Last updated at 20:13pm on 25th May 2007 Comments (6)
Bill Clinton was ready to divorce Hillary to be with one of his lovers, according to a book out next month.The marriage crisis is said to have ended with his wife talking him out of the move, telling a friend “there are worse things than infidelity”.
The story is among a string of revelations in two books detailing Mrs Clinton’s rise to the U.S. Senate and her push for the presidency.
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Bill Clinton planned to divorce Hillary to be with one of his many lovers, claims Carl Bernsten’s book on the couple
Both works document her husband’s many affairs when he was governor of Arkansas.
Carl Bernstein claims in A Woman in Charge that the love of the former president’s life was business executive Marilyn Jo Jenkins.
According to the Watergate journalist, Miss Jenkins was spirited into the governor’s mansion for a final, furtive meeting with him the day he left to claim the White House.
Miss Jenkins is said to have played such a “pivotal role” in Mr Clinton’s life that in 1989 he offered to divorce Hillary to be with her.
The ensuing crisis apparently led to Betsey Wright, Mr Clinton’s chief of staff, taking him to see a therapist.
Mrs Clinton later told her best friend Diane Blair that she believed the presidency would help her marriage because her husband’s “sexual compulsions would be tempered by the White House and the ever-present press corps”.
As Mr Bernstein makes clear, in light of the Monica Lewinsky scandal that turned out to be “a flawed assumption”.
In the 640-page book, Bob Boorstin, who
worked for Mrs Clinton when she was trying to restructure the nation’s healthcare system, blamed her for the collapse of her own plans.
“I find her to be among the most self-righteous people I’ve ever known,” he told Mr Bernstein. “It’s her great flaw.”
Mark Fabiani, who defended the Clintons as White House counsel, said Hillary was “so tortured by the way she’s been treated that she would do anything to get out of the situation.
“If that involved not being fully forthcoming, Mr Fabiani said she would say: ‘I have a reason for not being forthcoming.'”
The second book, Her Way by New York Times reporters Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr, claims that Mrs Clinton hired a private detective to investigate one of her husband’s mistresses.
According to the book, she ordered the detective to undermine Gennifer Flowers “until she is destroyed”.
The incident took place when Mr Clinton was running for president in 1992.
Her Way looks in detail at Mrs Clinton’s Senate vote in support of the Iraq war, suggesting she may have been motivated by a desire not to abandon her husband’s toughon-Iraq policy and a need “to prove that she was tough”.
Both books were leaked to the Washington Post yesterday ahead of publication next month.
The Post said Mrs Clinton emerges as a “complicated, sometimes compromised figure who tolerated Bill Clinton’s brazen infidelity, pursued her policy and political goals with methodical drive”.
The New York Senator, it said, had “occasionally skirted along the edge of the truth along the way” to power.
It said the books posed “a number of assertions and anecdotes that could confront her campaign with unwelcome questions”.
Last night political analysts said the books would damage Mrs Clinton in the eyes of some voters. They added, however, that most would find little to surprise them in the allegations.
One of the most unsettling charges in Her Way is that the Clintons made a “secret plan” when they were in Arkansas in which they would each have two terms as president.
The authors said that even before the pair married, they formulated a “secret pact of ambition” aimed at the White House.
Mr Bernstein said that both Clintons went to great lengths to “keep the lid on his infidelities”.
On one occasion Hillary personally interviewed one of her husband’s lovers and helped persuade her to sign a statement saying she had never had sex with him.
Mrs Clinton’s Senate office dismissed the books as offering no new material.
Her spokesman Philippe Reines told the Washington Post: “Is it possible to be quoted yawning? If past books on Mrs Clinton were cash for trash, these books are nothing more than cash for rehash.”
Her campaign spokesman, Howard Wolfson, told the paper: “The news here is that it took three reporters nearly a decade to find no news.
“Two overwhelming Senate victories in the toughest media market in the country demonstrated that voters have put these issues behind them.”
Would Iran’s Mullahs Use the Bomb?
By: Amil Imani
There is so much smoke around the Iranian Mullahs’ bomb that makes
Tehran’s smog feel like a fresh ocean breeze, by comparison. Here is a partial list of views about the Mullahs, their capabilities and intentions about the bomb affair.
* Will never dare to use the bomb, even if they had it. To do so would be suicidal.
* Are years away from anything resembling a credible bomb, in any quantities.
* They lack the technological skills needed to make a workable bomb.
* Don’t have the means of hitting
Israel with the bomb, their professed favorite target.
* Want the bomb for defensive purposes only.
* Would never hand the bomb over to proxy terrorists.
* Are using this whole bomb thing as a ploy to rally the populace and survive.
* Are visionary patriots planning for a future when the oil dries up.
* Are environmentalists aiming to curb global warming caused by the use of fossil fuel.
* Are striving to join the nuclear club for its prestige.
And on, and on, and on, goes the litany. I believe, based on facts rather than wishful thinking, that every one of the above assertions, as well as all other similar dismissive arguments are both false and fraught with danger, because all the above arguments are confounded by various amounts of denial.
Psychological denial is a common quirk of the human mind. People use denial to distort, even refute reality, when accepting it is too threatening to them. Alcoholics are habitual users of denial, a major tranquilizer of the mind. The alcoholic will adamantly deny having any problem with alcohol and continues to drink, even in the face of irrefutable contrary evidence. Denial is resorted to by both individuals and groups, and can be just as deadly for both.
Perhaps the most compelling dismissive argument is that the Mullahs would never dare to use the bomb, since it would be suicidal to do so. This argument is just as flawed as the rest. The “mutual deterrence” argument may work in state-to-state confrontations. It apparently has worked in the past and the hope is that it will work in the future. However, the mutual deterrence argument fails when a non-state entity is the adversary. The Mullahs don’t have to lob a bomb at
Israel or at anyone else to inflict huge harm. They can pursue their cause of death and destruction by simply providing their killers with dirty bombs in a suitcase. Given the Mullahs’ fanaticism and Machiavellian nature, they would come up with a myriad of clever schemes to achieve their objectives.
Consider dirty bombs. They are easy to make, are portable, can kill as well as make a city uninhabitable, without leaving a “finger print.” The Mullahs can go to work then turn “innocently” to the international community for help them- to find a group of rogue radicals, so they claim, who had penetrated their facilities and have made off with a loot of radioactive stuff.
It is not as if events like this have never happened in the past. Deadly stolen radioactive materials have found their way to the black market on a number of occasions. The world would respond in panic, yet with its usual arthritic sluggishness searching for the miscreants. Given how clumsy and disorganized the world’s intelligence community is, the prospect of acting expeditiously, much less apprehending the “thieves” is not very encouraging. This is particularly the case when the Mullahs themselves would have a short leash on the “thieves,” to hide them and deploy them only with the greatest of care.
Iran’s ruling Mullahs are clustered around major factions such as the conservatives, the moderates, and the so-called reformists. Yet, the differences among these factions are tactical rather than strategic. One and all share the same overarching goal of defeating the “Crusader-Zionists” by any and all methods possible; bringing about the “end of the world” Armageddon; and, thereby creating the requisite conditions for the appearance of the Hidden Imam, the Mahdi, to assume his rule of the world.
Therefore, it is “Cartrisque” (foolish risk-taking a la Jimmy Carter’s throwing the nation’s lot with the Mullahs during the 1979 Iranian Revolution) to overlook the fact that it is Islam, irrespective of any and all considerations, that poses a deadly threat to the world. Choosing one faction over another is no choice at all.
What is the likelihood that the ruling Mullahs will actually use the bomb? If they remain in power long enough to have it, they are very likely to use it, in one form or another. At the very least, they use the bomb for blackmail and intimidation in the region. Not even the all-out nuclear exchange can be ruled out. Islam is a religion centered on death with the faithful eyes fixed on the afterlife and its promised eternal pleasures. If the faithful kills, he goes to Allah’s paradise; if he gets killed, he goes to Allah’s paradise.
The Mullahs’ claim that they are pursuing the nuclear program to meet the country’s energy need could only fool the most gullible-denial type. Why is it that the Mullahs invest nothing at all in stopping the leak of more than six percent of the precious oil they pump out? For every 100 barrels, six barrels of
Iran’s irreplaceable national treasure dissipates at the wellhead. Yet, they spend billions of dollars to harness nuclear energy. Just as troubling is the fact that
Iran sits on one of the world’s most dangerous earthquake fault lines. Building nuclear plants on sites such as the one in Bushehr is absolute insanity.
Speaking of insanity, Ahmadinejad, the Monkey, comes to mind. He is dismissed as being a zany fanatic who shouldn’t be taken seriously for his bomb-rattling threats. But this type of dismissiveness can prove deadly. Recall that even a multi-billionaire former president of Iran Rafsanjani, a man seen by many as moderate and a shrewd live-let-live type, has publicly announced that a single bomb would finish off
Israel while the Muslims would suffer a setback from which it can easily recover.
The Mullahs are proven vicious mass killers. They summarily executed tens of thousands of Iranian dissidents. They had no qualms at sending thousands of children to clear the minefields ahead of their tanks during the 80-89 war with
Iraq; and, they have thousands of “martyrs” brainwashed and prepared to serve as bomb mules to be dispatched to any place in the world.
Sadly, once again it is the peak of “Me First” time with American politicians. Like sharks, they are circling the “bleeding” lame President, busily snipping at him and hoping to take his place. In the meantime the real enemy, Islamofascism is forging ahead toward its goal of dominating the world.
I have been warning that it is a deadly miscalculation to engage in infighting, and sit and wait this emerging catastrophe out. It is little more than an exercise in denial to believe that nothing bad will happen, and that the corrupt inept Mullahs will likely shoot themselves in the foot instead of wreaking havoc on the world. I also keep pleading that we should forthwith help the Iranian democratic oppositions send the death-bearer Mullahs back to their mosques. It is the free world’s best and urgent option.
What sane person would want to take a chance to wait and see if the mad Mullahs, once they have the bomb, would use it or not?
Amil Imani is an Iranian-born American citizen and pro-democracy activist residing in the
United States of America. Imani is a columnist, literary translator, novelist and an essayist, who has been writing and speaking out for the struggling people of his native land,
Iran. He maintains a website at www.amilimani.com
If ever you think your life is so bad you can’t possibly continue, think of Dr. Kellie Lim,
who lost both legs and an arm as a child [and] is poised to become a doctor for children. Kellie Lim, who became a triple amputee at age 8 because of bacterial meningitis, is to graduate from UCLA’s medical school on Friday, and she plans to focus on childhood allergies and infections disease. . . .
The Michigan native, 26, does not use a prosthetic arm and manages to perform most medical procedures – including giving injections and taking blood – with one arm. She walks on a pair of prosthetic legs.
Obviously she didn’t have an easy childhood because in addition to the triple youthful amputations she was
Raised by a blind mother in suburban Detroit, Lim went through years of wheelchairs and painful therapy after toxic shock from the meningitis claimed her limbs and three fingertips on her remaining hand.
Lim recently saw her childhood medical file, and learned that doctors had given her an 85 percent chance of survival. Just five months after the amputations, Lim returned to a normal school. Born right-handed, she learned to write and work with her left.
“I hate failing,” she said. “It’s one of those things that’s so ingrained in me.”
Words cannot express my admiration at her persistence, her lack of victimhood, her creativity, everything.
I was more than a bit surprised to read in Mr. Feldman’s article that Palestinnians promised that Gaza would be peaceful if the Israelis withdrew. To the best of my recollection, the Gaza withdrawal was a unilateral move on the part of Israel aimed at giving Palestinians a chance to show that they can peacefully govern themselves in the absence of “occupation,” thus providing the proof of concept of a peaceful Palestinian state dedicated to the welfare of its citizens and coexistence with Israel, and to justify the “de-occupation” of the West bank that was in the works.
The opponents of the move predicted that it will be perceived as a retreat under fire, and so will only invite further fire to ensure further retreats. The events proved the skeptics right, and the Israeli government – and those encouraging it – to have been wrong. While Palestinians were deceptive on a great many occasions, and violated a great many ceasefires, the blame for the consequences of the Gaza withdrawal (or, for that matter, of the withdrawal from Lebanon) lie squarely on the over-optimistic Israeli governments, and are a lesson to the Israelis to be more realistic.
They have plenty of reasons for caution. For one, the US withdrew its opposition to Israeli-Syrian talks – which will focus on “return” of the strategic Golan Heights; the idea of a unilateral withdrawal from the West bank is not altogether dead; and the US is, via General Dayton’s foolish “plan,” puts pressure on Israel to make it easier for the Palestinian terrorists to operate.
Palestinians do whatever they can get away with in their desire to destroy Israel, including shelling of Sderot. This is a fact of life that the Israeli government has to always keep in mind – but doesn’t. Shifting the blame to Palestinians on the failure of Gaza withdrawal as Mr. Feldman does, gets the Israeli government off the hook. Let’s not whitewash it, but rater remind it that it is its duty to be hardnosed and realistic, instead of getting swept off its feet by the messianic hope that Palestinians will let the Israelis alone if the Israelis leave alone the Palestinians.
The Democrats and the Mainstream Media have told us time and again that the Bush Administration has been neglecting the ‘real’ war-on-terror in Afghanistan by needlessly diverting scarce resources to the war in Iraq. Somehow this “neglect” has resulted in the killing of top Taliban leaders, such as the vicious Mullah Dadullah, and the total repulse of the Taliban’s “spring offensive”. Now there are increasing reports (hat tip Hot Air) of the Taliban disintegrating amidst betrayals, recrimination and distrust
If this is “neglect”, let’s have more of it!
Re-emerging publicly on Friday May 25, 2007 for the first time since he went underground 4-months ago, Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr journeyed in a long motorcade from Najaf to the adjacent city of Kufa where he delivered a fiery sermon before 6,000 worshippers. “No, no for Satan. No, no for America. No, no for the occupation. No, no for Israel,” he intoned-and his audience obligingly repeated-at the opening of this address. Al-Sadr then demanded that U.S. forces leave Iraq, and called upon Sunni Muslims to join his Shi’ite followers in fighting the American occupiers. “To our Iraqi Sunni brothers, I say that the occupation sows dissension among us and that strength is unity and division is weakness…I’m ready to cooperate with them in all fields.” He was also critical of the nascent Iraqi government’s inability to provide basic services.
While his major rival, Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq leader Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, was recently diagnosed with lung cancer and is undergoing treatment in Iran, it was speculated that al-Sadr, backed by Iran, may have returned to parlay this Iranian support into efforts to consolidate his own power in Iraq. Al-Sadr’s strategy hinges in part on his apparent belief that inevitably (and soon) the U.S. will reduce its troop strength, leaving behind a vacuum in Iraq’s security and political power structure that he and his followers can fill. He is also said to believe that Iraq’s current al-Maliki government may collapse in the near future because of its failure to improve security, public services, and the economy.
U.S. National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe’s comments on al-Sadr’s reappearance — punctuated by the cleric’s belligerent sermon — can only be characterized as bizarre and delusional. Johndroe opined — without any apparent attempt at deliberate irony — that al-Sadr’s diatribe somehow indicated a desire “to play a positive role inside Iraq.” Added Johndroe, “He [al-Sadr] has an opportunity to be a part of the political reconciliation process. We’ll see if he and his followers participate.”
Fifty years ago (1957), social psychologist Leon Festinger published his seminal analysis, A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance, in which he observed
[P]ersons are not always successful in explaining away or in rationalizing inconsistencies to themselves. For one reason or another, attempts to achieve consistency may fail. The inconsistency then simply continues to exist. Under such circumstances-that is, in the presence of an inconsistency-there is psychological discomfort…The existence of dissonance [inconsistency], being psychologically uncomfortable, will motivate the person to try to reduce it, the person will actively avoid situations to reduce the dissonance and achieve consonance [consistency]. When the dissonance is present, in addition to trying to reduce it, the person will actively avoid situations and information which would likely increase the dissonance…Cognitive dissonance can be seen as an antecedent condition which leads to activity oriented toward dissonance reduction just as hunger leads to activity oriented toward hunger reduction.
Johndroe’s views on Sadr’s re-emergence epitomize such cognitive dissonance, exacerbated by our policymaking elites’ ongoing, inexcusable ignorance of regional Islamic history and culture, most notably the well-documented role of the very same Sadr lineage in Iraq’s religio-politics. For example, Mr. Johndroe and equally uninformed policymakers across the political spectrum should read (certainly now, albeit so belatedly) Gertrude Bell’s letters written from Baghdad (especially those composed between 1920 and 1926), which were originally published in a compilation, The Letters of Gertrude Bell (2 volumes, New York, 1927), and are now available to all, online.
Gertrude Bell (1868-1926) was an archaeologist and explorer, who traveled extensively in the Middle East, and subsequently became a British intelligence officer and diplomat in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Due to her unparalleled knowledge of the region, Bell was made part of the delegation to the Paris Conference of 1919, and worked subsequently with British officials attempting to create the modern state of Iraq from three disparate ethnic and religious vilayets (i.e., Mosul, Baghdad, and Basra) of the collapsed Ottoman Empire. In the last years of her life, Gertrude Bell created, and was the first Director of the Baghdad Archaeological Museum; she died in 1926, and may have committed suicide.
Bell’s overall narrative sounds disquietingly familiar as the cast of characters — from 1920, versus the present — seems quite literally frozen in time despite the passage of almost 90 years. She describes the Shia religious elites [circa March 14, 1920] led by the very same Sadr family, as,
…the grimly devout citizens of the holy towns and more especially the leaders of religious opinion, the Mujtahids, who can loose and bind with a word by authority which rests on an intimate acquaintance with accumulated knowledge entirely irrelevant to human affairs and worthless in any branch of human activity. There they sit in an atmosphere which reeks of antiquity and is so thick with the dust of ages that you can’t see through it — nor can they. And for the most part they are very hostile to us, a feeling we can’t alter…. There’s a group of these worthies in Kadhimain, the holy city, 8 miles from Baghdad, bitterly pan-Islamic, anti-British…Chief among them are a family called Sadr, possibly more distinguished for religious learning than any other family in the whole Shiah world….
Despite Bell’s own utopian dreams for Iraq, what historian Elie Kedourie aptly termed her “…fond foolishness…thinking to stand godmother to a new Abbasid Empire…”, at least she — unlike our contemporary U.S. policymaking elites — possessed a very clear understanding of events unfolding before her. Regarding their predilection for unadorned nose-counting democracy, Bell observed [November 1, 1920] that led by Saiyid Hasan al Sadr, the Shia rejected establishing true democratic institutions, maintaining,
…only that they wanted a government elected by the people and that nothing else was of any use…They offered no [further] suggestions and remained obdurately hostile.
When 8-months later [July 20, 1921] Shi’ite wishes went unfulfilled, Bell documented the predictable leading role played by Saiyid Hasan al Sadr’s son Saiyid Muhummad (described as “a tall black bearded ‘alim with a sinister expression”) in fomenting sanguinary unrest throughout Iraq:
…he [Saiyid Muhummad] leapt into an evil prominence as the chief agitator in the disturbances. In those insane days he was treated like a divinity. Shi’ahs kissed the robe of men who had touched his hand. We tried to arrest him early in August and failed. He escaped from Baghdad and moved about the country like a flame of war, rousing the tribes. It was he who called up the Diyalah [Diyala (Sirwan)] tribesmen and caused all those tragedies of which Mrs. Buchanan’s story * is one. His next achievement was on the upper Tigris. In obedience to his preaching the tribes attacked Samarra but were beaten off. He then moved down to Karbala and was the soul of the insurgence on the middle Euphrates. Finally, when the game was up, he fled with other saiyids and tribal shaikhs across the desert to Mecca [Makkah] and came back, under the amnesty, with Faisal [later installed by the British as Iraq’s monarch]…. You never know what Shi’ahs are up to.
Recently, John Bolton, former Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and Security, and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., made these candid observations about the fecklessness of policy decisions in Iraq:
If we had said shortly after that statue (of Saddam) came down in Baghdad, “Here are the keys to the Green Zone, Iraqis – you have our best wishes and whatever support we can give as we are packing up and leaving, or at least moving out of Baghdad,” then I think public opinion in our country might be different…Having overthrown Saddam, we had an obligation – it was a short-term obligation – to provide security until some kind of government of Iraqis could have gotten back up, for us to hold the reins for a short time for them to start forming a government.
But the notion that America had to occupy Iraq or guarantee the country’s security for a protracted time, or indeed indefinitely: I just think that’s a mistake
In essence U.S. policymakers have repeated the misplaced utopian efforts of Gertrude Bell and her British colleagues, compounding this error — as illustrated in Mr. Johndroe’s distressingly ignorant and delusional statements — by being utterly devoid of Bell’s understanding of the irredentist Iraqi culture.
Leon Festinger and his associates (in Festinger et al. When Prophecy Fails 1956) chronicled the story of a Chicago housewife, Mrs. Marion Keech, who had mysteriously received messages in her house as “automatic writings” from alien beings on the planet Clarion, which revealed that the world would end in a great flood before dawn on December 21. Reflecting the degree of commitment to this fanciful notion, the group of believers, headed by Mrs. Keech, had taken concrete behavioral steps — they had left jobs, college, and spouses, and had given away money and possessions to prepare for their departure on the flying saucer, which was to rescue the group of true believers. However by 4:00 A.M. on the appointed day — Festinger and his researchers who infiltrated and studied Mrs. Keech’s group — observed that she and her followers were sitting in stunned silence. When a few attempts at finding explanations failed, Mrs. Keech began to cry. However by 4:45 A.M. another mysterious message by automatic writing was sent to Mrs. Keech. It stated, in effect, that the God of Earth had decided to spare the planet from destruction. The cataclysm had been called off: “The little group, sitting all night long, had spread so much light that God had saved the world from destruction.”
The brutal complexities of Iraq demand strategies informed by a serious, intellectually honest understanding of the local jihadist culture-both Shi’ite and Sunni-and an end to the ongoing cognitive dissonance of our policymaking elites “interpreting” daily events, if we are to avoid a real cataclysm.
* From additional letters by Bell, we learn about Buchanan’s plight: [Sep 13, 1920] I saw this morning Mrs Buchanan, the woman whose husband was killed 3 weeks ago in Shahraban [Miqdadiyah]. The whole of the tale I sent you about that business was quite untrue. The affair was over in a couple of hours and the Levies melted away when the tribes attacked. Mrs Buchanan saw her husband killed and was then taken to the house of the mayor where she was kindly treated according to their lights. She can scarcely speak a word of Arabic and has been through the most terrible experience. She has a child in England – and I fancy not a sixpence to live on. …[October 10, 1920] She is very pretty and attractive and helpless, about 25 with a baby at home. As far as I can make out they neither of them had anything in the world and as they “invested” all their savings in jewels for her which were all stolen she hasn’t a penny. She is suffering a good deal from nervous shock, and no wonder…
Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism.