Iran's failure to release the U.S. embassy hostages was arguably the final nail which handed the 1980 Presidential election to Ronald Reagan over Jimmy Carter.
Could Iran inadvertently "save" Hillary Rodham Clinton from herself?
Let me explain my theory.
With regard to Iraq, the former Secretary of State, former U.S. senator from New York, former First Lady is in a pickle.
Arguably her hawkish position on Iraq - a vote for the second Iraq war, and reluctance, even her inability, to acknowledge any error, let alone apologize - sent progressive Dems into the arms of Barack Obama during that marathon slog for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2008.
That reputation for hawkishness, plus her close ties to Wall Street, helps explain why progressive Dems are still not totally comfortable with her this time, leading to talk of an Elizabeth Warren candidacy -- or some other primary challenge from the Left. Bernie Sanders?
But the current Iraq mess leaves HRC in a quandary. Does she say next to nothing? That risks not displaying herself as a leader, and reinforces her reputation as a careful, risk-averse politician.
Does she say it's in the U.S. interest to do whatever is necessary to thwart the Sunni Islamist insurgency, including air strikes AND troops? If so, here comes Hillary the hawk again, again alienating those anti-war progressives (but also, ironically, some staunch pro-Israel supporters who hate to see the U.S. aligned with Iran).
Or does HRC come out against any substantial U.S. military intervention, placating the anti-war folks, but also drawing criticism that she's putting her political aspirations ahead of U.S. strategic interests?
Imagine the optics if those Sunni Islamists raced into Baghdad, forcing a hasty evacuation from that costly fortress that is the U.S. embassy compound. For people above a certain age, flashback to the unceremonious evacuation of the U.S. embassy in Saigon. Would HRC want to be associated with such images?
Enter Iran. Let's be blunt. Iran already appears to be inserting some elite Revolutionary Guards into Baghdad. The Islamic Republic of Iran will do whatever is necessary to keep a Shi'a-dominated government in Baghdad.
Whether or not the United States and Iran reach any tacit understanding, Iran will not allow the current Baghdad government to go down in flames. Result: No need to evacuate the U.S. embassy compound in Baghdad, no parallels to the Saigon evacuation. More difficult to argue that HRC bowed to the anti-war, progressive wing of her party for sheer political expediency.
Maybe HRC can get away without offering a specific, straightforward position on what she'd do if she were President today.
Of course, an Iraqi central government even more reliant on the Iranians presents its own problem, probably exacerbating an Iraqi civil war, even while the city of Baghdad would remain under Shi'a central government control. But HRC could then argue that U.S. interests clash with a full alignment with EITHER side; the United States gave Iraqis a chance; and they blew it. That might work as long as the country doesn't morph into some kind of Cambodian, Pol Pot killing fields... even worse than Syria.
Your thoughts? If you think my logic above is disconnected or takes a few flying leaps...
Posted at 1:48pm on June 17, 2014 by Allan Loudell
It would sure be nice if HRC became a permanent year-round resident of Iran.
Tue, Jun 17, 2014 10:28pm
In my opinion, Hillary's wisest choice would be to keep her opinions to herself, let the events play out and then "Monday-morning quarterback" what she would have done had she been in charge.
Many Progressives view Hillary as a sell-out because she claims to hold moderate views on some issues. However, Hillary is simply following Alinsky’s counsel to do and say whatever it takes to gain power...Alinsky viewed revolution as a slow, patient process. The trick was to penetrate existing institutions such as churches, unions and political parties.
"True revolutionaries do not flaunt their radicalism. They cut their hair, put on suits and infiltrate the system from within."~Alinsky
Wed, Jun 18, 2014 8:49am
Mike: My guess is that the 275 troops are there to help evacuate the 5,000+ employees at that huge embassy and possible setting explosives in case they do evacuate...to destroy our $1 BILLION embassy in Baghdad rather than hand over whatever they have in there to ISIS/ISIL.
275 troops (even Marines) are no match for the thousands of enemy fighters taking over the country of Iraq.
Mike from Delaware
Wed, Jun 18, 2014 9:18am
Hillary tends to play it safe. She'll do as EarlGrey suggested, and Monday morning quarterback. Actually, that makes sense; it's not her decision to make [yet], and saying something now could, and probably would, hurt her. Hillary should be seen, but not heard from, often. It seems the more she speakes, the less folks like her: Clinton fatigue. So that Alinsky advice probably is her best move.
I think her bigger threat would be from Elizabeth Warren. Ms. Warren is outspoken; members of the Far Left really like her; she doesn't come with all the "Clinton baggage". Her voice isn't irritating like Hillary's, and her biggest asset is........ she's NOT a Clinton.
I saw a poll, reported by NBC, that said 38% today say they'd vote for Hillary; 37% said no way would they vote for Hillary; leaving 25% undecided. My guess the 38% are DEMS and mostly female, the 37% are Republicans and mostly men. The 25% represents the Independent voters of both sexes who are waiting to see what their choices are.
So I believe the G.O.P., if smart, could win against Mrs. Clinton. If the Republicans choose the right candidate where he/she, plus the rest of the party, doesn't say stupid stuff [there's the Republican Achilles Heel open mouth, insert foot], and assuming Hillary is the DEM nominee, it's possible for the Republicans to get most of that 62% of the vote.
I agree the G.O.P./TEA will need someone solid, who brings a fresh vision, possibly a governor who's shown how well his/her policies work in that governor's state already [Brewer, Perry are examples]. This G.O.P./TEA candidate needs to be someone who will state it very clearly and often that for those 55+, there will be NO changes in benefits or age to retire in Social Security. That would end any speculation as to where they stand on this issue.
Mike from Delaware
Wed, Jun 18, 2014 9:20am
What were they thinking building a 1-Billion dollar embassy in "sandland"?
Wed, Jun 18, 2014 10:42am
I think Hillary is once again going to lose to a more vibrant & dynamic candidate...one person who fills this role well is Van Jones. He is the former Green Jobs Czar of this administration and is currently a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and a senior policy advisor at Green for All... he's also a 911-truther, so could there really be a better Progressive for 0bama to hand the reigns to after his "fundamental changes" to our country?
Mike from Delaware
Wed, Jun 18, 2014 11:34am
EarlGrey: I just read the wiki article on Van Jones. I see what you mean. The Far Left would really get excited about Jones.
Hillary may not have such an easy time of it from within her own party, but for one thing, Jones, while black, is a male... been there done that. Will women step aside a second time so that a male, black or white, pushes aside their hero, Hillary out of the running? This is definitely her final rodeo in 2016.
As I said, my guess on that poll is most of that 38% are DEMS and women. They see Hillary as finally their chance to get not just any woman as President, but a progressive woman elected "to straighten out this land after centuries of male rule" [I hear the strains of "I Am Women" by Helen Reddy playing in the background], granted Hillary is not as progressive as Elizabeth Warren, but she's no Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann either.
However, another question comes to mind. How many black/brown women would stick with Hillary if Van Jones were the candidate? Would race outrank womanhood? He'd support all the liberal female stuff anyhow, so they'd not have a problem with him, plus he'd take Obama's agenda to the next step, whereas Hillary's not as liberal as Mr. Obama so they might view Hillary as a step backward, other than being a woman. You might be on to something, Earl.
Mike from Delaware
Wed, Jun 18, 2014 11:59am
A different topic, yet in some ways related:
Obamacare subsidies push cost of health law above projections
"Premiums that normally would have cost $346 a month on average instead cost consumers just $82, with the federal government picking up the balance of the bill.
While the generous subsidies helped consumers, they also risk inflating the new health law’s price-tag in its first year.
The report suggests that the Federal government is on track to spend at least $11 billion on subsidies for consumers who bought health plans on marketplaces run by the Federal government, even accounting for the fact that many consumers signed up for coverage in late March, and will only receive subsidies for part of the year."
My question is why didn't the government just put those folks who couldn't afford to pay health-care premiums in Medicaid? That program is already in existence and would have been less expensive for the taxpayers to pay helping these folks get health-care.
Wed, Jun 18, 2014 2:20pm
To return to Mike's question about building a massive, costly embassy fortress in Baghdad, two things: Ensuring a security cocoon AND doubtless, many U.S. contractors cashed-in.
On HRC, she just seems to be an exceedingly flawed candidate. She just doesn't seem to have the exceptional political antennae as her husband.
But, I don't buy that she's some far-out lefty masquerading as a moderate left-of-center Dem.
Also Mike, the Obama Administration could not have won passage of the Affordable Care Act a.k.a. Obamacare without winning support from one prominent sector, and that was the insurance industry.
Mike from Delaware
Wed, Jun 18, 2014 3:08pm
Allan: I can understand those reasons for an embassy, but the cost does seem a tad bit excessive, especially for some Third World pile of sand. I just question whether we should have bothered. Seems like that Billion could have been better spent, along with the Trillions wasted fighting that war.
I agree Hillary doesn't have the "Clinton" factor going for her. She's just not as likable, charismatic, etc., etc., as ole Bubba. Hillary is abrasive. I don't see Hillary as an extreme lefty, but she sure isn't a conservative either. She's probably a moderate who leans left. She's probably not as liberal as she was when in college; folks do change as they age. I'm shocked she's not a Republican, as now she and her husband are part of the upper 2% - heh heh.
Good point about AFC. The insurance companies do seem to like Obamacare, which might be a good reason for all of us to not be as satisfied; they're making money on our backs. I guess the insurance companies' biggest fear would be the U.S. deciding to go to Single Payer, so they probably are delighted to be part of the AFC and would defend it.
Wed, Jun 18, 2014 4:53pm
There's a new game in town. For oil, it's Pick Your Terrorist.
For politics it's Pick Your Communist.
Add your comment: Attention: In an attempt to promote a level of civility and personal
responsibility in blog discussions, we now require you to be a member of
the WDEL Members Only Group in order to post a comment. Your Members
Only Group username and password are required to process your post.
You can join the WDEL Members Only Group for free by clicking here.
If you are already a member but have forgotten your username or password, please
Please register your post with your WDEL Members Only Group username and password below.