When asked how she would react if Iran waged a nuclear attack on Israel, Senator Clinton replied that she would obliterate Iran. (Indiana senator Evan Bayh Bayh agrees). Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch here defends senator Clinton against crticism by Obama for her response.
Ed Koch Commentary May 10, 2008
Senator Barack Obama won the North Carolina primary by 14 percentage points. Senator Hillary Clinton won the Indiana primary by a narrower margin of two percent. Neither candidate scored a knockout punch, but Obama came out ahead.
Clearly Senator Obama who had the most to lose – it would have been considered a huge loss if Indiana went big for Hillary – also had the most to gain. The race goes on and will go on until a decision is made at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. The fat lady here is Hillary, and she won’t sing. I’m part of her primary campaign until she wins or withdraws. I simply do not trust Senator Obama’s judgment.
Obama’s actions in not standing up to Rev. Jeremiah Wright and protest the minister’s attacks on white America, the United States government and the State of Israel, and his support of Minister Louis Farrakhan, are important matters. No one accuses Obama of adopting any of Rev. Wright’s positions as his own. Indeed, he has denounced them. But his denouncement comes 20 years too late and only after Rev. Wright denounced his heretofore devoted congregant as a hypocrite for conveying his disagreement with his minister, stating at the National Press Club on April 28th, “We both know that, if Senator Obama did not say what he said, he would never get elected. Politicians say what they say and do what they do based on electability, based on sound bites, based on polls, Huffington, whoever’s doing the polls. Preachers say what they say because they’re pastors.”
Yes, it is true that not many people would stand up in a church or synagogue and publicly argue with their minister, but surely, there are some who would argue privately – which was not done here – and even more who would leave a church or synagogue that was led by someone spouting hateful speech.
In any event, we expect more courage from a candidate for president of this great country. We are now engaged in a war against Islamic terrorism and are in need of someone who can be trusted to advocate on behalf of the United States. Senator Obama, regrettably, was silent for too long.
An even more telling incident recently occurred. Hillary Clinton responded to the threats of the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has stated, “The annihilation of the Zionist regime will come…Israel must be wiped off the map…And God willing…we shall soon experience a world without the United States and Zionism.”
This week, according to The New York Times, “Ahmadinejad called Israel ‘a stinking corpse’ that was doomed to fail, and warned countries that they would ‘burn in the fire of their people’s hatred’ if they helped Israel, the news agency IRNA reported. ‘Today the reason for Zionist regime’s existence is questioned, and this regime is on its way to annihilation,’ he said in a speech on the 60th anniversary of the Jewish state.”
We know that were Iran, which is on the verge of creating nuclear weapons and already has the capacity to deliver them, ever to launch such missiles at the United States or any NATO ally, it could expect immediate oblivion as the result of the U.S. response. Hillary recently attempted to warn Iran that were it to launch nuclear weapons against Israel, the U.S. “would be able to totally obliterate them.” Hillary’s comments were totally in keeping with the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction which kept the Soviet Union at bay during the Cold War when it threatened its European neighbors and members of NATO.
Instead of joining Hillary in a similar warning to Iran, Senator Obama on “Meet The Press” criticized Hillary stating, “It’s language reflective of George Bush…This kind of language is not helpful.”
Hillary’s language is exactly what was warranted. The Soviet Union understood the meaning of mutually assured destruction and consequently refrained from using its nuclear inventory. Lesser language conveying not destruction or obliteration, but simply lesser punishment encourages fanatical countries like Iran to believe they can attack our allies and survive.
Hillary’s statement regarding Iran and Israel was consistent with U.S. policy towards Israel. As Vice President Dick Cheney has said, “America’s commitment to Israel’s security is enduring and unshakable, as is our commitment to Israel’s right to defend itself always against terrorism, rocket attacks and other threats from forces dedicated to Israel’s destruction. The United States will never pressure Israel to take steps that threaten its security.”
We now know just how far Senator Obama is prepared to go to defend our friends and allies. It is not far enough.