The outgoing Secretary of State shot back an answer to how her department and the White House came to declare that the attack erupted spontaneously from a protest outside the consulate when State could see in real time that there wasn’t any such protest under way. A clearly exasperated, embarrassed (?), guilty (?), humbled (?) Hillary Clinton shot back, “What difference does it make?”
It mattered because it was gross incompetence and a dereliction of duty. That false narrative made it seem as though State and our intel community couldn’t have possibly known that the sacking would have occurred, and got blindsided by a grassroots reaction to the video. Instead, it turned out to be a planned terrorist action about which the US embassy in Libya had warned the State Department for months, repeatedly requesting more security.
There’s also the matter of President Barack Obama’s intervention in Libya and his undeclared war against Moammar Qaddafi. His actions, and that of NATO in following his initial lead, decapitated the ruthless regime that at least was keeping a lid on terrorist networks in eastern Libya, preventing the arms flood into Africa, echoes of Hosni Mubarak. The rise of those networks in the Benghazi region should have been a predictable outcome from the power vacuum the US/NATO campaign left in the region, which resulted in the ability to conduct this attack. That also matters because of how the transfer of weapons to the militias in that US/NATO effort and the resultant power vacuum has destabilized Mali and potentially a wide swath of North Africa.
So “it matters” because of credibility and tragic failures. There doesn’t seem to be any at the White House or State Department on any of these issues, nor answers to questions of what exactly this administration did to prepare for the inevitable outcome of its own policies in Libya and the broader Arab Spring. “It matters” because those policies are going to get more people killed than just the four Americans in Benghazi last September, and in our covert world most probably already have.
And so as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leaves office we ask ourselves “what difference did she make”? Few know or recognize the fact that in this administration, so far, neither Secretary of State Hillary Clinton nor the State Department ever made foreign policy. Some would suggest that is the Presidents purview. Sally Sterling Quinn an American author and journalist, who writes about religion for a blog at The Washington Post, reports that Thomas E. “Tom” Donilon the National Security Advisor and his staff usurped the function of defining foreign policy.
In searching for her legacy one wonders;
There was the Russian Reset Button, a gift lost in translation. “The promise of the “reset” proclaimed in 2009. Its achievements -the New START Treaty, cooperation on Afghanistan and Iran, Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organization – have all faded, replaced by stubborn differences over Syria, Iran and other high-profile issues amid rising, gratuitously antagonistic rhetoric in both capitals. Are we slipping back into the “cold war?”
She has struggled for an improved relationship between Arabs and Israelis. Regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict, Clinton has stated that she is “an emphatic, unwavering supporter of Israel‘s safety and security. And then in September 2011, as Secretary of State, she filed a brief with the US Supreme Court opposing “any American action, even symbolically, toward recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel” because of the influence it might have on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Has she advanced the cause of Middle East peace?
Has she been effective or instrumental in resolving the nuclear threat from North Korean or Iran? “U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles and “pattern of provocations” are a serious threat to Asian and world security.”
Here is the 60 minutes interview 01/27/2013, expected from a state run media, in a thumbnail minus hugs and kisses, “We live not only in a” dangerous”, but an “incredibly complicated” world right now with many different forces at work, both state-based and non-state, technology, and communications.”
Has there been any suggestion of a “Hillary Clinton” foreign policy doctrine even on the intellectual level? Her own words confuse. “The United States should undertake a joint program with China and Japan to develop new clean energy sources, promote greater energy efficiency, and combat climate change.” “Yet progress in key areas has lagged, as evidenced by the continuing spread of trafficking in women, the ongoing use of rape as an instrument of war, the political marginalization of women, and persistent gender gaps in employment and economic opportunity.” Are these not all foreign policy commandments with absolutely no traction?
As to major treaties, arms, trade, the International Criminal Court, The Law of the Sea Treaty, Small-arms control, Outer Space Code of Conduct, Rights of the Child. Has she engaged in any meaningfully significant negotiations that further our Republic’s life, liberty and pursuit of happiness sans globalism? European liberalism is advancing – masked – by way of these treaties. Defenders of liberty and freedom must be concerned, no, outraged!
There is an albatross around her neck, the Patriot blood dripping on a pants suit. On September 11th, 2012, armed gunmen attacked the U.S. consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi causing the death of the U.S. ambassador and three of his staffers. The Libyan crisis, four murdered patriots, was an error so egregious in the absence of pro-action and reaction that history will not be able to soften, ignore or long hide the ugly truth. This alone accurately defines her.
How will history record her handling of Benghazi, the Arab Spring, Syria, Afghanistan and China? Some have suggested the template “Jack of all trades, master of none”, the figure of speech used in reference to a person that is competent with many skills but is not necessarily outstanding in any particular one.” “Brit Hume: Case For Hillary Clinton “Being A Great Secretary Of State Is Exceedingly Weak” And the analysis ended thus:
“WALLACE: Yeah, I want to pick up on that, Brit, because during the hearing, what struck me was the Republicans were tough on Hillary, on Benghazi and the Democrats weren’t. But, both sides kept on saying what a great secretary of state (Lord Acton opined, and I paraphrase, most individual “greatness” is “badness.” ) she had been and to praise her service. And here’s some of the points that have been brought up, some of her accomplishments. She helped assemble the bombing campaign in Libya to topple Muammar Qaddafi. She helped assembly the coalition that imposed the toughest sanctions ever on Iran. And, she established diplomatic ties with Burma.
Question, Brit, how do you rate Hillary Clinton’s performance, record as our top diplomat?
HUME: I think those examples you cited would add up to a case for her competence. They do not add up to a case for greatness, after all, the groundwork on Burma had been done by the previous administration. And the administration properly followed through on it. You look across the world, now at the major issues. Are Arabs and Israelis closer to peace? How about Iran and North Korea and their nuclear programs? Have they been halted or seriously set back? Has the reset with Russia, which she so famously introduced with the photo-op in Moscow with the reset button, has they lead to a new and more cooperative relationship? Is there a Clinton doctrine that we can identify that she has articulated and formed as secretary of state? Are there major treaties that she has undertaken and negotiated through to a successful conclusion? I think the answer to all those questions is that she has not. And those are the kinds of things that might mark her as a great secretary of state.
She has certainly been industrious. She has visited 112 countries. Her conduct as secretary of state has been highly dignified. She does her homework. There have been no gaffes or blunders. So I think she has been a capable and hardworking secretary of state, but I think the case for her being a great secretary of state is exceedingly weak.” Is Hillary a woman who has been subservient to two men in her life, sacrificing her full potential? America will not survive with leaders who do not have and demonstrate the courage of their convictions. And because she was not “great” America suffers.
Ours is a culture that breeds narcissistic individuals, some with the talent and character of a Lance Armstrong. One cannot fawn, fuss and exaggerate accomplishment, industriousness, lust for power, ego and grit into greatness. An Iron Lady she is not and will not probably ever be. And she has woefully dodged any justified reference liken to that metaphor Former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion used to call Golda Meir “the best man in the government”; Meir being often portrayed as the “strong-willed, straight-talking, grey-bunned grandmother of the Jewish people.”
Rather was Hillary the political suffragette of great men, a woman frustrated by her social and economic situation, struggling with the allusive “prodigious” objective of an Anna Eleanor Roosevelt or Margaret Higgins Sanger, that change within society?
Was she a “good” soldier but never a “great” diplomat? Did she walk in the shadow of Jeane Duane Jordan Kirkpatrick, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations? Did she walk away from the “Kirkpatrick Doctrine,” articulating the notable difference between totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, a thoughtful, intellectual, effective foreign policy tumbling and stumbling into the “reset” era of “soft” diplomacy.
This was the transformation from “Walk softly and carry a big stick”, to “the bark without a bite”. This is a transition from principles, fundamentals and action to just rhetoric. Is she the avant-garde “point” for an administration that wants to shelve the Constitution as archaic? Why are we distracted by thinking about “them” instead of the “nation”?
“On the 80th anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans to always fight for their “principles and not fall into the complacency” that enabled the Nazi dictator to seize control.” And the Germans give good advice.
And this is the Achilles heel that the errant mass media will, and have to struggle mightily with, to overcome history, cultivate the scientific engineering of consent, to get her elected as our next President. Yes, you can fool most of the people some of the time and at times we can be mistaken. And the core of this dilemma is we the people.
02/01/2013 “U.S. Embassy Bombing In Turkey Was Suicide Attack; 2 Dead, Police Say” is the ominous event marking the exit, marring any claim to “greatness, of our current Secretary of State. This is the eighth embassy attack since Hillary Clinton Secretary took the oath of office.
“Syria threatened Thursday 01/31/2013 to retaliate for an Israeli airstrike and its ally Iran said the Jewish state will regret the attack.” And John Forbes Kerry threw his military medals over the fence. Santa Clause trumps freedom and liberty. President Obama delegates nothing. He is President, Secretary of State, et al……oh, yes, he is also Santa Clause. Leftism venerates feelings, not so much fundamentals and principles.
“Israeli Forces Dismantle Palestinian Encampment”, BURIN, West Bank 02/02/13
History will never forget or excuse “There (is) a Hillary Clinton visual image, the refuse, repudiation of the 9/11/2012 Secretary of State’s Benghazi cover-up, that relates to Lady Macbeth and karma in Macbeth, “Out, out Damn Spot”.
In this day and age of pervasive political corruption and global sexual abuse, the selfish arrogance and dishonesty of Lance Armstrong, the malevolent pride and deceit of Roger Cardinal Mahoney, the duplicity and lack of any plausible deniability if not culpability for many Popes, the true collapse and destruction of political and moral high ground, the murder of Patriots in Benghazi, are we no longer stunned, shocked, flummoxed by “What difference does it make?” There is corruption going on here!
And the absence of public outrage foreshadows a tearing in the fabric of devotion, loyalty, partisanship, jingoism and devotion to the fundamentals and principles of our Republic.
We would be better served by the wisdom of “Out, out Damn spot” for all too many in leadership roles. Start over, a new political and religious 1776. And the decision is left to us, the “low information” laity and electorate.
A Pisgah-Sight Of Palestine And The Confines Thereof, 1650, contains this view: “It is always darkest just before the Day dawneth.”
And history may show that it is we the people who set unrealistic standards of achievement, individuals who were “good” but incapable of meeting our unrealistic expectations, they who were only guilty of fallibility, our dreams much too high for an all too mortal President and Secretary of State Clinton. Yes, America demands more.
From those who are blessed, more is expected. What difference does it make? No, rather “What difference did she make?”