Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Obama: Beware the Lesson of '93

By Robert Parry
November 11, 2008

Barack Obama seeks a new era of bipartisanship, but he should take heed of what happened to the last Democrat in the White House – Bill Clinton – in 1993 when he sought to appease Republicans by shelving pending investigations into Reagan-Bush-I-era wrongdoing and hoped for some reciprocity.

Read on.


RR Winningham said...

As a staff assistant to former US Congressman Lee Hamilton, I must take issue what was written about Mr. Hamilton in this essay. Lee has always been dedicated to his country, his faith and his instincts to seek truth while at the same time, working to build consensus in a very difficult environment such as DC. To make a charge that Lee 'accommodated' Republicans by dismissing the Iran-Contra affair is to truly not know the man. What seemed to me to be a plausible argument about the right-wing elements of the DC media attacking President Clinton, etc., was otherwise diminished for me when you inferred that Lee was not seeking the truth thoroughly. Also, you failed to mention that Mr. Clinton should be held accountable for his own embarrassing actions with respect to the Monica Lewinsky scandal...he gave the Repub's the ammunition they were seeking. I'm confident that President-Elect Obama will not make the same mistakes that President Clinton made. Further, as our leader, Mr. Obama should make every effort to mend the partisan divide that most Americans consider harmful to our nation. It's time for solutions, not more bashing -- from either side of the Aisle.

Winter Patriot said...

horse manure, winningham!

Lee Hamilton has made a career out of accomodating the worst of the worst in our federal government and he and you should be too ashamed of yourselves to show your faces in public again.

B/R said...

On the let bygones be bygones "non-lesson," what prevents President Emeritus Clinton from pursuing Bush war crimes and Reagan misdemeanors now? Why should this be Obama's task? His plate seems rather full with must-do items. Having said that, I agree that it looks as if the Bush administration(s) will get off scott free. I have to also agree with winningham that some of the "deep doo-doo" Clinton stepped into was of his own doo-ing. I, too, trust that President Elect Obama would do well to mend partisan divide (while watching his back). The sentiments of Nelson Mandela were to allow many people to walk back home and deal with their own conscience and demons. It might ultimately be the wisest choice when it comes to horrid, irreversible deeds.

Joe, Webmaster said...

Below is a portion of my letter to
President Elect Obama:
A country where President Obama breaks from the tradition of letting the president's predecessor off the hook for that administration’s crimes. For the Bush administration, their crimes are Mass Murder, war crimes and treason together with a long list of other felonies.

Go to www.911insidejob.net

fact checker said...

Clinton was held accountable for his Lewinsky adventure -- he was impeached! Just because the Senate didn't convict, doesn't mean he wasn't held accountable.

With that said, Clinton's transgressions do not rise to the level of mass murder, breaking international laws, possible war crimes, trashing the Constitution, etc.

If the Bush Administration is not held accountable for their wilfull lawbreaking, Obama's "promise" of reestablishing the United States' moral authority and credibility will not occur.

Anonymous said...

The non-prosecution of the Iran-Contra gang set the stage for the worst eight years in American history. Even convicted felons were welcomed back in the government and the media.

People who commit crimes should be prosecuted. It is not "bashing," political theater, or partisan gamesmanship. It is the law.

If the new congress and the new administration do not prosecute high-profile criminals, then they will become accessories after the fact.

Just prosecutions of political figures are always approved by the public. Anyone who claims that there would be a political penalty for doing so is either delusional or a liar.

Unfortunately, I think that We the People will have to struggle to hold current and former government officials to account.

Long live the Internet.

James said...

People who all live in the same glass house do not throw stones at each other.

Anonymous said...

I for one am so thankful that we went to war in Iraq, investigate all they want but it was worth it. It freed the Iraqi people, it got rid of Saddam Hussein and it kept the war with Al Qaida over there and not here. Truman (D) isn't praised for dropping the A-bombs but nobody doubts that while bloody it saved millions of other Japanese and U.S. soldiers lives and ended WWII much faster than an island hoping campaign would've. The media might never praise Bush for Iraq but there is no doubt that Iraq is a free nation in a region where the oppressed give rise to terrorist.

The best part of this week was to hear that Obama was going to keep the covert operations Bush has been using to go after Al Qaida worldwide. After everyone attacked Bush for it Obama realized he needed to keep it. Must be something in those intel reports that keeps a pacifist willing to use covert ops.

Pathology of Power said...

There is "no doubt" that Iraq is a "free nation"?

Perhaps this is true among indoctrinated American ultra-nationalist war crime advocates such as yourself. However, if you're so concerned about the "freedom" of the Iraqi people (which you transparently aren't, but merely pretend to be for propaganda and self-reassuring psychological purposes) you might consider consulting the actual opinions of actual Iraqis before making baseless propaganda-assertions claims that there is "no doubt" about how "free" they are.

80% in Iraq Distrust Occupation Authority
by Thomas Ricks, Washington Post, May 13, 2004

"Four out of five Iraqis report holding a negative view of the U.S. occupation authority and of coalition forces, according to a new poll conducted for the occupation authority. In the poll, 80 percent of the Iraqis questioned reported a lack of confidence in the Coalition Provisional Authority, and 82 percent said they disapprove of the U.S. and allied militaries in Iraq."

'80% of Iraqis want coalition troops out'
by Mark Turner, Financial Times, July 6, 2004

"Two thirds of Iraqis either strongly or "somewhat" oppose the presence of US-led coalition forces, a new opinion poll has found, and 80 per cent say they should leave immediately or once a government is elected in January."

What do Iraqis want?
Iraqi attitudes on occupation, US withdrawal, governments, and quality of life

by Carl Conetta, Project on Defense Alternatives, Feb 1, 2005

"January 2005: 82 percent of Sunni Arabs and 69 percent of Shiites favor US withdrawal √£either immediately or after an elected government is in place"

"May 2004: 87 percent express little or no confidence in US coalition forces; 92 percent view coalition forces as occupiers, rather than liberators or peace keepers."

"June 2004: 70 percent say Coalition troops are an occupying or exploiting force; 30 percent say a liberating or peacekeeping force."

"January 2005: 53 percent of Sunni Arabs say ongoing attacks are a legitimate form of resistance."

"May 2004: 85 percent of Iraqis express little or no confidence in the CPA; 66 percent express little or no confidence in the Iraqi Governing Council. (Independent Institute for Administration and Civil Society/CPA)

June 2004: 25.6 percent express confidence in CPA, 74.4 percent do not; 42.7 percent express confidence in IGC, 57.3 percent do not."

Secret MoD poll: Iraqis support attacks on British troops
by Sean Rayment, Telegraph, October 22, 2005

"Millions of Iraqis believe that suicide attacks against British troops are justified, a secret military poll commissioned by senior officers has revealed.

The poll, undertaken for the Ministry of Defence and seen by The Sunday Telegraph, shows that up to 65 per cent of Iraqi citizens support attacks and fewer than one per cent think Allied military involvement is helping to improve security in their country."

Poll of Iraqis: Public Wants Timetable for US Withdrawal, but Thinks US Plans Permanent Bases in Iraq
World Public Opinion, Jan 31, 2006

"A new poll of the Iraqi public finds that a large majority of Iraqis think the US plans to maintain bases in Iraq permanently, even if the newly elected government asks the US to leave. A large majority favors setting a timeline for the withdrawal of US forces, though this majority divides over whether the timeline should be over a period of six months or two years. Nearly half of Iraqis approve of attacks on US-led forces—including nine out of 10 Sunnis. Most Iraqis believe that many aspects of their lives will improve once the US-led forces leave."

Most Iraqis Want U.S. Troops Out Within a Year
World Public Opinion, Sept 27, 2006

- Say U.S. Presence Provoking More Conflict Than it is Preventing
- Approval of Attacks on U.S.-led Forces Rises to 6 in 10

"A new WPO poll of the Iraqi public finds that seven in ten Iraqis want U.S.-led forces to commit to withdraw within a year. An overwhelming majority believes that the U.S. military presence in Iraq is provoking more conflict than it is preventing and there is growing confidence in the Iraqi army. If the United States made a commitment to withdraw, a majority believes that this would strengthen the Iraqi government. Support for attacks on U.S.-led forces has grown to a majority position—now six in ten. Support appears to be related to a widespread perception, held by all ethnic groups, that the U.S. government plans to have permanent military bases in Iraq."

All Iraqi Groups Blame U.S. Invasion for Discord, Study Shows
by Karen DeYoung, Washington Post, Dec 19, 2007

"Iraqis of all sectarian and ethnic groups believe that the U.S. military invasion is the primary root of the violent differences among them, and see the departure of "occupying forces" as the key to national reconciliation, according to focus groups conducted for the U.S. military last month."

Shameless propagandists like yourself ought to be ashamed, and deserve to be publicly humiliated, when you claim that you're concerned about the "freedom" of the Iraqi people.

Had you the slightest concern for them, you'd at least consider their opinion on the matter -- but instead you'd prefer to mindlessly repeat slogans, myths and mantras to justify massive crimes and atrocities, which have resulted in the deaths of a million people and created 5 million refugees - one-fifth of the entire country's population.

Anonymous said...

dishing anti-Clinton dirt.

A sport that, earlier this year, you played with gusto, Mr. Parry.