for the Goose
August 15, 2002
By Brad Radcliffe
Republicans in the Bush White House are proving once again
that they hate to be judged as they have judged others.
When questioned on the timing of a possible Iraqi invasion
a year after 9/11 and before the November midterm elections,
a Bush spokesman took the opportunity to once again slander
our former president: "It's a sad day when President Bush
is held to a standard of irresponsibility that Bill Clinton
set," suggesting that Clinton used air strikes in Sudan to
distract the country from his Monica Lewinsky ordeal in 1998.
"Just because Clinton did it doesn't mean Bush would." (The
Weekly Standard, 12 Aug 2002)
Whoa, hold on there! President Clinton's missile strikes
in August of 1998 didn't just attack a factory making poison
VX gas in the Sudan, it also, as the spokesman neglected to
point out, destroyed training camps in Afghanistan used by
Bin Laden... THE Bin Laden, public enemy number one, the man
that Bush wanted "Dead or Alive" etc. etc.
As for Clinton's timing, the strikes occurred within two
weeks of the Al Qaeda bombings of American embassies in Kenya
That however didn't stop Republican Rep. Dan Coats from opining
that "there's a cloud of doubt [about the timing]" and Sen.
Arlen Specter that "there is an obvious issue [as to] the
diversionary motive involved . . . [he is doing] something
presidential to try to focus attention away from his own personal
Nor did right wing blow-hards like Rush Limbaugh, Joseph
Farha, or George F. Will keep their aspersions to themselves.
Will wrote in the September 4, 1998 Newsweek, "now that [Clinton]
is desperate to change the subject from the consequences of
his glandular life, he admonishes the nation that it is time
to turn to serious things... Clinton deserved public skepticism
about his motives in ordering attacks against terrorist targets
in Sudan and Afghanistan."
In these accusations, the right wing was joined by the terror-supporting
President of the Sudan Omar Hassan al Bashir, who said the
U.S. attack was designed to overshadow the Monica Lewinsky
scandal. (Newsweek, 31 Aug. 98)
While any reasonable American would now recognize the prescient
wisdom in taking the fight to Bin Laden three years before
his successful attack left 3,000 dead at the World Trade Center
last September, the Bush White House can only heap scorn and
derision on the former president over that huge national distraction
of an illicit affair, an affair that the right-wing exposed
and exploited (using your tax dollars) all the way to impeachment
One can only wonder how much progress could have been made
against the real threats to our country if Clinton had been
supported instead of hounded and hobbled by political hate-mongers
bent on his destruction.
At any rate, since Republicans impugned Mr. Clinton's "timing"
of the missile strikes, they certainly can't complain now
when the rest of us question Mr. Bush's motives for picking
a fight with Iraq in the middle of a corporate crime-wave
and double-dip recession.