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Thomas Sowell
Thomas Sowell
24 Mar 2015
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A Simple Question


It is amazing how a simple question can cause a complex lie to collapse like a house of cards. The simple question was asked by Bill O'Reilly of the Fox News Channel, and it was addressed to two Democrats. He asked what has Hillary Clinton ever accomplished.

The two Democrats immediately sidestepped the question and started reciting their talking points in favor of Hillary. But O'Reilly kept coming back to the fact that nothing they were talking about was an accomplishment.

For someone who has spent her entire adult life in politics, including being a Senator and then a Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has nothing to show for all those years — no significant legislation of hers that she got passed in the Senate, and only an unbroken series of international setbacks for the United States during her time as Secretary of State.

Before Barack Obama entered the White House and appointed Mrs. Clinton Secretary of State, Al Qaeda operatives in Iraq had notified their higher ups, stationed in Pakistan, that their cause was lost in Iraq and that there was no point sending more men there.

Hosni Mubarak was in charge in Egypt. He posed no threat to American or Western interests in the Middle East or to Christians within Egypt or to Israel. But the Obama administration threw its weight behind the Muslim Brotherhood, which took over and began terrorizing Christians in Egypt and promoting hostility to Israel.

In Libya next door, the Qaddafi regime had already given up its weapons of mass destruction, after they saw what happened to Saddam Hussein in Iraq. But President Obama's foreign policy, carried out by Secretary of State Clinton, got Qaddafi removed, after which Libya became a terrorist haven where an American ambassador was killed, for the first time in decades.

The rationale for getting rid of Middle East leaders who posed no threat to American interests was that they were undemocratic and their people were restless. But there are no democracies in the Middle East, except for Israel. Moreover, the people were restless in Iran and Syria, and the Obama-Clinton foreign policy did nothing to support those who were trying to overthrow these regimes.

It would be only fair to balance this picture with foreign policy triumphs of the Obama-Clinton team.

But there are none. Not in the Middle East, not in Europe, where the Russians have invaded the Crimea, and not in Asia, where both China and North Korea are building up threatening military forces, while the Obama administration has been cutting back on American military forces.

Hillary Clinton became an iconic figure by feeding the media and the left the kind of rhetoric they love. Barack Obama did the same and became president. Neither had any concrete accomplishments besides rhetoric beforehand, and both have had the opposite of accomplishments after taking office.

They have something else in common. They attract the votes of those people who vote for demographic symbolism — "the first black president" to be followed by "the first woman president" — and neither to be criticized, lest you be denounced for racism or sexism.

It is staggering that there are sane adults who can vote for someone to be President of the United States as if they are in school, just voting for "most popular boy" or "most popular girl" — or, worse yet, voting for someone who will give them free stuff.

Whoever holds that office makes decisions involving the life and death of Americans and — especially if Iran gets a nuclear arsenal — the life and death of this nation. It took just two nuclear bombs — neither of them as powerful as those available today — to get a very tough nation like Japan to surrender.

Anyone familiar with World War II battles in the Pacific knows that it was not unusual for 90 percent of the Japanese troops defending Iwo Jima or other islands to fight to the death, even after it was clear that American troops had them beaten.

When people like that surrender after two nuclear bombs, do not imagine that today's soft Americans — led by the likes of Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton — will fight on after New York and Chicago have been reduced to radioactive ashes.

Meanwhile, ISIS and other terrorists are giving us a free demonstration of what surrender would mean. But perhaps we can kick the can down the road, and leave that as a legacy to our children and grandchildren, along with the national debt.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



4 Comments | Post Comment
If only the GOP were ready to offer a sane, moderate candidate as an alternative to Hillary... If you want endless wars, the GOP/war party seems ready to offer a fine selection.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Mark
Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:00 PM
Re: Mark, now you're just name calling. Mr Sowell just told us President Obama and Secretary Clinton have no major accomplishments and this is your rebuttal?
GOP war party? Need I remind you all American involvement in wars over the last 100 years have been started by Democrats or a Bush (for the record, I would consider both Bush administrations a failure).
Comment: #2
Posted by: fmmay73
Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:52 AM
Re: fmmay73
I ignored the argument as silly. Obama inherited an economy in free-fall and turned it around. Obama transformed health care. Is the latter a net good thing? Looks promising, but not ideal. (Others might not agree with me.) The study finding that states that expanded Medicaid had a 23% jump in diabetes diagnoses while those that did not had a slight bump was quite interesting. There is, however, a lot to be fixed/improved.
I am not a Hillary fan, thus my hope for an apparently mythical GOP moderate. Where is a Bob Dole or Gerald Ford when we need one?
While you and I may not have considered our actions in places like Nicaragua and Panama, etc. to be "wars", the citizens of those countries might disagree.
As to the title of "war party" for the GOP, let me quote Pat Buchanan from last month:
"Listen for long to GOP foreign policy voices, and you can hear calls for war on ISIS, al-Qaida, Boko Haram, the Houthi rebels, the Assad regime, the Islamic Republic of Iran, to name but a few.
Are we to fight them all? How many U.S. troops will be needed? How long will all these wars take? What will the Middle East look like after we crush them all? Who will fill the vacuum if we go? Or must we stay forever?"
I think he sums my concerns with the GOP as war party fairly well.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Mark
Tue Mar 24, 2015 9:06 PM
Re: Mark
yes, situations like Nicaragua and Panama may not have been "Wars" but certainly looked like war zones. Both Clinton and Obama participated in such action. Ask Serbians how they felt with US war planes (With UN painted on the side) attacking their country under Clinton (and Iraq for that matter) and all the drone strikes ordered by Obama. How about all the Democrat leaders voting to go to war with Afghanistan and Iraq? I'm not arguing about some GOP member striking up the war drums, I'm pointing out the Democratic (and their minions) hypocrisy.

Also, if the argument is so silly, why not just ignore it? if it is so silly it should have been easily rebutted. Which you didn't seem to do all that good of a job doing.
Comment: #4
Posted by: fmmay73
Wed Mar 25, 2015 6:15 AM
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