Former US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton says the option of air strikes on Iraq is not the right choice “at this time”.
Her comments, in an interview with Australia’s ABC, coincide with those made by current US Secretary of State John Kerry, who conceded on Monday night that drone strikes were on the table as Washington considers all options for supporting the Iraqi government.
Ms Clinton said the US has been trying to help the Maliki government as it engages with militants, though it needed local support as well.
“We can’t want peace and stability and security more than the Government and people of Iraq want it for themselves,” she said.
“And I don’t think there’s yet evidence as to what Maliki will do differently that could change the calculus on the ground. And that needs to come first.”
No place for sexism
The wide-ranging interview with the 7.30 program also weighed in on relations with China, as well as her well-publicised claims of “outrageous sexism” against former Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Ms Clinton said there was no place for sexism in politics, adding that politicians should be holding themselves to a higher standard.
“I don’t have a problem with anybody – man or woman – contesting anyone’s position, anyone’s policy, taking a person to account,” she said.
“But doing so in a way that I thought depersonalised the very personal, that demeaned, just didn’t seem to fit the Australia that I have come to know.”
Ms Clinton refused to “name names” of those responsible for the behaviour, instead commending Ms Gillard for her handling of the situation.
“I saw online the speech that Prime Minister Gillard gave about misogyny,” she said.
“[It] was very striking to me because she did go chapter and verse.”