PHILADELPHIA – When that phone rings at 3am at the White House, what does a true red-blooded Madam President do? She calls her generals and orders them to “obliterate” Iran. In other words: she orders the killing of 70 million people.
It’s 10pm right outside Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton’s victory rally at the Hyatt in downtown Philadelphia, and Mei-ling Wang is very, very angry. Fervent Hillary and Senator Barack Obama supporters in the streets try to out-shout and out-perform each other after Clinton beat Obama in the Philadelphia presidential primary, but that’s not what’s bothering Wang.
She embodies the quintessence of the Asian-American dream. A master’s from Harvard, a PhD at the University of Maryland, an associate professor at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. But she chose not to simply follow the “get rich is glorious” way as extolled by the late Chinese “Helmsman” Deng Xiaoping. As a co-director of the Social Exclusion Knowledge Network, she’s been all over the developing world working with the poor, the homeless, the downtrodden, the excluded. And she has a few rash words to say to the Clintons.
“I’ve stumbled on Clinton supporters and asked them why she has lied about so many important issues. They told me everybody lies. I am a teacher. I told them ‘look me in the eye. Would you say to your children that it is OK to lie’?”
Wang defends Obama as a “true American hero”, stressing “in the beginning, he had nothing. The kind of people we Americans admire is the little guy, not somebody who has used her husband’s [Bill’s] resources, or someone who has a rich wife like [Republican Senator John] McCain.”
Hillary won in Pennsylvania propped up essentially by old (second only to Florida) Catholic (40% of the vote) women (almost 60% of the vote). Blue-collar white men – “bitter” or not – also helped. Pennsylvania – even more rural than Ohio – is a state where the majority of voters (55%) have not even finished high school.
What the throng outside Hillary’s victory rally made clear is what’s being confirmed by most polls. At least one in four Hillary voters are that stubborn; they will never vote for Obama if he clinches the nomination. Not only happy to use all the tricks in the Karl Rove slash and burn political playbook, thus committing a potential disaster inside the Democratic Party, Hillary had to extend her slash and burn approach to the Middle East.
The (nuclear) postman never rings twice
On ABC’s Good Morning America, Hillary was asked what she would do as president if Iran attacked Israel with nuclear weapons. The premise of the question in itself is preposterous. Iran does not possess a single nuclear weapon; it is not trying to assemble a nuclear weapon (even US intelligence admits it); and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has already stressed, echoing the leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, that a nuclear weapon – which implies the genocide of civilians – is “against Islamic rules”. Khamenei has stressed “our nuclear bomb and our explosive powers are our faith, our youth and our people who have been present on the most difficult scenes with utmost power and faith and will continue to do so”.
Hillary, anyway, was undeterred. She 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.” She admits this is “a terrible thing to say”, but doesn’t question the much-hyped Iranian threat for the hype it truly is, adding that “those people who run Iran” need to understand her tough talk. Thus she positions herself as the sender of a wise message that “perhaps will deter them from doing something that would be reckless, foolish and tragic”.
Not a world from Hillary about Israeli neo-colonization and collective punishment in the West Bank and Gaza. Not a word about Israel’s several hundred nuclear warheads – the only country in the Middle East to actually possess nuclear weapons, and to have announced not so subtly it would have no problems using them.
Mei-ling Wang has every reason to be angry with what she characterizes as Hillary’s “lies”. This is further evidence that as the acrimony inside the Democratic Party spreads like a poisonous virus, Hillary by now has become virtually indistinguishable from the presumptive Republican nominee, McCain. McCain, not happy to just contemplate a hundred-year war in Iraq, has already sung his now famous “Bomb, bomb, Iran” Beach Boys rip-off. Hillary lip-synchs she wants to finish the war in Iraq, but then goes for the “obliteration” of Iran.
Both candidates are obviously pandering towards the Zio-cons and the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee lobby in the US. But most of all, Hillary is hedging her bets in terms of the buildup towards a possible attack on Iran, now that Vice President Dick Cheney is free to pursue his ultimate goal with pliable, opportunistic, counterinsurgency ace General David Petraeus promoted to head US Central Command.
Hillary’s positioning spells Imperial Washington in all its glory – and hubris. Not only McCain; a president Hillary will mean more wars in the Middle East. So much for Hillary’s rhetoric about “peace in the Middle East”. But the real tragedy is that none of the vociferous street supporters outside the victory party rally in downtown Philadelphia, or her voters at large, are aware of the true colors of Hillary, the war chick.