Hillary does counterterrorism

On Wednesday Hillary Clinton gave her previously scheduled speech on counterterrorism at Stanford University. The Brussels attacks had taken place the day before. She both commented on the attacks and criticized Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in the course of her remarks, the C-SPAN video of which is posted below and here.

Her speech was treated seriously as a major statement of policy by the news outlets, but it was almost laughable in substance and in delivery. She read the speech off the teleprompter, robotically turning her head from side to side at predicable intervals. She read the speech in a monotone and pace suggestive of automated speech. The speech is dead and deadening. As in her thoroughly false statement at the United Nations about her private email server, she struggled to impersonate an authentic human being.

Elsewhere in the campaign she presents herself as an ardent supporter of President Obama. In the Democratic primaries, at least, she seeks to ride his coattails. Dissent from his views is something like an offense against majesty. In her speech, she described the defeat of ISIS as urgent and laid out a three-point plan. It’s a “comprehensive strategy.”

The implication is that her views would take her in a different direction than the one in which President Obama is headed, if he is headed anywhere. What would she do differently? I think it is more of the same. Her neurasthenic delivery belied the alleged urgency of the problem. Weirdness rules the day.

Among the statements that pretend to distinguish her from Obama: “It’s understandable that Americans here at home are worried.” This is immediately followed by a laughable concession: “The threat we face from terrorism is real, it’s urgent, and it knows no boundaries.” It’s deep stuff:

“Brussels demonstrated we need to take a harder look at security protocols…”

“We need an intelligence surge…”

“Slogans aren’t a strategy. Loose cannons tend to misfire.”

“We have to be smart and diligent about how we process people into our country.”

“We have to do what actually works.”

“Inflammatory rhetoric doesn’t work.”

“Torture doesn’t work.”

I’m not conceding that torture doesn’t work until we have tried force feeding this video to our adversaries.