Clinton to Iran: Don’t Miscalculate U.S. Presence
No reading between the lines necessary: On State of the Union, Hillary Clinton minced no words when addressing Iran’s presence in Iraq after U.S. troops leave. In the wake of President Obama’s declaration that the war is over, the secretary of state said the U.S. will continue a training mission in the country with a “robust” diplomatic presence. “It’s also important to underscore that Iran would be badly miscalculating if they did not look at the entire region and all of our presence in many countries in the region,” she said of Iran’s potential influence inside Iraq.
McCain: Leaving Iraq a ‘Serious Mistake’
Don’t celebrate yet. On This Week, John McCain said that removing troops from Iraq by the end of 2011 will allow Iran to exert influence in the region. Speaking from Amman, Jordan, the senator told Christiane Amanpour that there should have been negotiations between the U.S. and Iraq. “There was never really serious negotiations between the administration and the Iraqis. They could have clearly made an arrangement for U.S. troops,” the senator said, adding that the withdrawal of all combat troops “is viewed in the region as a victory for the Iranians.”
Bachmann: Intervening in Libya Was 'Wrong'
Here’s an instance where flip-flopping might actually be a good thing. On Fox News Sunday, Michele Bachmann said she stands behind her earlier statements that the U.S. should not have intervened in Libya. When asked by host Chris Wallace if Gaddafi would still be in power if she were president, the congresswoman offered a cryptic response: “Well, he may be.” The 2012 hopeful said that while the world may be a better place without the deposed dictator, someone worse could fill his vacancy. “It could be a radical element. It could be the Muslim Brotherhood. It could be elements affiliated with Al Qaeda. We don’t know yet who that regime will be,” the congresswoman said.
Clinton Supports Investigating Gaddafi’s Death
Should there be an investigation into the killing of Muammar Gaddafi? Hillary Clinton said she “strongly” thinks so. On Meet the Press, the secretary of state said she would support both a U.N.-led investigation and an investigation by Libya’s new transitional government into the dictator’s public death. “I think it’s important that … this effort to have a democratic Libya start with the rule of law, start with accountability, stand for unity and reconciliation,” she said. As for Gaddafi’s allies, Clinton said they ought to be included: “Everyone who stood with the old regime—as long as they don’t have blood on their hands—should be safe.”
Santorum: Obama ‘Tacitly Supported’ Ahmadinejad
The gloves are off. While many Republicans disapprove of removing U.S. troops from Iraq by year’s end, Rick Santorum went a step further, accusing the president of supporting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during Iran’s Green Revolution. “In many respects, we’ve lost control and lost the war in Iraq because we have Iran having broadened its sphere of influence,” the 2012 hopeful said. Perhaps the former Pennsylvania senator isn’t ready to let go of his latest aggressive debate performance just yet.
Should Gaddafi’s Death Photo Be Published?
The photos and footage of Muammar Gaddafi’s death spread nearly as quickly as the news of the dictator’s killing itself. But does that mean the press should have published the gruesome images? The guests on Reliable Sources were split over the dissemination of the pictures and videos. “It bothered me that they put it out because it seemed unnecessary,” said The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank. On the other hand, Huffington Post contributor Terence Smith thought not: “I really disagree with that … It is graphic coverage. It’s hard to watch, but it’s what happened.” The debate continues as new footage and details of the colonel’s death emerge.
Biden Won’t Rule Out a 2016 Run
Joe Biden for president? The vice president might be 68 years old, but on State of the Union, Biden said he would not rule out running for president in 2016. “I’ll make up my mind on that later. I’m probably in the best shape I’ve been in my life. I’m doing pretty well. I’m enjoying what I’m doing and as long as I do, I’m going to continue to do it … I’m not closing anything,” he said. For now, however, Biden said his “one focus” is getting the president—and himself—reelected.