can compare with today, and traces its developing fault lines to the initial shocks it created. The policies he implemented overran less able politicians.

    Pakistan, the ISI, Afghanistan, the Mujahedeen, and in particular Iran’s fall.

    Iran’s fall, which the Shah was supposed to bow out to a soft coup led by the military structure, was overrun by radicals of Khomeini.

    Pakistan is poised to play out the same way, only nukes are involved.

    More items may shape that outcome as well, third parties, groups at the time who acted independently of our own government, were at play. Multinational interests played the greater role.

    Which candidate is going to work within that framework or shape an outcome that the big money will agree to, without a clusterflop like what Bush hath wrought or the burnback of Brzezinski bull fighting?

    They’ll run beasts through the street, sometimes people get trampled… are we spectators or participants?

    Both, to varied degrees…

    • TeakwoodKite

      Both will eventually meet.
      It might end up to be like ” Waiting for Godot”. Lets hope not.

    • Sean

      Just a point of order about Iran. The so-called radical clerics were OUR choice. The People’s Fedayen and, indeed, Iran’s first prime minister, Bani-Sadr were perceived by the US interests as far too left wing. The Ayatollahs were considered a better bet and we did everything we could to legitimize their control of Iran.

  • Joe, you have credibility. Yet Hilary’s policy on Iraq is darn close to endless war. Her commitments to ending this war are weak. If she was exposed to distorted intelligence, then she also fell for it and was not suspicious. None of this bodes well for a leader. Travel and leading a small lending program does equal wisdom.

    • Shirin

      Quite right, Grace.

      PS I think you meant does NOT equal wisdom. :o}

    • mkolb

      Shirin, given the recent information that before Colin Powell’s UN speech, Sen. Clinton met with Powell, Koffi Annan, and others of the same global political experience and were assured by Powell that everything was in order and on the up and up, it’s very hard to make a case against her.

      I really think you should read her speeches and do some research on her accomplishments. Not only hers, but also the candidate you favor and the others as well. There is so much “noise” that it is getting increasingly difficult to find out exactly who has done what to make them suited for this office at such an interesting time.

      I was struck by learning that Sen. Obama’s voting record is almost exactly the same as Sen. Clinton’s for the time he has been in office, so I’m taking the advice of someone upthread and making up a chart from THOMAS and other sources for a variety of candidates.

      • Shirin

        mkolb, I don’t have to read Hillary Clinton’s speeches. I have followed her positions on Iraq from the time of Bill Clinton’s presidency. She has been a hawk on Iraq all along. Bill Clinton’s policy on Iraq was regime change, and she whole heartedly agreed.

        She has been from the beginning an enthusiastic supporter of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and opposed withdrawal until recently when it became clear that her position was a political liability, at which point she opportunistically changed it (being booed for her statements on Iraq might have helped with that). Even now she has made it clear that she intends a long-term military and politically controlling presence there.

        Her general record on concern for human rights, respect for international law and respect for the UN is not good.

        She has stated that she plans to increase the military budget even over what it has been under Bush, and she has stated explicitly that she plans to significantly enlarge the military (and so has Obama). There is only one reason the United States could need a larger military than it has now, and it is not to withdraw from Iraq and stop invading and occupying other countries.

        As for Obama, yes, they are very similar on Iraq, the military, and other issues that matter enormously to me. And their positions are appallingly similar to those of Bush (including Obama’s brilliant conclusion that “they hate us” merely because they are hearing about “us” from our enemies, and therefore what we mostly need is better P.R.). That is why I will not vote for either one of them no matter what. I am not going to vote for someone whose positions are anathema to me just because they are the Democratic candidate.

  • Retired

    Whatever one may think of Senator Clinton as a candidate, one thing is for sure: Ambassador Wilson hasn’t lost any of his finely-honed communications skills. It’s a pleasant change to read someone’s assessment of Senator Clinton based on their personal observation. It would really be helpful if someone with some time and research skills would do an unbiased assessment of her voting record in the Senate based on an objective source, like the Thomas website, for instance.

  • Teresa

    Joe, you are a hero of mine. If you like Clinton that is just another point in her favor!

  • Shirin

    we have trust in her to end the war in Iraq in the most responsible way, consistent with our national security interests.

    Based on her own declarations about her intentions, I do not trust her to end the criminal enterprise in Iraq (war just sounds too legitimate for what this is), and that is why I will not vote for her under any circumstances. And neither will anyone else who really, truly, and sincerely wants the U.S. out of Iraq.

    Hillary Clinton has been consistently one of the most ardent supporters of Bush’s aggression against Iraq. She only moderated her all-out support after it became clear that it was a political liability.

    • Teresa

      Complete nonsense. Please go look at here speech on the senate floor compared to Edward’s speech. His was hawkish hers was not. She has not been a supporter of Bush’s foreign policy at all. That is the sort of sad nonsense I have come to expect from the kool-aid drinkers on dkos.
      Try some actual facts next time rather than Naderish spin when talking about one of our candidates. The Clinton hater hyperbole is getting very depressing. It is depressing to see how the left has become just as nutty as the right in their anti-Hillary rantings.

      • Shirin

        Excuse me, Teresa, but her statements and her votes are available to anyone to see, and they are very consistently in favour of the invasion and of continuing the occupation, that is until quite recently. She is the only Congressperson who unconditionally bought into the whole WMD/nuclear program/bin Laden connection story hook, line, and sinker. She expressed no skepticism for any piece of it. Even Lieberman did not buy it as thoroughly as she did. She has opposed withdrawal consistently until very recently, and even now she has no intention of really withdrawing.

        She made numerous statements that there was no doubt that Saddam had WMD’s, found Powell’s lame collection of lies in front of the Security Council “compelling”, etc., etc., etc..

        Hillary Clinton may be your candidate, and you are welcome to her, but she is not mine, nor is Obama, nor is Edwards, although he is marginally better than either of them.

        PS I never voted for or supported Nader.

        • She is the only Congressperson who unconditionally bought into the whole WMD/nuclear program/bin Laden

          Point of order: HRC has never been a congressperson..She is a Senator From New York.

          • Shirin

            The Senate is one of the houses of the Congress, therefore, being a Senator, she is a member of the Congress, therefore, being a member of the Congress, she is a Congressperson.

            • you’d think so..
              google ‘congressperson’ and your choice on the 2nd link is to write your senator or congressperson..

              Have a happy holiday Shirin..

              • Shirin

                Sorry, Hoops, but a single lone link on a Google page is not convincing, particularly when so many other of the links, and the contents of the pages contradict it.

                Check out, as just one example, the sixth link, which leads to, among others, the following:

                Residents of California are represented in Congress by 2 Senators and 53 Representatives.

                Can we agree that the dictionary might be a more reliable source than links on a Google page?

                Congress: “the national legislative body of the U.S., consisting of the Senate, or upper house, and the House of Representatives, or lower house, as a continuous institution.

                Congressperson: “A congressman or congresswoman.”

                A happy holiday to you and your family.

                • iTOD

                  Hoosier Hoops GOT PWNED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


        • drkate

          umm, troll. Obama voted the same way as Clinton and has never made one statement against the war except his speech.

          obama is in over his head, and obviously so are you. You’d better stop drinking the koolaid before you destroy your country.

      • judec

        Considering what the Clinton years were like, it is perfectly reasonable for some not to want them back in the White House.

        Some of this was not their fault. Some certainly was.

        Let’s not start calling people Clinton-haters just because we don’t support her bid for the presidency.

        • Shirin

          Bill Clinton presided over eight years of murderous sanctions, and regular bombings in Iraq. The blood of a million or so Iraqi children is on his hands. His policy toward Iraq was regime change, and he was willing to starve and strangle the Iraqi people in his quest for that goal.

          In a very real way, Bill Clinton prepared Iraq for George Bush to deliver the coupe de grace in very much the same way those guys on the horses with those awful spikes – what are they called? – prepare the bull for the matador. And now Hillary Clinton is preparing to cut the ear off the dead bull.

          • reggie

            “Elections–we are told—are supposed to be the true expression of democratic government. But they aren’t. They’re a sham and most people know it. The balloting creates the illusion of choice where there is none. It’s become a meaningless ritual that has nothing to do with representative government.

            Everything has changed. America has lost its way. Casting a ballot for one silver-spoon CFR plutocrat over another accomplishes nothing. That’s not democracy. It’s a fraud.”

            The US flag has become the butcher’s apron

            • reggie

              The tormentors with the spikes are called picadors and that, Shirin, is a very apt description of the Clintons.

          • drkate

            wow, you must have been born yesterday. Who started the war? Bush I, you idiot.

            hey troll, these talking points are kind of old and no one cares about them. they are just laughable.

            grow up and don’t come back until you do, kiddo.

  • chip

    Are you fucking serious?

    • TeakWoodKite

      Yes. Are you?

    • chris

      so many letters in the english language, and you chose these. sad.

      • TeakWoodKite

        Chris: You mean chip?

        Great! Before it was “The Thrill Is Gone” sung by Sen.McConnell and his spouse ala BB and and now I am going have “The Twelve Days of Christmas” running the show upstairs…

    • Patrick Henry

      CHIP…sorry about your lack of education..thats why you should really be support Hillary..

      Its Obvious you even misspelled your name which should Be CHIMP..bdcause that puts you a little closer to the NEANDERTHAL Side of you…which you obviously Genetically followed..

      Susan…Thanks for the Post and more great Us a Good subject matter we can debate..

      In regards to Your Storyline..Contrast OBAMA…and Hillary..He on FOREIGN POLICY/ISSUES..and Appears not to be even going through the Motions enough to learn how to LAND an Airplane..Just wants to Learn how to FLY..and be his OWN Crew..

      Bottom Line…She CARES..RECORD PROVES IT.,.

      ImPression…HE Doesn’t Care..Like Bush didn’t care about Katrina vicims..RECORD PROVES IT..



      I don’t want My Preidental Choice to be a EXTREMIST RIGHT WINGER Who AppearS to be too old…ALMOST fOSSILIZED..and Bitter and Radical.. to be a Stable PRESIDENT..(POTUS)~unless you really wan armageddon in your lifetime..

      I Don’t want My other coice to be a Potentially EXTREMIST Left winger..whos expierence is really Racial based with Political Agendas..

      Obama is 44..Hillary is 60..McCain is 70’ish..

      Ask Obama who his childhood heros were..who his Influence were during his teens..and subsequent development..ask Him if he ever associated with Any Militant People..Ask him what thier common atttitude was toward white People and teh United States Government..

      The Man is running for Preident of the United States..and wants to control Our Government..and will make Appointments to the bureauracy that Runs our Government..

      What to we really know about HIM..? He can Inspire People by using basically other Peoples Material..knows the Punch Lines..the Cheer fairly smart..can Inspire you People by Making Promises..and because of His Young..But INEXPERIENCED ..Persona..

      He is PACKAGED..He Uses other Peoples Material..and He is waging FALSE INFORMATION ATTACKS on Hillary..and the Intelligenc of the American People..


  • Brilliantly stated, from a man who has walked the walk, and suffered deeply for his courageous stands.

    This resonates:

    She was a full participant in all of our activities and a key adviser–and for good reason. Hillary had previously traveled to Africa, leading a prominent U.S. delegation to several countries. On her return she was instrumental in persuading the president that he should invest that most precious of presidential assets–time–in his own trip.

    And she was directly active in promoting and setting up microeconomic programs to empower women in remote rural vililages, not just in Africa, but also in Asia and elsewhere.

    This stings:

    As an obscure but safe provincial political figure, he never was granted access to the distorted intelligence that was used to drive the Congress and the media. When I looked to the left or to the right for support, I never saw the state senator. In fact, I never heard of Barack Obama until he announced his intention to run for the Senate in the 2006 election.

    Not only did he announce his opposition from an easier venue, his district in a liberal Chicago area, but he could have safely written op-eds in support of Joe and Valerie Wilson for the two major Chicago newspapers — or given speeches to rally people to their side — or issued a press release. But Joe never heard a word from him. That does sting.