Hillary's Bad Choices
Hillary Clinton has launched a saturation bombing campaign on American audiences as she aggressively promotes her new book – and, in the process, tries to salvage her 2016 presidential campaign before it is even announced.
The book is titled Hard Choices, and while its intensive marketing will assure a publishing success, its 635-pages cannot conceal the author’s basically unbroken record of bad choices that will seriously blight any future candidacy.
This latest memoir is a selective, incomplete, and, therefore, flattering rendering of what happened during Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State. As she touts it, Clinton is assiduously asserting that her principal accomplishment was having “restored American leadership in the world.”
Such a claim doesn’t pass the giggle test and should not be seriously credited by readers, interviewers, or voters.
To make her case, the former Secretary of State, like Barack Obama before her, derides our nation’s standing at the end of the George W. Bush presidency. There is little doubt that many – particularly among the planet’s elite diplomatic, media, and political circles dominated by the left – reviled the former president. In particular, they disdained his willingness, when necessary, to act unilaterally in defense of our values and freedoms.
Few among America’s friends, however, hold us in higher esteem today after the years of Obama-Clinton undermining of such allies, emboldening of our enemies, and diminishing of our country. They long for the sort of leadership we delivered faithfully since World War II and that has not provided “from behind” in this presidency. Indeed, it’s not been provided at all, either by Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton.
The vestiges of bilateral and multilateral ties remain, of course, like the NATO alliance. But they have been hollowed out by a lack of confidence in our will and growing concerns about our military and other capabilities.
Meanwhile, those emboldened foes of freedom have not been rendered less threatening by Secretary Clinton and the administration she served. Far from it. In fact, from Russia to China to the Castro-Chavistas to the Islamists – of both the Sunni and Shiite stripes – we have seen only metastasizing dangers.
More to the point, Hillary’s fingerprints can be found time and again on many of the decisions that brought us to this pass. To be sure, the Obama White House called most of the shots – reducing Clinton, as one Wall Street Journal columnist put it, to the status of “the least consequential secretary of state since William Rogers warmed the seat in the early years of the Nixon administration.” Still, she was, at a minimum, the one who poorly executed disastrous policies.
For example, Secretary Clinton haplessly delivered a misnamed “reset” button to the Russians uninterested in actually improving ties. Worse yet, she presided over appeasing policies that encouraged Vladimir Putin to act on his territorial and strategic ambitions to a far more ominous degree than was true in the Bush years.
Mrs. Clinton personally signaled to the Communist Chinese that human rights would be downplayed in her dealings with them. This was one of many unmistakable signals of American kow-towing that have contributed to what one People’s Liberation Army general recently derided as Beijing’s perception of U.S. “erectile dysfunction.”
The Clinton State Department was at the forefront of Obama administration efforts to ignore the threat from Hugo Chavez’s rabidly anti-American “Bolivarian revolutions” and the penetration it enabled of our hemisphere by its friends from Russia, China, Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas. Notably, her Western Hemisphere bureau saw fit to assail Hondurans for protecting their constitutional republic against would be totalitarians, rather than oppose such thugs there and elsewhere in the region.
The most egregious examples of Hillary Clinton’s own serial bad choices, however, were those involving the Islamists. She personally cleared a visa for Muslim Brotherhood operative Tariq Ramadan and presided over those granted to other known jihadist terrorists. She legitimated and engaged with the Brotherhood and helped with its bids for power in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Syria.
If the Select Committee on Benghazi does its job, it will establish that Secretary Clinton was not oblivious to the repeated requests for security upgrades that her subordinates denied. Given her manifest commitment to the phony narrative that the liberation of Libya had been a success, it strains credulity that subordinates vetoing such improvements weren’t actually implementing their boss’s guidance.
In addition, Hillary Clinton personally declined to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organization back when doing so might have prevented the atrocities it now perpetrates with impunity against girls, Christians, and others in Nigeria.
Particularly appalling – and noteworthy – in light of Senate Democrats’ current bid to rewrite the First Amendment so as to restrict freedom of speech is Mrs. Clinton’s role in founding and presiding over three meetings of something called the “Istanbul Process.” The object of these multilateral negotiations is to find ways to accommodate the demands of the Organization of Islamic States (OIC) for the West to observe shariah “blasphemy” requirements. That means ensuring that no one (including notably the man who made “Innocence of Muslims” and remains the only person punished, as Hillary Clinton promised he would be, for the Benghazi attacks) can engage in expression that offends adherents to Islam.
Hillary Clinton’s Hard Choices and its extravagant book tour are designed to obscure, rather than reveal, her bad choices. Far from qualifying her for higher office, they should inform our choice: We cannot afford to have her perpetuate and compound that dismal record of negative accomplishments as America’s commander-in-chief.
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. formerly acted as an Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Reagan. He is President of the Center for Security Policy (www.SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for Breitbart News Network and host of the nationally syndicated program, Secure Freedom Radio.