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Distracting via Email

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 8/10/2015 Paul A. London
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A prime objective of opponents of a strong candidate like Hillary Clinton is to show doubts about her honesty. Thomas Jefferson played this game with Alexander Hamilton. It was played with Abraham Lincoln, Grover Cleveland and Bill Clinton. Kevin McCarthy, the likely future Republican Speaker, has admitted that the central purpose of the long-running Benghazi hearings that gave rise to this email kerfuffle has been to weaken Hillary's poll numbers. If this deliberate distraction works, the country will pay a huge price for being fooled.
"Email preoccupation" has worked for Republicans principally because it has overwhelmed any discussion of the disastrous foreign and domestic record of Republicans when they were last in office from 2001 into 2009. The supposed email "scandal" draws attention away from Republican responsibility for the Iraq War and the Great Recession that are the root of most of today's foreign and domestic problems.
Donald Trump and Sen. Rand Paul got it right at the Republican debate on Sept. 16. These two of the 11 Republicans on stage said they had opposed the 2003 invasion and did so because they sensed how risky it would be for the United States. They were right because this reckless Bush-Cheney gambit and the hugely inept occupation that followed led to the rise of Iran, ISIL, the Iran-backed Syrian slaughter, the refugee crisis, the relapse in Afghanistan and more, yet these comments by Trump and Paul about the damage done to the U.S. by the Bush-Cheney adventure were ignored by the other candidates. No Republican defended the Bush-Cheney record. All that Jeb Bush dared to say about his brother's administration that ended just seven years ago, is that he "kept us safe." All 11 would have Americans believe that Ronald Reagan, who left office 26 years ago, was the last Republican president.
In deposing Saddam Hussein in 2003 with no good successor to take his place, the last Republican administration caused more than 5,000 American deaths, tens of thousands of American wounded, and wasted over a trillion dollars, not to mention the tremendous toll in Iraqi lives and resources.
The Republicans removed an Iraqi regime and disbanded an Iraqi army that had been a check on Iran. They destroyed, as Rand Paul said, a balance of power in the Middle East that was enormously important to us. The Republican decision eliminated the principal check on the Shiite mullahs and enraged the Sunni desert tribes then allied with Hussein that are now the core of ISIL. It is terrifying that only Trump and Paul had the foresight to see where Republican policy was going in 2003 and the guts to call a spade a spade in 2015 now that the results are so painfully clear.
Sadly, Iraq and the Middle East are not the end of the story. The Republican "war of choice" in Iraq meant the over-stretched U.S. military had to fight two wars at once. Resources were withdrawn from Afghanistan, a war we had almost won. As a result, Afghanistan is continuing to plague us.
No wonder the Republicans want voters to focus on Hillary's use of a private email server that was both legal and totally inconsequential. What an amazing propaganda coup for them! What is serious is that a significant number of Americans, including important opinion leaders, have allowed themselves to be tricked and drawn off the scent by this deliberate distraction.

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