CHARLOTTE, NC, December 17, 2014 – When it comes to Hillary Clinton there is no in between, you either love her or you hate her.
Had Mrs. Clinton been alive in the days of Benjamin Franklin she would have most assuredly found electricity without using a kite.
Once upon a time Clairol used the slogan “Does she or doesn’t she?“ to advertise their products. In the political arena of today, when it comes to Hillary’s presidential aspirations for 2016, the question is “Will she or won’t she?“
Hillary Clinton certainly has name recognition, but the jury is out about whether her experience as a senator from New York and as Secretary of State left any accomplishments of merit.
Ordinarily that might not be a major hurdle for the former first lady, but given that Barack Obama represents a president who was neither experienced or properly vetted for the job, qualified experience could become a significant factor for Clinton.
Recently Hillary made a speech calling for “smart power“ in our efforts to combat global terrorism. Though Clinton’s comments were ambiguous she may have accidentally been correct despite her intended meaning.
“Leaving no one on the sidelines, showing respect for one’s enemies, trying to understand and insofar as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view,“ drew wide criticism from both sides of the political aisle following the Clinton speech.
Hillary is accurate in that we must “understand“ our enemies. After all, our enemies certainly understand us. In fact, they may even know us better than we know ourselves. In that regard it is paramount for Western success in the war on terror to be able to anticipate the way Islamic extremists think. The only way to do that is to “understand“ them better than we already do.
Where Hillary ran off the track came at the end of her comments when she said, we must “empathize with their point of view.“ Clinton is wrong there because IF we do indeed “understand“ the enemy, then there is no room for empathy.
At least in the context that she uses the word.
By using the word “empathy,“ Hillary Clinton openly demonstrated that she is either naive about dealing with Islamic extremism or uninformed. It is difficult to believe that “the smartest woman in the world“ is either. Which means that she, like Barack Obama, just doesn’t get it.
As Kyle Shideler, the Director of the Threat Information Office at the Center for Security Policy,“ puts it, “We fail to show respect by not taking our enemies and their ideas seriously. Instead we continuously assert-without evidence – that jihadist organizations are ignorant of their own professed beliefs. It is we who are ignorant.“
Shideler continues, “we super-impose our own values upon others, assuming that the sorts of things that would motivate us automatically motivate our opponents. As a result the United States finds itself flat-footed in attempting to comprehend and respond to the Islamic State-for example- whose efforts to re-establish a Caliphate ruling all Muslims everywhere seems ludicrous to us, but represents a genuine dream held by millions of people around the world.”
In the sense that Kyle Shideler uses the word “empathy” Hillary Clinton’s words are sound reasoning. However, in the context that Clinton referred to “empathy” the definition came out all wrong.
The concern is that after spending eight years in the White House as first lady, several more years in the senate and then another four years gadflying around the planet on the taxpayer’s dime, if this is the best answer Hillary Clinton can come up with, then perhaps she is not the highly qualified frontrunner her party thinks she is.
ISIS, and other organizations like them, are gaining in strength because they have mastered modern technology such as social media while exploiting Western weaknesses. They have done it through a widespread propaganda machine that appeals to bleeding heart liberals, politically correct elitists and a blind media; all of whom refuse to “understand” Islamic extremism in ways that can best combat the movement.
As Kyle Shideler points out, “Clinton is wrong if she thinks that understanding the enemy obligates us to acquiesce to them.”
Unfortunately, acquiescence has been our guiding light for the past six years.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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