August 24, 2007

Hillary's Fatally Flawed Foreign Policy

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Since I still am somewhat new to this whole blogging niche, I may make mistakes at times, such as praising Clinton for her foreign policy. Granted, she rightly rebuked Obama for his unilateral threat against our ally Pakistan (as I mentioned in my last blog), but why did she make this decision? Because she has all this wisdom and experience that Obama does not, or because Obama said the exact opposite thing earlier? I must apologize to my readers for not noticing this. After all, although Hillary criticized Obama for taking nuclear weapons off the table for the purpose of diplomacy, Hillary suggested the same thing herself for Iran back in 2006. Now she may attempt to spin this by playing off the differences between her situation and Obama’s, but no one should buy this. After all, Iran has not only consistently defied U.N. sanctions, but President Ahmadinejaid also once called for Israel to be wiped off the face of the earth. If we cannot keep the nuclear option on the table for Iran and Ahamdinejaid, then who can we keep it on the table for? I doubt we would ever actually nuke Iran, but we should still leave the option on the table for a leader as crazy as Ahmadinejaid. Even if people’s positions change over time, the timing of Hillary’s change on nuclear weapons poses an inconvenient truth for her own campaign.

Beyond setting her views based on what the other person thinks or does, popularity also motivates Hillary more than it should. Hence the reason why she constantly bashes people with low approval ratings like Bush, Cheney, and Rove. In one of her television ads, she made the ludicrous assertion that the troops are invisible to Bush.

Dirty politics at its best, or actually its worst

Recently, she accused former Bush strategist and political mastermind Karl Rove of having an obsession with her after Rove labeled her as “fatally flawed” due to her high negative ratings. By the way, that begs the question, if Rove’s attacks at Hillary qualify as an obsession, then what do Hillary’s attacks at Bush qualify as? But anyway, in spite of all the bashing that Hillary does, even going so far as to call Iraq Bush’s war (excuse me, Hillary, but Iraq will affect more people than Bush), she seems to have turned an about face, now recently praising the success of the surge in Iraq. Now I honestly doubt she had so much enthusiasm for the surge back when Bush first announced it. So what changed her mind? Well, the surge has gained more popular support recently…

Since Hillary likes to base her position both on popularity and what the other person says, her recent statement calling for an end to the al-Maliki government in Iraq comes as no surprise at all, especially since Bush had expressed support for al-Maliki earlier. Now Hillary and I both agree about the ineffectiveness of the al-Maliki government in Iraq and his unpopularity in the United States. Yet since Hillary rebuked Obama for threatening to unilaterally bomb Pakistan, you figure that she would also not make an outrageous statement calling for the removal of a sovereign leader. As ineffective as al-Maliki is, he still leads Iraq and came to power through Iraq’s democratic processes. While hoping for a fully democratic Iraq could be too optimistic, at the same time you cannot just call for the removal of a head-of-state at your own convenience. For all the Iraqis who believe the U.S. wants to occupy rather than liberate Iraq, Hillary has given them a good reason to continue to believe that and hate the U.S. even more. A liberated Iraq can make its own decisions; an occupied Iraq has Hillary make it for them. Considering that she criticized for Obama for his insensitivity to the situation in Pakistan, perhaps she could show the same sensitivity to the situation in Iraq.

Furthermore, if she has the guts to call for the ouster of al-Maliki, then why has she has not done the same for Ahmadinejaid? Ahmadinejaid certainly deserves the bad end of a coup more than al-Maliki. However, diplomacy rather than confrontation is “in” for the Democrats. In spite of all this experience Hillary claims to have, no one really needs any experience at all to follow the latest “in” trend in politics.

If Hillary becomes President, ultimately she has to make her own decisions. Bush-bashing will not do a thing to improve the situation in Iraq, high approval ratings on Iraq will mean nothing in the long run if we have to go back to Iraq later, and there will be no other candidates to base your position off of. While people like Hillary and Obama try to court MoveOn.org, the DailyKOS, and the antiwar left, another Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Joseph Biden, has tried a novel idea in his campaign; actually coming up with a plan to solve the political situation in Iraq. I may not totally agree with his plan, but while Hillary talks about trying to smartly get out of Iraq, Biden actually has come up with a way to do it. And some in the military even believe that his plan might just work.

A plan? Someone has a plan?

Biden has the right idea, because ultimately, if Hillary becomes President, she has to deliver a plan, and not just more rhetoric.

Mike Wacker is a blogger and an Assistant Web Editor at The Sun. He can be contacted at mwacker@cornellsun.com.