Caroline Glick is, in my opinion, the most astute commentator on events in Israel and the surrounding region. In yesterday’s column, she assessed Hillary Clinton as a possible successor to Barack Obama:
Whether or not Obama’s anti-Israel policies will survive his tenure in office depends on who succeeds him. If Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is elected to serve as the next president, there is no question that they will survive him.
During her four years as Obama’s secretary of state, Clinton was a full partner in Obama’s hostile policies toward Israel. Moreover, as her internal emails have shown, all of Clinton’s close advisers are hostile to Israel.
My sense is that many American Jews believe that Mrs. Clinton would be more friendly to Israel than President Obama has been. But I am not aware of any evidence that supports that belief. An implacable antagonism toward Israel is nearly universal on the American left.
Glick also reminds us of Mrs. Clinton’s appalling failure of judgment on Libya, which, as her emails show, she and her sycophants intended to be the crown jewel of her tenure as Secretary of State. This is a theme that we have sounded many times here on Power Line:
On Sunday the [New York] Times published a 13,000-word, two-part investigation into Clinton’s role in the 2011 overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Published in the White House’s paper of record, the report makes no attempt to hide the fact that consequences of Gaddafi’s overthrow have been calamitous and that the decision to overthrow the Libyan strongman was Obama’s most visible foreign policy fiasco.
At the time the US overthrew Gaddafi, it was the position of the US defense establishment that he threatened no one outside his country.
Gaddafi had disavowed nuclear weapons and was assisting the US with its campaign against al-Qaida. Moreover, his regime kept Libya’s massive store of advanced weaponry secure.
Since Gaddafi’s overthrow, Libya has ceased to exist as a functioning state. Islamic State has taken over large swathes of the former country, which now comprises its largest base outside of Syria and Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of Libyans have been displaced and up to a quarter of a million Libyans have descended on Europe.
Libya’s storehouse of advanced weapons has fallen into the hands of jihadists. Huge weapons caches have been shipped to jihadists from Nigeria to Syria, from Algeria and Tunisia to Gaza and Sinai. Chemical agents as well as nuclear yellowcake and advanced anti-aircraft missiles were all to be found in Gaddafi’s Libya. The trail of many of these weapons and WMD agents has grown cold as ISIS in Iraq have made regular use of chemical weapons.
The Times’ investigation places the full blame for Obama’s decision to overthrow Gaddafi on Clinton. If it hadn’t been for Clinton, the story claims, Obama never would have gotten involved.
Clinton reportedly not only convinced Obama to join Britain and France in bombing regime targets, she directed much of the campaign from the State Department.
By the Times’ telling, it is all her fault.
No president can escape responsibility for his administration’s foreign policies, but the available evidence does indicate that Hillary was the driving force behind the overthrow of Qaddafi, and that she was motivated largely by her desire to have an accomplishment to her name when she ran for president. It is not easy to see how any foreign policy debacle could reflect more badly on a Secretary of State. And that, of course, is before we get to Benghazi.
Liberals used to accuse the Bush administration of overthrowing Saddam Hussein without having a plan for what would come after. That accusation was false. The Bush administration had a plan, and followed it. But, remarkably, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton actually did overthrow Qaddafi without having a plan for who or what would succeed him, even though they presumably had the cautionary tale of Iraq before them. It is hard to imagine worse judgment.
Glick wraps up by drawing inferences for Israeli policy that I believe are sound:
The contagion of Islamic revolutions began in neighboring Tunisia a year before the US decided to overthrow Gaddafi. That contagion made clear that there are no isolated events in the Islamic world anymore. Every perceived victory for jihadist forces impacts jihadists regionally and throughout the world. The impact is massively escalated when jihadists gain actual ground – as was the case in Libya.
The implications for Israel in regard to the administration’s demand that Israel commit to withdrawing from Judea and Samaria and effectively end its sovereign rule over Jerusalem are dire. Every time Israel withdraws from territory, jihadists regionally and worldwide proclaim victory and – perhaps more important – are perceived as the actual victors.
If Israel bows to US pressure and withdraws from Judea, Samaria and parts of Jerusalem, either in the framework of a peace deal with the PLO or unilaterally, these moves will be immediately perceived regionally as a massive victory for the forces of jihad. Not only will Israel be imperiled, the fate of the Jordanian regime will likely be sealed as empowered jihadists launch a war against the Western-allied regime.
In the world of ISIS and Iran, Israeli sovereignty over united Jerusalem and Israeli control over Judea and Samaria is the only real, best guarantor of the survival of the Hashemite Kingdom in Jordan, and of what’s left of stability in the Middle East, after seven years of Obama’s – and Clinton’s – foreign policy.
I think that is correct. One hopes that our next president will be someone other than Hillary Clinton, someone who will view Israel as a key ally rather than a malefactor and an embarrassment.