Say you're sorry

Clinton's "Obliteration" remark is genocidal


Say you're sorry
by Omid Memarian

Senator Clinton should apologize for using a genocidal term during her campaign. Her recent remark-- stating that if Iranians were to launch a nuclear attack against Israel, the United States would be able to obliterate Iran -- is out of the line, politically inappropriate, and reflects a hawkish approach toward foreign policy based on the Bush administration model.

Even neoconservative warmongers who have been saber rattling with Iran over the past 8 years have never used such a term. If the media were not distracted by Rev. Wright's controversial remarks, this comment would cause a huge backlash against Clinton.

This calls into question Clinton's ability to pick up the red phone at 3 a.m. and make a tough decision on a crucial foreign policy issue. Also, before taking that 3 a.m. call, Clinton should read the National Intelligence Estimates during the daytime. She did not read them a single time for Iraq in 2002 and consequently voted for the Iraq war.

Once again, it seems that she did not read the latest NIE on Iran's nuclear program (PDF), which is a collection of reports conducted by dozens of intelligence agencies. The report released last December emphasizes that Iranians stopped their efforts to make a nuclear bomb in 2003. This means Iran has no bomb to attack Israel with, and consequently there is no need to "obliterate" a country with 70 million people, three times larger that Iraq in size and population.

Even if Iranians were to gain a nuclear bomb, there would be no way for them to use it against Israel, simply due to the geography of the region. Palestinians and Israelis live side by side. No bomb has yet been made that can differentiate between ethnicities.

Clinton's attempt to be tough has pushed her to internalize a neoconservative tone in her foreign policy agenda that is disrespectful of international mechanisms in dealing with global crisis. This destructive approach has dramatically damaged the image of the United States since the Iraq war in 2003.

Moreover, in the literature of peace and conflict studies, "obliteration" of a country, in whatever shape or form, is genocidal, irresponsible and irrational.

While thousands of people have died in a war that could have been avoided, talking about obliteration of yet another country -- which President Bush has called "the third World War" -- does bode well for change in the White House in January 2009.

Clinton should also know that there are between 25,000 to 35,000 Jews in Iran. Jewish people have a member in the Iranian parliament. They can practice their religion freely to a large extent, and love their homeland, even though they might not like their controversial president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. She should also remember that Iranians were the first in the Middle East to show their sympathy for the victims of the 9/11 tragedy by lighting candles in their memory.

Clinton's remark is disrespecting millions of Iranians who are struggling hard for their rights, which include thousands of intellectuals, journalists and activists who have paid huge costs to change their society but still think that the west and Iran should engage in a constructive dialogue -- even with the current government -- rather than go to war.

(First appeared on Huffington Post)

Omid Memarian's blog


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Well Said Omid

by Anonymoush (not verified) on

I have read your blogs before, I agree with your views and I like your style.

You're doing an excellent job with your writing, references, and analysis.

Keep up the great work!


Be A Man, Be An Iranian

by Dariush (not verified) on

This shows how much respect Hillary and McCain has for Iranians including you in west, even top doctors and engineers and business men. I do not know after this comment how Iranians can even speak to them, let alone support her or vote for her.
When someone tells you if you do this, I will do that over a simple matter you don't take it, but you are OK with such threat over such important matter? They are like a loaded gun in the hands of a child. With small misinformation they can explode.


I have been saying she is a hawk all this time

by Al Sefati (not verified) on

she voted for the war with Iraq, she voted for the Liberman bill that allows bush to attack Iran, she threaten to obliterate Iran, what more do you need to find that while Bill was in bed with Monica, she was in bed with the entire Zionist lobby!!!!



by NEANDERTHAL (not verified) on

...I loath this Republican in Democratic clothing a little more. Her and Bill are just shameless.


What is wrong with her comment?

by Anonymous21 (not verified) on

Read it carefully, "IF IRAN ATTACKS ISREAL WiTH NUKES, United STATES WILL OBLITERATE IRAN". This will happen regardless of any US president being elected.
Your Highness Hajagha and Mr. Memarian, if you were US president and Iran atacked Isreal with Nukes, what would you do? Negotiate? Tell Iran he is a bad boy? Ask Pasdars to stay on one side and civilians on the other side, and nuke Pasdars only?
Unfortunately what you and some of the Mulla apologists are ignoring is that world can not tolerate the present stance of IRI because of their own sake, not for the sake of Iranians. If there is any serious threat, they respond accordingly and vigirously. They don't jeopordize their civilian lives for the sake of Iranians. If Iranians are concerned about their own life, they have to do something before it is too late.

Alahazrat Hajagha

I am ashamed

by Alahazrat Hajagha on

As an ex-Clinton supporter, someone who volunteered for her campaign in San Francisco and contributed some money to her campaign, I feel embarrassed by her comment about Iran. I am ashamed of her in same way I was ashamed when Ahmadinejad made that comment about wiping Israel off the map.

After using the word “obliteration” against another nation, it doesn’t matter what she says anymore or how good she will be as a President. She not only must say sorry, she also must drop out as soon as possible. Since I cannot get my money back, I would like to send a massage to her campaign:

“Move, get out the way.”