January 20, 2004

Clinton in Qatar

Ralph Peters praises Clinton in the New York Post. At a speech at a conference on Middle East - American relations in Qatar, he "began taking stands as brave as they were necessary. With virtuoso skill, he led the audience where they needed to go - while convincing them it was where they had wanted to end up all along.... He didn't pander. He made America's case and made it well."

This part particularly impressed: " Asked by an eager-to-Bush-bash delegate if he, Bill Clinton, would have behaved differently after 9/11, our former president said he would have followed an identical course, pursuing our enemies into Afghanistan and beyond. Queried about his position on Iraq, he stated that any disagreements he might have would be most appropriately expressed at home in the U.S., not before a foreign audience."

His silence on criticising Bush on Iraq to-date is, I believe, a combination of what he knew and thought during his own administration, a tradition of not second-guessing standing president's on foreign policy, and a desire to protect Hillary's chances in 2008.

But, if he has, as Peters argues, "become the perfect statesman", then I agree that Bush should use him on further "missions of persuasion" – but I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by richard at January 20, 2004 03:38 PM