THE BLOG

Hillary's War

08/21/2007 01:56 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Hillary Clinton addressed a group of veterans in Kansas City yesterday and proclaimed that "we've begun to change tactics in Iraq," and those changed tactics are "working." "We're just years too late in our tactics," she lamented.

(Note: The first report I read, on Huffington Post and from the New York Post, quoted Hillary as saying "the surge" is working. Now that I have seen the full speech, I can quote her exactly. "We've begun to change tactics" . . . But what else is she talking about except George W. Bush's Hail Mary surge? What other "new tactics" have we begun to try? The surge is the story. She was, of course, talking about the surge. Arguing about how she characterized it misses the essential and crucial point. It obfuscates, as in Karl Obfuscate Rove, which is exactly what every Republican argument is meant to do.)

What does Hillary mean by "working"? How is the surge working? What is it accomplishing? What is it meant to accomplish? What, in the war gospel according to Hillary, is the goal of the surge? Is it the same goal she had in mind when she voted to allow Bush to go to war in Iraq if he wanted to? Is her only regret now that our "tactics" were flawed, i. e., we did not send enough Americans to accomplish whatever the Bush/Clinton goal is right from start?

I suspect all she meant to do in Kansas City yesterday was pander a little to the Vets, be enough of the Hillary they want to get some of their votes, you know. But her declaration that the surge is "working" and that we're just "years too late in our tactics" goes beyond standard politician-pander to reveal something terribly wrong in her thinking. She has given us a glimpse beneath the mask -- there's the real Hillary. Years too late in our tactics? How many more Americans and Iraqis should have died under her leadership, with her superior tactics, to achieve her unspecified goal ("victory"?)? Does she think the American people have turned against this unwinnable, unconstitutional, criminal war only because Bush didn't surge from the beginning?

I have been thinking I would feel compelled to vote for Hillary if the Democrats nominated her because that would be the only meaningful way to cast a vote against the horrifying, entirely and eternally discredited Republican party.

I'm not sure now how meaningful that vote would really be. And I don't think I'm going to be able to do it.