Sunday, August 10, 2014

Hillary Clinton Offers a Sneak Preview of her Foreign Policy

Demonstrating her commitment to running for the presidency as the neoconservative candidate, operating in defense of an immoral and debilitating conventional wisdom in the realm of foreign policy, Hillary Clinton is intervening in the debate in the U.S. about the current war in Gaza.

Unsurprisingly, given her right-wing political orientation (this is the woman who supported the war in Iraq, and defended Wall Street plutocrats against cries for greater economic equality), Clinton has come down firmly in defense of Israel, the occupying colonial power.
In spite of the debunking of Israel’s claims about using “precision weaponry” (heavy artillery was used to bomb dense neighbourhoods and attack UN facilities), Clinton chose to place the blame for civilian casualties on Palestinians rather than on the colonial military which is using weapons so grossly unsuited to targeting individuals within the enormous colonial slum Israel has sought to create in Gaza.
She also placed the blame for Israel’s moral and military “errors” squarely with Hamas.  “There’s no doubt in my mind”, Clinton proclaimed, “that Hamas initiated this conflict”.  It is true that Hamas has often provided the spark for individual conflicts within what amounts to a long-term fight against colonial occupation.  But to blame colonial subjects who are subjected to occupation, blockade, and harassment and attack by a powerful military force for fighting back seems to miss the point.  And to suggest that anything other than a colonial occupation is responsible for the conflict suggests either extraordinary stupidity—which we know not to be the case—or an obscene willingness to trash the truth in the service of a narrative that will bring electoral dividends and the backing of the security state, Israel’s powerful lobby, and the neocons. 
As though seeking to prove that she can sink to ever-greater depths in her defence of the indefensible, Clinton then sought to attack Israel’s critics as anti-Semites, the sturdiest and most reliable redoubt of the regime’s supporters.  Appallingly, Europe in particular is the site of increased anti-Semitism.  And anti-colonialism should never be permitted to devolve into something so sinister, the obscene consequences of which we have seen time and again throughout history.  But to suggest that the answer is to muzzle all of the Israeli state’s critics—because criticism of the colonial government is somehow anti-Semitic—is offensive. 
Deliberately conflating anti-colonialism with anti-Semitism, Clinton sought to explain that anti-Semitism is a response to Israel “because it’s a powerful state, a really effective military”, asking people to confuse practitioners of Judaism with the behavior of a specific state. 
And, committed to laying her hypocrisy out in the open, Clinton simultaneously attacked the Iranian nuclear program while defending Israel, a rogue nuclear state in violation of reams of international law, putting on full display the reason why the U.S. has so little credibility in much of the world. 
In the same interview, Clinton argued—in a move that will comfort any U.S. weapons companies tracking presidential candidates—that the U.S. should have thrown more weapons at the war in Syria to undermine Assad.  Committed to learning nothing from the past decades of U.S. moral and policy failures, Clinton is a confirmed believer that “my enemy’s enemy is my friend”—the outlook that spawned Osama bin Laden among others—and to the practice of spreading tools of death, two approaches to international relations which are incompatible with peace and security.
Clinton criticized Obama for his “caution”—a strange way to describe a man waging a bevy of wars on multiple continents and pursuing a range of extrajudicial methods of terror—and expressed her desire for the U.S. to be “aggressively, belligerently putting [itself] forward”, and invoked the Crusades to illustrate her understanding of politics in the Middle East.
She credited our support of “really nasty guys” in Latin America and Southeast Asia during the Cold War with the overthrow of the Soviet Union, making crystal clear that apartheid, military dictatorship, murder, torture, disappearance, abduction, and the use of puppet leaders would all be indispensible implements in the Clinton toolbox, so long as they help with fighting terror.  The U.S., in other words, will be no friend to democracy, and will have no respect for international law in a Clinton presidency.
In this fulsome embrace of violence, neo-colonialism, and what amounts to an affirmation of state terror, Clinton is providing voters at home with a sneak preview of a Clinton foreign policy.
A Clinton foreign policy would learn nothing from our illegal war of aggression in Iraq, and the destabilization our campaign to “shock and awe” inflicted on the region.
A Clinton foreign policy would refuse to recognize that the indiscriminate use of U.S. military power and state terror is at the heart of many of the world’s problems.
A Clinton foreign policy would make a virtue of backing barbaric regimes if their behavior somehow aligned with our short-term interest, the only kind of interest a Clinton foreign policy seems capable of conceptualizing.
A Clinton foreign policy would endorse formal colonialism, a political relationship that should have been consigned to the dustbin of history with the fall of European empires after the Second World War.
A Clinton foreign policy would substitute mindless jingoism and patriotism for a clear, sharp-minded evaluation of the public interest.
And a Clinton foreign policy would eschew internationalism for the reckless, violent behavior that characterized the Bush Administration…the administration to which Hillary Clinton gave so much backing as it unleashed terror on the Middle East and South Asia.
I think we could do without four years of this kind of foreign policy.

As an idiot from Texas once tried to say, “Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice…”

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