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Mrs. Clinton: Wrong Again – OpEd

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Mrs. Clinton has once again demonstrated that she doesn’t have a clue about what is going on in Egypt. Recently, Mrs. Clinton pontifically asserted, “There can be no going back on the democratic transition called by the Egyptian people.”

Does she not know who the Muslim Brotherhood is? Does she know who won the parliamentary election? Does she know who won the presidential election? Does she not remember the naïve and foolish policy of the Carter Administration with the Shah and Iran?

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928, is the Islamist organization that recently took power in Egypt. Its slogan is “Islam is the solution.” The Brotherhood’s stated goal is to instill the Qur’an and Sharia Law as the foundations of an Islamic government.

On June 17, 2012, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Muhammad Mursi won Egypt’s presidential election. This transfer of power to an Islamist government will adversely affect Israeli – Egyptian relations, and relations in general in the Middle East, that have been relatively stable for the past 30 years under Hosni Mubarak’s rule. Egypt has long been the key to peace in the Middle East. And, although at this point in time, the Egyptian military will continue to control the Armed Forces (SCAF), there should be no doubt that the probability of conflict has increased dramatically. And, there should be little dispute that Egypt is now an Islamic state.

The Muslim Brotherhood may have achieved legitimacy through a “free and fair” election, but it will continue in power and secure the apparatus of state government by any means necessary. Once in power, there is no going back, short of revolution or invasion (see Iran).

Mrs. Clinton and others of her ilk have got it wrong — yet again.

In my view, they seem to want the world to look, as they want it to look – not as it is. They seem to want to put too many square pegs in too many round holes. Exporting liberal democracy is not the same as exporting Coca-Cola. And, like too many policymakers, both foreign and domestic, rather than acknowledge that a policy is a failure, these elitists cling to it, and defend the absurd.

In the case of Mrs. Clinton, the Obama Administration’s bureaucratic coterie of foreign policy experts, and its pandering State Department sycophants, there is an arrogance, in which they believe they can orchestrate the lives of others deemed inferior. In other words, it is founded on the principle that they (the liberal intelligentsia) are superior. Let’s look at the record and see how they have fared.

But before we examine the record, Mrs. Clinton’s standing in the Obama Administration can be briefly summarized. On the one hand, it may be argued that Mrs. Clinton being appointed by Barack Obama is obligated to carryout his policies. Yet, on the other hand, Mrs. Clinton is Mr. Obama’s principle foreign policy advisor. The US Secretary of State is responsible for setting the foreign policy agenda and implementing the chosen options. Failure is failure. Moreover, if Mrs. Clinton is vehemently opposed to Mr. Obama’s policies – she can resign.

The Arab Spring is quietly becoming the Arab winter of repentance. Why would anyone predict a Muslim country would embrace a true representative democracy over an Islamic regime? As we have seen in Iran, the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, and for all intents and purposes Turkey, et al. – Islam and Democracy are an oxymoron.

Caroline B. Glick, an insightful expert of the Middle East, posits, “The US is no longer seen as a credible regional power as it pulls its forces out of Iraq without victory, hamstrings its forces in Afghanistan (Obama’s crippling “rules of engagement”), and abandons its allies in country after country.”

How far has America’s credibility fallen in the region — consider this. Israel’s total energy reserves some experts now think could rival or even surpass that of Saudi Arabia. But, will American firms be involved in its exploration — apparently not. Israel and Canada have just signed an agreement to cooperate on the exploration and development of what, apparently, could be vast shale oil reserves beneath the Jewish state. Then, following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s surprisingly cordial visit last week (June 25, 2012), Gazprom and Israel have announced plans to cooperate on gas extraction. The upshot, and something of extreme significance, is that Israel recognizes that Russia is a more advantageous ally in the region than the United States of America.

Still, Mrs. Clinton will not be deterred. She chirps an endless chorus for women rights as she hopscotches the world. Yet, is there an example of one woman better off because of her campaign? On the contrary, the Muslim world is becoming more reactionary, and with it, whatever rights Muslim women might have had are quickly eroding. Moreover, Myanmar’s (Burma) opposition leader and democracy advocate, and 1991 Nobel Peace Price recipient, Aung San Suu Kyi, is a personal triumph many years in the making, and not in anyway a factor of Mrs. Clinton’s Women Crusade.

Other examples of Mrs. Clinton’s failures include: the “Reset Button” with Russia; negotiations with North Korea; massive fraud in the United Nations run fund that finances Afghanistan’s police force; and humiliation of the only Democracy in the Middle East – Israel.

Under the radar is Mrs. Clinton’s embarrassing support for Kosovo. Kosovo’s independence was folly. Independent Kosovo is a failed state. Kosovo has 50% unemployment. Government revenue is virtually totally dependent on the largesse of foreign aid. The private sector economy is almost nonexistent, and what exists is on the black market.

Hashim Thaçi, the Prime Minister of Kosovo, is an unindicted war criminal, and since no real effort has been made to bring Mr. Thaçi to account, it would seem Mrs. Clinton and her European counterpart Lady Ashton are protecting him from prosecution. Prime Minister Thaçi was Supreme Commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) during and after NATO’s war with Serbia (1999).

In a report, by Mr. Dick Marty, of Switzerland, dated December 12, 2010, entitled, “Inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo,” the findings confirm that some Serbians and some Albanian Kosovars were held prisoner in secret places of detention under KLA control in northern Albania, and were subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment, before ultimately disappearing. This included the inhuman harvesting of their organs for illicit transplantation.

Kosovo’s government is corrupt, brutal, and has a preference for lying. For example, recently (June 28, 2012), unarmed Serbs traveling to the historic Field of Blackbirds, to celebrate St. Vitus Day, were hit with Molotov petro bombs, and were fired upon by Albanian Kosovo police, injuring 50 persons, including women and children. Earlier that week, the Kosovo parliament enacted legislation limiting the rights of journalists, including requiring journalists to give the names of confidential sources. And, a week earlier Kosovo’s Minister for Privatization, Dino Asanaj, under investigation for corruption, was stabbed 11 times in his home. A few days later, the EU mission in Kosovo (EULEX) said an autopsy suggests he committed suicide and was not stabbed to death as reported initially. It’s 0ne of the worst case of suicide ever seen!

Indeed, with a statue of Bill Clinton in its central plaza, Kosovo’s dreadful record goes uncontested. Call it what you want, but Kosovo is a Thugocracy and Gangsterdom, and our unquestioning support does not reflect well on Mrs. Clinton and the United States.

Finally, Mrs. Clinton’s and the Obama Administrations’ “engagement” policy with Iran has been barren. While Mrs. Clinton and the US State Department “talk” to Iran – Iran continues unabated to enrich weapons grade uranium, and gets closer to fulfilling its military nuclear ambitions.

Naïve and foolish foreign policy decisions have consequences – just like elections. Many times these consequences are serious – deadly serious. Like her clueless predecessor, Condoleezza Rice, Mrs. Clinton’s conduct of foreign policy has been at best without merit. All the world really sees after three and a half years of American foreign policy under Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton is a weakling in an empty suit, and another in an empty pants suit.

In conclusion, let’s hope the next US Secretary of State will not be a celebrity, establishment darling, or motivated by political correctness. Make no mistake; the world today is fraught with uncertainty and danger. It is a fragile environment.

We need competence. We need an adult. We need a Marshall, a Dulles, a Baker (III), or perhaps even an Eagleburger. American foreign policy has been in weak hands for the past two decades. The next Administration must find someone with the “Right Stuff.”

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Lawrence S. Schneiderman

Lawrence S. Schneiderman is an International Consultant and Dr. of Public Policy, Vanderbilt University. The opinions expressed are the author's own.

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