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Clinton rips Bush on curbing terrorism

June 28, 2007|From Newsday

WASHINGTON — In a challenge to the Bush administration delivered before a new defense policy think tank whose leaders include many of her political allies, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday that the White House's handling of the war in Iraq was weakening America's ability to contain global terrorism.

"In this interdependent world, the United States cannot unilaterally kill, jail, occupy or isolate all of our actual or potential allies," Clinton said.

"What we have seen here and around the world is the administration has systematically broken down and thrown aside our hard-won partnerships and alliances and undermined our greatest asset: America's moral authority," she told members of the Center for a New American Security.

The New York Democrat said President Bush's White House was "not just destroying the work of the previous decade, but the difficult work of more than a half-century of internationalism practiced by Democratic and Republican administrations alike."

Her remarks came during her keynote speech at the policy center's inaugural forum. Leaders of the institute include President Clinton's former White House chief of staff, John Podesta, and others with long-standing ties to the Clinton administration.

In recent weeks, Sen. Clinton has attempted to assure the Democratic Party's antiwar wing that she would bring a swift end to America's more than four years of war in Iraq. She has appeared to try to do so in a way that will insulate her from Republican attacks that her presidency would be soft on defense.

"Not a day goes by that I don't think of our men and women who are over there right now, patrolling the streets of Baghdad, Mosul and other places, trapped by a failed strategy and a sectarian civil war," Clinton said.

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