Friday, February 5, 2016

THIS Is Foreign Policy Expertise?

Frankly, m’dear, I’m damned sick and tired of the cliches the TV clowns and print propagandists toss at me during this political madness.

On one of the most recent entertainments, these fools told me, Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State, displayed her “command” of foreign policy at the expense of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, her opponent for the Democratic nomination for president.

Let us look, for a few fleeting moments, at her command of foreign policy and its consequences — for after all, executive decisions do have consequences:

As Secretary, she told a round-table of corporate executives “It’s time for the United States to start thinking of Iraq as a business opportunity.”  Even five years ago, her “business opportunity” — she supported George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq, the worst foreign policy decision in american history — had cost 4,500 Americans and more than a million Iraqis their lives.  Men, women, children — lots of children — it mattered not to her.  It was a “business opportunity.”  

She led the campaign for forcible regime change in Libya, despite opposition by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (Responding to the gruesome sodomizing of Muammar Gaddafi with a bayonet, Clinton laughed and said, “We came, we saw, he died.”  Hilarious.)

Our calamitous policies in Iraq and Libya escalated the rise of Islamic State and expanded the conflict in the Middle East. Now, the Obama administration is reportedly changing the rules of engagement to allow more civilian casualties in the “war” against Islamic State. A senior military official predicts that “you’ll see a little more willingness to tolerate civilian casualties in the interest of making progress” even though the Geneva Conventions  explicitly prohibit the disproportionate killing of civilians. Clinton has promised to escalate the wars in Syria and Iraq, including a no-fly zone in Syria. Since Islamic State doesn’t have an air force, her no-fly zone is likely to producte heightened tensions through incidents involving Russian planes flying over Syria. Taking her election tough-talk further, on a recent television appearance she  declared, “We have to fight in the air, fight on the ground and fight them on the Internet.” 

With an eye toward the campaign against a war-hawk Republican, Clinton dismisses Sanders as a foreign policy naif, whereas she is proud of her foot on the accelerator of our failed policy of endless war.

She is, in fact, proud of results like these:

Afghanistan: Her High Hawkishness has created  millions of refugees for the rest of the world to worry about. More than 220,000 Afghans have died died since the 2001 U.S. invasion. American taxpayers have paid  more than $700 billion for this, not counting along-term medical bill that could run as high as $2 trillion.

Libya: About 30,000 people died and another 50,000 were wounded in Hillary’s intervention and civil war. Hundreds of thousands more are refugees. Our initial cost was $1.1 billion but he fighting continues. Another billion in tangential and longer-term costs is likely.

Ukraine: The numbers: 8,000,dead, 18,000  wounded. Hillary’s thinly-veiled coup d’etat to oust the pro-Russian, admittedly corrupt but democratically elected government has left a country riven, its people starving, and a NATO-Russo conflict moving the world 20 degrees closer to nuclear war than it was before she meddled. 

Yemen: Civilian casualties: more than 6,000 dead and and another 27,000 wounded. Ten million Yeminis don’t have enough to eat, and 13 million have no access to clean water. Yemen is highly dependent on imported food, but a U.S.-Saudi blockade has choked off most imports. The war is ongoing.

Iraq: Beyond the million dead in our 2003 invasion, more than 2 million have fled the country and another 2 million are internally displaced. The cost to U.S. taxpayers of the action Hillary enthusiastically voted for is now more than $1 trillion, but it may rise to $4 trillion once all the long-term medical costs are added in. And the war isn’t over: its latest incarnation is bloody conflict with the Islamic State, which emerged from the Sunni insurgency against the U.S.-installed government.

Syria: More than 250,000 have died in the war, and half the country’s population has been displaced — including four million Syrian refugees abroad. The country’s major cities have been ravaged. Like the others, Hillary means to prolong this one as long as the military-industrial complex that funds her campaign continues to profit from it.

Look, too, at, say, Somalia for more blood on Hillary’s hands. Note also that weapons looted from Hillary’s Libya failure largely fuel the wars in Mali, Niger, and the Central African Republic.

If this is the leadership Clinton’s foreign policy experience offers, wouldn’t it be simpler to just drink the poison Kool Ade?

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