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Sunday, July 05, 2015

Welcome to the backseat, Hillary

A couple of days ago, we heard the following from Hillary Clinton...
Hillary Clinton arrived in this liberal New England enclave with a message for anyone thinking about voting for Sen. Bernie Sanders of next-door Vermont: “I take a backseat to no one when you look at my record in standing up and fighting for progressive values.”
She assailed Bernie Sanders (without directly mentioning him) on the question of background checks for gun owners.
She also signaled that she would have no problem defending President Barack Obama’s domestic agenda.
The elephant in the room here -- and never was that metaphor more appropos -- is the Obama/Clinton foreign agenda.

Hillary is avoiding the question of peace and war. On domestic issues, she takes many stances worthy of our applause -- but, in a sense, those stances provide the spoonful of sugar that helps the cyanide go down.

I'm going to republish (yet again) a key excerpt from a should-be-notorious NYT interview with Robert Kagan, one of the architects of W's Iraq invasion. These words should be memorized, the way everyone has memorized Rove's "We're an empire now" and Cheney's "Reagan proved that deficits don't matter."
Mr. Kagan pointed out that he had recently attended a dinner of foreign-policy experts at which Mrs. Clinton was the guest of honor, and that he had served on her bipartisan group of foreign-policy heavy hitters at the State Department, where his wife worked as her spokeswoman.

“I feel comfortable with her on foreign policy,” Mr. Kagan said, adding that the next step after Mr. Obama’s more realist approach “could theoretically be whatever Hillary brings to the table” if elected president. “If she pursues a policy which we think she will pursue,” he added, “it’s something that might have been called neocon, but clearly her supporters are not going to call it that; they are going to call it something else.”
(Emphasis added.) Welcome to the backseat, Hillary. You're sharing this ride with your close neocon pals, Robert "PNAC" Kagan and his wife, Victoria "fuck the EU" Nuland.

You know who is in the front seat? Jim Webb.
But Webb also took great issue with Obama’s failed Middle East policy, and according to Webb, “Secretary Clinton, quite frankly, was a part of enunciating this strategy.” Further:
I can’t understand why people would have supported the notion of arming certain groups inside Syria a couple of years ago…I say that not only as someone who has spent a lot of time working on foreign policy, but as a journalist in Beirut in 1983 when the word I got from Marines on the ground was: ‘Never get involved in a five-sided argument.’
His criticism of Obama’s intervention in Libya, of which Mrs. Clinton was a vocal and visible proponent, has been scathing and well as prescient, writing, “Under the objectively undefinable rubric of ‘humanitarian intervention,’ President Obama has arguably established the authority of the president to intervene militarily virtually anywhere…” The contrast with the intervention-happy former Secretary could not be clearer.
Those words were written last January. In 2002, the Washington Post published a piece by Webb which passionately argued against the march toward war with Iraq. The headline: "Heading for Trouble: Do we really want to occupy Iraq for the next 30 years?"
The issue before us is not simply whether the United States should end the regime of Saddam Hussein, but whether we as a nation are prepared to physically occupy territory in the Middle East for the next 30 to 50 years. Those who are pushing for a unilateral war in Iraq know full well that there is no exit strategy if we invade and stay. This reality was the genesis of a rift that goes back to the Gulf War itself, when neoconservatives were vocal in their calls for “a MacArthurian regency in Baghdad.” Their expectation is that the United States would not only change Iraq’s regime but also remain as a long-term occupation force in an attempt to reconstruct Iraqi society itself.

The connotations of “a MacArthurian regency in Baghdad” show how inapt the comparison is. Our occupation forces never set foot inside Japan until the emperor had formally surrendered and prepared Japanese citizens for our arrival. Nor did MacArthur destroy the Japanese government when he took over as proconsul after World War II. Instead, he was careful to work his changes through it, and took pains to preserve the integrity of Japan’s imperial family. Nor is Japanese culture in any way similar to Iraq’s. The Japanese are a homogeneous people who place a high premium on respect, and they fully cooperated with MacArthur’s forces after having been ordered to do so by the emperor. The Iraqis are a multiethnic people filled with competing factions who in many cases would view a U.S. occupation as infidels invading the cradle of Islam. Indeed, this very bitterness provided Osama bin Laden the grist for his recruitment efforts in Saudi Arabia when the United States kept bases on Saudi soil after the Gulf War.
Prophetic stuff!

As early as 2002, Webb understood that invasion would create the kind of "bitterness" that would swell the ranks of the jihadists. He had, in essence, predicted the rise of ISIS.

When it comes to the all-important issue of peace and war, compare Webb's record to Hillary's. Ask yourself: Which of the two candidates is likelier to pursue neocon policies? The answer will tell you who belongs in the front seat -- and who should be kicked out of the car altogether.

Let's say it one more time:
Yes, I think that America needs a female president. But we do not need more neoconservatism. The basis of your vote should be peace, not penises.
Hillary has had plenty of opportunities to demonstrate leadership over the 15 years since her election to the Senate in 2000.

She could have objected to the stolen election of 2000, to the Patriot Act of 2001, to the invasion of Iraq, to the wiretapping, to the torture, to the murder of American citizens on the orders of the president. She could have aided the effort to get George Bush impeached.

She knew the dangers of the electronic voting machines and so co-authored a bill in 2003 with Senator Boxer that would have outlawed them. Since that bill died in committee, she hasn't said a peep about the voting machines.

War-monger Hillary is the poster girl for a do-nothing happy-face congress that has allowed our nation to degenerate into lawless plutocracy. She is the problem, not the solution.
Seems to me that her work with Boxer in 2003 speaks to Hillary's credit, and informs us that she will not be an impediment if there is a renewed movement against electronic voting.

On a lot of domestic issues, she IS part of the solution. And certainly she is much more to be trusted than any Republican when it comes to the Supreme Court.

But on foreign policy...
You should voted based on having a Democrat nominate the next three SCOTUSi.

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