Thursday, May 07, 2015

How hawkish would President Hillary be?

My worry at this point on Hillary Clinton's candidacy is that while she's recently being staking out progressive-leaning positions on domestic/economic issues, that she will "balance" that with hawkish foreign policy positions.

Part of this is based on her history and on the record of the Clinton Administration in foreign policy.

The most hopeful sign in this regard is her seeming opposition to the TPP, because she has expressed her rejection of the private-based arbitration procedures that are central to the corporate-deregulation goals of that awful pseudo-"trade" treaty.

But I've become so accustomed to President Obama giving a great speech or taking a progressive position and soon thereafter taking an awful one that I've become conditioned to waiting for the other (conservative) shoe to drop.

Tom Hayden looks at this problem in Hillary & the Peace Movement Peace & Justice Resource Center 04/27/2015, in which he addresses the lack of adequate organized grassroots pressure for a more peaceful foreign policy:

The absence of a powerful Peace Lobby, on the scale of the civil rights, women's and labor lobbies in Washington, leaves a vacuum allowing Hillary Clinton to drift towards neo-conservative military views.

Certainly there are admirable peace groups lobbying Washington today, but none compare with the NAACP for African-Americans, MALDEF for Mexican-Americans and immigrants, the NRDC for environmentalists, nor with NOW, the Feminist Majority or the AFL-CIO. ...

There is a vacuum where a vibrant peace movement should be. Liberal groups like the Center for American Progress (CAP) focus on domestic issues and are somewhere between tepid and unpredictable on foreign policy. With a few exceptions, the well-funded domestic reformers stay away from issues of war and foreign policy, which might cause political or donor problems. During the height of the Iraq War, big Democratic donors were encouraged to fund MoveOn and anti-war work in Republican Congressional districts, but the effort quickly faded. [my emphasis]
As long as we have the same basic policy we've had since 1991 of maintaining the US as the overwhelming hegemon in the world, we're going to have a warlike foreign policy with authoritarian repercussions at home.

That doesn't mean that people shouldn't challenge bad individual policies. It means what Tom Hayden is saying, that we really, really need an active, organized grassroots peace movement in the US, war in and war out.

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