Opinion

Behind Clinton’s Foreign Policy Speech

Screen Grab CNN

John Linder Former Congressman

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speech in San Diego last week was widely advertised to be a serious statement on her specialty, foreign relations.

Europe is aflame from Scandinavia to the Middle East. Libya is an appendage of the Islamic State. Iran is fighting against us in Syria, with us in Iraq, and against our allies in Yemen.

In South America, Venezuela is an economic basket case and the Zika virus is threatening the globe via the upcoming Olympics in Brazil.

The entire world waited with bated breath to hear our former top diplomat address the world’s problems. She chose instead to spend 35 minutes mocking Donald Trump.

That is not to say it wasn’t effective. It is always effective in politics to skewer another in his own words and Trump has over 30 years worth of public comments on the record. They found them all and she read the words with enthusiasm.

Interspersed with the personal attacks on Trump Clinton reminded us of her record including standing up “for the rights of women, religious minorities and LGBT people around the world.”

This from the lady whose name is on a foundation that has taken tens of millions of dollars from countries that continue to kill LGBT people as a matter of national policy.

Approximately one-fourth of the way through the insults she offered her own plan to deal with the ills we face.

“First, we need to be strong at home. That means investing in our infrastructure, education and innovation, … We need to reduce income inequality … And we need to break down the … barriers of bigotry and discrimination.”

Well now, that is indeed markedly different from Trump’s views on foreign policy. Mine too for that matter. And probably yours. Putin should be quaking in his boots.

At some point you just have to wonder how in the world we can take this person seriously.

The first foreign success she puts forth is: “Take the threat posed by North Korea – perhaps the most repressive regime on the planet … ”

She, working with our allies in Japan and South Korea, built an anti-missile shield should North Korea ever use a nuclear weapon.

North Korea remains a nuclear power thanks to an agreement negotiated by Former President Carter on behalf of her husband in which they were allowed to continue to enrich uranium so long as they used it only for peaceful purposes.

From that abject failure to Iran: “When President Obama took office, Iran was racing toward a nuclear bomb … I got to work leading the effort to impose crippling global sanctions.”

Perhaps she is unaware that the sanctions began 37 years ago under President Carter. Her main contribution to global sanctions was an agreement with Sweden to exempt telecommunications sales to Iran.

Sweden argued that its Iranian minority needed to be in communication with their families in Iran. Secretary Clinton agreed to the exemption on “humanitarian grounds.”

Sweden was acting on behalf of international telecom giant, Ericsson, which has a huge impact on Sweden’s economy and budget.

This story is told best by Peter Schweizer in Clinton Cash.

“Ericsson decided to sponsor a speech by Bill Clinton and paid him more than he had ever been paid for a single speech: $750,000,” Schweizer writes.

“Clinton gave the speech on November 12, 2011. “One week later, on November 19, the State Department unveiled its new sanctions list for Iran.

“Telecom was not on the list. Even when Obama imposed sanctions on telecom sales by executive order in 2012, those sanctions did not cover Ericsson’s work in Iran.”

At the same time the Clinton Foundation created a Swedish component that was the recipient of $26 million dollars in Swedish contributions. There is no proof that Mrs. Clinton’s decision was in any way influenced by the largesse of Sweden or Ericsson.

“We brought Iran to the table.” Mrs. Clinton continues. “And eventually, we reached an agreement that should block every path for Iran to get a nuclear weapon.”

At the risk of sounding remedial I’d like to remind Mrs. Clinton that the agreement allows Iran to continue to enrich uranium so long as they use it only for peaceful purposes. Does North Korea come to mind?

“Donald Trump says we shouldn’t have done the deal … But that would have meant no more global sanctions.”

Mrs. Clinton is apparently unaware that the agreement ended the sanctions. Absent the agreement the sanctions would still be in place, Iran’s economy would still be in the tank and they would not have the $150 billion we freed up for their terroristic adventurism.

With Mrs. Clinton’s record on global sanctions she should have been too embarrassed to read that.

The only thing we learned with this speech was that the ground-rules for the November election have been set.

Mrs. Clinton will cite Trump’s words suggesting that he has no idea how the world works and thus is not competent to be commander-in-chief.

Mr. Trump will cite Clinton’s record proving that she has no idea how the world works and thus is not competent to be commander-in-chief.

This is not going to be a pretty election.

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