Gen. Clark on Obama's Attack on Hillary

Gen. Wesley Clark today:

"This is a time for leadership, not politics. Senator Obama's campaign seems to believe that Senator Clinton's actions led to the tragic events in Pakistan. This is an incredible and insulting charge. It politicizes a tragic event of enormous strategic consequence to the United States and the world, and it has no place in this campaign."

Here's another tidbit of information. On December 12, 2007, Katie Couric asked the candidates which country frightened them the most. Barack Obama answered "Iran." Hillary answered "Pakistan." From the transcript (available on Lexis.com):

COURIC: What country frightens you the most, and what would you do about it as president?

Senator BARACK OBAMA (Democratic Presidential Candidate): I think Iran poses a significant threat to stability in the Middle East. So I think we have to talk to Iran directly. And when we talk to Iran directly, even if there are profound disagreements there, that will send a signal to the world that we are not simply seeking to impose our will without paying attention to what other countries think. And that kind of dialogue has not taken place. This president has refused to do it. I think it's a profound mistake. JFK once said we should never negotiate out of fear, but we should never fear to negotiate.



(Democratic Presidential Candidate): Well, right now I am most worried about Pakistan. I think Pakistan is very unstable. I believe President Musharraf has failed to deliver on either democracy or a rising standard of living for his people. You know, democracy has to be carefully nurtured. I would put the United States firmly on the side of the Pakistani people and on behalf of those who are agitating for democracy and for rights. I mean, it's almost touching to see lawyers, well-dressed lawyers, in the streets protesting and demonstrating for democracy, for the rule of law. I think the United States should be supporting those kinds of voices inside Pakistan, the nongovernmental organizations that they are part of.

John Edwards, by the way, selected China.

Mr. JOHN EDWARDS (Democratic Presidential Candidate): China. Because I think China presents huge challenges for America because of their size, because of of their population, and because of their not paying attention to human rights, because of their support of dangerous regimes around the--around the world: Sudan, Iran, places that China gets its fuel supply, its energy supply. And they're growing their military. And we need to put pressure on them economically; not allow them to continue to manipulate their currency; not allow them to continue to dump dangerous goods on American consumers, which I think they're doing today. I would ratchet up pressure on them diplomatically in terms of what they're doing around the world. I think they're enabling genocide in Sudan, in Darfur, with their economic policies with Sudan and Bashir. But I--those are the things I think that need to be done.

For an additional take on the Obama attack of Hillary over Bhutto's assassination, check out all of Big Tent Democrat's posts here today, and also former CIA Agent Larry Johnson at his blog, No Quarter.

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    Wow. (none / 0) (#1)
    by dannyinla on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 11:00:48 PM EST
    I will support any of the Dem candidates in the general and haven't yet decided who will get my vote in the CA primary, but if Obama, Axelrod, and Obama's supporters want to continue yelling about "judgement" one has to look at the answer to this question and reassess.

    I can't imagine that a freethinking Dem could actually say Iran is the most frightening. It's what the neocons want us to believe... which should be reason enough not to. But, aside from that, tha large majority of Iranians are not like their insane leader. A few months back I had dinner with an Iranian couple in their 60s who insisted that everyone they knew wanted to be left alone, raise their families, have a nice meal, and be able to dance. But to continue to raise the Iran red alert is like trying to persuade Iowans that Social Security is in crisis.

    i agree.. i hope tim russert questions obama on (none / 0) (#2)
    by sammiemorris on Sat Dec 29, 2007 at 12:03:46 AM EST
    MTP about his past answer and whether he still thinks its right given what we know now about the NIE.

    Barack Obama said Iran, like many others, despite the fact they do not have nuclear weapons. Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden were the only two senators to say Pakistan because this national already has nuclear weapons and Al Qaeda sympathizers in the Pakistani Military are not too far away from controlling the nuclear arsenal. In light of Benzair Bhutto's assasisation and the NIE, would Barack Obama like to reconsider his remarks.

    second question is this: Barack Obama recently claimed he is a "foreign policy expert"

    Four years ago, when he entered the senator, he stated this: I was elected yesterday, Obama said. I have never set foot in the U.S. Senate. Ive never worked in Washington. And the notion that somehow Im immediately going to start running for higher office just doesnt make sense. So look, I can unequivocally say I will not be running for national office in four years, and my entire focus is making sure that Im the best possible senator on behalf of the people of Illinois. He further elaborated: Look, Im a state senator who hasnt even been sworn in yet. My understanding is that I will be ranked 99th in seniority. Im going to be spending the first several months of my career in the U.S. Senate looking for the washroom and trying to figure out how the phones work.

    The question. How does Barack Obama in four years go from figuring out how to use the telephones and finding bathrooms, to becoming a foreign policy expert, while missing the most votes out of any democratic candidate who is a senator running for president (total 1/3 in 2005-2006) and failing to hold a single hearing as the CHAIR of Senate Foreign Relations committee?

    ALSO, since arriving in the senate, Barack Obama has VOTED exactly the same as Hillary Clinton on both Iran and Iraq. I say voted, becuase although Obama criticized Clinton on her Iran vote (kyl liberman) he voted the same way as her on a previous vote, and he was the only senator who is running for the democratic nomination to miss the Kyl Liberman vote. IS IT FAIR to criticize Hillary CLinton for her IRan vote when you MISSED IT?

    Now who's being naive, Kay? (none / 0) (#3)
    by joejoejoe on Sat Dec 29, 2007 at 01:41:40 AM EST
    Sen. Clinton, 7/24/07:
    Clinton, in the debate, said she would pursue vigorous diplomacy but she wouldn't make such a promise without knowing the other countries' intent.

    "I don't want to be used for propaganda purposes," she said.

    In a telephone interview today, the New York senator went further. Of Obama's comment, she said: "I thought that was irresponsible and frankly naive."

    Daily Times, Pakistan, 1/15/07:

    LAHORE: US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton met President Pervez Musharraf at the Army House on Sunday, shortly after she arrived for a brief visit, an official said. [...]

    The two discussed a range of issues, including the situation in Afghanistan and the Middle East, he said, quoting Musharraf as telling Clinton that Pakistan was in favour of a "stable, strong and prosperous Afghanistan" and that Islamabad was extending full support to the world community in the fight against terrorism. Musharraf also informed Clinton about the steps his government had taken to curb militancy and secure the Pakistani border with Afghanistan to check militants' activities, the official said.

    The official said Clinton praised Pakistan's role in the fight against terrorism.