Skip to comments.Clinton’s War: It wasn’t with terrorism.
Posted on 08/10/2004 6:14:14 PM PDT by wagglebee
The revelation that former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger walked off with classified documents bearing on the Clinton administration's response to terrorism raises questions. Some of those questions may be answered simply by thumbing through President Clinton's autobiography.
My Life, is much like Clinton's life oversized, unabashedly self-serving and filled with contradictions.
But those curious about Clinton's thinking on national security and uninterested in his Arkansas childhood or the saga of Monica, Paula, Gennifer, et al. need not spend a lot of time reading the 957-page memoir. His first mention of terrorism is not until page 574. Al Qaeda doesn't appear until page 797.
Let me say for the record I'm no Clinton-hater. I met Clinton once and found him smart and charming. He did some good things in foreign policy. For example, he intervened in Kosovo and Bosnia not because there were Weapons of Mass Destruction there, but for humanitarian reasons. That was the right principle then, and that it remains the right principle although the humanitarian case for intervention was far more compelling in Iraq than in the Balkans.
Clinton implicitly recognized that. He signed the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998 making Saddam the one dictator in the world that Washington intended to topple. Again, I believe President Clinton was right to make that official U.S. policy, just as President Bush was right to implement that Clinton policy five years later.
Clinton undertook serious efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At Camp David in 2000, he persuaded then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak to offer PLO leader Yasser Arafat virtually everything Arafat had said he wanted. Clinton writes that the deal was "so good I couldn't believe anyone would be foolish enough to let it go." But Arafat did. What Clinton calls "Arafat's refusal to make peace" demonstrated that as long as Arafat wields power, terrorism against Israel will continue and Israel will have no choice but to defend herself, not least by erecting a barrier to keep terrorists from strolling into Israeli communities.
Anti-American terrorism didn't begin while Clinton was in the White House but throughout his tenure there were a series of escalating attacks that should have set off alarms: In 1992, terrorists attacked a Yemeni hotel quartering U.S. military personnel. In 1993, terrorists shot down a U.S. Army Black Hawk in Somalia and bombed the World Trade Center. In 1996, terrorists attacked Americans based at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. In 1998, terrorists bombed two U.S. embassies in Africa. In 2000, terrorists attacked the USS Cole.
Only once, when he lobbed missiles into a tent camp in Afghanistan and a suspected chemical weapons factory in Sudan, did Clinton respond in anything that could be called a forceful manner. (It remains unclear whether the Sudanese factory actually produced chemical weapons or only aspirin. Whatever the case, we should agree that when it came to Weapons of Mass Destruction, Clinton relied on the best intelligence available to him as has President Bush.)
Clinton says he considered doing more such as taking out a couple of al Qaeda's terrorist training camps in Afghanistan to "show them how serious we were." But surely, after repeated terrorist attacks the mission was not to "show seriousness" a goal worthy of a public-relations executive but to destroy all terrorist training camps that could be located before they graduated more mass murderers a military/strategic goal worthy of the commander-in-chief.
In those camps, Clinton neglects to note, bin Laden would eventually train 20,000 terrorists. Most of those terrorists are still out there today, planting explosive devices in Iraq or planning to kill your family and mine here at home.
Clinton writes that he wanted to do more, but the Pentagon told him it was too hard to send in special forces. The CIA said it "lacked the paramilitary capability" to capture or kill bin Laden.
Somehow, I don't think Winston Churchill would have been satisfied with such answers. I think Churchill would have said: "Get the job done or I'll bloody well find someone who will."
Failing that, Clinton might have ordered an overhaul of the CIA and the military, demanding that these institutions be re-structured to meet the challenges they were not prepared to handle. But that would have meant telling Americans: "I know you want that peace dividend. I'm sorry. We have enemies out there. We have to deal with them."
Clinton writes that, at one point, he did consider a "large-scale bombing campaign of all suspected campsites or a sizable invasion." But he decided "neither was feasible without a finding of al Qaeda responsibility for the Cole" bombing.
I simply don't understand that. What about the bombing of our African embassies two years earlier? Did Clinton think the statute of limitations had run out on those acts of mass murder?
He doesn't explain. And that's not all he leaves out. He writes nothing about the radical ideologies sweeping through the Islamic world, nothing about Wahhabism and Baathism, nothing about the effectiveness of terrorism as a means to demoralize and ultimately destroy the free world, nothing about the strategies that can defeat terrorism and the hateful ideas that justify and drive it. In fact, in nearly 1,000 pages, he never seriously discusses national security at all.
Clinton does say he wishes he had killed bin Laden. But he seems to view bin Laden as just another name on his enemies list Ken Starr in sandals and a turban.
That's the main point that emerges after desperately searching for the Clintonian understanding of terrorism in My Life. Caught up in his life his relationships, his ambitions, his appetites, his feuds Clinton appears to have hardly contemplated the world-historic changes that were taking place during his watch.
Bill Clinton was, and remains, a brilliant and beguiling politician. But he was feckless on the issue that mattered most. That may have been because Sandy Berger and others misadvised him. Or it may simply have been that he got so caught up in teapot tempests that he failed to see the terrible storms gathering on the horizon.
It was a panty raid!!!
Clinton did NOTHING except coverup everything,
as he attempted to screw everything in sight except the third rail.
What is there left to say about a political career as wasted as Bill Clinton's? When you are a humanist and you believe that human beings are fundamentally good, and are corrupted through poverty or a lack of education, you always feel insecure about using force to kill or capture the enemies of your country.
President Bush labors under no such untruth. He knows that evil is evil, and that human beings are evil because they are, which is the correct view, or the Biblical one. He has no problem projecting military force. That's why its been three years and we haven't been attacked again.
And that's why a Kerry as CINC would be an absolute unqualified disaster.
"Ken Starr in sandals and a turban."
Pretty good line.
The author gives Slick far more credit for good intentions than I would.
Personally, I'm convinced there were three reasons why Clinton authorized armed intervention in Kosovo:
1. To distract the public from his recent impeachment.
2. To distract the media from Juanita Broaddrick.
3. To distract Congress from the Cox Report.
None of them have anything to do with "humanitarian reasons" -- only with protected Slick Willie's sorry hide.
On that point, Dick Morris has always been correct.
Were the expected mass graves found?
Gee, we haven't heard much about them since, have we?
Mass graves in Kosovo seem to be even scarcer than WMD in Iraq...
Flim flam men are brilliant and beguiling. The better ones are politicians. The best one is Bill Clinton. The instant I saw an image of Clinton on TV -- even while Rush was saying nice things about this governor from Arkansas who headed the DLC -- I uttered out loud, "Flim Flam man."
I'm reading the "heavily purified" 9/11 Report and find that Clinton and his henchmen, especially Berger, Reno and Clarke, did little or nothing to get Bin Laden or Al Qaeda. The FBI, CIA, the Pentagon, the State Dept. and the NSA were also negligent big time, but Clinton did nothing to improve his admin's eight-years of disastrous inter-agency failure to cooperate and communicate effectively with each other. The report is careful not to extend blame to anyone, especially Clinton, but it's impossible to read the account and not recognize his many failures.
On Terror "Clinton got caught with his pants down"
The fat intern was a weapon of mass distraction.
I still believe that eventually the OKC bombing will be proven to have been assisted by terrorists .. and TWA 800 will finally be resolved as also being a terrorist incident. Richard Clarke and Jamie Gorelick may know the truth about TWA 800 but I don't expect them to be saying anything very soon.
To this day I still believe what larry nicholson said about the scum. he said the scum admired hitler and you can see he used some of the same tactics.
1. They needed the FBI files to shut down congress. The Gestapo had hundreds of files.
2. He used the IRS to scare and intimidate his enemies.Hitler used the gestapo the same way.
3.Hitler controlled the media, the scum didn't have to control our media, they voted him in.
4.Goebbles was a short little s**t in control of the propaganda. George steponallofus is a short little poisoned dwarf also in control of the media.
5. Goering was a big fat man, Reno.............
6.Hitler raised taxes.
7. Hitler was all for gun control....
8. Hitler didn't have a congress, the scum used more executive orders than any other president.
You left out Oklahoma City Bombing and possibly even TWA 800.
I suspect Robert Francis and everyone else who suddenly "retired" after TWA 800 are afraid to talk??? Seems like the careers of a lot of good men was ruined by Clinton.
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