March 02, 2006

It's that simple!

Howard Dean to the Jewish Council for Public Affairs:

The Democrats have a better idea. First we will conclude the negotiations with the Chinese and the North Koreans to disarm North Korea. Secondly, under no circumstances will a Democratic Administration ever allow Iran to become a nuclear power. Three, we will kill or capture Osama bin Laden and four, the authority and the control of the ports of the United States must be retained by American companies.

Negotiations with the Chinese? No problem! Disarm North Korea? Sure! And What exactly will a Democratic administration do to prevent Iran from getting nukes? Bomb them? Send in troops? Use nukes ourselves?

Capture Osama bin Laden?? You mean just like the last Democratic administration did when offered him on a silver platter? Like that?? Wow!!

And forget that Dubai deal -- NO foreign company will run American ports! That ain't racial profiling! That's only what occurs when foreigners are unfairly targeted at airports!!

(via Taranto.)

Posted by Rhodey at March 2, 2006 06:49 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

And by the way -- a great many of our ports are already controlled by foreigners.

That would include the ones that the husband of your presumptive nominee allowed to be leased to Red China's People's Army

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at March 2, 2006 07:22 PM

Wow, how many times does the myth that Clinton was handed OBL on a platter and he forego it have to be knocked down? Didn't happen. Sounds good to Clinton haters, but the best chance we ever had to get OBL was when he fled through Tora Bora. But he decided to outsource that job to the many warlords, who simply took that payoff before he took the bigger one to let OBL keep going into Pakistan.

By the way, at least one time that Clinton DID try and get OBL was met with steep outrage from Tom DeLay, who took to the House floor to express outrage that Clinton would dare, DARE to fire missiles into a sovereign nation like Afghanistan.

Posted by: Dickie Dunn at March 2, 2006 08:17 PM

Dickie: I personally have heard the tape of Clinton himself saying exactly what the supposed "myth" states -- that the Sudan offered OBL up. Granted, it was via the Hannity show over a year ago, but the tape was of Clinton speaking to some group in NY.

Where is your proof of the "myth"?

Just did some Googling:

Here is a link which states it isn't a myth.

Even Media Matters, which claims Hannity "lied" about what Clinton said in the tape provides this excerpt of Clinton's statement:

CLINTON: So we tried to be quite aggressive with them [Al Qaeda]. We got -- well, Mr. bin Laden used to live in Sudan. He was expelled from Saudi Arabia in 1991, then he went to Sudan. And we'd been hearing that the Sudanese wanted America to start dealing with them again. They released him. At the time, 1996, he had committed no crime against America, so I did not bring him here because we had no basis on which to hold him, though we knew he wanted to commit crimes against America.

"So I did not bring him here"? That sure sounds like Clinton could have had him if he really wanted him. What it shows is a difference in overall philosophy -- dealing w/terrorists as a "crime" problem vs. terrorists as unlawful combatants. If Clinton held the latter view, he'd have nabbed him.

More.
More.

Still, in the overheated rhetoric of terror politics, I can't fault Clinton overmuch considering the world situation at the time. Just as those who blame Bush for 9/11 "'cause it was on his watch" are being quite disingenuous. About as disingenuous as saying "our best chance to get OBL was in Tora Bora" ... considering the "myth" that actually occurred in '96! ;-)

Posted by: Hube at March 2, 2006 09:25 PM

They key there is 1996. No USS Cole, no embassy bombings in Africa, no Sept. 11th. When Clinton tried to bomb after the embassy bombings, he was highly criticized by Republicans in power, as Dickie Dunn stated. I was young, but I remember thinking how it seemed he could do nothing right in the eyes of Republicans, even actions that today would be seen as not going far enough.

Post Sept. 11th, after killing 3,000 + Americans and bragging about it on video, Bin Laden was most likely cornered at Tora Bora. For one reason or another, we allowed locals to do the job of capturing our number one enemy, and they were paid off and did not get the job done.

As far as the original post, I actually agree with it - Dean makes those things sound so easy and they're not. I don't honestly think Bush wants to let Bin Laden go, or that he wants NK or Iran to have nukes. Granted, I don't think he's doing a very good job with these issues, but to be fair he does have the toughest (not to mention the most important) job in the world.

Posted by: Mike McKain at March 2, 2006 10:04 PM

Hube, without having spent too much time looking it up (okay, I went to snopes and found nothing) I'm pretty sure the Sudanese and the Clintons had admitted that it never happened. And that if it had happened, the Sudanese were mostly looking for some sort of payoff without really having anything to go on.

Even if I'm wrong on that matter, as has been pointed out, two of the three previous attacks before 1997 took place on Saudi soil, with the Saudi's beheading some of the perpetrators, and detaining others involved in other attacks. I assume they too lost their hate-filled noggins. And the '93 WTC truck bomb of course led to the lifetime imprisonment of those responsible, except for one that Snopes said is believed to have fled to Baghdad.

Spending on anti-terror activities tripled under Blowjob Bill. At the time his efforts to fight terror were considered dog wagging. Now he didn't do enough. The GOP wants it both ways regarding him. Re-reading things, it appears you're somewhat willing to concede it, even if getting you to admit it will probably not happen, heh heh.

Since it's late on a Thursday, I'm not all that willing to do the hardcore research, so all of this above is either off the top of my head or off of Snopes, which is not what I usually use to source. But it appears this blog tends to have intellectual honesty, even in disagreement, so I ask for the same benefit of the doubt that I'm not just making up partisan shit to stir it up.

Posted by: Dickie Dunn at March 3, 2006 12:19 AM

I've heard the tape too; Hannity plays it incessantly on his show. Clinton may have spent money on anti-terror efforts, but the problem is summed up in the statement, "At the time, 1996, he had committed no crime against America, so I did not bring him here because we had no basis on which to hold him, though we knew he wanted to commit crimes against America." The Clinton administration was stuck in a law-enforcement mentality with regards to terror, versus a proactive or pre-emptive strategy. Thus we have the wall of separation between domestic and foreign intelligence courtesy of Jamie Gorelick.

Posted by: G Rex at March 3, 2006 10:49 AM

Knowing what we know happened when Clinton did try and do things to prevent future acts of terror (ie; GOP bitching and moaning) does anyone honestly think that anyone on the right would have stood behind him if he had pioneered the pre-emptive strategy? Or would talk of civil rights, the constitution, and so forth rendered such cooperation deader than HB 36? I just can't see anyone like Tom DeLay and Arlen Spector saying anything but wag the dog, crying wolf, and so forth. But that's me.

Posted by: Dickie Dunn at March 3, 2006 12:13 PM

The Clinton administration was stuck in a law-enforcement mentality with regards to terror, versus a proactive or pre-emptive strategy.

Oh yes, the Bush "Proactive" strategy. Proactivly leaving bin Laden alone while blowing billions of dollars on a vanity war in Iraq is working like gangbusters.

Thanks George!

Posted by: jason at March 3, 2006 01:25 PM

As I remember it, Clinton lobbed cruise missiles into an empty terror camp in Afghanistan, and bombed a baby milk factory in the Sudan. Where were the chemical weapons in Sudan? The GOP's wag-the-dog accusation came from the fact that it was all show, and that he was trying to distract attention from the Lewinsky scandal. Contrast that with the overthrow of the Taliban by helping the Northern Alliance and by using intelligence gathered by the UAE and others. I highly recommend reading First In, by Gary Schroen, who was one of the CIA guys who went in with the SF after Sept. 11 to link up with the anti-Taliban forces. I haven't read Jawbreaker yet, but it's on my short list.

Posted by: G Rex at March 3, 2006 05:43 PM

But it appears this blog tends to have intellectual honesty, even in disagreement, so I ask for the same benefit of the doubt that I'm not just making up partisan shit to stir it up.

First, thanks for that Dickie.

I don't think you're "making it up" regarding Clinton and the Sudan deal; I just think you're mistaken, and, I think Clinton and his supporters are embarrassed by this obvious error in judgment.

That being said, look what I wrote at the end of my intial comment: Still, in the overheated rhetoric of terror politics, I can't fault Clinton overmuch considering the world situation at the time. So yeah -- 20/20 hindsight is a nice thing.

And yes -- I do think many Repubs would bitch if Clinton did try to nab bin Laden. That's politics. But I don't think that's what motivated Clinton. He believed in a "law enforcement" strategy to deal with terrorism.

Posted by: Hube at March 3, 2006 05:57 PM

Hube, no problem. This is a fun read, even if we probably don't see eye to eye on all that much at the national level of politics. State-wide, I'm sure we do, such is the beauty of Delaware. Anyway, there's a profile of the senior Senator in GQ this month. I highlighted one interesting part on delawired, but the whole article is, like Biden, long and drawn out. It covers lots of ground.

Posted by: Dickie Dunn at March 3, 2006 10:50 PM