24 January 2016

Why Hillary Clinton's Stint as Secretary of State Is Not a Positive

Her tenure at State was categorized by mindlessly bellicose rhetoric, and not a whole bunch of major accomplishments.

One of the best examples of this, though it started a few months after Clinton left Foggy Bottom, was the negotiations to open up with Cuba, where the Obama administration had to keep the State Department in the Dark to prevent it from sabotaging negotiations.

It wasn't Clinton's direct doings, but it was her people that the Obama administration had to deceive.

The most compelling case on a personal level is how Clinton's mindlessly bellicose statements  kept US citizens prisoners, detained, and abused in Iran:
I rarely think about being a prisoner in Iran anymore. I've been free for more than four years. It's been a long time since the sounds of hard soles on a cement floor would remind me of my interrogator or I would suddenly need to bolt from a restaurant because I couldn't take the throngs of people after so much time in a prison cell.

Last Saturday, I was dripping coffee on myself during an early morning drive when I heard that four Americans were being released from Iran as part of a prisoner swap. Suddenly, my eyes welled up. I could feel the knot of excitement and confusion that had turned in my gut when my plane from Tehran hit the tarmac in Muscat, Oman, in September 2011. I pictured the way my and my friend Josh's families looked small in the distance, their little hands waving, as we taxied toward them. I remembered the force that pulled me—running!—down the stairs of the airplane and how, at the bottom, I laughed and cried at the same time. Everyone else did too.

I was elated for these men and their families.

Later, the joy was tempered by an old, familiar frustration. While scouring the internet for updates on the four Americans, I read that shortly after their release, Hillary Clinton called for new sanctions on Iran for testing two ballistic missiles last year. I was shocked. The prisoners had not yet been let out of the country. Why would she provoke Iran when their freedom was still on the line?

The Omani envoy trying to negotiate our release was repeatedly frustrated by Clinton. "Why can't your Hillary just keep quiet?" he blurted to me.

I remembered sitting in my cell in 2009—I think I was trying to memorize a family tree from Greek mythology or something equally random—when I heard then-Secretary of State Clinton's voice from a television in a neighboring cell. I ran to the door and pressed my ear into its little window. She was commanding Iran to release us immediately. My heart sank. I imagined my interrogator bringing me into his padded room, blindfolded, and ranting about how Iran would not be bossed around by America, "The Great Satan." I came to fear the sound of Clinton's voice. Whenever I heard her publicly slam Iran about something, I would mentally prepare for at least another couple of months in prison.

Though I didn't know it at the time, I wasn't the only one who felt that way. Many of our family members grew frustrated with their meetings with her and White House officials. My wife, Sarah, who was released a year before Josh and I were, shared this frustration. Once, during a meeting with us in the prison, Swiss Ambassador Livia Leu, who represented American interests in Iran, broke from her usual reassuring demeanor and said, "They will never respond to your government demanding they release you. They need to talk to the Iranians."
The title of this article, "When I was a prisoner in Iran, I came to fear the sound of Hillary Clinton's voice," pretty much says it all.

Clinton's mindless dick swinging in foreign policy (Yes, I intend the juxtaposition) is not an indication of foreign policy knowledge, it is an indication of her determined and unwavering foreign policy ignorance.

She gives Dick Cheney a run for his money in the incompetence in the foreign policy arena.


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