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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/15/14

Has Clinton Made Her Second Pro-War Mistake?

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Clinton could have given her interview to any media outlet in the country. It is no accident that she chose a well-known Jewish journalist who has never hidden his pro-Israel proclivities.

Which is why, depending entirely upon one's views of Clinton, and her impending race to become Obama's successor, the interview in the Atlantic will either delight or dismay readers.

The New Yorker's John Cassidy, in an essay entitled, Can Hillary Play This Game?, examined media responses to Clinton's interview. His conclusion: If her intent was to bolster her conservative credentials, she succeeded.

As for "progressives and centrists, she might need to think again." Here are Cassidy's conclusions:

"One goes to the substance of her chat with Goldberg, in which she struck a tone that was hawkish, interventionist, and fiercely pro-Israel. The reactions to what she said have been interesting, and it's not clear whether they are what the Clintonites hoped for.

"The editors of the Weekly Standard loved the interview, and [conservative New York Times columnist] David Brooks also approved. James Fallows and Kevin Drum[writing for Mother Jones] expressed serious reservations; so did I [in an earlier New Yorker piece].

"If Clinton's intention was to extend her political reach and attract the support of conservatives, she succeeded. If she was seeking to present a foreign-policy vision attractive to progressives and centrists, she might need to think again."

What could she, and her handlers, have been thinking? Clinton already has the pro-Israel votes, media and money, strongly embedded in the Clinton orbit. As for winning progressive and centrist support, she herself has acknowledged that her Senate 2003 pro-war Iraq vote was wrong.

Is her Atlantic interview her second pro-war stumble that could derail her 2016 road to the White House the way her 2003 Iraq pro-war vote helped Obama defeat her in the 2008 primaries?

Clinton has been in and around the White House long enough to have known that when the president is deeply involved in foreign policy decisions, from Ukraine to Syria to Gaza, it is not a good time for his former Secretary of State to launch her 2016 presidential campaign by attacking his foreign policy.

She did not just critique his policy, she told a pro-Israeli interviewer that Obama lacks a coherent foreign policy strategy. After waiting for the media feedback and the word to spread, Clinton told Politico's Maggie Haberman she did not mean to "attack" the President:

"Hillary Clinton called President Barack Obama on Tuesday to 'make sure he knows that nothing she said was an attempt to attack him' when she recently discussed her views on foreign policy in an interview with The Atlantic, according to a statement from a Clinton spokesman."

That sounds like a not so artful dodge especially when describing an interview in which she:

"...dismissed the Obama administration's self-described foreign policy principle of 'Don't do stupid stuff.' And while she also praised Obama several times, Clinton nonetheless called his decision not to assist Syrian rebels early on a 'failure.'

"Earlier Tuesday, longtime top Obama aide David Axelrod took a swipe at Clinton on Twitter, writing: 'Just to clarify: 'Don't do stupid stuff' means stuff like occupying Iraq in the first place, which was a tragically bad decision.'"

But wait, there is more from Politico.

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James Wall served as a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois, from 1999 through 2017. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced (more...)

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