By Ben Cohen
Joseph Wilson, former U.S Ambassador and husband to outed CIA agent Valerie Plame has written a scathing attack in the Huffington Post on Barack Obama’s foreign policy experience while defending his choice of candidate, Hillary Clinton.
Wilson deserves a huge amount of praise for his opposition to the Iraq war from its inception, and his continued outspokenness to the Bush Administration. He also deserves credit for his critique of Obama’s lack of experience in foreign policy. Writes Wilson:
“After he came to Washington, Obama’s views were thoroughly conventional
and even timid. In 2004, he said about the 2002 congressional
Authorization for the Use of Military Force: “I’m not privy to Senate
intelligence reports. What would I have done? I don’t know.” On
Iraq-related votes in the Senate, Obama’s record identically matches
Senator Clinton’s–with the exception that Senator Clinton voted
against the confirmation of General George Casey as Army chief of
staff. Obama’s vote was typically passive.”
Wilson’s remarks are spot on. Despite the media’s love affair with Obama, he should certainly be held accountable for his views (or lack thereof).
But Wilson falls apart when he speaks up for Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy credentials.
“We know that she has won and lost but always fought for her beliefs,
which are widely shared within the Democratic Party”, says Wilson. “The battles she
had been in have been fierce–and the battles in the future will be no
less intense–and she has proven her steadfastness and is still
standing. She does not have a cowardly record of voting “present” when
confronted with difficult issues. She does not claim “intuition” as the
basis of the most dangerous and serious decision-making. What she has
is deep and vital experience, more important than ever in restoring our
country’s place in the world”.
Before Wilson gets carried away with Clinton’s ‘steadfastness; and ‘deep and vital experience’, he should remember two things:
1. Hillary Clinton voted for the Iraq war, possibly the biggest foreign policy disaster in U.S history.
2. Hillary Clinton voted to label the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a
terrorist organisation, and was the only Democratic candidate to do so.
Had it not been revealed that the U.S knew Iran had dismantled its
nuclear weapons program in 2003, this would have given Bush another
pretext to go to war, a decision that would be unparalleled in its
These two factors should automatically discount credibility her in
serious foreign policy circles. In fact, Wilson would be advised to
look at his own record before dishing out lectures to Obama about
policy decisions. Although Wilson voted for Gore in 2000, he also
contributed to the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2000. Wilson told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer he did so “Because I
believed that Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney would make better Republican
leaders than Mr. McCain”.
If Wilson had bothered to do the slightest bit of research on Bush and
Cheney’s background, he would have concluded that the pair would follow
a radically dangerous policy agenda when in office. Wilson didn’t, and
his money was used to elect the most dangerous duo in American history.
Wilson is an intelligent man with massive insight into the foreign
policy workings of the United States. He is however, pinning his
credibility on a woman who has made a history of cowing to Republican
power and following a radically imperialist policy abroad. In this
case, he would do best to lend his credibility elsewhere in the
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.