As I argued earlier this week, all the evidence suggests that Hillary Clinton 2016 is well underway. And for that reason, everyone should watch Thursday’s BBC Newsnight interview with the former secretary of state. At first glance, Clinton comes across as articulate, even charismatic. Admittedly benefiting from an uncharacteristically friendly Jeremy Paxman (renowned for his aggressive interviews), Clinton exudes confidence and composure. What she says, however, defies belief.
Wonderland 1: Clinton won’t support U.S. assistance to the Iraqi government until Prime Minister Maliki makes concessions.
Reality: Maliki must certainly make concessions. But if the U.S. fails to provide intelligence and air capabilities immediately, as I explain here, Maliki is likely to jump into the arms of Iran. That outcome would be a disaster. The Iranians are a mafia foreign-policy outfit; they’ll use this opportunity to save Maliki and then turn him into a puppet. No one is talking about a re-invasion of Iraq, but for Clinton to push off intervention in order to ingratiate herself with liberal voters is pathetic and absurd. The way to get concessions from Maliki is to save him with intelligence assets that only the U.S. can provide, and then tell him that future U.S. support (which he knows he needs) will be contingent upon his reforms.
Wonderland 2: Clinton claims that the Russian reset was a “brilliant stroke” that appears “even more so” today.
Reality: I laughed when she said that. Because it’s a ludicrous comment. Clinton lists a number of supposed successes of the reset. These include the New START arms-control treaty (which Putin wanted as much as Obama did ) and tougher Iran sanctions (which Putin endorsed and since then has ignored at a whim). In reality, the reset has been a failure of catastrophic proportions. It has enabled Putin to put Ukraine under siege, help Assad continue to gas his fellow Syrians, and to undermine American leadership around the world. This, apparently, is Clinton’s measure of success.
Wonderland 3: Clinton condemns the eastern-Ukraine referendums on sovereignty and then suggests that future elections would be legitimate.
Reality: In making that suggestion, Clinton has effectively embraced the partition of Ukraine. In short, she has given Putin exactly what he wants. The inhabitants of eastern Ukraine are likely to vote overwhelmingly to leave Ukraine. Once again, it’s ludicrous.
Wonderland 4: Clinton implicitly claims that the U.K.’s successful austerity program means that Britain can play an important role in shaping future EU governance. She’s right.
Reality: Unfortunately, Clinton, along with the rest of the Obama administration, opposed the U.K. austerity program — which succeeded in cutting spending while restoring economic growth. Clinton is now engaging in blatant hypocrisy.
Wonderland 5: Clinton says she is “very proud” of what President Obama has done.