The Hillary conundrum: What does she really believe, and when did she believe it?

Stephens correctly cites Hillary’s well-known errors: favoring diplomatic engagement with Iran; the early praising of Bashar Assad as a “reformer”; favoring a “reset” of relations with Vladimir Putin’s Russia; her attacks on Bibi Netanyahu when demanded by the president; and her support for Mubarak in Egypt. Others add what they see as her attempts to cover up her failures over the murders by Islamists of four Americans in Benghazi.

But see what Hillary had to say in her interview. She includes the neglected advice on dealing with Syria and Assad by arming moderate rebels, and her equation of the fight against both communism and fascism with the fight against Islamism — her understanding that jihadist groups’ “raison d’être is to be against the West,” and hence they must be contained, deterred, and defeated. She also called for a tough policy to prevent Iran from getting the bomb, and showed that she opposes the Obama policy one can rightfully call appeasement. She continues to argue that Obama’s Syria policy was a complete failure, one that led to ISIS, a group far more extreme than even the Taliban. She writes that during the Cold War, “we did have a kind of overreaching framework about what we were trying to do that did lead to the defeat of the Soviet Union and the collapse of communism,” an objective which the U.S. “achieved.” As she said in the most quoted part of the interview, “Don’t do stupid stuff” is “not an organizational strategy.”

Most importantly, Hillary Clinton defended Israel in the strongest possible terms, at a moment when most Democrats are turning away from any support of the Jewish state, and when the entire Western Left is opposed to its very existence. She cites anti-Semitism as one great motive behind the attacks on Israel, calling the gang-up on Israel “uncalled for and unfair.” She blasts Hamas as the sole culprit responsible for the recent Gaza war, for stage-managing what journalists could be allowed to report from Gaza, noting: “There’s no doubt in my mind that Hamas initiated this conflict and wanted to do so in order to leverage its position.” Finally, she says that “the ultimate responsibility [for the Gaza war] has to rest on Hamas and the decisions it made.”