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August 26, 2006

What country was Bill Clinton Talking About?

In February 2005, Bill Clinton gave a remarkable interview to PBS's Charlie Rose at the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland. The astounding thing about the interview was that Clinton named a country where he felt most ideologically at home. And it's not the United States of America.

"It is the only country in the world that has now had six elections since the first election of [its president in 1997]. (It is) the only one with elections, including the United States, including Israel, including you name it, where the liberals, or the progressives, have won two-thirds to 70 percent of the vote in the six elections.... In every single election, the guys I identify with got two-thirds to 70 percent of the vote. There is no other country in the world that I can say that about, certainly not my own."

That last line drew considerable laughter from the primarily Leftist Hate America First crowd that dominated the Davos forum.

What country could he be speaking of? Perhaps Canada, or New Zealand, or maybe Sweden? Not quite. The nation with the guys Clinton identifies with is...the Islamic Republic of Iran.

That's on page 194 of a book by a Classical Liberal (note I am a classical liberal), Tammy Bruce, called, The New American Revolution.

It's a good book, but not a very deep book. It ranks right up there with talk radio in terms of its depth of content. If you're only firing on two synapses and don't want to think too hard, but still want valid content, skip Aristotle's The Politics or Nozick's Anarchy, State, and Utopia for a night and give this one a read.

Posted by Jeff at August 26, 2006 03:07 PM

Comments

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Posted by: oliver at December 5, 2006 04:31 PM


i will like i to join your programme.
and i want to know the usefulness of this site?

Posted by: nicolas smith at March 21, 2007 06:32 AM


I thought I'd post the more complete words of Bill Clinton. What you have posted Jeff is disingenuos and borders on outright dishonesty. You have either passed on someone elses dishonesty or deliberately ignored the real meaning for ideological ends by only presenting a small section that suits your purposes. Sadly that is the mark of modern right wing punditry.

Clinton is simply trying to say that the people of Iran are more liberal than we imagine. They elect left wing people but the constitution of Iran puts the power into the hands of the conservative clergy. That is why the leadership is as it is.

Sadly you accept that anyone named by your military and/or president as an enemy must be seen as an enemy of America. Anyone who disagrees is an "American hater"

And Davos is a gathering of Capitalists. It is hardly an American hating forum.


And now for the fuller version of Mr. Clinton's words.

"I think President Bush has done, so far, the right thing by not taking the military option off the table, but not pushing it too much. I didn't like the story that looked like the military option had been elevated above a diplomatic option. But Iran is the most perplexing problem ... we face, for the following reasons: It is the only country in the world with two governments, and the only country in the world that has now had six elections since the first election of President Khatami. [It is] the only one with elections, including the United States, including Israel, including you name it, where the liberals, or the progressives, have won two-thirds to 70 percent of the vote in six elections: two for President; two for the parliament, the Majlis; two for the mayoralities.

In every single election, the guys I identify with got two-thirds to 70% of the vote. There is no other country in the world I can say that about, certainly not my own.

Rose: But, but those are the guys who are in power, and is the power held by another party?

Clinton: Okay, so here's the problem. Under their constitution, the religious council, headed by the Ayatollah Khamenei has the authority over intelligence funding, terrorism funding, and has the power to invalidate laws and scratch candidates from the candidate lists, so the people that represent the ... 30% to one third, can negate much of this two-thirds to 70%. And the President is in the middle, getting whipsawed and the people underneath him, supporting him, get more and more disillusioned.

Now, they still kind of like the West in general, and America in particular, because we don't represent what they don't like about the governing of Iran since Ayatollah Khomeini. What no one can answer is, number one, how would those two-thirds react if some military action were taken?"

Posted by: Wayne at June 29, 2007 06:44 PM


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