WATCHING HILLARY

Yes, I sat through it. I was glad to hear the Senator from New York sit down with Baba Wawa for an hour. What struck me most was her absolute belief the she and her husband did nothing – nothing – of any substance to deserve the kind of scrutiny they got in eight years in office. Their only fault was naivete. I guess I’m not surprised by therigidity of her denial and composure. But something in me hoped for a little more – maybe a real reflection on her choices, her decisions, her unelected power, her stonewalling of the press, her enabling of her husband’s adulterous relationship with the truth, and so on. But nope. And then there the sheer fakery of it all. I really wish the real Hillary would simply come out of her shell and be in public what everybody says she is in private: caustic, decisive, aggressive, witty, ambitious, smart. What we saw last night was some saccharine, perfectly-spun middle American home-maker turning literally every question into a perfectly formulated political bromide. Its phoniness made me gag. And at its center is an obvious, big, glaring fib: that she never had an inkling of her husband’s long pattern of sexual abuse and harrassment until the August morning he told her of his latest victim. This stretches credulity beyond even Clintonite limits. And what equally amazes is that her litany of “innocent victims” never seems to include the victims of her husband’s sexual abuse. Perhaps she cannot as a feminist believe what so many women have testified to about her husband, so she simply pretends they don’t exist. They are invisible to her because they have to be. Her husband’s perjury and sexual harrassment don’t appear to have concerned her on moral grounds; and they concern her still only as a function of the obstacles they place in the way of her own political ambitions. That was true then; and her fibs now are yet another arbitrary layer of deception to keep her upward path smooth. My broader take on her book and her role in American politics can be read here.

THE PROOF WILL COME: This Los Angeles Times story seems highly plausible to me. Its argument is that Iraq did indeed once have considerable WMDs, that the inspections regime in the mid 1990s helped minimize it, but that a skeletal operation was kept up so that as soon as sanctions were lifted, a new and lethal program – especially biological – could be quickly brought back online. What the story shows is what we always knew: the issue was always the regime, not the weapons. Without such a regime, such weapons are not a danger; with it, they could be lethal. So the regime had to be eliminated. Maintaining sanctions indefinitely was a cruel and brutal way to keep the country contained, and was always liable to break down. Lifting sanctions would have been tanatamount to giving Saddam a chance to become a nuclear and chemical and biological menace. We pursued the only credible policy with regards to national security after 9/11. The carpers and critics are just revealing their exasperation at being humiliated and defeated – morally, intellectually and politically. Bob Kagan is worth reading on this point as well.