Hillary Clinton has penned an article on her foreign policy for the Foreign Affairs magazine. The article is, of course, meant to polish her war-medals, er, credentials and re-assure everyone. It does no such thing.
On Iran, she vows that "all options must remain on the table."
Below the fold.
Iran poses a long-term strategic challenge to the United States, our NATO allies, and Israel. It is the country that most practices state-sponsored terrorism, and it uses its surrogates to supply explosives that kill U.S. troops in Iraq. The Bush administration refuses to talk to Iran about its nuclear program, preferring to ignore bad behavior rather than challenge it. Meanwhile, Iran has enhanced its nuclear-enrichment capabilities, armed Iraqi Shiite militias, funneled arms to Hezbollah, and subsidized Hamas, even as the government continues to hurt its own citizens by mismanaging the economy and increasing political and social repression.
As a result, we have lost precious time. Iran must conform to its nonproliferation obligations and must not be permitted to build or acquire nuclear weapons. If Iran does not comply with its own commitments and the will of the international community, all options must remain on the table.
Of course, Hillary was for taking nukes off the table before she was against it. Being pro-Nuke is supposed to contrast her to Barack Obama, who is pro-sanity.
Really, the idea that Bush hasn't done enough to challenge Iran is a bit silly, and totally undermines her arguments that K-L wasn't a blank check to attack.
Or perhaps we should expect Hillary to put forward a resolution giving Bush the green light? Because clearly she thinks that Bush needs to be more aggressive towards Iran.
Vowing to out-Bush Bush on Iran? This hawk schtick is getting old to the point of becoming dangerous.
update Folks have asked for clarification, as I have compared her position to the pro-sanity position of Senator Obama. Here, for the record, are his thoughts on Iran from the same magazine (earlier issue):
Our policy of issuing threats and relying on intermediaries to curb Iran's nuclear program, sponsorship of terrorism, and regional aggression is failing. Although we must not rule out using military force, we should not hesitate to talk directly to Iran. Our diplomacy should aim to raise the cost for Iran of continuing its nuclear program by applying tougher sanctions and increasing pressure from its key trading partners. The world must work to stop Iran's uranium-enrichment program and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. It is far too dangerous to have nuclear weapons in the hands of a radical theocracy. At the same time, we must show Iran -- and especially the Iranian people -- what could be gained from fundamental change: economic engagement, security assurances, and diplomatic relations. Diplomacy combined with pressure could also reorient Syria away from its radical agenda to a more moderate stance -- which could, in turn, help stabilize Iraq, isolate Iran, free Lebanon from Damascus' grip, and better secure Israel.
Finally, we must develop a strong international coalition to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and eliminate North Korea's nuclear weapons program. Iran and North Korea could trigger regional arms races, creating dangerous nuclear flashpoints in the Middle East and East Asia. In confronting these threats, I will not take the military option off the table. But our first measure must be sustained, direct, and aggressive diplomacy -- the kind that the Bush administration has been unable and unwilling to use.
I'm sure the same people who would like you to believe Kyl Lieberman was a good bill will point out that Obama says "Military option" and "aggressive diplomacy" here.
The difference is that Obama is specifically not saying "all military options." Obama is not arguing for a pre-emptive nuclear strike. The earlier campaign dust-up between whether or not a candidate should use nuclear weapons to catch bin Laden at the risk of civilian lives (an argument where, Hillary advisor Michael O'Hanlon said, Obama clearly gave the right answer, that you don't use Nukes when conventional weapons would do).
Update 2: a valid criticism, that I had bolded half a sentence, dealing with challenging Iran. I've bolded the entire sentence now. I still think that this creates a clear distinction between candidates who would use diplomacy to "raise the cost to Iran" (Obama) and "challenge Iran" (Clinton). One is in America's (and the world's) better interests, and one is in Iran's.
Update 3: There are some here who are suggesting that I'm suggesting Hillary wants to start a thermonuclear armagedon, or that her foreign policy is more hawkish than Dick Cheney. Of course, that is not the case. No one who is sane would advocate for the nuking of Tehran.
If Hillary is the Democratic nominee, her foreign policy would be much preferable to that of the Republican nominee, and I will volunteer for her and vote for her accordingly.
But I, for one, believe that we have a choice about who that nominee is, and I don't want the Democrats to nominate a candidate whose foreign policies have to come with an asterisk stating "This policy, while dangerous, is still a thousand times better than than that of my opponent."
This is why we don't need to delude ourselves into thinking that Hillary, Obama, or Edwards have the same position on Iran, with some "nuanced" difference.