Madam Secretary Hillary Clinton on the Middle East

Change? What Change?

It’s official.

Barack Obama has chosen Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State; a choice that confirms US foreign policy is not about to change significantly under the forthcoming Democratic administration. The US will continue to pander to Israel and the War on Terror will still be the rallying cry for our foreign interventions.

In a letter to her constituents in November 2005, Clinton expressed her belief that the war in Iraq shouldn’t be “open-ended,” but was clear that she would never “pull out of Iraq immediately.” She wrote that she wouldn’t accept any timetable for withdrawal and won’t even embrace a “redeployment” of US troops along the lines of Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.).

“I take responsibility for my vote, and I, along with a majority of Americans, expect the president and his administration to take responsibility for the false assurances, faulty evidence and mismanagement of the war,” Clinton wrote in her lengthy letter that amounted to nothing short of denial for her own culpability in the mess.

Clinton soon after reiterated her position to a group of Democrats in Kentucky. “The time has come for the administration to stop serving up platitudes and present a plan for finishing this war with success and honor,” she said. “I reject a rigid timetable that the terrorists can exploit, and I reject an open timetable that has no ending attached to it.”

Translation: Clinton is all for an extended American stay in Iraq. She “takes responsibility” for her vote on the war, but won’t admit that it was wrong. And of course, Clinton is still for “winning” this war.

In the same note, Clinton hoped contingents of US soldiers would remain in the region with “quick-strike capabilities…This will help us stabilize that new Iraqi government,” she attested. “It will send a message to Iran that they do not have a free hand in Iraq despite their considerable influence and personal and religious connections there.”

Apparently messages carry more weight when they are delivered at gunpoint. “Watch out Tehran,” Hillary seems to be declaring, “I’ll strike quick.”

As one of the top Democratic recipients of pro-Israel funds for the 2006 election cycle, pocketing over $83,000, Clinton now has Iran in her crosshairs.


The Bush administration’s position on Iran is “disturbing” and “dangerous,” reads a position paper written in late 2005 by American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Two years ago the Bush administration accepted a Russian proposal to allow Iran to continue to develop nuclear energy under Russian supervision. Needless to say, AIPAC wasn’t the least bit happy about the compromise.

In a letter to congressional allies, mostly Democrats, the pro-Israel organization admitted it was “concerned that the decision not to go to the Security Council, combined with the US decision to support the ‘Russian proposal,’ indicates a disturbing shift in the Administration’s policy on Iran and poses a danger to the US and our allies.”

Israel, however, continues to develop a substantial nuclear arsenal. In 2000, the British Broadcasting Corporation reported that Israel has likely produced enough plutonium to make up to 200 nuclear weapons. So it is safe to say that Israel’s bomb-building technologies are light years ahead of Iran’s budding nuclear program. Yet Israel still won’t admit they have capacity to produce such deadly weapons.

Meanwhile, as AIPAC and Israel pressure the US government to force the Iran issue to the UN Security Council, Israel itself stands in violation of numerous UN resolutions dealing with the occupied territories of Palestine, including UN Resolution 1402, which in part calls on Israel to withdraw its military from all Palestinian cities at once.

AIPAC’s hypocrisy is nauseating. The Goliath lobbying organization wants Iran to cease to procure nukes while the crimes of Israel continue to be ignored. So who is propping up AIPAC’s hypocritical position?

During a Hanukkah dinner speech delivered in December 2005, hosted by Yeshiva University, Clinton prattled:

I held a series of meetings with Israeli officials [last summer], including the prime minister and the foreign minister and the head of the [Israel Defense Forces], to discuss such challenges we confront. In each of these meetings, we talked at length about the dire threat posed by the potential of a nuclear-armed Iran, not only to Israel, but also to Europe and Russia. Just this week, the new president of Iran made further outrageous comments that attacked Israel’s right to exist that are simply beyond the pale of international discourse and acceptability. During my meeting with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, I was reminded vividly of the threats that Israel faces every hour of every day. … It became even more clear how important it is for the United States to stand with Israel…

As Clinton embraces Israel’s violence, as well as AIPAC’s fraudulent posture on Iran, she simultaneously ignores the hostilities inflicted upon Palestine, as numerous Palestinians have been killed during the continued shelling of the Gaza Strip over the past year.

Clinton’s silence toward Israel’s brutality implies that Clinton as Secretary of State will continue to support AIPAC’s mission to occupy the whole of the occupied territories, as well as a war on Iran.

AIPAC is correct – even President Bush appears to be a little sheepish when up against the warmongering of Hillary Clinton.


Hillary, along with her husband Bill, paid a visit to Israel in the fall of 2005. The former president was a featured speaker at a mass rally that marked the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. It was Hillary’s second visit to Israel since she was elected to office in 2000.

The senator did manage to take time out of her voyage to meet with the then semi-conscious Ariel Sharon to discuss “security matters.” Hillary also made her way to the great apartheid wall, which separates Palestine from Israel. As of now, the barrier is nearing completion, and when all is said and done, the monstrosity will stretch to well over 400 miles in length.

Palestinians rightly criticize the obtrusive wall on the grounds that it cuts them off from occupied land in the West Bank. Thousands have also been cut off from their jobs, schools and essential farmland.

Hillary and her Israeli allies don’t get it. When you put powerless Palestinians behind a jail-like wall where life in any real economic sense is unattainable, you wreak pain and anguish, which in turn leads to more anger and resentment toward Israel’s brutal policies. Indeed, the wall will not prove to be a deterrent to resistance, but an incitement to defiance.

“This is not against the Palestinian people,” Clinton said as she gazed over the massive wall. “This is against the terrorists. The Palestinian people have to help to prevent terrorism. They have to change the attitudes about terrorism.”

The senator’s comments seem as if they were taken word-for-word from an American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC) position paper.

They may well have been.

In May 2005, Clinton spoke at an AIPAC conference where she praised the bonds between Israel and the United States. “[O]ur future here in this country is intertwined with the future of Israel and the Middle East,” she said. “Now there is a lot that we could talk about, and obviously much has been discussed. But in the short period that I have been given the honor of addressing you, I want to start by focusing on our deep and lasting bonds between the United States and Israel.”

Clinton went on to address the importance of disarming Iran and Syria, as well as keeping troops in Iraq for as long as “it” takes. It was textbook warmongering, and surprise, surprise — Hillary got a standing ovation for her repertoire.

Joshua Frank is co-editor of Dissident Voice and author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush (Common Courage Press, 2005), and along with Jeffrey St. Clair, the editor of Red State Rebels: Tales of Grassroots Resistance in the Heartland, published by AK Press in June 2008. Check out the Red State Rebels site. Read other articles by Joshua.

20 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Ramsefall said on December 1st, 2008 at 8:32am #


    thanks for the contribution on Hilary. The woman is scary, period. I can’t imagine that there will be anything but very minor change at best regarding policy toward Israel and Iran. The UN violations of Israel should not come as surprise, if they do, being that their US guardians are the most blatant UN violators…they´re just following our lead. Israel´s right to exist needs to be overturned by the international community, as these murderous Zionists have recently taken things too far with the blockade against Palestine. Enough is enough.

    Was it not Hilary who made a comment some time back about blowing Iran into the stone age or wiping it off the map? This is quite the aggressive bitch we´re dealing with here, and now she´ll be guiding our foreign policy. If we aren´t at great risk now after Bush´s reign, we will be with her as part of the new team.

    I just read on Real News a comment posted about Barack with the reader once again redundantly reminding the public that the president-elect is for change. Are these mindless supporters so blind that they are unable to account for his new cabinet full of hawks? This could be a very interesting four years. I´m wondering how much time will be given until the entire nation revolts.

    Best to you.

  2. Tree said on December 1st, 2008 at 8:38am #

    Obama’s choices are truly disappointing but I can’t say I’m surprised by any of them. I’m pointing out the obvious here but how can a man who stands for change rely on the same old people and ideas to get there?
    At this point, the only thing I’m mildly interested in is seeing how ol’ Bill will attempt to undermine his wife when she is Secretary of State.
    Ugh. I’m having Clinton flashbacks.

  3. bozh said on December 1st, 2008 at 9:03am #

    if we wld stop or cut dwn on personalizing events, and in its stead examined what US had done since its revolution against the brits, one wld come to a conclusion that US will continue to do what it had done for at least two centuries.
    but now US plutocrats r more scared than ever; so, we can expect more wars, threats of wars.
    it makes slightest difference who the manager of the ruling class’ affairs is or what he says.
    the managrs r mere tip of the iceberg; they come and go, but US longstanding policy to expand and to kill/maim any people who do not cry uncle will go on.
    and the two major causes for more US warfare r warming and depletion of planetary wealth.
    in short, amers r just at the begining of settling the planet. true, at some time US may indeed fail just like every other empire had. thnx

  4. Max Shields said on December 1st, 2008 at 9:36am #

    Of course, US history is laden with imperial empire. Clinton, Obama, Bush, Kennedy, Truman, Reagan, Roosevelt …. Washington, were at the helm of the empire…expanding it, pushing it into weaker countries, invading, occupying.

    Did someone really think Obama was going to…come on not really…

    Ah, the myth has taken: of, for and by the people…but first we got some killing to do.

    Once we get it, then we can change. Otherwise, let’s just be surprised about Obama and his choices to help him be head of empire.

  5. Ramsefall said on December 1st, 2008 at 10:44am #

    While the 19th century following the expulsion of the Brits had its moments of US aggression; Mexico, French Polynesia, Hawaii, Cuba, et al, the imperial momentum was really not initiated until the turn of the 20th century. As Max points out, the nation is laden with imperial tendencies, but most noticeable since Teddy and his naval parade around the world. His successors have simply followed suit and expanded the ideology of intimidating, maiming and controlling the entire world. Teddy was the true architect of the current plutocratic doctrine of perpetual war for perpetual peace.

    Personally, as many of you will agree about Obama being another corporate rep, I was unable to trust one word of rhetoric spewing forth from his lips. I heard nothing but hot air, empty promises and the echo of prior elections. The fact that he´s going full-on hawk with his cabinet is not a surprise, this is what I call having my expectations being met as I can’t trust any rep of the duopoly. It’s not negative Nancy thinking, it’s just gut instinct based on sensitive perception.

    Best to all.

  6. Don Hawkins said on December 1st, 2008 at 11:00am #


    I just watched Obama on TV and color me crazy but those people seemed scared well let’s put it another way very very concerned and for good reason. People we are in big trouble. The we is 6 billion plus and the Earth well it will be just fine with or without us. Many are starting to understand what we are up against and one thing for sure we can not solve these problems with the same thinking that got us to this point. I think Obama can stand up just something about him. He may need a little help well we all have to help. A few million to start in front of the Capital with one thing in mind, “You will know (the good from the bad) when you are calm, at peace. Passive. Use the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack. ”

    Sing along with me if you’re out there
    I’m dying to believe that
    you’re out there
    Stand up and say it loud
    if you’re out there
    Tomorrow’s starting now

    We can destroy Hunger
    We can conquer Hate
    Put down the arms and raise your voice
    We’re joining hands today.

    When we first went into Iraq did Junior or his administration see the movie and remember those lines or even understand what they mean probably not. Use the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack. They were using the same thinking and then some that got us here. We need a new way of thinking. This well not be easy the hardest change human’s have ever tried. Try not. Do or do not, there is no try. Always in motion is the future. It seems to me that Al Gore and his people have a little money and are trying the best they can. Although the commercials I see on TV are about 10 to 1 the 10 being the darkside. I wonder what Al thinks about a few million to start in front of the Capital calm, at peace, passive saying, “tomorrow starts today and we will not wait”. I like it and I’ll bet many will.

  7. bozh said on December 1st, 2008 at 11:21am #

    one way US empire may meet its own descent is for some nations to realize they r no lngr independent but r interdependent.
    thus, next step wld be to form an alliance.
    it seems likely that china, india, and russsia already have mulled over of joining forces or perish if each wld stand alone.
    we need to remember that US is not alone in quest for the planet; much of europe support US or is afraid of US.
    in the other alliance there r countries/empires which also possess WMD.
    so, it’l come dwn to live and let live or the other thinkable ‘sol’n’ . thnx

  8. Eddie said on December 1st, 2008 at 2:15pm #

    I agree about the personalizing issue and I think we see it when Ramsefall’s saying “she scary!” Grow up. Barack Obama will be in charge. All the decisions speak to him. You’ve had two years to trash Hillary and what Joshua’s written is nothing we haven’t seen in the last two years. It falls into the EZ Bake Critics that Third just wrote about Sunday

    Actual work would be exploring Susan Rice or the ones on the fringes advising like Sarah Sewall who told Charlie Rose the Iraq War must not be seen as a failure because that would prevent future wars. We don’t hear about that because it’s so much easier for people to rewrite the same article on Hillary Clinton day after day.
    She is not the ultimate war hawk and the fact that people think she is goes to how unprepared and ignorant they are of the people around Barack Obama.
    Another point, Secretary of State doesn’t make policy and Condi or Colin, didn’t make much difference for the world who held the post.

  9. Don Hawkins said on December 1st, 2008 at 2:21pm #

    The last time I checked there is this little slowdown Worldwide and this one will last awhile it’s how we come back. The time is now we probably will not get a second chance. Come on break on through to the other side and that’s for all you golfers out there too. We can do this. Easy no but boring it will not be.

  10. HR said on December 1st, 2008 at 2:23pm #

    Geez, when will article writers here stop telling us what most of us knew BEFORE the election? Articles like this are just more proof that the “left” is brain-dead, and has been for over 40 years. Its members flocked to Obama based on his personality, not on what he was really saying … or not saying. Now, they express disappointment over what was inevitable. Why not just wallow in what you have wrought, and quietly?

  11. Erroll said on December 1st, 2008 at 2:38pm #

    A sign of things to come?

  12. DavidG. said on December 1st, 2008 at 2:50pm #

    The human brain is in a bone box! It cannot get out! Obama’s is too!

    Until we can free it from its heavy, mindless indoctrination we humans will continue to repeat the same mistakes that we have made over the last ten thousand years.

    Help free your brain from the box. Read:

  13. Ramsefall said on December 1st, 2008 at 3:54pm #


    thanks…he does make a great poster boy, does he not? Change we can believe in!

    Best to you.

  14. Giorgio said on December 1st, 2008 at 4:39pm #


    Thanks for the picture. It speaks volumes…
    But I have my deep seated doubts that it will be KINDER and GENTLER. Certainly, it will be with a HUGELY BROADER SMILE adorned with Colgate’s sparkling white FANGS….

  15. Giorgio said on December 1st, 2008 at 5:36pm #

    By the way, has anybody noticed that up to this election there was a pretence that American politics was based on two opposing party systems. That this pretence has been thrown out the window and now, quite openly and unashamedly, appointees from either party come to form the government: meaning that whatever party is in power, business will remain exactly the same as usual? In sum, America has now officially become a ‘”UNITED” ONE PARTY SYSTEM where henceforth elections are just a charade and diversion…

  16. HR said on December 1st, 2008 at 5:42pm #

    Yes, the reality of the last 40 years is now “official”.

  17. Brian Koontz said on December 2nd, 2008 at 7:25am #

    “Ah, the myth has taken: of, for and by the people…but first we got some killing to do.”

    That myth is ridiculous even if the United States dominates the world – if the United States controlled the entire world under it’s banner all that would happen is that the military would be employed against *internal* resistance. This is an automatic outcome as long as there is the existence of a ruling class. The ruling class is always under threat regardless of the global political situation.

    In the current situation, the military mostly attacks “external” threats while potential internal threats are taken care of through massive media manipulation and material bribery (imperial benefits), with the police and secret police stepping in when necessary.

    “Of, by, and for the people” has always been nothing but a propaganda campaign – utter nonsense most recently espoused by the deluded Bruce Fein. This nonsense serves to maintain hope in an illusion – to control the American people through belief that even if they are not *currently* in control of their lives, they will be once supposed heroes like Bruce Fein fix the country.

    Bruce Fein: “Keep the faith, Americans”.

    Another branch of this propaganda campaign is to declare the United States a “Republic”, which even Gore Vidal and Chalmers Johnson do, thus lamenting the “death of the Republic”. A *functional* Republic has to have substantial conflict *within* a broad-based ruling class. For at least a century there has not been substantial conflict within the ruling class in America, the ruling class has been monolithic, therefore it IMITATES a monarchy and therefore is not a Republic. But again, *calling* it a Republic serves the propaganda purpose of instilling hope that America can be *fixed* merely be returning it to it’s 20th century condition.

    This begs the question of the desired motives of Vidal and Johnson, supposed *dissidents* which according to their own positions only dissent against a form of aggressive totalitarianism, rather than 20th century totalitarianism.

  18. bozh said on December 2nd, 2008 at 9:42am #

    there was never an america as was seen by much of the world and amer pop.
    now much of the world sees US as an evil empire. but 98% of amers still see US as the greatest democracy; fairest, noblest, etc.
    propaganda works. lies by the ruling class work.
    it worked in germany, japan, italy, serbia.
    but effects of US lying had not been equaled by any other ruling class, save the one of japan.
    in germany, ’34-45 at least 10% of its pop opposed nazis. the modern nazis in israel and US is opposed by, how many?, a few hundred thousands of people?
    and that explains why US is not as yet going after such a small number of dissidents.

  19. Max Shields said on December 2nd, 2008 at 9:59am #

    Brian K. I think you’ve hit on an interesting point (and thank you for elaborating on my rather terse comment) which is that even Chamlers Johnson and Gore Vidal lament the by-gone days of a republic.

    I think the real myth is the one that says we have a democracy which we clearly don’t know have ever. So, nothing to lament, but something to move toward – movement. Democracies are a rare – and isolated enterprise. I don’t know if a nation-state can have a democracy, even during the early democracy of Greece – City-states were not able to really embrace totally democratic principles. Scale is important.

    I think what Johnson and Vidal lament is the promise – through the Declaration of Indenpence – a truly revolutionary document along with the Bill of Rights – of a living democracy. This is one that exists daily, not every 2 year election cycles. I contend it can only work when scaled to localities. Human-scale democracy can be a living democracy. 300 m people stretched over 3 million or more square miles cannot (even with sophisticated telecommunications) create and sustain a democracy. We can connect and bridge, but real democracy, I maintain, is flesh and blood, not virtual. The virtual world can provide a cross pollination of ideas, innovation for promoting culture, polity and healthy, living economics; but local is real. Humans have not escaped the limitations of human-scale. When they try to, and think they have they lose much of the essence of human potential.

    We must face that we live in a plutocratically run empire, with a duopoly that serves that entity. If we lose sight of that we have no way of creating real change, real democracy, a human-based economic system.

    More later…

  20. Shabnam said on December 2nd, 2008 at 11:02am #

    People of the middle east and the Central Asia must be united as ONE to fight against the zionist and imperialist policy of Muslim purge through genocide. A Zionist policy where has become core policy of the empire executed by Zionist puppets both black and white, against
    their society to bring them under full domination to rob their resources to establish ‘THE GREATER ISRAEL’ with the help of American WMD using phony ‘ war on terror’ carried by empire’s engineered “Islamic organization’ such as Al Qaeda and leaders like Ben Ladin, who is DEAD, and other constructed individuals like Zarqavi, Taqavi, Chaqali, Baqali who are used as ‘the enemy’ to fool the public into submission. The oppressed people of these regions must underestand EVERYONE is a target by empire’s WMD to bring the Islamic world into submission, thus, is our duty not rely on anyone but ourselves because majority of American people and their allies are under the CONTROL OF ZIONIST propaganda machine are fooled into submission and there is no noticeable resistance to these racist measures. These population benefit from Muslim genocide.
    The destabilization of the Islamic countries for expansion of power pushed through ‘divide and rule’ is not in the interest of American people, however, Zionists and their servants, black and white, are committed to honor vicious plan of zionism because the fifth columnists believe that without honoring the zionist plan there is NO AMERICAN EMPIRE. Thereby, Obama, a slave, has adopted the zionist policy regarding the Middle East, the Central Asia and Africa where has just given this mission to the most trusted zionist servant, Hillary Clinton, a war criminal who is willing to obliterate communities to protect zionist’s interest around the world against American’s interest to satisfy her needs for ‘power.’ There is no doubt that Obama is part of the war circle and should be held responsible for Muslim holocaust around the world. The people who support these warmongers and Zionist fascists must be ISOLATED AND DISCARDED. Whoever cooperates with ‘American Leadership’ in committing war crimes against humanity are viewed as TRAITORS and will be punished. American people do not need zionist policy to be ‘protected’ as the AIPAC girl, insists. She warns the world that: ‘ The American leadership is a possitive force’ and should be accepted, a white supremicist’s vision, and a racist zionist’s view. This view is SHARED by Obama as well. There is NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN black and white when it comes to expansion of white supremicist’s power in Islamic world. In fact there is cooperation from majority of Americans and their allies, both black and white.
    Now, Obama is encirled himself with the most trusted zionist sevants, Biden, Clinton, Susan Rice, and Zionist Jews, Emannuel, Dennis Ross, Rubin, Summner, who will design the policy of the empire according to Israel’s interest. Thus, it is important for all of us to come together and expose these traitors and war criminals worldwide and demand from our people to resist the rule of Zionist fascisnts and tell Obama and his team get out of our region immediately. we never accept your domination in name of ‘POSITIVE LEADERSHIP’, and contrary to gatekeepers’ view who believe “world government’ is the solution WE STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT IS A PROBLEM and never should be accepted. We are ancient countries with century of experience and are able to solve problems locally which are mainly engineered by YOU and your empire making strategists. we never allow your permenant occupation in our regions where you intend to do by killing our men, women and children in wedding parties to eliminate people who resist your occupation like what you have done in AMERICAS where you had to import AFRICANS as slaves to build the stolen land. Obama can not be trusted and should be discarded. No one should accept ‘American leadership’ responsible for nothing but DEATHS
    AND DESTRUCTION. Down American empire and its zionist puppets.