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

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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)

When ever you put a WOMAN in charge, this is what you get, CHAOS. I am a woman and I would never want a woman for president, woman feel that they always have to prove themselves better.

Until this remark, I was preferring Obama but willing to vote for the party (Hilary, if she wins the nomination). Now I'm truly dismayed. Either she's just shown her stripes OR she'll say anything (or do anything?) to get what she wants. Though I disagree with his positions and worry about what another conservative Republican president will mean to the makeup of the Supreme Court, John McCain certainly is coming off as more civilized at this time.
And Obama just looks better and better.
And Democrats are looking worse and worse when they vote by gender and race. For shame!

So, this is what you call being ready on day one. I can't believe that a presidential candidate would make such a statement. Does she realize the seriousness of such a statement. How does she explain this to the people of the middle east? I am sure the Saudi Prince and all the other middle eastern leaders are really giving this some serious thought. How can a president who thinks like this ever manage to bring change and reduce oil prices and change the economic outlook of this country.

HILLARY HAS REALLY GONE MAD. WE DON"T NEED ANOTHER CRAZY< FANATIC PRESIDENT.

Chingwaru taura zvako! The similarities between Hillary and Mugabe as the dearly departed Muzenda would say .....are same like similar! People believe that she is "just talking" not realising that she can and will actually do it....thinking it will not affect her and her precious Chelsea and chinadoll Bill. After all, what is a couple million dead Iranians, Zimbabweans, Somalians, Sudanese ....ohh wait they do not look like her therefore they are terrorists. Obliterate them quick! Is she even thinking of her fellow Americans in her madness? She needs to sit down coz right now she is just being an oxygen pirate!

While I'm generally happy about Hillary's intent to continue support for Israel, I'm unhappy about the comment.

For one thing, it just pours fuel on an already-raging fire. There is more than enough agitation in the Middle East without adding another inflammatory comment to the mix.

For another, it gives the impression that any attempt at either imposing other types of consequences or brokering some type of settlement would not be seriously considered. I doubt that's really the case, but the comment does give the impression that she's ready to push the button right now.

Now everyone here realizes what us Obama backers and supporters have had to deal with for the past few months. We've been fighting this Republican-in-Democratic clothing, and as you can see, it hasn't been easy, especially when she plays the fear card. I hope this dispels any illusions overseas that Hillary would somehow be a desirable President. She's just like McCain - another 4 more years of Bush. Spread the word people - Obama is your ONLY hope!

Betty - "Had someone had the backbone to tell Saddam the same thing years ago maybe we wouldnt be over there fighting right now"

Um, did you miss the entire lead-up to the Iraq War? That's such a ridiculous statement to make.

"Any one notice that BO refuses to comment on Jimmy Carters trip to have tea with Hamas?"

No, I noticed that he actually did comment and said that he didn't agree with Carter's decision: http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/04/obama-contrary.html

She voted for the war, with the repubs, she voted for Kyle Lieberman, with the repubs, she voted for the Patriot Act, with the Repubs, you are surprised she is promising to nuke Iran, obliterate it off the face of the earth? When asked a question about Penn and the Colombia connection, she says,"How many angels can dance on the end of a pin?" Is this woman stable? Is this the person you want as commander in chief. Trying always to prove she is just as macho as the guys, downing shots? Come on, wake up. Obama 08

It is unfortunate that we do not learn our lessons from history. And the leasson to be learned is that violence has never solved a problem and it will only bring death and destruction. This is a sad moment of history where we are responding to our animalistic instincts as oppose to utilizing our intellect. The policy of fear that Hillary is proposing, can only attract further fear and violence. In my opinion the constructive way would be to talk to all concerned countries, listen to their issues and see how we can broker a deal that all parties walk away happy and we come up on top for being a peace maker. I sincerely hope that she recognizes the consequence of her statements in terms of world opinion and rethinks her campaign strategy

In 2007, more than one hundred members of the United States House of Representatives co-sponsored a bill "Calling on the United Nations Security Council to charge Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with violating the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the United Nations Charter because of his calls for the destruction of the State of Israel."

WHAT WILL THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATTIVES DO ?????

WHAT WILL THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA DO ?????

"I believe she was hee-hawing about Iran to satisfy the Jewish community in Pennsylvania and therefore to desperately get their votes."

Yes, but that makes her statement even more reckless and dangerous. She said it to get votes? WTF

Her comment was meant to win over the 7% or so Jewish voters in Pennsylvania.
This proves that she is not only a warmonger but also a Zionist, which automatically makes her a hypocrite.

Unfortunately for her, I think she will loose a few percent of the national voters for such comments.
She certainly lost me.

If Iran Attacks, US does not have to worry. I am sure Isral will have the capacity to and will obliterate center points in Iran. When some heads of governments can say what they want and no one has the guts or can do anything about it, I do not think a candidate should not have the right to speak what will be an obvious outcome.

I am a student in London. It's true -- people who are casually following the election definitely took note of the word "obliterate." Two British students today asked me, "how can she say that so casually?"

Hillary is a disgusting panderer. If she were to "obliterate" Iran, she would take out some 71 million civilians including: 30,000 Jews; 30,000 Zoroastrians; 400,000 Christian Armenians, and 4 million Kurds {these are our allies in Iraq}. Plus it would take a lot of nukes to do so and the resulting radiation will likely take out much of Russia; China; India; Tibet and so on. Hillary is one nut case who should get her brain examined. By the way I was a Democrat who made the mistake of voting for her in the past. Thanks to Hillary the racist nut case, I just switched to Independent.

Hillary is prostituting herself with such outrageous remarks. Hillary, get the f*** out of my party, you war mongering, husband pleasing jerk.

Nuclear Cold War with Iran? Saber rattling from a Dem? The other Republican in this race:

Hillary Clinton's statement on ABC's Good Morning America:

"I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran," Clinton said. "In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them."

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=4701159

Clinton's Iran Threat Contradicts Previous Position on Making Such Comments:
http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/04/clintons-iran-t.html

Hillary’s bad Iran vote:
http://pundits.thehill.com/2007/10/25/hillary-clinton%E2%80%99s-bad-iran-vote/


Obliteration:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-scheer/clinton-puts-iran-in-her_b_98133.html

Shocking! She is shocking. Her voters are shocking!

Are we really ready for W W III?? Have you watched any of wwII or I movies?????!!!!!!

What an ignorant remark. Racist and savage mentality of killing and violence. She will say anything to get elected, she is deceiving and not trustworthy. She says this to please the lobby she will sell the common workers to the corporate too. No morality and ethics except whatever the situation requires her to say. She will obliterate God too, to get elected.

 
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