Continuing the Foreign Policy Discussion Democrats Don’t Want to Have

by William Skink

While most Democrats were busy mocking the Republican obsession with Benghazi, b, the German blogger who runs Moon of Alabama, highlighted an interesting, unintentional confession from Hillary Clinton.

If Democrats could get their collective heads out of their collective asses they might realize that Hillary just admitted the Obama administration lied about the no fly zone in Libya. For those with short term memory problems, this is what Obama said in March of 2011:

“The task that I assigned our forces [is] to protect the Libyan people from immediate danger, and to establish a no-fly zone,” adding explicitly, “Broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake.”

Now here’s Hillary from the Benghazi inquisition:

When asked by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) about a video clip that read, “We came, we saw, he died [meaning former Libyan President Muammar al-Gaddafi]. Is that the Clinton doctrine?” Clinton replied, “No, that was an expression of relief that the military mission undertaken by NATO and our other partners had achieved its end.”

If elected, Hillary Clinton will be an absolute disaster. To show how far down the foreign policy rabbit hole America has fallen, it pains me to say that the only candidate making any sense is Donald Trump:

Asked by an NBC news presenter if Iraq and Libya had been better off when Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi were in power, a question most politicians would have dodged, Trump said: “Iraq is a disaster … Libya is not even a country. You can make the case, if you look at Libya, look at what we did there – it’s a mess. If you look at Saddam Hussein with Iraq, look what we did there – it’s a mess.”

This should not be controversial stuff. Many Iraqis and Libyans are glad to have got rid of the old dictators, but they have no doubt about the calamities that have befallen their countries since the change of regime. But how often in the British general election was David Cameron challenged for his part in reducing Libya to primal anarchy?

Speaking about the White House’s policy of supporting the Syrian armed opposition, Trump truthfully said the administration “doesn’t know who they are. They could be Isis. Assad is bad. Maybe these other people are worse.” He said he was bothered by “the concept of backing people they have absolutely no idea who they are”. Again, US officials admit that they have armed opposition fighters who, on entering Syria promptly handed their weapons over to Jabhat al-Nusra, the local representatives of al-Qaeda. Trump added: “I was talking to a general two days ago. He said: ‘We have no idea who these people are.’”

I don’t think Donald Trump is a serious candidate. I think, more likely, Trump is a brilliant Trojan horse of destruction for the GOP, possibly nudged to run by Bill Clinton. And in that role Trump can say some accurate, sensible things about America’s foreign policy, and because he’s the one saying it, anyone who agrees will be agreeing with Trump, and therefore discredited. This is very similar to how the label “conspiracy theorist” functions.

While Trump says things that aren’t insane about foreign policy, a recent guest post at MT Cowgirl by “Secret Squirrel” does say some very crazy shit about Hillary Clinton. The post is titled Please, Don’t Get Bern(T). There are some parts to this post that really don’t make any sense. That said, there are a few quotes worth highlighting, like this:

Watch the Benghazi hearings or just the highlights. Tell me that is not a president who would stand up against the far right. Imagine Sanders in the same chair, what would he be doing and saying? Maybe he would not have taken action in Libya. Maybe Qadaffi would have wiped out the eastern half of Libya’s population. Imagine that hearing.

And this:

Clinton has made so many promises short of what Sanders has said, and in some cases to his left, that she would have a hard time turning back on them, I trust her, I trust the team around her. As president, I cannot think of anyone more qualified to take on the risks of running an imperial presidency against Congress to do the right things despite the risks. I think she, more than anyone else, would love the challenge and risks associated with doing whatever is good and necessary to spite the right.

And finally, the conclusion:

In a short time, many of you will have to choose between your passions and the future of this country to be able to sustain itself. In 2000, many of us, myself included, made the wrong decision. Please learn from our mistake. Support Sanders, but when he removes himself do not take it personally. Just ensure it gets translated over in some way. I think we will all be fine if we can do that.

I love the plea to learn from mistakes. Yeah, right. Because we learned not to repeat NAFTA, right? And we learned our lessons from letting Bill’s economic team deregulate Wall Street, right? And we learned to be skeptical of the reasons to bomb other countries, right?

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Democrats don’t seem to be very good about learning from past mistakes. Why should they, it’s not like their candidates are ever held accountable for the misery and destruction they enable.

It’s too bad the only presidential candidate making any sense on foreign policy is Trump. Because it’s coming from Trump, his statements will be subjected to a form of political alchemy in which sensible will be transformed into crazy, while the crazy coming from Hillary and Bernie will, by contrast, appear sensible.

Up is down, hot is cold, and war is peace. 50 years since America got their asses handed to them in Vietnam, we are still destroying villages to save them.

It’s fucking madness.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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16 Responses to Continuing the Foreign Policy Discussion Democrats Don’t Want to Have

  1. Big Swede says:

    Vanity Fair piece, Oct. 22nd.

    “Assuming Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, some inside the Beltway believe there is a possibility that she might win states like Indiana, North Carolina, Missouri, and Montana, which Obama won or only narrowly lost in 2008. But with Trump in the race, all of those states—which are more red than they were in ’08—are likely out for Democrats. Swing states like Colorado and Virginia are clear toss-ups. There are few states that Romney or McCain won where Trump, as the Republican nominee, wouldn’t be in the running, and an analysis of other key states shows that Trump’s in far better position than his detractors would like to admit. If Trump were to win every state that Romney won, Trump would stand today at 206 electoral votes, with 55 electoral votes up for grabs in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Nevada, Wisconsin, Iowa, and New Hampshire. Similarly, Trump does not necessarily lose in a single toss-up state versus Hillary Clinton and, in fact, is seemingly competitive in many.”

    Didn’t think the MT race was so close last time, but it does cause one to think.

  2. JC says:

    Ok, I’m going to throw a monkey wrench into your two-party miasma… 😉 There is a politician making better sense… we’re just not going to hear much about it in a 2-party dominated electoral system and a media to go along with that.

    Jill Stein has declared she’ll run for the Green Party nomination again. She got a half million (counted) votes in the last presidential election, maybe she can sneak into the final debates and liven things up with a bit more support this year.

    Here’s her current blurb on foreign policy:

    Peace and Human Rights:
    Establish a foreign policy based on diplomacy, international law, and human rights. End the wars and drone attacks, cut military spending by at least 50% and close the 700+ foreign military bases that are turning our republic into a bankrupt empire. Stop U.S. support and arms sales to human rights abusers, and lead on global nuclear disarmament

    There’s a lot more good stuff that Jill is pushing. After reading Secret Squirrel’s dem hit piece at Cowgirl, I looked up on the google to see if there was a way to unregister to vote in Montana (not really). But after your post, I decided I might as well just keep to my third party ways. I voted 3rd party in 2012, and I’ll vote 3rd party again next year.

    Interesting side note: I was looking up Jill Stein’s totals nationally, and then in Montana. Wikipedia has her listed as getting zero votes in Montana. Which I know is incorrect, as I wrote her in and know at least one other person that did so, too. FEC results show zero votes for her in Montana in 2012.

    I guess showing up to vote 3rd party in Montana as a protest vote is as good as unregistering to vote. Corruption reigns in our electoral system.

  3. steve kelly says:

    Sorry Charlie, there is a declaration and fee required if you want write-in votes to be counted. and

    • JC says:

      Wow. They won’t even tally up a write-ins vote total unless they put up 1% of the salary of the position? That would be $4,000 for the count. Ridiculous!

      Democracy… it’s the thang! Maybe I should just unregister… somehow.

  4. Big Swede says:

    I’m thinking that Bernie is not amending several years of tax returns.

    “The Clinton Foundation has until November 16 to amend more than ten years’ worth of state, federal and foreign filings, but it’s going to be virtually impossible to do so without acknowledging that it has engaged in massive accounting fraud since its inception.”-Ken Silverstein

  5. According to mobster Sam Giancana’s younger brother, Chuck, FDR repaid over half a million in mob money given to his campaign by making a person the mob called “their boy” chairman of the Democratic National Committee and Vice President – Harry Truman. Stalin’s statement to FDR’s son, that FDR was then murdered by “that Churchill gang” to open the presidency to Truman, then holds more water, though we’ll never know the truth. FDR was a realist – you have to deal with these people, cannot ignore them.

    Corruption runs so deep in this country – the Bush family could as easily be named Giancana, but are a mere front for other more powerful people. And Hillary, and Bernie too. Real power never shows its hand. It always uses cutouts.

    What most amuses me is that people imagine that politics at the local level is not corrupt, only national. The Montana Democratic Party is as blistered with corrupt leaders as a plague victim. Third party candidates merely become pawns for the two parties. JC’s desire to “unregister” is not cynical. Its logical. Whatever hope we might have is in movements, not politics. Hard to make a case for that in a bread and circus country, but that is the truth as I see it.

    • Big Swede says:

      Maybe a march on Washington would increase awareness. You could march down 16 Ave. with huge banners, “Get out the Non-Vote”!

      • steve kelly says:

        Awareness is not the problem. Almost everyone agrees there is no honesty or decency remaining in the system. Non-participation is what is left to people in a system as corrupt as ours. It’s easy to see how Congress is reviled so. Slightly over 25% of eligible voters is required to “win” most elections — roughly half stay home. Once elected, any slip-up and your favorable rating is in the teens, which is where Congress lives on a day-to-day basis. Hard to export democracy when there’s such a shortage right here at home.

      • That is exactly the point, Swede, though I think it went by you.Party politics is just a distraction that yields nothing in the way of change, which is the only reason we are allowed to vote (keeping in mind, with electronic machines, that vote counts can be altered at will as needed).

        The only hope for change is outside the political system, and due to a public dumbed down by our Pogies and distracted by booze and movies and sports and increasingly, pot, there’s no hope there either.

        Little known fact, but in the 1960’s, the original protest movement was not hippies in beards, but the “Teach-in” movement. College campuses were places where ideas were exchanged, and people became politically aware and got active. No more. Read the Powell memo sometime, the establishment response to civic awareness.

  6. larry kurtz says:

    The US won the war in Vietnam.

    • JC says:

      Really? If so, then here’s our victory march.

      I think this photo is titled “The Fall of Saigon.” It’s quite famous.

      • I cannot read Larry’s mind, but Chomsky makes the point that while the US did not achieve its stated objectives, there were unstated ones, such as bombing the country into the dark ages, killing millions of people, setting back development for perhaps a half century. There followed after the war 25 years of Cuban-style embargo, further inflicting pain on an already impoverished and debilitated land.

        So it could be folks, we won! We won! Mission Accomplished! Maybe no parades, but still, job well done.

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