Hillary Clinton: I Wanted to Arm Syrian Rebels, But Obama Refused

Sought US Involvement in Civil War From the Start

In comments that likely aim to build up her foreign policy reputation as a hawk, even as she seeks to distance herself from the Iraq War, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insisted she was immediately and vociferously in favor of arming and training rebels in Syria’s Civil War.

There were reports during the early days of Syria’s war that this was Clinton’s position, but the new comments, part of her upcoming memoir, are the first formal acknowledgement of the dispute over arms shipments, which President Obama opposed at the time.

Not that this marks a significant split from the administration, as since then President Obama has been cheerfully, though unofficially, orchestrating shipments of anti-tank missiles and other weapons to so-called “moderate” rebels.

Likewise, the definition of “moderate” rebels seems to be expanded greatly now, including seemingly everything that doesn’t have al-Qaeda directly in its name, as even factions of the Islamic Front, whose leaders have praised Osama bin Laden and talk up their relative close ties to al-Qaeda’s parent organization, have shown up with US weapons in recent weeks.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.