Now, as if on cue, the Poster Girl for sleaze in American Politics, Hillary Rodham Clinton, yesterday threw her former boss, President Barack Hussein Obama, “under the bus”.
Theatlantic.com reports that
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.
As she writes in her memoir of her State Department years, Hard Choices, she was an inside-the-administration advocate of doing more to help the Syrian rebellion. Now, her supporters argue, her position has been vindicated by recent events.
Professional Clinton-watchers (and there are battalions of them) have told me that it is only a matter of time before she makes a more forceful attempt to highlight her differences with the (unpopular) president she ran against, and then went on to serve. On a number of occasions during my interview with her, I got the sense that this effort is already underway. (And for what it’s worth, I also think she may have told me that she’s running for president—see below for her not-entirely-ambiguous nod in that direction.)
Of course, Clinton had many kind words for the “incredibly intelligent” and “thoughtful” Obama, and she expressed sympathy and understanding for the devilishly complicated challenges he faces. But she also suggested that she finds his approach to foreign policy overly cautious, and she made the case that America needs a leader who believes that the country, despite its various missteps, is an indispensable force for good. At one point, I mentioned the slogan President Obama recently coined to describe his foreign-policy doctrine: “Don’t do stupid shit” (an expression often rendered as “Don’t do stupid stuff” in less-than-private encounters).
This is what Clinton said about Obama’s slogan: “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”
She softened the blow by noting that Obama was “trying to communicate to the American people that he’s not going to do something crazy,” but she repeatedly suggested that the U.S. sometimes appears to be withdrawing from the world stage.
During a discussion about the dangers of jihadism (a topic that has her “hepped-up,” she told me moments after she greeted me at her office in New York) and of the sort of resurgent nationalism seen in Russia today, I noted that Americans are quite wary right now of international commitment-making. She responded by arguing that there is a happy medium between bellicose posturing (of the sort she associated with the George W. Bush administration) and its opposite, a focus on withdrawal.
“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,” she said. “One issue is that we don’t even tell our own story very well these days.”
I responded by saying that I thought that “defeating fascism and communism is a pretty big deal.” In other words, that the U.S., on balance, has done a good job of advancing the cause of freedom.
Clinton responded to this idea with great enthusiasm: “That’s how I feel! Maybe this is old-fashioned.” And then she seemed to signal that, yes, indeed, she’s planning to run for president. “Okay, I feel that this might be an old-fashioned idea, but I’m about to find out, in more ways than one.”
Excuse me, Mrs. Clinton…aren’t you leaving out one important fact?
For the first four years of the Obama Presidency, you were responsible for administrating this “failed Middle East Foreign Policy”, you are now criticizing your former boss about.
To the Wayback Machine, Sherman!
One week after Barack Hussein Obama was elected President of the United States, on November 4, 2008, he called Hillary and offered her the job of Secretary of State, despite the fact that she had no Foreign Policy experience. It was a suspicious choice at best, considering that fact that when they were running against each other in the Democratic Primaries,Obama had specifically criticized Clinton’s Foreign Policy credentials and the initial idea of him appointing her had been so unexpected that she had told one of her own aides, “Not in a million years.”
The fact that she had campaigned unreservedly for Obama after he defeated her for the Democratic Nomination, led to speculation that the Secretary of State job was a “reward for her loyalty”.
Hillary accepted the position, and now, 5 1/2 years later, even the Main Stream Media is hard-pressed to come up with anything she accomplished as Obama’s First Secretary of State.
It is obvious that Hillary is distancing herself from her rapidly-tanking former boss in order to run for the Democratic Nomination for their candidate for the office of the President of the United States of America.
Last night, as I read about the interview and considered the possibility of Hillary Clinton running for President, a great many thoughts entered my head…some of them even repeatable.
In fact, there are a lot of images that race through my mind, as well, as I sit here at my computer this morning.
I remember the image of a lone terrorist, brandishing a machine gun, standing in front of the burning Benghazi Consulate.
I also remember the image of Benghazi barbarians dragging a murdered Ambassador Chris Stevens through the streets, taking pictures every few yards, with their cell phones.
My mind envisions the image of two brave Americans, up on a roof holding off 100 Muslim Terrorists, trying desperately to hold out for help which was denied to them, until finally the overwhelming numbers which comprise the horde of barbarians, murdered them as well.
I imagine Ambassador Stevens’ elderly mother, making the trip from the West Coast to the East Coast to pick up the lifeless body of her abused and murdered son, whom she and her entire family were so proud of.
Finally, I remember the show of hypocrisy involving members of this anti-American Administration solemnly welcoming the bodies of those brave Americans home.
And, later, what Former Secretary of State Clinton said, when grilled by Congressman Darrell Issa, in his House Sub-Committee:
What difference, at this point, does it make?
Former Secretary Clinton…the truth makes a big difference…to the families of those that were so savagely murdered that fateful night…and to the millions of Americans who still believe in this “Shining City on a Hill”.
Americans deserve the truth.
And, you should be ashamed to even consider running for President of the United States.
Until He Comes,