hillary clinton

Hillary the Hawk – Medea Benjamin

Announcing her latest campaign for the presidency, Hillary Clinton declared she was entering the race to be the champion for “everyday Americans.” As a lawmaker and diplomat, however, Clinton has long championed military campaigns that have killed scores of “everyday” people abroad, from Iraq to Yemen. As commander-in-chief, there’s no reason to believe she’d be any less a hawk than she was as the senator who backed George W. Bush’s war in Iraq, or the Secretary of State who encouraged Barack Obama to escalate the war in Afghanistan. If her nomination is as sure a thing as people say, then antiwar organizing needs to start right away.

Hillary has already won the support of those who continually agitate for war. “I feel comfortable with her on foreign policy,” Robert Kagan, a co-founder of the neoconservative Project for the New American Century, told The New York Times last summer. “If she pursues a policy which we think she will pursue,” he said, “it’s something that might have been called neocon, but clearly her supporters are not going to call it that; they are going to call it something else.”

We’re going to call it what it is: More of the same sort of murderous policies that destroyed Iraq, destabilized Libya, killed women and children with cluster bombs and drones in Yemen, and legitimized the undermining of democracy in Honduras. There’s little chance the Republicans will nominate someone better, but given Clinton’s record as a senator and Secretary of State – the latter giving us a very good idea of how she would approach foreign affairs once in office – it will be hard for them to find anyone much worse.

We know that Clinton is no reliable friend of peace. Today she supports diplomacy with Iran, but back in 2009, as Secretary of State, she was adamant that the U.S. keep open the option of attacking the Islamic Republic over never-proven allegations it was seeking the nuclear weapons that Israel already has. Her attempts to portray herself as an ally of those who are pro-peace, as a sort of reluctant imperialist, is the same sort of co-opting distortion that has helped quiet opposition to President Obama’s pro-war agenda. If anything, Hillary is even more militaristic than the ostensibly reluctant warrior she’s campaigning to replace. Still, that hasn’t stopped her from trying to be all things to all people — even people like us.

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