OBAMA'S DISINTEREST IN FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Former Ambassador Joe Wilson makes the case for Hillary's foreign policy experience. And points out WHY that experience is important.
During my tenure as Senior Director for African Affairs in the Clinton Administration, I had the responsibility for helping to plan and execute President Clinton’s historic trip to that continent. It was a trip that forever changed the way American administrations think about Africa. I spent eleven days with President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton traveling to six countries and meeting with leaders from many more. She was a full participant in all of our activities and a key adviser–and for good reason. Hillary had previously traveled to Africa, leading a prominent U.S. delegation to several countries. On her return she was instrumental in persuading the president that he should invest that most precious of presidential assets–time–in his own trip. People who are now senior advisers to Senator Obama were involved in both of those trips. So it is mystifying to me that they have allowed themselves to “forget” the key role Hillary played in such a major shift in approach to that part of the world and have participated in a negative campaign tactic on the part of the Obama campaign to demean her significant contributions to foreign policy of which they are well aware.
After he came to Washington, Obama’s views were thoroughly conventional and even timid. In 2004, he said about the 2002 congressional Authorization for the Use of Military Force: “I’m not privy to Senate intelligence reports. What would I have done? I don’t know.” On Iraq-related votes in the Senate, Obama’s record identically matches Senator Clinton’s–with the exception that Senator Clinton voted against the confirmation of General George Casey as Army chief of staff. Obama’s vote was typically passive.
In the run up to the war and thereafter, I was in frequent discussions with senior Democrats in Washington, including Senator Clinton, and I was keenly aware of her demand for the full exercise of international diplomacy and allowing the weapons inspectors to complete their mission. Many of the most prominent early opponents of the war, including former General Wes Clark and former ambassador to the United National Richard Holbrooke support Senator Clinton for President, as do I. We do so because we know that she has the experience and the judgment that comes from having been in the arena for her entire adult life–and from close personal participation with her in the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. And we have trust in her to end the war in Iraq in the most responsible way, consistent with our national security interests.
We know that she has won and lost but always fought for her beliefs, which are widely shared within the Democratic Party. The battles she had been in have been fierce–and the battles in the future will be no less intense–and she has proven her steadfastness and is still standing. She does not have a cowardly record of voting “present” when confronted with difficult issues. She does not claim “intuition” as the basis of the most dangerous and serious decision-making. What she has is deep and vital experience, more important than ever in restoring our country’s place in the world.
In other news, General Taguba has endorsed Hillary.
General Taguba is among 27 flag-rank military officers and more than 2000 veterans who have endorsed Senator Clinton to be our nation’s next Commander-in-Chief.
Think about it. How many generals and diplomats have you heard endorsing Barack Obama?