05/14/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Juan Cole: Clinton's Iran Comments "Monstrous"

I had complained at the time that this diction is monstrous. I mean, it is surreal to have Democrats discussing whether it is appropriate for the US to "totally obliterate" another country. It would be one thing if she had threatened the Iranian military. Targeting civilians, who would be included in the "total" obliteration, is a war crime.

Clinton stood by her remarks: "I don't think it's time to equivocate. [Iran has] to know they would face massive retaliation. That is the only way to rein them in." The premise that "they" only understand the language of massive violence is in fact a rightwing premise more characteristic of W. and Ariel Sharon than of the Democratic Party tradition.

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