November 20, 2015

Hillary vs. Hillary on the Islamic State

It’s either an American fight or it isn’t. What difference does it make?

In last weekend’s Democrat debate — the one in which the candidates repeated the warning that “climate change is the greatest threat to national security” — Hillary Clinton weighed in on the Islamic State. “It cannot be contained, it must be defeated,” she said in a clear reference to Barack Obama’s foolish “contained” remarks hours before the deadly attack in Paris. “But,” she added, “this cannot be an American fight, although American leadership is essential.” Whatever that means.

Maybe she ate her Wheaties Thursday because she sounded a much different note. The conflict with the Islamic State “requires sustained commitment from every pillar of American power,” she said. “This is a worldwide fight and America must lead it.” What a difference a few days, at this point, make.

Yet in the same speech she announced her “plan” to “defeat ISIS.” But it essentially boils down to this:

Step 1: “Defeat ISIS in Syria, Iraq and across the Middle East” (an actual quote)
Step 2: ?
Step 3: Win the White House.

Lost in translation is calling our enemies what they are: Radical Islamofascists, jihadis bent on death and destruction. Instead, she insisted, “Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.” Except for all the times they do, of course.

She also displayed an astounding lack of self-awareness, lamenting that despite the success in Iraq (without crediting George W. Bush’s surge) the Iraqis were later “betrayed and forgotten.” By whom? By Obama and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton.

If Clinton can’t articulate who the enemy is or why the Islamic State was able to rise, there’s no hope she’ll be able to craft a strategy that secures America’s interests.

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