Saturday, June 06, 2015

The Dog That Did Not Bark

Hillary Clinton surely will have a difficult time defending her record as Secretary of State. But there is one glaring omission from one article's compilation: Iraq.

Sure, foreign policy is hardly an appropriate subject area where Hillary Clinton can string up the "mission accomplished" banner:

Her campaign chairman, John Podesta, gave an interview to Bloomberg View's Al Hunt in April in which he said holding up the “major accomplishments” from her State Department tenure would be a centerpiece of her campaign. Podesta may want to reconsider that plan. Running on Clinton's signature diplomatic initiatives is fraught with risks because, on closer inspection, most that he mentioned don’t hold up to scrutiny.

Why isn't Iraq mentioned? Every Republican candidate was asked about Iraq when none of them voted for the war nor had responsibilities for managing any aspect of the war.

But Hillary Clinton? In addition to voting for the war and making the case for it, she had a big role in defending our gains after we left in 2011:

Remember that the fallback position for failing to keep American troops in Iraq to bolster the Iraqi government and help keep them on track was a massive State Department paramilitary effort to replicate what our military would have done had we stayed.

Sure, she handed off that responsibility to Kerry a year later, but the program should have been up and running so well by then that even Kerry couldn't screw it up.

How'd that work out? Surely, somebody will ask about that.