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Enough Of Clinton's Foreign Policy Failures

- July 25, 2016

Americans Won't Be Safe And Secure If The Next Four More Years Are Like The Last Eight Years

TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • Clinton served as the chief architect of the Obama Administration's failed foreign policy.
  • Clinton foreign policy failure #1: failing to see the threat of radical Islamic terrorism, the rise of ISIS.
  • Clinton foreign policy failure #2: misjudging Iraq and fueling the expansion of ISIS.
  • Clinton foreign policy failure #3: failing in Libya and Benghazi, creating ISIS's new safe haven.
  • Clinton foreign policy failure #4: failed judgment on the Syrian civil war and a refugee crisis spreading terrorism globally.
  • Clinton foreign policy failure #5: failed judgment on Iran, giving the world's leading state sponsor of terror billions.

CLINTON SERVED AS THE CHIEF ARCHITECT OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION'S FAILED FOREIGN POLICY

As Secretary Of State, Clinton Was The President's "Principal Adviser On U.S. Foreign Policy." "Serves as the President's principal adviser on U.S. foreign policy." ("Duties Of The Secretary Of State," State Department, 1/20/09)

Obama Himself Has "Described Clinton As Someone Who 'Helped Champion Our Efforts' From Her Position At The State Department." "At another point, Obama talked about his foreign policy and described Clinton as someone who 'helped champion our efforts' from her position at the State Department." (Maggie Haberman, "Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton: It's Complicated," Politico, 9/24/14)

Since She Served In His Administration, Clinton Will Have An "Especially Tough" Time Trying To Make The Case That She Would Provide Anything Different Than Obama. "Any Democratic nominee would have the same problem: It's especially challenging to follow a president of the same party and make the case that you'd really provide something different. But the problem would be especially tough for Clinton since she served in the Obama administration - and since she's already talking about the need for a policy 'vision.'" (David Nather, "Searching For Hillary Clinton's Big Idea," Politico, 7/7/14)

Clinton's Aides Encouraged Her To Publicly Reinforce Her Role As Obama's "Chief Foreign Policy Adviser"

In A 2011 Email, Clinton Aide Philippe Reines Urged Clinton To Do All Five Sunday Shows To Reinforce Her Role As Obama's "Chief Foreign Policy Adviser" And "America's Chief Diplomat." (Philippe Reines, Email To Hillary Clinton, 1/28/11, State Department Release, 12/31/15)

Clinton's Failed Leadership And Foreign Policy Would Represent Obama's Third Term

"If You're Trying To Figure Out Hillary Clinton's Position On A Key Issue, Often There's An Easy Way To Know: It's Usually The Same As President Barack Obama's." (Perry Bacon Jr., "Why Hillary Clinton's Ideas Are So Similar To Obama's," NBC News, 8/15/15)

"It's Not Surprising That Two Democrats Agree On Many Issues, But The Overlap Between [Clinton And Obama] Is Striking." "It's not surprising that two Democrats agree on many issues, but the overlap between the pair is striking. The similarity likely illustrates an awareness from Clinton that distancing herself from Obama would not help her in the Democrat primary. It also reflects the deep connections between Obama's team and Clinton's." (Perry Bacon Jr., "Why Hillary Clinton's Ideas Are So Similar To Obama's," NBC News, 8/15/15)

  • "Many Of Clinton's Top Advisers Were Deeply Involved In Some Of Obama's Top Policy Achievements." (Perry Bacon Jr., "Why Hillary Clinton's Ideas Are So Similar To Obama's," NBC News, 8/15/15)

Clinton Vowed To Continue And "Build On" The Work That She Began As Secretary Of State Under Obama. CLINTON: "So I will build on the work that I helped to start back in the Obama Administration and be very aggressive in reaching out to countries where intelligence tells us there may be some potential breaches and thieves who are in the market for nuclear weapons." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks, Rochester, NH, 1/22/16)

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Columbia University's Jeffrey Sachs: Clinton's Own Policies "Now Lie In Shambles," And She May "Want To Walk Away From This Mess, But She Can't." "It's said that the best defense is a good offense. This strategy probably lies behind Hillary Clinton's recent takedown of President Barack Obama's foreign policy. After all, Clinton was a lead architect of that policy as Secretary of State, and the policies that she espoused until recently now lie in shambles… Hillary may want to walk away from this mess, but she can't." (Jeffrey Sachs, Op-Ed, "Hillary Clinton's Foreign Policy Deception," The Huffington Post, 8/13/14)

  • Sachs Eventually Became A Top Sanders Foreign Policy Advisor. "Professor Jeffrey Sachs, the renowned professor from Columbia School of International Affairs, told CNN that Sanders recently asked him to advise him on foreign policy matters and Sachs agreed. Sachs, who has spent his career studying and teaching economic growth and poverty, currently serves as special adviser to UN General Assembly President Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals." (Elizabeth Landers and Dan Merica, "Sanders' Campaign Slowly Rolls Out Foreign Policy Advisers," CNN, 3/1/16)

CLINTON FOREIGN POLICY FAILURE #1: FAILING TO SEE THE THREAT OF RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM

Long After The Rise Of ISIS, Clinton's Bad Judgement Continued With Her Refusal To Identify Radical Islamic Terrorism As A Threat Until She Was Politically Pressured To Do So

In December, Clinton Refused To Categorize Terror As "Radical Islam." ABC'S GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: "You've also been reluctant to say we're fighting radical Islam. I wonder why not. Isn't it a mistake to not say it plain that the violence is being pushed by radical elements in that faith?" CLINTON: "Well, that's a different thing. Radical elements who use a dangerous and distorted view of Islam to promote their jihadist ambitions, I'm fine with that. I say it all the time. And I go after Islamists, too." STEPHANOPOULOS: "So what's the problem with radical Islam?" CLINTON: "Well, the problem is that that sounds like we are declaring a war against religion. And that, to me, is number one, wrong." (ABC's "This Week," 12/6/15)

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During The November Democrat Debate, Clinton Refused To Say "Radical Islam" Even When Pressed By The Moderator. CBS'S JOHN DICKERSON: "Secretary Clinton, you mentioned radical jihadists. Marco Rubio, also running for president, said that this attack showed, the attack in Paris, showed that we are at war with radical Islam. Do you agree with that characterization 'radical Islam?'" CLINTON: "I don't think we're at war with Islam. I don't think we're at war with all Muslims. I think we're at war with jihadists who have-" DICKERSON: "Just to interrupt. He didn't say all Muslims. He said 'radical Islam.' Is that a phrase you-" CLINTON: "I think you can talk about Islamists who clearly are also jihadists, but I think it's not particularly helpful to make the case that senator Sanders was just making that I agree with that we've got to reach out to Muslim countries. We've got to have them be part of our coalition. If they hear people running for president who basically shortcut it to say we are somehow against Islam, that was one of the real contributions, despite all the other problems, that George W. Bush made after 9/11 when he basically said after going to a Mosque in Washington, we are not at war with Islam or Muslims. We are at war with violent extremism. We are at war with people who use their religion for purposes of power and oppression. And, yes, we are at war with those people. But I don't want us to be painting with too broad a brush." DICKERSON: "The reason I ask is you gave a speech at Georgetown University in which you said that it was important to show, 'Respect, even for one's enemies. Trying to understand and in so far as psychologically possible empathize with their perspective and point of view.' Can you explain what you mean in the context of this kind of barbarism?" CLINTON: "I think with this kind of barbarism and nihilism it's very hard to understand, other than the lust for power, the rejection of modernity, the total disregard for human rights, freedom, or any other value we know and respect. Historically, it is important to try to understand your adversary in order to figure out how they are thinking, what they will be doing, how they will react. I plead that it's very difficult when you deal with ISIS and organizations like that whose behavior is so barbaric and so vicious that it doesn't seem to have any purpose other than lust for killing and power and that's very difficult to put ourselves in the other's shoes." (CBS Democrat Primary Debate, Des Moines, IA, 11/14/15)

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Clinton Has Said She "Could Not Have Predicted" The Strength Of ISIS

In June 2014, Clinton Deflected The Responsibility She Carried As Secretary And Said, "I Could Not Have Predicted … The Extent To Which ISIS Could Be Effective In Seizing Cities In Iraq And Trying To Erase Boundaries To Create An Islamic State." CLINTON: "So this is not just a Syrian problem anymore. I never thought it was just a Syrian problem. I thought it was a regional problem. I could not have predicted, however, the extent to which ISIS could be effective in seizing cities in Iraq and trying to erase boundaries to create an Islamic state." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At The Council On Foreign Relations, New York, NY, 6/12/14)

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"There Were, In Fact, More Than Hints Of [ISIS'] Plans And Potential." "And there were, in fact, more than hints of the group's plans and potential. A 2012 report by the United States Defense Intelligence Agency was direct: The growing chaos in Syria's civil war was giving Islamic militants there and in Iraq the space to spread and flourish." (Ian Fisher, "In Rise Of ISIS, No Single Missed Key But Many Strands Of Blame," The New York Times , 11/18/15)

Former Defense Secretary's Now Admit The Obama Administration Didn't Take The Threat Of ISIS Seriously

Former Obama Defense Secretary Robert Gates: Obama And His Advisors "Have Underestimated ISIS All Along." FORMER OBAMA DEFENSE SECRETARY ROBERT GATES: "So I think this is a very long term problem. I think that the President and his advisors have underestimated ISIS all along." (Interview With Robert Gates, Yahoo News , 1/19/16)

Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel On ISIS: "In Many Ways, We Were Not Prepared For It." "'Then I got accused of trying to hype something, overstate something, and make something more than it was,' Hagel said. 'I didn't know all of it, but I knew we were up against something here that we had never seen before. And in many ways, we were not prepared for it.'" (Dan De Luce, "Hagel: The White House Tried To 'Destroy' Me," Foreign Policy, 12/18/15)

CLINTON FOREIGN POLICY FAILURE #2: MISJUDGING IRAQ AND FUELING THE EXPANSION OF ISIS

Clinton Strongly Supported The Iraq War

The Wall Street Journal : Clinton Faces Criticism For Both Her Original Vote To Authorize The Iraq War And Her Support For Obama's Withdrawal Policies. "The issue also is complicated for Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic presidential candidate. She faces lingering liberal skepticism for voting for the war while in the Senate, as well as GOP criticism of Obama administration policies that left Iraq unstable after U.S. troops withdrew in 2011." (Janet Hook and Laura Meckler, "Iraq War Persists As Awkward Election Issue," The Wall Street Journal, 5/14/15)

In 2003, The White House "Had Little Concern" About Then-Senator Hillary Clinton's Support And Had "Discussed Inviting Her To Various White House Events As A Sort Of Reward For Her Support." "Leverett added that the White House at the time had little concern about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's support for the war and 'they discussed inviting her to various White House events as a sort of reward for her support.'" (Glenn Kessler And Anne Kornblut, "Bill Clinton's Claim of Opposing Iraq War From Outset Disputed," The Washington Post, 11/29/07)

Bernie Sanders Has Consistently Questioned Clinton's Judgement And Leadership Due To Her Support Of The Iraq War

Sanders Claims That Hillary Clinton Doesn't Have The Judgement To Be President, Partly Due To Her Iraq War Vote. SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT): "But I do Question Her Judgement. I question a judgement which voted for the war in Iraq, the worst foreign policy blunder in the history of this country." (New York Democratic Primary Debate, 4/14/16)

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"Sanders Said That Clinton "Might Want To Apologize To The Families Who Lost Their Loved Ones In Iraq." "The Vermont senator has sharpened his tone in recent days. After a Clinton supporter and daughter of the principal killed at Sandy Hook said that Sanders owes her 'an apology' for opposing lawsuits against gun manufacturers, Sanders rebuked Clinton harshly. 'Maybe Secretary Clinton might want to apologize to the families who lost their loved ones in Iraq,' he said on CBS." (Sam Frizell, "Clinton And Sanders Clash On Qualifications As Democratic Race Gets Bitter," Time, 4/7/16)

Clinton Opposed The 2007 Iraq Troop Surge For Political Reasons

In His Book, Secretary Of Defense Robert Gates Said That Clinton Admitted Her Opposition To The Surge Was Political. "Gates offers a catalogue of various meetings, based in part on notes that he and his aides made at the time, including an exchange between Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that he calls 'remarkable.' He writes: 'Hillary told the president that her opposition to the [2007] surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary. … The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.'" (Bob Woodward, "Robert Gates, Former Defense Secretary, Offers Harsh Critique Of Obama's Leadership In 'Duty,'" The Washington Post , 1/7/14)

Clinton Supported The Troop Hasty Withdrawal From Iraq, Despite Concerns About Terrorism From Military Advisors

In 2011 Clinton "Strongly Defended President Obama's Plan To Withdraw Combat Troops From Iraq By The End Of The Year." "Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday strongly defended President Obama's plan to withdraw combat troops from Iraq by the end of the year and issued a pointed warning to Iran not to underestimate the United States' commitment to stability in the region." (Sheryl Gay Stolberg, "Clinton Defends Iraq Withdrawal Plan," The New York Times, The Caucus, 10/23/11)

As The U.S. Was Preparing To Withdraw Troops From Iraq "Senior American And Iraqi Officials Are Expressing Concern That Al Qaeda's Offshoot Here … Is Poised For A Deadly Resurgence." "As the United States prepares to withdraw its troops from Iraq by year's end, senior American and Iraqi officials are expressing growing concern that Al Qaeda's offshoot here, which just a few years ago waged a debilitating insurgency that plunged the country into a civil war, is poised for a deadly resurgence." (Michael Schmidt and Eric Schmitt, "Leaving Iraq, U.S. Fears New Surge Of Qaeda Terror," The New York Times , 11/5/11)

ISIS Ultimately Grew From The Vacuum Created By The Clinton-Backed Decision To Withdraw Troops From Iraq

Prior To Clinton's Tenure As Secretary Of State, There Was No ISIS And It's Precursor "Continued To Struggle To Maintain Relevance." "Through 2011, Coalition forces continued to coordinate efforts with tribal security forces, killing the majority of AQI's leadership and leaving it in general disarray. [60] Both Masri and Baghdadi were killed in a joint U.S.-Iraqi raid on April 18, 2010. After the April raid, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (not to be confused with the deceased, Abu Umar al-Baghdadi) assumed control of an AQI severely weakened by local backlash and coalition and local security forces. [61] AQI continued to struggle to maintain relevance through 2011, when Coalition forces withdrew." ("The Islamic State," Stanford University's Mapping Militant Organizations, 4/4/16)

As The U.S. Was Preparing To Withdraw Troops From Iraq "Senior American And Iraqi Officials Are Expressing Concern That Al Qaeda's Offshoot Here … Is Poised For A Deadly Resurgence." "As the United States prepares to withdraw its troops from Iraq by year's end, senior American and Iraqi officials are expressing growing concern that Al Qaeda's offshoot here, which just a few years ago waged a debilitating insurgency that plunged the country into a civil war, is poised for a deadly resurgence." (Michael Schmidt and Eric Schmitt, "Leaving Iraq, U.S. Fears New Surge Of Qaeda Terror," The New York Times , 11/5/11)

Before The War In Syria, ISIS, "Laid The Foundation For The Group's Resurgance" As The Americans Were Leaving Iraq. "But even before the civil war in Syria presented him with a growth opportunity, Mr. Baghdadi had been taking steps in Iraq - something akin to a corporate restructuring - that laid the foundation for the group's resurgence, just as the Americans were leaving. He picked off rivals through assassinations, orchestrated prison breaks to replenish his ranks of fighters and diversified his sources of funding through extortion, to wean the group off outside funding from Al Qaeda's central authorities." (Tim Arango and Eric Schmitt, "U.S. Actions In Iraq Fueled Rise Of A Rebel," The New York Times , 8/10/14)

Clinton Defends The Obama Administrations Inaction On ISIS In Iraq

As Recently As June 2014, Clinton Supported Obama's Inaction On ISIS, Flatly Stating "I Would Have Advised Him To Do Exactly As I Believe He Is Now Doing." QUESTION: "If you were in the administration today, what would you have advised President Obama to do in Iraq?" CLINTON: "I would have advised him to do exactly as I believe he is now doing. To tell Maliki there will not be any American involvement whatsoever unless you take the following steps, and that we would begin, through our channels, to reach out to the Sunni tribal chiefs that we had worked with to turn back Al-Qaeda in Iraq. And I don't have the kind of access to the top-secret negotiations any longer, but that's what I believe is happening. Because when you think about how we were able to stop the spread of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, it was by partnering Shiite with Sunni with American support. I think that's the only way you're going to be able to get rid of this so-called ISIS group too. So, that's what I would be looking for and I believe that's probably what the President has put under his list of things that have to be accomplished." (NDTV Interview with Hillary Clinton, 6/21/14)

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In December 2015, Clinton Said That Obama's ISIS Strategy "Is Close To Mine." QUESTION: "Anything you would have said differently or disagreed with respect to President Obama's address [inaudible]?" CLINTON: "I was really happy that he made the address. I thought it was very important for him to address the nation. And you know, I think his take on what needs to be done is close to mine." (Hillary Clinton, Interview With The Concord Monitor Editorial Board, 12/8/15)

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CLINTON FOREIGN POLICY FAILURE #3: FAILING IN LIBYA AND BENGHAZI, CREATING ISIS'S NEW SAFE HAVEN

The Intervention In Libya Was Clinton's Biggest Moment Of Influence

Pushing The Intervention In Libya Was Clinton's "Moment Of Greatest Influence." "An examination of the intervention she championed shows her at what is arguably her moment of greatest influence as secretary of state. It is a working portrait rich with evidence of what kind of president she might be, and especially of her expansive approach to the signal foreign-policy conundrum of today: whether, when, and how the United States should wield its military power in Syria and elsewhere in the middle east." (Jo Becker and Scott Shane, "Hillary Clinton, 'Smart Power' And A Dictator's Fall," The New York Times, 2/27/16)

Clinton's State Department Aides Developed A 'Brag Sheet' For Clinton And Joked That She Celebrated Like She Called In The Airstrikes Herself. "The timeline, her top policy aide, Jake Sullivan, wrote, demonstrated Mrs. Clinton's 'leadership/ownership/stewardship of this country's Libya policy from start to finish.' The memo's language put her at the center of everything: 'HRC announces … HRC directs … HRC travels … HRC engages,' it read. It was a brag sheet for a cabinet member eyeing a presidential race, and the Clinton team's eagerness to claim credit for her prompted eye-rolling at the White House and the Pentagon. Some joked that to hear her aides tell it, she had practically called in the airstrikes herself." (Jo Becker and Scott Shane, "A New Libya, With 'Very Little Time Left'," The New York Times, 2/27/16)

Clinton Saw Intervention In Libya As A "Tantalizingly Easy Case" To Support The Arab Spring. "Clinton had a new opportunity to support the historic change that had just swept out the leaders of its neighbors Egypt and Tunisia. And Libya seemed a tantalizingly easy case - with just six million people, no sectarian divide and plenty of oil." (Jo Becker and Scott Shane, "Hillary Clinton, 'Smart Power' And A Dictator's Fall," The New York Times , 2/27/16)

Clinton Was "Fairly Clever" In Advocating Intervention In Libya. "Dennis B. Ross, then a senior Middle East expert at the National Security Council, said he remembered listening to her and thinking, 'If she's advocating, she's advocating in what I would describe as a fairly clever way.' He recalled her saying: 'You don't see what the mood is here, and how this has a kind of momentum of its own. And we will be left behind, and we'll be less capable of shaping this.'" (Jo Becker and Scott Shane, "Hillary Clinton, 'Smart Power' And A Dictator's Fall," The New York Times, 2/27/16)

Clinton's War In Libya Created A Failed State And Regrets From The Obama Administration

"But In Three Years Libya Has Turned Into The Kind Of Place U.S. Officials Most Fear: A Lawless Land That Attracts Terrorists, Pumps Out Illegal Arms And Drugs And Destabilizes Its Neighbors." (Paul Richter And Christi Parsons, "U.S. Intervention In Libya Now Seen As Cautionary Tale," Los Angeles Times, 6/27/14)

April 2015: "Today, No One Involved In Libya Policy Since The Overthrow Of Muammar Al-Qaddafi Is Satisfied With How Events Have Unfolded." (Derek Chollet and Ben Fishman, "Who Lost Libya?," Foreign Affairs, May/June 2015)

Obama Has Said What Happened In Libya "Is One Of His Greatest Regrets." "As Kuperman rightly notes, U.S. President Barack Obama has said that what has happened there is one of his greatest regrets and that he draws lessons from it when considering U.S. military interventions elsewhere." (Derek Chollet and Ben Fishman, "Who Lost Libya?" Foreign Affairs, May/June 2015)

Clinton's Policy Strengthened ISIS

A Former Intel Operative In Libya Said "We Paved The Way For Islamic Extremists To Take Over." "Qaddafi was a bad guy, but by not supporting our secular allies in Libya, we paved the way for Islamic extremists to take over. Now, in a way, Qaddafi is laughing at all of us from his grave." (Jo Becker and Scott Shane, "In Their Own Words: The Libya Tragedy," The New York Times , 2/27/16)

As She Planned For The Intervention, Clinton Failed To Resolve "Just How Libya Would Be Governed After Gaddafi." "In 2011, as the United States considered intervention, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was among those who pushed for intervention-without resolving just how Libya would be governed after Gaddafi, according to a senior defense official who was part of the decision-making process." (Nancy A. Youssef, "Hillary's Libya Post-War Plan Was 'Play It By Ear,' Gates Says," The Daily Beast , 10/20/15)

  • Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn: "This Was A Disaster." "This was not a failure. It was a disaster…we made it worse. All I know is that in Libya we took a guy out-again not a great guy-but a guy who maintained stability in a bad neighborhood." (Jo Becker and Scott Shane, "In Their Own Words: The Libya Tragedy," The New York Times , 2/27/16)

ISIS Has Doubled Its Presence To 6,000 Fighters In The Last Year According To The Pentagon. "The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has doubled its presence inside Libya in the last year, the top U.S. military commander overseeing operations in the region said Thursday. The number of ISIS fighters in Libya doubled to between 4,000 to 6,000 in the last 12 to 18 months, Army Gen. David M. Rodriguez said at a Pentagon briefing." (Kristina Wong, "Top General: ISIS Doubled Number Of Fighters In Libya," The Hill, 4/7/16)

CIA Director John Brennan Told Congress That There Are Believed To Be 5,000- 8,000 ISIS Fighters In Libya. "The Director of the CIA, John Brennan, told Congress last week that ISIS had about 5,000-8,000 fighters inside Libya." (Ryan Browne, "Top General: U.S. Strategy Against ISIS In Libya Makes No Sense," CNN, 06/22/16)

Clinton's Libya Debacle Resulted In The Death Of Ambassador Stevens Along With Three Other Brave Americans Depending On Her

"The Most Memorable Moment Of Her [Clinton's] Tenure Was A Tragic One, The Killing Of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens And Three Other Americans In Benghazi..." "Yet even some Clinton admirers acknowledge the absence of a breakthrough, headline-grabbing accomplishment-no Marshall Plan, no détente with the Soviets, no Dayton Accords. The most memorable moment of her tenure was a tragic one, the killing of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012." (Jill Lawrence, "What If John Kerry Outperforms Hillary Clinton As America's Top Diplomat?" National Journal , 8/1/13)

  • The Benghazi Attack "Was The Biggest Debacle" Of Clinton's Term As Secretary Of State. "Clinton accepted responsibility but not blame for the deaths of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Libya last year. It was the biggest debacle of her term and became a white-hot political issue for Republicans." (Anne Gearan, "What Is Clinton's Legacy At State-And Her Future," The Washington Post , 1/31/13)

Today, Clinton Refuses To Take Any Responsibility For The Failures In Benghazi

Clinton Said The Safety Of Americans Was "Not Her Ball To Carry" When She Was Secretary Of State. CBS'S SCOTT PELLEY: "What's your responsibility for Benghazi? Did you make any mistakes around that?" CLINTON: Well, Scott, there have been, I think now, nine separate investigations, and they did not find any such culpability. I took responsibility, I was Secretary of State. And I thought that was appropriate. And what I was determined to do is to find answers as to what actually happened, not what people claim, and what we could do to try to prevent that. That was in the tradition of what has happened in the past. We had horrible losses in Beirut when Ronald Reagan was president, and one of my favorite former predecessors, George Shultz, was secretary of state. We had a democratic congress. They didn't politicize it. So when this happened in Benghazi, I immediately stood up an independent committee-- distinguished Americans, military and civilian experts. They came out and they said, "you know, the ball was dropped in security. And, you know, some of the decisions that were made probably should have been rethought." CBS'S SCOTT PELLEY: "But wasn't that your ball to carry?" CLINTON: No, it wasn't. It was not my ball to carry. It was very... be... read the... read the reports. Read all of the reports, all many hundreds of pages of them, including this latest one, which was a political exercise from the very beginning. Those never reached me. Those never came to my attention." (Hillary Clinton, 60 Minutes, 7/24/16)

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CLINTON FOREIGN POLICY FAILURE #4: FAILED JUDGMENT ON THE SYRIAN CIVIL WAR AND A REFUGEE CRISIS SPREADING TERRORISM GLOBALLY

Clinton's Syrian Policy And Leadership Failure Contributed to the Ongoing Disaster There

Ken Adelman, Former Deputy Ambassador To The United Nations: Clinton's Lack Of A Coherent Foreign Policy Lead To Massive Failures In Syria. "This reveals that all their policy was fairly makeshift. While flying by the seat of your pants is necessary for a lot of foreign policy-making, it shouldn't be all of foreign policy-making. I sense it has been over the past four years. Second and related, on the most momentous events of her time in office - the misnamed Arab Spring - she was too traditional and not sufficiently revolutionary. The administration's stance - from the outset of the Green Revolution in Iran to Tahrir Square in Egypt to early stirrings in Libya and now to Hama-like resistance across Syria - has been, in the words of that great American philosopher Gene Autry, 'Whoa, big boy!'" (Adrienne Kasa, "Debating Hillary," Foreign Policy, 6/20/12)

Aaron David Miller, Scholar At The Woodrow Wilson International Center For Scholars: Clinton "May Regret" Her Syrian Policy. "Legacy is important, and that includes negative legacy. Syria is melting down. If the final six months of her tenure as secretary of state are marked by civil war, with sectarian killings on a large scale, and America remains on the sidelines, history will judge her unkindly. It may not be fair or right. (The last thing America needs right now is owning Syria, which would cost billions of dollars and require thousands of peacekeepers.) But she will take the hit along with the president. Syria isn't Rwanda. It's a political uprising, not a genocide. Still, Clinton may someday regret not acting in the face of violence and atrocities." (Adrienne Kasa, "Debating Hillary," Foreign Policy, 6/20/12)

Kari Schake, Research Fellow At Sanford University's Hoover Institution: Clinton Showed Horrible Judgement In Syria. "Clinton's judgment seems particularly lacking with respect to democratizing countries. From her early statement that there is more to U.S.-China relations than human rights, to her insistence during the Arab Spring that Syria's Bashar al-Assad was a 'reformer,' to last month's unconditional waiver on assistance to the Egyptian military, she has been slow to recognize change occurring and more tied to the status quo than I would have expected." (Adrienne Kasa, "Debating Hillary," Foreign Policy, 6/20/12)

The Clinton-Obama Syria Policy Has Failed

The Syrian Civil War Has Led To A Death Toll Of More Than 250,000. " Even before Madaya, sieges were common in the Syrian war, which has led to more than 250,000 deaths, displaced millions and generated a humanitarian catastrophe. But the tactic appears to be increasingly applied as President Bashar al-Assad's forces, backed by Russian airstrikes, wage a new offensive against rebel groups." (Hugh Naylor, "Death By Siege In Syria's Civil War: Hundreds Of Thousands At Risk," The Washington Post , 1/23/16)

  • The Syrian Civil War Has Increasingly Turned Into "A Proxy War Featuring Russia And Iran Against The United States And Its Allies." "Syria's conflict has devolved from peaceful protests against the government in 2011 to a violent insurgency that has drawn in numerous other countries. It's partly a civil war of government against people; partly a religious war pitting Assad's minority Alawite sect, aligned with Shiite fighters from Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon, against Sunni rebel groups; and increasingly a proxy war featuring Russia and Iran against the United States and its allies. Whatever it is, it has so far killed 220,000 people, displaced half of the country's population, and facilitated the rise of ISIS." (Kathy Gilsinan, "The Confused Person's Guide To The Syrian Civil War," The Atlantic, 11/15/15)

The Washington Post Editorial: Syria "Has Suffered Through Some Of The Worst War Crimes, Humanitarian Depredations And Refugee Flows In Recent History." "An extraordinary new crisis is beginning to unfold in Syria, a country that already has suffered through some of the worst war crimes, humanitarian depredations and refugee flows in recent history. Russia, Iran and the Syrian government are conducting a major offensive aimed at recapturing the city of Aleppo and the rebel-held territory that connects it to the border with Turkey. They have cut one supply route to the city and are close to severing another, trapping rebel forces along with hundreds of thousands of civilians. Tens of thousands have fled to the border, where Turkey is denying them entry." (Editorial, "Mr. Obama Stands By Silently As Russia Continues Its Onslaught In Syria," The Washington Post , 2/9/16)

Clinton's Syrian Policy Has Allowed ISIS To Use Syria To Create Their Caliphate And Fund Their Global Atrocities

The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights Estimated That ISIS Has 50,000 Fighters In Syria. "Rami Abdel Rahman, the director of the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said on Tuesday that the group's recruitment push was gathering pace every month. 'July saw the largest recruitment since the group appeared in Syria in 2013, with more than 6,000 new fighters,' he said. 'The number of IS fighters has passed 50,000 in Syria, including 20,000 non-Syrians,' he said. (Al Jazeera And Agencies, "Islamic State 'Has 50,000 Fighters In Syria,'" Al Jazeera, 8/19/14)

According Professor Peter Neumann Of King's College London, 80% Of Western Fighters In Syria Have Joined ISIS. "Prof Peter Neumann of King's College London estimates that about 80% of Western fighters in Syria have joined the group. IS claims to have fighters from the UK, France, Germany and other European countries, as well as the US, the Arab world and the Caucasus." ("Syria Iraq: The Islamic State Militant Group," BBC, 8/2/14)

According To The Soufan Group, Roughly 27,000 Foreign Fighters Have Traveled To Syria And Iraq. "Based on its own investigation, The Soufan Group has calculated that between 27,000 and 31,000 people have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join the Islamic State and other violent extremist groups from at least 86 countries." (Foreign Fighters, The Soufan Group, 12/15)

ISIS Has Been Able To Amass Billions Of Dollars To Fund Their War Of Terror In Large Part Due To The Chaos In Syria. "Today, IS is said to earn significant amounts from the oil fields it controls in eastern Syria, reportedly selling some of the supply back to the Syrian government. It is also believed to have been selling looted antiquities from historical sites. Prof Neumann believes that before the capture of Mosul in June 2014, IS had cash and assets worth about $900m (£500m). Afterwards, this rose to around $2bn (£1.18bn). The group reportedly took hundreds of millions of dollars from Mosul's branch of Iraq's central bank. And its financial windfall looked set to continue if it maintains control of oil fields in northern Iraq." ("Syria Iraq: The Islamic State Militant Group," BBC, 8/2/14)

CLINTON FOREIGN POLICY FAILURE #5: FAILED JUDGMENT ON IRAN, GIVING THE WORLD'S LEADING STATE SPONSOR OF TERROR BILLIONS

Clinton Has Continuously Bragged About Her Leadership Regarding The Iran Deal

In July 2015, Iran And A Group Of Six Nations Led By The U.S. Reached A Deal To Limit Iran's Nuclear Program In Exchange For The Lifting Of Sanctions. "Iran and a group of six nations led by the United States reached a historic accord on Tuesday to significantly limit Tehran's nuclear ability for more than a decade in return for lifting international oil and financial sanctions." (Michael Gordon and David Sanger, "Deal Reached On Iran Nuclear Program; Limits On Fuel Would Lessen With Time," The New York Times, 7/14/15)

Clinton: "I'm Very Proud Of The Iran Nuclear Agreement. I Was Very Pleased To Be Part Of What The President Put Into Action When He Took Office." CLINTON: "Well, I'm very proud of the Iran Nuclear Agreement. I was very pleased to be part of what the president put into action when he took office. I was responsible for getting those sanctions imposed which put the pressure on Iran. It brought them to the negotiating table which resulted in this agreement." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At Democrat Primary Debate, Charleston, SC, 1/17/16)

  • Clinton: "I Was Responsible For Getting Those Sanctions Imposed Which Put The Pressure On Iran. It Brought Them To The Negotiating Table Which Resulted In This Agreement." CLINTON: "Well, I'm very proud of the Iran Nuclear Agreement. I was very pleased to be part of what the president put into action when he took office. I was responsible for getting those sanctions imposed which put the pressure on Iran. It brought them to the negotiating table which resulted in this agreement." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At Democrat Primary Debate, Charleston, SC, 1/17/16)

"Clinton Owns A Piece Of [The Nuclear Deal]. She Helped The Negotiations Get Started." "Hillary Clinton hailed the deal that the United States and other world powers struck with Iran on Tuesday as an 'important step in putting a lid on Iran's nuclear program.' What's bound to draw attention as the agreement's political ramifications come into focus: Clinton owns a piece of it. She helped the negotiations get started." (Eric Brander and Dan Merica, "Hillary Clinton's State Department Legacy Tied To Iran Deal," CNN, 7/14/15)

  • The Talks Began With Two Of Clinton's Top Deputies While She Was Secretary. "Clinton has long been supportive of Obama's nuclear talks with Iran, which began in 2012 with secret contacts involving two of her top deputies while she was secretary of state. Under the emerging deal with the United States and five other countries, Iran would agree to curbs on its nuclear program in return for an eventual lifting of economic sanctions." (Michael Crowley, "Hillary Clinton Defends Barack Obama," Politico, 3/10/15)

The Iran Deal Did Not Solve The Iran Nuclear Problem

The Council On Foreign Relations' President Richard Haass: The Deal With Iran "Can't Be Serious Thinking Or Analysis Or Strategy." HAASS: "I think what it underscores, Joe, is the hopes that this somehow this agreement will be quote unquote transformational, and lead Iran to be closer to Switzerland is just that a wild hope, it can't be serious thinking or analysis or strategy. And what this agreement can do is for 10 or 15 years put a ceiling on selective Iranian capabilities. What it can't do is necessarily in any way affect Iranian intentions. And in its own way, the Ayatollah has been making that clear and I think it actually somewhat complicates the President's life. The Ayatollah never got the e-mail that in a negotiation, one of the things you're supposed to do is say things that make it less difficult for the other side to manage its domestic politics. And clearly that one again never reached him." (MSNBC's "Morning Joe," 7/21/15)

Woodrow Wilson International Center For Scholars' Aaron David Miller: "Simply Put, This Is One Terrific Agreement For Tehran." (Aaron David Miller, Op-Ed, "Iran's Win-Win…Win Win Win Nuke Deal," The Daily Beast, 7/20/15)

  • Miller: "It's The Cruelest Of Ironies That Iran Is Reaping Huge Rewards For Giving Up Something It Wasn't Supposed To Be Doing In The First Place." (Aaron David Miller, Op-Ed, "Iran's Win-Win…Win Win Win Nuke Deal," The Daily Beast, 7/20/15)

Miller: The Agreement "Will Leave Iran With A Sufficiently Large Nuclear Foundation To Give It The Capacity To Pursue Nuclear Weapons Down The Road Should It Choose To Do So." "The painful and inconvenient truth is that even before the agreement Iran was a nuclear weapons threshold state. The agreement will not change that reality. And it will leave Iran with a sufficiently large nuclear foundation to give it the capacity to pursue nuclear weapons down the road should it choose to do so." (Aaron David Miller, Op-Ed, "Iran's Win-Win…Win Win Win Nuke Deal," The Daily Beast, 7/20/15)

Like Obama, Many Of Clinton's Conditions For A Deal Were Never Met

Clinton, August 2014: "I've Always Been In The Camp That Held That [Iran] Did Not Have A Right To Enrichment." CLINTON: It's a consistent line. I've always been in the camp that held that they did not have a right to enrichment. Contrary to their claim, there is no such thing as a right to enrich. This is absolutely unfounded. There is no such right. I am well aware that I am not at the negotiating table anymore, but I think it's important to send a signal to everybody who is there that there cannot be a deal unless there is a clear set of restrictions on Iran. The preference would be no enrichment. The potential fallback position would be such little enrichment that they could not break out. So, little or no enrichment has always been my position." (Jeffrey Goldberg, "Hillary Clinton: 'Failure' To Help Syrian Rebels Led To The Rise Of ISIS," The Atlantic , 8/10/14)

  • Under The Nuclear Agreement, Iran Will Be Permitted To Enrich Uranium And Maintain A 3.67 Percent Uranium Level At Its Natanz Facility. "The deal reduces the number of Iranian centrifuges by two-thirds. It places bans on enrichment at key facilities, and limits uranium research and development to the Natanz facility. The deal caps uranium enrichment at 3.67 percent and limits the stockpile to 300 kg, all for 15 years." (Jethro Mullen and Nic Robertson, "Landmark Deal Reached On Iran Nuclear Program," CNN, 7/14/15)

Clinton Has Said That Iran's Breakout Time "Should Be Longer Than One Year." "In some recent remarks, Clinton has also hinted at a tougher view than the one that prevailed in Vienna, including her belief that Iran's 'breakout' period - the time it would take to enrich enough uranium for a bomb - should be longer than one year. Tuesday's agreement imposes a breakout time of only one year." (Michael Crowley, "Hillary Clinton Endorses Nuclear Deal," Politico, 7/14/15)

  • Under The Agreement, There Is A "Breakout Time Of Only One Year." "In some recent remarks, Clinton has also hinted at a tougher view than the one that prevailed in Vienna, including her belief that Iran's 'breakout' period - the time it would take to enrich enough uranium for a bomb - should be longer than one year. Tuesday's agreement imposes a breakout time of only one year." (Michael Crowley, "Hillary Clinton Endorses Nuclear Deal," Politico, 7/14/15)

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Headline: "Tehran's Nuclear Triumph " (Editorial, "Tehran's Nuclear Triumph," The Wall Street Journal, 7/14/15)

  • "The Reality Is Far More Complicated And Favorable To The Iranians, Which Explains The Celebrations At High Levels In Tehran." (Editorial, "Tehran's Nuclear Triumph," The Wall Street Journal, 7/14/15)
  • "Instead Of Eliminating A Revolutionary Regime's Nuclear Ambitions, The Vienna Accord Promises To Usher In A New Age Of Nuclear Proliferation." (Editorial, "Tehran's Nuclear Triumph," The Wall Street Journal, 7/14/15)

The Washington Post Editorial: The Iran Nuclear Deal Framework Falls "Well Short" Of The Goals Set By The Obama Administration. "The 'key parameters' for an agreement on Iran's nuclear program released Thursday fall well short of the goals originally set by the Obama administration. None of Iran's nuclear facilities - including the Fordow center buried under a mountain - will be closed. Not one of the country's 19,000 centrifuges will be dismantled. Tehran's existing stockpile of enriched uranium will be 'reduced' but not necessarily shipped out of the country. In effect, Iran's nuclear infrastructure will remain intact, though some of it will be mothballed for 10 years. When the accord lapses, the Islamic republic will instantly become a threshold nuclear state." (Editorial, "Obama's Iran Deal Falls Far Short Of His Own Goals," The Washington Post , 4/2/15)

  • The Washington Post Editorial: The Deal Is "A Long Way From The Standard Set" By Obama's 2012 Commitment To End Iran's Nuclear Program. "That's a long way from the standard set by President Obama in 2012 when he declared that 'the deal we'll accept' with Iran 'is that they end their nuclear program' and 'abide by the U.N. resolutions that have been in place.' Those resolutions call for Iran to suspend the enrichment of uranium. Instead, under the agreement announced Thursday, enrichment will continue with 5,000 centrifuges for a decade, and all restraints on it will end in 15 years." (Editorial, "Obama's Iran Deal Falls Far Short Of His Own Goals," The Washington Post , 4/2/15)

Israel Views The Deal As A "Dangerous Compromise"

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Slammed The Iran Nuclear Deal, Calling It A "Historic Mistake" That Would Create "A Terrorist Nuclear Superpower." "Almost as soon as the agreement was announced, to cheers in Vienna and on the streets of Tehran, its harshest critics said it would ultimately empower Iran rather than limit its capability. Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, called it a 'historic mistake' that would create a 'terrorist nuclear superpower.'" (David E. Sanger and Michael R. Gordon, "Deal Reached On Iran Nuclear Program; Limits On Fuel Would Lessen With Time," The New York Times , 7/14/15)

  • Netanyahu On The Lifting Of Sanctions Due To The Nuclear Deal: "Unleashed And Unmuzzled, Iran Will Go On The Prowl." "Speaking at the yearly gathering of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly, Netanyahu reiterated Israeli criticism of a deal between Iran and major world powers aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear program. He said that, once international sanctions are lifted, 'unleashed and unmuzzled, Iran will go on the prowl.'" (Louis Charbonneau and Hugh Bronstein, "Israel's Netanyahu Launches All-Out Assault On Iran Deal At U.N.," Reuters, 10/1/15)

"Israel's Leaders Rejected The Deal As A Dangerous Compromise That Will Exacerbate Regional Tensions And Pave The Way Over Time For Iran To Produce Multiple Bombs…" "Contrary to President Obama's assertion that the agreement will cut off every pathway for Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, Israel's leaders rejected the deal as a dangerous compromise that will exacerbate regional tensions and pave the way over time for Iran to produce multiple bombs - 'an entire arsenal with the means to deliver it,' Mr. Netanyahu said." (Isabel Kershner, "Iran Deal Denounced By Netanyahu As 'Historic Mistake,'" The New York Times, 7/14/15)


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