Today's Hillary News & Views previews the moral foundation of a potential Hillary Clinton presidency, as she spoke out for American leadership abroad to fight terrorism, but also at home to stand up for refugees and against racial injustice and gun violence.
First, some coverage and highlights from her big speech yesterday on ISIS.
Hillary Clinton is calling for more allied planes, more airstrikes and a "broader target set" -- though no large-scale mobilization of U.S. ground troops -- to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
She urged Congress to approve a new authorization of the use of military force against ISIS, saying that doing so would signal "that the U.S. is committed to this fight. The time for delay is over. We should get this done."
In the wake of the Paris attacks, for which ISIS has claimed responsibility, Clinton said that "every society faces a choice between fear and resolve" -- an indirect shot at her Republican foes in the 2016 presidential race, who have called for the United States to shut out Syrian refugees.
"This is no time to be scoring political points. We must use every pillar of American power, including our values, to fight terror," Clinton said.
USA Today reports:
Republicans, including Ted Cruz of Texas, have criticized both Obama and Clinton for refusing to label ISIL's network as "radical Islamic terrorism." In her speech, Clinton explained why, saying that such language strengthens terrorist recruitment by alienating Muslims as a group.
"Islam is not our adversary. Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism," said Clinton. A debate over terminology in the presidential primary arena "isn’t just a distraction," she said. "It gives these criminals, these murderers more standing than they deserve. It actually plays into their hands by alienating partners we need.”
ABC News reports:
Clinton also said the United States must do more to stop ISIS’ growth online, and called on Silicon Valley and those in the private sector to help. "We must deny them virtual territory, just as we deny them actual territory,” she said.
She called out the GOP for their use of the phrase “radical Islamists,” which she says gives terrorists more standing than they deserve. “Islam is not our adversary,” she said.
And Clinton doubled-down on her call for allowing refugees into the United States.
"It would be a cruel irony, indeed, if ISIS can force families from their homes and also prevent them from ever finding new ones,” she said.
During the Q&A that followed, Clinton added that “we should not have religious tests" to decide which refugees can come into the country.
The New York Times reports:
“Like President Obama, I do not believe that we should again have 100,000 American troops in combat in the Middle East,” she said.
Similarly, she called for more air power, but only in cooperation with Persian Gulf allies. And she acknowledged in a question-and-answer session that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had halted their air attacks on the Islamic State to focus instead in Yemen.
Expanding on her previous call for a no-fly zone, Mrs. Clinton said it should be limited to northern Syria, where Turkey has proposed a buffer zone to protect civilians, and enforced by many countries. That, she said, “will confront a lot of our partners in the region and beyond about what they are going to do.”
She took a particularly hard line against Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations who she said had been complicit in the rise of the Islamic State. “Once and for all, the Saudis, the Qataris and others need to stop their citizens from directly funding extremist organizations,” Mrs. Clinton said.
The Atlantic reports:
And so, in Thursday’s speech, Clinton held President Obama’s anti-ISIS blueprint close, but not too close; she argued for more American involvement, but also more international involvement.
“What we have done with airstrikes has made a difference but now it needs to make a greater difference and we need more of a coalition flying those missions with us.”
She also argued for more ground troops, but not American ground troops. More American special ops forces, however, were another thing:
“To support them, we should immediately deploy the special operations force President Obama has already authorized, and be prepared to deploy more as more Syrians get into the fight.”
“We are in a contest of ideas against an ideology of hate—and we have to win it. Now, let’s be clear though: Islam itself is not our adversary. Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism. The obsession in some quarters with a ‘clash of civilizations’ or repeating the specific words ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’ is not just a distraction, it gives these criminals, these murderers, more standing than they deserve and it actually plays into their hands by alienating partners we need by our side.”
Given how quickly anti-Muslim rhetoric became acceptable (again) among leading US political figures after the Paris attacks, it will be extremely challenging for the US to win a propaganda war over tolerance, but this may be among the most critical items on this list.
“Law enforcement also needs the trust of residents and communities, including in our own country Muslim-Americans.”
The New Republic has a strong piece up about how Clinton challenged white America to combat racial injustice at last Saturday’s debate.
But when Clinton was specifically asked by moderator Dickerson about the student activism we’ve seen on the Mizzou campus, Clinton offered an answer that helped point her almost universally white Democratic and Republican competitors in the direction that the presidential discussion on race needs to head.
“I come from the sixties,” Clinton began, referencing her own time in college, as a clear attempt to show kinship with the student protesters. “I do appreciate the way that young people are standing up and speaking out,” she continued.
Adding that there should be enough respect in these discussions so that everyone can hear each other, Clinton said that the protests reflects the “deep sense of concern, even despair that so many young people, particularly of color, have” about how they are treated. In a bit of a non-sequitur, Clinton again brought up the meeting that she had with the mothers of black boys and men killed by gun and police violence, mentioning Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and others.
But the end of her response didn’t only acknowledge racial injustice, the crutch upon which presidential debaters—particularly white ones—lean on all too often. It put the burden on white doubters to do that and more.
“It’s a question for all of us to answer,” she said, referring to Dickerson’s original question. “Every single one of our children deserves the chance to live up to their God-given potential.”
I took it to mean that Clinton recognized the very real grievances expressed by the protesters and those mothers—and, more important, that she approved of it. Those black folks she’s supporting don’t need her to do that, but white viewers on the fence about the protests might. By actively legitimizing activism at Mizzou, Clinton put the burden on her fellow white people to help solve the underlying problem: systemic racism.
Finally, on gun violence.
After receiving an award recognizing her continued leadership in gun-violence prevention efforts, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Thursday night called the issue a "national emergency" and urged Americans not to give up hope that the gun lobby can be defeated.
"It is long past time to say enough," said Clinton, the Democratic front-runner and former secretary of state. "Enough talk. Enough delay. It is time to act."
"There is no reason whatsoever of why we can't come together to take action," she said at the event, which was hosted at Cipriani on Broadway in Manhattan. "The problem is not finding common ground. The problem is politicians finding the courage."
"Don't give in to frustration, disappointment or just giving up," she said. "My plea to all of us is to deliver, finally, the key to keep all Americans safe."
New York Daily News reports:
“There are people too dangerous to be let on airplanes, but Congress won’t stop them from getting guns,” the Democratic presidential hopeful said. “We can do this from the grass roots, and I believe we can do it from the top down.”
The Observer reports:
In her remarks, Ms. Clinton called gun violence a “national emergency” and touched an issue that has been getting considerable attention since terrorists in Paris shot dozens of people at a theater and in restaurants—the fact that people on terror watch lists can still purchase firearms in the United States.
“Leaders in the House and Senate will not even allow a vote on whether we should prevent people on the no-fly list from getting guns,” Ms. Clinton said. “It’s just something that makes no sense.”
Ms. Clinton listed some of the policies advocated for by the Brady Campaign—named for James Brady, the press secretary to President Ronald Reagan who was shot and paralyzed in an attempt on Reagan’s life—including closing loopholes that allow some gun sales to occur without background checks.
“These are all, I believe, utterly sensible policies,” Ms. Clinton said. “Yet despite the fact many millions of Americans agree, we can’t seem to break the hold that the gun lobby have on our Congress.”