Richard Holbrooke, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and state department power player during Bill Clinton’s presidency, was in town late last week to stump for Hillary. He stopped by the office and offered up a few tidbits on Hillary’s foreign policy creds. Here’s a quick look. More next week.
On last week’s NIE report downplaying Iran’s nuclear ambitions:
• “For those of us that knew there was no justification for considering military action against Iran … There’s no way. The concern is over. The chances of a war between the United States and Iran are not there.”
• But, Iran is still a problem, because of Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Iranian Republican Guard, but “Bush is still refusing to talk to them and that’s a big mistake. (Hillary) has always advocated direct dialogue with Iran, and I think this strengthens her position. She has always said Iran is a problem and she has said there was no justification for considering force against Iran at this time.”
On America’s future in Iraq:
• “A Hillary presidency would be a dramatic change in every way.”
• Getting troops out safely. “Those candidates who are promising specific timetables are misleading the voters.”
• She’d also: Redouble the effort in Afghanistan, open direct negotiations with Iran, close Guantanomo, and be a “ferocious” opponent of torture.
Hillary’s Experience in the White House
• “As first lady, she didn’t just go to funerals and empty ceremonial events. She carried the banner for women’s rights all over the world, most famously at the 1995 Beijeng Women’s Conference. She gave a speech there which women all over the world know by heart by now. Her famous statement that ‘Women’s rights are human rights.’ I have heard women in many parts of the world quote her the way my generation quotes Kennedy’s inaugural speech.”
• Strong leader on HIV/AIDS and micro-credit.
“On carrying the value system of America, she was an emblematic first lady, not just a PR performance.”
Hillary’s Experience in the Senate:
• She worked on veterans rights, base closings, protecting signing bonuses for soldiers.
• “She knows that force is a part of the array of tools a president has, but you only use force as a last resort.”
UPDATE: Here’s a YouTube of Hillary talking on foreign policy.
Look for some info from Obama’s foreign policy camp later this week, too.