Hillary on ethnic cleansing and civil war, 2007: “We cannot save the Iraqis from themselves”

posted at 5:50 pm on March 21, 2011 by Patrick Ishmael

A lot has already been said about the Administration’s decision to intervene in Libya. What sounded like a support operation to enforce a no-fly zone has since revealed itself to be an offensive operation led and conducted almost entirely with U.S. assets and command.

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“Despite the White House attempts to make this look like it’s a huge coalition effort — obviously it required coalition political support — but for now the U.S. military is not only in the lead but conducting almost all military operations, with only minor participation from the French, as you mentioned, even some British fighters over night.

America’s role in the operation is, in short, significant and indispensable. Bruce McQuain noted that the justification for the UN’s — and consequently our — intervention was under the principle of a “responsibility to protect” (R2P) endangered populations from genocide and ethnic cleansing. There are obvious concerns that attach here.

[B]ut you have to ask, what does agreeing with this “principle” mean in the future?

Do we intervene in Sudan or the Congo?  Ivory Coast?  And if not, why not?  None of them, like Libya, put our core national interests at stake.  But all certainly fit the new R2P principle.  How about Bahrain and Yemen?  Nepal?

Whatever the long-term policy implications (assuming, of course, that the Administration would maintain some semblance of consistency,) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was clear that the U.S. and U.N. were acting to protect Libyan civilians from being wiped out.

“Let me just underscore the key point. This is a broad international effort. The world will not sit idly by while more innocent civilians are killed…. We are standing with the people of Libya, and we will not waver in our efforts to protect them.

The President says that ground troops are off the table. How you effectively protect civilians without ground troops is a gaping open question; on first glance, it’d seem Mr. Obama is trying to split the baby: To feign humanitarian responsibility while limiting our capability to actually protect the helpless.

Whatever Mr. Obama’s political calculus, it’s important to note his Secretary of State’s evolution on the issue of American action in the face of mass killings occurring in our presence. During an interview with the New York Times on March 14, 2007 — almost exactly four years ago — presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was asked whether American troops on the ground should intervene if sectarian fighting in Iraq devolved into outright ethnic cleansing. The short answer: No, they shouldn’t. It was an Iraqi conflict that Iraqis should solve for themselves.

Full NYT-published audio here. Three clips from the interview are below.

In a half-hour interview on Tuesday in her Senate office, Mrs. Clinton said the scaled-down American military force that she would maintain in Iraq after taking office would stay off the streets in Baghdad and would no longer try to protect Iraqis from sectarian violence — even if it descended into ethnic cleansing.

Whatever your feelings about the intervention in Libya, the idea that American troops already on the ground should stand by as helpless innocents are massacred should be anathema to us. Mrs. Clinton’s view was, in fact, directly contradictory to the UN’s “R2P” principle, as articulated in recent days.

It’s fortunate for Libyans that Mrs. Clinton heard the cries of their innocents. Innocent Iraqis would not have been as lucky.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


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Comments

“Oh,..I didn’t know you were recording that.”

a capella on March 21, 2011 at 5:54 PM

consistency is a tool of the white male hegemony

pedestrian on March 21, 2011 at 5:56 PM

It’ll be interesting to see what happens when our first plane is shot down.

SouthernGent on March 21, 2011 at 5:59 PM

I wonder if Hillary will get a Nobel Peace Prize for bombing Libya? You know, you silly wingers, Obama has a Nobel Peace Prize, so lay off!

joeindc44 on March 21, 2011 at 6:01 PM

(assuming, of course, that the Administration would maintain some semblance of consistency,)

HA HA HA
OH WOW

apollyonbob on March 21, 2011 at 6:05 PM

How you effectively protect civilians without ground troops is a gaping open question;

You offer them free healthcare, that’s how he’s going to help protect them.

multiuseless on March 21, 2011 at 6:06 PM

on first glance, it’d seem Mr. Obama is trying to split the baby: To feign humanitarian responsibility while limiting our capability to actually protect the helpless.

I’d say on second, third, fourth…glance.

In fact, the Obama Doctrine seems to be: Try to Split the Baby.

Solomon, he most definitely, is not.

INC on March 21, 2011 at 6:07 PM

a capella on March 21, 2011 at 5:54 PM

lololol :)

cmsinaz on March 21, 2011 at 6:09 PM

Verum Serum has an excellent recitation of the President’s blatant hypocrisy in this new war:
http://www.verumserum.com/?p=22788

itsnotaboutme on March 21, 2011 at 6:09 PM

All I know is I have a son who is stationed in Italy with an airborne unit and they just did a year in Afghanistan, and suddenly they are on 18 hour alert notice. I certainly hope this is the moment this guy decide to show the world he has a set!!

lahlon on March 21, 2011 at 6:10 PM

Sorry that should have been “Isn’t the moment he decides to show he has a set”

lahlon on March 21, 2011 at 6:11 PM

Hillary on ethnic cleansing and civil war, 2007: “We cannot save the Iraqis from themselves”
================================

Sweet bippy,I was thinking more along the lines,
Liberal Democrat Versus Progressives Socialists
in their upcoming Purity Civil War,for their part
ies direction!!!!(snark).

canopfor on March 21, 2011 at 6:11 PM

itsnotaboutme on March 21, 2011 at 6:09 PM

excellent linky…those pics need to go viral my friend…

cmsinaz on March 21, 2011 at 6:14 PM

Hillary on ethnic cleansing and civil war, 2007: “We cannot save the Iraqis from themselves”
===================================

And,

“We Cannot Save the Liberals from themselves”!(sarc).

canopfor on March 21, 2011 at 6:16 PM

“We Cannot Save the Liberals from themselves”!(sarc).

canopfor on March 21, 2011 at 6:16 PM

tru dat

cmsinaz on March 21, 2011 at 6:18 PM

Council on Foreign Relations
===============================

Obama Policies concerning,

Campaign Issues
***************

U.S. Policy toward Africa
U.S. Policy toward India
Military Tribunals and Guantanamo Bay
Domestic Intelligence
Afghanistan
Democracy Promotion in the Arab World
Energy Policy
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
North Korea Policy
Cuba Policy
U.S. Policy toward China
Defense Policy
Iraq
Trade
Homeland Security
Iran
U.S. Policy toward Russia
Climate Change
Immigration
United Nations
U.S. Policy toward Pakistan
Nuclear Nonproliferation
Financial Policy
(More………..)

http://www.cfr.org/experts/world/barack-obama/b11603

canopfor on March 21, 2011 at 6:25 PM

canopfor on March 21, 2011 at 6:16 PM
=================
tru dat

cmsinaz on March 21, 2011 at 6:18 PM

cmsinaz:U-Betcha!:)

canopfor on March 21, 2011 at 6:26 PM

are you watching special report? dear leader and the doj seem determine to prosecute the gitmo folks in federal trial…

unstinkingbelievable

cmsinaz on March 21, 2011 at 6:28 PM

Apparently, there is no stopping Booosh.

ericdijon on March 21, 2011 at 6:28 PM

Is it racist to let Muslims kill each other? They’ve been doing it for thousands of years, they like it… and they are good at it. They can afford civil wars far better than we can afford to stop them, and it might just lead to the end of OPEC. The odds of a good result seem to be less than 50-50 with or without American participation.

joe btfsplk on March 21, 2011 at 6:29 PM

bummah is lost and in need of pen,paper to resign,NOW!

Col.John Wm. Reed on March 21, 2011 at 6:32 PM

canopfor on March 21, 2011 at 6:26 PM

*wink*

:)

cmsinaz on March 21, 2011 at 6:41 PM

Apparently, there is no stopping Booosh.

ericdijon on March 21, 2011 at 6:28 PM

I’d like to think George W was laughing, but he’s probably appalled.

betsyz on March 21, 2011 at 6:44 PM

In a John Kerry Accent I Say:

“I do admire one thing about hillary.

It is her surgeon. Whomever that person is he/she is remarkable.

She has no pores. We know she never had a soul, but good nanny she has no more pores. That is remarkable. Indeed”.

/Puff puff (smoking jacket) puff puff “indeed”

Key West Reader on March 21, 2011 at 6:44 PM

Say what you want about Iraq (and I’ve been very vociferous on the matter)…

… at least GWB had the common decency to put it up to a vote before Congress.

Which is more than I can say for some other C-in-C’s I could mention.

JohnGalt23 on March 21, 2011 at 6:44 PM

Which is more than I can say for some other C-in-C’s I could mention.

JohnGalt23 on March 21, 2011 at 6:44 PM

You ignorant ninny. We must focus on the climate change. It excites our rubes into violent revolts. We must not focus on the dithering of the tewel that we installed to take the threwn of the acscendancy. We must. Yes, that. Fewcuous on the climahte change. Pwrince Charles just tickeled me bawls to remind me to stay on focus!. Ewhwhheheweehwhw.. Aue, Charles.. You mustn’t.

Key West Reader on March 21, 2011 at 6:49 PM

Mrs. Clinton said the scaled-down American military force that she would maintain in Iraq after taking office would stay off the streets in Baghdad and would no longer try to protect Iraqis from sectarian violence — even if it descended into ethnic cleansing.

“That’s not the way I remember that interview”

BobMbx on March 21, 2011 at 6:49 PM

yes yes political equivocating! I am shocked shocked I say!

in any event, Libyan intervention right now would also be off the table in all liklihood were it not for the rolling ‘Arab Spring’ revolutions across the ME.

We have Syria erupting in massive protests, Yemen in a civil war that includes the military being on both sides, and Libyaz is that huge slab in between Egypt and Tunisia which are still having their revolutions worked out.

Strategically, we did not want to let Libya become Sudan of 2011. A place where AQ has a sister group that flourishes Al Shabaab?sp?, launches attacks on us, and has piracy as its main economic activity.

Not when it could spill over into Egypt and Tunisia, and block our oil supply from getting to us.

That is how I understood part of HRCs comments this weekend on why we are going in.

She was wrong about leaving Iraq, she has said that. She thinks she was wrong on her vote to go into Iraq also, fo which the far left hates her.We recovering Dems, many of us who are fiscal conservatives/social libertarians find much to admire about the Clinton Years.

And as a confirmed HRC fan and supporter I am of course always in her corner~

ginaswo on March 21, 2011 at 6:56 PM

crap!

not let Libya become the /Somalia of 2011 I meant not Sudan (a Darfur Freudian slip I betcha)

ginaswo on March 21, 2011 at 6:57 PM

Key West Reader on March 21, 2011 at 6:49 PM

I gotta tell ya, that was more than a bit disturbing…

JohnGalt23 on March 21, 2011 at 7:15 PM

It’s fortunate for Libyans that Mrs. Clinton heard the cries of their innocents.

That remains to be seen. Given that the mission does not include removing Qaddafi and given the absence of ground troops (and I’m not saying there should be ground troops) a NFZ imposed two weeks after the rebels lost the momentum may do nothing but prolong a bitter civil war where the death toll may be much higher than if there had been no intervention. And with Qaddafi still in power.

Of course every kerrian genius could tell you that intervening with the approval of the UN was more important than intervening at the critical time.

Basilsbest on March 21, 2011 at 7:55 PM