Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Herman Cain, Israel, Iran, and the "Clinton Doctrine"

The Washington Times has reported that pizza magnate, raging Islamophobe, blithering know-nothing, and Republican presidential aspirant Herman Cain has declared "he would attack Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons or to respond to aggression against Israel."

Responding to a question posed by the paper about whether he agreed with perennial push-broom soup-strainer and Bomb Iran enthusiast John Bolton's ever-urgent warnings about attacking Iran before it theoretically acquired a nuclear weapon to hypothetically destroy Israel, "Cain said that, as commander-in-chief, he would 'make it crystal clear [that] if you mess with Israel, you're messing with the United States of America,' but stressed that his 'Cain Doctrine' would not be a 'blank check' for Israeli military action." The report continued:

"There will be a set of conditions and circumstances that I will work with Israel on for them to understand that they cannot abuse that doctrine," said Mr. Cain, a former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza.

However, if Israel is ever attacked first by Iran, he said he is "not going to sit back and get a vote from the United Nations as to what we ought to do."

"If they [Iran] start lobbing rockets and stuff over at Israel, then we’re going to shoot back with Israel," he said.

Mr. Cain dismissed the notion that an attack on Iran is unrealistic: "First of all, we have the most capable military power in the world," he said. "Air, ground — although we won’t have to use ground for this — submarines, ships, that would be strategically placed in that part of the world."
While this caught the attention of some in the progressive blogosphere as yet one more example of aggressive Republican warmongering and militarism, it should be remembered that, in fact, threatening Iran is non-partisan. That Cain’s comments have gained any traction (and apparent condemnation) is fascinating considering that the current U.S. Secretary of State said essentially the exact same thing when she was seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.

While on the campaign trail in April 2008, Hillary Clinton was asked about a potential response to a hypothetical Iranian first-strike on Israel (hilarious in itself considering Iran has never threatened as much, whereas nuclear-armed Israel has repeatedly threatened Iran with an attack, conducted war games planning for such an operation, and has often boasted of its ability to carry out such an attack), and she replied:
"I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran [if it attacks Israel]…In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them." (emphasis added)
Clearly realizing how truly demented such a statement was, she continued, "That's a terrible thing to say but those people who run Iran need to understand that because that perhaps will deter them from doing something that would be reckless, foolish and tragic."

Not the kind of recklessless or foolishness it would take or tragedy it would be to, oh, I don’t know, totally obliterate an entire country of over 70 million people.

A couple of weeks later, when Clinton was asked by ABC's George Stephanopoulos whether she regretted making that statement, she doubled down:
"Why would I have any regrets? I am asked a question about what I would do if Iran attacked our ally, a country that many of us have a great deal of, you know, connection with and feeling for.

"I think we have to be very clear about what we would do. I don’t think it is time to equivocate about what we would do. I sure want to make it abundantly clear to them that they would face a tremendous cost if they did such a thing."
So, should there really be any fuss over the idiocy of the "Cain Doctrine", when we've known about the genocidal "Clinton Doctrine" for over three years now?


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