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The Clinton-Obama Divergence
Clinton Calls for Sanctions on Iran

Iran followed up the test-launched of a series of ballistic missiles on Tuesday with another test Wednesday—and broadcast the event around the country and the world. So far, the White House has temporized in its response. But the front-runner for the Democratic Presidential nomination had a different reaction. Reuters reports:

Iranian state television showed footage of two Qadr missiles being launched from northern Iran, which the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said hit targets 1,400 km (870 miles) away.

Iranian agencies said the missiles were stamped with the Hebrew words, “Israel should be wiped from the pages of history,” though the inscription could not be seen on any photographs.

Clinton, a former secretary of state under President Barack Obama, said she was “deeply concerned” by the tests, the second round of Iranian missile launches in two days.

“Iran should face sanctions for these activities and the international community must demonstrate that Iran’s threats toward Israel will not be tolerated,” said Clinton, who is ahead in the race to be Democratic nominee at the Nov. 8 presidential elections.

Her call for sanctions reflected a tougher line against Iran’s recent missile activity than that taken so far by the White House, which said it is aware of and reviewing reports of the Iranian tests, and would determine an appropriate response.

“We know that Iran is in a season of carrying out a number of military activities, and so it certainly would not be a surprise if there are additional launches over the next several days,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

It’s widely thought in the foreign-policy community that Secretary Clinton’s views are more hawkish on foreign policy than those of the President she once served. So far, she has avoided open disagreement with the President (though signalled disagreements to those paying attention), while trying to win a surprisingly competitive Democratic nomination race.

But nobody expects the world to get any more peaceful in between now and November. Is this the beginning of an increasingly different, increasingly hawkish, increasingly more public line from the Secretary?

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  • Beauceron

    She calls for sanctions while on the campaign trail.

    What she’ll do if she gets into office is anybody’s guess. Our politicians can be counted on to do one thing: lie to the public during an election about what they’ll do when in office.

  • WigWag

    As Jeffrey Goldberg’s celebrated new article in the Atlantic makes clear, Clinton is certainly more hawkish than Obama. See,

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/04/the-obama-doctrine/471525/

    But what Clinton says while running for office and what she will do if she’s sitting in the Oval Office are completely unrelated phenomena.

    Anyone who watched the Democratic debate last night witnessed a freak show every bit as disquieting as the GOP debates. Actually the GOP debates were less alarming. Arguing about whether the size of a man’s hands is an accurate surrogate marker of the size of other anatomical parts is silly, but harmless. The posturing, pandering and posterior kissing evidenced by Clinton and Sanders last night proves exactly what Donald Trump has been saying all along.

    You can trust anything that comes out of the mouths of politicians.

    Note to the grand pohbahs at the American Interest; it would be valuable for your readers to get Garfinkle’s and Mead’s takes on the content of the Obama-Goldberg interview.

  • Ellen

    What will sycophants Goldberg and Friedman do when Obama is out of office? Neither Clinton nor Trump will give them the time of day. They will, presumably, find their own sycophants. Sadly, that is what our free press has degenerated into. Will anyone bother to read either Goldberg or Friedman again, once they no longer channel the official party line from headquarters?

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