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IRAN: Hillary's threat to "obliterate" in war reverberates


Better be careful what you say in the heat of a political campaign. It could have global repercussions.

480pxhillary_rodham_clinton_2Presidential contender Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's vow to "obliterate" Iran, presumably with nuclear weapons, if it attacked Israel on her watch was duly noted in the U.S.

[UPDATE: To see a video and full transcript of the comment, click here.]

Jaded American insiders shrugged off the remark as typical campaign season bluster, filed away with myriad other exaggerations and gaffes.

But it prompted shock overseas as well as headlines from Bulgaria to New Zealand.

The statement triggered alarm bells in the Persian Gulf, which would likely suffer the consequences of any war between Iran and the U.S. In a harshly worded editorial, the Saudi-based daily Arab News trashed Clinton's comment today as insane:

This is the foreign politics of the madhouse. It demonstrates the same doltish ignorance that has distinguished Bush’s foreign relations. It offers only violence where there should be negotiations and war where there could be peace. At a stroke, Clinton demonstrated to everyone in this region that if she were the next occupant of the White House, Iraq-like death and destruction would be the order of the day.

The paper generally stays  true to the line of the Saudi government, which is a key U.S. ally. But criticism of the remark also came from even friendlier quarters.

In the United Kingdom, which has been a steadfast U.S. ally in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as on the issue of Iran, Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, a ranking British diplomat, criticized Clinton's remark as gratuitous:

While it is reasonable to warn Iran of the consequence of it continuing to develop nuclear weapons and what those real consequences bring to its security, it is not probably prudent ... in today's world to threaten to obliterate any other country and in many cases civilians resident in such a country.

Borzou Daragahi in Beirut

Photos: Image from a 1954 U.S. nuclear test in the Pacific Ocean. (Wikimedia Commons) Hillary Rodham Clinton (Official picture).

P.S. The Los Angeles Times issues a free daily newsletter with the latest headlines from the Middle East, the war in Iraq and the frictions between the West and Islam. You can subscribe by registering at the website here, logging in here and clicking on the World: Mideast newsletter box here.

Comments () | Archives (97)

"Well, you all are talking about nuking IRAN and some on here think that ok. They're terrorist so it's ok, right." (From Katy)

They aren't terrorists. They are the Iranian people. Hillary Clinton threatened that "the people of Iran had better know..." Those were her own follow-up words in defense of her threat to obliterate their country. Iranian citizens are among the most civil, American-loving people on earth, and no more fond of their current leaders than we are. Hillary Clinton either doesn't KNOW this, or as a Cheney-like sociopath, she doesn't CARE, and doesn't even realize how it looks to talk of murdering millions of people if their leaders threaten Israel.

Hillary is a bad little girl playing grownup on the world stage, accustomed to the only adults on the scene being HER mommy and daddy, letting HER take it as far as she pleases. I never thought so until now. But that's what Hillary Clinton is. She is a "madman." She is the equal of John McCain, may in fact be even worse. Truth is, Hillary is the closest thing I've seen to Bush. And Bush is the closest thing I've seen to unworthy, crazy, ignorant, but allowed to sit at the World's controls and fly the craft straight into the ground.

A President Hillary Clinton could leave us thinking that Bush/Cheney were just "Hillary lite."

Maybe that's why certain powers seem so determined to get her into the White House. Maybe McCain is just the distraction...

Hillary's gone off her rocker. Has she forgotten that Iran lies geographically on Russia's doorstep? What makes her think that Moscow is going to sit idly by and not respond to a U.S. nuclear strike against a country that lies in Russia's neighborhood?

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in fact, issued a warning last November that Russia would regard any U.S. military strike against Iran as an attack on Russia itself -- raising the threat of Russian retaliation.

Putin is stepping down as president in May, but there's no guarantee that his successor, Dimitry Medvedev, won't maintain Putin's tough stance on Iran.

See for yourself:

Well, you all are talking about nuking IRAN and some on here think that ok. They're terrorist so it's ok, right. Well, I heard today our own home grown terrorist have threaten to bomb Obama's church, we talk about cleaning up the world and we can't even clean this country of crazy lunatics. I place some of the responsibility for these luns on Hillary and Bill with their race baiting campaign, they've unleashed these hounds and now here we are back in the 60's, but I guess some think it's ok to bomb a church with innocent women, men and children, who's only crime is the color of their skin. How said this country is, how very sad indeed.

Mrs. Clinton specifically said that if they were to consider an attack, wherever they might be in the development of their nuclear program, we WOULD BE ABLE TO obliterate them. She was referring to the fact that they will always be little brothers in the nuke fight and cannot hope to succeed. She suggested, she would hope, that our advanced abilities on this front would deter them.

You really can't fault Hillary for her radically bellicose word.

After all the whiskey shots and beer bongs she's been downing lately, she's getting up some real courage!

Where's my monster truck, Goddammit?

Hillary has a real complex. She wants to show toughness by talking and acting tough, by lying and exaggerating things. She lacks character. She drank wisky and beer to show she is tough. She lies about Bosnia to show she can be the commander-in-chief. She lies about the Northen Ireland peace accord to show she can negotiate peace agreements. This is very dangerous for someone who will occupy the White House. It appears she is very insecure.

Immature talk of a person who claims to be experienced. America has been terrorized by a 3% minority of it's population - the Jews - for too long.

Clinton may win, we will see wether she is able to turn around this country!

Let the Bushies have another 4 years... Clinton or McCain - who cares.

Is it any wonder that the Mid-East, Arab population, would distrust the U.S. at face value regarding any topic. If I were Iranian I would be voting for being nuclear armed. That is directly because of Hilary Clinton's rediculous comment. Seriously how could anyone argue against Iran defending itself against this nonscence? If the situation was in reverse, every American would be voting for going forward into being a nuclear power. Yet, Iran as a nation endured America's overthrough of their democratically elected government in the 50's is no doubt angry and distrustful of the West. Why should they not be? Why doesn't Hilary adress this issue along side of making threats the majority of the U.S. population, that might elect her, do not agree with. Nobody asked me, as a U.S. citizen, if it is o.k. to start WWIII, and maybe fifty-years of war thereafter. I believe that Israel should defend itself. But that also means Iran should also. Because, I as a U.S. citizen don't trust my own government to act trust-worthy anymore with the current administration still in power; I can not trust their take on Iran anymore. Do they really think everyone does not see through the smoke-screen to see this is all about oil; not in a conspiracy theory way anymore, but in real news coverage kind of way. I know Hilary Clinton is only playing to the audence who will elect her. But that disappoints me about her. That is why I won't vote for her. I'm with Jesse Ventura, I'll vote none of the above because they don't deserve my vote.

Clinton is on board with Killer Bush, even though trying to out-do McCain in a killing-provocation contest is a losing battle. American boots are already on the ground in Iraq, if Clinton non-chalantly kills off a few Iranians, right there America is toast - and experts agree on this. Iran has the cards, and these killers - Killer Clinton, Killer McCain, just like Killer Bush, they want to sell America out, our freedom, our principles, our lives - in wars based on lies.

A few days later, I was discussing her comment with my husband, who had not seen nor heard her make this fabulous remark.

I couldn't find it on any US websites, but it was being reported in all the international press.

Hillary Clinton is an embarassment to women, and is acting like George Bush in a pantsuit. She will do or say anything to secure this nomination and doesn't quite seem to get it: the world is watching. Idiot.

Mrs. Clinton's statement about Iran is just a political foolishness. Is she politically mature to assume the presidency of the United States? American people have started to question her every words.

Mrs. Clinton demonstrated that if she would become the next occupant of the White House, death and destruction would follow. She will continue the same foreign policy of George Bush.

Our own national problems, among them: education, employment, health insurance, roads, and our national banking problems are much more serious than Iran, a country 7500 miles from home. We have very serious problems in our own hemisphere.

One thing that we have to remember, It is all about oil. The US has the highest oil consumption in the world, for now. We would care less about the middle east if it were not for oil. American people refuse to except the fact that this whole mess is because of oil. HRC is pandering to the fact that we need a lot of oil to keep Americans happy. I say take the billions of dollars we spend in weapons and death and get us off oil. That is hard to do in this country since Big Oil seems to be running this country. Vote Obama

One thing that we have to remember, It is all about oil. The US has the highest oil consumption in the world, for now. We would care less about the middle east if it were not for oil. American people refuse to except the fact that this whole mess is because of oil. HRC is pandering to the fact that we need a lot of oil to keep Americans happy. I say take the billions of dollars we spend in weapons and death and get us off oil. That is hard to do in this country since Big Oil seems to be running this country. Vote Obama

Iran will bomb Israel into the stoneage......fact.

It could barely fight off Hezbollah which is like the Klu Klux Klan compared to Irans core hardened commandos.

Its not some dinky country with no army or 85% Guest Workers or a delusional 8th century cult

75 Million people will not lay down....prepare for Vietnam x1000

Obama 2008!

Possibly destined to be one of this nation's greatest leaders.

He wants to start an "Apollo Project" with the goal of finding the next generation of energy. He means that. The hope and grace put forth by this man is a wonderful change from what we are so used to.

We have become so cynical it is ridiculous! Change is not a scary word! Barack Obama! 2008

Muslims speak of peace while plotting to murder. Muslims worldwide are the enemy of the United States. Hillary's response was in support of those Americans who wish to survive this Muslim crusade to conquer the world. The same people who would attack Israel would hijack planes and attack the US. A nuclear response? Of course! A circle of eight-20 megaton nukes around the tallest minaret in Mecca during Ramadan should get their attention the same way they got ours on 9-11.

Posted by: J Gustafson | April 24, 2008 at 05:43 PM


J Gustafson,

Right under where it says "Post a Comment" it also says this:

If you are under 13 years of age you may read this message board, but you may not participate.

Time to get off the computer. You truly think just like a reptile you know that? You love war, as long as it is on the tv or in your freaking video game don't you. Have you ever seen anyone in combat walking along, in shock, holding there intestines in their own hands, and crying like a little baby and saying "Momma..Momma"!

Back to your room with you you punk.

you think it is that easy to bomb iran and sit back and watch the blood? yo will be surprised what is going to happen to all these little sheikdomes you have created - they all fall apart like a big stones left with no small stones around.
i feel pitty for american people, who i am one of them, to let any body support a crazy-nonsense war in iraq and afghanistan.
we have to try to get our good name and fame back by prisoning the fanatics, bullies and ignoring the puppets around the world.

To Eli; April 25, 2008 at 08:56 AM
Save your money because your money will be paid to Rupert Murdock’s Foxnews and eventually goes to Israel! Buy a gun and some bullets with that money and defend yourself and your family against the occupying forces of Israel in your country. Did you hear about the Israeli spies in your country? They have taken you people for an easy ride!

What can we do together to obliterate Hillary's chance to poison the minds of Indiana and NC people?

The media is now with her. All they talk about are the few sound bites of Jeremiah Wright. And she gets away with anything.

Now, McCain is asking Obama to apologize for his offensive "bitter comments".

Why wouldn't the media ask him to apologize for voting for war, patrit act, lying for the sake of war, his comments about the housing market (small people's falt), voting against equal pay for woman?)

The reason everyone grasped on Obama's bitter comments and his pastor, is because that is the ONLY thing they have against him. And......that's all we hear about !

Ohhh, I'm going to have an ulcer! Is there anything we can do to the next 8 voting states to realize that and save the world from tiranny!

Any ideas?

A simple one: If we really care we can at least send some money to Obama now. I send $100. What about you?

before reagan/bush, the u.s. had decent, if not necessarily perfect, relations in the mideast because the u.s. treated all mideast countries more or less equally. since the early eighties, we have favored israel more and more and made enemy after enemy after enemy. the israelis have their own bomb. they don't need ours. and we need more nuclear enemies like we need a "democrat" running as a republican.

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