Hillary Clinton: America's Worst Secretary of State
The scene could hardly have been more bizarre: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's motorcade was pelted with rotten tomatoes and shoes as she was being driven to the opening of a U.S. Consulate General in the ancient Egyptian city of Alexandria. The mob chanted "Monica, Monica" to taunt the former first lady with the name of the woman with whom President Bill Clinton told us "I did not have sexual relations."
Egyptian journalist Mohammed Wahby warned us back then that this affair could have dangerous ramifications in his part of the world. Wahby told PBS's Jim Lehrer News Hour that Bill Clinton's scandal would inflame Islamists in his part of the world. Clearly, it has had lasting repercussions.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's ostensible reason for being in Alexandria was to take part in the flag-raising ceremony for our Consulate General. This is a disgrace. Alexandria was once home to a flourishing Jewish community. Jews flourish there no more. Her symbolic presence there embodies everything wrong about this administration's foreign policy.
Until recently, it was hard to say that Hillary Clinton was the worst secretary of state in U.S. history. After all, it was Sec. of State William Jennings Bryan who resigned in 1915 when President Wilson typed a too-one-sided note to Germany following the torpedoing of the Lusitania. Bryan thought Germany was being ill-used by the dithering Woodrow Wilson.
Then there was Sec. of State Cyrus Vance. He quit President Jimmy Carter's Cabinet in the wake of the failed effort to rescue our 52 hostages in Iran. The crash of two helicopters and the deaths of a number of U.S. soldiers dashed the hopes of millions. But Vance quit not because the rescue attempt failed. He quit because it was made.
How can you top, or bottom, such egregious records? Hillary Clinton has managed to do it. She hailed the election of Mohamed Morsi as Egypt's president. This Muslim Brotherhood candidate has pledged to be president of all Egyptians. Tell that to the Copts. And the Evangelicals. He doesn't consider them part of Egypt's polity. Sharia is his program. Jihad is his way. For confirmation, consult the Muslim Brotherhood's own founding documents and its unswerving statements.
Worst of all in the performance of this worst of all secretaries of state is her lashing of Israel. She is complicit in this administration's "counting Jews in Jerusalem." Now, as EMET's Sarah Stern points out, she stands by, mute, as Egypt's new foreign minister radically reinterprets that country's 33-year-old treaty with Israel. Foreign Minister Amr, quoting the new Muslim Brotherhood president, claimed that the treaty should stand only if based on the pre-1967 borders of Israel. In brief, that means Israel shrunken to nine miles at the narrowest point -- a wholly indefensible border.
Madame Secretary is not just a disaster throughout the Mideast. Her Russian policy has been a catastrophe. She sternly warns the Russians (and the Chinese) that they "will pay a price" for their vetoes of U.N. sanctions against Syria's Alawite regime.
The old schoolyard taunt applies here. "You and what army?" This administration is headed toward sequestration of our defense budget. The cuts envisioned will take America's army back to pre-Pearl Harbor strength. The Navy will see more ships lost than at Pearl Harbor.
Clinton's toothless threats to make Russia pay a price must evoke laughter in the Kremlin. This is the same Russia to which she gave a pass with her infamous red "Reset" button in 2009. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was not amused at her adolescent gesture. He pointed out that she hadn't found the right Russian word for "reset" (it translated to "overcharge"), and the button was not even in Cyrillic characters.
Madame Secretary was only too happy to send ten Russian spies home in first class. She didn't want to let anything disturb President Obama's "Hamburger Summit" with then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. What an act of weakness! And the Soviets -- er, excuse me, Russians -- would not be slow to feel the slack in our foreign policy line.
Under Hillary Clinton, we no longer have a "special relationship" with Great Britain. She has echoed Barack Obama's use of the Argentinian name for the Falkland Islands. Britain had to go to war with the military junta that ruled Argentina in 1982 to protect the right of Falkland Islanders to self-determination. President Ronald Reagan staunchly backed Britain and his stalwart ally, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. But no more. Madame Secretary refers to the Falklands as "Las Malvinas." (At least she didn't compound the gaffe by calling them the Maldives, as Mr. Obama did!)
We recognize that our fellow Americans give Hillary Clinton high marks. But that is doubtless attributable to buyers' remorse. If only Hillary had been elected president, many feel, we might at least have Bill Clinton-era prosperity.
In her chosen field of foreign policy, however, Hillary Clinton has racked up a terrible record. And it should not go without mention that she has pushed an agenda of abortion and homosexuality worldwide. None of this makes Americans safer or more esteemed in the world.
Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison are senior fellows at the Family Research Council.