HILLARY CLINTON, COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF
Talk about a 3 a.m. call. James Wolcott intrudes upon the primary season to remind us that we still have a president, GWB, who has some months to go before he can cease causing the United States and the world a vast amount of grief.
"Adm. Fallon's (forced?) resignation was the last warning we are likely to get of an attack on Iran. It does not mean an attack is certain, but the U.S. could not attack Iran so long as he was the Centcom commander. That obstacle is now gone.
Vice President Cheney's Middle East tour is another indicator. According to a report in The American Conservative, on his previous trip Cheney told our allies, including the Saudis, that Bush would attack Iran before the end of his term. If that report was correct, then his current tour might have the purpose of telling them when it is coming.
The purpose of this column is not to warn of an imminent assault on Iran, though personally I think it is coming, and soon. Rather, it is to warn of a possible consequence of such an attack. Let me state it here, again, as plainly as I can: an American attack on Iran could cost us the whole army we now have in Iraq."
I've been dubious on the prospect of preemptive strikes against Iran, mostly because I didn't believe that the Bush administration would want to risk plunging the American economy into the abyss, a risk carrying an even greater probability today given the implosions in the credit markets, plunging consumer confidence, and foreclosures turning neighborhoods into squatters' havens. But the recklessness of the Bush administration with other people's lives can't be underestimated, and men who fancy themselves on a mission may give military action one last roll of the dice, convinced history will thank them later for their bold decisiveness. They've paid no price for their folly thus far, so why fear any future reckoning? Bush will hire some ghostwriter or biographer-whore to compare him to Harry S. Truman and find peace in the consolations of posterity, though peace may be come dear if the destruction of the American army ends up on his debit sheet.
We're already faced with such a muck as a result of this disastrous administration. But we can't assume that Bush/Cheney and the neocons don't have one last good one in them. Things can get worse before they get better.
Hillary has proven herself the master of domestic policy, dwarfing Obama and simply withering McCain in any comparison of her knowledge and the seriousness of her detailed proposals with their own. To some extent, that message has penetrated voter awareness, though many accept the "there isn't an iota of difference between [Obama and Clinton] their policies/stand on the issues" meme. Oh yes, there's more than an iota, and Clinton's are superior.
What hasn't been delivered by the MSMedia is the message that she is the choice of a slew of our most prestigious retired flag officers, including two former Joint Chiefs of Staff, to be Commander-in-Chief.
In these critical areas, it is clear to us that Senator Clinton is the candidate best qualified to be our nation's next Commander-in-Chief.
We believe that she has real understanding of the military through her diligent service on the Senate Armed Services Committee. She has worked tirelessly to ensure our men and women in uniform are properly trained and equipped to be sent to battle. And she has fought to make certain that they are treated with dignity when they return home. We have personally and closely observed her respect for our armed forces, and she has earned their respect. And ours.
These military leaders have surveyed the field and have endorsed Hillary Clinton over John McCain and Barack Obama. She has their confidence that when the next inevitable crisis occurs, she's ready to lead, and lead in the right direction. They, better than most of us, know that the World After Bush will still have to contend with the damage he's inflicted, and that includes not only cleaning up the mess in Iraq but handling the increased threats to American national security both at home and abroad that will be the undoubted result of the mistakes made over the past eight years. And they've concluded that Hillary is the best one to lead us.
Think about it. These people are products of the military machismo culture. They are, many of them, senior citizens, of a generation that accepted the role of women as primarily domestic in nature -- even when employed, the ones to run for coffee while the men settled the issues of the day. Yet they view a woman, a singular woman named Hillary Clinton, to be best qualified to lead our armies and navies, to provide for our national security. It's mind-boggling. And it speaks VOLUMES about her character that they have come to such a conclusion. It's an amazing and fascinating news story that nobody's covering.
But then, it's not too hard to understand why. It flies in the face of the media affection for John McCain as a war hero, and therefore his image is more to their liking:
MATTHEWS: "Let me explain why a lot of guys like McCain. He served his country in ways that none us cannot imagine serving this country. I think that gives him a moral edge over a lot of us and we show it."
I think the opinion of a few dozen distinguished military leaders weighs more with me than that of a bunch of effete, elite talking heads.