November 5th, 2007
08:05 AM ET
15 years ago

Clinton: Bush shares blame for Pakistani emergency

Clinton campaigned in Iowa Sunday.

CLINTON, Iowa (CNN) - Just a day after Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency, Sen. Hillary Clinton called the current U.S. policy toward Pakistan "fundamentally incoherent" and said the "failed policies" of President Bush were partially to blame for Pervez's actions.

The administration has "diverted resources, time, and attention away from Afghanistan and from the volatile Afghanistan-Pakistan border," Clinton, D-New York, said Sunday. "They have sent mixed messages over several years now to President Musharraf that rendered our policy toward Pakistan fundamentally incoherent, and now we face a situation where it's deteriorating in terms of safety."

Clinton added that the threat is "in large measure - if not caused by - certainly contributed to by the Bush administration."

Asked if she had anything specific to say to Musharraf who on Saturday suspended the nation's constitution, Clinton said she was "disappointed" and that she hoped Musharraf will be able to move more forcefully against Islamist forces

"He hasn’t been able to sufficiently rein them in," Clinton added, "So his strategy up until now has not succeeded. I would hope he would move to restore constitutional govt as soon as possible. I don’t think the answer to the threats that Pakistan faces is ongoing emergency status."

"He’s already been subjected to I believe it's five assassination attempts, so I hope he takes stock of where he is today."

UPDATE: In response to an initial posting of this story, RNC spokesman Brian Walton issued the following statement: "From her inability to find a consistent position on Iraq and her failure to support funding for our troops, to her opposition to the monitoring of terrorist phone calls as they plot to kill Americans, Hillary Clinton clearly lacks credibility on national security."

Related video: Watch Sen. Clinton discuss the situation in Pakistan 

-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Iowa • Uncategorized
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. summus

    Long story short Bin Laden attacks America and democracy

    Bush lets Bin Laden get away to keep America fearful

    America makes agreement with Mushareff (military dictator)that doesn't believe in democracy

    Bush attacks Iraq instead of Pakistin assuming Americans are too dumb to know the difference- they 're all brown Arabs- right?

    Military dictator gets overthrown by Bin Laden who creates Islamic 'democracy'

    Bin Laden has nuke

    George Bush is declared national treasure and hero

    November 5, 2007 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  2. TransparentTrollop

    Geeesh, What happened to investigative reporting CNN?? Look it up people!!

    =>Military tensions in the Kargil conflict with India were followed by a Pakistani military coup d'état in 1999 in which General Pervez Musharraf assumed executive powers. Shortly after, Musharraf named himself President after the forced resignation of Rafiq Tarar.

    Sorry Hillary, the facts speak for themselves. Are you saying Bush should invade Pakistan too? Or is this just more blame Bush double talk?? Maybe a little history revision in a feeble attempt to resurrect some dignity to the last Clinton administration???
    You just never know with this women...

    November 5, 2007 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  3. RKA, IL

    Actually Hillary shares blame too for supporting Bush on diverting resources from the Afghanistan/Pakistan to Iraq, a place that had nothing to do with 9/11. As a prominent democrats embracing Bush's foreign policy priorities, she has enabled the problems we are now having

    November 5, 2007 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  4. ronnie knoxville, tn

    i thought she wasn't running a 'negative' campaign ...

    November 5, 2007 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  5. therealist

    "I would hope he would move to restore constitutional govt as soon as possible. "

    Sounds to me like she just gave Bush MORE authority to invade another country. What is Hillry thinking!!??

    November 5, 2007 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  6. an anarchist in akron ohio

    I can't remember Bill Clinton being too outraged when Pakistan had their coup on his watch. I'm not a Bush fan at all, but I do adore liberty and am kind of fond of democracy. I don't find selective political pandering to be a trait our next president should embrace. To some extent, they've all been doing that since at least 1953.

    November 5, 2007 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  7. Buyso Chicago IL

    Send Mondale to Pakistan. He can solve the issues.

    November 5, 2007 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  8. Eric, from THE Republic of Texas

    Here's something of which the "smartest woman in the world" needs to be reminded:

    George Bush is not on the ballot.

    November 5, 2007 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  9. Daniel, NY

    Also, Clinton is very competitive in the new general election poll from Kentucky, indicating how much Republicans are struggling. Link.

    November 5, 2007 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  10. Matt Foley - Madison, WI

    So we are supposed to tell a Sovergn nation how to run their country?

    Why is that when she is under attack, she doesn't respond to the attack, she attacks something else?

    November 5, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  11. Robert, Cleveland, OH

    I actually reading these blogs less and less. Too many idiotic comments and predictions (see, or better yet, do not see postings by summus, realist, buyso and others) – no comprehensive arguments, positions, critique, just stupid postures rivaling current administration's, repeating old slogans heard somewhere or copying two-page articles from other websites. Too bad, but I personally will spend my time reading actual news on, not the blogs.

    November 5, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  12. Winston Smith, Kansas City, MO

    If incoherency is the cause of Pakastani instability, could Mrs. Clinton's (and other Democrat party politician's) inconsistent campaign pledges, public statements and votes concerning Iraq war funding and troop withdrawal contribute to instability in Iraq?

    November 5, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. Kate, Aurora CO

    Why we chose to be allies with this man is something I'll never know. I hear others say Musharraf is the lesser of two evils but he is a dictator. What he is doing now is a weak attempt to secure his ill begotten presidency. Clinton needs to assume some of the blame since she supported Bush's policies.

    November 5, 2007 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  14. Robert, Cleveland, OH

    Speaking of democracy – don't you think that abilty for people to vote for the wn government is a Western achievement, fought for, died for. You can't bring it to other countries and expect western institutions to work on the completely different foundation. Look at Lebanon (they'd give majority to Hisballah if not fr sectarian division), Iraq, Palestina. And look at Kuwit or Bahrein – no democracy, but people happy. Europinian and US leaders should understand – ther priority should be demcracy and proliferation of their own countriesm that's why they were elected, not spreading "democracy" everywhere else. if anything, they should intervene to stop atrocitiesin places such as Sudan and some other third world countries. Look what happent to Iraq after Saddam fall! More people died since than duing all his years. Musharaff and militayr are the only forces keeping Pakistan to become another Iraq or islamic republic such as Iran – but with nuclear power. Bhutto will not hold to power alone. You want to let free election to make it happen? I say – no, hell with elections their, support leaders which can be our allies t make US safer – this is what president of US is hired by US people to do.

    November 5, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  15. Dave, Atlanta, GA

    Actually Clinton did express outrage when Musharaaf had his coup. Also, unlike Bush, he didn't provide the dictator regime with financial support.

    The reason we have no choice but to tolerate Musharaaf is because since we have moved all our troops into Iraq, and all our resources are there, we rely heavily on Pakistan to keep Bin Laden and the Taliban in check. So we can't bite the hand that feeds us.

    The irony here is in order to be able to place our troops in Iraq and depose one dicator (Sadaam) who has no WMD, we have had to support another dicator Musharaaf, who actually does have nuclear weapons.

    November 5, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |

    Hillary Clinton is right on point as usual. The events happening in Pakistan are a direst result of Bush's failure to complete the war against Osama and his militants in Afghanistan before starting his unnecessary war with Iraq. The incompetency of Bush's failed policies and strategies will play out in the middle east for years to come. Sadly though this administration has no moral high grounds from which they can criticize President Musharraf.

    November 5, 2007 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  17. Karen,ny

    Now you see Bush is starting the beginning of WW111. I knew he would do this because no one would try to impeach him. He has a whole year left to finish us all off. I can't stand that drunken tyrant!

    November 5, 2007 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  18. James, Phoenix AZ

    Hillary Clinton = Bush Basher Extraordinair

    AP News Story: Hillary has flatulence, blames Bush.

    November 5, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  19. Jo, Atlanta GA

    Brian Walton why are your children not in Iraq since you love the policy so much. Her credibility???? Your own wife does not find you credible.

    Let the whole world know....

    November 5, 2007 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  20. Jim, Carbondale, IL

    Does anyone still think Obama's comments toward Musharraf were "naive?"
    Again, it comes to having judgment and vision when it matters. Musharraf is a military dictator. While no one is saying that the U.S. should invade Pakistan, I think Obama was smart to criticize the general before it became fashionable in Washington.

    November 5, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |

    good for musharraf, arrest those rotten lawyers. that whole region is about to explode and our idiots in washington can only whine about democracy. maybe if we had any diplomacy with other countries they might listen. george w bush is an idiot who can only threaten force or he's lost. condoleezza rice is nothing more than inspiration for don imus. all the rest of the diplomats in this administration are worried they might have to serve in iraq. i heard all their whining the other night about their safety. now it's a free for all and the bush administration will look stupid as usual.

    November 5, 2007 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  22. Chip Celina OH

    Sen. Hillary Clinton called the current U.S. policy toward Pakistan "fundamentally incoherent"

    Are you sure she wasn't commenting on her answers given in last Tuesday's debate?

    She's one to talk. I guess totally negative attacks (which could send signals around the world, something she once decried in an earlier debate that candidates should not do) are OK as long as they aren't directoed toward her or other Dems?

    At least her hubby was somewhat consistent in his foreign policy.

    1st WTC attack – do nothing
    Embassies in Africa – do nothing
    USS Cole – do nothing
    Sudanese offer up Bin Laden – do nothing
    Launch heat seeker in the Oval Office – launch heat seeker toward Iraqi Apirin factory

    Now the Hillegal Alien balmes everything on Bush while she stands by as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

    Keep that Kool Aid comin'

    November 5, 2007 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  23. Bob Trout, Lakeville, CT

    In a small way, Hillary is also responsible for the problems in Pakistan. She voted for the war.

    November 5, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  24. Chris, Middletown, CT

    It would be easier to name the things the Hillidiots didn't try to blame Bush for....I heard they DIDN'T blame him for the short battery life in laptops.....theres something....are they really that dumb??

    November 5, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  25. Phil Chicago, Ill

    I guess if all weekend long people were talking about how I dodged debate questions and how I had to try to "clarify" my position and only made things worse....

    I might call President Bush the devil on Monday to get all the attention off me too!

    Gee Hillary – up to this point you haven't discussed Pakistan or our relationship with Musharraf. But because they are now having political unrest – you see it as an opportunity to blame Bush??

    LOL – I think the only person left in our country thinking you run a "clean" campaign in Mondale – and by the looks of him – he's been living off a morphine drip.

    I do love how you're driving your campaign down Howard Dean blvd.

    November 5, 2007 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
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