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April 22, 2011

Clinton vs. Clinton vs. Clinton

By: John Caruso

Hillary Clinton, yesterday:

"Colonel Gaddafi's troops continue their vicious attacks, including the siege of Misrata. There are even reports that Gaddafi forces may have used cluster bombs against their own people," Clinton said in a joint press availability with Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal.

"In the face of this inhumanity, the international community remains united in our resolve."

You can't help but be inspired by her deep concern for the use of cluster bombs against civilians.  Unless you have a functioning memory, that is, since this would be the same Hillary Clinton who voted against a Senate amendment that stated:

No funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be obligated or expended to acquire, utilize, sell, or transfer any cluster munition unless the rules of engagement applicable to the cluster munition ensure that the cluster munition will not be used in or near any concentrated population of civilians, whether permanent or temporary, including inhabited parts of cities or villages, camps or columns of refugees or evacuees, or camps or groups of nomads.

And the same Hillary Clinton who's part of an administration that carried out this attack:

A US cruise missile armed with cluster ammunition was used in an attack in Yemen in December which resulted in the deaths of 52 people, more than half of them women and children, according to a human rights watchdog. [...] Amnesty International has now released photographs of missile parts from the attack which appear to show that it was a BGM-109D Tomahawk cruise missile designed to be launched from a warship or submarine. Further images reveal BLU 97 A/B cluster munitions which spray steel fragments for 150 meters along with burning zirconium for igniting buildings.

And while we're at it, this is also the same Hillary Clinton who's married to Bill Clinton, who was praised by liberals everywhere for committing acts of cluster humanitarianism like these:

Adem Muncaj, an ethnic Albanian boy from Kosovo, recently found a bright orange container that looked like a soft drink can and brought it home to his family. They are now dead.

When the "soft drink can" -- actually a NATO cluster bomb -- exploded, Adem, his brother and mother, his uncle, an aunt and their three daughters were injured and died within minutes in the village of Velika Jablanica, near the town of Pec.

Reports reaching Belgrade May 14 say that 100 civilians were killed and 50 wounded by eight NATO cluster bombs dropped on the Kosovo village of Korisa at midnight.

The week before, 18 people died in the southern city of Nis while shopping at an open market in the middle of the day, killed by cluster bombs, which also reached a nearby hospital. NATO said it was a "mistake" while planes were bombing the city's airport.

But in Hillary's defense, I guess as long as the Obama administration doesn't actually launch one of those steel shard- and burning zirconium-filled Tomahawks within the borders of the United States, she won't be a complete hypocrite.

ALSO: The Libyans who've kindled such an unquestionably authentic and entirely believable sense of moral outrage in our Secretary of State might want to steer clear of weddings and funerals for a while.

— John Caruso

Posted at April 22, 2011 11:49 AM

Those who like trying to understand what's going on underneath all this disgusting blather by politicians, whether Cabinet ministers or President, might occasionaly read pepe escobar over at asia times, both on Libya and the Great Arab Revolt in general. Pepe is sharp.

Posted by: N E at April 22, 2011 01:08 PM

Funny how that works, ain't it? What with Hillary and all upset one minute and trigger happy the next,she's an All American Gal. Boy, I SURE wouldn't want to be around IF one of those zirconium filled chickens came home to roost.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at April 22, 2011 01:37 PM

Funny how that works, ain't it? What with Hillary and all upset one minute and trigger happy the next,she's an All American Gal. Boy, I SURE wouldn't want to be around IF one of those zirconium filled chickens came home to roost.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at April 22, 2011 01:38 PM

I have to admit that Hillary's statement was a jaw-dropper for me when I heard it. But you right in pointing out that her emphasis of CLUSTER BOMBS is only half the story. Killing one's own people is the big no-no in international affairs--unless of course you dress your own people up in uniforms first and send them off to pointless wars, then it's okay to kill your own people. You'll find this in Hillary's Book of Proper International Manners and Etiquette.

Posted by: Paul Avery at April 22, 2011 02:16 PM

Yes, I was struck by her implicit (and widely shared) notion that bombing somehow becomes less inhuman or vicious as long as you do it to people outside your own borders.

Posted by: John Caruso at April 22, 2011 02:34 PM

...because if you don't have to come home to the aftermath of it, it's no different than playing a video game. We're pretty spoiled to fight our wars abroad.

Posted by: Amandasaurus at April 22, 2011 02:46 PM

"cluster humanitarianism." Quite.

Posted by: awesome guy at April 22, 2011 03:32 PM

Too bad she isn't running for re-election. It's stuff like this that would inspire me to give her five large and a song.

Posted by: Happy Jack at April 22, 2011 06:09 PM

Killing one's own people is the big no-no in international affairs--unless of course you dress your own people up in uniforms first and send them off to pointless wars, then it's okay to kill your own people.

Unless of course you're Bahrain, in which case you can bring in mercenaries from another country (which is also allowed to kill its own people) to kill your own people for you; or Egypt, where you can use your own thugs to beat up and kill your own people for you; or the US, where you can send a hot young general with troops to fire on your own veterans who've come to Washington to petition for benefits -- the Bonus Army, but maybe that was too long ago, so there's always Kent State and Jackson State, and any number of other small incidents that do add up over time. If you're a US client, you can kill your own people with impunity too: El Salvador, Chile, Guatemala, South Korea (the Kwangju massacre) - the list goes on and on. And on.

I saw an article today (at Salon, maybe), which drew what might be a more accurate distinction: if you're a foreign leader who wears colorful authentic native garb, you can't kill or torture your own people; but if you're a foreign leader who wears impeccably tailored Western-style suits, the sky's the limit. It occurred to me that wearing color authentic native garb is a no-no even if you aren't a dictator and don't kill your own people (Chavez, Morales, etc.). Killing and torturing is often necessary and always exciting; but dressing like a goddam Injun is an abomination to God and Washington.

Posted by: Duncan at April 22, 2011 07:17 PM

Thanks for modifying and correcting my remarks, Duncan. You brought up some valid points. I also think your garb theory is more accurate than
George Carlin's observation that our enemies are determined by the kind of hats they wear.

Posted by: Paul Avery at April 22, 2011 07:38 PM

I would only point out that neither the Bahraini royals nor their even more vile Saudi counterparts dress in suits. It's not the hat, it's the signature on the big checks. $83 billion promised in arms purchases by the stinking House of Saud over the next decade. That buys a lot of broken bodies and bland statements from State.

Posted by: Nell at April 23, 2011 12:03 AM

Duncan, FWIW I kinda said it before the Salonists, even if my pointing this out suggests I'm being a bit vain and fussy.

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at April 23, 2011 02:58 AM

"Even as we continue our military operations today to protect civilians in Libya, we are determined to look to the future. We are convinced that better times lie ahead for the people of Libya, and a PATHWAY can be forged to achieve just that. [...] There is a PATHWAY to peace that promises new hope for the people of Libya [...]"

Steven Poole notes that "it makes, too, for an interesting comparison with the notorious roadmap in Israel/Palestine. Whereas a roadmap is an aerial view of the whole terrain, with lots of roads and other interesting features like concrete fences or rocket silos, a pathway is a single route."

Perhaps it's also noteworthy that going from roadmaps to pathways implies that our foreign policy vehicle has broken down and is now on foot.

Posted by: Paul Avery at April 23, 2011 04:21 PM

Frakenstein(OUR foreign policy) never learned to read a map, to understand the concept of a road, trail, or PATH, but stumbles on with arms outstretched, eyes closed shut and pistols blazing, up until even now, unstopable. Lybia is just one more example.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at April 24, 2011 02:23 PM