- - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Two weeks before the election, Hillary Clinton appears on track to win the presidency and become the first female commander in chief. She can credit her surge in the polls this last month to women — primarily her opponent’s offensive comments unearthed from a decade ago and the various accusations that have suddenly surfaced and have dominated the media.

Throughout the campaign’s debates and stump speeches, Mrs. Clinton has portrayed herself as a holier-than-thou defender of women and girls. Political platitudes are one thing, but Mrs. Clinton’s record related to women and girls tells quite a different story, and should give her supporters pause.

And no, that is not a lead into Mrs. Clinton’s handling of her husband’s numerous sexual misconducts, the Clinton Foundation’s fundraising from oppressive regimes, or her extremist view of late-term neonatal infanticide. Rather, I am referring to how Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy failures have led to actual death, rape and enslavement of women and girls around the world, as example after example will show. Mrs. Clinton may not have pulled the trigger or committed the sexual assault, and no doubt the individual perpetrators will have their own day of reckoning, but her policy actions and inactions further enabled, encouraged and permitted these horrible atrocities.

One of Mrs. Clinton’s first major foreign policy actions in 2009, was initiating the “Russian Reset,” complete with a misspelled, gimmicky reset button. She awoke and emboldened the sleeping Russian bear, which had been previously marginalized on the world stage. Russia seized on this weakness by Mrs. Clinton and has wreaked havoc in Eurasia, the Middle East and in cyberspace. The Russia that Mrs. Clinton unleashed annexed Crimea and continues to battle Ukraine. Fighting has killed nearly 10,000, often resulting in the deaths of Ukrainian civilian women, such as a story of a pregnant woman caught in the crossfire.

In Syria, Mrs. Clinton’s reset of Russian relations has culminated in even more devastating consequences for women and children. Vladimir Putin’s friend, Bashar Assad of Syria, must have been informed about Mrs. Clinton’s weakness. It further reassured Mr. Assad that he could long-jump over her chemical weapons “red line” without consequences. The city of Aleppo, which the Russians have cluster-bombed on Mr. Assad’s behalf, is in rubble. Eman, a 4-year-old girl killed by one of these bombs, is one of the latest casualties of the failed Clinton “Russian Reset.” Tens of thousands of civilian women and children have died since the conflict began in 2011.

It is hard to say which was Mrs. Clinton’s biggest foreign policy failure, but she admittedly regrets holding her tongue when Iranian youth were poised to throw off the oppressive theocratic mullahs during the Green Revolution of 2009. As the sham election took place, Mrs. Clinton did not support these female protesters when they needed her voice, and she remained silent for days, further encouraging the Iranian regime to crackdown on the girls who marched in the street for freedom. Girls who protested, such as Layla, a 22-year-old, were beaten and raped in the streets of Tehran.

Hillary Clinton’s advocacy for a “lead from behind” policy to overthrow the Libyan government ignited a powder keg that has been disastrous for women. In the chaotic aftermath that ensued from this instability, young women, like Ruta, were trafficked across the region, forced to convert to Islam and enslaved in Libya.

For decades, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak proved a reliable ally for the United States in the region. In 2011, as Mrs. Clinton backed away from supporting Mr. Mubarak, he was forced to resign, resulting in a rise of the Muslim Brotherhood — which has nonprogressive views toward women. On the night of Mr. Mubarak’s resignation, CBS reporter Lara Logan was brutally raped in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

Hillary Clinton diplomatically failed to secure a Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq, which would have permitted a stabilizing training force to remain. As a result, the Islamic State emerged and its scores of global affiliates operate across multiple continents, killing women and children as indiscriminately as men. The hundreds of Christian schoolgirls in Chibok, Nigeria, like Serah Luka, who were kidnapped, beaten, and in many cases impregnated by their Islamic State-affiliated Boko Haram captors, is one of the resulting side effects of ISIS’ emergence from Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy failures. Hillary, who by that time had resigned as secretary of State, joined the #BringBackOurGirls twitter campaign, yet her tweet has been of little consequence to the scores of girls who are still captive or have already perished.

On the surface, Mrs. Clinton talks the talk of support for women and girls. But they have bore the brunt of the collateral damage from her ill-conceived policy actions and inactions. While she might have traveled nearly 1 million miles around the world during her diplomatic tenure, the ensuing results have been an epic failure — particularly for these women and girls.

Alex Zemek is a foreign policy expert and a former State Department official and intelligence officer.

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