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February 19, 2017 / 23 Shevat, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Hillary Clinton’

Exclusive Interview: Hillary Clinton On Israel, Iraq And Terror [archive]

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

Originally Published:  Wednesday, October 25, 2006 [Restored from Archive]

On the eve of her expected reelection victory, New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton met with the editorial board of The Jewish Press.

The former first lady (and current front-runner in opinion polls for the Democratic Party’s 2008 presidential nomination) spoke at length about Israel, the ongoing war in Iraq, and the war on terror. Following are highlights of the discussion:

The Jewish Press: Israel recently concluded its war against Hizbullah in what many consider to be a stalemated position. How do you see things right now?

Sen. Clinton: First, I don’t think we should have pushed for an election in the Palestinian territories. I think that was a big mistake. If we were going to push for an election, we should have made sure we did something to determine who was going to win instead of signing off on an electoral system that advantaged Hamas.

That, to me, was a first step that led Hizbullah to take the actions that it took [killing and kidnapping Israeli soldiers and firing missiles into Israeli population centers]. What has concerned me is that I don’t think our or Israel’s intelligence was very good at uncovering what Hizbullah had developed in the last six years.

Frankly, the American intelligence didn’t know how dug in Hizbullah was, how many rockets they had, where they were going to be launched from and what the range was.

I think, based on what I know, that a lot of damage was inflicted on Hizbullah’s capacity. But that capacity is not destroyed and has not disappeared. Thus, Hizbullah, the Syrians and the Iranians have been emboldened.

This was a problem of situational awareness and about what we were up against. This is a longer-term issue for us and for Israel as we try to figure out how we’re going to get a better grasp of what we’re up against.

Do you think the peacekeeping forces on the Israeli-Lebanese border will be effective?

I don’t have a lot of confidence in what the peacekeeping forces will do, because nobody’s willing to say that they’re willing to disarm Hizbullah. That’s the problem. UN Resolution 1701 [which ended the war] originally said that you had to go in and disarm Hizbullah — but there was no effort to do this at the time, and now we’re trying to play catch-up. They initially said the Lebanese army’s going to do it, but that’s not going to happen.

Is it worth talking to Syria, from the perspectives of the U.S. and Israel?

You know what? I’m pretty much of the mind that I don’t think it hurts to talk to people as long as you’re not stupid in giving things away. I would argue that we don’t know what’s going on inside Iran and Syria. I just want us to get better info. We don’t have good info. I asked the Israelis if [Syrian President Bashar] Assad is really in charge. They said they weren’t sure. So I suggested that we get something going to see who is pulling the levers of power in order to try and figure out how we can influence them.

Please explain your strong criticism of President Bush’s Iraq war strategy after you voted to give him authorization to topple Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship.

I guess I hae been more willing to criticize the administration’s conduct of the war than some [of my Democratic colleagues]. I don’t know why they wouldn’t put in more troops.

Why wouldn’t they follow the military plans that had been drawn up previously by Gen. [Anthony] Zinni and others? Why did they create this awkward entity known as the Coalition Provisional Authority, which was a disaster, diplomatically and strategically?

But I voted to give the president authority and I’ve said many times that I regret the way he used the authority. I haven’t said I made a mistake or I wouldn’t have given it to him again. I made the best decision I could at the time, based on my assessment.

I think my position differs with the administration largely with respect to the execution and implementation of the policy, which I think has been a terrible series of blunders.

There are many people in the Democratic Party who are pushing for the U.S. to leave Iraq. What about those folks who say “cut and run”?

Well, I’m not saying that. I’m saying that if we don’t change what we’re doing, our chances for success are pretty limited. This undermines our capacity to take action that is in our interest and in the interest of Israel and our other allies.

I’ve joined onto a very reasonable proposition put forward by Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and Jack Reed (D-RI), which says we’ve got to do three things: You’ve got to have an internal political process in Iraq. We haven’t told the Iraqi government, “You’ve got to deal with the unfinished business, and we’re going to push you to do it and we’re going to help you do it, but we’re not going to stand by and have you ignore doing it.”

Second, why haven’t we done more to put Iraq’s neighbors on the spot? This international process would say, “You have a big stake in the survival and stability of this regime — you, Saudi Arabia; you, Jordan; you, Kuwait.”

And third, we have to send a message to the Iraqis that they’ve got to do a better job of securing themselves, which is where this concept of phased redeployment comes.

But this proposal says nothing about cutting and running. It says to the Iraqi government, “You’ve got to disarm your militias. You’ve got to rein in your Interior Department, which has been a haven for death squads. You’ve got to get the Islamic clerics, both Sunni and Shi’ites, to issue fatwas (Islamic decrees) against this sectarian violence.”

There’s a lot we could be doing. And you know what? I don’t see it.

How do you view the war on terror?

In this new type of war, we have several big tasks ahead of us. First, we must do everything possible to prevent any of them — Iran, Al Qaeda and the like — from getting nuclear weapons or other types of weapons of mass destruction. That’s the ballgame.

I don’t think our strategy is working. Six years ago, North Korea and Iran were not as close as they are today to having nuclear weapons. Let’s ask ourselves, “What do we need to do differently to be more effective?” Let’s get the best people we can to deal with this problem. And let’s have a robust discussion and not shut people’s ideas down because they don’t agree with yours.

That’s one of my criticisms of the administration, which has the attitude that it’s their way or no way. I’m not sure any of us have the way. That’s why we need, in a democracy, a vigorous debate. There are a lot of people who may have some good ideas that have basically been ignored up until now.

 

Eli Chomsky

FBI Reopens Probe Into Thousands of Clinton Emails on Abedin & Weiner Laptop

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

FBI Director James Comey notified the U.S. Congress on Friday that his agency would renew its probe into the issue of Hillary Clinton’s handling of sensitive and classified information.

The announcement came in response to the discovery of thousands of emails sent to and from Clinton aide Huma Abedin on a laptop owned by her estranged husband, former U.S. Congressman Anthony Wiener, who is under investigation for sexting an underage girl.

The couple are in the midst of divorce proceedings.

“The FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant, and I cannot predict how long it will take us to complete this additional work,” he wrote.

It was decided by senior officials at the FBI that it was preferable to notify Congress immediately about the discovery, rather than wait until the investigation was further along.

Clinton called on Comey in response to the revelation Friday to “release all the information he has,” telling reporters at a campaign event in Iowa, “The American people deserve to get the full and complete facts immediately,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Democratic presidential candidate, aware the new investigation has not yet gotten off the ground, told reporters, “So let’s get it out,” although Comey made it clear that it is likely such a probe could last well beyond Election Day.

No charges were filed this past summer against Clinton or her aides and the investigation was closed regarding emails sent and received on her private server, including those that were classified.

GOP candidate Donald Trump told reporters at a campaign event in New Hampshire, “I have great respect for the fact that the FBI and the Department of Justice are now willing to have the courage to right the horrible mistake that they made.”

At least 17 million American citizens have already cast their ballots.

Hana Levi Julian

Clinton Mulling Biden for Secretary of State

Friday, October 28th, 2016

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s short list for her old job of Secretary of State starts with Vice President Joe Biden, according to Politico, citing a source close to the campaign. Apparently, the campaign has not yet approached Biden with the proposal.

A six-term senator, Biden chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before joining the Obama Ticket, and is considered an expert on the Middle East and on eastern Europe. He has been used by President Obama as his envoy to both regions. It has been noted that Clinton and Biden do not often agree on policy, Clinton being more inclined to intervene militarily, while Biden advocates a more reserved policy.

Biden would probably be the best Democratic selection from the point of view of Israel, and especially the Netanyahu Administration. He has had a rough and tumble relationship with AIPAC on occasion, but in 2008 described his relationship with the pro-Israel lobby: “I’ve never disagreed with AIPAC on the objective. Whenever I’ve had disagreement with AIPAC it has always been a tactical disagreement, not a substantive disagreement.” Following that statement, an AIPAC spokesman praised Biden’s leadership and stated: “We look forward to continuing to work with him in the Senate or in the White House.”

Like the bulk of the Democratic party, Biden supports a two-state solution. In 2009, he told an AIPAC conference that Israel “has to work towards a two-state solution” and “dismantle existing outposts and allow Palestinians freedom of movement.” He also called on the Palestinians to “combat terror and incitement against Israel.”

However, in 2007 he stated, when asked about the failure to achieve peace between Israel and the PA: “Israel’s a democracy and they make mistakes. But the notion that somehow if Israel just did the right thing, [the peace process] would work … give me a break.” He also stated that “The responsibility rests on those who will not acknowledge the right of Israel to exist, will not play fair, will not deal, will not renounce terror.”

The 2007 Biden-Brownback Resolution on Iraq, passed by the Senate with a 75-23 majority, including 26 Republicans, called for federalizing Iraq with separate regions for Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis. Iraq’s political leadership and the GW Bush Administration united in denouncing the resolution. In retrospect it appears that following it might have prevented the violent emergence of ISIS.

In 2008, Israel Army Radio cited an unnamed source that said Biden had told Israeli officials privately that Israel “will have to reconcile itself with the nuclearization of Iran.” A Biden spokesman stated that “this is a lie peddled by partisan opponents of Senators Obama and Biden and we will not tolerate anyone questioning Senator Biden’s 35-year record of standing up for the security of Israel. … [Biden views a nuclear Iran as a] grave threat to Israel and the United States.” Israeli officials said at the time that the story was “dubious.”

Finally, as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Biden called for “hard-headed diplomacy” with Iran. He also has called for the implementation of “coordinated international sanctions” on Iran, but called to ” complement this pressure by presenting a detailed, positive vision for U.S.-Iran relations if Iran does the right thing.” In that context, in 2007, Biden voted against declaring the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, because “war with Iran is not just a bad option. It would be a disaster.”

JNi.Media

Friend of Israel Slated to Become HRC’s WH Chief of Staff

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta is the top choice to serve as White House chief of staff come January 2017, Politico reported Thursday. The choice of chief of staff will signal the presidential candidate’s expectations of her relationship with Congress, as well as her international plans.

A close Clinton ally told Politico that, on the campaign, Podesta was part of a small group of advisers the candidate “can already shorthand with.” Expectations are that should he agree to serve, it would be only for one year. “The question is can she convince him to do it for a year,” the source said, adding, “He could get the administration stabilized, and get hiring done.”

Podesta served as President Clinton’s Chief of Staff from 1998 until the end of Clinton’s time in office in January 2001.

As reflected from the thousands of his emails dumped by Wikileaks, Podesta is a great advocate of transparency, and has frequently criticized Hillary Clinton’s tendency for secrecy and cover-ups. In a 2004 speech at Princeton University, he condemned what he called the U.S. “excessive government secrecy” and “bloated secrecy bureaucracy.” He supported President Clinton’s Executive Order 12958 which helped declassify 800 million pages from the U.S. diplomatic and national security history. He called Executive Order 12958 “perhaps the biggest accomplishment of the Clinton administration.”

Podesta and Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s likely appointment for National Security Advisor (he is currently serving as Vice President Biden’s NSA), are considered friends of Israel, a fact supported by countless leaked emails. Podesta and Sullivan come across in these emails as associates of the pro-Israel circle of Hillary Clinton advisors, some of whom have been on close personal terms with Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer. Dermer used their good services to communicate a message from Prime Minister Netanyahu to the presidential candidate, asking her to curb her enthusiasm in support of Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.

One particular leaked email exchange, between John Podesta and his daughter, Megan Rouse, offers an un-staged insight into the former’s stand on US-Israel relations. Rouse wrote her father: “I’ve heard a concern from some folks who care deeply about Israel that Hillary will be the president ‘most unfriendly to Israel in our history, worse than Obama.’ Thoughts on how I might respond in conversation?”

Podesta replied: “That’s a bit crazy. Obama developed a real feud with Bibi, but she has been a staunch defender of Israel since her Senate days. Probably her very best supporters are Haim Saban, and Danny Abraham who would not be with her if she wasn’t totally committed to Israeli security.”

Incidentally, Podesta would much rather serve in Hillary Clinton’s cabinet as energy secretary, and was behind President Obama’s climate initiatives. The problem is that getting the job would require Senate confirmation, a road paved with months and months of hearings on those nasty Wikileak emails bearing his name and address. Apparently, not all of them were as sweet as his exchange with Megan…

JNi.Media

Trump to Israelis: Together We’ll Stand Up to Iran [video]

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

A taped one-minute address by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, screened at an election rally organized by Republicans Overseas Israel in Jerusalem Wednesday, left no room for doubt: should he be elected, Trump would be the biggest friend Israel has ever had — huge.

“My administration will stand side by side with the Jewish people and Israel’s leaders to continue strengthening the bridges that connect not only Jewish Americans and Israelis but also all Americans and Israelis,” Trump told the 200 or so in attendance at the event and the few dozens watching the rally live on Facebook. “Together, we will stand up to enemies like Iran bent on destroying Israel and her people. Together, we will make America and Israel safe again.”

It was a small crowd, admittedly, but the folks, many in Trump T-shirts and “Make America Great Again” baseball caps, made up for their number with enthusiasm, booing and crying “Lock her up” each time the name Hillary Clinton was mentioned.

“I love Israel and honor and respect the Jewish faith and tradition,” Trump told his Israeli-American voters. “For me, respect and reverence for Judaism is personal. My daughter Ivanka and my son-in-law Jared are raising their children in the Jewish faith.”

Trump’s VP, Gov. Mike Pence, told the Jerusalem rally: “Israel’s fight is our fight, Israel’s cause is our cause,” noting that Israel is “not just our strongest ally in the Middle East, it is our most cherished ally in the world.” Also, Pence said, Israel is “hated by too many progressives, because she is successful and her people are free,” and so, “Let the word go forth that Donald Trump and I are proud to stand with Israel.”

Local speakers included Caroline Glick, Trump’s adviser on Israel David Friedman, and David Peyman, Trump’s head of Jewish outreach, who told the gathering that he had delivered a note from Trump to God at the Kotel. Friedman promised that “a Trump administration will never pressure Israel into a two-state solution or any other solution that is against the will of the Israeli people.” Friedman warned against the seductive messages Trump’s opponent had given the AIPAC conference in March, saying “Hillary Clinton’s words are the cheapest currency on the political marker.”

According to media reports over the summer, Friedman and Trump’s other adviser on Israel, Jason Greenblatt, suggested the candidate stop elaborating on his vision of two states for two peoples living peacefully side by side. This after Trump had told Maggie Haberman and David E. Sanger of the NY Times in March: “Basically I support a two-state solution on Israel. But the Palestinian Authority has to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Have to do that. And they have to stop the terror, stop the attacks, stop the teaching of hatred, you know? The children, I sort of talked about it pretty much in the speech, but the children are aspiring to grow up to be terrorists. They are taught to grow up to be terrorists. And they have to stop. They have to stop the terror. They have to stop the stabbings and all of the things going on. And they have to recognize that Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. … And if they can’t, you’re never going to make a deal. One state, two states, it doesn’t matter: you’re never going to be able to make a deal.”

Trump concluded: “Now whether or not the Palestinians can live with that? You would think they could. It shouldn’t be hard except that the ingrained hatred is tremendous.”

JNi.Media

Wikileaks: Huma Abedin ‘Corrected’ Haim Saban on Scrutinizing Muslims

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

In November, 2015, after Hollywood mogul Haim Saban, whose support for Hillary Clinton is matched only by his love for his country, Israel, told Itay Hod (from Nazareth, Israel) of The Wrap that the U.S. should tighten its control of Muslims (Hollywood Mogul Haim Saban Calls for ‘More Scrutiny’ of Muslims — Exclusive), he was rebuked by a curt email from Clinton’s closest adviser, Huma Abedin, a string of recently hacked Wikileaks emails reveals.

Saban was delighted with his Wrap interview, and on Nov. 18 sent the Clinton team the link, with the comment: “Hey Guys. Read and get a kick from my statements about Bernie sanders, Rubio and Trump w/o even mentioning their name. Hope all is well.”

The interview was given in the wake of the ISIS murderous Paris attack, and Saban told Hod: “I’m not suggesting we put Muslims through some kind of a torture room to get them to admit that they are or they’re not terrorists, but I am saying we should have more scrutiny.”

Saban insisted the Paris attack, which shocked the world almost a year ago, was the ultimate game changer. “It’s a wake-up call,” he said. “I fully believe we’re in a different kind of World War III. What ISIS has proven is that they’re not only active in Syria and Iraq, but they’re active in Europe. We can’t afford the next president, basically the leader of the free world, to be an amateur that has done nothing other than missing votes, or a clown, to be making the decisions as to how to react.”

In response to her boss’ biggest fan’s proud email (By Nov. 2015, Saban had already given $2 million to Clinton’s Super PAC Priorities USA Action, and he and his wife had hosted a fundraiser that raised another $2 million) Clinton’s closest advisor wrote the following, very cold response:

“Good interview. Thanks for sharing. But what you are saying about Muslims not consistent with HRC. Are you aware of that?”

This is the stuff that keeps Jews and Israelis up at night, that cool, persistent, pro-Muslim voice that will remain, deep and poisonous, inside the president’s ear. Especially since Clinton actually sides with Haim Saban on this issue, as she articulated in September, after Ahmad Rahimi, the US citizen son of Afghan immigrants had been identified as the suspect in a string of bombing attempts in Manhattan and New Jersey:

Clinton said: “I am absolutely in favor of and have long been an advocate for tough vetting, for making sure that we don’t let people into this country — and not just people who come here to settle, but we need a better visa system. Let’s remember what happened on 9/11. These were not refugees who got into airplanes and attacked our city and our country. So let’s not get diverted and distracted by the kind of campaign rhetoric we hear coming from the other side.”

Clinton’s “tough vetting” is practically identical, by the way, to Republican candidate Donald Trump’s call for “extreme vetting.”

Huma Abedin will continue to be a major concern, should Hillary Clinton win in November (which at the moment appears like a foregone conclusion). To be fair, other than a few expressions of derision about AIPAC which rattled US Jews, rightfully so, and the unkind email to Hillary’s rich Israeli supporter from Hollywood, the media, Jewish and otherwise, have yet to catch Abedin in a scandalous anti-Israel statement, the kind that White House staff resignations are made of. All we have at the moment is innuendo, and our sleepless nights.

JNi.Media

Iranian President Mocks US Elections, Favors Own Brand of Democracy

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani on Sunday mocked both major party presidential candidates in the US elections, criticizing their behavior during their recent debates. “Did you see the debate and the way of their speaking, accusing and mocking each other?” Rouhani asked an audience in the city of Arak, in a speech that was broadcast on national TV. He added contemptuously, “Do we want such a democracy in our country? Do we want such elections in our country?”

Iran’s own presidential election will take place in May 2017, and Rouhani is likely to run for a second term. Any Iranian citizen born in Iran, who believes in God and Islam, who has always been loyal to the Constitution and is above 21 years of age may register as a presidential candidate. The Election Monitoring Agency (EMA), which is managed by the Guardian Council vets registered candidates and decides who may run (36,000 candidates signed up to run in 2009). No women have ever been approved by the EMA. It is doubtful either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton would have been approved, even if they had agreed to embrace Islam…

The minimum voting age in Iran is 15.

“You see the United States that claims it has had democracy for more than 200 years,” Rouhani said, encouraging his audience to “look at the country, what the situation is where morality has no place.”

Rouhani said that last September, when he attended the UN General Assembly in New York, he was asked which of the candidates he preferred, and answered, “Should I prefer bad to worse or worse to bad?”

Iranian state TV broadcast two complete debates between Trump and Clinton and has been closely following the campaign, using the candidates’ statements as fodder for anti-US observations. They were particularly unhappy with candidate Trump’s declaration in September, after Iranian naval vessels repeatedly shifted close to American warships in a harassing and unsafe manner, that when “they circle our beautiful destroyers with their little boats, and they make gestures at our people, that they shouldn’t be allowed to make, they will be shot out of the water.”

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/iranian-president-mocks-us-elections-favors-own-brand-of-democracy/2016/10/25/

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