Foreign Policy

Hillary Threatens Using Nukes in the Middle East

It is a testament to the triumph of positioning politics over common sense and sound national security strategy that Hillary Clinton has now raised the possibility of a nuclear strike.

Let us be blunt: It would be a profound and catastrophic disaster for America to launch a nuclear attack, as Hillary Clinton suggests may be proper. When he rules out a nuclear attack, Barack Obama is 100 percent right — and when Hillary says she might do it, she is 100 percent wrong and for 100 percent the wrong reasons: her endless maneuvering and positioning.

Let’s be clear: If there is actionable intelligence about Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan or Pakistan it would be proper to kill him through attacks via missiles or air power.

However, it is not necessary and would be a disaster to send American ground forces into Pakistan for such an attack. It is not necessary and would be a catastrophe of regional and worldwide dimension for the United States to launch a nuclear attack.

Parenthetically, it is ironic but predictable that one Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution appears to be backtracking fast and furious from his support of the Bush-Cheney escalation in Iraq, which he and Kenneth Pollack so unwisely and grotesquely endorsed in The New York Times and their round of the cable talkies.

On Thursday Mr. O’Hanlon was in the Times again, starting to oh-so-slowly walk himself back from his misguided op-ed. Today he is in The Washington Post correctly disagreeing with Hillary and obviously maneuvering and repositioning himself with a twist to the left following his lurch to the right, falsely stating that he and Pollack had been longtime critics of the Iraq war.

Mr. Pollack wrote a book about the case for war with Iraq that came out and was marketed and merchandised at the very moment Congress was voting for the disastrous war authorization in 2002.

My proposal for Mr. Pollack, beyond suggesting he show more modesty before promoting additional escalations in Iraq at major moments, beyond suggesting that their record of being wrong on Iraq confers very little credibility on the media and Congress, is that perhaps he should give any profits from that book to wounded troops and disabled vets, who paid a hard price for the war he so aggressively advocated.

I will debate O’Hanlon and Pollack any time, anywhere. Or any media outlet might rerun tapes of their various positions on Iraq — and then they can then debate themselves.

I predict Messrs. O’Hanlon and Pollack will be doing a lot of backing off and repositioning, because we do not have the troops to do what they propose — and more important, because the government we support in Iraq is allied with our nemesis in Iran and with Shi’ite death squads and militia.

The talk of nuclear attacks from Hillary, the support of catastrophic escalations from Pollack and O’Hanlon, the misrepresentation and bear hugs of them from the vice president only show the widespread failures of the national security establishment in Washington, from which even certain elements of the Democratic Party are not immune.

Let’s be clear: I am a Sam Nunn, Lloyd Bentsen Democrat with a long history of supporting the military and working with the intelligence and military communities. Hillary’s idea of possibly launching a nuclear attack is disastrous; the Bush idea of a long-term escalation in Iraq is catastrophic; the O’Hanlon-Pollack support for this is tragic; and the Cheney bear hug of O’Hanlon and Pollack would be comic opera if they all were not advancing preventable deaths in an unwise escalation of a disastrous war.

Tags Armed Attack Brookings Institution Contemporary history Gulf War Hillary Clinton Humanities Iraq Iraq War Iraq–United States relations Kenneth Pollack Michael O'Hanlon Modern history Occupation of Iraq Person Career Person Location Political Endorsement Politics Quotation War

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