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February 8, 2006

Who's the Bigger Hawk, George or Hillary?


by Joshua Frank

There aren't many elected officials in Washington who want to throw the gauntlet down on Iran more than Hillary Clinton. The New York senator believes the president has been too soft on the militant Islamic country, claiming that Bush has played down the threat of a nuclear-armed Tehran.

"I believe we lost critical time in dealing with Iran because the White House chose to downplay the threats and to outsource the negotiations," Clinton told an audience at Princeton University on Jan. 18. "I don't believe you face threats like Iran or North Korea by outsourcing it to others and standing on the sidelines. We cannot and should not must not permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons," Clinton added. "In order to prevent that from occurring we must move as quickly as feasible for sanctions in the United Nations."

Sen. Clinton has attempted to out-hawk Dubya on other foreign policy matters, as well. From Iraq to Palestine, the Democratic Party's leading lady argues that the current administration has not done enough to combat the threat of terrorism. And like so many other neoconservatives (yes, admit it, Hillary is a bloody neocon), Clinton will never admit that the United States has fallen right into the grasp of al-Qaeda by attempting to fight stateless terror by walloping sovereign Mideast countries.

And with the Hamas victory in the recent Palestinian elections, the U.S. policy for the region isn't exactly producing the kind of results Bush and his co-conspirators desired.

You'd have to pull out a microscope to differentiate between George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton. Both want a continued occupation of Iraq. Both want sanctions on Iran. And they both claim to want democracy in the Middle East. Yet neither will accept a democratic outcome if it doesn't favor U.S. interests.

"Until and unless Hamas renounces violence and terror, and renounces its position calling for the destruction of Israel, I don't believe the United States should recognize them, nor any nation in the world," Hillary Clinton said recently.

"[Y]ou're getting a sense of how I'm going to deal with Hamas. And the answer is: not until you renounce your desire to destroy Israel will we deal with you," Bush told the Wall Street Journal in an interview during the elections in Palestine.

Even though both express a desire to democratize the region, especially Iraq, it is hard to imagine either allowing an Iraqi government to form that is not friendly with the U.S. And a democratic Iraq (where the candidates aren't chosen by U.S. officials) would likely embody the same views as Iran concerning Israel.

Love for America in the Arab world hasn't exactly prospered these past years, and it will not likely be changing anytime soon given the unified position of the Republican and Democratic leadership in Washington.

So there you have it. Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush, leaders of their parties, see eye-to-eye on the most pressing concerns facing the U.S. and the Middle East today. And neither is offering up anything that will get us out of the mess they helped to make.

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  • Joshua Frank is the author of Left Out!: How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, just published by Common Courage Press. You can order a copy at a discounted through Josh's blog at www.brickburner.org. He can be reached at brickburner@gmail.com.

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