Max Fisher, Yes, Hillary Clinton is a War-Hawk

I'm answering Max Fisher, "Is Hillary Clinton really the foreign policy super-hawk she is portrayed to be?"

Hillary Clinton was held back by others in the Obama administration (particularly Obama himself) concerning foreign policy and militarism.

Concerning Trump, of course he's more of an unknown because he hasn't served in office regarding the use of military force. THE issue is, and remains, Russia. It's THE issue because the US and Russia are both the only nuclear-weapons superpowers (though the US hasn't been doing nearly enough diplomacy to disarm the world of nuclear weapons, just the opposite). Clinton's approach to Vladimir Putin is stupid relative to Trump's. That doesn't prove Trump would be better, but it can't be simply dismissed via propaganda.

The "reset with Russia" was a distraction while the CIA worked on the coup in Ukraine. Come on.

"She met Chinese aggression in the South China Sea by organizing regional diplomatic organizations to counterbalance China." That's not dovish. It's comical that Fisher includes it as such.

"In 2009, she met with Mutassim Qaddafi, the highest-level meeting between Libyan and American officials in years, as part of an outreach to the country." That was not what happened. It was the other way around. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi convinced his father that the Qaddaffis should reach out to the US. So that's what happened. What was the result though? When al Qaeda was in the wings of the Arab Spring, which the US State Department knew full well, and Qaddaffi was being his usual bombastic self, the neocons in the Obama administration, particularly Susan Rice and Samantha Power, convinced Hillary Clinton (wasn't hard: Rwanda) to work on Obama to forget Qaddaffi's outreach and rather bomb his forces. We know the result: "We saw. We came. He died": cue laughter. Rice, Power, and Clinton had no plan about what to do after they killed Qaddaffi via their surrogate militant-jihadis. Obama called that his biggest foreign-policy error. I could have told him that before it happened. I publicly said not to do it, not to bomb!

"In 2012, she quietly opened talks with Iran, which would culminate in the nuclear deal." She was a rabid fan of the sanctions in the face of zero evidence Iran had a nuclear-weapons program, which US intelligence made clear. The Obama administration and Hillary Clinton lied and lied and lied for many months that Iran had a program. Hillary Clinton still falsely claims to this day that they had one at the time. To his credit, Obama stopped doing that. She was not behind the Iran deal much at all. She deserves little to no credit for it. It was not her idea and she didn't really rally behind it in any enthusiastic way! She just went through the motions. What choice did she have, resign due to conscience? Ha!

"Clinton's record of supporting military interventions tends to focus on failed states or ongoing civil wars where she wants the US to help reimpose order or push that conflict toward her desired outcome, and in this way she does stand out from other candidates as unusually inclined to military force." That's BS, pure spin. Libya was not failed and would not have failed. Syria was not failed and would not have failed. In both cases, the leadership there could have been quickly aided to not allow militant jihadis to quickly co-opt the naïvely and grossly mismanaged Arab Spring. It called for real diplomatic expertise, which is far from what we witnessed. What we saw was hawkish ineptitude.

Concerning her Iraq War vote, Fisher conjures up the "lapse" argument. The Iraq vote came before Libya and Syria and Ukraine and Yemen and so many others. To call Iraq a lapse is to blank out on everything that came afterwards, to ignore the clear neocon/"liberal" interventionist/war-hawk pattern.

"...the US has to impose more pressure on Vladimir Putin." No, the US needs to knock off the neocon-pattern of telling lies concerning Russia. Trump, at least, appears to not have his head buried in the sand on that.

"One exception is Syria on ISIS, on which Clinton has positioned herself as more hawkish than President Obama, for example by arguing for a limited no-fly zone over part of Syria. But Republicans have also proposed this policy.
"It's hard to know how seriously to take such proposals, given that no-fly zones would be mostly symbolic and are unlikely to substantially alter the war. It is also difficult to say how much this is a real policy difference versus an election-year attempt at political positioning." Oh brother, "symbolic"? The no-fly zone would be exactly as the one imposed in Iraq when Saddam was in power there, far from symbolic. Hillary Clinton has been pushing for this even while Russia has been flying the entire country. Obama is trying his best right now to help Hillary's campaign by working with Putin to stop all air campaigning in Syria (removing the issue). They just reached a deal. Whether it will hold is a different matter. The "rebels" have to abide by certain conditions. They didn't abide by the last ceasefire, but Obama is more and more serious about putting a huge Syrian-deal feather in his cap before leaving office.

Clinton is openly accusing Russia of hacking the DNC. She hasn't been saying "allegedly." That's reckless. That's her proven, on-going pattern. She's terrible at foreign policy.

The term "super-hawk" is a matter of semantics. It's relative. To the anti-war movement, she's very hawkish. Is she as trigger happy as John McCain? Is anyone?

"...the US government can at least nominally control domestic policy outright, international affairs is a realm largely beyond American control. It's also because domestic policy is much easier to plan for — people will get sick and require health care; kids will enter school age and require education — whereas foreign policy is more about responding to unforeseen events, so a president's most important decisions are often how they respond in a crisis." That's absolute hogwash! Domestic and foreign policy can both be, and should be, planned equally. There's no lack of domestic crises either! Many of the domestic and international crises are a direct result of the lack of proper planning. How much of it is intentional? Economic and financial approaches are a constant argument. Privatizers manufacture crises. All real leftists know that.

Oh, and then there's Hillary backing the fascists in Honduras.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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