Noonan trumps Gates

“Mrs. Clinton was the senior-most advocate for using the U. S. military to bring ill-fated regime change in Libya, and further, failed to anticipate the chaos that would follow – the same failure she and other Democrats hung around the neck of the Bush 43 administration in post-Saddam Iraq,” – former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates

While Gates was forthright in his negative opinions of Hillary Clinton in his op-ed published by The Wall Street Journal, “Sizing Up the Next Commander-in-Chief,” I found his assessment of Donald Trump extremely unfair.

“She was for trade agreements before she turned against them in this election campaign,“ wrote Gates as he recalls, “just as she voted for the Iraq war in 2003 and then, several years later – in her first campaign for president – opposed the troop surge there.”

Although not recalled in his op-ed, readers of Gates’ memoir will remember the disdain he expressed having listened to a Clinton-Obama conversation in which she said she changed her position on the surge as a political calculation in her 2008 campaign.

Clearly, some of Trump’s early boisterous remarks about Putin and Russia, NATO, torture, military leaders “reduced rubble,” and the use of nuclear weapons concern Gates, but he concedes that Trump “appears to be rethinking some of these positions.”

Gates admits that “All of the presidents I served were strong personalities with strongly held views about the world, and each surrounded himself with independent-minded, knowledgeable and experienced advisors who would tell the president what he needed to hear … and always listened,” but refuses to believe that Trump would do so. Trump was recently endorsed by some 160 generals and admirals.

”She (Clinton) has much-discussed credibility issues apart from national security, but these also influence foreign perceptions of reliability and trust,” Gates admits, but unbelievably, he believes she “has time before the election to address forthrightly her trustworthiness, to reassure people about her judgment.” Really?!

Peggy Noonan disagrees. She reminds us that Hillary’s scandals go back a quarter-century – before e-mails, Benghazi and the Clinton Foundation – referring to the Clinton Scandal Ritual: lie, deny, revise, claim not to remember and stall for time. Noonan cites Clinton’s “startling willingness – and ability – to dissemble,” and “you have to wonder, what are chances it will change?”   When hell freezes over.

I repeat – we simply cannot afford to have Hillary Clinton in the White House.

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