Actually, if anything, Hume was too nice to her. On the Fox News Sunday show yesterday, he said she qualifies as a “competent” Secretary of State, but in no means a “great” one. It’s a segment well worth watching, because Hume makes a solid argument. That said, I think she has been only a small step above a disaster. Even acknowledging that bad things happen all over the globe that no Secretary of State can really be blamed for, the sad reality is that in almost every region of the world, American interests are now in worse shape than they were four years ago. Much of the blame should be laid at the feet of Barack Obama: After all, it is ultimately his policies, not Clinton’s, that are being pursued. But there is no evidence at all that Clinton in any way deviated, even in private, from Obama’s bad policies, and in many respects it seems obvious that Obama basically followed her lead.
So, where do we stand? In the Middle Easat, almost certainly worse than before. Turkey has gone further down the road towards open and troublesome Islamism. Egypt is a disaster. Iran is closer than ever to a nuclear weapon, and not only has failed to moved closer to the West, but has crushed a real, potentially powerful “freedom movement” while the Obama-Clinton team lifted not a finger. Libya actually might be slightly better (more US-friendly and ultimately safer) than it was under the mercurial Ghadafi, but compared to about 2005, when Ghadafi was completely cooperating with us, Libya is more dangerous to us — more unstable, more unpredictable long term. (This is completely aside from the 9/11 assault there that killed four Americans.) And even the overthrow of Ghadafi was a mess, with the US administration doing the diplomatic and military hokey-pokey — one foot in, one foot out, a foot back in and shake it all about — rather than dealing cleanly with the situation. Finally, of course, Syria is a disaster area, with more than 60,000 dead.
Most importantly in the Middle East, our ally Israel feels more isolated than ever. This is terrible.
In Africa, meanwhile, al Qaeda is resurgent. Algeria and Mali are especially worrisome.
Then there is Russia. The “re-set” failed spectacularly. Russia is more recalcitrant, less US-friendly than it has been since about 1992.
Eastern Europe? Our would-be friends there rightly feel insulted, stabbed in the back, and abandoned. Western Europe? Well, the US image or influence there is about the same as when Hillary first walked into Foggy Bottom, but the state of Western Europe’s affairs is horrendous, with 26% unemployment in Spain and economic difficulties throughout.
The Far East? No progress against North Korea. Continuing militarily provocative actions from China.
How about the Western Hemisphere? Nothing good. Ecuador has joined Venezuela as uber-leftist anti-US agitators. Brazil has moved leftward and more corrupt, even as Obama has sucked up to it repeatedly. Argentina is again making noises about owning the Falklands (!).
Everywhere we look, the United States interests are no better off, and often worse off, than when Clinton took the reins at the State Department. As Hume rightly said, there have been no triumphs — but there have been spectacular failures, such as the murder of four Americans in Libya and the ascension of Mr. Morsi in Egypt.
Combined with Clinton’s repeated evasions of real answers, and of real responsibility, for the Benghazi fiasco, this record is one of failure. It would be a good thing if Mrs. Clinton’s retirement from State would turn into a retirement from public service altogether.