Clinton on Withdrawal, Getting Tough on Iraqis

Sen. Hillary Clinton, in an interview with Steve Inskeep of NPR’s “Morning Edition” (not all of her comments are in the article accompanying the audio, transcripts are my own).

On her fellow Democratic legislators (beginning at 1:52):

INSKEEP: Do you think the Iraqi government really isn’t trying hard enough? Or are they being asked to do the impossible here?

CLINTON: Well, I think that, uh, there has been a, uh, a lack of attention and focus on, y’know, dealing with the, uh, problems that exist, uh, that keep the Sunnis an insurgency, and they have also refused, uh, to attempt the disarmament of the militias which keep the, y’know, the death squads operating. And in thinking about this there are some of my colleagues, as you know, who say “cut off funding for American troops.” I think that is, uh, y’know, not appropriate at this time until we get more of our troops out of harm’s way, and frankly the President has the money to do this if we can’t stop him.

Now, maybe I’m mistaken, but I didn’t think any of Sen. Clinton’s colleagues were calling for defunding troops already in Iraq — those in harm’s way — but maybe she’s heard too much FOX News while she was in Iraq.

On the Iraqis (beginning at 3:19, I’ve bracketed a couple of words that seemed slurred on the recording).

INSKEEP: Are you saying that withdrawal is an option, even if that would be seen by some as failure?

CLINTON: Well, I think that [what I’ve] called for, for more than a year and a half is , uh, a phased redeployment that is tied to certain conditions being met by the Iraqis. I think you’ve got to get tougher on them. Y’know, in this part of the world, unfortunately, uh, the reality is that people respond to pressure and to threats. We have no — we have not made any credible threats. Y’know, we are providing security for the Iraqi government. I think that is leverage that we can use….

Ahh, yes, the old “get tougher” routine. Because once you’ve shocked and awed the heck out of someone’s cities; destroyed their electrical, water, and other infrastructure; occupied their country for four years; turned the old dictator’s torture prison into your own torture prison; enabled foreign terrorists and just about anyone else with a few pounds of explosives to set off multiple bombs each day in the capital; driven more than a million of the inhabitants to flee the country; and fostered conditions where 100,000 to 650,000 people have been killed by your troops, terrorists, militias, or other armed people, then it’s time to get tough. Because really, living in conditions where there are people using power tools on the heads of their friends and family or where they might get shot by soldiers at a roadblock or just assassinated isn’t enough pressure or threat to get them to do anything. Damn lazy Iraqis.

Isn’t it nice to live in a part of the world where people don’t respond to pressure or threats? Truly, like Hillary Clinton, I think we’re a better class of people for it.

EXTRA BONUS POINTS if you noticed that the sentences the Senator managed to get out without an “uh” or “y’know” were the ones where she talked about her colleagues who were killing the troops and how we’d been coddling the Iraqis. Wonder if she’s been practicing those parts of the speech?