Back in June, I published a piece titled, More Troubling Evidence That Hillary Clinton Will Start WW3. In it, we learned the following:
Michele Flournoy, the former Defense Department official whom Defense One calls “the woman expected to run the Pentagon under Hillary Clinton,” this week advocated for “sending more American troops into combat against ISIS and the Assad regime than the Obama administration has been willing to commit.” In an interview with that outlet, Flournoy “said she would direct U.S. troops to push President Bashar al-Assad’s forces out of southern Syria and would send more American boots to fight the Islamic State in the region.”
She had previously “condemned the Obama administration’s ISIS policy as ineffectual,” denouncing it as “under-resourced.”
This week, Flournoy specifically advocated what she called “limited military coercion” to oust Assad. In August 2014, Obama announced what he called “limited airstrikes in Iraq” — and they’re still continuing almost two years later. Also note the clinical euphemism Flournoy created — “military coercion” — for creating a “no-bomb zone” that would entail “a declaratory policy backed up by the threat of force. ‘If you bomb the folks we support, we will retaliate using standoff means to destroy [Russian] proxy forces, or, in this case, Syrian assets,’” she said. Despite D.C. conventional wisdom that Obama is guilty of “inaction” in Syria, he has sent substantial aid, weapons, and training to Syrian rebels while repeatedly bombing ISIS targets in Syria.
Even U.S. military officials have said that these sorts of no-fly or no-bomb guarantees Flournoy is promising — which Hillary Clinton herself has previously advocated — would risk a military confrontation with Russia. Obama’s defense secretary, Ash Carter, told a Senate hearing last December that the policy Clinton advocates “would require ‘substantial’ ground forces and would put the U.S. military at risk of a direct confrontation with the Syrian regime and Russian forces.” Nonetheless, the Pentagon official highly likely to be Clinton’s defense secretary is clearly signaling their intention to proceed with escalated military action. The carnage in Syria is horrifying, but no rational person should think that U.S. military action will be designed to “help Syrians.”
While that post focused on a likely massive escalation of U.S. militarism in the Middle East under a President Clinton, most Americans remain dangerously unaware of the extreme bad blood between her and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
For some insight on the topic, let’s examine a few excerpts from an article published earlier today at Reuters:
With U.S. relations with Moscow already plumbing post-Cold War lows, the aides and veteran Russia watchers said she would likely take a harder line than Obama or Republican nominee Donald Trump, who has praised Putin as a strong leader.
Dealing with Putin, who is flexing his geopolitical muscle from Ukraine to Syria to cyberspace, will be among Clinton’s biggest foreign policy challenges — one made more daunting by the personal bad blood between them.
Jake Sullivan, a former top State Department aide and now senior Clinton campaign advisor, said Clinton could consider the shipping of lethal arms to Ukraine government forces and the creation of no-fly or safe zones in Syria. Obama has rejected both ideas.
While such moves could further stoke tensions and might even face resistance from some U.S. allies, Sullivan said in an interview with Reuters that Clinton could manage ties with Russia effectively because Putin would “respect her as U.S. president, her strength, her clarity, her predictability.”
That gave me the biggest laugh I’ve had all month.
According to current and former Clinton advisers, she could consider other policy moves such as stiffer sanctions against Russia over Ukraine and doing more to wean Russia’s neighbors off reliance on Moscow’s energy supplies.
Clinton’s first fence-mending effort in March 2009 was not so much a show of strength than of diplomatic clumsiness. She handed Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a red button that was supposed to have the word “reset” on it. Instead, it was labeled with the Russian word meaning “overcharged.”
Clinton’s distrust of Putin deepened, mirrored by his growing list of grievances against her.
Now here’s the most concerning part.
Putin, a former KGB agent, “doesn’t have a soul,” Clinton quipped on the eve of the 2008 New Hampshire presidential primary, riffing off of President George W. Bush’s comment seven years earlier that he had looked into Putin’s eyes and seen his soul.
The Russian leader retorted: “At a minimum, a head of state should have a head.”
Is this the sort of starting point you want from a new U.S. President? There’s a reason so many genuine progressives and liberals can’t stomach Hillary Clinton and refuse to vote for her. Sure, there’s the rampant embrace of cronyism and incessant oligarch coddling, but there’s also her penchant for bloodthirsty militarism.
Oliver Stone summed it up perfectly earlier this year when he wrote:
We’re going to war — either hybrid in nature to break the Russian state back to its 1990s subordination, or a hot war (which will destroy our country). Our citizens should know this, but they don’t because our media is dumbed down in its “Pravda”-like support for our “respectable,” highly aggressive government. We are being led, as C. Wright Mills said in the 1950s, by a government full of “crackpot realists: in the name of realism they’ve constructed a paranoid reality all their own.” Our media has credited Hillary Clinton with wonderful foreign policy experience, unlike Trump, without really noting the results of her power-mongering. She’s comparable to Bill Clinton’s choice of Cold War crackpot Madeleine Albright as one of the worst Secretary of States we’ve had since … Condi Rice? Albright boasted, “If we have to use force it is because we are America; we are the indispensable nation. We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future.”
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).
This is why I’m praying still for Bernie Sanders, because he’s the only one willing, at least in the name of fiscal sanity, to cut back on our foreign interventions, bring the troops home, and with these trillions of dollars no longer wasted on malice, try to protect the “homeland” by actually rebuilding it and putting money into its people, schools, and infrastructure.
This isn’t to say World War 3 is avoidable under a President Trump - I’m not convinced of that. As with everything else regarding Trump, he’s too much of a wildcard to know for sure. That said, I’d certainly argue that under Hillary Clinton, World War 3 is a virtual lock.
Do we really want someone this twisted in charge of the country?