Umbrella Of Deterrence Part II

By Big Tent Democrat

Speaking for me only

In some ways, reactions like this one to Hillary Clinton's "umbrella of deterrence" proposal explains why some Dems shiver in fear at any mention of national security issues in an election. Matt Stoller writes (see also Matt Yglesias' flip flop, he did not object to this proposal BEFORE it became a Hillary proposal; CDS strikes againYglesias clarifies that he is not objecting to the proposal but to Wolfson's bizarre denial; fair point; see also Noam Scheiber ("Her answers on the policy questions were pretty lucid and authoritative--particularly on the Middle East "nuclear umbrella" idea, which sounds a little crazy when you first hear about it, but which she convinced me was an anti-proliferation proposal."):

A massive new security commitment in this volatile region is just insane. And the belligerent rhetoric - 'totally obliterate them' - what the hell? It's like 7th graders with nuclear weapons. I'm having a harder and harder time seeing the difference between McCain and Clinton. Perhaps Clinton will be more saddened than McCain's gleefully militarism as she launches an attack on Iraq [sic], but that's just tone.

Perhaps Stoller's comment just reflects ignorance or perhaps something more, but to equate a proposal that would actually obviate the possibility of a preemptive attack against an Iran that acquires nuclear weapons with John McCain's neocon view that the U.S. must take military action PRIOR to Iran's gaining nuclear weapons has the concept upside down.

Let me quote again from Harvard Middle East Studies article I discussed earlier:

At one end of the spectrum is the view that Iranís religious elites would order an offensive nuclear attack against the United States or U.S. forces or Israel, despite the certainty of suffering a catastrophic response, because they would be willing to die to eliminate Iranís infidel enemies. (Some critics of the Bush administration accuse it of adopting this eschatological understanding of Iranís strategic calculus.) It is difficult to envision any effective U.S. deterrent to a nuclear Iran if this view is accurate.

(Emphasis supplied.) You see it is the neocons and the Bush Administration that has rejected deterrence theory against Iran. It is Matt Stoller who is sounding like a Bush Administration neocon. It is Matt Stoller who sounds like John McCain. While it is true that the remedy that Stoller would propose for the Iran problem is different than the solution McCain would propose - McCain would attack Iran, Stoller would allow Iran to run unchecked in the Middle East - the analysis of the effectiveness of deterrence is the same.

If and when Barack Obama speaks favorably of the Clinton proposal, what then will Matt Stoller and other Obama supporters say? Will it become a reasonable proposal again? Or will Stoller call Obama insane? Oh BTW, anyone wondering why Obama is not denouncing this proposal from Hillary Clinton? Does it ever cross the mind of these folks that if Obama thinks this is insane, perhaps he might want to say so? There is certainly a type of insanity afoot here, but it is not from Hillary Clinton.

NOTE - Comments closed.

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    Why don't Democrats ever learn? (5.00 / 8) (#1)
    by rooge04 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:53:05 AM EST
    We lose election after election because we look like wimps on national security.  Then Hillary comes out with a sensible plan that is both strong AND diplomatic and we call her a neo-con!  I wonder why we keep losing.

    Hillary, GREAT! (none / 0) (#142)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:17:55 AM EST

    Hillary's statement was great because it removed the chance that Iran might miscalculate a US response.  When dealing with nukes, vague is bad.  Really bad.

    If and when Barack Obama speaks favorably (5.00 / 8) (#2)
    by MO Blue on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:53:06 AM EST
    of the Clinton proposal, what then will Matt Stoller and other Obama supporters say?

    His supporters will say that it is the most remarkable idea ever and it show how truly brilliant Obama is for coming up with this solution.

    Clinton's plan (as usual) (5.00 / 7) (#3)
    by Kathy on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:56:16 AM EST
    is a thoughtfully laid out proposal that doesn't just look at the immediate problem, but seeks to address long term threats.  This is her greatest strength-anticipating the fall out from a decision (as opposed to Obama, who can't even make the decision in the first place)  After the debacle that is the Iraq war, America doesn't just need to redeem itself morally, but militarily.  By reminding people that we are a super power, and that we have the technology and capability to retaliate at will against any and all attacks against America or our allies, will go toward restoring our military reputation as well.

    And how Clinton's plan is being framed irresponsible is beyond me, but then I don't read those other blogs because they make my stomach hurt.  I do find it strange that Obama saying, during a debate, that he would launch an attack on a sovereign nation (Pakistan) if he had actionable intelligence slides by under the outrage-radar, yet Clinton gets slammed for actually presenting a workable and viable deterrent against ever having to put any of our soldiers in harm's way.

    It just proves that they will find any and every way to hate her.  I am so glad that these so-called progressives on the blogosphere represent such a tiny, tiny minority of the rest of the population.  If only the media understood that.

    Campaign Craziness (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by AnninCA on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:57:49 AM EST
    I still am laughing that the picture of Osama bin Ladin caused such an uproar.  Now this.

    The demonization of Hillary Clinton has been a spectacle to watch from the far left.  They have been far more Republican than the Republicans ever could have been in their heyday.

    Her discussion on this topic is very relevant to actual events going on in the world.  Obama never addresses real issues.  So far, I've not seen much from him other than attacking the Clintons and special interests.

    It's fascinating to watch someone campaign and manage to avoid all reality.  

    Is it any wonder? (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by annabelly on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:23:46 AM EST
    Considering so many of the Blogger Boyz used to BE Republican?

    This is the problem with politicking with Republicans or former Republicans--they cannot be trusted. Who knows if what they spout is truth, or some cleverly designed plan to infiltrate Dem ranks? I'm not generally a conspiracy theorists, but I put nothing, nothing at all beyond the Reps in power now.


    I always assumed (none / 0) (#141)
    by Salo on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:17:06 AM EST
    that a nuke dropped on Israel would lead to the offending nation being nuked in return.

    And I LOVE the anti-Semitism (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by andgarden on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:11:52 AM EST
    in the  Yglesias thread.

    yglesias's blog has been an (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by kangeroo on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:27:20 AM EST
    eye-opener for me this season on the potential hazards of not enforcing civility rules--especially in an atmosphere where CDS is contagious.  a month or so ago i dropped by and was shocked at the vitriol and the pettiness in the thread.  bitter hatred toward krugman, blatant misogyny toward clinton, gratuitous expletives galore--and i noted yglesias was doing nothing to stop them.  they were like a bunch of savages or something; it was a scene straight out of lord of the flies.

    and the anti-Semitism comments at DK! (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Josey on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:30:44 AM EST
    Wow! diary on Rec list about Hillary and nukes.
    A few months ago, these comments would have been troll rated - now they're rec'd.

    Really? (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by andgarden on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:32:44 AM EST
    I'm not going over there to read that.

    The core Obama support (none / 0) (#215)
    by Salo on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 11:04:43 AM EST
    is/was anti Ahmedinajad and anti palestinian.  In fact many of the core Obama fans were habitual denizens of the IP threads chasing away anti Israeli view points.

    Since Obama started his run They simply switched from attacking critical viewpoints (some of the TR justified)  about Israel to walloping Edwards.

    There was radio silence about the Arab Israel conflict among the 4 or 5 most prominent Obama supporters who had normally acted as self appointed censors of the IP threads.  Most of thew paliestinina flag wavers are propably pro Obama as well.

    strange bedfellows indeed.


    They hate Israel (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by dianem on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:41:00 AM EST
    My first truly negative experience at Daily Kos was when I was repeatedly flamed for defending Israel during the latest Israel/Palestine conflict. I was shocked at the level of hatred almost everybody there had for Israel. They saw the Palestinians as innocent victims and Israel as the powerful oppressor. I'm not blindly pro-Israel. I support their right to exist as a nation, but I know that they have made a lot of mistakes in their handling of the Palestinians. There were a handful of us defending Israel, pointing out that they were also victims and not all Palestinians were innocent. It was ugly. I couldn't believe the one-sidedness of the debate.

    Then I remembered why I don't go to progressive rallies. My first anti-war rally was the big Iraq rally right before the build-up. I was surprised to hear the people at the podium talking not about Iraq, but about Palestine, and just as hatefully as the Kossacks. I felt "bait and switched". I was there to protest Iraq, not Israel.


    David Corn (5.00 / 3) (#65)
    by andgarden on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:42:50 AM EST
    has written on this before. I won't have anything to do with ANSWER, personally.

    Interesting read (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by Faust on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:16:49 AM EST
    Thanks for link.

    normally you get TRed (none / 0) (#204)
    by Salo on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:59:13 AM EST
    if you have a pro palestinian position.  Since the primary though all the IP denizens on the pro Israeli side have kept quiet---they are mainly pro Obama pro Israelis.

    Althoiugh Obama has a great deal of support from pro palestinain posters.

    this is a simplified short version fof the state of the IP discussion there.  It stopped when Obama entered the race.


    So Many Democrats (5.00 / 4) (#13)
    by BDB on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:12:48 AM EST
    seem not to understand foreign policy and basic history in the area of foreign policy (e.g., classic deterrence theory) that it's depressing.  The weird thing is that many of these same folks give foreign policy as the reason they support Obama.  Oh, wait, maybe that's not weird at all...

    (To be fair to Obama, I do not believe he's likely to show the same ignorance as some of his supporters if only because he has better advisors).

    yup - Do they think that most NATO (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by ruffian on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:42:33 AM EST
    countries don't have nuclear weapons because they are not afraid of getting attacked by someone that does?  No, they do not have them because they are in an arrangement with the U.S., England, and France to provide the deterrence for them. Why can't they think the same logic could apply to Jordan, Syria, and Saudi Arabia, etc?   It is certainly worth a try, and a diplomatic effort.

    I believe Obama knows this and it is just his short-sighted supporters who are unwilling to give Hillary credit for anything.


    BTW (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:14:59 AM EST
    I want to add that when Barack Obama was being attacked for his statements about going after Al Qaida in Pakistan I was in the front lines defending his eminently sensible comments.

    I don't think it's the same thing at all (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by dianem on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:31:17 AM EST
    Obama was talking about an attack that could destabilize an existing allied government in order to achieve a unilateral success for the United States. At best, going after al quaeda in Pakistan without their permission would be a PR disaster that would impact our relations with every middle east nation. At worst, it could precipitate a civil war within Pakistan that resulted in factions that are against the U.S. taking control of the nation.

    Clinton is talking about an agreement with Arab nations to prevent nuclear escalation.


    Excuse me (none / 0) (#54)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:38:58 AM EST
    But I do not believe it would have been destabilizing at all. Indeed, the Bush Administration did JUST THAT AFTER Obama's statements and the Musharraf government did not fall.

    You are wrong.


    I don't hold Bush as a good role model (none / 0) (#67)
    by dianem on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:43:48 AM EST
    And I didn't say it would be destabilizing, just that it could. I don't want to take that risk. I'm afraid we will have to agree to disagree.

    The US always denies attacking any area (none / 0) (#80)
    by Prabhata on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:48:22 AM EST
    in Pakistan.  Though Bush has done it, it's never been an open policy to do that. BO said he would bomb a known terrorist hideout in Pakistan, and make it a policy.  I believe that was his position.  The problem with it is that Pakistanis do not approve of the US attacking any area. I do not want to go into too much detail, but we do not want an uprise in Pakistan.

    We were in the middle of an arms deal (none / 0) (#107)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:01:07 AM EST
    with Pakistan when Obama said what he said.  Part of the arms deal was that they were going to deal with the Taliban and they did need things they didn't have to deal with them effectively and we did provide those arms.  Pakistan was part of the attack on the Taliban that took place then, we didn't do it alone.

    thank goodness we intervened (none / 0) (#119)
    by Kathy on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:05:56 AM EST
    because now the Taliban is even stronger, and their opium is flooding the world market, so we are basically financing them with our drug money.  

    We are capitalists first ya know ;) (none / 0) (#126)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:09:31 AM EST
    Obama's statements were attacked (none / 0) (#154)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:22:53 AM EST
    Erroneously by the leftist bloggers who were then trying to figure out if Edwards might win.

    Yes.  Some then, just like today, said he was being more hawkish than Bush.  They said "He's going to invade Pakistan" the same way they're saying, hysterically, "She's going to bomb Iran" today about Clinton.

    But there was a valid criticism of Obama's comments on Musharraf and Pakistan.  They have been written about before and they should not be forgotten.  Obama's first conclusion was that it was Musharraff's job to go get Osama Bin Laden.  It did not yet occur to Obama until much later on that Musharraff might not have the capacity to do so.

    And that it was ALREADY policy that if we had actionable intel, we would, obviously, act.

    So yeah, bleating on about how Obama was being hawkish was dumb.  Just as it is about Clinton now.

    Pointing out that Obama didn't really know what he was talking about still remains valid.

    On this issue, Obama did modulate his statement ("If Musharraff can't act, we should," instead of "If Musharraff won't act, we will.")  So I'll give him points for being a slippery politician (which can be a good thing) and displaying a capacity to learn.


    Obama won't asy anything (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by ruffian on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:22:08 AM EST
    about this unless he is asked, and he is doing his best not to be asked about anything except his choice of syrup.  Meanwhile his ignorant supporters back themselves into a corner.

    Obama himself is smarter than they are, and will come around to this idea, if he hasn't already. He just won't talk about it until and unless he is the nominee and he can make it his own policy.

    Josh Marshall has zero to say (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by MarkL on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:24:40 AM EST
    about Hillary's proposal so far. If he continues his embarrassing silence, we'll know that he approves.

    Of course he does (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Prabhata on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:25:56 AM EST
    He's actually waiting for Obama (5.00 / 4) (#35)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:30:16 AM EST
    to come out with the Me-Too statement.  Then he can cheerlead for the strategy while never giving Hillary any credit for it.

    So funny! (none / 0) (#50)
    by Shainzona on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:36:44 AM EST
    Thanks for my first laugh-out-loud of the day!

    don't bet on it. (none / 0) (#102)
    by cpinva on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:57:34 AM EST
    Josh Marshall has zero to say
    about Hillary's proposal so far. If he continues his embarrassing silence, we'll know that he approves.

    you're assuming, without justification, that mr. marshall actually understands the proposal. i operate under no such illusions.

    BTD, you are flat out wrong. the recent, brief incursion into pakistan was just that, brief. it could be explained away as a mistake made in the heat of the chase, quickly rectified and with apologies all around.

    the sustained type of entry of which obama speaks would provide the spark needed to enflame an already incindiary situation. the musharraf gov't would fall, replaced by god only know's what. but, you can be assured, whatever it is will not be friendly to US interests.

    that's sort of a problem with dictators, they have no legitimacy among the people, and it doesn't take all that much for them to go, absent brutal crackdowns. i don't think musharraf has enough sway with the army at this point to pull that off.


    Where does Obama speak of a (none / 0) (#113)
    by MarkL on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:03:34 AM EST
    sustained entry into Pakistan?

    Funny How Obama Supporters Didn't Seem To Have (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by MO Blue on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:27:30 AM EST
    any problems with Obama wanting to tailor his foreign policy after Reagan.

    Reagan is their secret hero (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by ruffian on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:44:36 AM EST
    They grew up adnmiring him. Such a great communciator, such great speeches!! So charismatic!!!

    Criticism of Clinton's Position (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by BDB on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:28:39 AM EST
    The irony of the criticism she's getting is that the real criticism is that it won't work.  It's the criticism from the article BTD quoted, that the countries in the region can't be relied upon to enter such a security agreement or keep their end of the bargain so that the agreement won't be taken seriously by Iran.  The follow up, of course, would be that that means the U.S. must either do something else to stop Iran (negotiate if possible or worse) or permit Iran to continue on to develop nuclear weapons in the next decade or two.  

    It's depressing to see how many democrats are uncomfortable with threatening the use of hard power as a negotiating tool.  Threatening to use it is not the same as using it.  I suppose it's understandable, to a certain extent, in the wake of the Iraq war, but multi-national security agreements - and the threat of hard power behind them - are a way to avoid wars and maintain security.  

    I suppose the big trap (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by Kathy on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:53:57 AM EST
    in agreeing with Clinton--that the threat of massive force deters others from striking first--means that the boys would have to go back and validate Clinton's vote on the AUTHORIZATION TO USE FORCE in Iraq.  And her subsequent speeches about how the vote was to be used as a deterrent.  

    Her consistency on this issue is wonderfully clear.  She is saying the same thing now that she said then--that the threat of massive retaliation should be a bargaining tool.


    Oh I disagree with that (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:57:02 AM EST
    Because Bush made it clear that it was a vote for war.

    No no no. you are wrong here imo.


    I think a great many Americans (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by Kathy on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:02:00 AM EST
    assumed the threat of war would be enough to prevent war.  Clinton's subsequent speeches on the issue made it clear that's how she felt.  In fact, the CIA operative who interrogated Sadaam said that even Sadaam thought it was saber rattling and that the US would never really send in troops.  He thought that the negotiations would continue, even when the inspectors were pulled.

    I thought the threat would be enough (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:07:50 AM EST
    my soldier husband thought the threat would be enough and thought it was saber rattling.  My vietnam vet Uncle saw it clearly though and knew that once they had the authority we were going to war.  Most of my family though thought they were witnessing deterrence and not the start of a war.

    I think a great many Americans (none / 0) (#135)
    by Faust on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:13:25 AM EST
    were dead wrong. And Clinton was one of them.

    To be fair (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Steve M on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:32:31 AM EST
    A lot of the derangement in the blogosphere concerning Iran predates Hillary's candidacy.  Everyone wants to be the polar opposite of the Bush Administration, which leads them to act as though Iran has some God-given right to nuclear weapons.  Sometimes this is phrased as "if Israel can have nukes, why can't they?"  It's one thing to understand the Iranian perspective, but it's quite another thing to adopt it.

    When I was a kid growing up in the 80s, we all used to think deterrence theory (they called it "Mutually Assured Destruction" which obviously wouldn't be an accurate term in Iran's case) was the craziest thing ever.  As we got older and wiser we realized that even though it wasn't a great way to live, there really wasn't any other solution, unless you're one of the Jonah Goldberg types who thinks that after the Nazis surrendered we should have continued on to Moscow.

    Maybe it's an artifact of growing up in the Cold War, but I have to wonder, if I understood deterrence theory at the age of 14, what's with all these bloggers who don't?

    Oh I have seen that (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:36:25 AM EST
    But to misunderstand deterrence theory as the Bush Doctrine of Preemptive War is ignorance on a massive scale.

    That's What We Seem to Be Dealing With (none / 0) (#155)
    by BDB on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:24:15 AM EST
    At least among some high information voters.   ;-)

    If we do not protect Israel (none / 0) (#104)
    by Kathy on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:57:55 AM EST
    then there will be no Israel.

    Obama does not say so (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by tarheel74 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:33:21 AM EST
    for any one of the following reasons:

    1. it is not politically expeditious to say something of this nature, he is playing the political game
    2. he has no policy to deter a nuclear Iran
    3. he does not have the courage to say what he really thinks
    4. all of the above

    Obama's people are crafting their (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:41:10 AM EST
    next "gotcha" response to this issue which will amount to nothing more than a distinction without a difference, but his nuttier supporters will run with it as if they were words handed down from god himself.

    Yesterday, a frightening number of people over at dkos were arguing that the Chinese government is a victim of American corporations and that we have no one to blame but ourselves for their economic policies, horrible record on human rights and their seemingly suicidal environmental policies - all because Clinton spoke out about China and some campaign advisor disagreed with her decision to speak publicly about these very real problems.

    There is no doubt in my mind that if Obama had said what Clinton did last night about the nuclear umbrealla or had spoken out against the Chinese government's policies, these exact same sentiments would have been fully supported and defended by his worshipers.  They were all for secretly attacking Pakistan, but they don't believe in nuclear deterrance or in challenging the Chinese government?  Give me a break.

    My primary complaint about Obama at this point is that the large majority of his supporters it seems will let him get away with anything and demand NOTHING of him.  That is dangerous.  That is cultish and not much of a departure from the cultists in the Bush Administration.

    At least with Senator Clinton, I can be confident that her ideas will be appropriately (and granted inappropriately) challenged - therefore she is in my opinion much more likely to be a responsive President - something we haven't had in two terms.

    I disagree (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:45:33 AM EST
    I think Obama will stand silent on this unless pressed.

    Especially (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by Faust on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:26:39 AM EST
    after the reaction to this among so many of his supporters. I'm surprised they reacted to this so vociferously and so quickly. I had no idea deterrence was viewed this way by so many people.

    Deterrence is scary. But that's why it DETTERS. I think some people get the scary part but not the THEREFORE people are deterred part.

    Scary not allowed apparently.


    To be fair... (none / 0) (#183)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:40:53 AM EST
    "Scary" has new meaning for a lot of Americans since the GW Bush Administration took over.

    Some portion of Americans have been made to be extremely paranoid and most of the rest are now wary of the real consequences of military action.

    I think that means that Democrats need to change the paradigm - from fear to confidence and show strength through rational, comprehensive policy statements.


    I can agree with that. (none / 0) (#210)
    by Faust on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 11:01:58 AM EST
    Deterrence (none / 0) (#186)
    by pie on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:44:01 AM EST
    is certainly not as scary as the Bush/neocon policy.

    That one kills people.


    Is that his solution for the economy? (none / 0) (#130)
    by blogtopus on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:11:58 AM EST
    Let them eat Waffles?

    Tim Rohemer (none / 0) (#152)
    by AlladinsLamp on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:21:43 AM EST
    on Scarborough this AM: ME umbrella policy too hard - we already have our hands full with Iraq, Iran, Pakistan.

    Someone should ask if Obama agrees.


    I don't know - maybe he will - but (none / 0) (#189)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:48:14 AM EST
    based on what I've seen the Obama camp has very little self restraint where it comes to responding to Clinton and taking any shot they might have.

    Left in the Dust (none / 0) (#95)
    by AnninCA on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:54:52 AM EST
    I would anticipate that these types of blogs will wither and blow away when the primary season is over.  Obama will distance himself from that far left quickly.  

    They will be left muttering "What happened?" to themselves.


    Revival of cold war and oil (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:01:43 AM EST
    As we sit here like it or not, the nations with oil reserves are aligning along the old cold war lines.  Russia, China and the Central Asian republics are weaponizing the oil reserves.  Have people not been paying attention?   Bush was supposed to secure the oil agreements with Russia and Central Asia and guess what?  Putin outmaneuvered him.  Now the west is gonna be more aligned with the US.  

    The Middle East will be a tipping point, but the Umbrella is the only thing we have cause, what are we going to do?  Russia and China will help and or defend Iran.  No one will stop Iran from getting weapons, Russia and China will not let the West take control of the second largest reserve of oil with conventional war and occupation.  

    It is about oil.  But we still don't quite get it.  

    Umbrella of Deterrence - Part II (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:04:53 AM EST
    Wasn't this a Chuck Norris movie?

    No - Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal (none / 0) (#193)
    by badger on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:50:44 AM EST
    a/k/a The Day the Earth Stood Still. Except Hillary (or the US) plays the role of Klaatu, the visitor from space, and the US (and allies) nuclear arsenal plays the role of Gort, the robot policeman who enforces a "no nuclear war" policy by promising to obliterate any planet (country, in this case) that uses nukes.

    And if you recall the movie, Klaatu even has good health care.


    I love that movie ... (5.00 / 1) (#205)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:59:35 AM EST
    you know there's a remake in production with Keanu as Klaatu.

    "Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!"


    Too many syllables (none / 0) (#223)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 11:18:04 AM EST
    for a Chuck Norris movie; he'd never be associated with that kind of liberal, elitist Languagee.

    I think it is the opposite (none / 0) (#5)
    by proto on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:01:49 AM EST
    You see it is the neocons and the Bush Administration that has rejected deterrence theory against Iran.

    Bush and friends threaten to destroy/attack Iran pretty much every time the subject comes up. They are all about the threat.

    This is Clinton trying her best to join the "Bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran" club. She won't beat McCain at that game, not without losing her base.

    Her base? (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by andgarden on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:03:28 AM EST
    Seems to me that the reflexive and uninformed peaceniks are for Obama. Notice how has hasn't used the line about not being against all wars, just dumb ones, recently.

    Did you even read the post? (5.00 / 5) (#7)
    by rooge04 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:05:24 AM EST
    Because it's quite clear that's the exact opposite of what she's proposing.  So you can repeat the Obama campaign meme making HRC the same as McCain. You'll still be wrong.

    You do not think obviously (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:07:43 AM EST
    The rationale the Bush Administration and Neocons give for attacking Iran is that deterrence will not work against them as they are irrational strategic players. Rejecting deterrence, as you and Bush do, leads to the need to act PREEMTPTIVELY.

    You, Bush and Stoller argue (you and Stoller unwittingly I assume) for preemptive war.

    It is startling to see it. But predictable in some ways.


    Yup (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by andgarden on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:09:04 AM EST
    you seem too project (none / 0) (#15)
    by proto on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:14:26 AM EST
    a lot of opinions on others.

    I guess their own thoughts don't fit into your narative well enough.


    Projecting? (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:15:30 AM EST
    I read your comment.

    What did I get wrong about your comment?


    she's clearly outlining a retaliatory (none / 0) (#144)
    by Salo on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:18:29 AM EST
    startegy not a premetive or preventative strategy.

    Threat of retaliation (none / 0) (#156)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:26:06 AM EST
    Is prevantative.

    Actually, you assumed he understood the logical (none / 0) (#159)
    by Radix on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:27:30 AM EST
    consequences of his argument. If you had approached it from the stand point of he's just repeating the talking points, you would have done better, IMO.

    Because there are no facts, there is no truth, Just data to be manipulated

    Don Henley-The Garden of Allah


    I have no problem with the (none / 0) (#201)
    by Same As It Ever Was on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:57:05 AM EST
    concept of applying deterrence theory in the Middle East (though I think the threat posed by Iran is greatly overstated).  My reservations with it are that the Middle East is not Western Europe.  We have a long diplomatic road to hoe before we reach a point where are relationships in that part of the world are reliable enough to form the sort of partnership needed for effective deterrence.  Moreover, the expanded presence in the region that would be required would tend to further radicalize segments of the populations of our allies.

    I'd like to hear more about Clinton's plans in this regard because they are potentially visionary.

    That said, the "obliterate" comment was a remarkably stupid response to a hypothetical question that should not have been seriously answered.


    No, she won't, (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by pie on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:09:44 AM EST
    but that's not the game she wants to play.

    "Walk softly, and carry a big stick" has worked for a long time, certainly during the Cold War.

    Pre-emptive strikes, not so much.

    I love it when people insist she'll attack Iran, when she's promised to get out of Iraq.  

    That sure makes a lot of sense.  /sarcasm


    It's Even Better (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by BDB on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:36:37 AM EST
    When every single hypothetical that she's responded to had as its premise a nuclear attack on Israel.  Tell me how the United States avoids a war when there's a nuclear attack on Israel (or almost anywhere for that matter)?  She's not talking about using force to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons, she's talking about responding with force if Iran uses nuclear weapons.  WTF?

    Oh, and if that's really their position, then they are deluding themselves about Obama.  He's repeatedly said he would take no option - including by inference bombing Iran - to keep Iran from getting or using nuclear weapons.  He's also called any attack on Israel an attack on one of the U.S.'s strongest allies and said he would respond accordingly.  What do people think he means when he says that, they'll get a stern talking, too?  (see here)


    When Obama speaks like that (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by Radix on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:30:59 AM EST
    he means everything and nothing. Obama is great at political double speak, you can infer whatever makes you happy.

    Because there are no facts, there is no truth, Just data to be manipulated

    Don Henley-The Garden of Allah


    I think you don't allow any incoming info (5.00 / 4) (#17)
    by Josey on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:15:18 AM EST
    that conflicts with your beliefs - primarily based on Hillary-hate.
    And most likely, many Obama supporters have previously accused Bushies of allowing hate for Dems to surpass critical thought.

    Let me clarify who is in the bomb (none / 0) (#20)
    by Florida Resident on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:23:16 AM EST
    bomb Iran crowd

    sorry hit wrong button (none / 0) (#24)
    by Florida Resident on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:24:44 AM EST
    Not her base (none / 0) (#25)
    by Prabhata on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:25:12 AM EST
    HRC is simply following a very old policy established in the 70s by Truman.  It's been a policy that Carter tried to change, but without success.  Bill Clinton tried to change it too. It's like it used to be with the Russians, that policy could not be changed.  All politicians had to be belligerent because Americans had been given too much propaganda that the Russians were evil since before 1917. There was little room for negotiations. It's unfortunate, but until Americans become more enlightened on the Middle East issues, politicians will continue the same path.

    Gosh (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Steve M on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:38:18 AM EST
    Try telling Eastern Europe there was nothing evil about the Soviets.  How many of the people who were occupied or dominated by the USSR want to go back to Communism?

    Maybe you could be more clear about what specific aspect of foreign policy you disagree with.  I have no issues with Harry Truman's foreign policy whatsoever.  It was a difficult world and he set us on a course to meet those challenges.


    In the 70s by Truman? (none / 0) (#40)
    by andgarden on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:31:57 AM EST

    No insulting commenters please (none / 0) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:13:36 AM EST

    Hasn't it occurred to anybody (none / 0) (#21)
    by dianem on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:23:38 AM EST
    ...that if Israel gets nuked, then 1) they will probably not be in a good position to retaliate and 2) it will precipitate a full scale nuclear war in the middle east? Israel is not that big. It would not be that difficult to set off enough bombs to completely incapacitate them. And it is unlikely that Saudi Arabia will trust Israel to defend it from attack by Iran.

    I must have missed something (none / 0) (#26)
    by americanincanada on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:25:22 AM EST
    while sleeping on the west coast.

    When did Hillary use the words 'totally obliterate them'?

    On ABC this morning (none / 0) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:27:03 AM EST
    Out of Context (none / 0) (#34)
    by themomcat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:30:02 AM EST
    This is an out of context quote from her interview on "Countdown" last night. She was addressing a hypothetical question from Olberman about a nuclear attack by Iran on Israel. She was explaining to him the policy of deterrence.

    On ABC this morning (none / 0) (#52)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:37:49 AM EST
    She said nothing like this on Countdown last night.

    It is certainly being used out of context.


    No But Keith Kindly Rephrased It (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by BDB on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:22:31 AM EST
    as saying Clinton would annihilate Iran and implying that was crazy.  That's when I knew these would be the talking points for today.  Hillary is a crazy warmonger just like John McCain.  Because that's not destructive to the party or its chances in November, at all.

    Clarification (none / 0) (#117)
    by AnninCA on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:05:34 AM EST
    will be forthcoming.  More air time for her.  

    BTW, Zolgby now shows her up by 10 points.


    That's The Spin (none / 0) (#71)
    by flashman on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:45:23 AM EST
    I agree with you (none / 0) (#33)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:29:32 AM EST

    IMO you won't hear anything from Obama (none / 0) (#36)
    by Florida Resident on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:30:18 AM EST
    directly remember he was the one who was for preemptive missile attacks on Iran and Pakistan.

    No (none / 0) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:31:04 AM EST
    Obama argued for attacking Al Qaida in Pakistan if Musharraf would not do so.

    He was right.


    BTD any missile attack inside Pakistan (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Florida Resident on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:35:18 AM EST
    would still be a preemptive attack on Pakistan no matter how we sugar coat it..  That is my opinion you are entitled to yours.

    A preemptive strike on Al Qaida you mean (none / 0) (#51)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:36:48 AM EST
    How do we differentiate we have not been too (none / 0) (#57)
    by Florida Resident on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:40:09 AM EST
    successful with the drones so far.  And IMO when we take the Imperial view that we can make preemptive attacks of any kind inside another country's sovereign space we are just perpetuating the neo-con strategies.

    Not really (none / 0) (#59)
    by Steve M on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:40:57 AM EST
    Pakistani sovereignty over the places where al-Qaeda hangs out is pretty nominal.  It's not the same as someone firing missiles into Virginia.

    The dilemma is created by the fact that Pakistan doesn't have enough control over the region to eject al-Qaeda, but does have enough control to tell other nations to butt out.  Unless we're prepared to grant a safe zone to the architects of 9/11, we have to solve that dilemma somehow.


    what would you suggest more preemptive war (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Florida Resident on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:46:24 AM EST
    strategies?  That is what we did with Afghanistan. And if we do it in Pakistan were next?  I has not succeeded in Afghanistan where we continue to battle the Taliban  and Al-queada still has it's foothold.  Of course we could always nuke them all I bet the RW nuts would love that idea.

    Well (none / 0) (#86)
    by Steve M on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:52:23 AM EST
    I completely disagree that Afghanistan was a preemptive war.  Not only was it appropriate as retaliation for 9/11, but the concept of "preemptive war" has never been considered to encompass imminent threats.  The reason Iraq was a preemptive war is that Saddam didn't pose an imminent threat.

    And Afghanistan was an Imminent threat (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by Florida Resident on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:59:32 AM EST
    That would be like saying that because Al-queda has camps in Pakistan that country too is an imminent threat.  Sorry I don't buy that our attack on Al-queda camps in the 90's were retaliatory what we did in Afghanistan was attack the Government of a sovereign country because of their inability to control al-queda that would now give us the excuse to attack Pakistan if we use that logic.  Afghanistan is a feel good war to make people feel like we we are doing something about 9/11.  Reality check it was Al-queda not the Taliban who attacked NY in 9/11/2001.

    Yes (none / 0) (#114)
    by Steve M on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:04:35 AM EST
    And it was the Taliban who gave al-Qaeda safe harbor both before and after 9/11.  I'd appreciate it if you didn't talk to me like I'm an idiot.

    Find me any reputable source which claims that Afghanistan was a preemptive war.


    And you do have a point on my use of preemptive and using Afghanistan in the same sentence.  But it still does not justify our attack on a Nation because they can not control Al-queda, they did not have a strong army you realize, unless you want to say that we are then justified in attacking Pakistan who has been unable to stop Al-queda.

    Well (none / 0) (#190)
    by Steve M on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:48:36 AM EST
    Afghanistan was an easy case in my opinion.  The Taliban actually did have the power to turn bin Laden over to us, but they refused to.  That's different from Musharraf, who doesn't seem to have the wherewithal to get bin Laden.

    Maybe your right and they did. (none / 0) (#197)
    by Florida Resident on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:52:44 AM EST
    But I don't think they had the military power or control to be able to do it.  That of course is a personal opinion not based on numbers.  Personally I would have liked us to just attack the Al-queda Camps I doubt the Taliban would have done anything to stop us.

    BTW one thing we can agree on is (none / 0) (#198)
    by Florida Resident on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:54:40 AM EST
    that attacking Iraq sure has prevented us in attaining any of the set goals in Afghanistan.

    Are You Not Making A Distinction? (none / 0) (#66)
    by flashman on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:43:01 AM EST
    Between a surgical strike to take out Al Qaeda and a strike in general?  BTW, Pakistan is sheltering the murders of 9/11, while pretending to be an ally.  .  

    Please define a Surgical Strike (none / 0) (#79)
    by Florida Resident on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:48:20 AM EST
    Not Sure I Can (none / 0) (#146)
    by flashman on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:19:38 AM EST
    but I'll give an example... A Predator drone armed with a small ( ie Exorcet ) missile to kill an individual, IF he is determined to be an Al Qaeda leader.  The damaged is minimal zed to the immediate area of that individual.

    We have been doing that already (none / 0) (#158)
    by Florida Resident on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:27:04 AM EST
    unfortunately it has not been too effective in deterring Al-queda activity.  Also the minimal damage claim is questionable.  When you use explosives it is hard to contain damage.  But my concern is more on the use of missile surgical strikes which we have no evidence are that accurate.  Claims to the contrary are later proven to be exaggerated by the military.  That pin-point accuracy looks good in the Discovery Channel but in reality is hard if not impossible to get.

    In Pakistan? (none / 0) (#172)
    by flashman on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:34:18 AM EST
    I'm not aware of that.

    Yes we have used Drones in Pakistan (none / 0) (#177)
    by Florida Resident on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:37:17 AM EST
    I would get a link but it will take time.  We actually claim to have gotten a high ranking Al-queda operative in the last one.

    OK (none / 0) (#184)
    by flashman on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:41:29 AM EST
    I was having a senior moment.  

    Here is one (none / 0) (#182)
    by Florida Resident on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:40:09 AM EST
    But he really wasn't as the Senators (none / 0) (#55)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:39:26 AM EST
    sitting on the Armed Services Committee pointed out.  A mature leader does not say "bomb Pakistan" when the cameras are rolling and when Musharraf is hanging onto any sort of stability by a couple of threads and was making inroads in getting the Pashtuns to work with him.  What Obama said that day in front of the cameras caused an outcry from Pakistan because he was undermining what Musharraf was attempting to manage at that time.

    This is something that is so frustrating (none / 0) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:33:55 AM EST
    and exists within the Democratic party, this belief that if we are just wonderful and giving to the world that the whole world will be healed and we will finally have world peace.  What a codependent belief system.  Sometimes the world is nice and sometimes it is anything but nice and you have to stand up to the bullies and the dictators and many many other things.  In the REAL world deterrence works.  If Iran does decide to be martyrs in nuking Israel what can anyone really do about that other than forcing a regime change, which most of these same deterrence critics find repellent and evil as well?  So I guess there is no solution to Iran nuking Israel other than just sitting here and watching it happen huh?  Who will Iran decide to nuke after their Israel success I wonder?

    Inevitable (none / 0) (#46)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:35:47 AM EST
    It seems inevitable that Iran and other nations will get Nuclear weapons.  We cannot start pre-empitve  conventional wars and 100 year occupations to stop all of them.  We can do this with diplomacy.  

    This Makes Me Uncomfortable (none / 0) (#48)
    by flashman on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:36:35 AM EST
    I'm not comfortable with idea that, in order to secure the nomination/election, a candidate must show that (s)he is the baddest MF'r on the block, that all the bad guys are going to be kowtowed into submission.  Where is the carrot?  Clinton, while discussing the cold war last night, didn't even mention the tremendous diplomacy efforts that eventually led to detant, and a cooling of aggressive postures between the US and the soviets.  It was all just about missiles, mutual annihilation, deterrence with strength.  Is diplomacy such a bad thing for a candidate to advocate?  Why do all the hopefuls need such bellicose rhetoric?

    I would rather hear plans for opening Iran's country up to international inspections, like Iraq was just before the war.  I'd rather hear about more incentives for Iran to halt weapons development.  I want to hear about India and Pakistan.  How are we going to keep the cork in that bottle?  All stick and no carrot makes me a nervous man.

    Umm (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:40:42 AM EST
    "I would rather hear plans for opening Iran's country up to international inspections, like Iraq was just before the war.  I'd rather hear about more incentives for Iran to halt weapons development.  I want to hear about India and Pakistan.  How are we going to keep the cork in that bottle?  All stick and no carrot makes me a nervous man."

    The question presented was "what would you do if Iran nuked Israel?" A little late for inspections then.


    A hard question (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Steve M on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:45:39 AM EST
    Kudos to Hillary for giving a real answer instead of dodging by calling it a hypothetical, or something of the sort.  In order to win a GE on the issue of national security, we're going to have to show that Democrats have answers for the tough questions.

    When Republicans argue that Democratic policies will lead to the destructions of Israel, we have to explain why they're wrong.  Whining about how it's unfair fearmongering or whatever isn't going to cut it, and I'm glad Hillary understands that these questions need to be answered.


    Umm (none / 0) (#69)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:44:54 AM EST
    Are you aware of the fact that Israel has nuclear weapons?

    I am (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:47:03 AM EST
    That does not address the "umbrella of deterrence" issue.

    If you are objecting to American retaliation for the nuking of Israel, you will be very lonely in American politics. Obama promised retaliation as well.


    Im saying the obvious (none / 0) (#88)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:52:47 AM EST
    that America wouldnt need to.

    In what scenario would it? Are you saying Iran could launch a "first strike" without fear of retaliation from Israel?


    America would not need to what? (none / 0) (#98)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:56:04 AM EST
    Retaliate on behalf of Israel. Perhaps. but I am discussing the umbrella of deterrence proposal here, not retaliating on Israel's behalf.

    I think it is a stale discussion if you want America to abandon Israel. Whatever the merits, it will NEVER EVER happen.

    But to check potential Iranian aggression and NeoCon aspirations for preemptive war, I think this deterrence strategy is excellent.


    Again with the either, or (none / 0) (#164)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:30:36 AM EST
    love her or hate her paradigm.

    Im not suggesting that the U.S "abandon Israel", whatever reality that rather loaded phrase might encompass, Im suggesting that the U.S not allow the Israeli Right, which triangulates with end times Messianists as does the American Right, to manipulate U.S policy into some grotesque endgame in the M.E.


    In theory if Iran attacked Israel, (none / 0) (#122)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:06:44 AM EST
    Israel's nuclear weapons would be the top target.

    People seem to forget that when these general types select their targets the first thing they go for are the other guy's most threatening weaponry.

    So, someone would have to retailiate on their behalf.  It isn't like the US where some country could strike one of our nuclear sites in North Dakota and we could come back at them from another part of the country.  Israel is a postage stamp sized country.

    I'm not arguing in favor of any of this nuclear stuff as much as trying to keep it real.  People suggesting that Israel can defend itself are imo wrong and that is actually one reason why I see no real reason for them to have nuclear weaponry in the first place - for them it is only an offensive option - not really defensive if another nuclear power decides to strike them.


    That's the biggest danger (none / 0) (#218)
    by badger on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 11:08:02 AM EST
    and the one that has had the US and USSR on the brink of nuclear war several times - the fear that if the other guy launches first, your nuclear arsenal will be destroyed before you can retaliate.

    But in this case, the US sits outside the potential conflict as a third party. Even if Iran, or some other state, can destroy Israel's nukes with a pre-emptive strike, a single US sub can sail into the Mediterranean and wipe them out.

    The only way to win is not to play.


    Heh (none / 0) (#77)
    by Steve M on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:47:47 AM EST
    Are you under the impression that Obama's answer would have been "Israel can take care of itself"?

    The Ron Paul base speaks (none / 0) (#82)
    by andgarden on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:49:06 AM EST
    Heh (none / 0) (#94)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:54:49 AM EST
    12 mil a day is "taking care of itself"?

    It should be able to with that kind of grease.


    Heh (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by Steve M on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:57:33 AM EST
    You didn't answer the question.

    You have a right to that position, as long as you understand you will not find any candidate to espouse it.


    To answer your question (none / 0) (#149)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:20:43 AM EST
    I wasnt aware of your psychic capabilities that allow you to tell us what Obama's answer "would be".

    You Don't Need Psychic Powers (none / 0) (#160)
    by BDB on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:28:45 AM EST
    You only need to listen to Obama.  Here he is at the debate:

    Iran should be presented with "carrots and sticks," the Illinois senator said, while stressing "they should also know that I will take no options off the table when it comes to preventing them from using nuclear weapons or obtaining nuclear weapons."


    Obama earlier pledged to Jewish voters here that he would do his utmost to help Israel fend off any regional threat, as he criticized ex-president Jimmy Carter for seeking to meet with Hamas leaders.

    At the debate, he said: "An (Iranian) attack on Israel is an attack on our strongest ally in the region, one whose security we consider paramount.

    "That would be an act of aggression that I would consider unacceptable and the United States would take appropriate action."

    I respectfully submit that "appropriate action" would be retaliatory strikes.  


    Yes of course (none / 0) (#179)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:38:31 AM EST
    if I cirticize Hillary, I MUST be an Obama supporter (and believe he is incapable of error). Or else a Ron Paul supprter (isnt he craaazy?) Like that UFO guy.

    I love attending the court of recieved opinion. Its so educational.

    When does Judy Miller get a slot here?

    Sorry for the snark, BTD, but it's not wholly irrelevant to the discourse.


    Still not an answer (none / 0) (#194)
    by Steve M on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:50:57 AM EST
    I am asking YOU what you believe Obama's answer would be.

    I think there is no mainstream politician in this country whose answer would be anything other than "of course we'll retaliate if Israel gets nuked."  If you believe otherwise, just let me know.

    I appreciate your opinion that it requires "psychic powers" to know what Obama would say, but to me this is a no-brainer.


    MY question is (none / 0) (#209)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 11:01:08 AM EST
    why is the question being publicly asked, over and over again?

    IMO this is an attempt to frame the issue in such a way that condidates are forced to aswer in basically predetermined ways, whilw avoiding at all costs the complexities and widening of the discussion. But, what do you expect from a media that basically wants a nation of impulse buyers before anything else? Dumb and uninformed is good for business.


    Well (none / 0) (#214)
    by Steve M on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 11:04:16 AM EST
    I am not under the impression that Keith Olbermann typically does the bidding of the neocons.

    But the reality is that this is a hypothetical any Democrat will have to answer in the context of a GE.


    Ummm (none / 0) (#84)
    by themomcat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:50:26 AM EST
    Are you aware of the fact that the Israeli government has never confirmed that they do. Whenever any of their PM's have been asked about nuclear weapons they have refused to discuss national security matters. It is assumed that Israel does have nuclear capability.

    Google Mordecai Vanunu (none / 0) (#97)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:55:56 AM EST
    And why do you think (none / 0) (#112)
    by themomcat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:03:03 AM EST
    he is muzzled? What he did was treason against the state of Israel. That doesn't negate the fact that the Israelis have never officially acknowledged that they have nuclear capabilities.

    Treason (none / 0) (#143)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:18:09 AM EST
    Why is Israel, apparently, the only nation on the planet that's allowed to neither "confirm nor deny" that it has nuclear weapons?

    Maybe so that it will always be percieved as vulnerable in order to be able to used as a convenient excuse for expansionist interventions?


    Because Israel is a sovereign nation? (none / 0) (#199)
    by Radix on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:54:57 AM EST
    The fact that they choose to "neither confirm nor deny" is meaningless, we know they have them and we know who gave them to them as well.

    Because there are no facts, there is no truth, Just data to be manipulated

    Don Henley-The Garden of Allah


    Ummm..was Obama aware (none / 0) (#90)
    by americanincanada on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:52:54 AM EST
    that Pakistan has nuclear weapons when he made his statements about going after targets in their sovereign nation?

    While I agree with the premise of what he said, they are a nuclear power nonetheless.


    That's The Whole Point (none / 0) (#78)
    by flashman on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:48:04 AM EST
    to avoid the weapons being used.  The comments I'm referring to were about deterrence, not retaliation.

    I do not understand your comment (none / 0) (#85)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:50:59 AM EST
    It's "Umberlla Of Deterrance" (none / 0) (#111)
    by flashman on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:02:03 AM EST
    Not "Umbrella Of Retaliation"  The question is how to prevent an attack in Israel, not what to do after it.

    But a key part (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by Warren Terrer on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:21:11 AM EST
    of deterrence theory is announcing ahead of time that you WILL retaliate. And the threat to retaliate has to be credible, i.e. you have to convince your opponent that you will indeed retaliate.

    So what are you talking about?


    I'm Talking About Using Other Methods (none / 0) (#162)
    by flashman on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:30:12 AM EST
    besides the threat of retaliation alone.  There are alternative methods of deterrance that are effective, and need to be included in the policy.

    Hillary (none / 0) (#174)
    by americanincanada on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:35:33 AM EST
    was also talking about using other tactics.

    This is a valuable point (none / 0) (#195)
    by Steve M on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:51:54 AM EST
    but when you get asked a question about what you would do if Iran nuked Israel, it's not the time to start going on about carrots.

    Ugh (none / 0) (#200)
    by flashman on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:57:02 AM EST
    Once again, we're talking about deterrance, not retaliation.

    I was under the impression (none / 0) (#207)
    by Steve M on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:59:55 AM EST
    that we were talking about Hillary's actual answer to an actual question.

    I have heard her be quite explicit about an all-hands diplomatic approach in other contexts.  This question was not the time to start bringing up the feel-good aspects of diplomacy.


    The Actual Question (none / 0) (#216)
    by flashman on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 11:05:39 AM EST
    is "Will you entend the umbrella of deterrance to israel?  I cannot make it more clear.

    Diplomatic approach is not a "feel good" aspect of deterrance.  It's an essential one.


    Hmm? (none / 0) (#221)
    by Steve M on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 11:08:41 AM EST
    This post is about what Hillary was asked last night, not what she was asked in a debate months ago.

    The other key question (none / 0) (#165)
    by BDB on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:30:49 AM EST
    is how to prevent other countries in the region from wanting to develop nuclear weapons to protect themselves from Iran.  As much fun as the whole Sunni-Shiite thing is now, imagine how much more fun it will be if Iran and Saudi Arabia both have nukes.  Shudder.

    Why should Iran (none / 0) (#188)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:47:12 AM EST
    ever want nukes? It's not like other nations would want a detterant with a war raging on one of it's borders instigated by a adamantly hostile, much more powerful nation.

    It's just more proof of what fanatics all those people are.


    They were seeking nukes before the current war. (none / 0) (#202)
    by Radix on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:58:37 AM EST
    When did they start? (none / 0) (#217)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 11:06:07 AM EST
    Right after we helped overthrow the democratically elected Mossadegh in the fifties?

    Debate (none / 0) (#118)
    by CHDmom on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:05:52 AM EST
    Yesterday when it was clear the talking point of the day for afternoon shows was this Umbrella defense, I looked up the transcript of the debate, incase anyone wants to read the question and both answers it's here http://tinyurl.com/5he3g9 hopefully I'm not good with links
    here is the origonal question MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Obama, let's stay in the region. Iran continues to pursue a nuclear option. Those weapons, if they got them, would probably pose the greatest threat to Israel. During the Cold War, it was the United States policy to extend deterrence to our NATO allies. An attack on Great Britain would be treated as if it were an attack on the United States. Should it be U.S. policy now to treat an Iranian attack on Israel as if it were an attack on the United States?

    This attitude (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by andgarden on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:41:03 AM EST
    has something to do with why Democrats end up nominating people who seem weak on defense.

    I See Your Point, But... (none / 0) (#89)
    by flashman on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:52:51 AM EST
    It's not attutudes like mine that make this impression.  It's attacks from Republicans that make the dems look weak.  Diplomacy doesn't have the sexy machismo as images of exploding enimies, Top Gun pilots distroying enimy positions.  But diplomacy is essential.  Every cold war president knew it.

    Check your history (none / 0) (#83)
    by vicndabx on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:49:44 AM EST
    Detante occurred after years of nuclear weapons buildup/posturing and economic stagnation in the former USSR that eventually lead to Gorbachev & Reagan agreeing to the "cooling off" you refer to above.  It was precisely because both sides knew that mutally assured destruction (MAD) would be bad for everyone.

    I Know My History (none / 0) (#96)
    by flashman on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:55:41 AM EST
    It also occurred after Strategic Arms Reduction negotiations.  No cold war president eschewed negotiations.  It was a "stick AND carrot" approach.  Diplomacy was a part of the process, and should be acknowledged.

    Yes, but what happened first? (none / 0) (#105)
    by vicndabx on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:59:12 AM EST
    The buildup of weapons stockpiles and therefore the "deterrence" or the negotiations?  START happened because there was the implied threat of u bomb me, i bomb u.  I agree there needs to be negotiations, but u usually come to the negotiations w/some cards to play.

    I'm Not Suggesting "No Cards" (none / 0) (#121)
    by flashman on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:06:25 AM EST
    I only said that I want to hear more about plans to use diplomacy, international pressure ( IAEA ) incintives, etc.  These methods should be a part of the deterrance, as they have always been.  I'm not discounting strength as a deterrance.  

    See how easy it is to make that assumption?  Stating I want to hear more about diplomacy makes me look like I don't see value in strength.  That's the problem of perception.


    flashman, doing one doesn't preclude doing (none / 0) (#212)
    by lookoverthere on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 11:03:16 AM EST
    the other. I think the METO (Middle East Treaty organization for lack of a better term) concept offers cover for exactly the diplomatic options you refer to.

    So one way to start solving some of the problems (and protecting our interests) is for us to offer cover in the form of a security umbrella. That cover also offers political and pragmatic opportunities. Leaders can say to their own people that entering METO will protect them, even if it means no nukes for them, recognizing Israel's right to exist, chucking out terrorist organizations, giving the Palestinians their own homeland, etc.

    See, the stick can be waved at Israel, too. I sense that this is the other side of this concept: everyone gives up their nukes and nuke development efforts. That's the core part of the deal.

    Under that METO umbrella, diplomats can huddle and mutter and do what diplomats do. If these states become allies (regardless of how uneasy), it's better than what we've got going on now. They can't negotiate if they don't talk. So give them a common interest and some cover and get them talking.

    Perhaps gradually, as in "gradually the Ice Age ended," the region will begin to solve its own problems. Detente is not fast. Peace and justice do not happen quickly. And sometimes you have to lead with a stick because that's all bullies understand.

    (BTW, I haven't checked yet, but Sen. Clinton may have a policy paper on her website that speaks more directly to your concerns regarding detente and diplomacy. I don't think she's trying to look like a hard@ss. I think she's trying to address real issues in a real way.)


    One reason that (none / 0) (#56)
    by Lena on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:39:56 AM EST
    I supported Wesley Clark in 2004 was that his candidacy addressed the Democratic party's weakness on foreign and military affairs. He embraced a foreign policy that was enlightened, humane, and fair, yet tough. This is what Clinton is trying to do here. The fact that the "liberals" (I'm not sure what to call them anymore) are so mushy-headed about the tough part of our foreign policy leads me to believe that the Democratic party is going to remain weak on all things foreign for the foreseeable future. Democratic administrations will have to continue to appoint Republicans as Secretaries of Defense and military advisors because apparently Democrats are just too liberal (humane? academic? kind?) to understand foreign policy.

    It makes me wonder about the Democratic party's commitment to being a full-service party. Or even their commitment to getting elected.

    I am a liberal - pretty lefty and (none / 0) (#103)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:57:36 AM EST
    admittedly I do have issues with what Clinton said last night - two to be exact:

    1. The threat of Iran becoming a nuclear power is five to ten years away and I think it is irresponsible for any politician not to make that point in any discussion on this topic.
    2. Talking about making a nuclear threat no matter what the theory behind it is, has to be done very carefully and careful would have included my first point and the fact that the Iranian people themselves actually like Americans and that there is a lot to be done with that that BushCult walked away from.  But nuclear threats scare people and it really is that simple and she was a tiny bit too cool in her delivery last night imo.

    Having said that, I am enough of a realist that I understand that some sort of intervention will be required and I expect the next President to have to play some sort of "hardball" with the Iranian government, but I also expect them to start offering up some carrots - and to deal with Russia and China who are the funders of Iran's nuclear power program - they want the oil so they need to reduce Iran's consumption - which is another reason why nuclear deterrance must be viewed with great caution - Iran has serious ackers.  Afghanistan in the 80's was basically a US proxy war with the USSR - we don't want to go down that road again on any level.

    It is too bad that none of these debate moderators are interested in the real story on real issues because a debate between Clinton and Obama on the intracacies and detail particularly on the Iranian threat would actually be very helpful to Americans who think McCain's answer makes sense - it would show that it doesn't make any sense at all.


    I think your view of the politics and policy (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:01:39 AM EST
    is unrealistic.

    You discuss HOW you would like the policy to be discussed. But the debate question itself tells you that it will NOT be discussed in this way.

    You must take into account the politics of the policy.

    To beat back the Bush Doctrine and the Neocon philosophy of a McCain, you must present a realistic and credible policy for the perceived problem.

    That is what the Clinton deterrence proposal does. you can beat back the Neocon dreams of preemptive war in Iran with a credible alternative that ALSO make good policy sense.

    "give peace a chance" ain't a winning issue, politically or policywise.


    Here's the thing... (none / 0) (#150)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:21:11 AM EST
    I'm not saying "give peace a chance" - sadly I am too old and too cynical to think that is going to fly, but I also don't think that Democrats need to accept the testosterone-driven hyperventilating over Iran that McCain and the GOP are engaging in.  I think that her deterrance proposal is one component, but I also think that it is time to get back to strong, confident and SANE leadership - instead of this "Chicken Little - the sky is falling" view of the rest of the world.  I happen to think that Clinton is generally quite good at delivering that sort of policy view, but I do think that at times she over compensates and tries to appeal to Americans' blood lust - thing is I think the warrior crowd is much a much smaller group than they were a few years ago - thankfully.

    "Totally Oblitirate them" (none / 0) (#63)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:42:22 AM EST
    Is the kind of callous, grandstanding, sabre rattling rhetoric ordinarily wielded by Mr. Bomb-bomb-bomb Iran himself.

    Oh so "thoughtfully laid out", if you're courting the favor of Uzi toting settlers, endtimers, and the talk radio educated.

    Who, specifically, needs to be reminded that America's a superpower? In most of the rest of the world -- where litteracy, as opposed to demogoguery, is still a priority -- most people are painfully aware of America's capability of riding roughshod over other nations that are rational enough to spend maybe 1/5 of what we do on defense.

    And this if-you-critique-her-you-hate-her paranoia that one sees here time and again is the kind of circle the wagons paranoia one would expect from the inhabitants of Texas religious compounds not what you'd like to expect from those attempting to engage in rational discourse.

    Btw, In case, like Jeanne d'Arc, you missed it, Israel posesses a nuclear detterant quite capable of "obliterating" Iran. And, Iran knows that too.

    I would agre with you that (none / 0) (#70)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:45:02 AM EST
    that is an infelicitous choice of words. But it is not relevant to my post about the proposal itself.

    Do you have anything of substance to add to this thread?


    And is Israel going to defend KSA (none / 0) (#72)
    by MarkL on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:45:32 AM EST
    if they are attacked as well? I missed that part.

    The question was (none / 0) (#81)
    by waldenpond on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:48:45 AM EST
    what would you do if Iran used a nuclear weapon against Israel.  What do you think would be an appropriate response to Iran's use of a nuclear weapon against a close ally?

    Under the Umbrella of Deterrence (none / 0) (#100)
    by themomcat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:57:06 AM EST
    I would expect that this country would react the same way. That is the essence of the policy to protect and defend all the countries that come under the umbrella.

    Total Obliteration (none / 0) (#139)
    by Manuel on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:15:51 AM EST
    is not that different from Mutually Assured Destruction.  The latter was an effective sobering thought during the cold war.  It motivated a lot of work on peace.

    One problem with deterrence in this case is that the Iranians may not beleive we will follow through.

    Another problem is that it could reignite the cold war.  At a time when candidates are seriously contemplating moving towards nuclear energy, our efforts to tame the nuclear genie deserve a serious discussion.  Instead, I sedd political attacks on a candidate's serious proposal.  Is this some more of the new politics?


    How many thousands of (none / 0) (#147)
    by Kathy on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:20:17 AM EST
    Americans died during the cold war?

    Beats the "hot" one we have now.

    Russian, China, etc, are not simply going to go back into their shells.  To pretend otherwise is done to our own detriment.


    To answer your question (none / 0) (#196)
    by jondee on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:52:31 AM EST
    most people consider the tens-of-thousands of casualties in Korea and Vietanam casualties of the cold war.

    Apparently the citizens of Korea, Southeast Asia, Latin America etc (who probobly deserved to be obliterated) never count though.


    What I would like to know (none / 0) (#87)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:52:41 AM EST
    is who exactly would be including in this new umbrella of deterrence?  

    I find sabre rattling wholly unimpressive regardless of who is rattling it.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:53:35 AM EST
    since you are unimpressed, I guess we can junk the deterrence theory and all its history.



    Who are we deterring? (none / 0) (#115)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:04:38 AM EST
    The Iranians?  When was the last time the Iranians engage in offensive hostilities with their neighbors?  

    When was the last time Turkey did?  

    The entire hypothetical is a Right-Wing talking point that is premised on the notion that Iran is utterly suicidal and willing to fire a nuke at Israel simply to piss them off.  

    Now it is being treated as a serious hypothetical in which Hillary responds "Nuke 'em till they glow!".  

    We've invaded 2 separate countries that border Iran.  I'm fairly certain they realize what we are capable of doing.  And considering the fact that the Middle East believes that we are completely in the pocket of Israel, I suspect they already know that nuking Israel would get a very harsh response from the US.

    So Hillary's response was purely for domestic consumption.  It was intended to show how "tough" she is.  If that impresses you, so be it.  


    We are deterring two groups (5.00 / 2) (#125)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:08:58 AM EST
    The Iranians and, from your perspective, more importantly, the Neocons and the Bush Doctrine of preemptive war.

    To beat back the Bush Doctrine and the Neocon philosophy of a McCain, you must present a realistic and credible policy for the perceived problem.

    That is what the Clinton deterrence proposal does. you can beat back the Neocon dreams of preemptive war in Iran with a credible alternative that ALSO make good policy sense.

    "give peace a chance" ain't a winning issue, politically or policywise.


    OK (none / 0) (#134)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:13:02 AM EST
    I guess I can see that point.  Seems fairly obvious to me.  

    I would be more impressed if she said that such a policy would apply to ALL aggression in the Middle East rather than simply aggression towards Israel.


    that is what she said (none / 0) (#145)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:18:47 AM EST
    That is the umbrella of deterrence extended to other ME countries.

    She did (none / 0) (#148)
    by themomcat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:20:38 AM EST
    go back to the Countdown interview. Olberman clearly asked about countries other than Israel. I do not think that the US would not retaliate to defend Saudi Arabia, Kuwait (Gulf War I), Yemen, et al.

    Hardly unequivocal statements (none / 0) (#171)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:34:06 AM EST
    Here is what she said....

    But were they to become one, 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 bulled into submission by Iran because they were a nuclear power, avoid that state by creating this new security umbrella.

    So if Israel is attacked, Iran faces nuclear annihilation. If other countries are attacked or intimidated we would try and help them?  How exactly?  Send them cookies?


    Hillary doesn't bake cookies (none / 0) (#176)
    by Democratic Cat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:36:28 AM EST
    She was explicit in the debate on this. See the quote I posted, downthread.

    Question (none / 0) (#138)
    by themomcat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:15:08 AM EST
    Does not the policy of deterrence include diplomatic negotiations? Correct me if I am wrong but a major part of the Umbrella of Deterrence are incentives for economic assistance, etc.

    She's advocating a broader policy (none / 0) (#133)
    by Democratic Cat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:12:47 AM EST
    I agree that Iran would know what to expect if they developed a nuclear weapon and used it against Israel, but she's talking about more than protecting Israel. As I understood it, she's talking about creating a security arrangement in the Middle East not only to prevent Iran from using (if not developing) nuclear arms, but to prevent other countries from feeling they would need nukes too, in case Iran is able to develop them.

    I don't know enough about security policy to say whether She got it exactly right, but it is an interesting proposal and certainly worth thinking about. It's certainly better than saying our response to Iran developing (not necessarily using) nukes would be a pre-emptive attack.


    I am sure (none / 0) (#93)
    by americanincanada on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:54:47 AM EST
    we will find all that out after she is elected and the policy is being debated in congress.

    Wait a second (none / 0) (#124)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:08:46 AM EST
    I thought Clinton provided detailed policy proposals already?

    So now we have to wait until she becomes President before finding out what she really means?


    Hardly... (none / 0) (#132)
    by americanincanada on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:12:25 AM EST
    but I do not expect her, nor is it fair to, have ever single detail of the plan thought out and finished. She cannot name countries because they have not agreed nor been negotiated with.

    It is still a far cry from "me too" and "hoping" they don't get weapons.


    Right (none / 0) (#136)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:13:44 AM EST
    So it is a meaningless phrase that refers to no one in particular.  Just rhetoric.  Gotcha.

    She gave some specifics (none / 0) (#163)
    by Democratic Cat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:30:15 AM EST
    From the debate, she said the US

    "should be looking to create an umbrella of deterrence that goes much further than just Israel. Of course I would make it clear to the Iranians that an attack on Israel would incur massive retaliation from the United States, but I would do the same with other countries in the region....You can't go to the Saudis or the Kuwaitis or UAE and others who have a legitimate concern about Iran and say: 'Well, don't acquire these weapons to defend yourself' unless you're also willing to say we will provide a deterrent backup and we will let the Iranians know that, yes, an attack on Israel would trigger massive retaliation, but so would an attack on those countries that are willing to go under this security umbrella and forswear their own nuclear ambitions."

    So, there are three countries that she's thinking about in addition to Israel.


    Ok (none / 0) (#178)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:37:21 AM EST
    I hadn't realized that the UAE was aspiring to be a nuclear power.  Learn new things everyday.

    Oh, come on (none / 0) (#185)
    by Democratic Cat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:43:28 AM EST
    You had criticisms, but she'd already answered your criticisms, so now you're just making things up? Would it kill you to say that maybe she's right? :-)

    I will say (none / 0) (#191)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:49:53 AM EST
    that my comment was unnecessarily snarky.  

    It isn't that I think that she is wrong.  

    But I think she is simply reaffirming American foreign policy as is.  She won't expand to protecting all nations from aggression because that could crimp Israel's style.

    So instead she simply reaffirms the position that we  have had for decades.


    I think she did say she would expand it (none / 0) (#213)
    by Democratic Cat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 11:03:41 AM EST
    I understand you might doubt whether she'll do it or not, but she did put forth a broader policy with protection for other nations besides Israel.

    Bush's idea of deterrence is pre-emptive war. I think her statement makes a break from that and is a welcome return to a saner deterrence strategy.

    (Sometimes my snarkometer goes on the fritz.)


    On the one hand i agree, and on the other, (none / 0) (#128)
    by bruhrabbit3 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:10:40 AM EST
    I wonder will the American people agree?

    I think they will (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:11:36 AM EST
    This is both politically astute and good policy.

    they just know they want out (none / 0) (#166)
    by bruhrabbit3 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:30:51 AM EST
    don't the polls say as much? so i am left wondering how it's politically astute for the Democrats not to get us out.

    PS I dont think they the middle east (none / 0) (#168)
    by bruhrabbit3 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:31:31 AM EST
    separte from Iraq

    the majority of the American people (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by Kathy on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:11:59 AM EST
    want to see a strong leader who is wise enough to know when to use force and when not to.

    So, I suppose what I'm saying is: they want Clinton!


    The "Harvard" article has neocon authors (none / 0) (#161)
    by AdrianLesher on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:30:05 AM EST
    Stephen Jay Rosen and Jacqueline Newmyer.

    Rosen roomed with Alan Keyes and Bill Kristol in college, and has since signed off on a report entitled Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces and Resources for a New Century put out by the Project for the New American Century,  a Bill Kristol and Fred Kagan enterprise. Rosen was also a Giuliani consultant during his candidacy. Here's the Wikipedia article on Rosen:

    Stephen Peter Rosen is Harvard College Professor and Beton Michael Kaneb Professor of National Security and Military Affairs at Harvard University. In addition to his academic work, Rosen is also Master of Harvard College's Winthrop House.

    A 1974 graduate of Harvard College, he holds a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard. As a graduate student, Rosen roomed with Bill Kristol and Alan Keyes.

    Rosen was associate director of the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies from 1990 to 1996. Before returning to Harvard in 1990, Rosen was a professor in the strategy department at the U. S. Naval War College, a consultant for the President's Commission on Integrated Long-term Strategy, and director of political-military affairs at the National Security Council in the Ronald Reagan White House.[1]

    Rosen is a signatory to the Project for the New American Century's controversial 90-page report entitled Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces and Resources for a New Century (2000), advocating the redeployment of U.S. troops in permanent bases in strategic locations throughout the world where they can be ready to act to protect U.S. interests abroad.[1]

    In 2007, Rosen was named as a member of foreign policy advisory team of Republican Party presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani. [2] [3]

    Jacqueline Newmyer is younger and thus has a shorter history. Notably, she is a consultant with the Bush Defense Department.

    My previous comment on this point was deleted. Hopefully with a different title, this one will stay.  

    You got it (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:33:10 AM EST
    Your title was objectionable.

    But your comment is faulty in this sense, a deterrence theory is anathema to the Neocons. It destroys their Bush Doctrine of preemptive war.

    Your attack is ad hominem, in that it attacks the authors, not the argument.


    By referring to the article as a "Harvard (none / 0) (#219)
    by AdrianLesher on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 11:08:15 AM EST
    Middle East Studies article" it certainly seemed that you were trying to give the article a gleam of Ivy League respectablity. Since this was in essence an "ad hominem" argument in favor of adopting the positions of the article, I think it's responsive to address the pedigree of the authors.

    As to going back to the mutually assured destruction strategy of the past (in essence threatening to "bomb Iran back to the Stone Age"), this posture obviously has horrible humanitarian consequences. The Iranian populace is heterodox and we would be committing to killing millions of people who have done nothing wrong to us beyond unhappily suffering under a repressive, theocratic and (in reality) nondemocratic regime.

    With current technology, there are certainly more targeted response we could have to an Iranian nuclear threat (and those nuclear threats that exist in Korea, Pakistan and elsewhere). Threatening another, bigger Hiroshima and Nagasaki is not the way to go.  


    Good to know, but is our remaining in (none / 0) (#173)
    by bruhrabbit3 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:35:21 AM EST
    the region at a higher level a neocon point or one of long term stability?

    The brand of neoconservatism that we reject (none / 0) (#206)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:59:37 AM EST
    Is the interventionist brand.

    Which is not to say that I, for one, also reject a liberal view of interventionism.  Kosovo.  Failing to act in Rwanda is a legitimate and not to be dismissed criticism of the Clinton administration.

    Suffice to say, to make a long story short, the thing you need to keep in mind.  It is one of the great mistakes of progressive blogging activism that it refuses to acknowledge a clear difference between two mindsets.  Indeed, Neocons intervene (Iraq), Liberals intervene (Kosovo).  Are they the same?   Yes.  Conservatives deter (Reagan and the Cold War).  And Liberals deter (JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis).  

    And so 98% of all thinking on this topic gets muddled down by activists who know better and pretend they can't tell the difference because of some Overton window agenda.  Or by people who literally have been incapable of understanding the difference.

    I am going to point out the difference for you now.  Clearly.

    Neocons will approach Iran in a way that assumes that Iranians would choose to be destroyed martyrs.

    Clinton, or any Liberal deterrent advocate does not.

    Hopefully one could see how this one great difference in thinking will result in a different set of results.

    And indeed it may explain why a great and wise many like Gen. Wes Clark will advocate and endorse this course of action when a liberal talks about it, and reject a seemingly similiar course of action when a conservative talks about it.

    Capeesh?  I hope so.


    This is a good comment (5.00 / 1) (#211)
    by Steve M on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 11:02:22 AM EST
    I am of the belief that Iraq basically killed the doctrine of liberal interventionism.  Bush co-opted the liberal arguments and now liberals don't want to hear them any more.

    why are people so deluded? (none / 0) (#170)
    by Josey on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:33:52 AM EST
    Anything the media promotes by CONCEALING info and FACTS that conflict with their pre-existing corporate narrative-- as they did in 2000 with Bush and during the runup to the Iraq War - and now promoting Obama 24/7 - isn't good for the people!!

    The key thing that ... (none / 0) (#175)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:35:48 AM EST
    Obama supporters seem to be missing is right in the term.  It's the word "deterrence."  Since when are deterrence and preemption even cousins, let alone brothers?

    Preemption is very likely to lead to war.  Deterrence almost never does.

    Further, Clinton's policy would increase the likelihood of creating stronger allies within the region.  McCain's policy would have the opposite effect.

    Again, where's all this vaunted education Obama supporters are supposed to possess?  They seem unable to pass basic vocabulary.

    Im beginning to believe that the Progressive Sect (none / 0) (#180)
    by Salt on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:39:15 AM EST
    of the Dem Party like the Christian Right for the Republicans is quickly becoming an albatross that can be wielded against the Party in Nov. as the fringe extremist political minority that could again harm our country if a Dem President adopted their Doctrine. This bot attack like many of others displays the emerging dialogue that the movement has lost an ability to have substantive discourse and is stuck instead in the cycle of shrill anti social helpless rants touting the faux red herring as issue.
    Some distance for Party identity is required which is difficult with Dean as head of the DNC, but a Betray Us stunt could always be an Oct surprise.  
    And the non Progressives in the Party need to co op a name a label that calls them out as a separate less radical sect of Democrats or Dem leaning this class distinction of identity polices being used are well dumb.

    Iran, which hasn't attacked it's neighbors ... (none / 0) (#181)
    by fiver5 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:39:45 AM EST
    in well over a century, does not have nuclear weapons, and does not have delivery mechanisms, is put in the super-villain role of initiating an unprovoked nuclear attack on Israel, a nation of "good guys" to which the United States is allied.

    In what alternate universe does this scenario occur?

    Israel is not only a nuclear power, but retains conventional capabilities which dwarf Iran's.  Moreover, Israel has attacked its neighbors nearly once a decade since it's formation.  But Israel is still cast in the role of the innocent maiden tied to the train tracks while Iran twists the tip of its mustache?

    The U.S. must then, of course, rush to defend it's ally.  When did Israel join NATO?  Israel is not, nor has ever been, a military ally of the United States.  

    If it is not going to happen (none / 0) (#192)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:50:40 AM EST
    then there is nothing to worry about.

    Saddam's mushroom cloud didn't happen. (none / 0) (#208)
    by fiver5 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 11:01:07 AM EST
    But the lies used to stoke the fear and sell the war were certainly damaging and were definitely something to worry about.

    That is exactly why Clinton's proposal (none / 0) (#220)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 11:08:23 AM EST
    of DETERRENCE is so good.

    If we had used it for Iraq, we never would have had the Iraq Debacle.

    This simple point seems to elude you.


    Ok then, what is Iran's stated policy towards (none / 0) (#222)
    by Radix on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 11:08:57 AM EST

    Willful Ignaorance (none / 0) (#203)
    by pluege on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:59:09 AM EST
    Stoller is another executor along with kos, JMM, MY, Bowers, Olbermann, and a few others of the school of  willful ignorance when it comes to anyone with the last name of Clinton.

    Who or what is neocon? Is Krauthammer? (none / 0) (#224)
    by AdrianLesher on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 12:33:54 PM EST
    I'd also point out that framing the mutually assured destruction option as "non-neocon" is largely a matter of polemics. The position set forth in the Rosen/Newmyer article is also one championed by Charles Krauthammer, who to my mind is a prototypical neocon. Of course, I'm sure there are many who advocate both deterrance and preemption. There is nothing mutually exclusive about such strategies. Krauthammer writes:

    How to create deterrence? The way John Kennedy did during the Cuban missile crisis. President Bush should issue the following declaration, adopting Kennedy's language while changing the names of the miscreants:

    It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear attack upon Israel by Iran, or originating in Iran, as an attack by Iran on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon Iran.

    This should be followed with a simple explanation: "As a beacon of tolerance and as leader of the free world, the United States will not permit a second Holocaust to be perpetrated upon the Jewish people."

    This policy -- the Holocaust Declaration -- would establish a firm benchmark that would outlive this administration. Every future president -- and every serious presidential candidate -- would have to publicly state whether or not he supports the Holocaust Declaration.