Thursday, December 08, 2011

Glick's JPost OpEd is a Mess of Mischarecterizations (Part 2)

I have a few short notes of response to Caroline Glick's 12/5/11 oped in the Jerusalem Post. For the sake of the discussion, and clarity, I'll separate my points into individual posts.  Here is part 1

Regarding Secretary of State Clinton, she writes:
The same Secretary of State that has heralded negotiations with the violent, fanatical misogynists of the Taliban; who has extolled Saudi Arabia where women are given ten lashes for driving, and whose State Department trained female-hating Muslim Brotherhood operatives in the lead-up to the current elections in Egypt accused Israel of repressing women’s rights. The only state in the region where women are given full rights and legal protections became the focus of Clinton’s righteous feminist wrath.

The claims against Clinton here are as follows:

(1) She wants to negotiate with the Taliban;
(2) She has "extolled" Saudi Arabia;
(3) She has allowed her department to train Muslim Brotherhood operatives; and  
(4) She has never criticized any other state in the region.

As of October 2011, the first claim is partially true. The administration is willing to negotiate with the Taliban, under certain conditions. So what? Ronald Reagan negotiated with communist Russia. Israel negotiated with Yasser Arafat and the PLO. Nixon negotiated with the Vietnamese. States negotiate with their enemies all the time. Meanwhile, on December 5, 2011, at an Afghan Woman's event the Secretary confirmed she'd like to get rid of the Taliban
PARTICIPANT: But what is important that we are requesting that it is really possible for international community to get rid of the Taliban within 24 hours. (Laughter.) She said enough is enough for us, and this is what we would like to have (inaudible).

SECRETARY CLINTON: I wish I could do that.
And just last summer she was even more explicit:

:: Hillary Clinton visits Pakistan to urge action against Taliban militant Excerpt: US officials are demanding that Pakistan either deliver the Haqqani network to peace talks, kill its leaders, or pave the way for the Americans to eliminate them

There also seems to be, in Glick's column, some suggestion of official hypocrisy-- Clinton wants to talk to the Taliban, but criticizes Israel(!); but have we forgotten that the US also talks to Israel -- and much more? I don't see anyone offering the Taliban cash or military support, yet Israel receives all of that and more from the US. So to suggest in a "how dare you" tone that Clinton treats the Taliban better than she treats Israel is absurd.

As for the rest:
(2) She has "extolled" Saudi Arabia

I find no evidence of any "extolling" of Saudi Arabia -- perhaps Glick confused Clinton with George W. Bush, the Kingdom's famous friend? -- but a quick Google search delivers examples of quite the opposite

:: Hillary Clinton backs Saudi Arabia women's right-to-drive campaign
Relations between Washington and Riyadh could be damaged by comments on female drivers by US secretary of state

:: U.S. State Department Releases 2010 Human Rights Report
Criticizes China, Belarus, Saudi Arabia, and Others

:: Hillary Clinton Condemns Saudi Gang Rape Sentence
Hillary Clinton... has condemned the sentence and urged President Bush to call on King Abdullah to cancel the ruling and drop all charges against the woman. She said “As president I will once again make human rights an American priority around the world.”

Incidentally, and perhaps ironically, Saudi Arabia also criticized Clinton for being insufficiently opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood. (The Saudis, like the Caroline Glick, are no fans of democracy, and would prefer to see it crushed, rather than risk the election of someone unsavory) So Glick appears to be attempting to have her cake, while eating it. Does Clinton cozy up to the Saudis, or is she in bed with the Brotherhood? It can't be both. Indeed, as the Times and others have reported the US relationship with Saudi Arabia is under strain, specifically because Clinton and Obama have, unlike Bush, pushed the country to make reforms.

(3) She has allowed her department to train Muslim Brotherhood operatives 

I see no justification for this claim. It sounds like something dreamt up by a hater. Source?

(4) She has never criticized any other state in the region.

Really? Two seconds of Googling finds this:
:: Clinton Criticizes Syrian President
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad on July 17 on his administration's violent crackdown on anti-government protesters since the demonstrations began three months ago.

:: Clinton Chides Turkey on Rights Record
In a series of pointed statements, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton criticized Turkey, a close NATO ally, on Saturday, for its mixed record on press and other freedoms.

In short, the double standard Glick proposes does not exist. Though Clinton has indeed criticized Israel for permitting discrimination against women, she has also criticized Arab countries, Turkey, and the Taliban, and in far more strident tones.

Search for more information about Hillary Clinton's consistant track record  at

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