Hillary’s record includes supporting the barbaric “contras” against the Nicaraguan people in the 1980s, supporting the NATO bombing of the former Yugoslavia, supporting the ongoing Bush-Iraq War, the ongoing Afghan mess, and as Secretary of State the destruction of the secular state of Libya, the military coup in Honduras, and the present attempt at “regime change” in Syria. Every one of these situations has resulted in more extremism, more chaos in the world, and more danger to our country. Next will be the borders of Russia, China, and Iran. Look at the viciousness of her recent AIPAC speech (don’t say you haven’t been warned). Can we really bear to watch as Clinton “takes our alliance [with Israel] to the next level”? Where is our sense of proportion? Cannot the media, at the least, call her out on this extremism? The problem, I think, is this political miasma of “correctness” that dominates American thinking (i.e. Trump is extreme, therefore Hillary is not).
Jeffrey Sachs has been on a roll lately. His latest might be his best one yet.
Published at the Huffington Post, Clinton’s Speech Shows That Only Sanders Is Fit for the Presidency, is an absolute must read. Here it goes:
Hillary Clinton’s recent foreign policy speech was an attack on Donald Trump but was also a reminder that Clinton is a deeply flawed and worrisome candidate. Her record as Secretary of State was one of the worst in modern U.S. history; her policies have enmeshed America in new Middle East wars, rising terrorism and even a new Cold War with Russia. Of the three leading candidates, only Bernie Sanders has the sound judgment to avoid further war and to cooperate with the rest of the world.
Clinton is intoxicated with American power. She has favored one war of choice after the next: bombing Belgrade (1999); invading Iraq (2003); toppling Qaddafi (2011); funding Jihadists in Syria (2011 till now). The result has been one bloodbath after another, with open wounds until today fostering ISIS, terrorism, and mass refugee flows.
In her speech, Clinton engaged in her own Trump-like grandiose fear mongering: “[I]f America doesn’t lead, we leave a vacuum — and that will either cause chaos, or other countries will rush in to fill the void. Then they’ll be the ones making the decisions about your lives and jobs and safety — and trust me, the choices they make will not be to our benefit.”
This kind of arrogance — that America and America alone must run the world — has led straight to overstretch: perpetual wars that cannot be won, and unending and escalating confrontations with Russia, China, Iran and others that make the world more dangerous. It doesn’t seem to dawn on Clinton that in today’s world, we need cooperation, not endless bravado.
Clinton professed her belief “with all my heart that America is an exceptional country — that we’re still, in Lincoln’s words, the last, best hope of earth.” Yet surely President Lincoln was speaking in moral terms, not in Clinton’s militaristic terms. Lincoln did not mean that the last best hope of earth should send NATO bombers into Libya, the CIA into Syria, and Special Ops forces into countless other countries. Surely Lincoln would have been more prudent than to push NATO expansion to Russia’s very doorstep in Ukraine and Georgia, thereby triggering a violent response from Russia and a new Cold War.
Clinton lacks all self-awareness of how poorly she performed as Secretary of State. She trumpets her “successes” as follows:
Unlike [Trump], I have some experience with the tough calls and the hard work of statecraft. I wrestled with the Chinese over a climate deal in Copenhagen, brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, negotiated the reduction of nuclear weapons with Russia, twisted arms to bring the world together in global sanctions against Iran, and stood up for the rights of women, religious minorities and LGBT people around the world.
Pure braggadocio. While Clinton “wrestled with China” over a climate deal, she failed to achieve one. While she “brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas,” she failed to head off the disastrous Gaza War in the first place. While she “negotiated the reduction of nuclear weapons with Russia,” she championed a remarkably confrontational approach with Russia based on NATO expansion to Ukraine and Georgia and a new nuclear arms race that will cost American taxpayers more than $355 billion over a decade. While she claims to have “stood up for the rights of women [and] religious minorities,” her Syrian adventurism left Syria devastated, displaced 10 million people, and destroyed the religious minority communities she claimed to defend.
Clinton declared that she has a plan to defeat ISIS, but ISIS wouldn’t even exist were it not for Clinton’s “regime change” policy in Syria. ISIS emerged as a result of the US policy to partner with Saudi Arabia to topple Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. This mistaken policy created the chaos in which ISIS gained ground and weaponry, including US weaponry that was diverted from American-backed jihadists.
Of course, there’s more. Recall what we learned last year about the Clinton Foundation in the post, How Donations to the Clinton Foundation Led to Tens of Billions in Weapons Sales to Autocratic Regimes:
Even by the standards of arms deals between the United States and Saudi Arabia, this one was enormous. A consortium of American defense contractors led by Boeing would deliver $29 billion worth of advanced fighter jets to the United States’ oil-rich ally in the Middle East.
Israeli officials were agitated, reportedly complaining to the Obama administration that this substantial enhancement to Saudi air power risked disrupting the region’s fragile balance of power. The deal appeared to collide with the State Department’s documented concerns about the repressive policies of the Saudi royal family.
These were not the only relationships bridging leaders of the two nations. In the years before Hillary Clinton became secretary of state, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia contributed at least $10 million to the Clinton Foundation, the philanthropic enterprise she has overseen with her husband, former president Bill Clinton. Just two months before the deal was finalized, Boeing — the defense contractor that manufactures one of the fighter jets the Saudis were especially keen to acquire, the F-15 — contributed $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation, according to a company press release.
Now back to Sachs…
Clinton rightly accused Trump of being unpredictable, yet Clinton is dangerously predictable. She is always trying to prove how tough she is, how tough America is, how exceptional is America’s power. Trump is unqualified to be President because he lacks both the necessary experience and good judgment. Clinton, by contrast, has the extensive experience that proves that she too lacks the good judgment to be President.
Bernie Sanders, by contrast, not only offers a vastly better economic program than Clinton, but also a foreign policy based on wisdom, decency, and especially restraint. As a result, the American people trust Sanders rather than Clinton. She wins the closed primaries while he wins the open ones, that is, primaries that include the independent voters who will decide the November elections.
The Democrats would be foolhardy to accept Clinton as the “inevitable” nominee; she is the voice of foreign policy failure, while Sanders is the voice of hope, the young, and the future, and who is far more likely to beat Trump this fall.
As I remarked on Twitter earlier today:
Yes, then we can begin the charade of choosing between a sociopath and a demagogue. https://t.co/oHAC51nHCq— Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) June 6, 2016