Oh Hillary Rodham Clinton, back in the news with talks of her “potential” 2016 ambitions. This time, the talk is around her stark criticism of President Obama’s foreign policy. Earlier this week, Hillary Clinton said in an interview that the president’s policy on Syria (not arming the rebels against the oppressive regime) was a failure and that it partially led to the current crisis in Iraq with ISIS. Furthermore, she claims that the policy of “don’t do stupid shit” is not an effective foreign policy (she, of course, “stuff”).
First, let’s address the facts. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) happens to be a group of terrorists that actually joined the Syrian rebels against the Syrian president Bashar al Assad. So in essence, what Clinton’s preference would have amounted to is directly arming what we know to be ISIS. If that was the case, they would not have needed to steal from the Iraqi government in order to have access to dangerous American weapons.
In addition, the notion of not doing “stupid shit” is not just the approach that the president prefers (dating back to 2002), it is actually an approach that the American people have adopted after long and unnecessary wars in Iraq and Afghanistan under the Bush administration. This statement is not smart if you are trying to amass support from the very voters that rejected you because of your hawkish stances on previous international conflicts.
Hillary would be wise to be very careful with how she criticizes the President. While he has been increasingly unpopular over time overall, he still hovers around 40%, which is likely much of the base of the Democratic party. Doesn’t she remember her loss to Obama in 2008 in the Democratic primary? If she does, she would remember that she lost in large part because of her vote for the Iraq war, something that David Axelrod immediately reminded us about via Twitter after Clinton’s criticism of the administration.
In addition, she is going to have a hard time separating herself from addressing Obama’s foreign policy, considering she was the president’s chief foreign diplomat as Secretary of State. She may have proposed one plan and the president went with another plan, however, the fact that she remained in the administration will cause problems for her during an election because that is basically accepting and supporting the president. Continuing to criticize the president may cause problems in that regards and it would be in her best interest to calm down on that front.
If I were Hillary Clinton, I would leave the hardcore criticism of President Obama to her husband, Bill Clinton. Not only is Hillary tied to Obama in many policy arenas, but criticizing the man that defeated her because of her stance on foreign affairs is something that can come back to bite her. The President isn’t perfect and doesn’t always make the right decisions. However, Hillary better beware that supporters of Barack Obama will come to his defense in a Democratic primary and defend his record.
I have strongly supported our president during his six years of an extremely difficult term. He already takes crap from Republicans, who don’t do much of nothing themselves. But I was always weary of Hillary Clinton, back to 2008 when she felt entitled to the Democratic nomination. She was a great Secretary of State, but may be reverting back to Hillary ’08, which I am not a fan of, and I’m sure others feel the same way. She should take note and get it together if she wants the Democratic nod in 2016.
Huffington Post – Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy Deception