Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 22, 2007
POLITICS/WAR: John Edwards, Iran, Israel and Memory Lane

Well, John Edwards, finding himself in plenty of hot water, is now denying a report by Variety magazine of a remark by Edwards that didn't go over so well even before a Hollywood audience:

John Edwards was cruising along, detailing his litany of liberal causes last week until, during question time, he invoked the "I" word - Israel. Perhaps the greatest short-term threat to world peace, Edwards remarked, was the possibility that Israel would bomb Iran's nuclear facilities.

(H/T Steven Foley). As well Edwards should distance himself from that remark - not just because it's foolish but also because it would be quite a surprise to a certain then-U.S. Senator running for Vice President in 2004. Then, you will recall, Democrats wanted Iran to be dangerous so they could argue that the Iraq War was a distraction from the real security threat; in the service of that election-year talking point, Senator Edwards told the nation as follows in a nationally televised debate with Vice President Cheney:

The vice president just said that we should focus on state sponsors of terrorism. Iran has moved forward with its nuclear weapons program. They're more dangerous today than they were four years ago.


The reality about Iran is that Iran has moved forward with their nuclear weapons program on their watch.

And in response to a question about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

First, the Israeli people not only have the right to defend themselves, they should defend themselves. They have an obligation to defend themselves.

I mean, if I can, just for a moment, tell you a personal story. I was in Jerusalem a couple of years ago, actually three years ago, in August of 2001, staying at the King David Hotel.

We left in the morning, headed to the airport to leave, and later in the day I found out that that same day, not far from where we were staying, the Sbarro Pizzeria was hit by a suicide bomber in Jerusalem. Fifteen people were killed. Six children were killed.

What are the Israeli people supposed to do? How can they continue to watch Israeli children killed by suicide bombers, killed by terrorists?

They have not only the right to the obligation to defend themselves.

Now, we know that the prime minister has made a decision, a historic decision, to unilaterally withdraw from Gaza. It's important for America to participate in helping with that process.

Now, if Gaza's being used as a platform for attacking the Israeli people, that has to be stopped. And Israel has a right to defend itself. They don't have a partner for peace right now. They certainly don't have a partner in Arafat, and they need a legitimate partner for peace.

And I might add, it is very important for America to crack down on the Saudis who have not had a public prosecution for financing terrorism since 9/11.

And it's important for America to confront the situation in Iran, because Iran is an enormous threat to Israel and to the Israeli people.

Of course, then, Senator Edwards was a member of, and at least theoretically entitled to attend sessions of, the Senate Intelligence Committee, whereas now, he presumably has access to a really big television. So maybe he's better informed now. Or not; you see, Edwards also spoke at the AIPAC Policy Conference in May 2006:

During this difficult time, all Israelis should know that America stands with them, remaining committed to their security and their efforts to build a better and more peaceful future, and as we all wish the Prime Minister [Ariel Sharon] our love and affection for he and for his family, our thoughts and prayers are with him every day. More than anyone else, Prime Minister Sharon understood that a strong Israel is a safe Israel, and we need to remember, all of us need to remember the example that he set, especially as we consider the extraordinary security threats that Israel faces today.

Let's start with Iran's nuclear ambitions, which I believe is the single greatest security threat, not only to Israel, but to the United States. In fact today is a pivotal day with the IAEA meeting to send the matter to the U.N. Security Council to take action. It's about time, is what I have to say about that. For years I have argued that the United States has not been doing enough to deal with the growing threat in Iran. While we've talked about the dangers of nuclear terrorism, we've largely stood on the sidelines and the problems got worse.

I believe that for far too long we've abdicated our responsibility to deal with the Iranian threat to the Europeans. That is not the way to deal with an unacceptable threat to America, and an unacceptable threat to Israel. Iran's recent actions beginning with the reprocessing of uranium, refusing to cooperate with international inspections, makes clear that it intends to build nuclear weapons.

And the Iranian President's statements such as the despicable description of the Holocaust as a myth or his ugly pledge to wipe Israel off the map, you know, when he says these kind of things, I take him at his word. And we need to treat it as a very serious statement.

You can read more ducking and weaving by Edwards in this interview with Ezra Klein following the AIPAC speech.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:27 AM | Politics 2008 • | War 2007-14 | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

Edwards is going through a bit of a rough time isn't he?

I never thought much of him as a candidate. He seems way too superficial. It seems as if they catch the bug though and once that happens there's nothing for it.

I will be flat footed astonished if he's on the ticket even as a VP candidate this year. He can't even be counted on to deliver his own state.

Posted by: Dwilkers at February 22, 2007 6:28 PM

D- he's is the laughingstock of the race. Hillary and Obama love his nonsense. The static let's them find their footing. Between the mansion, the bigots, and the double talk he is a perfect distraction as they find their legs. An added benefit, no real candidate needs the endorsement.

Posted by: abe at February 22, 2007 8:20 PM

the bigots???

You CAN'T seriously be referring to the two bloggers, Abe. Are you? C'mon. I can't speak for Amanda at Pandagon, but I'm a regular at Shakespeare's Sister and she's never said anything "bigoted."

It's just not true, even though I grant her politics won't make many friends at this site. Don't buy into the hype.

Posted by: Mike at February 23, 2007 12:46 AM

I am. I don't know either, you may be right. But this was beyond the pale: Q: What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit? A: You’d have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology."
Additionally, her latest rants on the duke laxer's were disgraceful. We all knew folks like this on campus, most let go. Those that did not are Bigots, with the qualifier of the PC target. They show me nothing, have nothing. Of more interest, the left wack job crew trying to silence the people of faith in their own camp. It is inexcusable. And I must make note of this in the face of the popular press: . He is the Tillman of the lax world. A child of privilege that choose to serve. as that piece of trash rants about a case that does not exist I will think of him, and wish for Pat Moynihan to re emerge. she is garbage, gutter trash. That Edwards would affiliate himself says it all.

Posted by: abe at February 23, 2007 8:48 AM

You're talking about Amanda Marcotte, not Melissa McEwen.

Posted by: Mike at February 23, 2007 10:46 AM

I can't speak to McEwen myself, but calling Marcotte a bigot is entirely fair.

Posted by: The Crank at February 23, 2007 10:49 AM

I am, Mike. I know nothing about the other woman. But it speaks to the candidate.

Posted by: abe at February 23, 2007 11:08 AM

To be clear, I appreciate her right to express freely. She has, and we have the right to judge her on those thoughts. Bill Donahue is a canard, a red herring. There was legit opposition within the base. The attempted smear at O'Dwyer was school yard, at best.

Posted by: abe at February 23, 2007 11:23 AM

While I, personally, don't think Amanda is a bigot, I can sort of understand the brouhaha surrounding her. I'm not among her fans for many reasons.

But Melissa McEwen (Shakespeare's Sister) is not a bigot, and is a very decent, solid person. Plus she's 100 times the writer that Amanda is. I like her politics; most of those here would not. That's fair.

But it's very unfortunate for her (and for the Edwards campaign) that she got caught up in the mess with Marcotte. And for that I blame Donohoe & all those who believed what he said about Melissa without doing their own due diligence.

She got railroaded, and no one of the left or right should be happy to see that.

Posted by: Mike at February 23, 2007 1:04 PM

I've read nothing of Melissa, beyond her parting with the Edwards campaign. If she was railroaded that is wrong. Everyone should be judged on their merits. That Amanda was hired speaks volumes about about Edwards. The way she left tells a bit more. I don't pretend to know the woman, but based on the writings she is unfit to serve in any national campaign. That the immediate reaction on the left was to attack those that found issue, beyond Donahue, O'Dywer, and a gentleman at my alma mater, is profoundly sad. Decency is lost, not left, right, or center. And we are all worse for the wear.

Posted by: abe at February 23, 2007 1:58 PM

Mike its not even close with Marcotte. The definition of bigot includes a person who is intolerant of opinions which conflict with his own, as in politics or morals; one obstinately and blindly devoted to his own church, party, belief, or opinion. She qualifies in spades.

Marcotte is a bigot in the literal, accepted sense and definition. I'd quote her to give you a taste but frankly I don't think Crank wants that kind of trash on his website and I don't want to corner him into deleting or editing my comment.

As for McEwen, I don't have any clue about her. Since you read her I'll take your word that she just got caught up in the whirlwind.

Edwards farked this up big time. Its his campaign. He's a big rich white boy, an ex-Senator and a lawyer. He can take care of himself. Let the responsibility rest where it belongs.

Posted by: Dwilkers at February 23, 2007 3:05 PM

Dwilkers, she is gonna be after you: "The definition of bigot includes a person who is intolerant of opinions which conflict with his own, as in politics or morals; one obstinately and blindly devoted to his own church, party, belief, or opinion. She qualifies in spades." HIS? Good weekend to all, i am off.

Posted by: abe at February 23, 2007 3:46 PM
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