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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Republicans use a tragic event to score brownie points with voters--attacking Hillary Clinton

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bickered with US Congressional Republicans over unnecessary and useless details concerning the Sept. 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya Wednesday. Republicans have exploited the death of the four US personnel, who died in that attack, as a way of attacking the Democrats and trying to look “tougher on terrorism.”
It is bad enough that the US has toppled sovereign governments, and replaced them with puppet regimes as was done in Libya. It is bad enough that US foreign policy means extensive intervention and manipulation of people and governments in the Middle-east. It is a fact that the US is involved in drone attacks and other forms of illegal assassination of persons the US does not approve of.
And for the Republican Party we can add to all of that, exploiting the Libya attack with meaningless charges that are simply meant to make them look better than the Democrats.  Republicans attacked Clinton over minor statements and ridiculous insinuations that she should have been able to anticipate and stop any attack on US personal at any time, in what is actually a war zone.
According to Yahoo News;
“And she hit the witness table with her fist several times during a contentious exchange with Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, who accused President Barack Obama’s administration of misleading Americans by initially saying the attack grew out of a protest against an Internet video mocking Islam. There was no such demonstration, as officials later acknowledged, Johnson said—“We were misled.”
“With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest? Or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make” Clinton scolded Johnson, raising her voice. “It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.”

Clinton was right to point out that most people don’t care what the attackers were called at the time. Johnson was grand standing on a complete non-issue. Why should any of us really care what they called the attackers of the embassy?
Yahoo News also reported that Republican Sen. Rand Paul, was blunter, charging Clinton with not having been more personally involved and it "cost lives."

"Had I been president at the time and I found that you did not read the cables from Benghazi, you did not read the cables from Ambassador Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post," he said. "I think it's inexcusable."

The reality is that Paul or any other Republican would probably have done things the exact same way as Clinton did. It is easy for any politicians to say what should have been done in hindsight. What proof does he have that his party would have done a better job?
Yahoo News reported the secretary of state also said that American diplomats overseas cannot hide behind higher walls and more armed guards;

“Our men and women who serve overseas understand that we accept a level of risk to protect the country we love,” she said. “They represent the best traditions of a bold and generous nation. They cannot work in bunkers and do their jobs.”

Clinton’s correctly pointed out that no nation can operate embassies with absolute security. The Republicans surely know this as well and are just exploiting this issue to score points with voters.
Yahoo News reported statements Clinton made supporting the imperialist foreign policies of the US. She dismissed any one who would advocate that the U.S. take a more limited role in the world.

 “…..At a time when the “Arab Spring” has sown chaos across North Africa and the Muslim world.
“We cannot afford to retreat now,” she said.
“When America is absent, especially from unstable environments, there are consequences," Clinton said. "Extremism takes root, our interests suffer, our security at home is threatened.”

Any time someone in the government talks about “our interests” in different other parts of the world that is a code word for material resources and this country’s access to those resources. The real danger from “extremism” is that people might adopt change that differs from the US economic or political model. That leads to the danger that the US can’t influence or control the leaders of such a country. So we see that Clinton is a hard core “hawk” and “imperialist” on foreign policy just as the Republicans are.
There really are no differences in policy in this debate at all. In fact it is really just an excuse for rising stars in the Republican Party to use a non-issue to make points with their voting constituents and try to look tougher than the Democrats on US militarism.
And again, they are using a tragedy in which four US citizens died to gain “brownie” points with the voters.  -សតិវ អតុ

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