WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On the same day Clinton offered her proposed strategy to fight the Islamic State, her chief challenger for the nomination, US Senator Bernie Sanders, offered a different plan advocating close cooperation between the United States, Russia and major Muslim nations.
"‘Hillary's plan’ is all rhetoric and no strategy. As such, it is hard to distinguish it from the bellicose pronouncements of our nation's neo-conservative pundits," Freeman, former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia and a past president of the Middle East Policy Council, said.
Clinton wanted to repeat over Syria the policies she adopted as secretary of state to topple Libya’s long-time leader Muammar Gadhafi, not realizing that conditions were very different, Freeman argued.
"Ms. Clinton essentially proposes a replay of Libya, an example of the use of force that few, if any other than she, find inspiring. As she did in Libya, she proposes airstrikes and a ‘no-fly zone’ — a purely military approach aimed at regime change with a proven record of producing disasters," he said.
Clinton’s new plan, Freeman pointed out, does not address the factors that radicalize Middle Easterners, as well as Western, Russian and Chinese Muslims and incite them to acts of terrorism both in the region and beyond it.
"She alleges, without showing how this might be so, that her advocacy of arming moderates in Syria that no one has ever been able to identify would have accomplished something other than the further intensification of one of the world's most appalling instances of civil strife," he continued.
Freeman also faulted Clinton for apparently lacking any awareness of the need to involve other regional states in her plan to fight the Islamic State.
"What is particularly striking, given her service as secretary of state, is the total absence in her plan of a diplomatic strategy for engaging Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel and other regional actors as well as… the international community to eliminate the causes and end the metastasis of Islamist terrorism with global reach," Freeman noted.
Clinton’s plan, he added, would only add to the instability and chaos of the Middle East and make it an even more fertile breeding ground to produce fanatical Islamist extremists.
"There is no reason to believe that doing more of the same, which is essentially what Ms. Clinton is proposing, will do anything other than produce more 9/11s and more Parises," Freeman said, referring to the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on September 11, 2001 and in Paris on November 13.
There was no novel or creative element whatsoever in any of Clinton’s proposals, Freeman continued.
"The world needs new thinking about how to deal with a problem that has grown to affect all the great powers as well as all of the Islamic world and that is worsening rather than retreating. Ms. Clinton shows no sign she can provide this new thinking," Freeman concluded.