|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
"I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran," Clinton said. "In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them."
OLBERMANN: You mentioned the oil suppliers and that obviously leads us into something else that really flew by during the debate that seemed awfully important. In that debate you were asked about a hypothetical Iranian attack on Israel and your hypothetical response as commander in chief and you said, let me read the quote exactly, “I think that we should be looking to create an umbrella of deterrence that goes much further than Israel. Of course I would make it clear to the Iranians that an attack on Israel would include massive retaliation from the United States but I would do the same with other countries in the region.”
Can you clarify since there was no follow-up to that which hypothetical Middle East conflicts would incur massive retaliation by this country and what constitutes massive retaliation?
CLINTON: Well, what we were talking about was the potential for a nuclear attack by Iran. If Iran does achieve what appears to be its continuing goal of obtaining nuclear weapons — and I think deterrence has not been effectively used in recent times. We used it very well during the Cold War when we had a bipolar world — and what I think the president should do and what our policy should be is to make it very clear to the Iranians that they would be risking massive retaliation were they to launch a nuclear attack on Israel.
In addition, if Iran were to become a nuclear power it could set off an arms race that would be incredibly dangerous and destabilizing because the countries in the region are not going to want Iran to be the only nuclear power so I could imagine that they would be rushing to obtain nuclear weapons themselves.
In order to forestall that, creating some kind of a security agreement where we said, no, you do not need to acquire nuclear weapons if you were the subject of an unprovoked nuclear attack by Iran, the United States and hopefully our NATO allies would respond to that as well.
It is a theory that some people have been looking at because there is a fear that if Iran, which I hope we can prevent, becoming a nuclear power, but if they were to become one some people worry that they are not deterrable, that they somehow have a different mindset and a worldview that might very well lead the leadership to be willing to become martyrs.
I don’t buy that but I think we have to test it and one of the ways of testing it is to make it very clear that we are not going to permit them, if we can prevent them, from becoming a nuclear power. But were they to become one, their use of nuclear weapons against Israel would provoke a nuclear response from the United States, which personally I believe would prevent it from happening and that we would try to help the other countries that might be intimidated and bulled into submission by Iran because they were a nuclear power, avoid that state by creating this new security umbrella.