If we were to hold the elections today, there is every indication that Hillary Clinton would be the next president of the United States. For that reason alone, any American concerned about the future of the country should be paying close attention to what she has to say. Hardly the most liberal Democrat in the ranks, Clinton nonetheless is possessed of many ideologies that can only mean trouble for the direction of the nation.
Her recent speech to Georgetown University illuminated one such troublesome idea. In remarks that were generally ignored by the mainstream media, Clinton made the case for what she called “smart power” in foreign relations:
Using every possible tool and partner to advance peace and security. Leaving no one side on the sidelines. Showing respect even for one’s enemies. Trying to understand and in so far as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view.
The comments drew swift criticism from former Lt. Col. Oliver North, who said, “I can’t think of a presidential candidate who would have said those kinds of things…about people who intend to kill us.”
Just as quickly, the man who took her position as Secretary of State rushed to defend her. John Kerry said, “I think she’s – you know I think in terms of what she meant, there’s no question in my mind she was referring to those out there with whom we are not actively fighting or engaged in a war but who are behaving in ways that are clearly opposed to our interests.”
In reality, we don’t have to speculate on what Clinton was referring to in her speech. She was addressing a peace agreement made between the Catholic Filipino government and – who would have thought – Islamic separatists who have much in common with the worst of America’s enemies. The separatists, who go under the moniker of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, enjoyed decades of support from Libyan despot Muammar Gaddafi. While not designated a terrorist group by the U.S. government, MILF has been responsible for numerous violent attacks, including a 2003 airport bombing that took the lives of 21 people.
It should be obvious that the United States has everything to gain by pursuing diplomacy as a measure of first resort. But calls to show empathy and respect for our enemies ignores the political reality of 2014. Our greatest threats come not from greedy governments who want to expand their territory but from Islamic extremists who use violence to expand their version of God. With such terrorists, there can be no compromise. There can be no reasoning. And there can be no capitulation.
The last philosophy we need in the White House right now is moral relativism. Liberals and conservatives should easily be able to join hands in condemning child rape, the beheadings of innocents, and a philosophy that calls for the death of America, Israel, and anyone else who is not a slave to Sharia Law. Yet this seems to be too much to ask of today’s left wingers, the majority of whom are too busy defending the reputation of Islam to see ISIS for what it is.
No one wants more war. But we can’t afford to again wait until war comes to New York City before we recognize the global threat. We need a president who understands the stakes, and, judging by her words, Clinton does not seem to have that understanding.