Clinton’s Foreign Policy Speech Shows Disconnect With Military Families

(Photos by Michelle Mears)
(Photos by Michelle Mears)

On Thursday, June 2 Hillary Clinton held what was supposed to be the “Foreign Policy Speech”. However, she did a bait and switch and turned the event into an insult fest directed at Donald Trump. Instead of reaching to the people in the audience some who were military family members, she spoke to the establishment.

Journalists, however, were eating up the insults, immediately quoting her one-liner insults and turning them into headlines. However, I wasn’t buying it. The insults were all a show. She wanted to deflect from herself and her experience (or lack of it) in foreign policy to attack Trump with school-yard-like pot shots. Each insult was crafted to create a narrative of her opponent that she can control.

The event held at The Prado in Balboa Park was just steps away from military installations and three days after Memorial Day. It started with a military spouse giving the opening speech.

As a former military spouse myself, and a mother of a military dependent I find it perplexing to hear a wife of a veteran praise a woman who left four dead on the September 11, 2012, attack on a United States outpost in Benghazi, Libya. Clinton was serving as secretary of state on that arguably preventable deadly day and lied about the reasons for the attacks for months.

But, “what difference does it make,” right?

“It’s not only our men and women in uniform who serve our country it’s their families their spouses their children and we are grateful to each and every one of them,” said Clinton in her opening remarks.

“We honor the sacrifices of those who died for our country in many ways. By living our values by making this a fairer and stronger nation, and by carrying out a smart and principled foreign policy. That’s what I want to speak about today.”

Clinton had my attention, was she going to lay out her plans for the Middle East, our military, would she continue President Obama’s failed “lead from behind” approach?

Listening to a person who could have the power to send our military into harm’s way, reminded me of Nov. 2001, shortly after 9/11. My son was only two weeks old and we wives were being called in for a private meeting aboard Camp Pendleton with USMC Commandant General James Jones.

General Jones who later became the United States National Security Advisor spoke to us wives at Camp Pendleton. He reached out, to let us know our spouses could be heading to war. He spoke about the possibility of loved ones not coming home. He hit us with reality. Many of the wives in that room were part of Battalion 2/5 that led the invasion into Iraq. Not all the spouses came home. To hear from a leader who has the power to make decisions that affect the lives of our loved ones already deployed was important.

Clinton, however, used her time in San Diego, a military town to focus not on national security but going for the jugular lobbing insults towards Trump.

Clinton could become our next commander in chief. Her ideas and plans on foreign policy and war should be talked about. I wanted to hear her plans on fighting ISIS, the threats to our nation, her thoughts on sending military back to Iraq. Yet she left us holding an empty bag. Those of us with family serving or will be serving in the military want to know what she learned if anything from Benghazi. How can we trust her based on her history? If we head into another war would she lie to us too? I believe she would.

However, Clinton went on to tout the titles she held, “As secretary of state, senator and First Lady I had the honor of representing America abroad and helping shape our foreign policy at home.”

Yes, Clinton has held some lofty titles over the years but “shaped our foreign policy at home? Well, I guess she did. As Senator, Clinton voted yes to head into war after 9/11. Her vote led to many deaths over the last 16 years fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“As a candidate for president, there is nothing I take more seriously than our national security,” said Clinton. “I offered clear strategies for how to defeat ISIS, strengthen our alliances and make sure Iran never gets a nuclear weapon. I am going to keep America’s security at the heart of my campaign.”

Does Clinton live in an alternate universe? Does she understand what the private email scandal is about? If she took our national security seriously she would not have used the private email [email protected] for official State Department business. Clinton was using this private email during and after the Benghazi attacks. Clinton also used her unsecured Blackberry to send and receive emails as Secretary of State. So can we really trust Clinton with our national security?

Clinton said, “Because as you know so well Americans are not just electing a President in November we are choosing our next Commander in Chief the person we count on to decide questions of war and peace, life and death.”

Yes, Clinton, military families know the President of the United States has the power to send our loved ones into danger. We have attended one too many funerals, seen one too many injured and probably know firsthand one or three dealing with the emotional aftermath of war. The person who sits in the White House affects us directly.

“Trump cannot do the job as Commander in Chief,” said Clinton. “He is unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability, and immense responsibility. This is not someone who should ever have the nuclear codes…because it’s not hard to imagine Donald Trump leading us into war just because someone got under his very thin skin,” said Hillary.

Do the people in this country really think one man one person has the power to push some magical button and nuke a country on a whim? Maybe Clinton thinks there is a nuclear button to press like the Russian re-set button she used in 2009 in a failed attempt to rebuild relations with Russia.

“We can’t put the security of our children and grandchildren in Donald Trump hands,” said Clinton.

My son, now almost 15-years old, wants to be Marine. I have been a USMC recruit, a spouse of a Marine and now looks like I will be the mom of a Marine. I have to say I am finding the idea of being a mother of Marine the hardest. So since the next POTUS could have the ability to affect my child’s life directly in a few short years, the candidate who I fear the most as POTUS is Hillary. My fear comes from her own actions over the years.

I cannot get past the lack of help the men in Benghazi received and the lies and then hear, “What difference does it make.” Those parents are still mourning and she has yet to this day reached out and given them the truth about their son’s death.

I do not think my child and the rest of the military would be in good hands with Clinton at the helm.

Clinton said, “Every President faces hard choices every day with imperfect information and conflicting imperial that’s the job. A revolution threatens to topple a government in a key region, an adversary reaches out for the first time in years, what do you do? Making the right call requires a cool head and respect for the facts.”

Once again, one word, Benghazi. But there is also the Arab Spring. Clinton praised the revolution thinking it would bring democracy to the region only to do the opposite. The Arab Spring brought more turmoil to the Middle East.

Clinton has been using a cinematic approach to describe her role in the Osama bin Laden raid throughout the 2016 election campaign.

In San Diego Clinton said, “I remember being in the situation room debating a potential bin Laden operation.”

“The President’s (Obama) advisors were divided. The intelligence was compelling but far from definitive,” said Clinton. “The risks of failure were daunting. The stakes were significant for our battle against Al Qaida and our relationship with Pakistan. Most of all the lives of those great Seals, the lives of helicopter pilots hung in the balance. It was a decision only a president could make. And when he did it was a crisp display of leadership that I have ever seen,” said Clinton.

“Now imagine Donald Trump sitting in the situation room (laughter from crowd) making life or death decisions on behalf of the United States. Imagine him deciding to send your spouses or children into battle,” said Clinton.

The nation doesn’t have to imagine how Clinton would handle making life and death decisions when it comes to our military in war. Once again, one word, Benghazi.

Michelle Mears

Michelle Mears has a degree in communications and a love for our military. Michelle’s involvement in the armed forces began in college after bringing home a few pamphlets from various branches. Her father a helicopter pilot in Vietnam asked if she was planning to join, she said she didn’t know and then her dad said the unexpected, “Why not? Go for it.” Michelle got recommended to Officer Candidate School for the USMC by an Ohio Congressman while in college and went to boot camp in Quantico. However, plans changed and she ended up working as a journalist, while following and supporting her then husband's career in the USMC. Prior to coming to Southern California Michelle worked as a news reporter for a military news station at the Fort Benning Army base in Georgia. In 2000 while stationed at Camp Pendleton she worked a television reporter for a small station in Northern San Diego that aired a segment on a local CNN station every half hour and as a newspaper reporter for a popular weekly Northern San Diego paper called The Coast News. Michelle became the newspapers military reporter after the attacks on 9/11. She was eight months pregnant, a husband deployed and challenged by editors to stay fair and balanced in her reporting on the terrorist attacks and war from home. Michelle has continued to cover local politics and military news in Southern California for various news outlets as a freelancer. She is also the publisher of her own community-focused online and print magazine in Southwest Riverside County, a conservative, military supportive community. She believes in preserving the constitution and has been taking a series of gun education classes with her almost 15-year old son. Besides being a journalist Michelle’s greatest love is her son who also plans to join the United States Marine Corps after college.

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