Clinton’s culpability

17 October 2012 06:30 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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THE SHADOWS of Benghazi riots are far from over. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, hours before the final presidential debate, swung a surprise by conceding that she took full responsibility for the security lapse in Benghazi, which resulted in the killing of diplomatic staff last month. Her intention apparently was to be on the moralistic side of the story, and exonerate President Barack Obama.

She categorically said the White House is not responsible for the faux pas, as it was the duty of the State Department to remain focused and responsive to foreign policy upheavals in US missions abroad. It is not clear whether by saying so she wants to take a back seat in the next Democratic administration under Obama, if he wins the November 4 vote, or playing a blunt tactic to mounting Republican criticism. But the fact is that Clinton has a career to live in politics, as she is widely tipped as a presidential choice for the 2016 Democratic convention. How far this sense of remorse over Benghazi will overshadow her political fortunes, or will it bounce back as a leadership mantle is too early to say. The outcome of presidential debate in New York will certainly spill the beans as to whether Clinton’s gamble has worked or not.
The Benghazi flip-flop, it seems, will set in an assertive tone in US foreign handlings, and press on the host governments with more astuteness in dealing with fundamental and unscrupulous elements. Analysts already see this as a major overhaul of the security paradigm, especially with missions in the Muslim world, which of late are in the eye of the storm. But the point to ponder here as far as Clinton offering herself as a scapegoat is concerned is that how the Republicans will react to it. The White House is already struggling to make its stance clear as to what was its understanding for the reasons behind the storming of US consulate in Benghazi. Earlier, it had claimed that it was in reaction to a blasphemous film on Islam, and later sidetracked by saying that Al Qaeda had plotted to attack US interests in a well-coordinated manner by influencing local allies. This dichotomy in reaction needs to be settled. It’s not enough for Secretary Clinton to make the buck stop at her.
Khaleej Times
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