In this election season, it is natural and necessary to look at the record of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of States. Here is what I see:
Her record at State is mediocre at best. She did not manage to deal with the Arab uprisings effectively, and I suspect that she set the stage for worsening American-Russian relations and the re-emergence of the Cold War.
Her prediction of 2011 that Bashar al Assad has no place in Syria and will be out within weeks. Her support in 2011 for bombing Libya to aid the “rebels” and the premise that it will lead to democracy.
Soon enough, ISIS emerged within weeks in Syria, thanks to the Wahhabi ideology, money, weapons, and volunteers from “moderate” Wahhabi allies she courted and heeded. ISIS is now entrenched in Libya & other places, also thanks to the Wahhabi ideology, money, weapons, and volunteers from “moderate” Wahhabi allies she courted and heeded. She, and her aides, were not creative in both these important cases.
The Nuclear Deal with Iran would never have been reached if the hawkish Clinton was still Secretary of State. Possibly military action of some sort would have been initiated in the Persian Gulf.
I am not going to talk about Iraq and her repeating the Saudi mantra about Al Maliki and how if only he would leave. That was stupid as we can see that things got even worse now after al Maliki left…..
Her trade policies were a continuation of the mindset that created NAFTA a generation ago and pushed for the TPP deal last year. If she wins, don’t expect any changes in that regard.
As for Benghazi, Benghazi, well, that is/was a silly Republican opportunistic mantra that seems to have lost steam……
The point is: she was at best a mediocre secretary of state, and I am being generous here. John Kerry proved a superior secretary, and I wonder what could have been achieved if he had started in 2009…….
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
“A veto-proof, bipartisan majority of House lawmakers have signed an open letter to President Barack Obama warning him that any nuclear deal with Iran will effectively require congressional approval for implementation. A group of bipartisan senators have penned a bill mandating that any deal be reviewed and approved by Congress, but the House letter notes that lawmakers have another way to halt an agreement — by refusing to roll back sanctions………..”
Secretary of State John Kerry and Javad Zarif of Iran have been seeing each other a lot. Mr. Kerry has probably seen the Iranian minister more than any other foreign minister, certainly much more than Avigdor Liberman (I know, I know: Avigdor Who?) or Benyamin Netanyahu. I am sure he is content with not seeing the latter two, as would any minister or leader outside the United States. They seem to get along fine, might even be bonding: there are smiles and lakeside walks and long chats. But underneath it all there are short taut strings for both men, the Iranian and the American.
I can just imagine the Frenchie Laurent Fabius lurking around, crashing their intimate talks, wanting to hear it all, scheming to throw new wrenches into the process. A representative of other non-participating potentates. And to think that there is a French equivalent of “three is a crowd“, although this may not always be the case in France, if you get my drift.
It is remotely possible that if the Iran nuclear talks are derailed by the many evil forces working to do so, one of these men will defect to the other country. It can be either one of them. Unless they both defect at the same time…….
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
“US Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday his country was opposed to Iran’s participation at an international conference in Paris on Monday on Iraq, which is grappling with an offensive by Islamist militants. “No one has called me and asked me with respect to the presence of Iran, but I think under the circumstances at this moment in time… it would not be appropriate given the many other issues… with respect to their engagement in Syria and elsewhere,” Kerry told a press conference in Istanbul…………”
Mr. Kerry claimed that: “No one has called me and asked me with respect to the presence of Iran“. No one? Not a single European? If you can believe that, then I have a bridge that spans the Atlantic Ocean for sale at a discount (it crosses from Nigeria westward). Interested?
Of course he can rely on a technicality here: no one “called” him on the phone, but only because they were with him at the meetings.
Mr. Kerry also said it is not “appropriate” for Iran to attend the Paris meeting on ISIS. Yet it is quite appropriate for those who have created, financed, and sent volunteers to Al-Qaeda and ISIS to attend the meetings. And it is appropriate for Turkey, which for three years has had its borders open for any Jihadist who wanted to enter Syria (and hence Iraq). It is also appropriate for the Europeans who have probably sent thousands of killers to join ISIS.
The same was true of the Jeddah meeting this week: only countries that are suspected of enabling and financing and manning ISIS and Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria and Iraq were allowed to attend (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, a gaggle of other Arab states). Some reports mentioned that French officials had stated they were thinking of inviting Iran. Other reports also noted the Saudi princes and their sidekicks strongly opposed Iranian participation.
In any case, refusing participation, or input, from the two most important regional countries with respect to ISIS/ISIl is foolhardy. It is like tying one hand behind your back before a fight. It also might piss the hell out of the Iranians who just might, just might decide not to fully cooperate. After all, they did cooperate in the Afghanistan operation after 9/11 and were rewarded by the “Axis of Evil” nonsense. Ditto for the millions of Syrians who might not like Mr. Al Assad but are not looking forward to the joys of a Saudi-style Wahhabi government.
All this could doom the efforts of the new coalition even before it begins.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
“The top US diplomat, who landed in the Red Sea city of Jeddah in the afternoon, also met Saudi King Abdullah a day after hosting urgent talks in Paris with the Saudi, Jordanian and UAE foreign ministers on the widening crisis in Iraq and Syria. King Abdullah has consistently called for greater US military support for the Syrian rebels, whom the Sunni Gulf kingdom has long backed. Following several signals in recent weeks by US President Barack Obama’s administration, the White House said Thursday it intends to “ramp up US support to the moderate Syrian opposition”……….. Ahmad Jarba, leader of the Syrian National Coalition, welcomed the huge US boost to his forces, battling to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “The situation is very grave and there are sectarian leaders ruling the country so we have to have greater efforts on the part of the US and regional powers to address the situation in Iraq,” Jarba said. Kerry said “the moderate opposition in Syria… has the ability to be a very important player in pushing back against (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) ISIL’s presence… not just in Syria, but also in Iraq“………….”
Secretary Kerry’s statement about the role of the Syrian opposition in solving the Iraq crisis makes little sense here. It is like the advice about taking “a bit of the hair of the dog that bit you“. He is bent on going the old route he was warned off for the past year or two. He seems to have just bought some more of the Saudi snake oil about arming and further empowering the Syrian opposition militias.
The Wahhabi opposition in Syria got their start, their money and their ‘seed weapons’, from the same countries Mr. Kerry has been visiting this past week. The sources were on the Gulf, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey. Much of the weapons that got the Jihadists their “booty” in land and property and hostages and death is American and European. Weapons supplied by these same governments to the “Syrian opposition” seeking to “liberate” Syria: in one case for the tender mercies of the Wahhabi doctrine, in the other case for the dubious rule of the Muslim Brotherhood. Arming and funding the Syrian militias will not increase the chances of peace in either Syria or Iraq. It is an invitation, nay a recipe, to keep the Syrian civil war going and to increase the sectarian unrest inside Iraq.
Mr. Jarba is reported to be heading to the door: apparently he will soon be out of the Syrian National Coalition, according to media reports. Either he saw the futility of his position or he is being booted by the Saudi princes who will now have to appoint another man of their choosing to lead the “liberation” of Syria for the Wahhabi cause. Moreover, there are Arab reports that the “general” who heads the allegedly Free Syrian Salafi Army, the man appointed and anointed as the Napoleon of the Syrian-Turkish border, will be officially sacked.