Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hillary's Gaffe (which one?) on Bosnia (OK)

"For Ronald Reagan, the world of legend and myth is a real world. He visits it regularly, and he's a happy man there." 
--Pat Buchanan

The Campaign Trail of Tears
--Why is anyone surprised by the fact that Hillary lied about sleeping with Sinbad? You have no idea how funny this is, he's from Benton Harbor, Michigan, a town close to my own home. I know--sex with Sinbad--but it'll at least squelch all those rumors...the kind that are orbiting furiously around Lynne Cheney.

Both Sinbad and Hillary flew to Bosnia, and weren't shot at by Serbian snipers. That part about the snipers was also bullshit. Does that mean she isn't going to fix our health care system and get us out of the Middle East? You think?

She [mis]spoke, for example, of how a welcoming ceremony had to be abandoned as sniper fire forced members of her official party to run for their lives.
"I remember landing under sniper fire," she said.
"There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.
"But it was a moment of great pride for me."
Except...
Unfortunately for Senator Clinton plenty of television footage has survived, showing the actual circumstances of her arrival, which were very different. ("Clinton's thrilling tale falls flat," BBC, 03.26.2008)
Someone needs to introduce Mrs. Clinton to that new-fangled invention called the telephone sometime as well. And why not show her around the Army's bases to see the recent innovation of the machine-gun. There are a few analogues to this peculiar assumption that others aren't going to remember since there are things like audio-recorders and videotape and video-cameras, or that someone wasn't going to check the newspaper archives for such bald-ass lies. Oh, I know, it's just because she's a woman (and a liar, that helps tip-the-balance) that she gets these attacks. I don't mean the phantom-Serbian snipers.

These kind of bumbling examples come from the Republican Party's behavior during the 1980s and 1990s. There were the many gaffes of the current president's father--George H.W. Bush--when he challenged journalists to produce recordings of statements he was purported to have made--and to his horror and surprise, they did. Poppy thought the gramophone was still in use. But remember Ronald Reagan? I sure do, and boy was he a funny guy, just not in a "funny ha-ha" way, since it's frightening to intelligent people when the president is an ignorant , bumbling-ass. Yes, I have been very afraid since late-2000. There was that wonderful story that then-President Reagan (nobody voted back then either, so he also creeped-into-office) liked to the tell the press corps and Israeli-leaders how he had helped film concentration camps in Western Europe
during WWII.

It was a half-remembered lie by the "Great Rememberer," which he told more than once to reporters. Ronald Regan never served any duty in Europe during WWII. Not in a combat unit, or even a combat film unit as people like Frank Capra, or combat journalists like Ernie Pyle. He made training films in Hollywood while real stars like Jimmy Stewart were serving their country on real battlefields. Feeble-attempts to muddy the waters surrounding the concentration camp story by former Reagan administration luminaries as Charles Hill (Exec. Asst. to Secretary of State George Schultz) have failed, and the fact remains that the president had a way of mixing fact and fantasy. He believed his own lies as most reactionaries do:

Secretary Shultz's version of this story, which suggests that the American press garbled an exchange understood by Prime Minister Shamir to mean that President Reagan had merely seen film of the camps, may be a little wishful. Lou Cannon, White House correspondent for The Washington Post during the Reagan administration, gave, in his 1991 President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime, a detailed account of both how the story was originally reported and how the White House recast it. Cannon reports having first run into the story in the February 10, 1984, issue of the weekly newsletter Near East Report... ("'The Lion King': An Exchange," The New York Review of Books, 03.05.1998)
No, Mr. Hill wouldn't be biased in any way, having served in the Reagan White House, not in any respect. He wasn't protecting a legacy in any Maoist-fashion. It wouldn't mean much if it hadn't been the only occasion where the president couldn't distinguish something he saw in a film or a movie from actual reality. He also told a story of a courageous WWII bomber flight over Europe, again-and-again, to numerous audiences and to the press. It was really just a poor rehash of the "Gipper" story, and an early-sign of Reagan's dementia in his first term.

The problem was, the bomber story was just something he saw in a movie from 1944 called "A Wing and a Prayer." While the boys were fighting and dying on the beaches of Normandy, Reagan was watching and making movies in Hollywood on a kind of deferment for his eyesight. But that's how it goes with armchair soldiers claiming that they have some upper-hand, a better "national security" image than their political rivals, and that's exactly what Hillary Rodham Clinton was attempting to project with her lame story of her visit to Bosnia in 1996. It's also part of why she authorized the use of force against Iraq in 2002, but that's for later. At least Reagan had the excuse of senility and a generally atrophying-brain. From Reagan's New York Times obituary in 2004:

His flights of imagination remained equally vivid when he went to the White House. In 1983 he told Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir of Israel that as part of his war duties he had been assigned to film the Nazi death camps. One of his favorite stories, one that he told over and over again to different audiences, concerned a pilot in World War II who told his crew to bail out of their crippled B-17 bomber. When the tail gunner said he could not move because he was badly wounded, the pilot replied, "Never mind son, we'll ride it down together." When he told the story to a meeting of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society he added that the pilot was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously. In fact, no medal was ever awarded for such an incident and the story came, almost word for word, from the script of a movie starring Dana Andrews called "Wing and a Prayer." ("Ronald Reagan Dies at 93;Fostered Cold War Might and Curbs on Government," The New York Times, 06.06.2004)
It's hard to tell what the actual effects of Hillary's fabrication are going be. One can only hope that it means the end of her questionable candidacy for president, as she offers no genuine alternative to the lies and corruption of the Bush II White House and the decades preceding it. Clinton was one of the many senators who voted to authorize the use of aggression against Iraq in late-2002. Only one Republican voted against this authorization.

Her behavior is so much like that of her Republican Party peers in the Senate that she's virtually indistinguishable from them. She echoes their agenda in so many areas of her voting behavior and in her public statements that she must be considered an extremist form of that dreaded creature, the arch-conservative. One can only shudder to think what she sounds like in her private conversations. Hillary Clinton has been one of the greatest enablers of the current GOP outside of Joe Lieberman. The Bosnian-gaffe is just one more lie, and a minor one at that.

The BBC on Hillary's Gaffe: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7313885.stm

Ronald Reagan's New York Times Obituary: http://www.python.net/crew/manus/Presidents/rwr/rwrobit.html

Charles Hill vs. Joan Didion, March, 1998: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/916