More evidence of Hillary Clinton as a warmonger


That Hillary Clinton is a warmonger is no secret, much as she tries to hide it. It comes out despite her recent attempts, as she tries to win the Democratic nomination, at downplaying her role in advocating for military action in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, all of which have turned out to be disastrous. But a speech she gave at an event that occurred last month that did not get much attention shows that her war-loving aspect is not far from the surface.

Following her speech on December 6, in response to a question from the audience as to what they US should do if Iran were to violate the terms of the deal that had been struck, she made the extraordinary statement “What I said and what I mean is that there will have to be consequences for any violation by Iran and that the nuclear option should not at all be taken off the table. That has been my position consistently.”

Her statement caused some to gasp in surprise and there was much murmuring in the crowd and one person in the audience, who was later identified as US Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer, interjected with an inaudible comment that caused her to say that what she had meant ro say was to advocate for a military option, not a nuclear one.

The idea of wanting to use military force at the slightest provocation is the main characteristic of a warmonger and so this merely confirms what we all know, or should know, about her. But the idea that she would use nuclear weapons on Iran merely for violations of a treaty indicated a level of extremism that would have made Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio or Chris Christie or any of the pugnacious Republicans proud. Even Donald Trump is less extreme than Clinton when it comes to the Middle East.

Her apologists suggest that she had merely made a slip of the tongue. Others are taking it more seriously, that this was a Freudian slip in that she inadvertently blurted out what she would really like to do, instead of using coded language.

But there is another possibility and that is that this was deliberate on her part. She was after all speaking at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. The founder of the center is Haim Saban, a multi-billionaire Israeli-American film and television producer who is a prominent Democratic party donor and, like Sheldon Adelson and Paul Singer, favors hardline anti-Palestinian policies by the Israeli government. Saban had previously said that if he were running Israel, “I would bomb the living daylights out of these sons of bitches” (i.e., Iran) if he deemed that the Iran-P5+1 nuclear deal was not good for Israel. The audience also contained prominent Israelis and members of the Israeli lobby. It is quite likely that Clinton thought that advocating the use of nuclear weapons against Iran would go down well with this crowd. But when she received some pushback, especially from Breyer, she was forced to backtrack a bit. She can now try to have it both ways, indicate with a nod and a wink to the Israel lobby that she is willing to use nuclear weapons on Iran, while at the same time assuring the Democratic party base that has grown tired of warmongering that she did not really mean it. .

Philip Weiss was one of the few commentators who pointed out the incredible levels pandering to the hardline Israeli right in her speech.

Yesterday Hillary Clinton gave a speech in Washington at the Saban Forum of Brookings that included more pandering to Israel than any speech I’ve heard from any American politician. It was endless. Israel is a brave democracy, a light unto the nations, a miracle, its “prowess in war” is “inspiring,” and we must take the US-Israel relationship to the “next level.”

Introduced by her good friend the Israeli-American megadonor, Haim Saban, Clinton bragged that she and Israel were born a few months apart, gave a shoutout to Israel’s former lawyer in the White House, Dennis Ross, and assured Ari Shavit the rightwing Israeli columnist that the military option was still on the table with Iran. In fact, she repeatedly slammed Iran as a bad actor and did all she could to distance herself from the Iran deal and from secretary of state John Kerry, who gave a more realistic speech the day before. She never mentioned the occupation, vaguely touched on settlements as a problem, and praised the late Clintonite Sandy Berger as a “steadfast friend to Israel.”

Just as the Republican candidates had attacked Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) at the Republican Jewish Coalition last week, Clinton said that BDS was hurting the U.S.’s ability to fight terrorism. This is language straight out of Benjamin Netanyahu’s office.

We can be in little doubt that whatever else she might do as president, when it comes to the Middle East, Clinton will be very solicitous of the needs of the Israel lobby.

Comments

  1. says

    That Hillary Clinton is a warmonger is no secret, much as she tries to hide it.

    To be fair, the adrenaline rush from lying about dodging sniper fire in Kosovo was probably pretty life-changing. As oligarch Churchill said: “Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.” Oligarch Clinton’s not in Churchill’s league, to be sure. She only supported Iraq, Libya, and tons of covert terror attacks in Africa and Yemen – she didn’t get to mastermind anything as dramatic as Gallipoli or the utterly pointless WWII meat-grinder in Italy. But you can be sure she’d have voted for it if anyone had asked. She doesn’t try to hide it – she’s just following the Clinton family tradition about never telling the whole truth if you can avoid it with a few embellishing lies.

  2. says

    “What I said and what I mean is that there will have to be consequences for any violation by Iran and that the nuclear option should not at all be taken off the table. That has been my position consistently.”

    That is exactly why the world must continue to press the US to comply with the NPT. Especially the parts about disarmament.

    Meanwhile, the US – while wagging fingers at Iran – tested a new ballistic missile last month, and openly announces that it plans to spend $300b (what, did you want government medical care?) improving its nuclear arsenal of around 12,000 warheads. The US has also continued processing weapons-grade plutonium. Because we’re the good guys and, uh, fuck the rest of you. It’s not like we’re the only nation to use nukes on civilian targets or anything, you can trust us – but you sure can’t trust those other guys, they’re crazy nihilist mullahs. I’m talking about Donald Trump, of course.

  3. says

    BTW, if anyone reading this is not familiar with the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, I suggest you give it a read. It’s a pretty amazing document, really. In a nutshell it says, “we, the nuclear club, in order to prevent the rest of you from engaging in nuclear blackmail, have decided that if you sign this we will promise not to use nuclear weapons on you pre-emptively.”

    Seriously.

  4. patrick2 says

    Actually, this was most likely just a slip of the tongue. But even when corrected, it’s still a really extreme statement – that she would be willing to use military force for “any violation” of the agreement. There would be a furor if an Iranian politician said they wouldn’t rule out setting a bomb off in Washington if the US violated the nuclear deal by re-imposing sanctions. It’s just taken for granted that (a) the US has a right to be involved in the Middle East at all and (b) that it can violate the UN Charter by using military force when it feels like it.

  5. Maya says

    Given the Beltway’s love of the phrase “Nuclear Option” for the most extreme option left on the table, I’m inclined to believe that Clinton slipped into using the worst possible jargon for the situation.

    I never liked that American politicians routinely invoke this sort of analogy because it lessens the horrors of nuclear weapons and encourages this kind of slip-up.

  6. says

    I never liked that American politicians routinely invoke this sort of analogy because it lessens the horrors of nuclear weapons and encourages this kind of slip-up.

    It’s like Bush’s use of “crusade.” It’s hard to believe that helped encourage subsequent attacks by a predominanty christian super-power on the predominantly islamic cradle of civilization… But it did reveal a certain amount about what passes for ‘thinking’ in Bush’s head.

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