The ball, not a burqa, is in Clinton’s court
Getty image 88846708, July 6, 2009 | SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images When Tina Brown wrote in belittling fashion that President Obama has Secretary Clinton in a burqa, it revealed just how difficult it is to comprehend how foreign policy gets made in the United States, writes Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum today. Applebaum writes that Obama ...
When Tina Brown wrote in belittling fashion that President Obama has Secretary Clinton in a burqa, it revealed just how difficult it is to comprehend how foreign policy gets made in the United States, writes Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum today.
Applebaum writes that Obama doesn’t send detailed instructions to Clinton, controlling what she does — that kind of stuff only happens in dictatorships, like North Korea. Rather, she is granted a lot of leeway in deciding how to engage the world. Obama doesn’t force her to keep quiet; rather it’s up to Clinton to engage the world as she sits fit.
And Clinton has been outspoken many times during her first six months. In April, she said Pakistan was “abdicating” to the Taliban; she made controversial statements about China and human rights in February; she discussed a possible “defense umbrella” in the Persian Gulf region. She has held town-hall meetings overseas and spoken in TV interviews both abroad and in the United States.
Ultimately, Applebaum concludes, the ball — not the burqa — is in Clinton’s court: “It is up to her to tell us what she thinks is important, and why. If she hasn’t done so yet, that isn’t the president’s fault.”
Photo: SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images
Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009-2016 and was an assistant editor from 2007-2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP
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