Posted by: Randy Allgaier | March 11, 2008

Senator Clinton- Her foreign policy experience amounts to a speech she gave in 1995.


Mrs. Clinton is beginning to be pressed for details of specific things that she was involved in, or specific things that she had done, in foreign policy while First Lady. (Earlier, in the Ohio debate, she had not answered Tim Russert’s question on that point.)

Clinton has now responded by claiming that she “helped to bring peace” to Northern Ireland and negotiated with Macedonia to open up its border to refugees from Kosovo. She also cited “standing up” to the Chinese government on women’s rights and a one-day visit she made to Bosnia following the Dayton peace accords.

Today Former Northern Ireland First Minister William David Trimble — who shared a Nobel Prize for his peacemaking efforts in Northern Ireland — is contradicting Hillary Clinton’s statements that she played an instrumental part in the peace process there, calling her claim “a wee bit silly.” The Daily Telegraph reports Lord Trimble says of Clinton, “I don’t know there was much she did apart from accompanying Bill (Clinton) going around… being a cheerleader for something is slightly different from being a principal player.”

Thankfully many are questioning this “experience” and her contention that she had any significant foreign policy experience, her trips abroad while First Lady, while perhaps broadening, were hardly the equivalent of managing global crises.

She was never asked to do the heavy lifting” when meeting with foreign leaders, said Susan Rice, who was an assistant secretary of state in the Clinton administration and is now advising Obama. “She wasn’t asked to move the mountain or deliver a harsh message or a veiled threat. It was all gentle prodding or constructive reinforcement. And it would not have been appropriate for her to do the heavy lifting.”

Mrs. Clinton’s mission to Bosnia was a one-day visit in which she was accompanied by performers Sheryl Crow and Sinbad, as well as her daughter, Chelsea, according to the commanding general who hosted her.

Earlier in the campaign, Senator and President Clinton have claimed that she had been urging him to send in troops to intervene in the genocide in Rwanda.

Whatever her private conversations with the president may have been, key foreign policy officials say that a U.S. military intervention in Rwanda was never considered in the Clinton administration’s policy deliberations. Despite lengthy memoirs by both Clintons and former Secretary of State and UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright, any advice she gave on Rwanda had not been mentioned until her presidential campaign.

“In my review of the records, I didn’t find anything to suggest that military intervention was put on the table in NSC [National Security Council] deliberations,” said Gail Smith, a Clinton NSC official who did a review for the White House of the administration’s handling of the Rwandan genocide. Smith is an Obama supporter.

Prudence Bushnell, a retired State Department official who handled the Rwanda portfolio at the time and has not allied with a presidential candidate, confirmed that a U.S. military intervention was not considered in policy deliberations.

The one thing that she did that pretty much everyone mentions as a foreign policy triumph was her speech to the United Nations’ Women’s Conference in Beijing in 1995. She spoke out forcefully in making a call for women’s rights, and she particularly mentioned forced abortion, a practice in the host country.

So when Senator Clinton derisively says, “With me or with Senator McCain, there is a lifetime of experience, but Senator Obama gave a speech in 2002,” one might counter by saying that her experience amounts to a disastrous vote on the Iraq War, a horrible vote that amounted to American saber rattling with Iran and a speech she made in 1995.

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Responses

  1. I will take Obama’s judgement over Hillary’s “lifetime of experience” any day.

  2. Leon A. Walker
    April 1, 2008
    Pensacola, Florida
    leonwalker@cox.net

    Hillary Clinton: Lies Have Short Legs

    Senator Hillary Clinton’s repeated telling of a shocking fabricated and later recanted story of her arrival in a Bosnian combat zone “under sniper fire” is absolutely ghastly. This horrific fabrication is not only a very telling indictment of her credibility and integrity; it reveals a clear vision of a ruthless woman lost in self consumption.

    I have no apprehension for having made the aforementioned scalding comments because two decades ago I myself served. At one point in my career I was a crewmember aboard the carrier “United States Ship Independence”. During my service on that vessel we were required to launch aircraft and drop bombs on the nations of Grenada and Lebanon. Tensions were high and in Lebanon our aircraft were engaged and one was shot down. Through it all I never felt particularly threatened. Why? Because I was an Air Traffic Controller and I sat comfortably in my air conditioned work center, dozens of miles off shore, deep within the skin of a well protected ship. That my fellow Americans, is the maximum extent to which I can embellish these events. Oh wait! When “Battle Stations” were announced, I did have to put on my ball cap and tuck my pants into my socks.

    Now some years later, the First Lady of the United States, flies into Bosnia with her teenaged daughter. As would be procedurally appropriate they got a routine briefing equivalent in significance to: “Hey Hillary, tuck your pants into your socks” followed by an uneventful landing and an informal reception on the tarmac. From these actual routine events, came a tale so outrageous it was nearly tantamount to she, Chelsea and Sinbad slithering across the tarmac cradling rifles with night vision scopes and with bayonets in their teeth. Thank God it was daylight or she might have claimed it was 3:00 AM.

    I can not fully relate to all of the families of those who faced combat, injury or death in Bosnia or the Gulf War or Iraq or any other conflict or police action in recent American History or years prior. Still I know that there have been so many who served under austere and life threatening conditions sacrificed through injury and those who died for this country. So for anyone and in particular a candidate for President of the United States, to manipulate the reality of exposure to, or service in dangerous conflict as she has done is the height of depravity. To attempt to beguile an American public which includes those who are serving, those who have served and those who have sacrificed, all of the families and all fellow citizens is beyond comprehension. What is more, and that which can only be considered the height of gall is, to date I am aware of no apology.

    At fifty four years old I have seen many things. I have a fairly good understanding of politics and the tactics that can make politics both enjoyable and disturbing. I am not however a political junkie so perhaps my memory data banks are some what limited. Still, I can scarcely recall anything so calculated and outrageous in my remembrances of prior political contests.

    I believe this will be the final element in Senator Clinton’s undoing in this political campaign. She had already begun setting the bridges ablaze with her tactics throughout and more recently, the veiled threats to the Democratic Party Leadership were a mistake. Seemingly she and her campaign never figured out that something was changing. She brought the same old script and played the leading role in the same old dreary production of “Washington Politics As Usual”.

    At the end of the day I believe this gifted woman was blinded by dangerous ambition and she lost sight of the real prize. The real prize being the trust and confidence of the American people. Sadly, the American people have a clear vision of that which she never hoped to reveal. The hole in the place where her soul should be.

    Leon A. Walker

    © Leon A. Walker, April 2008 – Approved for use by any recipients, viewers or holders.


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