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Monday, September 12, 2016

Hillary Clinton gives hawkish speech before American Legion

In a recent speech before the American Legion, Clinton took a hawkish stance that shows she is committed to U.S. intervention throughout the world, and is a strong defender of American exceptionalism.

Justin Raimondo, who describes himself as a "conservative-paleo-libertarian" and is editor of antiwar.com, has a long article analyzing and commenting on her speech.
Given the audience, it is not too surprising that the speech should defend US militarism but it reveals Clinton's strong support for U.S. interventionism around the world. The speech is filled with patriotic boiler plate phraseology. Here is a good sample:If there’s one core belief that has guided and inspired me every step of the way, it is this. The United States is an exceptional nation. I believe we are still Lincoln’s last, best hope of Earth. We’re still Reagan’s shining city on a hill. We’re still Robert Kennedy’s great, unselfish, compassionate country.This surely could not be the country that dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, that carpet bombed and used napalm on Vietnam, that had black sites, and runs Guantanamo, or sells arms to Saudi Arabia just to cite a few items that seem to contradict Clinton.
As Raimondo points out Clinton goes on to characterize the United States as an indispensable nation:“And part of what makes America an exceptional nation, is that we are also an indispensable nation. In fact, we are the indispensable nation. People all over the world look to us and follow our lead...Now all of this may seem evident, especially to men and women who have worn the uniform. You may wonder how anyone could disagree. ”
Raimondo points out that the concept of the U.S. as an "indispensable nation" comes from Madeleine Albright who told Matt Lauer on "The Today Show": "If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future." This was in 1998 when Bill Clinton announced he would start bombing Iraq because Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Economic sanctions were causing hardships and death among children and the elderly in Iraq. Albright said that it was worth it. It was left for Clinton's Republican successor to actually invade and occupy Iraq but the Democrats had laid the groundwork. Clinton had avidly supported the war but because of its unpopularity no doubt changed her viewpoint.
As Raimondo points out as defined by Hillary "American exceptionalism" is an exceptionally arrogant stance meaning that America "not only has the right but the moral responsibility to intervene in every conflict, no matter how far from our shores or how removed from our actual interests."
Not surprisingly, Clinton criticizes Trump for approving of Putin's critique of this "exceptionalism": “But, in fact, my opponent in this race has said very clearly that he thinks American exceptionalism is insulting to the rest of the world." No doubt it is insulting to many in other parts of the world no matter how well it plays to an American legion audience. According to Clinton, U.S. exceptionalism means: ".. that we recognize America’s unique and unparalleled ability to be a force for peace and progress, a champion for freedom and opportunity. Our power comes with a responsibility to lead, humbly, thoughtfully, and with a fierce commitment to our values.” This hardly fits in with any objective account of U.S. actions on the world stage. As with other countries, America acts in what it takes to be its own interests. Or as Raimondo puts it:This nonsense about our “unparalleled ability to be a force for peace and progress” demonstrates either ignorance of history, or else contempt for it. The British Empire imagined itself playing an identical role — and where are they now?All empires portray themselves in glowing moral terms including that of the former Soviet Union.
Intervention knows no limits for Clinton: “No matter how hard it gets, no matter how great the challenge, America must lead.” Yet it is this policy which has cost the U.S. so many in lives lost and so much money spent. Clinton will brook no requirements that caps be put on military spending as with the recent sequester rules:But we cannot impose arbitrary limits on something as important as our military. That makes no sense at all. The sequester makes our country less secure. Let’s end it and get a budget deal that supports America’s military, our families, and our country.You can expect more foreign intervention under Clinton and more military spending to pay for it. Raimondo points out that the American public is getting tired of paying for all these foreign adventures and would prefer to put America first even if this meant "isolationism".
Near the end of her speech, Clinton launches an attack on Russia and China for their cyber attacks, including the alleged Russian attack on the Democratic National Committee which showed the committee was favoring Clinton over her rival Sanders.
Clinton said: "As President, I will make it clear, that the United States will treat cyber attacks just like any other attack. We will be ready with serious political, economic and military responses.” As for her opponent, Clinton's campaign manager has said that Trump is Putin's puppet. Surely Putin can find a better speech writer for his puppet.
Surprisingly, Raimondo does not suggest who we should vote for. You would think that he would suggest voting for the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. He finds that Clinton is very scary. Maybe he thinks it might be best to vote for Donald Trump as the less scary of the two but he doesn't commit himself in his article.


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