Editor's Note: This column was co-authored by Bob Morrison.
The normally sensible Forbes Magazine recently named Hillary Clinton the Second Most Powerful Woman in the World. That’s absurd. She’s clearly not even the second most powerful woman in the Obama administration. For influence on this president, she clearly walks behind Michele Obama, Valerie Jarrett, and Kathleen Sebelius.
Mrs. Clinton has even been derided in liberal blogs as Barack Obama’s “Saudi wife.” Feminist editor Tina Brown went so far as to say she’s been put in a “foreign policy burka.” We don’t have to follow the Washington Post’s annual In/Out listings. Fashions come and go in the “Style Section,” even burkas.
What we should focus on in examining Secretary of State Clinton’s influence are the policies coming from this administration, and the impression so far is that Clinton is following not leading. The current Obama policies toward the Middle East are alarming. When Iranians demonstrated in the streets following clearly fraudulent national elections in `09, Secretary Clinton toed the administration’s line. The Obama administration did not want to be seen as “interfering” with Iran’s internal affairs. That Iran interferes with the internal affairs of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and a host of other Middle Eastern trouble spots should have been obvious.
In contrast, the Obama administration greeted the “Arab Spring” in Egypt. Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton hailed the ouster of the thirty-year autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Now Mubarak is facing a death sentence in a Cairo courtroom and Egyptians have stormed the Israeli embassy. Thirty years of a Cold Peace between these two neighbors has been overthrown. Will we see another Arab-Israeli war?
In Libya, Obama and Clinton have thrown the weight of the United States and NATO behind the rebels. These would-be democrats now tell us they will not give up al-Megrahi, the convicted mass murderer of hundreds of Americans on Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. Our putative peace partners in the “Arab Spring” movement in Tripoli say Gaddafi was wrong to give up the Libyan bomber for trial in the United Kingdom in the first instance.