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Has Hillary Ever Been Right?

Sen. Rand Paul raises an interesting question: When has Hillary Clinton ever been right on foreign policy?

The valkyrie of the Democratic Party says she urged President Obama to do more to aid Syrian rebels years ago. And last summer, she supported air strikes on Bashar Assad’s regime. Had we followed her advice and crippled Assad’s army, ISIS might be in Damascus today, butchering Christians and Alawites and aiding the Islamic State in Iraq in overrunning Baghdad. But if the folly of attacking Assad’s army and weakening its resistance to ISIS terrorists is apparent to everyone this summer, why were Clinton, Obama and Secretary of State Kerry oblivious to this reality just a year ago?

Consider the rest of Hillary’s record. Her most crucial decision as Senator came in 2002 when she voted to invade Iraq. She now concedes it was the greatest mistake of her Senate career. She voted against the surge in 2006, but confided to Defense Secretary Bob Gates that she did so to maintain her political viability for 2008. This is statesmanship? Not voting your convictions about what is best for your country at war, so as not to antagonize the liberals in the Iowa caucuses?

In 2009, Hillary presented a “reset button” to Vladimir Putin’s foreign minister. In 2011, she supported U.S. air strikes to bring down Col. Gadhafi and celebrated in Tripoli when he was overthrown and lynched. How did that work out? Libya is today a hellhole of murder and mayhem and Islamists are threatening a takeover. Who did Hillary think would rise when Gadhafi fell? Hillary’s failure to anticipate or prevent the Benghazi massacre and her role in the botched cover-up, all concede, are burdens she will carry into the primaries in 2016, should she run.


Where, then, has Hillary exhibited the acumen to suggest she would be a wise and savvy steward of U.S. foreign policy in a disintegrating world?

Is this a convincing argument for the Republican alternative?

Hardly. The principal GOP voices on foreign policy, who get more airtime than Wolf Blitzer, are John McCain and Lindsey Graham. Their track record: McCain wanted to confront Putin over South Ossetia. He and Graham wanted to arm Ukrainians to fight the Russians in Crimea, Luhansk, and Donetsk. They wanted Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia brought into NATO, so that if war were to break out, we would be fighting the Russians alongside them.

This year, Graham was trolling around a Senate resolution to give Obama a blank check to attack Iran. Last year, McCain and Graham were for attacking Assad’s army. This year they are for bombing ISIS, which is attacking Assad’s army. But if Hillary, McCain, and Graham have been repeatedly wrong about Syria, what do we now? Answer: Stop and think.

First, this war in Syria and Iraq, like all such wars, is eventually going to be won by soldiers, by boots on the ground, by troops who can take and hold territory. And in such wars, as Napoleon said, God is on the side of the big battalions.

America should declare to friends and allies in the Middle East, as Nixon did to our friends and allies in Asia in the Guam Doctrine of 1969, that while we will stand with them when they are attacked, they, not we, will provide the soldiers for their own defense. No nation is less threatened by ISIS than ours. And as the Syrians, Turks, Kurds, and Iraqis have the proximity and manpower to defeat ISIS, they should do this job themselves.

Turkey shares a 550-mile border with Syria and could march in and crush ISIS. But if President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wishes to play games with ISIS, out of hatred of Assad, let him and the Turks live with the consequences. As for Syria’s army and regime, which either defeats ISIS or dies, let us cease impeding their efforts by backing a Free Syrian Army that has rarely won a battle and is only bleeding the Syrian army. Kurdistan and its ethnic cousins in Syria, Turkey and Iran are capable of defending themselves, and we should encourage any nation, including Iran, that is willing to send them the weapons to fight ISIS.

As for Baghdad, if it wants its Sunni lands back, it either should fight for them or accept their loss. We Americans are living today with the consequences, in considerable losses of blood and treasure, of fighting other people’s wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Yet, we are suffering not at all from having kept out of other people’s wars—in Georgia, Crimea, Donetsk, Syria, and Iran.

Speaking of the debate over U.S. air strikes in Syria, the New York Times writes, “There are too many unanswered questions to make that decision now, and there has been far too little public discussion for Mr. Obama to expect Americans to rally behind what could be another costly military commitment.”

Sometimes the Times gets it right.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.” [1] Copyright 2014 Creators.com.

14 Comments (Open | Close)

14 Comments To "Has Hillary Ever Been Right?"

#1 Comment By border patrol On August 29, 2014 @ 6:22 am

“they, not we, will provide the soldiers for their own defense”

Right on.

The utterly defenseless to one side, people who aren’t willing to pay for their own weapons and fight their own wars are contemptible parasites, not worth defending. We’ve been propping up leeches and subsidizing thugs in the Middle East for far too long. From Iraq to Israel, Libya to Syria and Egypt to Afghanistan, the carnival of waste, corruption, shakedowns and incompetence has gone on long enough. We should stand off from the Middle East and focus on our own problems.

#2 Comment By philadelphialawyer On August 29, 2014 @ 8:48 am

In other words, it is not really so much about Hillary, as it is our entire political leadership is far, far too hawkish.

“Has Hillary Ever Been Right?”

Yes. (1) When she opposed the Vietnam War, (2) when she worked on George McGovern’s campaign against Mr Buchanan’s boss Richard Nixon, and (3) when she worked for the House Committee that impeached Richard Nixon.

#3 Comment By EliteCommInc. On August 29, 2014 @ 8:55 am

I was surprised to learn that in 1958 Iraq was warned by the US not to invade Kuwait. 1958 . . .

My concern here is the pivotal role that continued support of the Kurds in Iraq proper beyond their incorporation into the larger Iraqi community will have on provoking continued violence. Further the idea, that Kurds residing in Iran and Turkey would support Kurds in Iraq would be interesting in that the Kurds are so dispersed as a result of their own disagreements. That some manner of joint operation from and within countries not their own just adds an additional layer of problematic complexity that I find hard to manage as some successful end.

If the modified nation states prior to 1958 are still tense, the mountains of current dysfunction and chaos within the region resulting in a Kurdish state — well, one need not imagine very hard, the consequence.

#4 Comment By Majumder On August 29, 2014 @ 11:47 am

Contemporary American foreign policy debacles are primarily rooted in President Ronald Wilson Reagan’s time, if not earlier.

In fact, there is a feeling both within and outside the United States whether there is any sensible American foreign policy that both allies and foes of America can work upon!

Not so long ago, our current president was on the march in order to democratize entire Middle East and Northern Africa by aligning American military with Muslim terrorists from Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Syria, but not Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Similarly, President Ronald Wilson Reagan aligned himself with Muslim terrorists in Afghanistan while, at the same time period, he was supplying arms and weapons to both Iraq and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Then followed the biggest foreign policy blunder — in the history American foreign policy — of President George W. Bush who invaded a country named Iraq that did not have any nuclear weapons development program, but spared a country named Islamic Republic of Iran that had been actively working on nuclear weapons development.

And, by invading Iraq, President Bush II in fact emboldened the Muslim thugs of Tehran by eliminating a major foe of the Islamic Republic!

Finally, last year by this time around our current president was almost embarking on decapitating the al’Assad government of Syria by fighting on behalf of Islamic terrorists in Syria.

But a year has just passed by and our current president is now fighting against the same Muslim terrorists in Iraq and Syria, who are actually financed by America’s close allies such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other Muslim Gulf States.

So, as all of you can see, God Himself will not be able to figure out what kind of beast American foreign policy actually is!

Also, if you look at Israel versus Muslim terrorists groups and Muslim terrorist organizations (i.e., Hamas, Palestinian Authority, etc.), American government is perfectly alright in dealing with them by giving them billions of dollars and statehood recognition.

#5 Comment By Chris in Appalachi On August 29, 2014 @ 12:07 pm

It’s apparent that shameless Hillary cares not about what is right for America, but rather cares about becoming American’s first female president. She will say or do anything to get elected.

#6 Comment By Viking On August 29, 2014 @ 3:14 pm

Philadelphia Lawyer, the three things you list where Hillary was right all happened over 40 years ago. She peaked rather early by your formulation, didn’t she? Incidentally, I read recently that she was kicked off the Watergate committee for being less than scrupulous. Anyone know about that?

#7 Comment By James Canning On August 29, 2014 @ 4:54 pm

I continue to think the “surge” in Iraq was a mistake, and a very expensive one at that.

#8 Comment By SteveM On August 29, 2014 @ 8:16 pm

Re: philadelphialawyer “Yes. (1) When she opposed the Vietnam War, (2) when she worked on George McGovern’s campaign against Mr Buchanan’s boss Richard Nixon, and (3) when she worked for the House Committee that impeached Richard Nixon.”

Meh… Hillary swam with the tide of collegiate and immediate post-collegiate humanity at that time. She did nothing extraordinary versus her peers. Nothing… She wrote nothing, accomplished nothing, contributed nothing beyond just showing up.

And when Hillary had the opportunity to engage in parasitic behavior on the coattails of her reptilian husband – she did. With alacrity.

HRC has demonstrated herself to be nothing more than an opportunistic political hack mediocrity for 40 years. Handing out “Elect McGovern” buttons back in 1972 notwithstanding…

#9 Comment By philadelphialawyer On August 29, 2014 @ 11:19 pm

Yes, Viking, Hillary did peak rather early.

I could have added a few other things in her favor, perhaps, like her general post law school liberal work, her proposing national health care while First Lady, and her driving Rudy Giuliani out of the New York US Senate race with his tail between his legs in 2000 (the loathsome Giuliani claimed to be suffering from cancer, but was soon running around the city promoting himself same as ever…and, of course, was more than healthy enough in his own estimation to serve a third term as mayor of New York–in violation of the City Charter–after 9/11, a year or so later) but your point is well taken. Hillary has become a war hawk, and that is not a good thing.

“Incidentally, I read recently that she was kicked off the Watergate committee for being less than scrupulous. Anyone know about that?”

From what I can gather, one person is making a completely unsupported allegation in that regard. And that person, according to Mediamatters, has made inconsistent statements in this regard in the past.


These claims surfaced in 2008, so they are hardly new. Rehashed is more like it. Also, the accuser is hardly a life long Democrat, as some sources say. In fact, he is a regular contributor to the right wing World Net Daily:


In addition, his only apparent “evidence” for his claims viz a viz Hillary’s alleged wrongdoing (which itself is rather far fetched) are what he purports to be his own contemporaneous diaries. And, naturally, his diaries contain nothing more than things he wrote in them, his suspicions, and so on. And claims that the Republican counsel to the committee has backed up his assertions are also quite dubious. See above link.

So, what we have here is yet another “Clinton scandal” without a shred of credible evidence to back it up. Hope this helps!

#10 Comment By Bill Burke On August 30, 2014 @ 10:46 am

Although I have long had a strong dislike for political parties, political ideologies, almost all politicians I know much about and – maybe especially – for all those ‘cheap moralists’ in the media and on the sidelines who so odiously bloviate, pontificate, opinionate and vent their inner demons (apparently) by spewing about politics, I have found this site an amazingly and proverbial oasis in the desert , excepting on the topic of religion, and this article has brightened another of my days by its well-written good sense.

I will definitely be saving it and rereading/digesting it to get the full benefit.

Thank you many-fold!

#11 Comment By charles cosimano On August 30, 2014 @ 4:33 pm

When she said that all Obama has “is a speech.”

#12 Comment By Michael N Moore On September 1, 2014 @ 9:21 am

Witness the report in the NY Times of March 24, 2012, in which Hillary Clinton is unable to delay aid to the, then unknown, Egyptian government: “A delay or a cut in $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt risked breaking existing contracts with the American arms manufacturer that could have shut down production lines in the middle of President Obama’s re-election campaign…”

#13 Comment By Reinhold On September 1, 2014 @ 9:13 pm

“the mountains of current dysfunction and chaos within the region resulting in a Kurdish state — well, one need not imagine very hard, the consequence.”
Do you think it would become something like the state of Israel? And why do you think that, say, the communist PKK and the more bourgeois nationalist KDP would not form some broad coalition IF the possible outcome was an actual unified Kurdish nation? I share your skepticism wrt. the Iranian Kurds, that’s a bigger challenge, but as far as Syrian, Iraqi, and Turkish Kurds go, I don’t see why a unified state would be impossible (unless it would be impossible WITHOUT the Iranian Kurds).

#14 Comment By philadelphialawyer On September 2, 2014 @ 12:47 pm

Steve M:

Being popular is not antithetical to being right. And being for McGovern was NOT exactly popular, in any event.