Clinton critisises Republican comments on NATO, Muslims

WASHINGTON, March 23 (KUNA) — Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Wednesday criticised her Republican rivals for their statements calling to limit cooperation with NATO and to marginalize Muslims.
Her comments were made in a lengthy address in Stanford, California aired across local US media stations which outlined three steps to tackle the so-called Islamic State after the deadly Brussels attack which killed dozens and injured over 100 people.
The US should take out IS strongholds across Iraq and Syria, with a more intense coalition air campaign against its fighters, leaders and infrastructure, she suggested.
Support for local Arab and Kurdish forces on the ground and coalition efforts to protect civilians should also be stepped up, said the former State Secretary.
She also stressed the need for a “diplomatic strategy” aimed at achieving political resolutions to the Syrian conflict and Iraq’s “sectarian divide,” including tackling funding sources and the group’s online propaganda.
“We must dismantle the global network of terror that supplies money, arms, propaganda and fighters,” she said. “This means targeted efforts to deal with IS affiliates from Libya to Afghanistan.” Internally, she said the US needs to harden its defenses through “discovering and disrupting plots before they’re carried out.” “Our enemies are constantly adapting, so we have to do the same. For example, Brussels demonstrated clearly we need to take a harder look at security protocols at airports and other sensitive so-called soft sites, especially areas outside guarded perimeters,” she underlined.
In a dig at iPhone’s refusal to work with the FBI she noted that US tech companies needed to be more cooperative with US authorities in their work to “track and analyze IS’s social media posts and map jihadist networks online.” In reference to Trump’s remarks on building walls to deter immigrants from entering the US she asked, “how high does the wall have to be to keep the internet out?” Clinton also described carpet bombing, which was suggested by Senator Ted Cruz, as a “serious mistake.” “Proposing that doesn’t make you sound tough, it makes you sound like you’re in over your head. Slogans aren’t a strategy. Loose cannons tend to misfire,” she said.
Calling Cruz out by name, she added, that “when Republican candidates like Ted Cruz call for treating American Muslims like criminals and for racially profiling predominantly Muslim neighborhoods, it’s wrong. It’s counterproductive. It’s dangerous.” She then criticized Trump’s earlier remarks that the US needs to revise its relationship with NATO, Arabs and Muslims around the world by underlining the need to “strengthen America’s alliances in Europe, Asia and around the world.” “Allies extend our reach, share intelligence, provide troops in conflicts like Afghanistan, offer bases and staging areas around the world for our military and serve as a bulwark against competitors like Russia and China,” she said.
NATO, she said, in particular, is “one of the best investments America has ever made,” before adding, “we also have to extend our consultations to Arab partners as well.” “One thing we know that does not work is offensive, inflammatory rhetoric that demonizes all Muslims.” “There are millions of peace-loving Muslims living, working, raising families and paying taxes in this country. These Americans are a crucial line of defense against terrorism,” she stressed.
In response to Trump’s support of torture, she also said that it “puts our (US) own troops and increasingly our own civilians at greater risk. (end)