Hillary's chief character flaw has been her almost congenital fibbing, even on something as straightforward as her first name. She wasn't named after the famous New Zealand explorer, Sir Edmund Hillary who was the first to climb Mt. Everest six years after she was born, who died this year. Her spokeswoman in October, 2006 confessed "It was a sweet family story her mother shared to inspire greatness in her daughter, to great results I might add.".. just like the sniper fire story.
By constantly embellishing her cv, trying to impress others with her 'banal' foreign travel experiences as the First Lady, reveals more about senator Clinton than she cares to. Now that her version of the Bosnia trip to Tuzla has caused people like her biographer Carl Bernstein to comment on her credibility again, the American press may getting 'round' to checking out her second greatest achievement, 'her major role' in helping make the Good Friday Treaty powersharing agreement in 1998, for Northern Ireland.
First as a preamble, I confess I know next to nothing about Bosnia, but I do know something about Northern Ireland. I don't claim as much familiarity with the province or the six counties, as Hillary naturally, but I have visited and worked there a number of times and was teacher at the Model Girls' School in Belfast during one of the worst years of 'The Troubles', 1974.
I must admit I was fortunate never to have been in a bombing, but I saw the aftermath of many gutted pubs and homes and I worked on a very rare controversial non-sectarian housing project, reconstructing houses close to Falls Road in 1971, that had been fire bombed earlier in The Troubles in Belfast. In those years it wasn't so different to Baghdad with the 'no-go' areas, and road barricades between the Catholics or Shiites and the Protestants or Sunnis or vice a versa.
Now let's look at what Hillary did in the 90's to bring on the Good Friday Peace Agreement in 1998. Terry McAuliffe, Mrs Clinton's hard-nosed campaign chairman, told CNN: "We would not have peace today had it not for Hillary's hard work in Northern Ireland".
One 'Belfast Telegraph' native reporter, Lindy McDowell says Hillary's claim to be the peace broker of Northern Ireland reminds her of Spike Milligan.
The comedian Spike Milligan once published an autobiographical work about his Army service in World War II entitled 'Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall'. Spike, it goes without saying, was playing for laughs.
Not so Hillary Clinton... has staked her own claim to fame in the always contentious field of foreign conflict resolution.
The Northern Ireland Troubles: My Part in Sorting Out That Lot.
As Hillary herself put it during a recent interview on CNN: "I helped to bring peace to Northern Ireland."
Beat that Barack Obama.
Hillary Clinton - Ireland's Dalai O'Lama
In her autobiography she describes a meeting at a cafe on the Lower Ormeau hosted by the late Joyce McCartan and attended by representatives from women's groups from both sides of the community.
Nothing new there, of course. Contacts between such groups have long been the norm here. Although an outsider mightn't guess that, the way Hillary tells it.
"I remember a meeting that I pulled together in Belfast, in the town hall there, bringing together for the first time Catholics and Protestants from both traditions, having them sitting a room where they had never been before with each other ... "
I know. Don't laugh
I remember the visit to the cafe (town hall!) well. It was what's known in the business as a photo opportunity. Something to keep the presidential spouse occupied while the actual office bearer was getting down to business.
Hillary's version of 'her pivotal role 'in the peace talks has been challenged by Peter King, an Ulster Unionist Party negotiator at the Good Friday talks in 1998, who said:
"Hillary Clinton was totally invisible at the actual negotiations."
"As far as I am concerned, Mrs Clinton was as relevant to peace in Northern Ireland as Tony Blair's wife or the ex-wife of Bertie Ahern [the Irish prime minister]."
Lord Trimble of Lisnagarvey, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with John Hume of the nationalist Social Democratic and Labour Party in 1998, told The Daily Telegraph last week that Mrs Clinton's claims were a "wee bit silly".
"She really lost all credibility when on Bill Clinton's last visit to Northern Ireland [in December 2000] when she hugged and kissed [Sinn Fein leaders] Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness."
Even though, I'm in a way sympathetic to the progressive social rights of SDLP (the Catholic Labour Party), I've have had my bruises, to show for it, I know enough about Northern Ireland, and the strong feelings of the majority of the people, the Protestants, to realize that in order to have any credibility in the province, you would no more kiss and hug two leading ex-IRA bombers, Gerry Adams (Adams played a central role in planning the bomb blitz on Belfast known as Bloody Friday in 1971) and Martin McGuinness (who was found with 250 pounds of gelignite in the 'boot' of his car in 1972 and supplied the nailbombers for Bloody Sunday in Derry, in 1971), than you would kiss or hug Osama bin Laden, but tell this to Hillary.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!