At the liberal Take Back America conference, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D.-N.Y) praised American GI’s for liberating Europe after World War II, but vowed to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq, regardless of the political outcome in the Middle East.
“I believe the best way to support our troops is to finally start bringing them home and out of this sectarian civil war that we have no business being part of,” she said.
In her speech, the Democrat candidate for president said, “The American military has succeeded. It is the Iraqi government which has failed to make the tough decisions that are important to their own people.”
The audience booed Clinton’s remarks about Iraq, as it did last year, largely because she refuses to apologize for her 2002 vote to authorize the war.
She also told a story about former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s trip to Europe to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II.
“Everywhere she [Albright] went, she saw American flags, but when she looked more closely she realized the flags had only had 48 stars and she asked people ‘Where did these flags come from?’ And everyone told her the same thing. When the American GI’s liberated Europe they passed out these flags because of course this was before Hawaii and Alaska were states. That’s why there were only 48 stars,” Clinton said.
She explained how the flags had been passed down from generation to generation “at great risk” as treasured keepsakes from Europeans who were liberated by Americans.
Of that heartwarming memory, Clinton said, “I want to be the President that restores that feeling around the world. And, equally importantly, I want to restore that feeling here at home.”
Dr. James Carafano, military historian from The Heritage Foundation, said the historical anecdote Clinton relayed had no relation to her Iraq policy.
“The analogy is just wrong,” he said.
“If she wanted to follow the European example, then the answer would be that the Americans need to stay in Iraq until the Iraqis can stand on their own, which means they have a government that can govern and they have a military that can support the government.”
Carafano explained after World War II, the United States followed a “disease and unrest formula” that dictated U.S. troops should not return home until the country is stabilized from devolving into mass death, chaos or revolution. The Allied powers occupied Nazi Germany from 1945-1949. Before withdrawing in Europe, Carafano said it was necessary that Americans prevented humanitarian crises, established a legitimate country and created security forces to support that government. “Once they did that, they could leave,” he said.