Hillary Clinton slammed President Obama’s handling of the Syrian uprising during an interview with the Atlantic, published Sunday, calling Obama’s inaction early on a “failure” and the foundation for the ongoing horrors in Iraq and Syria.
In what many political speculators see as an early sign that Hillary Clinton would like to distance herself from President Obama as she prepares for a likely presidential run, the former Secretary of State, and New York Senator, pulled no punches in her statements. As far as Clinton’s concerned, the U.S. not actively supporting those trying to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad paved the way for militant jihadis like ISIS to thrive and carry out the atrocities that are currently taking place in Iraq and Syria:
“The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad — there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle — that failure left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled,” said Clinton.
Hillary Clinton also highlighted how her take on U.S. foreign policy is different than that of President Obama’s. Referring to what Obama called his foreign policy doctrine, “Don’t do stupid (stuff),” Hillary Clinton said, “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”
At the same time, Hillary said she understands that Obama was “trying to communicate to the American people that he’s not going to do something crazy,” but also emphasized that U.S. presence was fading from the world stage.
As for the bold, brutal and confident current breed of jihadi fighters, and groups like ISIS, Hillary Clinton expressed concern that their military successes in the Middle East will embolden them to target the West:
“One of the reasons why I worry about what’s happening in the Middle East right now is because of the breakout capacity of jihadist groups that can affect Europe, can affect the United States,” said Clinton. “Jihadist groups are governing territory. They will never stay there, though. They are driven to expand. Their raison d’etre is to be against the West, against the Crusaders, against the fill-in-the-blank — and we all fit into one of these categories. How do we try to contain that? I’m thinking a lot about containment, deterrence and defeat.”
Hillary Clinton also reflected on “hypothetical” questions regarding what her experience as secretary of state could bring to the presidency. Politico reports that when asked if Hillary’s speculations should hint at a 2016 presidential run, a Hillary Clinton spokesman said, “No.”
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