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Hillary Clinton questions Barack Obama's foreign policy
World | politics | 13:24, 11 August 2014 | 537

AKIPRESS.COM - clintonPresident Barack Obama’s foreign policy has come under attack from Hillary Clinton, his former Secretary of State and possible successor in the White House.

Mrs Clinton has rounded on his caution in providing aid for opponents of the dictatorial Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, the Telegraph reports.

She used an interview in The Atlantic to put distance between herself and Mr Obama, even though she was part of his first administration.

Some critics have argued that the failure to take decisive action in the early stages of the Syrian civil war strengthened the hand of hardline jihadist groups who, it is feared, could eventually pose a terrorist threat in the United States itself.

"The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad – there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle – the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled,” she said.

Mrs Clinton was particularly withering about Mr Obama’s slogan of “don’t do stupid stuff” – which the President said was the guiding principle to his approach to foreign policy.

"Great nations need organising principles, and 'Don't do stupid stuff' is not an organising principle,” she added.

Mrs Clinton also was noticeably warmer in her support for Israel than Mr Obama, whose relationship with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, has been strained.

She defended Israel’s response to the attacks on its territory by Hamas, despite global criticism of the civilian death toll in Gaza.

“Israel has a right to defend itself. The steps Hamas has taken to embed rockets and command and control facilities and tunnel entrances in civilian areas, this makes a response by Israel difficult.

”Asked about civilian casualties she said mistakes can be made by democratic countries, including the United States

"We've made them. I don't know a nation, no matter what its values are – and I think that democratic nations have demonstrably better values in a conflict position – that hasn't made errors, but ultimately the responsibility rests with Hamas."

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