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Sauce 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 and Tanzania.

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 problems."

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 hearings.

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.

 

 

 

 

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