Umbrella Of Deterrence

By Big Tent Democrat

Speaking for me only

One of Hillary Clinton's best moments in the Olbermann interview (ironically, Olbermann revealed the limitations of his abilities in his discussion of the answer later in the program with Richard Wolffe, he has no knowledge at all of deterrence theory), was her answer about the "umbrella of deterrence" against future potential Iranian attacks, especially nuclear, against its neighbors. (Here is a Harvard Middle East strategy article discussing the theory.) I am borrowing the Countdown transcript from this dkos diary (which also reveals stunning ignorance of deterrence theory):

Well what we were talking about was the potential for a nuclear attack by Iran, if Iran does achieve what appears to be it's continuing goal of obtaining nuclear weapons, and I think deterrence has not been effectively used in recent times, we used it very well during the Cold War when we had a bipolar world, and what I think the president should do and what our policy should be is to make it very clear to the Iranians that they would be risking massive retaliation were they to launch a nuclear attack on Israel. In addition, if Iran were to become a nuclear power, it could set off an arms race that would be incredibly dangerous and destabilizing because the countries in the region are not going to want Iran to be the only nuclear power. So I can imagine that they would be rushing to obtain nuclear weapons themselves. In order to forestall that, creating some kind of a security agreement where we said, 'No, you do not need to acquire nuclear weapons if you were the subject of an unprovoked nuclear attack by Iran the United States and hopefully our NATO allies would respond to that as well.' It is a theory that some people have been looking at because there is a fear that if Iran, which I hope we can prevent, becoming a nuclear power, but if they were to become one, some people worry that they are not deterrable, that they somehow have a different mindset and a worldview that might very well lead the leadership to be willing to become martyrs. I don't buy that, but I think we have to test it. And one of the ways of testing it is to make it very clear that we are not going to permit them, if we can prevent it, from becoming a nuclear power, but were they to become so, their use of nuclear weapons against Israel would provoke a nuclear response from the United States, which personally I believe would prevent it from happening, and that we would try to help the other countries that might be intimidated and bullied into submission by Iran because they were a nuclear power, avoid that fate by creating this new security umbrella."

(Emphasis supplied.) This is excellent strategic thinking, providing a great alternative to armed intervention in Iran and allowing for hard headed and rational diplomacy with Iran on the question of nuclear weapons.

Personally, I would LOVE to get a reaction from Barack Obama to this statement from Hillary Clinton. I expect he would have some favorable thoughts about it. I know that Keith Olbermann seemed unable to understand the answer, and his after comments with Wolfe were an embarrassment for him imo.

Here is a snippet from the Harvard article I linked to above:

The extension of American nuclear guarantees in the Middle East has been posed as a question of American guarantees to Israel. This is understandable given the intense hostility to Israel expressed by the Iranian regime. However, there is a broader objective that may be served by U.S. nuclear guarantees in the region. If the United States is not able to prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran, its goal must be to prevent this development from destabilizing the region as a whole, and to prevent Iran from gaining any political advantage from its new capabilities. These twin aims are served by the extension of the American deterrent umbrella to a full range of U.S. allies.

Here is a less positive post about Clinton's proposal from Foreign Policy Magazine blog:

The concept of a "nuclear umbrella" has been around almost since the Cold War and the nuclear arms race began. At the most basic level, it involves a nuclear- weapons state promising to use its nukes to respond if non-nuclear ally is attacked with nuclear weapons. Cold War strategists hoped that "extending" nuclear deterrence like this would cement important alliances and, crucially, eliminate the need for those countries to develop their own nukes. A nuclear umbrella is thus a tool of both diplomacy and of nonproliferation.

The key question here is credibility. How, for instance, would you convince the Soviets that the United States really would risk New York to defend Paris? During the Cold War, U.S. strategists achieved this credibility in several ways (pdf). First, American troops were deployed heavily in allied territory, placing them in the way of any nuclear attack. Second, U.S. nuclear weapons were often deployed in forward locations and sometimes integrated into allied command structures. Third, the umbrella only got extended to countries with which the United States already had strong alliances.

Unfortunately, even in Gulf regimes that are friendly to America, all of these preconditions are weak or nonexistent (pdf) -- which does not bode well for Sen. Clinton’s proposal. In addition, Iran does not have the ability to project power globally like the Soviet Union did, making any direct threat to U.S. interests unlikely. I should also note that any Iranian nuclear weapon is still a long ways off, and attempting to deter the Iranians is premature at this point.

However, the idea is still worth exploring as a contingency plan, and new ways of establishing credibility and commitment might be possible -- for instance, extending a missile-defense "umbrella," even one that doesn't work very well yet. But although technical measures like these may be part of the solution to U.S. problems in the Middle East, they can't supplant a broader strategy that uses all the diplomatic, political, and economic levers at America's disposal.

And here is strong Obama supporter Matt Yglesias giving the thumbs up when Krauthammer discussed the diea.

< Hillary Clinton on Larry King Live Tonight | Wolfson on Primary Eve >
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  • Display: Sort:
    Obama's response (5.00 / 7) (#1)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:10:18 PM EST
    "Uh.  What she said."

    I hope so. (none / 0) (#51)
    by Faust on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:42:25 PM EST
    I'm Listening to this Right Now (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by BDB on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:10:40 PM EST
    Very good answer.  Tough without being irresponsible.  

    On dkos (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Dave B on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:12:17 PM EST
    She was getting raked over the coals for that.

    If those are Democrats, than maybe I'm not one, I don't know.

    Demonstrating sheer ignorance (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:13:44 PM EST
    What would be more interesting would be what they would say if Obama agreed with Clinton.

    It is quite telling that Barack Obama has NEVER mentioned that point. The reason why is he probably thinks it a good idea.


    No (5.00 / 4) (#78)
    by BrandingIron on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 10:13:16 PM EST
    The reason why is he probably thinks it a good idea.

    Reason he never mentioned it is because he doesn't know WTF he's doing at all.  His knowledge about the topics that a president needs to be knowledgable about is ABYSMAL.  Were we watching the same debate last week?  He knows nothing about the economy.  The stuttering answers were pathetic, and with every debate it becomes more and more clear that he's nothing but a stuffed suit (which is probably why he bailed on the NC debate), a figurehead symbol of some kind of nouveau civil rights "movement":  Movement without moving.  Speech without logic/common sense.  Cave to the special interests, business as usual.


    How can they not understand? What (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by MarkL on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:15:56 PM EST
    she said is very clear.

    They don't want to understand... (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by reynwrap582 on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 10:16:26 PM EST
    Otherwise they might actually like her and feel a little bad for the way they treat her regularly.  After all, she's just a power hungry B-word who will do anything to win and her experience and knowledge doesn't extend beyond serving tea and getting into the Senate because her husband was a philanderer and people felt pity for her.

    Yeah, NYer's are such pushovers (none / 0) (#86)
    by nycstray on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 10:28:53 PM EST
    when it comes to electing Senators . . . We've got a few more wives lined up for 2010  ;)

    We are pushovers..... (none / 0) (#132)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 03:51:38 PM EST
    anybody with a D after their name is pretty much a lock.

    The party could run "Donald Duck, D" and the duck would win.


    tell that to Bruno... (none / 0) (#137)
    by kimsaw on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 10:06:08 AM EST
    yeah (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Nasarius on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:46:30 PM EST
    Coincidentally, it was the only DKos diary I've read in months. I like how they read "umbrella" to DETER other nations from acquiring nuclear weapons, and somehow drew the conclusion that Hillary is Dr. Strangelove.

    Well the blogosphere is already (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by TalkRight on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:12:56 PM EST
    humming with the Nuclear Threat announced by Hillary Clinton.... (not)

    Oh, screw the "progressive blogosphere" (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by kempis on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 06:40:35 AM EST
    Most Americans understand the concept of deterrence from the schoolyard. They'll laugh their asses off at "weenies" who think it's impolite to discuss the possibility that one may have to go nuclear.

    And Big Tent is right: it'll be interesting to see how quickly these people change their tune if Obama ever is brave enough (and smart enough) to say something similar.

    At some point, if he's going to win the general election, he's going to have to sound a lot more like Hillary Clinton and a lot less like Michael Moore.


    I am curious at the nonreaction as well (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:14:15 PM EST
    this is how they do (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by TalkRight on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:18:04 PM EST
    BenSmith with his classic style

    .. "Massive retaliation," as a reader pointed out, is a term of art in nuclear strategy.and a cornerstone of nuclear deterrence. Clinton seemed aware of the term's pedigree when Olberman asked her about Iran.

    Her quote continues after the jump, but she sure does seem to be referring to nuclear deterrence.

    She is indeed referring to nuclear deterrence (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:22:51 PM EST
    against nuclear attack.

    this is freaking basic deterrence theory.

    What does Smith expect?


    Jeez, the stupidity is maasive! (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by RalphB on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:33:12 PM EST
    Inane comments on Ben Smith's post (none / 0) (#131)
    by cymro on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 12:40:40 PM EST
    Most are anti-Clinton commenters freaking out. Just a few that get it.

    They Don't Understand It (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by BDB on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:23:35 PM EST
    Or don't want to.

    Notice that in addition to being classic deterrence policy, she's also basically saying that the United States will not nuke Iran or start a war to keep it from getting nukes.  We're going to try to keep it from getting nukes and if that fails, we're going to work to set up a defense umbrella to 1) help persuade Iran not to use its nukes and 2) keep other nations in the region (hello, Saudi Arabia, Sunni nation) from feeling like they need nukes to defend themselves.

    Again, classic deterrence theory.  


    Rachel Maddow (and Pat Buchanan) picked up on this (none / 0) (#73)
    by jerry on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 10:04:15 PM EST
    last week after the debate.  Rachel did not seem impressed with the theory.  Maddow noted it was the most interesting thing said at the debate and noted that it deserved a lot of attention.  She also mentioned in passing that Pat Buchanan also choked when Clinton mentioned this.

    I think it's a reasonable theory, but I agree with your last link that says establishing credibility would be very difficult and one measure of that is in fact that Eli Pariser made his name known and joined Move On after he advocated non military responses for 9/11 in Afghanistan.  If a significant number of people are willing to shine on a direct and successful and mass attack in NYC, would anyone care if a city other than Jerusalem or Tel Aviv or maybe Haifa was nuked or Bethlehem?

    ObNote: I am also deeply in the tank for Rachel Maddow.


    The old defending Paris issue (none / 0) (#76)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 10:05:30 PM EST
    As old as deterrence theory.

    I know little about deterrence, but I think the (none / 0) (#79)
    by jerry on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 10:13:29 PM EST
    question about Paris or Haifa is a good one.

    The last article made clear that some of the ambiguity in the past was resolved by placing Americans Troops in harms way in a way that we sort of have (with American Citizens) in Israel.

    I think her suggestion is reasonable, I think the critique is reasonable, and both are worth considering.


    Sorry, (none / 0) (#108)
    by ghost2 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 12:53:41 AM EST
    I don't think much of Rachel's knowledge.  She can talk quickly in a cross-fire type debate.  But that's not what I am interested in.

    I note that you are a fan of her.  But I had to say this.  I don't think Rachel knows anything about deterrence theory, or any other policy issues.  

    BTW, if she wasn't impressed with this theory, how could she say it was most interesting and worthy of further attention?


    Obama Supporters Are Reacting With Diaries (none / 0) (#99)
    by MO Blue on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 11:38:13 PM EST
    like this one over at MyDD

    "If I'm the president we will attack Iran"

    Wolfe nevers adds anything informative. (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Terry M on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:14:19 PM EST
    It is just same tripe from Wolfe - Hillary is awful, the devil, will ruin everything, blah, blah, blah. . . .  Not only does he have nothing insightful to say, but the whole tableau is painful to look at - is Wolfe trying to look like KO's adoring little brother or does that just happen?

    Kudos to HRC for going into the lion's den.  She's got nerve, that's for sure.

    But on this issue (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:15:12 PM EST
    the thinking was so far over their heads that Wolffe was afraid to say anything and Olbermann was smug in his ignorance.

    Deliberate (none / 0) (#53)
    by Lora on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:42:54 PM EST
    I think Keith and Wolffe deliberately framed Hillary's answer to make it look like she thinks Iran's gonna attack Israel, when Keith was the one who asked her to respond to that possibility.  I'd have to see the transcript of their "analysis" to be sure, but that's how I remember it.

    I guess I'm just old (none / 0) (#114)
    by cal1942 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:04:48 AM EST
    but the theory of nuclear deterrence is nothing new or untried. It's difficult for me to fathom how anyone can fail to understand.

    The dissenter you cited on the Foreign Policy blog seemed to miss that in this case the deterrent wasn't just to protect Israel but to prevent proliferation among Sunni dominated Arab states reacting to Shia Iran's nuclear potential.

    It could also deter any Israeli fears that might encourage an Israeli first strike to preempt an Iranian strike that might destroy their retaliatory capability.


    He might be an ignorant SOB (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Salo on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:21:38 PM EST
    hard to credit the English accent.  Normally you'd think he was enthusiastic about details and ideology with BBC or FleetStreet background.

    Lion? Poodle maybe.. (none / 0) (#49)
    by Salt on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:42:08 PM EST
    Wolfe was the one (none / 0) (#113)
    by cal1942 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:49:47 AM EST
    who wrote:

    'the US president has the power to declare war but the Congress also has some war powers'

    in an article for Newsweek a year or so back.

    It made me wonder why Newsweek would hire a Brit (an assumption on my part based on his accent) to cover national politics.

    It would seem to me that a reporter covering national politics for a major news magazine should at least consult the Constitution before writing something so totally wrong.  In this case his lack of knowledge of American civics had an affect on his story.  It also made me wonder where in hell his editors were or if anyone bothered to edit the damn thing.

    I really shouldn't wonder.  The serious decline of the nation's intellectual competence in recent decades is further evidenced by the support we see in many 'intellectual' quarters for Obama.


    Sen. Clinton's (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by themomcat on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:15:14 PM EST
    depth of understanding of deterrence and her ability to frame it so that is understood by the viewers and KO (although he may not have gotten it) is just one more reason she should be president.

    Talk About Not Getting It...Kossacks Don't Even... (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:30:44 PM EST
    ....know the depth of their ignorance.  They were tripping all over themselves to get to their keyboards so they could start the Hillary bashing.
    I loathe the thought that some of those dimbulbs will be allowed to have a say in choosing the next president.

    I haven't been (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by themomcat on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:37:40 PM EST
    to the site for weeks. It is just too toxic for anyone who even doesn't drink the Kool Aid. Markos has returned to his Republican roots. He was pitiful the other night on Bill Maher.

    That'll pass (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Lahdee on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:38:50 PM EST
    it's the future of the party that concerns me. My only consolation is many of them will see the shiny objects once the general is over and wander away. Those that stay, and perhaps work at the local level, say a congressional campaign or two, may just bring something useful to the table. Just now I don't see it.

    Right. She is NOT proposing to go to (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by MarkL on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:15:20 PM EST
    war with Iran should they gain nuclear weapons.
    She is worlds better than Bush OR Obama.

    Strong Postiion (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by AnninCA on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:16:14 PM EST
    Her plan on this is outstanding.  She's got 3 major strengths:  Health care, Economy, National Security.

    Regardless of what happens, I'm glad she's gotten an opportunity to put forth good thinking to the public.

    We so needed it.

    stunning ignorance (5.00 / 8) (#14)
    by Turkana on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:16:42 PM EST
    in a daily kos wreck list diary. how novel. but if hillary said something, it must be bad.

    I expect a FP post on it (5.00 / 6) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:17:53 PM EST
    any moment now. I will be eviscerating such a post no matter who writes it.

    well... (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by Turkana on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:20:42 PM EST
    markos often cribs off his rec list- i once saw him post three consecutive stories that were already on it. he already cited drudge, today, so he's definitely in form...

    Markos (5.00 / 5) (#26)
    by Coral on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:23:37 PM EST
    has jumped the shark.

    Sad. I used to go there many times a day. Now, not at all.


    Did you see kos on bill maher? He sucked! (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:25:10 PM EST
    However, Cornel West was just as cute and smart as he could be.

    he's not terribly (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by Turkana on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:43:54 PM EST
    telegenic. some people just are, and some just aren't. it could limit his ability to fulfill corporate media aspirations. then again, perhaps not...

    What happened to you? (none / 0) (#110)
    by ghost2 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:02:49 AM EST
    I remember you writing a diary early this year and defending how Markos was operating his site. But I won't hold it against you at all.

    Andy Sullivan once wrote a line about Conrad Black: "He has many friends.  But he prefers enemies." (Is that a British way of cursing?) He could have just as easily written it of Markos.  

    Markos worked hard at driving all of us away.  


    i've written several diaries (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by Turkana on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 03:26:06 AM EST
    defending markos's right to run his site as he wishes. i do think the site's stature gives him a responsibility he's not living up to, but it's still his site. and whether his site maintains or loses its stature is also largely his responsibility. and whether or not we choose to participate is ours. i've said that, all along.

    There are other candidates (none / 0) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:22:01 PM EST
    for this.

    unfortunately (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Turkana on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:41:28 PM EST
    a couple of them were once highly respectable. on a happier note, laura had a terrific post on sexism, a day or two back.

    A disgrace (none / 0) (#36)
    by BDB on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:31:36 PM EST
    After the freak out over her suggesting in a commercial that the next president might have to deal with Osama (gee, you think?) among other potential crises, I'm beginning to wonder if a lot of democrats have decided that they'd like to give up national security to Republicans.  WTF?  Since when don't democrats understand deterrence theory.

    Oh and Keith Olbermann is a little boy.  He won't say anything mean about mommy when she's in the room, but the minute she's out...

    Oh and this Wolffe fellow is an idiot - it's difficult to negotiate with someone and threaten them?  Gee, we only did it for half a century.  How did the cold war end again?  

    And I love how Keith Olbermann, who has parroted so many right-wing smears originated by the VRWC is now more offended by Scaife than Clinton is even though she was the victim of his attacks.  What a weenie.


    I belive the scientific term for KO (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by angie on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 10:28:46 PM EST
    is passive aggressive weenie.

    Where? (none / 0) (#105)
    by gaf on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 12:32:49 AM EST

    I will be eviscerating such a post no matter who writes it.

    Eviscerating it here or there?


    A year ago (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by badger on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:46:46 PM EST
    commenters would have turned that diarist into hamburger. Reading the comments I can only laugh at what a collection of idiots that places has become.

    I may have to reconsider my belief in democracy.


    to be fair (5.00 / 3) (#68)
    by Turkana on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:51:12 PM EST
    there was always a degree of stupidity to the wreck list. i had quite a few diaries make the list that were blasting other diaries on the list. even my second-to-last diary there was like that. to some degree, the community would sometimes self-correct, but that's largely no longer the case. too many sensible people have left.

    Ditto to Huffo (5.00 / 3) (#72)
    by AnninCA on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 10:03:47 PM EST
    Same thing on Huffington.  It imploded.

    I'd like it if (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Salo on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:17:52 PM EST
    the anchors could bring in a Few PhD IR people.

    I'd like to know that they are asking the Qs and making sure the pol is properly versed in general theories and some practical applications of IR--collective security, unilateralism, real politic, international anarchy, autarky, prisoners dillema etc...

    Sport's casters shouldn't be allowed to skim though subjects that are formally taught.

    BTW (5.00 / 5) (#17)
    by andgarden on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:18:02 PM EST
    a large part of that was the reason why we didn't have to invade Iraq. Think the CDSers will get that?

    Of course not (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:20:23 PM EST
    The stupidity burns.

    It also does not guarantee war with Iran if it develops nuclear weapons.

    Deterrence makes wars less likely.

    It makes an Iranian use of nukes less likely.

    But that requires a certain level of intelligence, knowledge and shedding the Hillary Hate.

    I really hope Obama is asked about it because I truly think he will embrace this idea.


    When you listen to her talk about issues (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by andgarden on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:27:19 PM EST
    like this, you understand that WJC isn't lying when he explains how qualified she is.

    The people who break late to her aren't responding to fear, in my estimation; they're responding to stuff like this.


    Not only that... (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by reynwrap582 on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 10:25:57 PM EST
    But when I hear her talk about issues like that, it reminds me of why I so strongly backed Clark in 2004.  The clarity and the sensibleness and the wonkishness makes me swoon.  I can see why he endorsed her.

    This is a sharp idea (none / 0) (#32)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:29:16 PM EST
    for handling the Iran issue.

    Much better than starting a conventional war with them.


    Eat your heart out Jomentum (none / 0) (#35)
    by andgarden on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:31:14 PM EST
    Wasn't Bush 1 (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by Kathy on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:40:13 PM EST
    an advocate of similar policies?  Policies Obama said were good?

    What'll happen tomorrow when Obama does his usual, "what she said, only prettier!" is there will be crickets.

    Of course, the resounding cheers of Clinton's victory in PA will pretty much drown out everything else, so why worry?


    Tremendous (5.00 / 5) (#28)
    by Grey on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:25:29 PM EST
    It's an incredibly sophisticated argument, very nuanced. Quite daring, actually.

    Brilliant grasp of the argument, really.

    Bold (5.00 / 4) (#40)
    by AnninCA on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:33:59 PM EST
    Hillary is far bolder and more truly progressive than Obama.

    No question about it.

    But she also knows how to back down if there's no will for her plans.  That's the benefit of long-time political experience.  Can't learn that one other than by failing.

    He doesn't know how to fail.


    Maybe KO needs to brush up on history (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by mmc9431 on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:26:45 PM EST
    The strategy Hilary proposed is the very same strategy that was used to contain the Soviet Union at the heigth of their power. KO has lost any sense of journalism since he signed his big new contract. I think it made his ego bigger than the contract! What a shame. This was the only voice of reason and logic on cable news and he'd thrown it all away for a cheap ego trip. He has no business quoting Edward R Murrow anymore. He'd be better suited quoing O'Reilly because he's become a mirror image of him. (only from the left side).

    It is better than that (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:28:37 PM EST
    Because Iran will never have the nuclear arsenal of the Soviets.

    It is more like Eisenhower's massive retaliation deterrence theory for Soviet attack of Western Europe when the US had a nuclear monopoly in the early 50s.


    Could also put McCain in a box (5.00 / 3) (#58)
    by RalphB on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:45:28 PM EST
    on the Iran issues.  Does he do deterrence or bomb Iran?  Makes the difference stark and a winner.

    KO (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 10:35:54 PM EST
    Let's give credit where credit is due, i.e., Olbermann asked good questions of Hillary tonight and give her ample opportunity to answer them without interruption.

    Remember Olbermann swooning at the high level of policy discussion among the top 3 Dems (when Edwards was still in) some months ago?  Why isn't he swooning now?


    Hillary's Nuking Iran!!!! (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by dianem on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:29:26 PM EST
    Oh, wait... she only nukes them if they nuke Israel. Maybe that's not quite the same as nuking the middle east just for something to do on a Friday night.

    I don't like the idea of threatening Iran with nuclear annihilation if they nuke Israel, but I understand her plan and I recognize that it's a better option than having a nuclear armed middle east. I don't think that Russia is going to start a nuclear war to defend Iran from the repercussions of nuking Israel.

    And if you think Iran is vanishingly (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by MarkL on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:32:04 PM EST
    unlikely to use nukes to attack Israel, where is the harm of her plan?

    Shhhh... You're being logical. (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by dianem on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:42:21 PM EST
    This is not a time for logic. There is a primary at stake. I'm sure that if Obama wins the election he will find a way to charm Iran into deciding not to arm itself with nuclear weapons. If not, well...we can cross that bridge when we come to it.

    Deterrence (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by facta non verba on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:42:05 PM EST
    is based on the concept M.A.D. Mutual Assured Destruction and the concept of the umbrella of deterrence dates to the 1950s. It is what keep the peace in Europe during the long cold war with the Soviets. We have had an umbrella of deterrence over Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. As a policy, it works. This is not to say the policy is cheap but that alternative is far worse.

    I should have added (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by facta non verba on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:45:19 PM EST
    that Iranian oil production has been declining since 1978 and Iran foresees becoming a net importer of oil by 2050. Hence their need to develop nuclear power. Granted they do have other alternatives but nuclear is generally thought to be the cheapest.

    My father found out from business contacts (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by MarkL on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:49:37 PM EST
    in the 1960's about the Israeli nuclear weapons, via a French metals company whose owner was investing in his company. He told my father about the kinds of specialized equipment that could only be for a nuclear weapons program.
    When he got back to the US, he dutifully reported this to the CIA or whomever (because he was in a technological area, he got asked about his trips sometimes), and was told to shut up:)

    It predates MAD (none / 0) (#52)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:42:40 PM EST
    They taught me about George Kennan (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by andgarden on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:45:07 PM EST
    in my history classes.

    Maybe the Orange people need a review session.


    I think it's a good answer... (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:47:25 PM EST
    ... that convey's Hillary's efforts to be hard-headed on national security without warmongering, which is the blend of positions I'm seeking. I prefer her on other issues as well, but I think she's preferable to McCain's spoiling-for-a-fight Bushism, and Obama's potential for naive Carter/McGovernism.

    My worthless view (5.00 / 4) (#70)
    by Prabhata on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 10:00:08 PM EST
    I think that the idea that Iran is a threat to Israel is simply bs.  Israel is the only country with nuclear weapons in the Middle East, and that's why other countries might feel unsafe.  The closest neighbor to Israel with nukes is Pakistan, and there is no reason to believe that Pakistan is a threat to Israel.  That of course would change if radicals were to take over the Pakistani government.  Which brings me to my final point.  All the hand wringing about Iran is idiocy when we have radicals that could very well take over the government of Pakistan.

    B b but... Iran is the new Al Qaeda! (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by bumblebums on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 11:07:27 PM EST
    Don't you know that?

    Does anyone really think (5.00 / 2) (#100)
    by 1jpb on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 11:48:29 PM EST
    that We're going to have an umbrella over Saudi Arabia?  This sounds like crazy talk: not long ago they kicked us out of our base there.  And, now we're suppose to be their lap dog, as they use OPEC to raise money for Wahhabi madrassas, or who knows what.  I think we are much better of with tough talk, and threats that nothing is off the table if any of our allies (including Saudi Arabia, and other Arab countries) are attacked by Iran.  We don't need a formal treaty.  It doesn't makes sense for HRC to set this as priority.  There is no urgency for such an umbrella.  This idea has been kicking around forever, I'm assuming HRC just threw it out there so she would seem tough, but she must realize we don't need to push this thing.

    Regarding Israel; they have their own nuclear deterrent.  And, we need to strongly indicate that an attack on them would not be accepted, and would result in a US response where nothing is off the table.  This has been our policy, and it should remain our policy; without a new NATO/umbrella treaty.

    On a side note: it sounds like a lot of this conversation relates to Iranian nuclear attacks.  But of course the NATO treaty clearly refers to attacks, not just nuclear attacks.  So, what would we do about Iran (or others) supporting (arming and/or training and/or funding) the Palestinian or other terrorists.  This could be considered an under the radar attack, would it be permitted?  If this would trigger the treaty, we should already be at war with at least Syria and Iran (we already have Iraq covered.)  If this wouldn't trigger the treaty we would have an embarrassingly feckless treaty.

    And, bigger picture, where is the threat?  Are we worried that Iran has hegemonic desires in the Middle East, or are we worried that they want to nuke Middle East countries because they're crazy?  If HRC and her supporters can't answer this question, I must assume they don't really have a fear based on particulars; they just want us to be scared of all the things Iran could do, in theory.  Haven't we learned anything: we should be skeptical when we hear "the sky could be falling" arguments without specifics.  I want a lot of details before I sign up.  Is it possible that they're seeking nukes as a deterrence, rather than a step toward taking over or blowing up other countries?  If this is their motivation, are we sure it makes sense to start a preemptive-cold-war, could this ensure and hasten their nuke acquisition efforts.  How long until Iran has Nukes?  What would trigger our support of those under the umbrella?  Why wouldn't Iran (or others) go the terrorist route so that their attacks have plausible deniability?

    Imo HRC shouldn't be pushing for this umbrella, this idea should go back into the think tank idea bin, where it can wait until it is actually needed.  HRC supporters may want to put their unquestioning approval on hold.  You may want to ask about the details before you start proclaiming the brilliance of HRC's plan, although, it's too late for many of you who have commented here.

    Nuclear deterrence and non-proliferation . . . (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by CLancy on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 07:50:56 AM EST
    . . . are not the same thing. I was shocked by many of Clinton's recent comments as they do little more than egg on hard liners in Iran who are intent on developing a nuclear weapons program. It was already clear to the Iranians that any attack against Israel would be returned in kind, so what's the point of ratcheting-up the rhetoric against them in the heat of a presidential primary campaign?

    Expressing a willingness to annihilate a country with your nuclear arsenal does not discourage them from developing a nuclear program of their own. If anything, it proves to them just how much they need those weapons to defend themselves. At this time, Clinton includes the caveat that it would only happen in response to an Iranian attack, but do you honestly think Iran hears it that way? I can guarantee you that they don't. They quite reasonably see Clinton as willing to use nuclear weapons against them.

    This is how and why nuclear weapons get developed. Clinton's been very irresponsible on this subject over the last week. She may see some rational domestically for her bellicosity, but it's very bad policy.

    Your people are willfully blind (none / 0) (#124)
    by RalphB on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:15:36 AM EST
    and deaf to everything except the words of your ONE.  How can you guarantee anything as to what Iran hears?  Go back to your fainting couch.

    The "Deterrence Threat" (3.00 / 1) (#69)
    by dem08 on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:59:48 PM EST
    may make War less likely.

    But the analysis is unconvincing to me.

    Hillary said, on the clip from Jake Tapper which will be shown tomorrow morning, that if Iran attacked Israel:

    "We would be able to totally obliterate them."

    Wolfson clarified that Hillary did not mean "a nuclear attack".

    If not, then isn't the threat of "Being able to totally obliterate [Iran]" an empty one?

    If it is implied by soon-to-be President Hillary that she would order the "obliteration" of Iran does that mean the Commander-in-Chief has the power to unilaterally order a Nuclear Attack on a nation that did not attack us?

    The argument is that "deterrence works". But deterrence in a nuclear war has certain moral, environmental, and Geo-political problems.

    And what if an unthinkable premise came to be" what if a rogue military coup in Israel attacked Iran first with a Nuclear Weapon, would our deterrence policy call for us to threaten to "totally obliterate" Israel?

    With all respect, this argument on Protein Wisdom or National Review would seem very mainstream Republican. The Democratic Party is now explicitly representing exactly the views of William Kristol, and that is a good thing?

    Oh on you other Faux points (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 10:04:19 PM EST
    Clinton would propose a formal security agreement, like NATO, you know about NATO right?

    And of course the REAL question you are raising is would we ever use nuclear weapons? that is an age old one since Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    your proposal of a coup in Israel is quite the red herring.


    You are attacking Wolfson (none / 0) (#71)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 10:01:52 PM EST
    Not the argument.

    You can do better than that.

    I give you a nice link to develop an argument from.

    Or you could also say if Kruathammer is for it you are against it or something.


    dear Big Tent (none / 0) (#126)
    by dem08 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:34:24 AM EST
    I assumed Wolfson was clarifying Hillary's point.

    I am a Catholic (more than Sunday Mass each week)

    I find the idea of destroying civilians immoral, whether Iran to Israel or USA to Iran.


    Iran is not the Soviet Union (3.00 / 2) (#95)
    by Seth90212 on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 11:10:46 PM EST
    It is a third world country. Israel is a first world country with an arsenal of at least 200 nukes. It is INSANE to talk about U.S. nuclear deterrence extending over the volatile and chaotic Middle East. It was a major gaffe and she keeps repeating it and expounding on it. Many of Hillary's gaffes go under publicized because she is seen as having no chance of winning. This would be headline news of Obama had said it, and the Republicans would have been all over it.

    Ask Obama what he thinks (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 11:20:53 PM EST
    And then tell us what he really meant.

    I understand you support Obama (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by angie on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 11:32:33 PM EST
    but you cannot be serious when you say "many of Hillary's gaffes go under publicized" for whatever reason, much less because "she is seen as having no chance of winning." But even if that were the case, how do you explain the fact that almost all of Obama's gaffes go "under publicized," since he is considered "the front runner?"

    We shouldn't try to justify and defend (none / 0) (#101)
    by Seth90212 on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 11:55:00 PM EST
    every error our preferred candidate makes. This would've caused an earthquake had Obama said it. Even many of you hear would've swarmed to describe his as callow, unsophisticated, even dangerous to the global order.

    Forget about kos, which is a very pro-Obama site. Just get out of the bubble here and surf around to the more neutral sites and read some of the the criticism of these statements. Some of these boards had skewered Obama in the past.


    I didn't say we should (none / 0) (#103)
    by angie on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 12:25:28 AM EST
    "justify and defend every error our preferred candidate makes."  I simply stated that you cannot be serious that "many of Hillary's gaffes go under publicized." You haven't answered that. Secondly, I have been to those so-called "neutral" sites, and it is because of that so-called neutrality that my respect for BTD has grown in leaps and bounds.  I admit, I'm no expert on the nuclear deterrence theory (other then remembering how the whole USSR thing worked out), but I respect BTD's opinion on the issue, because I respect his intellectual honesty (not to mention his intelligence). So, I doubt very seriously we would all be talking about how Obama is "unsophisticated, even dangerous" if he had been smart enough to come up with it first.

    Since you insist, one small example (none / 0) (#106)
    by Seth90212 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 12:37:46 AM EST
    the reaction to bitter versus the reaction to Screw 'em. Surely screw 'em was a much more mean spirited thing to say and lacks any context that would make it more palatable.

    Two issues here... (1.00 / 1) (#38)
    by mattt on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:32:12 PM EST
    both problematic.

    1.  Israel.  Don't they have their own nuclear deterrent?  Given that, how is Clinton's proposal more than a pander to the Likudniks?  If she's serious, should there be conditions upon our explicit guarantee of Israeli security (ie, dismantling of settlements in occupied territories, etc)?  How many terrorists is this open (and apparently unconditional) nuclear alliance with Israel going to help Hamas, Hezbollah and etc to recruit?

    2.  Other Arab/Muslim states.  Would Clinton respond forcefully to an Iranian strike against any other state, or one of our friends only?  Why are we committing ourselves to this degree in regional politics?  How easy would it be for the Iranians to use this attempt to stifle their regional aspirations to inflame postcolonial anger at the US, and recruit/rationalize terrorist acts against us?

    Clinton often strikes me as needing to show how tough she is.  Not a quality I'm looking for in a C-in-C.

    Missing her message (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by AnninCA on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:35:59 PM EST
    I think you're misinterpreting her strategy.  It's about insisting that Iran and others understand that there is a united front.  That requires a lot of diplomacy and rebuilding of our relationships abroad.

    She could do it.

    Hillary is anything but a war-monger.


    Missing her message (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 10:40:16 PM EST
    Agreed.  It's also about preventing nuclear proliferation in the region.

    How so? (none / 0) (#123)
    by CLancy on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:03:15 AM EST
    Generally, threatening to annihilate another country (presumably with your own nuclear weapons) would not discourage them from developing their own program. If anything, it simply underscores to them why they need a program to begin with.

    I recognize that Clinton threw in some caveats as to what would trigger said annihilation, but I doubt the Iranian hardliners heard it that way.

    I'm fairly sure her message was heard loud and clear.


    Well said... (none / 0) (#133)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 03:56:18 PM EST
    from my view, all pointing a nuclear warhead at a country deters is peace.

    Clinton or Obama promise a continuation of the same old foreign policy we have had for 60 years...and the accompanying blowback.  iow, no change.


    I got your united front... (1.00 / 1) (#59)
    by mattt on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:45:29 PM EST
    right here.

    Don't forget her vote on Kyl-Lieberman, either.  I wouldn't call her a war monger, but she seems to overvalue force and threats of force.


    Putin will support nuking Israel? (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:48:46 PM EST
    Boy, you are quite inventive.

    CDS and I[srael]DS (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by andgarden on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:49:55 PM EST
    go well together.

    mattt, please read the archives (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Kathy on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:49:32 PM EST
    this has been discussed ad nauseam, and it's really tiring to see it brought up.  Actually, why not just google around and see where Obama was when Kyl-Lierberman was voted on and explain his cowardice to us all.

    I mean, for the love of peeps, can't you guys get some new talking points?


    The new is worn off (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by AnninCA on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 10:07:56 PM EST
    Your point is actually relevant to a long primary season.

    Part of the issue is that Obama was so unknown.  It requires a long season to see that the hit points are repetitive, let people get bored hearing them, and then let it shake out.

    That is why the Democratic party members insisting on ending the race are wrong.

    We have an unknown character here.  With no record.

    Excuse me.  Stop rushing everyne!


    you seem to be arguing against yourself... (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by white n az on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 10:14:24 PM EST
    on one hand, accusing Hillary of wratcheting up her war mongering cred and then the other, linking Ahmadinejad's travels to Russia.

    But yeah, you're right...at least she didn't have to defend herself on the View for stealing cookie recipes.

    Since you mention it though...where was Obama's vote on Kyl/Lieberman?


    The Likudniks have the opposite view (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:38:35 PM EST
    Read the article I link to. You missed the boat.

    Obama threatening to bomb Iran is (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by MarkL on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:41:55 PM EST
    someone trying to sound tough. Hillary is sounding realistic and hard-nosed.
    Do you see any proposal to bomb Iran, should they acquire nuclear weapons?

    Israel (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by themomcat on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:43:04 PM EST
    has never publicly admitted to having nuclear weapons. The PM's have all consistently refused to say one way or the other for national security reasons. It is assumed that they do have nuclear weapon capability

    Muslim Countries Would Be Part of the Agreement (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by BDB on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 09:49:31 PM EST
    That's the whole point.  There's only one non-Muslim country in the area so when she talks about wanting to provide security assurances to other countries in the Middle East so they don't feel the need for nuclear weapons, she's not just talking about Israel, she's talking about other countries that might worry about Iran, like Saudi Arabia.  

    The idea is to keep from having a nuclear arms race in the Middle East by promising any country who joins the agreement protection from existing nuclear powers like the U.S. and NATO.  Again, classic deterrent policy used during the cold war.  


    They're doing a remake of (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by badger on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 10:04:53 PM EST
    The Day the Earth Stood Still - you should see it (or catch the original).

    1. Israel has their own nuclear deterrent, but there is always the first strike issue - that's the one that on several occasions almost led to nuclear war between the US and USSR, and makes submarines a more terrible weapon.

    Clinton's approach takes a "first strike" confrontation between Iran and Israel off the table, as well as signaling our position on the use of nukes by Iran.

    2. The Iranians don't need anything to "inflame post-colonial anger" - Osama is still alive and we're still in Iraq.

    Otherwise, are you suggesting we draw up a list of countries Iran can or can't nuke? Indicating we'll back up our ally with deterrence makes our position no longer hypothetical. For any other country, Iran still has to calculate what our response will be, and given our strong position on Israel, it's hard to see how they'd arrive at a conclusion that the risk with any other country would be worth the reward.

    The alternative is more Bush-McCain "pre-emptive" wars and all of the negative results (deaths, budget, oil prices, etc) that go with that.

    Which side is Obama on?


    Talkleft: The Journal of Mutually Assured (1.00 / 1) (#107)
    by AdrianLesher on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 12:42:17 AM EST

    Ironically (none / 0) (#83)
    by swiss473 on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 10:26:23 PM EST
    Rudy Giuliani pretty much said just this same thing last Summer, practically the exact same thing, and was villified by everyone one the left for it.

    Who would have guessed that the fmr dem front-runner and still possible nominee would have the exact same policy come April 2008

    Deterrence is an interesting idea. (none / 0) (#84)
    by Same As It Ever Was on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 10:27:35 PM EST
    In some respects I question the need for it since I am unconvinced that Iran is an expansionist power or seriously interested in was with Israel.

    Nevertheless, such a policy would certainly cause Iran to reevaluate the sensibility of pursuing nuclear weapons which would be rendered useless by projection of American power.

    However, deterrence was fine when the states falling under the umbrella of protection were stable western democracies.  I have profound reservations about making such a committment with potentially unstable and undemocratic Arab states, particularly since our continued military presence in such places antagonizes radical elements, thereby creating a great deal of uncertainty regarding the reliability of our allianced should a crisis come.

    You mean like Taiwan? (none / 0) (#87)
    by andgarden on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 10:33:37 PM EST
    There is no nuclear umbrella over Taiwan (none / 0) (#102)
    by Seth90212 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 12:09:05 AM EST
    This country is intentionally vague about its reaction to an attack on Taiwan. But is it unlikely we would launch nukes at China in response. However, during the cold war, even a conventional Soviet attack on Western Europe would likely have instigated a U.S. nuclear response.

    Nuclear Deterrence not up for bush league insanity (none / 0) (#90)
    by pluege on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 10:40:33 PM EST
    unfortunately bush has demonstrated that there is a fatal flaw in the nuclear deterrence theory namely that the theory is predicated on the assumption that the person with their finger on the button was sane enough to not risk annihilation of their own country. bush has demonstrated total disregard for life and for the wishes of the American people and in fact demonstrated a level of insanity exceeding the maximum level anticipated by the nuclear deterrence theory. Hence, it is somewhat back to the drawing board.  

    I would argue that Bush (none / 0) (#91)
    by RalphB on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 10:48:59 PM EST
    has not demonstrated a disregard for his own life.  In fact, just the opposite.  That's what's at stake with deterrence.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#127)
    by pluege on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:42:12 AM EST
    and what makes you think that the US Government doesn't have nuclear blast hardened secure sites in which to ensure the essential leadership of the government survives a nuclear attack?

    Oh c'mon (none / 0) (#92)
    by badger on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 11:01:18 PM EST
    I can hate Bush as much as anyone, but I hope I never post things this out of touch with reality.

    Unless you can point to an instance where Bush used nukes, your argument is pretty senseless. Nuclear deterrence has nothing to do with preventing regional conflicts (like us in Korea, VietNam or Iraq and Afghanistan, or the USSR in Hungary, Czechoslovakia or Afghanistan).

    In what way has Bush risked the annihilation of the US, by nukes or any other means?

    A policy of deterrence, by design, obviates the "need" or motivation to engage in regional conflicts or total war - the same policy could have been applied to Iraq if Iraq had really had nuclear weapons. Had Bush gone that route, we wouldn't be 5 years into a war that's killed hundreds of thousands of people and nearly bankrupted us.

    It's sad to see Hillary-hatred (or Bush-hatred) trump rationality.


    And what reality do you live in? (none / 0) (#125)
    by pluege on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:34:22 AM EST
    perhaps you're "out of touch" with:

    • bush abrogating the ABM defense treaty
    • bush abrogating the chemical weapons ban treaty
    • bush initiating deep penetrating nuclear weapons research in order to attack underground site is Iran with nuclear weapons
    • bush declaring that the US would use battlefield nuclear weapons
    • the movement of nuclear weapons a few months ago from storage in Illinois to an air base in Louisiana that was a launch base for strikes in Iraq.
    • that bush offered to attack Iran when they took 11 British sailors captive last year
    • the presence of 3 US carrier battle groups in the Persian Gulf that barely fits one carrier group because its too narrow to turn the ships.
    • bush insisting on the placement of US missile defense sites in Eastern Europe provoking Russia to threaten a response.
    • bush violating US law and Geneva Conventions.
    • the US's use of depleted uranium munitions starting with Gulf War I that have been declared illegal by the UN and that leave environmentally poisonous uranium pollution in the environment causing widespread birth defects and infant mortality for thousands of years.

    Not only is bush insane, but the whole US military jingoistic societal casual thinking regarding violence and warfare is insane. bush's insanity has only moved the insanity in quantum leaps towards massive destruction.

    On Wolfe... (none / 0) (#93)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 11:06:13 PM EST
    Look at this picture then tell me why we should trust anything he says....

    Olberman is an idiot (none / 0) (#97)
    by tarheel74 on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 11:29:07 PM EST
    so what's new? just move on. Unfortunately the same question has not been asked of Obama and I am interested to know what his answer will be (for that matter if this question was asked in the debate did Obama get a chance to respond? if he did does anyone know what he said?...no wait I found out what he said "it will be unacceptable" and USA will do something...so again very low on specifics...politics as usual). However in the end it will be asked of Obama and a large section of the voters in the country will want a clear answer. If that answer does not include a clear deterrence then the Republicans will again label us Democrats as weak on national security once again.

    The big orange place (none / 0) (#104)
    by jen on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 12:25:30 AM EST
    is very happy to exist in their belief that Hillary is the scariest, evilest monster alive, so I doubt they will read this, but I had to link to it anyways because now they're dragging Wes Clark into it. Thanks BTD.


    It's crazy there. People that were once respected and trusted are now evil and lost if they don't follow the ONE, and especially if they support the monster. :(

    Are you all crazy (none / 0) (#111)
    by bowchikabowbow on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:15:14 AM EST
    I love how everyone here is backing hillary's answer with respect to deterrence, which I agree with.

    I'll actually start off by saying that she did an excellent job of clarifying her answer. I totally agree with what she said about deterrence towards Iran.

    But, you guys have got to admit that she did sound Bush-like when she said that Iran has a continuing of goal of getting nukes.

    This was a baffling assertion given the fact that the NIE that came out a couple of months ago just said that Iran stopped its nuclear program in 2003. Either everyone here agrees with the NIE or you all agree with Clinton and Bush that Iran is pursuing a nuke as we speak.

    I just can't believe that we democrats might pick another John Kerry, someone who voted for the war in Iraq just like Hillary. I thought we were the party that opposed the war in Iraq. I thought we decided that the NIE was correct in its assessment about Iran.

    I'm not one of these crazy Hillary haters, but I gotta say that I am surprised at how we democrats can so easily support someone who voted for the war and ignores the Iran NIE report.

    What is it about Obama and Dean that you guys don't like so much? I included Dean because he lost last time and seemed like the most anti-Iraq war candidate.  

    Obama and Dean opposed the war from the start. Don't they deserve something for their judgement?

    Dean took a political risk (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:37:52 AM EST
    With his opposition.  Obama took none.  I do not group them together.

    Second of all, I wonder if John Kerry has really come to the conclusion that he himself lacked the judgment to be president.

    I wonder what must go through his mind when he hears the candidate he supports make that case against Clinton.

    Do you think he says to himself: "Why yes, Barack, I lacked the judgment to be president, you are right to say so now."?

    Or maybe he says to himself:  "It's a campaign tactic, Obama doesn't really mean it."


    wtf (none / 0) (#128)
    by bowchikabowbow on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 11:06:04 AM EST
    Obama made his anti war statements in 2002.

    How is that political? That seemed just as risky as Dean.

    But I agree with you about Kerry, but then again it never seemed like he had an conviction about anything. Clinton has done a much better job of answering her vote for the war.


    Making a speech that no one knew about (none / 0) (#130)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 11:27:30 AM EST
    At a local event in a blue district does not even come close to being as politically risky is making a run for the president based on the issue.

    Not even close.


    She wasn't asked (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by themomcat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:06:40 AM EST
    if Iran was pursuing nuclear weapons. She was asked what she would do if Iran used them to attacked Israel. There was no question about the NIE. It was a hypothetical question. I think you misunderstood what was asked and answered. There was no mention of the NIE.
    And as far as the Iraq was is concerned, Obama may have made a speech that no one noticed until he posted on his blog, but he has voted lock step with all the funding without a word of protest until he started running for president. He has even said that he wasn't sure he would have voted against the invasion if he had been in the Senate, as well as, statements that he approved of Bush's conduct of the war. I think Obama's head will nod in agreement with was Hillary said about nuclear determent.

    That should be "deterrence". (none / 0) (#116)
    by themomcat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:10:16 AM EST
    ur a insane (none / 0) (#129)
    by bowchikabowbow on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 11:20:34 AM EST
    She was certainly saying that Iran is pursuing nukes. She was not speaking hypothetically at all.

    Also Obama never said flat out that she might have voted for the Iraq war resolution. This is what he said in 2004 when he was defending Kerry for president.

    But, I'm not privy to Senate intelligence reports,'' Mr. Obama said. ''What would I have done? I don't know. What I know is that from my vantage point the case was not made.''

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9407E2DF153DF935A15754C0A9629C8B63&sec=&spon= &pagewanted=2

    Also, Obama never said he approved of how Bush was conducting the war in Iraq. He said in 2004 that he agree with Bush in that he opposed an immediate withdrawal of US forces back in 2004. He never said he agreed with his conduct of the war.


    Also, Obama introduced legislation to pull US troops out of Iraq in January of 2007 and Hillary opposed his bill.



    So quit spouting campaign spin and get your facts straight.


    Loved Dean When He Ran (none / 0) (#122)
    by MO Blue on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 07:55:56 AM EST
    Obama not so much. Had Obama been the Senator from NY and had to vote, there is no doubt in my mind that he would have voted  the same as HRC just like he voted to fund the war after he actually joined the Senate.

    "alternative to armed intervention" (none / 0) (#117)
    by Andreas on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:18:06 AM EST
    Big Tent Democrat wrote:

    This is excellent strategic thinking, providing a great alternative to armed intervention in Iran and allowing for hard headed and rational diplomacy with Iran on the question of nuclear weapons.

    That is an interesting statement. The "armed intervention in Iran" (a criminal war of aggression) which is currently being prepared by the Bush/Cheney-regime has as its aim the control of Iran by US imperialism. The main threat to world peace is US imperialism, not Iran.

    I want to hear (none / 0) (#120)
    by Lora on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 07:08:20 AM EST
    I'd like to hear Hillary say (or any other presidential candidate) that she would go all out in developing as effective a deterrent as nuclear force without the long-lasting devastating effect to this fragile planet.

    Betrayal (none / 0) (#134)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:37:42 PM EST
    Cheney worries that our mid east allies will not feel safe if a Dem is elected:

    In a speech at the Manhattan Institute today, Vice President Dick Cheney charged that withdrawing troops from Iraq would create a "massive setback." During his comments, Cheney also "used words like `betrayal`" to describe what he sees as the consequences of withdrawal:

    Failure in Iraq would also tell America's friends that we cannot be counted on. We have to remember that in the broader Middle East, untold numbers of people have made a stand for freedom because the United States has led the fight......

    And if Iran gets the bomb.....

    Ubrellas of deterrance have a downside (none / 0) (#135)
    by Prabhata on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 09:36:30 AM EST
    Umbrellas have historically kept peace, but if a conflict were to begin, and sometimes it can happen for insignificant reasons, a bigger war can spread.  The Middle East, unlike Europe after WWII is more likely to go into war for stupid reasons.

    Let's keep some sanity (none / 0) (#136)
    by Prabhata on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 09:40:26 AM EST
    Iran is not getting the bomb.  They have stated their reason for acquiring nuclear capability is for peaceful purposes.  It's a known fact that Iran is running out of oil, and probably want to keep that oil to sell instead of using it for domestic energy.  Israel has enough bombs to protect itself and act as a bully in the region.  I wish HRC would say something about Israel having the bomb and to relax.  Israel is very capable of defending and wage war.

    It's not an issue of (none / 0) (#138)
    by JohnS on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 11:25:07 AM EST
    trading "Paris for New York." A nuclear Iran will simply not be a threat to the continental US. London maybe, not New York. So we would not have to post troops on Iran's border. The FP blog argument doesn't hold water.