Hitchens on the Tuzla Dash, and what Hillary hides

posted at 8:39 am on April 1, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

We have had a lot of fun with the Tuzla Dash, but Christopher Hitchens spoiled it all yesterday by reminding us that it means something deeper than Hillary Clinton’s already-recognized character flaws. When liars construct delusions or fantasies, they do so to both build false narratives and to hide something. What did the Tuzla dash hide? Hitchens has a theory:

There are two kinds of deliberate and premeditated deceit, commonly known as suggestio falsi and suppressio veri. (Neither of them is covered by the additionally lying claim of having “misspoken.”) The first involves what seems to be most obvious in the present case: the putting forward of a bogus or misleading account of events. But the second, and often the more serious, means that the liar in question has also attempted to bury or to obscure something that actually is true. Let us examine how Sen. Clinton has managed to commit both of these offenses to veracity and decency and how in doing so she has rivaled, if not indeed surpassed, the disbarred and perjured hack who is her husband and tutor. ….

Note the date of Sen. Clinton’s visit to Tuzla. She went there in March 1996. By that time, the critical and tragic phase of the Bosnia war was effectively over, as was the greater part of her husband’s first term. What had happened in the interim? In particular, what had happened to the 1992 promise, four years earlier, that genocide in Bosnia would be opposed by a Clinton administration?

In the event, President Bill Clinton had not found it convenient to keep this promise. Let me quote from Sally Bedell Smith’s admirable book on the happy couple, For Love of Politics:
Taking the advice of Al Gore and National Security Advisor Tony Lake, Bill agreed to a proposal to bomb Serbian military positions while helping the Muslims acquire weapons to defend themselves—the fulfillment of a pledge he had made during the 1992 campaign. But instead of pushing European leaders, he directed Secretary of State Warren Christopher merely to consult with them. When they balked at the plan, Bill quickly retreated, creating a “perception of drift.” The key factor in Bill’s policy reversal was Hillary, who was said to have “deep misgivings” and viewed the situation as “a Vietnam that would compromise health-care reform.” The United States took no further action in Bosnia, and the “ethnic cleansing” by the Serbs was to continue for four more years, resulting in the deaths of more than 250,000 people.

Hitchens’ outrage starts on a more personal level. He recalls flying into Bosnia in 1992, really under sniper and mortar fire, and having to dash for safety after a corkscrew landing. No one who undergoes that kind of trial forgets it, Hitchens writes, and no honest person could mistake it for a stroll off of a transport to a greeting ceremony on the tarmac.

Why did Hillary construct the Tuzla Dash? Hitchens suspects that she wanted to distract attention from the Clinton administration’s lack of fortitude on Bosnia — and why it lacked tenacity. Hillary at the time wanted the administration to focus all of its political clout on nationalizing health care. It was Hillary who sacrificed action in the Balkans in exchange for a health-care plan that turned into an electoral fiasco. Only after the Democrats took a beating in November 1994 did Bosnia get back on Clinton’s radar screen, and probably only to be seen as decisive in at least one area of policy.

The Clinton administration deserves credit for finally forcing an end to the atrocities in the Balkans. Hitchens would probably agree with that, too. However, their repeated attempts to blow themselves into fearless crusaders has Hitchens fuming, not laughing, at the Tuzla Dash. Maybe the rest of us should take it more seriously as well.


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Hillary and Obama are April fool’s day jokes, right? The funniest thing is that the loony left couldn’t come up with anyone better….
Keep up the great work, Ed. I really enjoy your stuff.

PoliticallyIncorrectSandy on April 1, 2008 at 8:44 AM

Too bad the Clintons didn’t do anything about Rwanda. It would seem that Caucasian Europeans are more valuable politically.

jgapinoy on April 1, 2008 at 9:17 AM

How anyone can support HRC after such a blantant lie is mindboggling.

swami on April 1, 2008 at 9:20 AM

This doesn’t require any in-depth analysis. I figured out a long time ago that when you catch someone lying on one occasion it wasn’t the only time they lied. They just…lie.

perroviejo on April 1, 2008 at 9:21 AM

When the dust has settled, and the Clinton legacy has been written, Bill & Hill Clinton will be documented as the most self-serving couple that has ever occupied the WH…

Keemo on April 1, 2008 at 9:22 AM

Ouch. That’s going to leave a mark.

Potfry on April 1, 2008 at 9:23 AM

I am convinced the best way to understand both Herself! and the Obamessia is within the context of an Alinskyite Eternal Struggle. Both Democrat Presidential Candidates will use any excuse, any tactic, any method in confronting and defeating those who stand between them and Their Final Goal (socialism). On one side we have a polished Black Liberationist orator whose Hollywood-like stage scenes are simply empty vessels ready to be filled only when he is elected. On the other side, we have a clumsy, shrill, true believer whose brand of Socialism approaches Stalinesque proportions. Herself! sans Bill has her true nature revealed, without the MSM or her carefully crafted audience response units to shield the truth.

SeniorD on April 1, 2008 at 9:25 AM

That story should be front page headlines in every major newspaper in the country, if not the world. People need to know who this woman is, and that says it all. The Clintons are contemptible.

scalleywag on April 1, 2008 at 9:37 AM

When the dust has settled, and the Clinton legacy has been written, Bill & Hill Clinton will be documented as the most self-serving couple that has ever occupied the WH… lived…

Fixed.

Corky on April 1, 2008 at 9:43 AM

Please??!! No questions about what Herself is hiding until well after breakfast. The mental images are too disturbing…

GeneSmith on April 1, 2008 at 9:44 AM

So all those Democrats who whined about Bush & Cheney being chickenhawks are going to vote for McCain (war hero) over either of the never served, right?

Hillary: I’m not a doctor, but I saw an actor playing one on tv.

rbj on April 1, 2008 at 9:46 AM

Hillary could write another book, call it “A Million Little Sniper Bullets”

scalleywag on April 1, 2008 at 9:49 AM

Let’s not sugar coat this.

The National Democratic Convention has a challenge that makes 1968 Chicago seem like a stroll on a sandy beach.

Pick a marxist liar with an open marriage or a marxist racist that uses family members like tissue paper. Both would destroy the energy companies and health care industry. Both would tax middle class families into oblivion. Both would like to hang their hats on withdrawal from Iraq, which is currently stabilizing and showing signs of success.

And, they hate each other.

Sounds like fun.

saved on April 1, 2008 at 9:51 AM

Wai,t aren’t we still in Bosnia?

Why doesn’t Hillary make that part of her platform, to get us out of the quagmire of Bosnia…

benrand on April 1, 2008 at 9:51 AM

what’s Hillary’s father’s name? Geppetto?

scalleywag on April 1, 2008 at 9:52 AM

Can you imagine, what if Obama makes a deal with Hillary to put her on the Supreme Court?

petefrt on April 1, 2008 at 10:02 AM

Ms. Hillary tells these whoppers, it’s crazy at times. How did she turn $1000 of cattle futures into $100,000? You know what she said? She read the Wall Street Journal. Omigosh. That newspaper is well worth the price. When Bill was accused of Monica hummer + perjury + obstruction, she attributed it to a VRWC. In her autobio, she said she couldn’t believe Bill would do something like he did w/ Monica in the White House. Yeah. Like he’s never done THAT before. And it goes on and go. Is anything that comes out of her mouth sincere? Maybe, but even then the ratio of calculated to sincere has to be at least 100 to 1. I can’t believe a single thing she says. It has some meaning other than what the words say. I don’t get her supporters. Doesn’t the truth mean anything to them? To me, truth is nice. It’s got a ring to it. It feels right. Hillary feels all wrong to me.

Paul-Cincy on April 1, 2008 at 10:02 AM

Given what we now know about the world after 9/11, Clinton’s Bosnia was in retrospect the right thing to do.

thuja on April 1, 2008 at 10:05 AM

Is Hitchens’s story that Mrs. Slick convinced Mister Slick to put Bosnia on the back burner, to keep attention on her ‘health plan’, plausible?

If so, what does that say about their relationship?

Maybe there is more to her claim of ‘experience’ as First (ahem!) Lady than meets the eye! Now if Bill admitted, “You see, all along she was the boss. I was just out cattin’ around, chasin’ them interns and stuff. It’s no lie; she really does wear the pants. And that Bosnia thing. She was really there much earlier, in ’93 I think. We didn’t let on, but she had to tell them we couldn’t help, what with that health-care thing and all. . . She just got the dates mixed up.”

MrLynn on April 1, 2008 at 10:08 AM

Can you imagine, what if Obama makes a deal with Hillary to put her on the Supreme Court?

petefrt on April 1, 2008 at 10:02 AM

Boy, if you think judge Thomas was a wild event, imagine Hillary. They would roast her like a butterball turkey.

saiga on April 1, 2008 at 10:08 AM

Hitchens is good for 1 well written article per year, and this is it! I only wish he could put the bottle down for the rest of the year and continue writing with a clear head for the rest of the time.

bluestater on April 1, 2008 at 10:11 AM

Been meaning to do this little math exercise for awhile, finally got around to it….

Ms Clinton, in addressing her little “mis-speak”, has stated on video both claims of speaking a million words a day and/or a million words per week. So of course we should forgive her if one or two come out a little off-center.

I finally pulled out the calculator…. If she speaks a million words per day, she needs to AVERAGE 11.57 words per second, every second for the full day. If she only does a million words per week, then the average drops down to 1.65 words per second, 24/7.

Clearly Ms Clinton does not really expect us to believe that she can pump out linguistic bullets at such a rapid rate. So we SHOULD conclude that, just like her claim of a million words per day, she was merely, and obviously, adding colorful embellishment to her story of the dangers at Tuzla. She was not dissembling what really happened, she knows that we all know what really happened, she was merely adding a bit of story-telling excitement to an otherwise somewhat boring event.

Hopefully that helps everyone understand the gross, inappropriately negative over-reaction to that which we should praise as her excellent capacity for eloquent (and presidential!) hyperbole.

/sarc off/

Brian Paasch on April 1, 2008 at 10:16 AM

This has nothing to do with the thread but, why is the Alliance Algore ad on Hot Air? Does it have something to do with MM going dark this morning?

srhoades on April 1, 2008 at 10:34 AM

Hillary figured if John Edwards could get away with his ‘I spoke with Musharraf on the phone today’ lie, she could get away with her, ‘I was shot at before’ lie.

I think she wanted less to speak about the actual experience she had than to just remind people that her husband conducted a war too, and that she had gone to a war zone. . . probably out of fear that McCain, actually in Iraq multiple times with flack jacket and helmet, looked more presidential.

ThackerAgency on April 1, 2008 at 10:45 AM

Sen. Clinton has… rivaled, if not indeed surpassed, the disbarred and perjured hack who is her husband and tutor.

That’s not a fair comparison. Anyone capable of telling one lie (i.e., anyone over the mental age of 4) can tell an infinite number of lies.

Hillary in no way “surpasses” Bill Clinton in her ability to lie WELL. The bottom line is that he was much better at getting away with it. He knew how to lie about details that couldn’t be checked. Sure, exhaustive research found that there were no churches burned in Arkansas during Bill’s childhood – but who’s to say he didn’t remember hearing something about that? Even in the Monica case, it was an extreme longshot that she kept the physical evidence.

A better comparison is that Hillary Clinton rivals Al Gore in the ability to lie pathologically. Remember when Gore, in his nationally televised debate with George Bush, bragged about his work during a Texas natural disaster? That’s not the sort of thing that CAN’T be checked; it’s the sort of thing that usually simply ISN’T checked, because people naturally assume that someone who isn’t visibly drooling from the mouth is probably not a raving lunatic. You can get away with that for a while but after you’re caught once, you can be certain every word you say from then on will be scrutinized.

Obama is not a better liar than Bill Clinton by any stretch of the imagination. But by default, he’s not as bad at it as Hillary is. Because Obama never actually SAYS anything; he simply implies he’ll solve all the world’s problems for us.

The people around Obama will continue to turn out to be madmen (and women), but he will remain a deeply concerned blank slate. And no one will ever be able to prove otherwise.

logis on April 1, 2008 at 10:56 AM

I only wish he could put the bottle down for the rest of the year and continue writing with a clear head for the rest of the time.

bluestater on April 1, 2008 at 10:11 AM

Don’t hold your breath. Can you picture Hitchens at an AA meeting?

This was a great column by Hitchens. But what are the chances that any part of the MSM will ever read anything he writes?

snaggletoothie on April 1, 2008 at 11:01 AM

no doubt shrillary’s taken us all on a “snipe hunt.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snipe_hunt

max1 on April 1, 2008 at 11:10 AM

Hillary in no way “surpasses” Bill Clinton in her ability to lie WELL. The bottom line is that he was much better at getting away with it.

logis on April 1, 2008 at 10:56 AM

I wouldn’t say Billy Jeff got away with lying. Many of us, if not most of us, knew the guy was lying whenever he opened his mouth. The difference was then, the MSM slobbered all of him and gave him a free pass. In some instances they openly conspired to cover for him. The MSM loved Bill and called him the best politician ever when we all knew that was code for best liar ever.

Now they love Obama and that not only makes Hillary irrelevant to them, it makes her a target. It not about who’s the better liar, it’s all about who the MSM decides to protect and who they decide to ruin.

One man’s lies are another man’s virtue, if you have the MSM in your back pocket.

fogw on April 1, 2008 at 11:14 AM

bluestater

First of all, Hitchens is more lucid than you even while drunk. Everyone has a vice, his harms none but himself. Secondly, even if he only wrote one good article per year (which is not true) it would be one more good article than you will ever write in your entire life.

Dr. Manhattan on April 1, 2008 at 11:29 AM

suggestio falsi and suppressio veri

and congenitalus lie-your-pantsuit-offus

whitetop on April 1, 2008 at 11:46 AM

I wouldn’t say Billy Jeff got away with lying. Many of us, if not most of us, knew the guy was lying whenever he opened his mouth. The difference was then, the MSM slobbered all of him and gave him a free pass

I was at the gym last night listening to the iPod when a report came over the TV tuned to CNN very dramatically warning about MEDIA BIAS. No, it wasn’t general liberal MSM bias, it was a report on how the media is biased against Hillary.

Typical for the Clinton News Network.

crazy_legs on April 1, 2008 at 12:52 PM

The difference was then, the MSM slobbered all of [Bill Clinton] and gave him a free pass [for his lies.] In some instances they openly conspired to cover for him. The MSM loved Bill and called him the best politician ever when we all knew that was code for best liar ever.
fogw on April 1, 2008 at 11:14 AM

That’s my point. The media didn’t love Bill Clinton because he was the most liberal politician in America – he wasn’t. Hillary’s the Socialist in the family; Bill couldn’t really care less about politics; he’s just there for the power.

Like any good bimbo, the media loved Bill Clinton largely because he used them so well. The media aren’t attacking Hillary because she lied about her trip to Tuzla; they’re attacking her because they think she is NOT lying about her new “moderate” stance.

There are two, and only two, ways to lie effectively:

1) By telling mostly the the truth about things that don’t matter, and then lying only about a detail you think can’t be corroborated; and

2) By telling the truth, but telling it in such a way that people THINK it’s a lie.

Hillary Clinton has turned out to be inept at both types of lying compared to Bill. BarackObama knows better than to try; he just babbles inane platitudes and lets his entourage do all the lying for him.

logis on April 1, 2008 at 12:57 PM

The Clinton administration deserves credit for finally forcing an end to the atrocities in the Balkans.

Really, now!

Act I. curtain. Act II. curtain. Act III…

There is no end yet to the Balkan atrocities.

maverick muse on April 1, 2008 at 1:36 PM

i.e.,

Muslims kill Christians kill Muslims kill Christians…

Transplant Bosnian Christian civilization’s heart into independent Muslim state/nation = attrocity

maverick muse on April 1, 2008 at 1:41 PM

I clearly remember Clinton ordering the Air Force to air drop supplies to the Muslims but at such a height, 20,000+ feet, that there was little chance they would fall in friendly hands. A parachute falls about a minute every thousand feet which leaves 20+ minutes for such parachuted supplies to drift off into the hinterlands. If you want to airdrop badly needed supplies you do it down low on the deck from a few hundred feet. The Clintons didn’t want any of our cargo planes shot down so they chose to do it long distance.

However, a camera crew was sent up to document the supplies being dropped which was all Team Clinton wanted: the appearance of doing good, not the actual doing good part. Form over substance.

Tantor on April 1, 2008 at 1:43 PM

Atheists aren’t capable of morality or even the perception of it, are they?

Nor are they capable of anything nearly as altruistic as flying into a war zone.

Is Nothing, sacred?

Speakup on April 1, 2008 at 2:33 PM

the most self-serving couple that has ever occupied the WH world…

Keemo on April 1, 2008 at 9:22 AM

Small, but impactful, change.

Speakup, heh.

fogw, and the American people will show the media, and the rest of the world another big finger in Nov.

Entelechy on April 1, 2008 at 2:50 PM

One day (hopefully in the VERY NEAR future) when the masks dropped, you will find “Barry” and Michelle Obama are a worse couple than the Clintons.

Sir Napsalot on April 1, 2008 at 3:02 PM

Too bad the Clintons didn’t do anything about Rwanda. It would seem that Caucasian Europeans are more valuable politically.

jgapinoy on April 1, 2008 at 9:17 AM

You’ve got it backwards. In the multicultural parallel universe in which we now live its Caucasian Europeans who get bombed by NATO on behalf of the descendants of Turk invaders who firebomb Catholic and Orthodox churches.

aengus on April 1, 2008 at 3:59 PM

Spot ON Aengus! Here we are bombing the dogsnot out of our WWII allies (Serbs) for Muslims who have desecrated Orthodox and Catholic churches and Monastaries. One wonders about the brilliance of that operation.

SeniorD on April 1, 2008 at 5:16 PM

Glacier reminds me of life “at ‘da club”: horny guy gets drunk & tells some girl he’s ex-Army Ranger – gets a phone#; next night horny guy gets a little more drunk & tells another girl he’s ex-Navy SEAL and gets some smoochy-smoochy; next night horny guy gets really drunk & tells yet another, more gullible girl, he’s ex-Marine Delta and spends the night.

Moral: horny guy tellin’ whopper after whopper just to get a little some-some.

The Glacier is sooooo horny for the votes – enough to tell the whoppers over and over – but this time will only get the stinky finger (hubby “at ‘da club”).

Undertaker on April 1, 2008 at 10:30 PM