Clinton distances herself from Obama foreign policy

Washington - Distancing herself from President Barack Obama's foreign policy, potential 2016 US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said in an interview published on Sunday that America's decision not to intervene early in the Syrian civil war was a "failure".

Republican critics and others have faulted Obama for doing too little to support Syrians who rose up against President Bashar al-Assad. Syria has been torn apart by a civil war for three years, with Assad staying in power and Islamic militants among the opposition gaining strength.

"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 - the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled," Clinton said in an interview with The Atlantic.

Clinton was Obama's secretary of state during his first term as president, stepping down in early 2013, so she was part of the administration during the start of the Syria uprising. Seen as a possible strong contender for the 2016 US Democratic presidential nomination, she ran unsuccessfully against Obama for the party's nomination in 2008.

Asked about Obama's slogan of "Don't do stupid stuff" to describe his foreign policy thinking, Clinton said, "Great nations need organising principles, and 'Don't do stupid stuff' is not an organising principle."

In the interview, Clinton also offered strong support for Israel and for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has a tense relationship with Obama.

Israel has drawn international condemnation for the deaths of Palestinian non-combatants in Gaza and the destruction of thousands of homes during its month of war with the Islamist movement Hamas. The Obama administration, while supporting Israel's right to defend itself, has rebuked Israel at least once during the current conflict over the deaths of civilians.

"I think Israel did what it had to do to respond to the [Hamas] rockets. Israel has a right to defend itself. The steps Hamas has taken to embed rockets and command and control facilities and tunnel entrances in civilian areas, this makes a response by Israel difficult," Clinton said.

Questioned about whether Israel has taken enough steps to prevent the deaths of civilians including children, Clinton said the United States also tries to be careful to avoid civilian casualties in war, but sometimes mistakes are made.

"We've made them. I don't know a nation, no matter what its values are - and I think that democratic nations have demonstrably better values in a conflict position - that hasn't made errors, but ultimately the responsibility rests with Hamas," Clinton added.

- Reuters
Rice Safari 2014-08-10 10:24:58 PM
Hilary "What does it matter" Clinton?
VoxPopuli 2014-08-10 10:50:50 PM
"The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad" Isn't this the same reason they slapped sanctions on Russia?
Bonga Sihawu 2014-08-11 12:41:10 AM
Hillary Clinton is misinterpreting the reality. What has Arab Uprising achieved? Look at Libya, Egypt, Iraq etc. Those country were peaceful under dictactorship if that is what their governments were termed. Since US,UN or Nato intervention there has been no lasting solution or peace. The US has must first find or establish a lasting peace in those countries before creating more chaos in other countries.
Sifiso Nhlengethwa 2014-08-11 02:40:02 AM
I think Hillary is too ambitious to become the USA president in 2016 which makes her to loose touch with reality at times. Obama administration has done great to rebuild American economy which his predecessor (George W Bush) messed up so badly due to his stupid and barbaric decisions he took when he decided to attack an "innocent" Saddam Hussein in Iraq sighting the "weapons of mass destruction" which never existed in that country. He later invaded Afghanistan which I think it was justifiable but those two wars drained that country to the last cent in their reserves.Later the companies like AIG and others contributed to further plummeting of that "world biggest economy" which is the reason why we are still languishing in economic meltdown since 2007.The USA was a very big contributing factor of financial crises we are facing to this day. Therefore,Obama was suppose to be very careful in every situation the country was or is facing with because their economy is still fragile and it easy to fall again which will be worse thing ever for Americans.He is very careful on what he spends American money to because truly speaking fighting against Arabs is just a loosing battle because Arabs do not stop resisting or surrender.
Andre James 2014-08-11 04:02:05 AM
This zionist sympathiser along with Diana Feinstein must be removed from office. Together they pose the biggest threat to US civil liberties and world peace. Clinton it seems is intent on galvanising US support for the expansion of Israel. She also recognises the potential money she stands to get from the zionist lobby groups for her presidential campaign.
Khumo William Monosi 2014-08-11 05:24:38 AM
IHillary is a double standard woman who will lead this world to world war 3. She shud b spending tym with her grandchildren. God be with us
Johnny Johnny Shun 2014-08-11 05:42:27 AM
Typical of the Clintons. Capricious!
Johnny Johnny Shun 2014-08-11 05:45:22 AM
Typical of the Clintons. Capricious!
Kabelo Magadlela 2014-08-11 06:50:47 AM
She is a whitch. Put her in office you will regret it.
Kabelo Magadlela 2014-08-11 06:51:42 AM
She is a whitch. Put her in office you will regret it.