Clinton would still ‘obliterate’ Iran

This morning as I flipped between Hillary Clinton’s ABC Town Hall meeting with one of Bill Clinton’s former advisors and communications director, George Stephanopoulos, and Barack Obama’s interview with Tim Russert on Meet the Press, both programs discussed Hillary Clinton’s comment that she would “obliterate” Iran if they attacked Israel.

Over on ABC, Hillary defended her comments,

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.

Yes, that’s true Sen. Clinton, but using language like we would “totally obliterate” Iran is not helpful by any means. For one, it shows no respect for the Iranian people; “totally obliterat[ing]” Iran focuses the comment on the entire nation, not the hardline leadership. Statements like this are the exact same ones that have caused tensions with Iran currently. When Iran had a reformist president in Mohammad Khatami and we had been cooperating in Afghanistan, the US and Iran had serious chances to reconcile their differences. But what happened? George Bush included them in his “Axis of Evil” and completely alienated the reformist element in the country. Obviously if any moderate politicians in Iran even mentioned rapproachment with the US they were chastised after Bush’s comments in his 2005 State of the Union Address. Now, Hillary Clinton isn’t even President and she is pissing other nations off and attempting to alienate moderates in Iran once again. Iran filed a protest with the UN, and she has already created a row with Vladimir Putin by saying he “doesn’t have a soul”. While obviously Putin may not be the most admirable man in the world, it usually isn’t a good thing to say about a foreign leader of a country that you have a delicate relationship with regardless of how much longer they are in office.

Over on NBC, Sen. Obama responded to Tim Russert’s prompt on the “obliterate” comment,

It’s not the language we need right now. I think it’s language that’s reflective of George Bush. … It is important that we use language that sends a signal to the world community that we’re shifting [away] from cowboy diplomacy.

IRAN: Clinton’s ‘obliterate’ remark draws U.N. attention – [Los Angeles Times]
Iran files protest at UN over Hillary Clinton’s ‘obliterate’ comment – [Int’l Herald Tribune]
Clinton Defends ‘Obliterate Iran’ Comment, Obama Calls It Bush-S’tyle ‘Cowboy Diplomacy’ – [Huffington Post]

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