Clinton and her supporters adopt Reagan-era red-baiting rhetoric

Glenn Greenwald says that last night’s Democratic debate revealed the rank opportunism and right-wing red-baiting tactics that have become the norm in the Democratic establishment circles that are supporting Hillary Clinton.

At Wednesday night’s Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton attacked Bernie Sanders for praising Fidel Castro in the 1980s, as well for standing with Central Americans governments and rebel groups targeted by Ronald Reagan’s brutal covert wars. “You know,” said the former Secretary of State, “if the values are that you oppress people, you disappear people, imprison people or even kill people for expressing their opinions, for expressing freedom of speech, that is not the kind of revolution of values that I ever want to see anywhere.

Vehement opposition to Reagan’s covert wars in Central America, as well as to the sadistic and senseless embargo of Cuba, were once standard liberal positions. As my colleague Jeremy Scahill, observing the reaction of Clinton supporters during the debate, put it in a series of tweets: “The US sponsored deaths squads that massacred countless central and Latin Americans, murdered nuns and priests, assassinated an Archbishop. I bet commie Sanders was even against Reagan’s humanitarian mining of Nicaraguan waters & supported subsequent war crimes judgement vs. US. Have any of these Hillarybots heard of the Contra death squads? Or is it just that whatever Hillary says must be defended at all costs? The Hillarybots attacking Sanders over Nicaragua should be ashamed of themselves.”

After providing example after example of Clinton’s support for, and involvement with, some of the worst despots in the world, Greenwald concludes:

It seems that, overnight, Clinton and her supporters have decided that Sanders’ opposition to Reagan-era wars against Latin American governments and rebel groups – a common liberal position at the time – is actually terribly wrong and something worthy of demonization rather than admiration, because those governments and groups abused human rights. Whatever else one might say about this mimicking of right-wing agitprop, Hillary Clinton for years has been one of the world’s most stalwart friends of some of the world’s worst despots and war criminals, making her and her campaign a very odd vessel for demonizing others for their links to and admiration of human-rights abusers.

It is hardly surprising that Clinton and Henry Kissinger form a mutual admiration society.


  1. sonofrojblake says

    The interesting thing is, Sanders doesn’t seem to have an effective response to this that will cut Clinton off at the knees and destroy her campaign. Part of the reason seems to be that he really is too principled. She’ll only run into any real trouble if she comes up against someone ruthless, skilled at manipulating the media, and an even bigger and (crucially) more effective liar than she is. If that happens, she’s toast. Wonder if there’s any prospect of something like that happening?

  2. lorn says

    Of course a whole lot of this criticism of Clinton comes down to second hand shame. The claim that Hillary is bad because she is friends with Kissinger, as opposed to something she did or proposed, is petty and ridiculous. But then again so is the idea that she hangs around with — GASP-- bankers so she is obviously and completely owned by them. This is guilt by association … nothing more.

  3. birgerjohansson says

    “The claim that Hillary is bad because she is friends with Kissinger, as opposed to something she did or proposed, is petty and ridiculous.”

    If I hung around with the local Hells Angels boss, and the local drug pushers, people would be justified in getting suspicious of me. And if I got monetary suport from our local racist party, SD, people would assume I shared their views and probably be right.

  4. doublereed says

    @4 lorn

    Uhh… no, Clinton has praised Kissinger’s foreign policy and such. She has brought up their friendship and foreign policy herself. That’s not just “guilt by association.”

  5. says

    The claim that Hillary is bad because she is friends with Kissinger, as opposed to something she did or proposed, is petty and ridiculous.

    No, as an adult she chose to associate with Kissinger and publically swap praise with him. It’s not that they’re merely friends. There’s more than a minimally implied mutual endorsement.

    Besides, usually when someone is bringing up Clinton’s distasteful association with Kissinger it’s in the context of that she’s a warmonger, and make some disgusting warmongering comments about Ghaddafi’s murder. Even Kissinger, who oversaw a lot of bombing and regime change of his own, was never so crass. I haven’t seen any critiques of Clinton in the form of:
    rather in the form of:
    which is a whole different statement because it contains actual critique of Clinton’s actual policies and actions.

    But, do go on.

  6. says

    a whole lot of this criticism of Clinton comes down to second hand shame

    ‘a whole lot of this criticism’
    OK you gave one example and it was pretty flimsy. What other bits of criticism of Clinton come down to second hand shame? If there’s “a whole lot” I’m sure you can cough up “a whole lot” of examples.

  7. abear says

    Melissa McEwen supports Clinton and attacks Sanders supporters as Berniebros.
    Right wing shill or misandrist nutcase?

  8. StevoR says

    Or neither of the above -- just good and smart person who is also observant or knows some of the Berniebros?

    Plenty of good ethical people agree with Clinton and support her.

    (I’m guessing that was also your point too, abear? Don’t think I’ve heard of Melissa McEwan before & she doesn’t have a wikipedia page.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *