The Corner

Clinton Administration 1998 -v- 2006

Today I get to end where I began.

Here’s former Clinton administration UN Ambassador Richard Holbrooke in the Washington Post yesterday, explaining how failed Bush administration policy has pushed Shiites and Sunnis to put aside their differences and fight Americans:

American policy has had the unintended, but entirely predictable, effect of pushing our enemies closer together. Throughout the region, Sunnis and Shiites have put aside their hatred of each other just long enough to join in shaking their fists — or doing worse — at the United States and Israel. Meanwhile, in Baghdad, our troops are coming under attack by both sides — Shiite militias and Sunni insurgents. If this continues, the U.S. presence in Baghdad has no future.

And now, as excerpted first thing this morning, here is the Clinton Justice Department in 1998, explaining how, through no fault of Clinton policy of course, Shiites and Sunnis had already put aside their differences to fight Americans (from paragraph 4 from the June 1998 indictment in United States v. Osama bin Laden) (italics mine): 

[Sunni] Al Qaeda also forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in the Sudan and with the government of [Shiite] Iran and its associated terrorist group [Shiite] Hezballah for the purpose of working together against their perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States

As also recounted this morning, the 9/11 Commission Report notes that these very same Sunnis and Shiites collaborated to bomb the Khobar Towers in 1996, killing 19 U.S. Air Force personnel.

Evidently, the Clinton approach of doing nothing to al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Iran produced, to borrow Ambassador Holbrooke’s phrase, ”the unintended, but entirely predictable, effect of pushing our enemies closer together.”

Or maybe, just maybe, we might exhibit some humility and recognize that it has nothing to do with what we do or don’t do.  They simply hate us more than they hate each other. 

Naaaahhhh … must be Bush’s fault.

I’ve had enough.  Good night.

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