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What Was Clinton Thinking?

Clinton's vote shows she's learned nothing from her earlier Iraq vote and is also a sign that her Middle East policy will likely be weighted towards Israel, which hasn't been doing the anyone any good at all.
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Clinton's vote yesterday on the Lieberman-Kyl legislation was a very bad vote. Last night Edwards called her out on it. It wasn't as bad as the Iraq vote many Democrats in the Senate cast, including Edwards, but it's certainly how the Iraq war began. It also gives Republicans the opening they're hoping for. This is an ominous development. I'm with James Webb, as well as Joe Biden and Chris Dodd, who also voted against the legislation.

Those who regret their vote five years ago to authorize military action in Iraq should think hard before supporting this approach. Because, in my view, it has the same potential to do harm where many are seeking to do good. ... .. ... We haven't had one hearing on this. I'm on the Foreign Relations Committee, I'm on the Armed Services Committee. We are about to vote on something that may fundamentally change the way the United States views the Iranian military and we haven't had one hearing. This is not the way to make foreign policy. It's not the way to declare war.

James Webb (via Think Progress)

There are reports on MSNBC that Obama wasn't feeling well, but he missed the vote. After the Cornyn skip out it's not exactly inspiring.

As for Clinton, this is the path she took on her way to voting for the Iraq war. Posture strongly and load up for the worst. It's not surprising, because she wants to show toughness. Let's also remember she is still the junior senator from New York. Let's also be honest about something else.

This non-binding resolution was about Iran's moves in Iraq, but it was also very much about Israel. We've been talking about this a lot lately, which brings me to something I read recently that is foreshadowing for worse things to come.

But one sentence from the Hillary Clinton press release of September 10 stands out. (Curiously, the the statement is not up on Clinton's campaign website.) In staking out her position on "Standing with Israel against terrorism," Hillary Clinton defends Israel's right to exist with "... an undivided Jerusalem as its capital." Oddly enough, this places her in direct contradiction with the plan put forward by a certain President Bill Clinton in December 2000.

He proposed dividing Jerusalem:

The general principle is that Arab areas are Palestinian and Jewish ones are Israeli. This would apply to the Old City as well. I urge the two sides to work on maps to create maximum contiguity for both sides. ... ..

(snip)

So, candidate Hillary Clinton is running to the right, not only of former President Bill Clinton, but also of the centrist Israeli Government. In fact, Hillary Clinton's press release says nothing at all about a two-state solution, about a Palestinian state, or even a peace process. (Palestinians do, though, exist as terrorists and/or as promoters of incitement). ... ..

Clinton vs. Clinton on Israel, by Daniel Levy

The Clinton Parameters are important. They are also where Democrats have stood since his presidency. I have a request for a comment into the Clinton camp, as well as having asked for the press release quoted from above, or a link, so I can read it for myself and verify it. I have yet to get a response, though I've had a conversation about it and traded emails as well. They've responded to every single request I have made so far, so stay tuned.

Clinton's vote siding with Lieberman is a harbinger for more saber rattling on Iran. It also shows she's learned nothing from her earlier Iraq vote. It is also a sign that her Middle East policy will likely be weighted towards Israel, which hasn't been doing the U.S. or Israel any good at all. There's only one thing Clinton and others who voted in favor of Lieberman's Iran amendment fear more than Iran's possible involvement in Iraq, or them going nuclear, and that's standing up to the Israel lobby at large. It's not going to happen. As much as people talk about change, things surrounding our policy towards Israel stay the same. It's dangerous, but no one seems to have the courage to join with liberal Israelis who truly want piece. Clinton voting with the neoconservatives today was wrong any way you analyze it.

Biden and Dodd voted against the Lieberman-Kyl legislation when all eyes were on them (full roll call). Coupled with Biden's Iraq legislation today that passed, he's had one hell of a day. They both deserve a lot of credit. The Democrats who voted for Lieberman's nonsense don't know what they're doing, which is how we got into Iraq. Like Iraq, it signals danger and a possibility of one small step at a time to kaboom.

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