Hillary Clinton needs to apologize for Tuesday
Hillary Clinton voted for the war in Iraq. During the debate on Tuesday, it became clear that the mindset that led her to make that mistake hasn’t changed.
When asked which enemies she was proud to have, Hillary Clinton included: “The Iranians.”
The comment was especially jarring in light of the movement called #justiceforshayan. Shayan Mazroei was a young Iranian American who was attacked and killed by a known white supremacist in September. Before the attack, the killer’s girlfriend had spit at Shayan and called him a “terrorist” and a “f-cking Iranian.” (Read the article here).
There are already calls from the Iranian American community for Hillary Clinton to apologize for a comment that groups over 60 million people in Iran and an estimated one million Iranian Americans into the category of ‘proud to have as an enemy.’
The foreign policy implications of her comment are also staggering. The comment was clearly off the cuff. Making that kind of foreign policy comment without due process is, at best, an irresponsible move by the nation’s former top diplomat and, at worst, a terrifying expression by a person who hopes to be commander-in-chief.
Foreign policy has always been politically challenging for Hillary Clinton and was one of the key reasons why she lost to Barack Obama. Whereas Obama advocated for dialogue with Iran, Clinton supported more hawkish measures. Then-candidate Barack Obama wanted to change the mindset that led to the Iraq war, Hillary Clinton said nothing.
The heavy lifting on the Iran deal — that curbed Iran’s ability to gain a nuclear arsenal while diminishing the possibility of another war in the Middle East — happened after Hillary Clinton had left the State Department. Once the negotiations were underway, Hillary Clinton only came out in support of the process and the final deal in true Clinton style: late.
The debate showed that Hillary Clinton’s foreign policies are rooted in the type of thinking that has proven itself to not only be wrong but, in the case of Iraq, to create more instability in the Middle East. President Obama, through his Norouz messages, his willingness to start dialogue and even Facebook comments praising the Iranian people, has demonstrated that his foreign policy approach is grounded in values that remember that the people in Iran are people.
I was born in Iran. Much of my family still lives there. I am a person, not a government, and certainly not Hillary Clinton’s enemy. I wish she would remember that comments like these contribute to people in our society thinking it’s okay to call me a terrorist if I walk down the street or force me to smile politely as people are ‘cautious’ around me at airports.
I hope that in the coming days Hillary Clinton takes a moment to think about #justiceforshayan and apologizes for her hurtful comment.