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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

# Posted 10:36 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

MALKIN ON CLINTON: Not surprisingly (but again not unjustly), Michelle Malkin responds to David Remnick's profile of the ex-president by making light of Clinton's apology for doing nothing to stop the genocide in Rwanda. Clinton told Remnick that:
Rwanda was the worst foreign-policy mistake of his administration.

"Whatever happened, I have to take responsibility for it," he said. "We never even had a staff meeting it. But I don't blame anybody that works for me. I should have alert and alive to it."
Malkin responds: "How big of him."

The art of the apology is certainly something that Clinton has mastered. He could give lessons to the likes of Trent Lott, George Allen and the current president. But why is it that Clinton seems so good at apologizing but so bad at avoiding things he must apologize for?

Were I a liberal partisan, I would defend Clinton from Malkin by suggesting (correctly, I think) that conservatives demonstrated even less concern about Rwanda than liberals. How ironic for them to criticize him now. As numerous Rwandans apparently told Clinton, it mattered to them that he apologized because he was the only one who did.

But what interests me more than the point scoring is what Clinton thinks he should have done. An air campaign like Kosovo? If that didn't work, send in the Marines? Or would a UN resolution be necessary?

Unfortunately, either Clinton didn't pursue that line of reasoning or Remnick didn't report it. By the same token, there is nothing in the article about Darfur, which is quite surprising given that Remnick accompanied Clinton on a tour of a half-dozen nations in Africa.

The purpose of the tour was to promote Clinton's campaign against AIDS. It's hard to imagine that Clinton said nothing about Africans being slaughtered in Darfur while trying to save Africans elsewhere.

I'm especially interested because I want to know if Clinton now has a clear set of ideas about how to conduct American foreign relations. His party is desperate for a coherent doctrine and would benefit from any lessons the president has to share.
(8) opinions -- Add your opinion

Comments:
Let us not forget that Rwanda happened after the Clinton administration was embarrassed by the involvement in Somalia. It seems as if critics of Clinton want to have it both ways. We should not have intervened in Somalia and we should have intervened in Rwanda. They don't acknowledge the fact that Clinton intervened in Somalia, which then cost him a lot of political capital when troops were killed, and once devoid of that capital it was extremely difficult to get involved in Rwanda even if they really wanted to.
 
Let you remember that Clinton didn't intervene in Somalia. He inherited the intervention in Somalia from GHWB. Operation Restore Hope began on December 3, 1992 in the lame duck days of aforesaid Bush.

Our experience in Somalia served as a good warning against Rwanda. Avoid civil wars.
 
Anony.

Stop making excuses. The humanitarian mission was changed to lets get the warlord. The Clinton Defense Department would not provide the resources the Marine in charge wanted.

Also remember that Clinton was guided by polls. Maybe thats why so many people loved him. He always did what the polls suggested was best. Pity about the dead.
 
President Clinton doesn't need any help defending his legacy from the likes of Michelle Malkin.
 
One option that was debated and stupidly rejected IMHO would have been to jam the hate radio broadcasts that the genocidaires used to foment the genocide.

I would never give Clinton a pass on this - or much of anything for that matter, but criticism from Michelle "Internment is cool" Malkin?

Puhleeze
 
Am I the only one who remembers this? FWIW, I agreed with David's analysis there, thought I've only read Kuperman and Des Forges, not Powers.
 
Davod

No excuses are necessary. Clinton was a great president. Bush will be known as a failed president, a president without *any* accomplishments.

Well, except for the prescription drug plan.

The humanitarian mission was changed to lets get the warlord.

That's true, but that was changed by GHWB not by Clinton. The US doesn't land Marines amphibiously for relief purposes. Fighting between warlords in Mogadishu had already broken out which caused agriculture to fail which caused famine to set in. The Marines were sent in to restore order, but unfortunately, the civil war then turned on us. Somalia is similar to Iraq, except that Clinton was smart enough to get us out of a bad situation.
 
Clinton's mistake in somalia was to withdraw most of the troops leaving to few troops in the field to handle the situation.
 
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