Barack Obama’s disaster in Iraq is so huge that it’s already tearing the Democrat Party in half. Hillary Clinton was always going to have to position herself as a critic of Obama’s failed presidency in order to run as the “different kind of Democrat” who could be trusted to clean up his mess, but as Iraq spirals into chaos and horror, she’s pretending she was some sort of silent captive to his horrible policies when she was his Secretary of State. Clinton slipped the knife between Obama’s shoulder blades during an interview with The Atlantic:
President Obama has long ridiculed the idea that the U.S., early in the Syrian civil war, could have shaped the forces fighting the Assad regime, thereby stopping al Qaeda-inspired groups???like the one rampaging across Syria and Iraq today???from seizing control of the rebellion. In an interview in February, the president told me that ???when you have a professional army … fighting against a farmer, a carpenter, an engineer who started out as protesters and suddenly now see themselves in the midst of a civil conflict???the notion that we could have, in a clean way that didn???t commit U.S. military forces, changed the equation on the ground there was never true.???
Well, his former secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, isn???t buying it. In an interview with me earlier this week, she used her sharpest language yet to describe the “failure” that resulted from the decision to keep the U.S. on the sidelines during the first phase of the Syrian uprising.
???The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad???there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle???the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled,??? Clinton said.
This would be the same Hillary Clinton that once hailed Syrian dictator Bashar Assad as a “reformer.” The Hillary Clinton who accomplished absolutely nothing during her term as Secretary of State, except racking up frequent flyer miles. Now we’re supposed to believe she was silently fuming over all the obvious mistakes her irresponsible boss was making?
Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic says Hillary took care to pat the boy-President on the head by calling him “incredibly intelligent” and “thoughtful,” but presumably stopped short of praising him as a “mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” the way Joe Biden did in 2007. With the faint praise out of the way, Hillary resumed damning her former boss:
HILLARY CLINTON: One of the reasons why I worry about what???s happening in the Middle East right now is because of the breakout capacity of jihadist groups that can affect Europe, can affect the United States. Jihadist groups are governing territory. They will never stay there, though. They are driven to expand. Their raison d’être is to be against the West, against the Crusaders, against the fill-in-the-blank???and we all fit into one of these categories. How do we try to contain that? I???m thinking a lot about containment, deterrence, and defeat. You know, we did a good job in containing the Soviet Union, but we made a lot of mistakes, we supported really nasty guys, we did some things that we are not particularly proud of, from Latin America to Southeast Asia, but we did have a kind of overarching framework about what we were trying to do that did lead to the defeat of the Soviet Union and the collapse of Communism. That was our objective. We achieved it.
Now the big mistake was thinking that, okay, the end of history has come upon us, after the fall of the Soviet Union. That was never true, history never stops and nationalisms were going to assert themselves, and then other variations on ideologies were going to claim their space. Obviously, jihadi Islam is the prime example, but not the only example???the effort by Putin to restore his vision of Russian greatness is another. In the world in which we are living right now, vacuums get filled by some pretty unsavory players.
JEFFREY GOLDBERG:There doesn???t seem to be a domestic constituency for the type of engagement you might symbolize.
HRC: Well, that???s because most Americans think of engagement and go immediately to military engagement. That???s why I use the phrase ???smart power.??? I did it deliberately because I thought we had to have another way of talking about American engagement, other than unilateralism and the so-called boots on the ground.
You know, when you???re down on yourself, and when you are hunkering down and pulling back, you???re not going to make any better decisions than when you were aggressively, belligerently putting yourself forward. One issue is that we don???t even tell our own story very well these days.
JG: I think that defeating fascism and communism is a pretty big deal.
HRC: That???s how I feel! Maybe this is old-fashioned. Okay, I feel that this might be an old-fashioned idea???but I???m about to find out, in more ways than one.
Great nations need organizing principles, and ???Don???t do stupid stuff??? is not an organizing principle. It may be a necessary brake on the actions you might take in order to promote a vision.
JG: So why do you think the president went out of his way to suggest recently that that this is his foreign policy in a nutshell?
HRC: I think he was trying to communicate to the American people that he???s not going to do something crazy. I???ve sat in too many rooms with the president. He???s thoughtful, he???s incredibly smart, and able to analyze a lot of different factors that are all moving at the same time. I think he is cautious because he knows what he inherited, both the two wars and the economic front, and he has expended a lot of capital and energy trying to pull us out of the hole we???re in.
So I think that that???s a political message. It???s not his worldview, if that makes sense to you.
Well, at least she’s nice enough to help Obama keep his utterly pathetic “everything is Bush’s fault” excuses alive for the rest of his term, but she wants to send signals that she won’t be as much of a whiny teenager if you let her have the Oval Office in 2016. She probably shouldn’t be reminding people that she’s the one who coined the phrase “smart power,” which is now a joke, a phrase spoken only in mockery of Clinton and Obama’s inept foreign policy. Also, if she keeps trying to push Obama under the bus, he and his partisans are going to start reminding people that Clinton voted in favor of the invasion of Iraq, while he did not.
Hillary’s crap about positioning herself as a tough Cold Warrior ready to fight Islamism the same way she fought communism and fascism is hilarious. Democrats of her generation were an obstacle to defeating communism. And the long, long, long shadow of Benghazi hangs over Clinton’s claims to be a sharper analyst of the Islamist threat than Obama was. Hillary is defined on foreign policy by her utter inability to perceive the actual situation on the ground in Libya on September 11, 2012. She didn’t understand what was actually going on in the state she and Obama ruined (and remember, Obama launched his cowboy unilateral war on Qaddafi largely at her urging.) She was totally on board with Obama’s agenda to hide the devastation in Libya as much as possible, rather than taking security precautions that would have raised eyebrows while he was running for re-election.
The result was four dead Americans, followed by a cover-up Hillary Clinton energetically participated in. She’s the one who lied right into the faces of the Benghazi families, promising them she’d work tirelessly to take down the YouTube video producer who supposedly got their loved ones killed. She’s good at picking scapegoats, not detecting global threats.
Hillary Clinton hardly has a monopoly on history revisionism. A desperate Barack Obama has taken to pretending that he was on fire to keep American troops in Iraq, but the mean old Iraqi government (created by George Bush’s war, dontcha know!) wouldn’t let him. Also, the intelligence community let the President down again – remember how he used to blame them for Benghazi, until congressional hearings made it painfully obvious the White House and Secretary of State were ignoring everything knowledgeable intelligence analysts were saying about Libya?
This is such absolute rubbish that even Andrea Mitchell of NBC News, one of the most partisan Democrats in the media, blew her stack during a discussion with Chuck Todd and David Gregory on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday. Recap courtesy of the Daily Caller:
As American bombs again fall on that country, President Obama responded to criticism that we should have left troops inside Iraq after 2011 by claiming the Iraqi government pushed the U.S. out.
???But, this president ideologically did not want to use more influence to ?????? host David Gregory began.
???Look, this was not an administration that was eager to tell [Iraqi Prime Minister] Maliki, ???Oh, you don???t want a status-of-forces agreement??????? Todd agreed, explaining how the White House failed to pursue any agreement that would have left a stabilizing force.
???I???ve been trying to figure out this man???s doctrine now for six years,??? Todd continued. ???He doesn???t have one . . . He pushes and pulls between the idea of democracy first and stability first . . . Now he???s trying for stability first, and I think in this case he???s struggling.???
Mitchell slammed President Obama for his other excuse ??? that the sudden collapse of American allies, the Kurds, against Islamic State fighters was an unforeseen surprise.
???And to say that he didn???t have intelligence ??? this is not a hard target, this is [Kurdish capital] Erbil,??? she laughed. ???We have people there.???
???The fact is, there was intelligence,??? she declared. ???And to say that they were shocked by the [Kurdish] Peshmerga [fighters], on Saturday night, being routed is a farce!???
Obama supporters are legendary for their ability to forget everything their man said and did more than three days ago, but everyone else will remember Obama proudly boasting of his decision to pull every American out of Iraq. His campaign loudly taunted his 2012 opponent, Mitt Romney, for saying Obama was making a “tragic” mistake.
FACT: President Obama kept his promise to end the war in Iraq. Romney called the decision to bring our troops home ???tragic.???
??? Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 22, 2012
Here was Mitt Romney’s entirely prescient and accurate warning from the 2012 campaign trail:
You probably know that it is my view that the withdrawal of all of our troops from Iraq by the end of this year is an enormous mistake and a failing by the Obama administration. Secretary Panetta and others had indicated they were working to put in place a Status of Forces Agreement to maintain our presence there, so that we could most effectively transition to the Iraqi military and Iraqi security forces providing security for their country.
The precipitous withdrawal is unfortunate. It’s more than unfortunate. I think it’s tragic. It puts at risk many of the victories that were hard-won by the men and women who have served there. I hope the risk is not realized. I hope instead that the Iraqis are able to pick up the baton, and despite the fact that we will have walked away on a too-rapid basis.
So don’t let either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton weasel out of their past failures or point fingers of blame at anyone else. They were both wrong about Iraq, wrong about Libya, wrong about Syria, wrong about Russia, wrong about the Arab Spring, and probably wrong about a few more geo-political bombs that will blow up in our faces any day now, especially when the bad actors of the world see Obama bogged down fighting a new war in Iraq that he could have prevented. She famously, and accurately, warned Democrat primary voters that Barack Obama wouldn’t be ready to take the 3AM phone call from the front lines of a foreign crisis, but Benghazi Clinton is no more capable of handling that phone call – or making wise long-range policies that would prevent the phone call from being necessary.
I hope the American electorate has not degenerated enough to buy Hillary Clinton’s pathetic claims to have been a strong but silent critic of the President she fully supported when she was Secretary of State. If nothing else, that’s exactly the kind of thinking that got us into all of our current messes: short-term political gain over all. If Clinton had spoken up back in the day, she’d have crippled Obama’s re-election effort, so what she’s telling you today is that she thinks Democrat partisan political gain is more important than doing and saying the right thing when it counts. That’s exactly the kind of “leadership” that turned the world into a madhouse under Obama.