web analytics
April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Home » InDepth » Monitor »

Dancing With Clark Clifford


Media-Monitor-logo

Share Button

It wasn’t quite a Clark Clifford moment, but Hillary Clinton’s bizarre “deauthorization” proposal – namely, that Congress repeal its October 2002 resolution giving President Bush the authority to invade Iraq – is so breathtaking in its cynicism and opportunism that it calls to mind the transparent about-face executed by Clifford nearly four decades ago, more about which later.

Sen. Clinton’s ploy was denounced by, among others, the New York Sun, which labeled it “political posturing without substance” and by New York Post columnist John Podhoretz, who characterized it as “unserious – and consciously so,” noting that “There has never been such a vote in all of recorded history, and there won’t be one now.”

To muddle matters even further, The New York Times reported that “Mrs. Clinton said her push for a new vote on the war authority did not mean she would oppose whatever new [war financing] measure might emerge from negotiations between Congress and the White House.”

Clinton, who obviously wishes she could make the relatively hawkish-on-Iraq record she compiled during her first six years in the Senate simply disappear (perhaps in the manner of those notorious Whitewater documents back during her run as first lady?), has found it impossible to placate the one-issue antiwar activists who comprise such an increasingly influential element of the party whose presidential nomination she seeks.

So now she’s hit on the next best thing to erasing history or admitting to her core supporters that she was as wrong on Iraq as George W. Bush: Just Say No, but retroactively, after more than four years of war. Sort of like the late Gilda Radner’s “Saturday Night Live” character Emily Litella looking into the camera after being set aright on one issue or another and sheepishly saying, “Never mind.”

Speaking of “Saturday Night Live,” earlier this year, in a sketch lampooning MSNBC’s “Hardball,” cast regular Amy Poehler portrayed Hillary Clinton responding to questions on Iraq with this devastating line, described as “zeitgeist-capturing” by The New Republic’s Michael Crowley: “I think most Democrats know me. They understand that my support for the war was always insincere.”

And that was before the “repeal the resolution” gimmick.

About Clark Clifford: Back in 1968, the veteran Democratic fixer and Wise Man was serving as defense secretary in the dying days of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency. Here he is in that troubled year, an unrepentant hawk on Vietnam:

We have no plan to reduce the number of troops in Vietnam at all… I could not predict the return of any troops in 1969. I want today to reiterate that position. We have not yet reached the level of 549,000 [troops] in South Vietnam. We intend to continue to build toward that level. We have no intention of lowering that level either by next June [1969] or at any time in the foreseeable future.

Later that year the Republican Richard Nixon won the White House, and just weeks after the election the same Clark Clifford, the eminence grise who a few months earlier had in such ringing fashion dismissed calls for even the slightest reduction in troop strength, took to the pages of Life magazine where he wrote, presumably with a straight face:

It is time now to end our participation in the war. We must begin the rapid, orderly and scheduled withdrawal of U.S. troops from Indochina.

The hypocrisy drips off every word. And Sen. Clinton’s increasingly tortuous perambulations over Iraq are moving her dangerously close to Clifford territory. She’s certainly dancing to the tune even if she hasn’t yet embraced it.

But say this about Clark Clifford: Even after turning on a dime against U.S. involvement in Vietnam when it was politically expedient for him to do so, he was never brazen enough to suggest a vote to retroactively deauthorize Congress’s 1964 Gulf of Tonkin resolution and the war he’d wholeheartedly supported.

Share Button

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Dancing With Clark Clifford”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Ukraine Shul Firebombed
Ukrainian Synagogue Firebombed (Video)
Latest Indepth Stories
Imam Suhail Webb who boasted his Muslim community persuaded Brandeis President Fred Lawrence to withdraw an invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

At Brandeis, much of what counts as Western civilization got cold feet and won’t stand with Hirsi Ali.

Text of anti-Semitic flyer distributed to Jews in Donetsk, Ukraine on Passover 2014.

But the lesson from this meditation is that hidden behind the anti-semitic act is the greatest light.

Yossi Klein HaLevi

As support of their messianic dream, Halevi and Antepli approve dishonoring Hirsi Ali as a ‘renegade.’

matza

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Bob Grant

What really makes one wonder about the affinity felt by certain Jews for Grant was the welcome mat he put out for some of the country’s most pernicious anti-Semites.

Camelot-112213

With 2013 marking half a century since Kennedy’s fateful limousine ride in Dallas, the current revels are exceeding the revisionist frenzies of years past, with a seemingly endless parade of books, articles and television specials designed to assure us that, despite everything that has come to light about him since his death, JFK was a great president, or at least a very good president who would have been great had his life not been so cruelly cut short.

As someone who for the past fifteen years has been writing a column that largely focuses on the news media, I’ve read what is no doubt an altogether unhealthy number of books on the subject. Most of them were instantly forgettable while some created a brief buzz but failed to pass the test of time. And then there were those select few that merited a permanent spot on the bookshelf.

George W. Bush has been getting some positive media coverage lately, with recent polls showing him at least as popular as his successor, Barack Obama, and a big new book about the Bush presidency by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker (Days of Fire, Doubleday) portraying Bush as a much more hands-on chief executive than his detractors ever imagined.

Readers who’ve stuck with the Monitor over the years will forgive this rerun of sorts, but as we approach the fortieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War – and with the stench of presidential indecisiveness hanging so heavily over Washington these days – it seemed only appropriate to revisit Richard Nixon’s role in enabling Israel to recover from the staggering setbacks it suffered in the first week of fighting.

Shakespeare had it right. The evil that men do indeed lives after them. Case in point: Nahum Goldmann, who served in a variety of Jewish and Zionist organizational leadership posts from the 1920s through the 1970s.

Oscar “Ossie” Schectman, who scored the first basket in the history of the league that evolved into the National Basketball Association, died last week at age 94.

It’s certainly been a while, hasn’t it? And yet it seems like the conversation was never really interrupted, as I’ve enjoyed, in the three and a half months since this column last appeared, many an interesting exchange, via e-mail and phone, with some very intelligent readers.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/dancing-with-clark-clifford/2007/05/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: