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Hillary Wants To Distance Herself from Obama on Syria Now, Watch What She Said in 2012

The political world is abuzz with Hillary Clinton’s comments to Jeffery Goldberg criticizing the Obama Administration – for which she was the top diplomat – for not acting sooner to arm the protestors against Assad in Syria. Here are those comments:

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,

But in 2012, Clinton vociferously defended the Administration’s decision not to arm the rebels, going so far as to claim that doing so was impractical and might help al-Qaeda. Watch.

In that CBS piece she’s painted among the more reticent to engage. Here are her full 2012 comments:

What are we going to arm them with and against what? We’re not going to bring tanks over the borders of Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan,” Clinton said..

“We know al Qaeda [leader Ayman al-] Zawahiri is supporting the opposition in Syria. Are we supporting al Qaeda in Syria? Hamas is now supporting the opposition. Are we supporting Hamas in Syria?” Clinton said. “If you’re a military planner or if you’re a secretary of state and you’re trying to figure out do you have the elements of an opposition that is actually viable, that we don’t see.”

White House officials told the New York Times  today that this echoed her private views:

At the time of the Obama administration’s internal debate over that decision, several officials said, Mrs. Clinton’s advocacy was far less thunderous: 

So how do you explain Clinton basically calling the prospect of arming the rebels idiotic in 2012 with her argument today outside of naked political opportunism?

7 months ago

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