web analytics
July 5, 2015 / 18 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Monitor »

Dancing With Clark Clifford


Media-Monitor-logo

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.

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at jmaoz@jewishpress.com.


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.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Dancing With Clark Clifford”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Iranian FM Javad Zarif and US Secy of State Kerry on the Fourth of July.
Report: Iran Deal Reached — on Sanctions Relief
Latest Indepth Stories
Obama was all smiles for Israel's Ambassador Oren when they met in the White House.

US Jews prefer to be like their non-Jewish liberal friends complaining about “settlements” and Bibi

New Israel Fund and the UN

New Israel Fund & its supporters must be countered; Israel’s in the midst of an unprecedented storm

An ISIS Gaza rocket launcher.

PM Netanyahu this week identified ISIS and Iran as Israel’s primary threat. It is a planetary threat that carries the promise of peace.

U.S. postage stamp honoring Haym Solomon.

Haym Solomon, overlooked hero of the Revolutionary War, was America’s “Funding Father.”

Latvia, July 4, 1941 they forced many Jews in the shul putting it on fire; everyone was burned alive

There’s blood on the reporters’ hands AND New Israel Fund for funding groups feeding lies to the UN

Respect & appreciation for our country is not only a civic value but an essential Jewish one as well

When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel

Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.

Kids shouldn’t have “uninstructed” Internet access, better to train them how to use it responsibly

What if years from now, IS were to control substantial territory? What world havoc would that wreak?

Rambam writes the verse’s double term refers to 2 messiahs: first King David; 2nd the final Mashiach

The Gaza flotilla has been rightfully and legally blocked by Israel’s Navy, with greetings from Bibi

The president described the attack as “an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…”

“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump.

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Zechariah Schwarzberg, z”l

Though intimately acquainted with mankind’s darkest side, he never lost his faith&love in God or man

Front-Page-051515

Some of the president’s defenders took to arguing that the overwhelming majority of German military personnel interred in Bitburg were regular Wehrmacht soldiers who died on the battlefield and likely were not involved in atrocities against civilians.

Note also the response to the speech by the top Democrats in the House and Senate, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, both of whom have been outspoken in their criticism of Netanyahu’s upcoming visit.

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

When you grow up in a home where your parents went through what my parents went through, you realize that life has to be meaningful. You have to be there for other people.

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

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: