The New York Times’ coverage of Secretary of State designate Hillary Clinton’s confirmation hearing was more celebratory than reportorial.
In today’s story, reporter Mark Landler chirped that in her appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “Mrs. Clinton showed a mastery of the issues that won praise from her fellow lawmakers, and outlined a muscular view of American foreign policy that she said would put diplomacy front and center in the Obama administration” (emphasis added).
Perhaps Landler could tell us what he means by “muscular foreign policy.” Her husband’s approach to foreign affairs, which Hillary says she had a hand in shaping, seemed more flaccid.
President Bill Clinton passed up at least two opportunities to nab Osama bin Laden in 1996, when the Sudan offered to give him to us on a silver platter. (At the time, he was an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.)
Still, President Clinton wasn’t sure if taking custody of the mass-murderer conformed with the niceties of international law. Is that pumped-up diplomacy?
The companion editorial (new stories in The Times are often prequels to its editorials) could only be described as worshipful. The editorial claimed that “after eight incredibly self-destructive years” — when George W. Bush nearly destroyed civilization — now cometh Barack and Hillary, the heralds of “redemption and renewal.”
If asked to name the worst thing Bush did in the past eight years, The Times would unhesitatingly reply “the Iraq war.” But in 2002, as a member of the Senate, Hillary voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq.
For a glimpse of how Hillary intends to run the State Department, go back to 2000 when she sat with rapt attention while Shua Arafat, wife of the late terrorist leader, described how the Israelis were using “poison gas” on Palestinian women and children to give them cancer. Not only did the future Secretary of State listen to this paranoid drivel in silence, she later gave Mrs. Arafat a big hug. How’s that for a profile in courage?
With Hillary as Secretary of State, Jimmy Carter’s foreign policy bungling will seem like the good old days. But don’t tell The New York Times. Why spoil its fantasy?