Sunday, March 11, 2007

Hillary: "We Need A Diplomat"

On Friday, Think Progress interviewed Senator Hillary Clinton about her thoughts on any American intervention in Iran. Her conclusion: we need a diplomat.

Here is some of what Hillary said:
CLINTON: Well, I think that the President should not assume that he has any authority to do anything with respect to Iran. He needs to come to the Congress, and neither the resolution regarding Afghanistan or Iraq give him authority to take offensive action. We do need to have a tough, smart policy toward Iran. And I’m hoping that perhaps the administration has begun to see a little bit of a light with the recent announcement by Condi Rice that she at least will be meeting with her counterpart. So, let’s hope that the administration has learned from some of their errors. And you know, they were very critical of nation-building, peacekeeping and stability operations during the 90s, and now they’re having to reinvent the wheel because they have totally decimated our capacity to do what everybody knows we have to do, both in Afghanistan and in Iraq and facing other threats around the world.
Let's see where have I heard the call for diplomacy in Iran before? Oh yeah, that's right, Bill Richardson made the call for diplomacy with Iran in a February 24 op-ed in the Washington Post.

How nice of Hillary to joint the party late. Maybe she'll acknowledge that her vote on the war was wrong, but I'm not holding my breath.

Here is Bill Richardson on how Iran should be dealt with:

Saber-rattling is not a good way to get the Iranians to cooperate. But it is a good way to start a new war -- a war that would be a disaster for the Middle East, for the United States and for the world. A war that, furthermore, would destroy what little remains of U.S. credibility in the community of nations.

A better approach would be for the United States to engage directly with the Iranians and to lead a global diplomatic offensive to prevent them from building nuclear weapons. We need tough, direct negotiations, not just with Iran but also with our allies, especially Russia, to get them to support us in presenting Iran with credible carrots and sticks.

No nation has ever been forced to renounce nuclear weapons, but many have chosen to do so. The Iranians will not end their nuclear program because we threaten them and call them names. They will renounce nukes because we convince them that they will be safer and more prosperous if they do that than if they don't. This feat will take more than threats and insults. It will take skillful American diplomatic leadership.

If Hillary is looking for a diplomat to handle the situation in Iran, perhaps she'll step aside and let Bill Richardson take the lead, as President of the United States. Bill Richardson is the only candidate, Republican or Democrat, who has diplomatic experience. Bill Richardson is the only candidate who has negotiated with the bad guys of the world (Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong Il, Omar al-Bashir) and achieved positive results.

Think Progress notes:

Center for American Progress fellow Ruy Teixeira has noted that the public’s views could not be clearer on Iran: make diplomacy, not war. Despite the Bush administration’s attempts to ratchet up tensions with Iran, a majority of Americans (57 percent) have consistently expressed the view that Iran is a threat that can be contained with diplomacy. Another 20 percent don’t see Iran as a threat to the U.S. at the current time. Support for military action has fallen recently, registering only 15 percent.


It's time to restore sanity to American foreign policy, and if Hillary wants a diplomatic solution and the American people want a diplmatic solution, the choice is simple: Bill Richardson for President.


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