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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Saturday, December 06, 2003
Hillary Clinton Wants Enduring Socialism
Democrats in Self-Destruct Mode XXVIII
Hillary Clinton says Bush is going to undo decades of socialistic experiments, in the Houston Chronicle, yesterday.
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Dec. 5, 2003, 11:38PM
Clinton criticizes Bush in Austin
By CLAY ROBISON
AUSTIN U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., on Friday blasted President Bush and his "radical" administration for attempting to dismantle the "central pillars of progress in our country during the 20th century."
Clinton, in an interview with two reporters, said she had become convinced the Republican administration wants "to undo the New Deal," the Roosevelt-era policies that ushered in Social Security and a host of other governmental assistance programs.
She said Bush, who campaigned as a "compassionate conservative" in 2000, had taken a "hard-right turn to pursue an extremist agenda" after moving into the White House.
"I don't know where it came from, but the fact is that this President Bush has not only been radical and extreme in terms of Democratic presidents but in terms of Republican presidents, including his own father," she said.
Clinton, who later signed copies of her book Living History for hundreds of people waiting in line at a downtown Austin bookstore, continued to insist that she won't jump into the race for next year's Democratic presidential nomination.
But she said she believed that Bush was beatable because his administration was "making America less free, fair, strong, smart than it deserves to be in a dangerous world."
"We have to change direction before irreparable harm is done," she added.
"This administration is in danger of being the first in American history to leave our nation worse off than when they found it."
Clinton criticized Bush for policies ranging from health care to environmental protection and energy. She said the recent Medicare bill passed by the Republican-led Congress would "let Medicare wither on the vine."
The senator, who visited Afghanistan and Iraq last week as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the administration also had underestimated the commitment necessary to rebuild Iraq.
She said Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield "has a view of military intervention that is out of sync with what the reality on the ground is after the military does its initial job of toppling the regime, whether it be the Taliban (in Afghanistan) or Saddam Hussein."
She said Afghanistan still posed a "very dangerous situation" because the Taliban and al-Qaida were regrouping.
American forces in Iraq, Clinton added, needed more help from other countries and a "different mix" of American troops.
During her recent visit to Iraq, she said, "everybody told me we don't have enough intelligence, civil affairs, MPs (military police), engineers."
She warned that it may take a "very long time" to restore stability in Iraq.
"The fact is we're in Iraq and we're in Afghanistan, and we have no choice but to be successful," she said.
The wife of former President Clinton, who is serving her first term in the Senate, has been frequently mentioned as a presidential candidate, and some supporters have tried to draft her for 2004.
Clinton, who hasn't ruled out a possible presidential race in 2008, said the talk was "flattering" but insisted, "I just stand on trying to do a good job (in the Senate)."
She has been touring the country, signing copies of her best-selling book as well as raising money for her re-election campaign in 2006 and for other Democratic candidates and causes.
Thursday night, Clinton attended a fund-raiser for her re-election campaign hosted by Austin advertising executive Roy Spence, a longtime friend of the Clintons.
Regardless of her own plans, Clinton said she hoped the United States was ready to elect a qualified woman as president.
"You've got women serving in many positions at all levels of government and in other walks of life. I was briefed by women generals, as well as men, when I was in Afghanistan and Iraq," she said.
"So from my perspective, it depends on the person."
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Hmm. The junior senator from New York is holding a fund-raiser for her 2006 re-election campaign. In Texas. In 2003. Hmm.
"We Love Peace Just Don't Make Us Fight For It"
Margaret Wente discusses Canadian attitudes towards the military in The Globe & Mail, Dec. 4:
Romeo Dallaire is a national hero and a riveting speaker. I saw him in action recently, and he left the audience in tears. With raw passion, he described the awful butchery in Rwanda and how powerless he was to stop it. Every day for months, he begged and pleaded with the UN for reinforcements. With even a few thousand troops, he believes, he could have saved hundreds of thousands of people. But help never came. Instead of sending more troops, the United Nations decided to withdraw them. The United States was utterly indifferent, too. And so, as the world looked the other way, Rwanda became the greatest killing field since Cambodia.
The audience of journalists and business people gave the general a standing ovation. Which is highly ironic, since few of them, I suspect, would lift a finger to make Canada a nation that could help him out....
My military friends (okay, friend) sometimes blame the media for the public's general indifference to the decline of the armed forces. Journalists can't tell a Sea King from an AK-47. None of them were ever in the forces, and none of their friends were either. But in fact, we're pretty much a mirror of our generation of Canadians. We've spent our entire lives aggressively rejecting everything the military represents hierarchy, conflict, stoicism, subordination of self to state. Patriotism makes us squirm. Guns make us shudder. Anyone in uniform makes us automatically suspicious. Our kids learn more about non-violence in school than they learn about the Second World War....
I would like us to be able to live up to our cherished image of ourselves as the world's good guys. The trouble is that being good guys requires something more than lip service and good intentions. Just ask Romeo Dallaire.
Were it not for Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush had Carter been re-elected, had Mondale and Dukakis and Gore been elected she could be talking about the USA.
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