August 15th, 2020


Hillary's extraordinary flip-flop-flips on Iraq

Jennifer Rubin

By Jennifer Rubin

Published Nov. 23, 2015

Hillary's extraordinary  flip-flop-flips on Iraq

It was an extraordinary concession. Hillary Clinton, who voted for the Iraq war and then apologized for doing so, and who opposed the surge, now publicly concedes it worked.

This confirms former defense secretary Robert Gates's account that Hillary Clinton opposed the surge purely for political reasons. In his memoir, Gates wrote, "Hillary told the president that her opposition to the [2007] surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary. . . . The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying." So she was for the surge before she claimed to be against it.

But last week she said it was a good thing. As Max Boot notes, "There are two ways to look at her position as a born-again supporter of the surge: either she was being cravenly political in opposing the surge in 2007 or she has simply changed her mind. I opt for the former explanation; no doubt her supporters would argue the latter. Whatever the case, her recognition that we need another Awakening is welcome - especially so because she made it clear that, unlike President Obama, she is willing to go around Baghdad if necessary." Gates' account also supports the view she never really opposed the surge (just as she hadn't really opposed gay marriage, we suspect, for some time).

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also picked up on her finger-to-the-wind routine. In an interview with Hugh Hewitt on Thursday, Christie observed that "she's for some type of like surge in Iraq, and she's claiming that that created stability in Iraq, when she opposed the surge in 2007-2008, and mocked President George W. Bush for doing it." He queried, "Now she's trying to say that was a good thing? This woman changes positions so frequently that you know, she makes you dizzy. And the fact is that that's not the way you can operate American foreign policy." He's got that right.

All of this raises more than a few questions:

If Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was right about the surge at the time and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was wrong, did she mean it when she touted Obama's superior judgment in backing him in 2008?

You see, there's no telling how many things she did and said that she didn't believe in. Yet she did them anyway, one presumes for political advantage.

What type of person pretends to have certain positions on critical issues of national security that she knows are wrong because her own political advancement is more important than helping to guide America's foreign policy?

I guess it is the type of person who would set up an unsecured e-mail to avoid scrutiny, who would adopt for a time the "video made them do it" cover story on Benghazi, and who would be part of an administration whose policies and judgment she apparently did not share (although she said she did).

The problem here is not that voters have trouble figuring out what she really thinks but that she does. (Asked what she thinks, you suspect the bubble over her head asks: What do you want me to think?)

This is not someone with the character, judgment and political courage to be commander in chief.

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