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Posts Tagged ‘Hillary Clinton legacy’

In response to a special request from SophieCT for a post about Hillary’s accomplishments, I thought of this one from March when Jennifer Rubin went on the attack.  Originally  intended as a rampart against Rubin’s onslaught,  it also focused on  Hillary’s legacy.  (Note: there was a follow-up a few days later in response to an additional Rubin attack, but this is the one that appears most appropriate to Sophie’s request.)

About Hillary Clinton’s “Puny” Legacy, Jennifer Rubin …

In her signature style of random, shallow cuts inaccurately delivered, Jennifer Rubin makes a pathetic attempt, in today’s Washington Post, to slash and burn Hillary Clinton’s legacy at the State Department.  The problem with her attack is that Hillary Clinton was not at the helm driving the policies that Rubin targets in this order.

1. In the case of Benghazi, she didn’t quite make it out the door unscathed.

2. Confidence in Obama in Muslim countries dropped from 33% to 24% in his first term.

3. … fecklessness with regard to Iran.

4. … doing nothing to end the suffering in Syria.

5. … embracing Muslim Brotherhood chief Mohamed Morsi.

6. On Clinton’s watch, a U.S. ambassador was killed … (Yes, Benghazi again).

7. The administration was largely mute at a critical time in the Green Revolution.

8. The Palestinian Authority, against our express wishes, went to the United Nations for a declaration of statehood, while we were able to round up fewer than 10 “no” votes.

9. Syria’s chemical weapons were not secured….

10. Russian reset was such a bust that Clinton’s successor, John Kerry, was compelled to dump it as he was taking office.

Rubin’s  major obstacle in lodging these complaints is the job description of the Secretary of State as presented at the State Department website.

The Secretary of State, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, is the President’s chief foreign affairs adviser. The Secretary carries out the President’s foreign policies through the State Department, which includes the Foreign Service, Civil Service, and U.S. Agency for International Development

The policies were not Hillary’s.  Nevertheless, let’s take a look at what she did manage to accomplish.

1.  The Benghazi “scathing” –  her soaring poll numbers fly in the face of that one.

2. Aside from a much-trumpeted speech in Cairo in 2009, the Obama administration early on focused attention on East Asia providing no follow-up to Cairo.  This was not Hillary’s decision.  Hillary stood firm in Spring of 2009 against continued construction in East Jerusalem.  No support was forthcoming from the White House.  By Fall of 2009 the White House had pulled her back from this issue.  When Netanyahu issued a 10 month freeze on construction she had to welcome it with open arms … not a popular endorsement in the Arab world, and not her policy.

I want to take 3 and 7 together.  Rubin is also ill-organized.  Aside from Iran policy being in the hands of the White House,  the State Department did what it could in the face of a silent, hesitant President during the Green Revolution.  Aware that people in the streets of Tehran and other cities were depending on Twitter to communicate life-and-death information and learning that Twitter intended to close down for maintenance, Hillary Clinton prevailed upon Twitter to leave the lines of communication open.  They did, as those of us who spent those weekends retweeting important tweets from Iran can attest.

4. Since the 2012 Republican Vice Presidential candidate did not know that aside from negotiating at the U.N. on Syria, we were energetically participating in a group called Friends of the Syrian People, I suppose I cannot expect Rubin to be aware of this either.  From April until she fell ill in December of 2012 Hillary Clinton attended at least five meetings and was scheduled for another which she could not attend due to her illness.

5. She did not embrace the Muslim Brotherhood’s chief.  He is the democratically-elected President of Egypt and stepped down from the leadership of the Brotherhood when elected.  She visited a president, as she had many, in this case to ensure that Egypt would continue to respect agreements with Israel.

6. Yes, we lost an Ambassador, one who was a friend of hers, and that was tragic.  To blame Hillary for this when Congress twice chopped her Diplomatic Security budget and given the conventions under which mission security operates is patently political gamesmanship.

8. With regard to the Palestinian resolution at the U.N.  It is not the job of the Secretary of State to “round up votes” at the U.N.   That is why we have an ambassador to the U.N.

9.  Syria’s chemical weapons – why it is perceived to be the job of one sole person, the Secretary of State,  to achieve this escapes me.  The Friends of the Syrian People have been working together on international sanctions.  It is not in the hands of an individual person.

10.  Russia.  Hillary Clinton and Sergei Lavrov worked exceedingly well together and achieved the very crucial New START treaty.  This was immense,  a great victory for both diplomats and both countries.  Their relationship remained solid throughout her tenure.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a

Here are a few other things she did.

>For the first time in its history she completely overhauled the State Department , USAID, and interagency cooperation with her Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR).

>For the first time in history she called all of the chiefs of mission together at the State Department for annual conferences.

>She instituted an Office of Global Women’s Issues.

>In June 2009 she  provided benefits to domestic partners of foreign service diplomats for the first time.

>She brought previously neglected countries back to the table with numerous memoranda of understanding and countless business initiatives.

>She kept the alliance between Afghanistan and Pakistan stable despite enormous challenges.

>She reopened the vital supply route from Pakistan into Afghanistan.

>She ensured U.S. access to the vital Manas airstip in Kyrgystan.

>She Salvaged the Turkey-Armenia accords which  she was supposed to simply witness when they suddenly nearly fell apart.

>She brought issues like human trafficking as well as violence against women and LGBT communities to the international table.

U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton is greeted by human trafficking victims Van Sina and Somana at the Siem Reap AFESIP rehabilitation and vocational training center

These are simply a few things that come to mind at the moment, and I probably have left out some important events.  Nonetheless, I believe these accomplishments stand well in the face of nouns like “fecklessness.”   Clearly Rubin is wrong and way off-base.  Hillary Clinton has left an indelible mark on the State Department and has brought its operations into the 21st century with her integration of social networking into our outreach to the world.  She has been a tremendously effective Secretary of State and a hero to many, our own troops at war among them.  We can be appreciative of her selfless service and proud of the job she has done.

PBS_Makers

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Since Jennifer Rubin has elaborated her attack on Hillary Clinton’s legacy at the State Department, I am compelled to take on her latest barrage, but the truth is that she is becoming repetitive and tiresome with her empty bloviating.  It is astounding that she gets paid to write this tripe.

Here are her top 10 disasters:

1. She insisted we side with Hugo Chavez’s stooge in Honduras….

Hillary Clinton: Remarks at the Top of the Daily Press Briefing

July 7, 2009

I just finished a productive meeting with President Zelaya. We discussed the events of the past nine days and the road ahead. I reiterated to him that the United States supports the restoration of the democratic constitutional order in Honduras.

2. She touted a Russian “reset.”

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks After Exchange of Instruments of Ratification for the New START Treaty

February 5, 2011

3.  She couldn’t manage to figure a way to reach agreement with Iraq on a status-of-forces deal.

She was Secretary of State not Secretary of Defense, but for some reason there was a great deal of pressure on her to take up defense issues.  Iraq did not become her operation until August 2010 when the last troops pulled out.

Quiet Handover: From Defense to State

August 18, 2010

4. Speaking of which, Clinton assured us for months that Assad was a “reformer.” She dragged her feet and then was rebuffed three times by the un-reset Russians at the United Nations. She delayed in reaching out to the Syrian rebels and in providing aid. She left a human catastrophe of 70,000 dead Syrians and millions of refugees streaming into Syria’s neighbors.

A. She did not call him a reformer. She was quoting others who had visited Syria.

(CNSNews.com) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday drew a contrast between Syrian President Bashir Assad and his late father and predecessor, and said U.S. lawmakers who recently have visited Damascus regarded him as a “reformer.”

B. Oh, it is simply too much. Here is the entire archive here on Syria – everything she said, did , and every trip to meetings of Friends of the Syrian People.

Search Results for ‘Syria’

C. Hillary Clinton did not kill 70,000 Syrians or displace anyone.  Assad’s regime did that.

5.  Also among the dead in the Middle East, of course, was Ambassador Chris Stevens ….

Once again, she did not kill her friend Chris Stevens.  Her requests for diplomatic security funding were twice cut by the very Tea Party Republicans who attacked her on Benghazi.

House Tea Party Members In Pursuit Of Hillary Clinton: Examine Your Own Role In Cutting Diplo Post Security

October 7, 2012

6.  She dispatched George Mitchell as her special envoy for the Middle East, who promptly became persona non grata with both Israelis and Palestinians. Her shrieking about settlements only alientated the administration from both sides. (This approach was renounced by the president in his recent Mideast trip.) She ambushed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the eve of his trip to the White House to tell him, that oh yes, the president would be publicly announcing that U.S. policy was to begin negotiations at “1967 borders” with land swaps.

One of the problems with what Rubin states is the overwhelming absence of any evidence whatsoever.  George Mitchell promptly became persona non grata?   That would have barred him from entry to the region.  So how is it that he visited on a frequent basis with and without Mme. Secretary?  These entries refute that claim.

Search Results for ‘George Mitchell’

“Shrieking” about settlements?  And where is the chapter and verse of Obama’s renunciation? Here is what he said.

Israelis must recognize that continued settlement activity is counterproductive to the cause of peace, and that an independent Palestine must be viable– that real borders will have to be drawn.

As for those 1967 borders with land swaps that has been U.S. policy through several administrations, there is this.

Obama’s vision for Mideast peace: Israel, Palestine based on 1967 borders with land swaps

7. The administration was largely moot during Iran’s Green Revolution in June 2009….

Oh, smh, I did address this in the last post.

… the State Department did what it could in the face of a silent, hesitant President during the Green Revolution.  Aware that people in the streets of Tehran and other cities were depending on Twitter to communicate life-and-death information and learning that Twitter intended to close down for maintenance, Hillary Clinton prevailed upon Twitter to leave the lines of communication open.  They did, as those of us who spent those weekends retweeting important tweets from Iran can attest.

8. Her reaction to the Egyptian revolution, and indeed to the entire Arab Spring, was incoherent and meek.

Hillary Clinton spoke out to Arab leaders and elders long before these revolutions broke out and to some criticism. No two revolutions were alike. To suggest that there could have been a template that would have addressed them all is naive. The Arab world is no more homogeneous than Latin America is, and no cut-and-paste solutions would have been effective, as P..J. Crowley noted today on Bashir Live with Karen Finney.

Secretary Clinton at Forum for the Future

Nov. 2009

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at Forum for the Future

Jan. 2011

Two years ago this week,  Hillary engaged in an exhausting week of shuttle diplomacy an finally accomplished an agreement to a no fly zone over Libya.

Hillary Clinton: Remarks at the International Conference on Libya

March 29, 2011

9. She did not restore our “standing in the world,” as she vowed to do.

Once again, no evidence is offered for this sweeping assertion. It would take a boatload of links to counter it, but if you search this blog at your leisure you will find four years’ worth of strategic dialogues, memoranda of understanding, and bilateral and trilateral agreements that attest that she reached out to countries previously neglected.

10. Early in her term she sent a terrible message by informing the Chinese that human rights shouldn’t be allowed to get in the way of relations between the countries.

Right. That is how this happened.

Hillary Clinton’s Statement on Chen Guangcheng

May 2, 2012

She never ceased talking human rights with Chinese officials behind closed doors and stated that numerous times.

Rubin’s war on Hillary Clinton’s State Department legacy is feeble, boring, and redundant.  She needs to turn her sights elsewhere.  Her attacks are lame with lack of substantiation and a surplus of broad implication that goes unattributed.

Hillary Clinton did better than this and deserves better.  Great job, Mme. Secretary!  Thank you!

08-08-09-S-07

On a related and very heartening note, there was this affirmation of Hillary’s legacy today by Grace Meng (D -NY).

Grace Meng introduces the Benghazi bill Hillary Clinton asked for

grace-meng-introduces-benghazi-bill-hillary-clinton-askedMeng and Clinton during a House hearing. C-SPAN

By Reid Pillifant

4:23 pm Mar. 26, 2013

Rep. Grace Meng announced in a press release this morning that she’s co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill “to prevent another Benghazi,” referring to the attack in Libya that killed four American diplomatic personnel last September.

Read more >>>>

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