Sometime it’s just…more

Something grabbed me when I read this Charlotte Hays piece on Tina Brown. Read this snippet focusing on Hillary Clinton then meet me below…
The astute Tina was particularly good on Hawkish Hill’s positioning. She delivered a post-spider hole address on foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. She was “more hawkish than Bush on the need to ramp up the troop numbers in Iraq.” Does this mean that Tina thinks Hill will get into the 2004 race? “Maybe not yet a credible commander-in-chief but at least a Democratic Major Barbara. Distantly one could hear the voice of Maggie Thatcher during the Gulf War in 1990, commanding Bush 41 not to ’go wobbly.’ She will wait this one out. Self-discipline, not self doubt.”
“More hawkish”? Simply for wishing for an escalation in troop numbers in Iraq? Don’t you believe it.

Hillary’s playing it smart, taking a page out of her husband’s book and trying to get “to the right of Bush” on something, foreign policy-wise. But it’s ridiculous to label her “hawkish” because that insinuates a resolute stand where one does not exist. “More troops in Iraq” sounds tough, plays well with the crowd, and it gives pundits a means to differentiate between herself and other would-be party leaders. But it means nothing if not combined with a coherent plan for putting those additional troops to effective use.
It’s bad enough when political leaders opt to throw money at a problem. It inevitably fails to achieve much and winds up costing us much more than it really ever should have. Throwing “more troops” into Iraq – without military prompting – would carry those same risks of failure but at a considerably higher cost: human lives.
(Cross-posted at Velvet Hammers)


One comment

  1. Alene Berk

    First, I agree with the specific criticism that simply wanting to ramp up troop numbers does not a hawk make.
    At the same time, I suggest that Clinton (not Gore) would have been in Iraq. Regime change was his policy, and his frustration with the sanctions-busting of the “allies” was pretty apparent. There was no point in making waves, then, for two significant reasons.
    First, he had no political capital (remember ‘wag the dog’?–his own damned fault). Second, he had no Eureka moment (9-11). That did change the mood of the electorate. It’s sad, but not unusual, that we refuse to recognize danger until it smacks us in the WTC.
    Why Maddy Albright and Joe Biden continue to natter on about multilateralism is inexplicable, unless partisan. Bill Clinton might have been less inclined to provide cover for Blair than was Bush.
    OTOH, it may be that absent Bush hate, Chirac et al would have followed the usual pattern of obstruct and cave.