Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Bernie opposes "interventionist, regime change, unnecessary wars" - what an Unserious Guy!

Imagine that! A Democratic campaign add supporting peace! It seems like it's been forever since I've seen such a thing. But Bernie is doing it (The Cost of War 03/24/2016):

Robert Parry discusses the ad in Bernie Sanders as Commander-in-Chief 03/28/2016:
Apparently having learned no lessons from the Iraq War, Clinton consistently took hawkish and interventionist positions as President Barack Obama’s first Secretary of State.

In 2009, Clinton backed a coup in Honduras that removed democratically elected (and progressive) President Manuel Zelaya) and reaffirmed control by the Central American country’s oligarchy. Since then, Honduras’s human rights situation has worsened, driving thousands of children to flee northward seeking safety and leaving environmental and political activists at the mercy of death squads.

Also, in 2009, Clinton joined with Bush-holdover Defense Secretary Robert Gates and neocon-favorite Gen. David Petraeus in pushing Obama into a major escalation of the Afghan War, a counter-insurgency “surge” that sent another 1,000 American troops to their deaths – and many more Afghans – but has since been abandoned as a failure.

In 2011, Clinton joined with “liberal interventionists” in again pushing Obama into a “regime change” war in Libya that led to the overthrow and torture-murder of Muammar Gaddafi – which she gleefully welcomed with the quip, “We came, we saw, he died” – but has since turned the once relatively prosperous North African country into a failed state with the Islamic State gaining another foothold.

Both as Secretary of State and since her departure in 2013, Clinton has pressed to escalate the “regime change” war in Syria, seeking a “no-fly zone” that would require the U.S. military to destroy the Syrian government’s air force and air defenses, apparently without regard to the risk that the U.S. intervention could pave the way for Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and/or the Islamic State to march into Damascus.

Though the Syrian “regime change” strategy that Clinton has advocated has failed to oust President Bashar al-Assad, it has transformed another reasonably functional Mideast state into a bloody killing field and driven millions of refugees into what is now a destabilized Europe.
Is Clinton making a course change? Well, she was saying last year that wants to change Obama's course so far, as Jessica Schulberg reports in Hillary Clinton Promises A More Muscular Foreign Policy As President 09/09/2015:

Obama was hesitant to condemn the Iranian crackdown on protesters during the 2009 Green Revolution. The unrest erupted just as the Obama administration was quietly mulling outreach to the Iranians on the nuclear issue, and the president was mindful of the way a condemnation would sound in a country that views the U.S. as an arrogant superpower intent on regime change. The administration’s failure to take a more proactive role on behalf of the protesters was a mistake Clinton regrets, as she wrote in her memoirs and repeated in her speech Wednesday. “That won’t happen again,” she vowed.
She's moderated her tone a bit. But this is a report from last week (y Alex Seitz-Wald, Clinton Takes on Trumpism in Foreign Policy Speech NBC News 03/23/2016):

With one eye on an ascendent Donald Trump and the other on Europe, still reeling from this week's terror attack, Hillary Clinton offered a firm defense of internationalism and American leadership Wednesday. The Democratic front-runner said the U.S. is the only country that can rally the world to defeat ISIS and stand up to Russia and China.

At a hastily arranged speech on the campus of Stanford University, Clinton leaned on her personal experience as secretary of state and a senator from New York during September 11, to reject Trumpism while projecting her own vision of strength. ...

One name almost entirely absent from Clinton's speech was Obama. While she's generally called for continuing the president's legacy, foreign policy is the issue are where they've diverged the most, and Clinton seems to favor a more muscular U.S. on the world stage.
Then there was the recent AIPAC meeting. Paul Pillar writes (Ben Norton, “Took pandering to a new level”: Progressives, Palestinians criticize Hillary Clinton for “Israeli PR” AIPAC speech Salon 03/21/2016):

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton headlined the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, on Monday.

She aggressively voiced support for Israel and hard-line right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and made no mention of the Israeli military’s almost five-decade-long illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Clinton also blasted her opponent Bernie Sanders, the only presidential candidate to turn down the invitation to speak at the AIPAC conference, for promising to be neutral on Israel-Palestine. Sanders said he would pursue a “level playing field” in negotiations, something Clinton insisted she would never imagine of doing.

Many progressives, young Americans and Jewish Americans are distancing themselves from Israel, which is increasingly far-right. The current administration is the most right-wing government ever in Israel, and Netanyahu will soon be the longest serving prime minister in the nation’s history — acting as head of state for even longer than Israeli founding father David Ben-Gurion.
And this despite the fact that Netanyahu has aligned more explicitly with the Republicans in domestic US policy than any Isreali government has even aligned itself with either major US party in US domestic party politics before.

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