Observing from beyond the solar system, a cultural outsider looks in.

Friday, October 26, 2007

John Edwards to Hillary Clinton: Tell the Truth on Iran

I applaud John Edwards for continuing to point out that Hillary Clinton is going along with the Bush administration's push toward war with Iran. My gawd! Someone has to! Here's his statement from today:

"When Senator Clinton voted to declare Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, she only aided and abetted George Bush and Dick Cheney's march to war.

"We now have clear confirmation that the administration is planning attacks on Iran. This morning, NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell reported that Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters on a flight back to the United States last night that there are 'contingency plans for an attack on Iran' and that 'the planning has been done.'

"Republican candidates are also beating the drums of war. In an interview yesterday, Rudy Giuliani also said the military stage is 'closer than some of the Democrats believe.'

"Even though she's cozying up to the Republican approach when she's inside the Beltway, when she's in Iowa, Senator Clinton tells a different story. But with a question so critical, the American people deserve the real truth, not more doubletalk. And they need members of Congress to stand strong and fight the president on his march to war with Iran - not quicken the pace."

In case you missed what all this fuss is about, Clinton voted yes, weeks ago now, on the Kyl-Lieberman bill which declares the Iranian National Guard (part of the Iranian government) a terrorist organization. This isn't the first time that John Edwards has called her out about this. Senator Jim Webb called Kyl-Lieberman Cheney's fondest pipe dream. Yes, Hillary Clinton voted yes on it! On the other hand, maybe it's not too surprising, considering how much money she's raised from the U.S. weapons industry. Check out this quote from The Independent

The US arms industry is backing Hillary Clinton for President and has all but abandoned its traditional allies in the Republican party. Mrs Clinton has also emerged as Wall Street's favourite. Investment bankers have opened their wallets in unprecedented numbers for the New York senator over the past three months and, in the process, dumped their earlier favourite, Barack Obama.

Mrs Clinton's wooing of the defence industry is all the more remarkable given the frosty relations between Bill Clinton and the military during his presidency. An analysis of campaign contributions shows senior defence industry employees are pouring money into her war chest in the belief that their generosity will be repaid many times over with future defence contracts.

Employees of the top five US arms manufacturers – Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop-Grumman, General Dynamics and Raytheon – gave Democratic presidential candidates $103,900, with only $86,800 going to the Republicans. "The contributions clearly suggest the arms industry has reached the conclusion that Democratic prospects for 2008 are very good indeed," said Thomas Edsall, an academic at Columbia University in New York.

Republican administrations are by tradition much stronger supporters of US armaments programmes and Pentagon spending plans than Democratic governments. Relations between the arms industry and Bill Clinton soured when he slimmed down the military after the end of the Cold War. His wife, however, has been careful not to make the same mistake.

After her election to the Senate, she became the first New York senator on the armed services committee, where she revealed her hawkish tendencies by supporting the invasion of Iraq. Although she now favours a withdrawal of US troops, her position on Iran is among the most warlike of all the candidates – Democrat or Republican.

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