LiberalOasis has previously expressed wariness about Sen. Hillary Clinton's foreign policy objectives, as she has left open the possibility of permanent bases in Iraq.
But today on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, when asked about possible military action in Iran, she was properly skeptical -- pushing back on White House framing of the rhetoric.
First, when asked about crafting a strategy to stabilize Iraq, she said we needed a "comprehensive strategy" that included:
...an international process that looks at how to prevent what's happening in Iraq from spilling over.
That means not only bringing the countries together that we already have relations with ... but it means being engaged with countries that our president will not engage with.
I don't understand this philosophy that you don't talk to bad guys. We talked to the Soviet Union all during the Cold War.
I think you have to engage with people who are your enemies or your potential adversaries in order to figure out what's on their mind.
Then, Cooper asked for her reaction to Dubya's saber-rattling with Iran earlier this morning. She responded:
CLINTON: We're playing a very dangerous game of Chicken here.
For domestic political consumption, the Iranians believe that they can continue to be belligerent and make outrageous claims against Israel [and] the United States, interfere with what's going on in Iraq.
We're standing back here, threatening and pointing fingers. And I think we're hearing a lot of the same rhetoric we heard before the president's decision to launch a pre-emptive war in Iraq.
COOPER: Do you think this president is preparing the ground for some sort of military action against Iran?
CLINTON: I don't know. I don't know. I think that we in the Congress are going to have a lot of questions about that.
LiberalOasis would quibble that Clinton should not say "the Iranians" are monolithically "belligerent," when the belligerent President Ahmadinejad just had his wings clipped by the public and by the Supreme Leader.
Still. Clinton did the helpful thing by challenging Administration credibility and questioning the rationale for expanding the war.
This doesn't get her off the hook for her earlier statement on permanent bases. She should clarify her views and make clear when her vision for the region is.
Still, her Iran comments should be factored in as we try to discern the Iran policies and the foreign policy visions of all the prospective nominees.