Obama Undermines Clinton’s Ability To Be Commander In Chief In New Interview

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While probably inadvertent, Barack Obama has significantly undermined Hillary Clinton’s candidacy in an interview with Jeffery Goldberg being published this week in The Atlantic. Despite Goldberg’s own hawkish views, problems with Clinton’s policies can still be seen regardless of Goldberg’s spin on matters.

While Secretary of State, Clinton generally advocated a far more hawkish approach than Obama, supporting a continuation of the neoconservative policies of the Bush years. Despite the manner in which she now invokes Obama’s name in the same manner that Republicans speak of Ronald Reagan, she previously attacked Obama’s “Don’t do stupid stuff” approach to foreign policy.

Obama and Clinton had major differences of opinion over Syria, with Clinton proposing military intervention which would have probably made the situation far worse:

Hillary Clinton, when she was Obama’s secretary of state, argued for an early and assertive response to Assad’s violence. In 2014, after she left office, Clinton told me that “the failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad … left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled.” When The Atlantic published this statement, and also published Clinton’s assessment that “great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle,” Obama became “rip-shit angry,” according to one of his senior advisers. The president did not understand how “Don’t do stupid shit” could be considered a controversial slogan. Ben Rhodes recalls that “the questions we were asking in the White House were ‘Who exactly is in the stupid-shit caucus? Who is pro–stupid shit?’ ” The Iraq invasion, Obama believed, should have taught Democratic interventionists like Clinton, who had voted for its authorization, the dangers of doing stupid shit. (Clinton quickly apologized to Obama for her comments, and a Clinton spokesman announced that the two would “hug it out” on Martha’s Vineyard when they crossed paths there later.)

While Clinton supported early military intervention, Obama deserves credit for stepping back from the brink of war. Clinton opposed this decision:

For some foreign-policy experts, even within his own administration, Obama’s about-face on enforcing the red line was a dispiriting moment in which he displayed irresolution and naïveté, and did lasting damage to America’s standing in the world. “Once the commander in chief draws that red line,” Leon Panetta, who served as CIA director and then as secretary of defense in Obama’s first term, told me recently, “then I think the credibility of the commander in chief and this nation is at stake if he doesn’t enforce it.” Right after Obama’s reversal, Hillary Clinton said privately, “If you say you’re going to strike, you have to strike. There’s no choice.”

This is a classic example of Clinton’s poor judgment. We should go to war only based upon security considerations, and only as a last resort when diplomacy will not work.  To make someone who thinks we had no choice in such a situation Commander In Chief is a terrifying prospect.

One of Obama’s biggest mistakes as president was to take Clinton’s advice on Libya. He admits it was a mistake:

But what sealed Obama’s fatalistic view was the failure of his administration’s intervention in Libya, in 2011. That intervention was meant to prevent the country’s then-dictator, Muammar Qaddafi, from slaughtering the people of Benghazi, as he was threatening to do. Obama did not want to join the fight; he was counseled by Joe Biden and his first-term secretary of defense Robert Gates, among others, to steer clear. But a strong faction within the national-security team—Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice, who was then the ambassador to the United Nations, along with Samantha Power, Ben Rhodes, and Antony Blinken, who was then Biden’s national-security adviser—lobbied hard to protect Benghazi, and prevailed. (Biden, who is acerbic about Clinton’s foreign-policy judgment, has said privately, “Hillary just wants to be Golda Meir.”) American bombs fell, the people of Benghazi were spared from what may or may not have been a massacre, and Qaddafi was captured and executed.

But Obama says today of the intervention, “It didn’t work.” The U.S., he believes, planned the Libya operation carefully—and yet the country is still a disaster.

Obama also calls Libya a “shit show” ” in part because it’s subsequently become an ISIS haven.”

While Obama admits “It didn’t work,” Clinton continues to defend the policy. She has not learned from her mistakes in Iraq or Libya.

The neoconservative policies advocated by Hillary Clinton have been a disaster. A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for war.

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10 Comments

  1. 1
    CH says:

    Amen. It's incredible to me that the frontrunner for the D presidential nomination is someone who actually boasts about getting foreign policy advice from Henry Kissinger. (Hey, it impresses Chuck Todd, so…) And don't tell me, as I've been told by HRC apologists, that objections to Henry the K are somehow passe' or naive – I turned draft age in 1970. Most of her apologists weren't even born during Kissinger's heyday, when he and his patron Nixon subverted the Paris peace talks in spring '68, intensified/prolonged the Vietnam War for political gain, and ran a steady sideline in maintaining tinpot Francos in power in Latin America, among other sterling achievements. If Sanders accomplishes nothing else, at least he made it clear that not everyone has forgotten what a swine Kissinger was and remains.

  2. 2
    Anonymous says:

    i agree

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    The degree to which Clinton apologists will rationalize anything from her is scary. If a Republican candidate were to say good things about Kissinger, we would have all the usual Democratic candidates slamming them for it. However, when Clinton does it, it is defended by her apologists. I fear the same will be true with the next country Clinton wants to do more regime change.

  4. 4
    Mervin Sonnier says:

    There could be serious mental pathology here, or this lady is seriously evil. She morphs more than Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. She's Hillary one day, Bill the next. She's Hillary one day, President Obama the next. She's Hillary one day, Bernie Sanders the next. She's white one day, black or hispanic ("Basta") the next.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    She is a neocon–which might be the equivalent of “seriously evil.”

  6. 6
    Ronald Vest says:

    This article and the commentors are all BBerney Sanders supporters who are trying to prove Hillary Clinton unfit to be POTUS. Although they have good intentions,  the only thing they are aiding is Donald Trump's bid to become POTUS which is something we can not allow! Thone of the main differences in the GOP and the Democrats is the broad diversity  of its members. Even though in a democratic society diversity should be pronounced,  but when it becomes extremely important for solidarity among democratic voters it seems to become a severe problem! 

      We as American voters have to be aware of "wolves in sheeps clothing" especially when the opposition are people who will stoop extremely low to promote their agenda. I would be awful of me to judge the "liberals" who wrote and promote this article as Trump's sympathizers, but that is the same result if they continue to find fault instead of finding some way to unite behind the inevitable Democratic candidate for POTUS!

  7. 7
    Ron Chusid says:

    It is rather foolish to worry about the Republican candidate during the primaries and to use this to ignore the dangers in having a neocon such as Clinton as the Democratic nominee.The Democratic Party is not being all that much different from the Republicans when they tolerate a war monger like Clinton.

    The tendency of those supporting Clinton to make such absurd claims as to accuse anti-war liberals of being Trump sympathizers is also a clear sign that the Clinton camp, along with Trump, are “wolves in sheeps clothing” who must be avoided.

  8. 8
    Anonymous says:

    Inevitable my butt.  Hillary has proven herself unworthy of being POTUS all by herself.  lHillary is a warmongering for profit Republican who will sell her soul and our liveleyhoods and the well being of our sons and daughters to her Corporate interests and/or the highest bidder.  She will lie at every turn to meet her objective.  Bernie is berning a blazing trail to the nomination despite Hillary's lying, cheating and conniving along with her friends in high places. She may have won the South but she has a snowball's chance in you know where after this Super Tuesday. Not all of us lap up what the mainstream media spit out at us. Too much blood and scandal haunting her as well as her own mouth.  How many mistakes and apologies must we endure from her. She exercises poor judgement at every turn. Not a good for a President. 

    :24 seconds pay attention     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vk2D9YI7yLM

      The only thing inevitable about Hillary is that she will lie for political gain..

    Straight from the horses mouth     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dY77j6uBHI

    She has no respect for Democracy

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QiA8BA8WkM

     

  9. 9
    Anonymous says:

    Ron Chusid she is more of a decepticon.

  10. 10
    Ron Chusid says:

    While Clinton does have the edge (largely due to the influence of the party leadership), she is not inevitable. It is a typical Clinton strategy to claim her victory is inevitable, and she should not be criticized. She tried the same against Obama. It is just one of her many deceptions.

    It is rather disturbing that the reaction of so many Democrats to all her negatives is to come up with arguments why she should not be criticized–and to attack those who criticize her based upon liberal principles with lines like aiding Donald Trump's bid.

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