Bad Spin On Senator Hillary Clinton

 

An article I found had the following title: Hillary: Iraqi Women Better Off Under Saddam. Sounds interesting. Is it true or a spin? The article in question is here. Just the title is what I have a problem with. The text quoted from the speech was true to what was printed in the link given. The speech is from here at brooks.edu. From what I read she never actually said the women (or men for that matter) were better off under Hussein's rule. So the title is a spin on what she said. It's not totally "off the wall" untruth, but they could have used a better title than that. She does say the following which is quoted in the article:

“He was an equal opportunity oppressor, but on paper women had rights; they went to school; they participated in the professions; they participated in government; and business and, as long as they stayed out of his way, they had considerable freedom of movement.”

To which you ask yourself: ---What about the reports after reports of Hussein’s rape rooms, torture chambers and other forms of persecution that were routine for women under his regime? "On paper" meant little to such an extreme dictator like Hussein. There was no law but his.

The real kicker though was that Senator Clinton went on to complain about Afghanistan.

“And, similarly, in Afghanistan, we know that we got good language in the constitutional process out of the Loya Jirga, but on the ground, the situation is very dangerous for a lot of women.”

Yet I remember after the Taliban left, seeing pictures on the news showing schools with happy smiling girls in them which they said never happened under the Taliban. Women were second class citizens under the Taliban. Now some even stopped wearing their total head to floor covering in exchange for a modest head and face veil.

Is she politically speaking during the rest of the speech? Sure. But don't spin a title and put words in her mouth. Check this out: She starts with praise;

“But from what I saw, the victories that we can look to in the post-conflict period in Iraq, are largely due to the actions of our military. And not just our generals but, literally, all up and down the chain of command. And it has been an extraordinary display of American know-how and willingness to dig in and do some very difficult work, while still trying to engage the Iraqis and create a condition of stability and security.”

Then continues with praise of the Clinton admin (logically):

“In the post-Cold War era, the model can be seen in Kosovo and Bosnia. I believe that we prevailed in Kosovo because 19 democracies of NATO did not break rank. And as a result Milosevic is on trial in the Hague. NATO and the U.N. remain in the Balkans to this day, nurturing democratic movements, a painstaking and time-taking task, but I think we are viewed there as a liberator, not an occupier.”

---Ummm no. Wasn't Milosevic actually voted into power after everything was said and done? DOH! The Clinton administration had made one miscalculation after another in dealing with the Kosovo crisis. According to this article from the CATO organization, President Clinton and his advisers justified their decision to use force with two arguments: that NATO bombing was needed to prevent a Serbian military offensive in Kosovo with attendant “ethnic cleansing,” and that vigorous action was essential to prevent the Kosovo conflict from spilling over into neighboring states, thereby destabilizing the southern Balkans. Administration leaders also hoped that NATO pressure would undermine Milosevic’s political power and embolden the democratic opposition in Serbia. The bombing campaign has been wholly counterproductive with regard to all three objectives.

Senator Clinton continues:

“Now, what we see happening in Iraq is the governing council attempting to shift large parts of civil law into religious jurisdiction. This would be a horrific mistake and especially for it to happen on our watch.”

Same article: American politicians have never understood other county’s historical background in culture, religion, and ethnicity. It shows in Kosovo. President Clinton’s remark that the United States cannot stand by while people are driven from their homes just because of their religion or ethnicity reflects a lack of historical awareness. The liberal notion of “civic nationalism” ostensibly may prevail in the United States, but in other parts of the world—the Balkans are a prime example—religion, kinship, and ethnicity are the defining elements of national and group identity. In regions like the Balkans, passions, not American notions of “rational choice,” are the determinants of conflict. Deeply rooted ethnic and religious animosities are pervasive in the Balkans. For more than half a millennium, the region has been a fault line separating European Christendom from the Islamic world. The origins of the current conflict go back to 1389. Kosovo was also seen by the Serbs as the cradle of their civilization and was (and remains) home to churches, monasteries, and other sites of great historical significance to the Serbian nation. Untangling the grievances of rival Balkan peoples is no easy task. Who did what to whom, and why, is not always clear, and depending on the starting point, one arrives different answers. In this century, there is no doubt that the Serbs’ pent-up hatred of Muslim ethnic Albanians and Turks in Kosovo found violent expression in the Balkan Wars. As one regional expert notes: The Balkan Wars were to set the precedent in this century for massive waves of ethnic cleansing and the forced migrations of hundreds of thousands of people. All the worst evils that were witnessed in the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1995 were present in the Balkan Wars, including large scale massacres of civilians, the destruction of whole towns, and the gross manipulation of the media.

But Senator Clinton has more to say about control of WMDs.

“By far, the smartest most effective, easiest thing we could do right now is to expand the Nunn-Lugar Act. This bipartisan law signed by the first President Bush and strongly supported by my husband, [not really—my comment] during his terms, channels money to the former Soviet Union to destroy weapons and to employ the scientists who created the weapons of the WMDs there. And to ensure that plutonium and uranium are rendered useless.”

Ok. But listen to her continue:

“Remarkably, despite the President's recent speech in which he praised Nunn-Lugar, the Administration's budget for the coming fiscal year actually cuts funding for the Nunn-Lugar program by 10 percent.”

Ok, what happened to funding during the Clinton admin? Truth about the funding made available by Congress since 1991 when the bill became law: According to this article,

Budget snafus have entangled many projects. Nunn had complained as early as February 1992 that not one penny had been spent, but by 1994 the Pentagon had still spent only $50 million. By May 1995, more than three years after Nunn first complained, the CTR program had spent $177 million, or little more than one-tenth of the $1.6 billion Congress had originally authorized.[ General Accounting Office, p. 10] So slow was the pace of spending that authority to spend CTR money expired for a substantial portion of funding authorized in 1992 and 1993.[ A Senate Budget Committee staff member wrote, "Harassed and over-worked mid-level officials in the executive branch . . . soon found out that they were unable to get prompt, effective guidance from their own senior managers. Then, when congressional appropriations committees reviewed the results, they often balked at the proposed projects." Flickner, p. 16.] DOD had to seek congressional permission to take money from other DOD accounts and use it to replace expired CTR program funds.[ House Armed Services Committee, p. 2; and Carter, testimony of April 28, 1994, p. 15.]

So if by “strongly supported” Sen. Clinton means “the funding never got there” then why is she complaining about Pres. Bush unless it’s politically motivated?

I will have to say that generally, she paints a rosy picture of everything during the Clinton admin. And why not? She is still in office and Pres. Clinton still has control of the Democrat party through DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe. What is she supposed to say?

But I think if one wants to complain about spin from one side, you should try your best not to spin from yours. I think these rules don't apply during any election year. Especially when writing books during that time to make some quick cash off the mud-slinging tidal wave of money to be had from yellow journalism, spin, lies, and half-truths. Usually these type of books make Oprah-type cash quickly, but after the November of the election year, there is a lonely, dusty copy of the book in question at the local library back in a forgotten corner.