The Democratic debate Saturday night opened with a moment of silence in the wake of the Paris terror attacks and remained on the theme for much of the early going. As a result, Hillary Clinton found herself on the defensive from both Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley on foreign policy. Sanders in particular criticized the decision to go to war against Iraq, a decision that Clinton supported as a senator. “I would argue that the disastrous invasion of Iraq, something that I strongly opposed, has unraveled the region completely” and has led to the rise of the Islamic State, Sanders said, per the New York Times. He labeled it “one of the worst foreign policy blunders in the modern history of the United States." Clinton, as she has in the past, called her vote in favor of the war a "mistake."
In her opening statements on the attacks, Clinton said that ISIS "cannot be contained, it must be defeated," which Politico notes seems to be an attempt to distance herself from President Obama, who just days ago said ISIS was being "contained." She added later, "I don’t think the US has the bulk of the responsibility. I put that on Assad, the Iraqis." O'Malley responded, "This actually is America's fight," but then added, "It cannot be solely America's fight." At another point, O'Malley asserted, “Libya is now a mess. Syria is a mess. Iraq is a mess. Afghanistan is a mess," notes the Atlantic.