Hillary Clinton - America's Greatest Secretary of state?

Hillary Clinton - America's Greatest
Secretary of state?

© David Burton 2013

Hillary in 2016

     Hillary Clinton has completed her tenure as secretary of state during the first presidential term of Barack Obama. Looking back over the past four years of her stay in that position, we can, at this time, form some preliminary opinions on her effectiveness. The final assessment must await the judgment of history once all the events during her time in office have come to their ultimate conclusion.

Everyone Loves Hillary

     Late in January 2013, secretary of state Hillary Clinton spent the day on Capitol Hill testifying before two Congressional Committees about her knowledge of the Benghazi consulate attack, starting with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and concluding with the House Foreign Affairs Committee. She was there to explain some of the events and facts concerning the murder of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. To hear some of the platitudes heaped upon her as she was introduced, one would have thought that she was the second coming personified. Polls have indicated that the secretary of state has reached new heights of political popularity and there is considerable enthusiastic support for her being a presidential candidate in 2016. Clinton is receiving largely unconditional praise from liberal pundits and others for her leadership and she is being described as a role model for young women. Her strong advocacy of women’s rights has clearly been a feather in her cap.

     “Hillary Clinton stepped down after four years as secretary of state amid swathes of flattery excessive even by Washington’s sycophantic standards.
     “’I think that when we look at the outstanding secretaries of state in our history of our country you will be right up there at the very, very top,’ - - - ‘You have just been indispensable.’ - - - {She was extolled for her} ‘remarkable leadership’, ‘strength and poise’, {and called} ‘a hero’. You might have thought she was receiving a Nobel Peace Prize for statecraft. ‘She showed acuity, eloquence, humility, charm.’ {She was called} ‘the most significant secretary of state since Dean Acheson.’ {and she was acclaimed the } ‘rock-star diplomat’ and ‘a stellar secretary of state.’ (Ref. 1)

     Some of the other gushing accolades directed her way during her testimonies at the congressional hearings on Benghazi included: "Sec. Clinton is the greatest secretary of state we have ever had."; "I wish you won the Democratic primary in 2008."; "My daughter wouldn't let me in the house [if I didn't say] you are a hero to women."; "As a New Yorker, I feel especially proud of your work at secretary of state."; Sen. Barabra Boxer (D-CA) praised Clinton for advocating for women around the world; Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn.) had plenty of praise for Clinton, mentioning the stopping of the flow of ammonium nitrate from Pakistan for bombs; Democrats couldn’t stop their effusive praise of Hillary for visiting over 100 countries; Democrats kept praising Hillary during her hearings for doing “such a great job.”
     “Clinton’s approval rating among Americans is almost unheard-of in the current climate of over-the-top partisanship: She consistently scores 70 percent or better. And many political pundits assume the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, not to mention the presidency, is hers if she wants it.” (Ref. 2)

     “To be fair, the 67th secretary of state is widely recognized for her work ethic, her political skills, and her avoidance of gaffes.
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     “What no one can say, however is that as secretary of state Clinton significantly transformed the world she lived in. She was not the decisive architect of president Obama’s foreign policy. She achieved no historic breakthrough. She resolved none of the thorniest international issues bedeviling America and its allies. [Emphasis mine]
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     “{After four years as secretary of state}, US policy toward Russia looks anything but a success. Ditto US Policy toward iran, which continues its pursuit of the bomb. And US policy toward Syria, where Bashar Assad remains murderously entrenched. And toward Egypt, now in the grip of a Muslim Brotherhood dictatorship.
     “No one questions her diligence and loyalty, but a giant of American statesmanship? Let’s not get carried away." [Emphasis mine] (Ref. 1)

     Wrapping up her stay as secretary of state, Clinton came under fire for the Benghazi attack and gave a bravura performance on Capitol Hill. She may have dodged a few questions but who cared? She was the belle of the ball saying good-bye.

     Nile Gardiner, a Washington-based foreign affairs analyst and political commentator, wrote in Britain’s The Telegraph, “But what has Hillary Clinton done to deserve such lavish praise from the cast of one of Britain’s most successful shows, no doubt at the behest of liberal mandarins in the Foreign Office? Very little. In fact it’s hard to think of a US secretary of state who has paid less attention to the Anglo-American alliance in recent decades than Mrs. Clinton.”

     “If there was one constant through secretary of state Hillary Clinton's appearances before congressional committees Wednesday, it was that lawmakers fell all over themselves heaping praise on her for the job she has done. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., was typical, saying: ‘Madame Secretary, you have represented us with tremendous strength and poise. You have won us friends.’
     “Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., gushed, ‘We don't have time to give a full listing of the achievements you deserve credit for.’ And Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., began his remarks by saying that he shares the ‘tremendous respect’ of his colleagues for the job she has done.
     “What on Earth are they referring to? American foreign policy under Secretary Clinton has been one disaster after another. She may not deserve blame for all of them -- or even most of them -- but it defies common sense to call her tenure a success." (Ref. 3)

     In looking back at her record as the American secretary of state under President Barack Obama, one fact is indisputable – she has been a hard-working and probably the most travelled secretary of state in this country’s history.

     But, putting aside the issues of political popularity, work ethic and willingness to travel tirelessly, let us see where Hillary’s time in office has led the United States in terms of foreign policy accomplishments.

The Arab Spring

     “During the Arab Spring, Clinton pushed for stronger U.S. support for pro-Western dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Uzbekistan, and Bahrain, as well as the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara.” (Ref. 4) While the jury is still out on the ultimate benefits derived by the people affected by the Arab Spring, the results to date have been less than positive. Egypt is in turmoil as it threatens to fall under the control on another despotic Islamic fundamentalist regime. Overall, the Arab Spring appears to have simply replaced one group of dictatorships with a potentially more oppressive group of theocratic dictatorships along the lines of Iran. While the peoples in these countries may be worse off than before, there exists the very real potential for the establishment of radical Islamic regimes overtly hostile to the United States and the rest of the non-Moslem world. Democracy and greater freedom for the peoples in the Mid-east do not appear to be the result of the Arab Spring. The half-hearted American support for the Arab Spring revolution in the Muslim world has not turned out to be a positive outcome of Clinton/Obama foreign policy. Let’s see what is transpiring in Muslim northern Africa as a result of the Arab Spring.

     In Tripoli, ultra-conservative Islamic Salafists “demolished a 19th-century Sufi spiritual center and Koranic school.” This attack on the Sufis by the Salafists “who consider the Sufi form of Islam as idolatrous – is just the latest in a wave of attacks across North Africa by hard-line Islamist militias.”
     “From Tunisia to Egypt, the former Arab Spring countries are seeing a rise in Salafist influence, often expressed in violence towards Westerners and Sufi shrines. And their ideology is spreading south into West Africa, with adherents fuelling conflicts from Mali to Nigeria.
     “Since the street revolutions in 2011 that toppled the long-ruling regimes of Libya, Tunisia and Egypt, these extremist groups have exploited the security vacuum that emerged from the downfall of tyrants. They may lack popular support, yet have found freedom to operate in the turmoil of post-revolutionary politics." (Ref. 5)


     “The world was shocked by the Islamist rebels who destroyed historic Sufi sites in northern Mali last year, yet little attention is paid to the same trend in Libya, where hard-line Salafist radicals have imposed their purist beliefs by destroying sites in many neighbourhoods. Intimidated by the heavily armed fighters, the Libyan police have done little to stop the continuing destruction of Sufi shrines, tombs, mosques and schools – and some have even joined the demolition gangs, providing the muscle to protect the pickaxe-wielding militants as they destroy Sufi sites.
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     “Surveys show that the Salafists are still a small minority of Libya’s population. The vast majority of Libyans reject their beliefs. But in a climate of insecurity and lawlessness, in which hundreds of armed militias are beyond government control, the religious hardliners are able to operate with nearly complete impunity.
     “In the eastern city of Benghazi, a series of violent attacks on Western targets have been linked to the Islamist militia groups, including an assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission last Sept. 11 that killed U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, sparking a political furor in the United States.
     “Barely two weeks before the assault, the world should have noticed that Libya’s Islamist militias were getting bolder. In one of the most dramatic attacks since the overthrow of Col. Gadhafi, hundreds of heavily armed Salafists descended on the Sha’ab mosque – just across the street from one of Tripoli’s best-known business hotels. In broad daylight, they destroyed the Sufi tombs in the mosque and then the mosque itself, using bulldozers and excavators, while dozens of Libyan police sealed off the street to give them a free hand.
     “A few hours later, when the mosque was gone, they celebrated their victory by slaughtering a camel and distributing the meat to their supporters.” (Ref. 6)

     America belatedly supported the French and other European countires when they aided the Libyan rebels in deposing long-time dictator Gadhafi. “But with Gadhafi removed from power, his weapons depots were 'liberated' and his arms proliferated all over North Africa, including to jihadists in Mali and Algeria, where earlier this month a group of militants attacked a natural gas plant, killing dozens of hostages.” (Ref. 5)


     It’s easy to point fingers after the fact and there is never a lack of Monday morning quarterbacks after any significant event. The Benghazi attack is no exception. In retrospect, some things should be clear, others are a matter of opinion (or political prejudice), and still others are open to legitimate debate. I’ll let you, the reader, decide in which category the following items belong. According to “the State Department’s own Accountability Review Board Report on Benghazi Attack: ‘In the months leading up to September 11, 2012, security in Benghazi was not recognized and implemented as a shared responsibility in Washington, resulting in stove-piped discussions and decisions on policy and security. Key decisions … or non-decisions in Washington, such as the failure to establish standards for Benghazi and to meet them, or the lack of a cohesive staffing plan, essentially set up Benghazi.’ That’s failure at the very top”, (Ref. 7) i.e. at the level of the secretary of state.

     We have been told that on day one, the CIA knew or was fairly confident that the attack was a terrorist attack and so stated in “talking points” provided to the administration. Yet, Susan Rice was led to understand, and so stated publically, that the attack was believed to be the result of a spontaneous reaction to an obscure video belittling the prophet Mohamed. Why didn’t the then secretary of state object to this falsehood or, at the very least, insist that no attribution of responsibility for the attack be made public until all the facts became known? Why were requests for enhanced security at the Benghazi facility prior to the attack ignored? Shouldn’t the response to these requests ultimately have been the responsibility of the head of the State Department? At the congressional hearings on the Benghazi attack, “Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, one of the administration's toughest critics since the Benghazi attack, took Clinton to task for what he considered lackluster attention to the growing threat in Benghazi.
     “McCain wanted to know why Clinton hadn't read a cable from Ambassador Christopher Stevens warning that the mission in Benghazi could not survive a sustained assault.” (Ref. 8 )

     “A previous major terrorist attack on the U.S. Benghazi consulate and repeated requests by Ambassador Stevens for more security should have prompted Clinton to fortify the Benghazi Consulate or abandon it." (Ref. 9)

     Clearly, the entire Benghazi episode is not one that reflects favorably on secretary of state Clinton.


     We have helped to put in power an avowed Islamist who hates Jews, Israel the United States and anyone/anything that does not submit to the tenets of 1st century radical Islam.

     The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported that in 2010 the radical president of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi stated that Zionists (read that as all Jews) “are descended from ‘apes and pigs.’”
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     Our so-called moderate new friend in the Middle-east, “the Muslim Brotherhood Leader {President Morsi} hopefully {urged} his people ‘not to forget to nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred towards those Zionists and Jews.’” (Ref. 10)

     With respect to the United States, we read that our new friend in the Middle-east “had called for a boycott of the United States – whose taxpayers have provided Egypt with billions of dollars in aid.” (Ref. 10)

     Does this sound like a foreign policy success? Do these results tag Hillary Clinton as a great secretary of state?


     "Emboldened by America’s projection of weakness abroad, Islamists apparently linked to al-Qaeda {held} about 40 foreign hostages including seven Americans . . . at a natural gas field in Algeria." Several of the hostages, which included some of the Americans, were eventually killed. This mass kidnapping near the Libyan border may have been accomplished with U.S.-supplied weapons left over from the ouster of the late Muammar Qaddafi in Libya.
     "The kidnapping episode . . . undercuts President Obama’s spurious claim that al-Qaeda is somehow on the run and virtually irrelevant thanks to his policies. During the past election cycle Obama bragged over and over that 'al-Qaeda is on the path to defeat and Osama bin Laden is dead.' That path now seems to be long and winding.
     "Each passing day it becomes increasingly clear that the Obama administration, {including the state department under the leadersip of Hillary Clinton} which spends much of its time apologizing for past U.S. policies, isn’t serious about combating Islamism. - - -
     "With his {and Clinton's} laissez-faire approach to fighting Islamism, Obama is beginning to make President Jimmy Carter, reviled by many American conservatives, look like a serious statesman. Carter, more so than Obama {and Clinton}, at least appeared at times to have some kind of a plan for dealing with problems in the Muslim world when he occupied the White House.
     "Under Obama {and Clinton}, the United States is now benched in a self-imposed penalty box, playing no particular role in halting al-Qaeda’s progress in dangerous parts of the world. U.S.-supplied war material from Obama’s feel-good adventure in Libya may very well be fueling the advance of America’s terrorist enemies in Africa." (Ref. 11) Certainly, American foreign policy under Obama and Clinton has so far failed to demonstrate any positive results in this region of the world.


     The foreign policy of the United States under secretary of state Clinton has been anything but successful in Mali. For months, while rebel insurgents slaughtered thousands and terrorized the nation, the United States did nothing. Finally, France stepped in to stop the terror. The United States “led from behind” by supplying back-up support to the French – not a policy that brought credit to the United States for ending the slaughter there. The Mali situation is another example of the breakdown in American foreign policy in that region of the world which many fear is heading toward a spread of fundamental Muslim takeovers by extreme radical Islamic groups such as al-Qaeda.

     “The Mali operation {was}in part an outgrowth of the ‘lead from behind’ U.S. role in the NATO operation to topple Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.” (Ref. 5)

     “The Algeria hostage siege debacle, coming hard on the heels of France's intervention in neighbouring Mali, has heightened fears that a ‘third generation’ of al-Qaida-affiliated jihadis is creating a new front in the war against US and western interests in the vast, ungoverned spaces of the Sahel and Saharan regions of north and west Africa.
     “But the crisis has also focused attention on unsuccessful and at times shambolic American efforts to counter the growing Islamist challenge there, and on the danger that military intervention will only make matters worse. . . . ”
     “Recent experience is chastening. US attempts to build up Mali's military as a bulwark against the extremists, by training army officers and providing equipment including brand-new Land Cruisers and expensive communications equipment, backfired spectacularly last year after a rebellion in the north provoked a coup that unseated the elected government in Bamako.
     “When push came to shove, a senior officer said the Tuareg commanders of three of the four Malian units fighting in the north defected to the insurrection ‘at the crucial moment’, taking fighters, weapons and equipment with them. They were joined by about 1,600 other defectors from the Malian army, shattering the government's hope of crushing the uprising.
     "’The aid of the Americans turned out not to be useful,’ another officer said. ‘They made the wrong choice,’ by relying on commanders from a group that had been conducting a 50-year rebellion against the Malian state.
     “The coup was a particular embarrassment to Washington as it was led by an army officer, Captain Amadou Sanogo, on whom it had lavished special favour. ‘Sanogo represents something of a US failure,’ said veteran commentator Walter Pincus.
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     "’While Pentagon lawyers claim al-Qaida is tipping into defeat, in fact we are seeing the emergence of the third generation of the terrorist movement,’ said analyst Bruce Riedel. ‘Under siege by drones in Pakistan and Yemen, al-Qaida 3.0 has exploited the 'Arab Awakening' to create its largest safe havens and operational bases in more than a decade across the Arab world. This may prove to be the most deadly al-Qaida yet.’" (Ref. 12)

     “Clinton warned the security situation in northern Mali, where international forces are battling militants, has been exacerbated by flow of weapons from neighboring Libya following the fall of Moammar Gadhafi.
     “She said there was ‘no doubt’ such weapons were also used in an attack by militants on an Algerian natural gas plant last week.
     “She noted the aftermath of the Arab Spring has changed power dynamics and stretched security forces across the region thin.” (Ref. 7)

     These are not words that would characterize the performance of the Obama administration, the Department of State and Hillary Clinton in Mali, or in other regions of northern Africa, as being successful!


     Syria has been another example of failed American foreign policy - or perhaps it should be called an absence of a foreign policy. For two years now, a civil, ethnic and religious war has raged there resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of Syrians. In addition, there are fears that radical Islamic fundamentalists may take control of the country and that chemical and other advanced weapons may fall into the hands of terrorist groups. Except for repeated and ineffective pleadings to end the killings, there have been no noticeable substantive steps taken by the Obama administration and Secretary Clinton to resolve the crisis. As Hillary left office, the killings continued.

     The lack, or failure, of American foreign policy in Syria was evidenced by the fact that, “Russia and the Arab League offered . . . to broker talks between the Syrian government and the opposition to end the country's two-year civil war. - - - Russia and the Arab League are attempting to establish direct contact between the two sides of the conflict, which the U.N. says has killed at least 70,000 people. {The offer came as Russia was hosting} Arab League officials and the foreign ministers of Egypt, Lebanon and other countries in Moscow.” (Ref. 13) Nothing could give clearer evidence of the failure of U.S. foreign policy in Syria than the absence of the United States in any of the discussions or negotiations between the warring parties there.


     Yes, American combat troops are now out of Iraq; the evil dictator and threat to regional peace, Saddam Hussein, is dead and gone; al-Quaeda “has been defeated”, “relative” peace now reigns there. But, none of these achievements can be credited to secretary of state Clinton. All of these achievements are the results of the Bush-Petraeus policies and initiatives that preceded Clinton's term as secretary of state. It was the Bush-Petraeus “surge” that ultimately resulted in the “pacification” of Iraq – an initiative that was originally opposed by Obama and the Democrats, at least until Obama took office.

     The one major achievement of the Obama/Clinton Iraq foreign policy is the total absence of any U.S. military presence in that country – this being the result of the failure of Secretary Clinton and President Obama to come to an agreement with the Iraqi government concerning the stationing of American advisors and support personnel in that country. The result of this failure to come to an agreement is yet to be seen. Will the Iraqi government be able to survive without some degree of American in-country support? Will al-Quaeda be able to return to Iraq once we are gone and will they be able to establish a base there to train and support their world-wide terrorist activities? Will Iran be able to extend its influence into Iraq with its unbridled hatred for the United States and its policy of supporting terrorist organizations and regimes?

     Was our Iraq foreign policy under secretary of state Clinton a successful achievement or an abject failure? The jury is still out on this question. It’s much too early to declare final victory in Iraq!


     “Since the 1979 Iranian revolution in which American diplomats in Tehran were taken hostage and held for 444 days, the U.S. has had no discernible policy regarding Iran except to talk endlessly about talking with the handful of ayatollahs that have run that prison nation ever since their takeover. The Shah was no choir boy, but he was a reliable ally. Iran has been in a virtual state of war with the U.S. for 34 years.” During Hillary Clinton’s time in office, nothing has changed except for the generation of more hot air.
     As a continuation of the negative results achieved by the Obama/Clinton policy, “Iran’s supreme leader Thursday (Feb 7, 2013) strongly rejected proposals for direct talks with the United States, effectively quashing suggestions for a breakthrough one-on-one dialogue on the nuclear standoff and potentially other issues. Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei continues to make it clear that Iran views America as its most detested enemy.
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     “- - - Recall that, during the 2009 protests in the streets of Tehran, Obama {and Clinton} offered no support whatever to the Iranian people, saying instead that he {and she} didn’t think the U.S. should ‘meddle’ in its internal affairs. In effect, he {and she} abandoned the Iranians to further tribulations.
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     “- - - Iran has never shown any respect for the U.S. It has, in fact, a long history of supporting terrorists that have attacked U.S. embassies. It recently sent its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on a mission to Egypt to establish better relations since it slid into the control of the Muslim Brotherhood.
     “Whether it is Iran, Egypt or anywhere else in the Middle East, Africa and other parts of the world, under Obama {and Clinton} the U.S. has been steadily withdrawing from showing any overt support for opponents of tyranny whether it was providing missile defense in Poland or its ‘lead from behind’ approach to efforts to overthrow dictators.
     “The timeline of U.S. blather about Iran would be amusing if it were not so deadly serious. In 2009 Obama said, - - - The only direction Iran has been moving has been the acquisition of nuclear weapons.
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     “Every U.S. administration has sought to open a dialogue with Iran and all have failed. At some point, one would expect those in office to draw some conclusions from this. Indeed, all the efforts of the United Nations, particularly that of its International Atomic Energy Agency, have been complete failures. At some point, Iran’s nuclear weapons program must be destroyed by military means and one suspects everyone is hoping Israel will do it for them.” A foreign policy that hopes someone else will do one’s dirty work is not a foreign policy of which to be proud!
     “There appears to be a complete lack of understanding that Iran’s leaders still operate with a seventh century mentality. One way to grasp this is a recent news story about the public amputation of a convicted thief’s fingers. It was broadcast on television. In addition, he had been sentenced to three years in prison and 99 lashes. A week earlier two men convicted of mugging a man at knife point were publicly hanged in Tehran from a pair of cranes. - - - As in all authoritarian regimes, such public punishments keep the population in a state of fear.
     “A variety of sanctions on Iran has created internal problems, but has not deterred its drive for nuclear weapons. Unlike other nations, the factor of irrational religion-based beliefs makes Iran more dangerous.
     “In effect, the {Obama/Clinton} policy toward Iran is little more than vague talk of negotiations that will never occur. Financial problems at home have triggered a drawdown of our ability to project power in the Persian Gulf and elsewhere in the world. If history is a guide, this is likely to encourage increased Iranian aggression.” (Ref. 14) It is safe to say that the Hillary Clinton record in America’s dealings within Iran is one of abject failure. Human rights are non-existent there. The drive to develop nuclear weapons and missiles to deliver them throughout the middle-east and elsewhere continues. Iran continues to train terrorists, export arms to terrorist organizations, and finance the operations of terrorist groups.


     The long war in Afghanistan shows signs of winding down. America is withdrawing its combat troops, with the hope that the Afghans can defend themselves against the Taliban and al-Quaeda forces with which they have been fighting for over a decade. But all is not peace and harmony in the relationship of the U.S. with Afghanistan. “The signing in May of a strategic partnership agreement between the United States and Afghanistan came at a tense time in the Afghan war. As NATO and the International Security Assistance Force work to transfer security responsibility for much of the country to the Afghan government, the agreement establishes the contours of a long-term relationship and a framework for future cooperation. But it notably leaves out details on the levels of forces and funding the United States will commit to Afghanistan after 2014. [Emphasis mine] Meanwhile, insurgents continue to mount frequent attacks against high-visibility targets throughout the country and have assassinated international personnel and Afghans with ties to the government of President Hamid Karzai. Trust between the U.S. and Afghan governments has eroded as a result of Afghan civilian casualties, attacks on U.S. and other international forces by Afghan troops, and blunders by U.S. military personnel, including the burning of Korans at an air base.
     “Although the Obama administration has reached out to the Taliban and Pakistan in the hopes of achieving a negotiated settlement, the U.S. transition strategy still prioritizes military activity over diplomacy. As Washington draws down its troops, it has armed both regular and irregular Afghan forces and targeted insurgent commanders and other extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The military campaign has had significant successes, particularly in dismantling al Qaeda and largely destroying its senior leadership in the region, achieving a primary U.S. national security objective. It has also weakened Taliban insurgents and restored Afghan government control over significant portions of southern Afghanistan.” (Ref. 15 )

     Has American foreign policy under the Obama/Clinton regime been successful? In truth, we simply don’t know. The push to rid Afghanistan of the terror of al-Queda and the Taliban began long before the Obama administration. The subsequent initiatives during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state are less clear. One major achievement has been Clinton’s push for equality of women in Afghanistan. The permanence of the achievements in this area depend upon the ability of the Afghan government to resist the return of Islamic fundamentalists to that country. With American withdrawal from Afghanistan, this ability will be in question.

     So, once again, there does not appear to be any significant nor lasting achievement in foreign policy in Afghanistan that can be attributed to Secretary Clinton. The Obama/Clinton policy seems to have been to continue the Bush policy of driving out the Taliban and destroying al-Quaeda and to then disengage as rapidly as possible without ensuring that neither could return to once again establish a base in which to train terrorists to attack America and other opponents.


     Secretary Clinton “was very good at going out to a country, soothing ruffled feathers, for example, with officials in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and speaking out to the public.
     “But what kind of a lasting impact did it have. For example, in Pakistan, . . . she deflected criticism, angry shouts from students, and she had them eating out of her hands. But, in Pakistan, the government is still providing shelter for the Taliban. And there's still no real solid rapprochement between us and them.
     “So it is very hard to see that her soothing, her repairing of alliances necessarily resulted in concrete policy achievements.” (Ref. 16)

Israel and its Arab Neighbors

     “Perhaps the biggest omission from Clinton's résumé is advancing Middle East peace. ‘She hasn't picked up the ball, and neither has President Obama,’ says Diana Buttu, a former legal adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. ‘To me, it signals that they just don't have a policy any longer when it comes to Israel and the Palestinians.’” (Ref. 17)

     What Clinton and president Obama have apparently never understood, or, if they have understood, have chosen to ignore in the hope of currying favor with the Arab-Muslim world, is that there is no desire on the part of the Palestinians, or the Arabs to reach a peace agreement with Israel. The two-state solution is nothing but a pipe dream, if for no other reasons than a) the Palestinian state is not a viable entity and, b) the Palestinians don’t want a two-state solution – they want a one-state-solution, a Palestinian state only! Consequently, secretary of state Clinton made zero progress in resolving the ongoing stalemate between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

     “THE CENTRAL failing of any conceivable two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that there is only one state {Israel} and then a swarm of angry factions {the Palestinians}, unbridled by univocal law. {Palestinian president Abbas, now in the 7th year of a 4-year presidential term} has no real authorization to broker agreements on behalf of this patchwork quilt of competing interests, and no power to compel them to submit to terms. He could never guarantee Israel peace and security, even if those were goals for which he honestly pined.
     “. . . a true commonwealth is held together by a common objective of love and an overlapping constellation of interests. The newly minted State of Palestine is only born out of mutual hate, animated by the desire to destroy a whole people, rather than the passion to sustain their own. Its deepest purpose is not to have a state but to deny the Jews one.” (Ref. 18) Secretary Clinton, if she ever understood this, never acknowledged these facts. Instead, the United States maintained the fairy tale that a two-state solution was possible and that the United States stood ready, as an honest broker, to foster such a fantasy – if only Israel would stop being so obstinate and give in to American-supported Arab/Palestinian demands for more and more concessions.

     “Israel and Hamas have a blow up every four or five years or so which usually ends in a make believe cease fire or even a peace agreement. In {the} latest skirmish {the short-lived rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza and the retaliatory air strike on Gaza by Israel}, Hamas . . . used up their inventory of Iranian missiles which, thanks to Israel’s new {Iron Dome} missile defense system, did little damage. But Hamas lost key personnel in missile technology to Israel’s retaliatory strikes, so . . . Hamas {was} ready for the usual talks that {would} allow them the opportunity to re-group and plan another assault on Israel some time down the road.
     “So, Hillary, seizing on the opportunity to never let a crisis go to waste, . . . decided to run down there to claim some credit for the pending agreement. That’s our Hillary, right on the job." (Ref. 19)


     "’Pravda’ is the Russian word for ‘truth’, as well as the name of a Russian newspaper that is famous for avoiding it. As Hillary Clinton's term as secretary of state ends, it's time for the truth to come out about her singular achievement: the supposed resetting of our relationship with Russia.
     “Clinton's ‘reset’ came only seven months after Russia had invaded neighboring Georgia, an action that caused a Cold War-like chill in our relations. Clinton's overture to Russia was supposed to reorient both nations to avoid the dangers posed by that and other Russian actions.
     “That ‘reset’ began ignominiously, with her presentation of a big red button to Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in March 2009. The button was supposed to say ‘reset’ in Russian, but as Lavrov pointed out to Clinton in the presentation ceremony, the State Department got the Russian word wrong: it said ‘overcharged,’ not ‘reset.’ Both diplomats laughed off the error, Clinton saying that America wouldn't let Russia overcharge us for what was supposed to be the new, friendlier relationship.
     “A ‘reset’ would mean that the two nations were more closely aligned in policies and actions. But in just the past year, Russian submarines have prowled close to our East Coast, Russia has continued its support of Iran's nuclear weapons program, it has a new agreement to sell arms to Iran, and it has reacted in Soviet style to our efforts to pressure Russia on human rights.
     “Human rights have always been Obama's first priority, and Russia's record in recent years is dismal.
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     “Russia is blocking further UN action against Iran and Russia's alliance with Assad's Syrian regime -- in conjunction with Iran -- may mean that Assad remains in power. And Russia is pursuing a Soviet-like arms buildup while our forces are being built down by Obama-imposed budget cuts.
     “One example of the Russian buildup was announced last week. The third of the Russian Borei-class "super modern" submarines was launched. Supposedly noiseless -- the characteristic that makes submarines effective -- the Borei submarines are fast, powered by a new generation of reactors, large enough to carry 16 nuclear ballistic missiles, and are armed with a new missile reportedly designed to overcome new missile defense systems. Last year, Russia announced its new stealthy T-50 fighter, intended to compete with our stealthy F-22 and F-35 jets. The Putin government is spending enormous amounts of funds to develop and deploy these and other new weapon systems.
     “As troubling as the Russian arms buildup is, its foreign policy is more so. Russian support for Iran takes many forms, including continued support for Iran's nuclear program. - - - Denied the bribes Putin sought, Russia announced a new agreement with Iran in October, offering to sell about $2.9 billion in fighter aircraft, naval ships and tanks to the Ahmadinejad regime.
     “Russia hasn't yet returned to the status of our primary foreign adversary, but the Putin government is working hard to achieve it. By any objective measure, Clinton's ‘reset’ hasn't worked. [Emphasis mine]” (Ref. 20)

     In still another example of America’s failed Russian policy, “Russia gave the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) until October 1 to cease operations after two decades and more than $2.6 billion spent to combat disease, protect the environment, strengthen civil society and modernize the economy.
     “Analysts . . . suggested a political motive: reducing foreign support for Russian groups that promote democracy and the rule of law but that are viewed with deep suspicion by the Kremlin.
     “This comes after Russia pushed the reset button last December and test fired two new nuke missiles.” (Ref. 21)

     In their early days in office, President Obmama and Secretary Clinton were almost unbelievably arrogant in their dealings with Russia, the "reset button" fiasco being prime example.

     Now Obama and Hillary have found that things aren’t so simple, and Hillary is warning against Russia’s attempt to re-establish the Soviet Union, exactly the concern that motivated the Bush-Cheney policy toward Russia.

     “The US is trying to prevent Russia from recreating a new version of the Soviet Union under the ruse of economic integration, Hillary Clinton warned on Thursday.
     “’There is a move to re-Sovietise the region,’ the US secretary of state told a news conference in Dublin hours before going into a meeting with her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov. - - -
     “Mrs Clinton said efforts at regional hegemony had been accompanied by new campaigns of repression from pro-Moscow regimes throughout the former Soviet Union. Her tone signaled that the US was rethinking its ‘reset’ in relations with Russia, declared in 2009, during which criticism of its human rights record has been muted and Moscow appeared to have a freer hand in the former Soviet region.

     “So, one wonders: what was Hillary’s first clue? Was it Ukraine? Georgia? We are going back several years here. What took the Obama administration so long to figure out that Vladimir Putin and his confederates are up to no good? As recently as March of this year, Obama was assuring Russia’s president that after the election he would have more ‘flexibility’ to give away the store on missile defense. So what has changed since then?
     “For obvious reasons, we and most other critics have focused primarily on the Obama administration’s economic failures over the last couple of years. But Obama’s foreign policy has also been remarkably inept, a fact that is highly relevant now and may be equally relevant in 2016, if Hillary Clinton decides to try to return Bill to the White House.” (Ref. 22)


     One of the objectives of American policy toward China has been to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Secretary Clinton totally failed to achieve this objective.

     According to a detailed report from Mandiant, a Virginia-based company specializing in cyber security, a secret Chinese military unit, based in Shanghai has been hacking into U.S. internet and computer systems and conducting digital espionage on an immense scale. This has apparently been known to the U.S. for some time, based upon what had been previously leaked from the government’s National Intelligence Estimate. And just what had our government and our State Department in particular done about this? Nothing! “Past Chinese cyberincursions . . . drew no real response from either governmental or commercial players. This has frankly encouraged Chinese actions, because there has been no obvious downside.” (Ref. 23) Mrs. Clinton, what were you doing for the past four years? Obviously she wasn’t taking care of American interests concerning the Chinese.

     According to President Obama, “America’s enemies are ‘seeking to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions and our air traffic control systems. We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy.’
     “Kind of makes you wonder where he {and his secretary of state have} been for the last four years.
     “The five-point program put out by the White House in response was nothing short of laughable.
         - - -
     “That ought to have the Chinese shaking n their boots – just like the last four years of doing nothing.” (Ref. 24)

North Korea

     Under secretary of state Clinton, has there been any improvement in our relations with this most despotic of regimes? No! There has been no reduction in their belligerent attittude toward South Korea, Japan, and the United States. There has been no abatement in their pursuit of the proliferation of nuclear weapons. They have ignored U.S. and U.N. warnings to terminate their ballistic missile program – to the contrary, they have boasted that their ballistic missiles are capable of carrying nuclear bombs that could reach the continental U.S. Our foreign policy dealings with North Korea have been a total failure under President Obama and Secretary Clinton.

     In mid-February 2012, North Korea detonated a nuclear device in violation of U.N. resolutions. “North Korea trumpeted the announcement on its state television channel to patriotic music against the backdrop of an image of its national flag.
     “It linked the test to its technical prowess in launching a long-range rocket in December, a move that triggered the U.N. sanctions, backed by China, that Pyongyang said prompted it to take Tuesday's action.
     “The North's ultimate aim, Washington believes, is to design an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead that could hit the United States.” (Ref. 25) Quite obviously, there has been no success in our dealings with the rogue regime in Pyongyang under Secretary Clinton.


     It seems that there has been basically nothing but a string of failures resulting from America’s foreign policy during secretary of state Clinton’s watch. One such failure was the State Department’s support of "fascism in Honduras, crucially helping to end democracy there and replace it with a far-right hell – an extreme version of the Republican Party’s own conservatism. Without Hillary Clinton’s support for fascism in that country, Honduras would still be a democratic republic in Central America; and this fact is widely known outside the U.S., even if America’s major news-media haven’t reported it. So: it’s a major failure on the part of Hillary Clinton – and also on the part of Barack Obama.” (Ref. 7)

     America’s foreign policy during secretary of state Clinton’s time in office has only made the West lose control of the Middle East and this will only lead to the formation of more and more Islamic states. With Egypt and Libya under the sway of Muslim fundamentalists and the confidence of the jihadist growing on account of Obama’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist plague continues to arise in other countries such as Jordan.

     The toppling of Mubarak in Egypt and Gaddafi in Libya, and the extremely violent revolution occurring in Syria, are all currently empowering the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood to fight to take over Jordan, as they have in Egypt.

     It’s reported that the foreign majority of the terrorist organization, Jabhat al-Nusra, which is heavily involved in Syria, are Jordanian and Iraqi. Once these fighters return to their homes in Jordan, it is feared that they will begin to partake in Islamist activities, and will demand for a nation under the control of Sharia law.

     Moreover, Syrian immigration to Jordan will pose a threat to the nation. According to the U.N., some 183,000 Syrian refugees have already settled in the country. This can cause a cultural shift, with a desire for Sharia law and which will favor the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood to escalate.

     A jihadi victory in Syria, added to the successful revolutions in Libya and Egypt, would only end up with an emboldened Muslim Brotherhood ensconced in Jordan. Such a happening would be disastrous for Jordan, Israel and the United States. It would leave Iraq surrounded on the west by the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria and Jordan and another radical Islamic state to the East, Iran. It’s unlikely that, under those circumstances, Iraq would be able to resist becoming another radical Islamic theocracy, home to more jihadist terrorists.

     The United States would then face a fundamentalist Islamic confederacy which would possess an unrestrained hatred of the United States – at least one of which would possess nuclear weapons and the ability to deliver them far and wide. Not a happy prospect, not an indication of a successful American foreign policy. Indeed, American foreign policy may actually be helping our very enemies. There appears to be a coordinated effort by Islamists throughout the Muslim world to establish a caliphate and destroy Western civilization. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama do not seem to have developed a countervailing American foreign policy to defeat them.

So, in Retrospect, What is Hillary Clinton’s Legacy?

     One positive aspect of Hillary Clinton’s time in office was that of loyalty. There were no reported rifts between the secretary of state and the president. She was a loyal soldier in supporting “a president who seems to think that enlisting the ‘international community’ in the delivery of more hot air is the key to any foreign policy crisis. - - - {But} weakness in international affairs has consequences. Following instead of leading has consequences.” (Ref. 26) These consequences - and the lack of any real achievements - are what, so far, determine the legacy of Hillary Clinton.

     “Let us review the record. Obama said in his {2009} inaugural speech that the failure to address global climate change 'would betray our children and future generations.' His administration, represented by Clinton's department, presided over the complete breakdown of international talks on the subject in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2009, and failed to accomplish anything of substance in Doha, Qatar, last year.
     “America's relations with its two main allies in the Middle East -- Israel and Egypt -- have worsened during Clinton's tenure. The new Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, is a fundamentalist who believes Egyptians should ‘nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred’ toward Israel and who is now acting to consolidate his power. Obama, who at one point publicly doubted whether Egypt was our ally anymore, has continued the practice of providing arms to Egypt.
     “After the questionable intervention in Libya, a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed in a terrorist attack, thanks in large part to the failure by Clinton's department to take seriously repeated requests for additional security at the consulate in Benghazi. For weeks after the attack, Secretary Clinton participated in deceiving the public about its nature and cause. Despite her testimony to the contrary, she did speak on at least two occasions (one at Andrews Air Force Base and another time to the father of one of the victims) as though the Benghazi attack had something to do with a YouTube video.
     “Clinton's last visit to China was met with open hostility by Beijing. The U.S. has made no progress in curbing Iran's nuclear ambitions. After a much-ballyhooed ‘reset’ -- which came at the cost of alienating our allies in Eastern Europe -- relations with Russia are as bad as they have been since the Cold War. They are so bad, in fact, that Russia has just banned the American adoption of Russian babies. As Obama nominee Chuck Hagel has pointed out, our Libyan intervention provided Russia with an additional ironclad excuse to keep working against us in Syria, where the ongoing civil war has killed 60,000 and a serious danger exists of the regime's chemical weapons falling into terrorists' hands.
     “One of the few areas where U.S. foreign relations have not deteriorated seems to be North Korea, whose U.S. relations remain as terrible as they were in the Bush and Clinton eras.
     “Last June, a Pew Research Center study of global attitudes toward the U.S. found that they have worsened in pretty much every country except Japan. Approval of the Obama administration's polices have dropped by double-digit margins everywhere in the world since 2009.
     “It's all well and good for chummy senators to congratulate Secretary Clinton, their former colleague, on her accomplishments. It's a lot harder to name any of them, let alone enough good ones to outweigh the bad.” (Ref. 3)

     One observer of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state had the following to say of her peformance and achievements:

     “When Hillary Clinton started as Head of the State Department, I watched her work and travel to more countries than any other secretary of state. I was impressed with what appeared to be a strong work ethic. But it was a deception. After four years of talking to every head of state in the world, I look for what she has accomplished and come up empty. It is now apparent that she has been on a four year public relations mission and not a mission of diplomacy. News reports and photos of her partying in nightclubs in South America while the Secret Service entertained local hookers in their hotel rooms, does not leave the image of a hardworking and serious state department. If those embarrassments coincided with accomplishments like peace agreements between warring nations or alliances with previously unfriendly nations or the strengthening of support with allies or the stabilizing of unstable regions or trade agreements that would benefit the USA, I would gladly let the embarrassing indulgences pass.
     “But that hasn’t happened. After four years of what she calls diplomatic work, she has produced nothing of value. We have a decline of trust with our European allies, our tentative support for Israel has caused that relationship to be compromised, China has become an economic adversary, North Korea has become more emboldened and threatening, we have been impotent against the Iranian threat of nuclear proliferation, the whole of the MIddle East has become a cauldron of instability as the Muslim Brotherhood becomes stronger and stronger with more influence in the region than we do. We would be hard pressed to find an Arab state reliably friendly to the United States. Our relationship with Russia has become less friendly. If she has made any headway regarding civil rights or poverty in some of some third world nations, I am unaware of it. I never thought of Hillary as a party girl but it appears in her four years as secretary of state, it’s her only claim to fame.
     “As I perceive it, foreign policy and international diplomacy differ. Foreign policy requires an understanding of America’s policies and how they relate to other countries. Salesmanship is required for others to accept our ideology. International diplomacy requires an understanding of world events to determine what will be. Then, by skilled maneuvering and negotiations, influence those events to alter the outcome in the best interests of the USA. It demands an understanding of other cultures, philosophy, history and a good dose of negotiating skills. It requires a sophistication that, according to the results, Hillary seems to be lacking.
     “Obama may not agree, but I don’t consider public relations a primary function of the US diplomatic corps. Maybe it’s just me but I expect more. I expect statesmanship. But I expect leadership from the office of the president and we don’t have that either." (Ref. 19)

     “Secretary Clinton may be powerful, but the United States has greatly slipped in power and prestige on her watch. The fault of most of this decline rests on the shoulders of Barack Obama, but Hillary had numerous opportunities to firmly disagree with Obama and did not.
     “The lack of an adequate military presence at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi may have been Clinton’s greatest failing. On Secretary Clinton’s watch, North Korea has developed a real ICBM, Iran is building nuclear weapons, China’s Navy has become more aggressive, Russia is building new nuclear weapons, the Arab Spring has failed with Egypt and Libya under terrorist control, Syria has a civil war, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are hastily developing a nuclear arsenal, and Israel and Taiwan have experienced diminished U.S. support. Disasters are waiting to happen.
          - - -
     “Obama and Clinton deny the fact that diplomacy without the threat of military action has no effect on the leadership of North Korea and Iran. The deficient leadership of Obama and Clinton has severely diminished the credibility and security of the United States." (Ref. 9)

     It seems clear that there are many foreign policy issues that “Hillary Clinton failed to solve when she was in office. Although Mrs. Hillary Clinton has a reputation of a strong will and hardline politician her foreign policy turned out to be inefficient. The situation in the Middle East remains very complicated - no peace between Israel and Palestinians is in sight, Iran’s nuclear issue remains unsolved, there is no hint at any stability in Afghanistan, Iraq and northern Africa. - - - The reset of the US-Russia relations actually failed. - - - The results of Hillary Clinton’s policy . . . are mainly negative.” (Ref. 27)

     “Despite Mr. Obama’s recent pronouncement of Clinton as “one of our finest” secretaries of State, expert opinions are more divided over the job Clinton did and the impact she’s had on US foreign policy.
          - - -
     “While many diplomats and foreign-policy experts give Clinton high marks, the glowing evaluation is hardly unanimous. As one national-security expert with Democratic leanings (and who requested anonymity in order to be blunt) says, “She’s been a fairly effective spokesman for the US government, but what has she done as secretary of State?
     “Clinton’s critics argue that something like the Asia pivot, for example, was going to happen no matter who was Obama’s secretary of State. And they say they are hard pressed to find anything significant in the foreign policy of Obama’s first term that is Clinton’s signature work.” (Ref. 2)

     “It's an open question whether her tenure includes a standout foreign policy achievement. Still unresolved issues include Iran's nuclear program, the lack of a Middle East peace process, and the raging war in Syria.” (Ref. 16)

     One assessment of Hillary Clinton’s achievements as secretary of state reads as follows.

     “Mrs. Clinton’s legacy heading the U.S. Department of State is largely noted for her personal consistency and professionalism, especially her prodigious work ethic and frequent far-flung diplomatic travels.
     “Her tenure is criticized, though, for lacking any major foreign policy victory which precipitated a radical shift in global affairs. ‘The basic line is that she didn’t succeed at anything big,’ stated A Report Card for Hillary from the Brookings Institute. ‘The Clinton Doctrine of American Foreign Policy,’ The New York Times wrote, was defined by caution and working to restore America’s global image but no historic breakthroughs.” (Ref. 28)

     “On the big issues, Clinton is an afterthought. That's a good thing.
     “It’s hard to think of a recent secretary of state who’s been worse than Hillary Clinton. On the plus side, it’s hard to think of one who’s been more irrelevant."
     "{There has been a heavy focus} on Clinton’s work on secondary and tertiary issues – such as Bangladesh, Myanmar, and women’s rights in the Congo – because as secretary of state Hillary Clinton has been stripped of nearly all the important portfolios. Since its start, the administration of Barack Obama has aggregated the making of foreign policy to a small group inside the White House. Maybe that’s because Obama didn’t trust either Clinton or Bob Gates, a Republican appointed by George W. Bush: Clinton because during the campaign she attacked Obama from the right on foreign policy, and Gates because of his GOP ties and shady past as a manipulator of intelligence at the CIA in the 1980s. In any case, it’s nearly universally accepted that when it comes to foreign policy, the White House runs the show. By and large – except for her hawkish advice, often in tandem with the secretary of defense and the military – irrelevant. On the big issues – Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Israel – Clinton is an afterthought.
     “On Iran, for instance, where war and peace looms in the balance in talks over Iran’s nuclear program, Clinton has hardly been a factor. - - - Aaron David Miller, a longtime diplomat and Middle East expert, who was in charge in Washington on Iran, - - - said that the policy is ‘made, controlled, and micromanaged by the White House.’ That, he noted, is true of most important areas of work. Clinton, he said, ‘doesn’t own any issues.’
     “On Iraq, the administration’s point man for policy was Vice President Joe Biden. On Afghanistan and Pakistan, it was Richard Holbrooke and his successor, Marc Grossman, along with a team of exceedingly independent-minded ambassadors who owed little or nothing to Clinton. Cameron Munter, the outgoing U.S ambassador to Pakistan, ‘was an ally of Richard Holbrooke, Obama’s larger-than-life envoy to the region before he died in 2010.’ And while Obama relied too heavily, especially in 2009, on tendentious advice from the generals on Afghanistan, if Clinton played any role at all it was to echo the military brass.
     “It’s hard to think of single major accomplishment of Clinton since she took office. To the extent that America’s image in the world has improved since 2009, it’s almost entirely due to the fact that allies and adversaries alike saw Obama himself as a breath of fresh air after the heavy-handed, bungling warmongers of the previous administration. {It was said} that Clinton ‘has done more than any other Obama administration official to chip away at the image of the United States left behind by George W. Bush.’ But that’s faint praise. All the softening up was done when Bush packed his suitcases, and – at least at the beginning – Obama had most of the world’s leaders at hello.
     “- - - As far as more recent secretaries of state, - - - going all the way back to Al Haig (1981-1982), {it's difficult} to come up with one worse than Clinton. Condi Rice, for all her faults (and there are many), presided over the exile of the neoconservatives from the Bush administration. Colin Powell, who disastrously served as the White House’s mouthpiece in the run up to war in Iraq, at least argued internally against that reckless fiasco. Madeleine Albright, perhaps as hawkish as Clinton, didn’t succeed in drawing Bill Clinton into major wars outside the Balkans mess. And the array of white men who preceded them – Warren Christopher, Larry Eagleburger, James Baker and George Shultz -- were Cold War hawks but mostly realists who understood that the United States is limited by balance-of-power politics abroad. If Clinton is not worse than any of them, she’s certainly no better.
     “- - - Clinton’s role in promoting ‘the office of global women’s issues at the State Department’ as well as her efforts to ‘expand diplomatic action on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights’ {are} all to the good – but hardly the big-think issues that a secretary of state ought to focus on. If, in extricating the United States from the Afghan quagmire, the United States has to finesse its commitment to the rights of women in that exceedingly male-dominated, tribal society, will Clinton be the grease under the wheels on the exit ramp or the anchor that entangles us further?
     “Meanwhile if Obama lurches dangerously toward a containment policy vis-à-vis China, {would} Clinton suggest a softer course? Not likely. So far, by her own rhetoric, she’s waving the flags of various Southeast Asian nations against what some of their leaders see as Chinese hegemony.
     “Going forward, if Obama does indeed see more ‘flexibility’ in his second term on foreign policy, as he suggested to then President Medvedev of Russia in the famous live-mic moment, he ought to usher Clinton quietly into her retirement after the election. {She has indeed retired after Obama's second term re-election.} We can hope that {Clinton's} successor will be someone who brings a more dovish, and humble, counsel when he or she sits down with Obama.” (Ref. 29)

     Another perepective on Hillary Clinton's time as secretary of state is as follows:

    “Let’s start with a backhanded compliment: secretary of state Hillary Clinton isn’t a neoconservative. But if you like the job she’s doing at Foggy Bottom, then you probably liked Dean Rusk, secretary of state under Kennedy and Johnson, and Bill Clinton’s secretary of state Madeleine Albright, too. Here’s the book on Hillary: hawkish and pro-military, skilled at using human rights as a cudgel against regimes she doesn’t like while glossing over human rights abuses by allies, a liberal interventionist who’s on the wrong side of the administration’s internal debates on Afghanistan, China, Libya, and Syria.
     “Let’s hope that Clinton’s next war isn’t Syria, where the United States is coordinating weapons delivery to rebels, including Islamist militants.
         - - -
     “Clinton has hardly distinguished herself during the so-called Arab Spring. First, in deference to Saudi Arabia and Israel, Clinton backed the regime of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. Shortly before it was toppled, she called for ‘real democracy,’ but has joined Gates and the Pentagon in working with Egypt’s military to preserve what’s left of the Mubarak era. A footnote to her close relationship with the king of Saudi Arabia is her utter lack of support for the rebels in Bahrain, a strategic linchpin in the Persian Gulf that was invaded by Saudi troops in 2011 to protect its thievery-minded Sunni monarchy. Apparently, to Clinton, the human rights of Bahrainis are far, far less important than those of, say, Syria or Libya. Perhaps the U.S. naval base in Bahrain, the ongoing U.S. confrontation with Iran, and the intemperate desires of the Saudi king have something to do with her preferences. Recently, Clinton met with visiting senior officials from Bahrain to announce the resumption of U.S. arms sales to the island kingdom.
     “On China, too, Clinton has a mixed record at best. In 2009, during her first visit there, she seemed to back away from an aggressive, pro-human rights stance in favor of a sensible view that U.S.-China ties were far too complex and important for the United States to meddle in internal Chinese affairs. But she’s moved away from that more ‘realist’ view, more recently. And the saga of the blind Chinese dissident and lawyer Chen Guangcheng raises concern that Clinton is now willing to anger China on this volatile front, even if it means provoking China’s own militant, anti-American contingent in the Communist Party there. Why, exactly, was Chen given asylum in the U.S. embassy in Beijing days before crucial U.S.-China talks? And did President Obama know about the decision to shield Chen? According to the New York Times, Obama was informed only after Chen was in the embassy.
     “Clinton has meddled, too, in China’s relations with various neighbors, bluntly supporting several countries that challenge China in disputed areas of the South China Sea. She’s backed military aid to a controversial, human rights-violating Indonesian paramilitary group, and she’s generally supported a stepped up U.S. military presence in the area around China, backing the Philippines and Vietnam against Beijing and supporting the deployment of U.S. forces in Australia. If this isn’t designed to “contain” China, it’s hard to see what it is. (Ref. 30)

     “Without a strong political/military presence around the world instability increases as anti-American, antimodern forces violently assert themselves. We’ve seen this movie before in the isolationist 1903s [Emphasis mine] and again in the the 1970s when the U.S. seemed to be in terminal decline. We are not the world’s policeman, but we are the best guarantor of peace and stability.
         - - -
     “North Korea is becoming increasingly belligerent, and China is more truculent with its neighbors.
         - - -
    “Our unnecessary withdrawal from Iraq is destabilizing that already shaky part of the world. Iran is using Iraq as a thruway to supply arms to the Syrian government, which has killed 60,000 of its unhappy citizens. Iraq itself may break apart in communal conflict. A meaningful U.S. troop presence in Iraq would have been a beneficial check to Iranian belligerence and would have given more credibility to our warnings to Tehran to cease its race for nuclear weapons.
    “Bugging out of Afghanistan after overstretched U.S. forces have achieved considerable success in stabilizing much of the country will only mean that the Taliban and al Quaeda get another shot at taking the country. Doesn’t anyone remember where the 9/11 plot was hatched? Moreover, the vacuum we create in Afghanistan will mean more trouble in neighboring Pakistan, where moderate forces are already on the defensive.
         - - -
     “Can Afghanistan defend itself against Islamist militants? Probably not, just as Western Europe during the Cold War could never have defended itself against the Red Army without American help.“ (Ref. 31)

     This is the foreign policy mess bequeathed to Hillary Clinton’s successor.

     Clinton leaves behind no significant accomplishments except visiting a record number of countries. To many, perhaps Hillary Clinton’s greatest achievement as secretary of state has been to present herself as a role model for all girls and women – admirable, but hardly the mark of a great statesperson or a great secretary of state. Still, everyone apparently loves Hillary.


  1. A great secretary of state? Not Clinton, Jeff Jacoby, Boston Sunday Globe, Page K9, 3 February 2013.
  2. Hillary Clinton departs State: What's her legacy as top US diplomat?, Howard LaFranchi, The Christian Science Monitor, 1 February 2013.
  3. Examiner Editorial: Hillary Clinton was not a great secretary of state, Editorial, Washington Examiner,
    24 January, 2013.
  4. Stephen Zunes: Hillary Clinton's legacy at the State Department, Stephen Zunes, Sata Cruz Sentinel,
    12 February 2013.
  5. Kerry faces new battles as he takes foreign policy helm from Clinton, Tom Curry, NBC Politics,
    1 February 2013.
  6. Hard-line Islamist militias target Arab Spring countries, Geoffrey York, The Globe and Mail,
    10 February 2013.
  7. Hillary Clinton’s Record of Failure as secretary of state, Eric Zuesse, Counterpunch; http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/02/08/hillary-clintons-record-of-failure-as-secretary-of-state/,
    8-10 February 2013.
  8. Five things we learned from the Benghazi hearings, Elise Labott, CNN Politics, 24 January 2013.
  9. It's Debatable: What ranking does Hillary Clinton get as secretary of state?, Carol Morgan and Donald May, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal; lubbockonline.com, 19 February 2013.
  10. Morsi’s comments reveal more about us than him, Ben Cohen, The Jewish Advocate, Page 9,
    15 February 2013
  11. Algeria in Jihadi Flames, Matthew Vadum, frontpagemag.com,
    18 January 2013.
  12. Mali: fragile democracy and clumsy US policy, Simon Tisdall, The Guardian; guardian.co.uk,
    18 January 2013.
  13. Syria Talks: Russia, Arab League Offer To Broker Negotiations Between Assad, Rebels To End War, Associated Press, Huffington Post; Huff Post World, 20 February 2013.
  14. Obama’s Do Nothing Iran Policy, Alan Caruba, Canada Free Press, 12 February 2013.
  15. The Right Way Out of Afghanistan: Leaving Behind a State That Can Govern , Stephen Hadley and John D. Podesta, Foreign Affairs, July/August 2012.
  16. Outgoing secretary of state Hillary Clinton Says Goodbye, For Now, PBS Newshour, 1 February 2013.
  17. What will Hillary Clinton's diplomatic legacy be?, Richard Wolf, USA Today, 17 May 2012.
  18. The problem with a two-state solution, Ivan Kenneally, Jerusalem Post, Page 14, 27 January 2013.
  19. Hillary Clinton’s accomplishments have Failed the USA … By Ron Gangitano., Fred Brownbill, Save America Foundation; www.SaveAmericaFoundation.com, 24 November 2012.
  20. Jed Babbin: The pravda about Hillary Clinton's Russian 'reset', Jed Babbin, Washington Examiner,
    3 January 2013.
  21. So Much For That ‘Reset Button’… Russia Closes US Aid Mission in Moscow, Jim Hoft, The Gateway Pundit, 18 September 2012.
  22. How’s That “Reset” Going, Hillary?, John Hinderaker, Powerline; http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/12/hows-that-reset-going-hillary.php, 6 December 2012.
  23. China’s cyberwar targets U. S. biz, Steven P. Bucci, The Boston Herald, Page 23, 22 February 2013.
  24. Say something, do what?, op-ed, The Boston Herald, Page 22, 22 February 2013.
  25. North Korea Nuclear Test: Pyongyang Defies UN Resolutions, Conducts Explosive Test , David Chance and Jack Kim (Reuters), HuffPost World, 12 February 2013.
  26. The risks of weakness, op-ed, The Boston Herald, Page 18, 13 February 2013.
  27. John Kerry and Hillary Clinton’s “heritage”, Andrey Fedyashin and Alexei Lyakhov, The Voice of Russia; http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_02_04/John-Kerry-and-Hillary-Clinton-s-heritage/ , 4 February 2013.
  28. Hillary Clinton’s legacy at the State Department, George Angus West, The Independent; http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2013/02/07/Hillary-clintons-legacy-at-the-state-department/,
    7 February 2013.
  29. OpinionNation: Hillary Clinton at the State Department: Hawk or Humanitarian? - Needed: Humble, Dovish Counsel by Robert Dreyfuss , Barbara Crossette and Robert Dreyfuss, The Nation, 12 June 2012.
  30. OpinionNation: Hillary Clinton at the State Department: Hawk or Humanitarian? - Pro-Human Rights—for Strategic Gain; Clinton's no neocon. But she's still pro-military by Robert Dreyfuss, Barbara Crossette and Robert Dreyfuss, The Nation, 4 June 2012.
  31. Obama’s ugly foreign policy legacy, Steve Forbes, Forbes, Pages 11-12, 11 February 2013.


  1 March 2013 {Article 156; Govt_40}    
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