Hillary Clinton Is a Neocon
By Robert Parry
“…the “regime change” obsession blinds the neocons from recognizing that not only are these operations violations of basic international law regarding sovereignty of other nations but the invasions unleash powerful internal rivalries that neocons, who know little about the inner workings of these countries, soon find they can’t control…America’s neocons are so arrogant and so influential that they simply move from one catastrophe the next like a swarm of locusts spreading chaos and death around the globe.” – Robert Parry
“…neo-conservatism and its close ally neo-liberalism…are concepts that have organized American foreign policy and economics, respectively, over the past several decades – and they have failed miserably, at least from the perspective of average Americans and people of the nations on the receiving end of these ideologies.“Neither approach (neo-liberalism or neo-conservatism) has benefited mankind; both have led to untold death and destruction; yet the twin “neos” have built such a powerful propaganda and political apparatus, especially in Official Washington, that they will surely continue to wreak havoc for years to come. They are zombie ideas and they kill.“Yet, the Democratic Party is poised to nominate an adherent to both ‘neos’ in the person of Hillary Clinton. Rather than move forward from President Barack Obama’s unease with what he calls the Washington ‘playbook’, the Democrats are retreating into its perceived safety.“After all, the Washington Establishment remains enthralled to both ‘neos’, favoring the ‘regime change’ interventionism of neo-conservatism and the “free trade” globalism of neo-liberalism. So, Clinton has emerged as the clear favorite of the elites, at least since the field of alternatives has narrowed to populist billionaire Donald Trump and democratic socialist Bernie Sanders.“Democratic Party insiders appear to be counting on the mainstream news media and prominent opinion-leaders to marginalize Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, and to finish off Sanders, who faces long odds against Clinton’s delegate lead for the Democratic nomination, especially among the party regulars known as ‘super-delegates’.“But the Democratic hierarchy is placing this bet on Clinton in a year when much of the American electorate has risen up against the twin ‘neos’, exhausted by the perpetual wars demanded by the neoconservatives and impoverished by the export of decent-paying manufacturing jobs driven by the neoliberals.“Though much of the popular resistance to the ‘neos’ remains poorly defined in the minds of rebellious voters, the common denominator of the contrasting appeals of Trump and Sanders is that millions of Americans are rejecting the ‘neos’ and repudiating the establishment institutions that insist on sustaining these ideologies.“Thus, the pressing question for Campaign 2016 is whether America will escape from the zombies of the twin ‘neos’ or spend the next four years surrounded by these undead ideas as the world lurches closer to an existential crisis.“The main thing that the zombie ‘neos’ have going for them is that the vast majority of Very Important People in Official Washington have embraced these concepts and have achieved money and fame as a result. These VIPs are no more likely to renounce their fat salaries and overblown influence than the favored courtiers of a King or Queen would side with the unwashed rabble.“The ‘neo’ adherents are also very skilled at framing issues to their benefit, made easier by the fact that they face almost no opposition or resistance from the mainstream media or the major think tanks.“The neo-conservatives have become Washington’s foreign policy establishment, driving the old-time ‘realists’ who favored more judicious use of American power to the sidelines.“Meanwhile, the neo-liberals dominate economic policy debates, treating the ‘markets’ as some new-age god and the ‘privatization’ of public assets as scripture. They have pushed aside the old New Dealers who called for a robust government role to protect the people from the excesses of capitalism and to build public infrastructure to benefit the nation as a whole.“If there were any doubts that Hillary Clinton favors a neo-conservative foreign policy, her performance at (a recent) debate should have laid them to rest. In every meaningful sense, she is a neocon and – if she becomes President – Americans should expect more global tensions and conflicts in pursuit of the ‘neocons’ signature goal of ‘regime change’ in countries that get in their way.“Beyond sharing this neocon ‘regime change’ obsession, former Secretary of State Clinton also talks like a neocon. One of their trademark skills is to use propaganda or ‘perception management’ to demonize their targets and to romanticize their allies, what is called ‘gluing white hats’ on their side and ‘gluing black hats’ on the other.“So, in defending her role in the Libyan ‘regime change’, Clinton called the slain Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi ‘genocidal’ though that is a gross exaggeration of Gaddafi’s efforts to beat back Islamic militants in 2011. But her approach fits with what the neocons do. They realize that almost no one will dare challenge such a characterization because to do so opens you to accusations of being a ‘Gaddafi apologist’.“Similarly, before the Iraq War, the neocons knew that they could level pretty much any charge against Saddam Hussein no matter how false or absurd, knowing that it would go uncontested in mainstream political and media circles. No one wanted to be a ‘Saddam apologist’.“Clinton, like the neocons, also shows selective humanitarian outrage. For instance, she laments the suffering of Israelis under crude (almost never lethal) rocket fire from Gaza but shows next to no sympathy for Palestinians being slaughtered by sophisticated (highly lethal) Israeli missiles and bombs.“She talks about the need for ‘safe zones’ or ‘no-fly zones’ for Syrians…but not for the people of Gaza who face the wrath of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.“…In Clinton’s (and the neocons) worldview, the Israelis are the aggrieved victims and the Palestinians the heartless aggressors.“…Clinton ignored the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which dates back to the 1940s when Israeli terrorist organizations engaged in massacres to drive Palestinians from their ancestral lands and murdered British officials who were responsible for governing the territory. Israeli encroachment on Palestinian lands has continued to the present day.“…So, Clinton made clear – both at the debate and in her recent AIPAC speech – that she is fully in line with the neocon reverence for Israel and eager to take out any government or group that Israel puts on its enemies list.“…Clinton promised to put her future administration at the service of the Israeli government. She said, ‘One of the first things I’ll do in office is invite the Israeli prime minister to visit the White House. And I will send a delegation from the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs to Israel for early consultations. Let’s also expand our collaboration beyond security’.“…On April 2, 2011 [Clinton was informed that] Gaddafi’s government had accumulated 143 tons of gold and a similar amount of silver that ‘was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency’ that would be an alternative to the French franc. [This was] one of the factors that influenced President Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision to commit France to the attack on Libya. Sarkozy also wanted a greater share of Libya’s oil production and to increase French influence in North Africa…“But few Americans would rally to a war fought to keep North Africa under France’s thumb. So, the winning approach was to demonize Gaddafi with salacious rumors about him giving Viagra to his troops so they could rape more, a ludicrous allegation that was raised by then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, who also claimed that Gaddafi’s snipers were intentionally shooting children.“With Americans fed a steady diet of such crude propaganda, there was little serious debate about the wisdom of Clinton’s Libyan ‘regime change’…“On Oct. 20, 2011, when U.S.-backed rebels captured Gaddafi, sodomized him with a knife and then murdered him, Secretary of State Clinton couldn’t contain her glee. Paraphrasing a famous Julius Caesar quote, Clinton declared: ‘we came, we saw, he died’.“But this U.S.-organized ‘regime change’ quickly turned sour as old tribal rivalries, which Gaddafi had contained, were unleashed. Plus, it turned out that Gaddafi’s warnings that many of the rebels were Islamic militants turned out to be true. On Sept. 11, 2012, one extremist militia overran the U.S. consulate in Benghazi killing U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.“…Soon, Libya slid into anarchy and Western nations abandoned their embassies in Tripoli. President Obama now terms the Libyan fiasco the biggest mistake of his presidency. But Clinton refuses to be chastened by the debacle, much as she appeared to learn nothing from her support for the Iraq invasion in 2003.“…Like the earlier neocon-driven ‘regime change’ in Iraq, the ‘regime change’ obsession blinds the neocons from recognizing that not only are these operations violations of basic international law regarding sovereignty of other nations but the invasions unleash powerful internal rivalries that neocons, who know little about the inner workings of these countries, soon find they can’t control.“…America’s neocons are so arrogant and so influential that they simply move from one catastrophe to the next like a swarm of locust spreading chaos and death around the globe.
“In (a recent) debate, Hillary Clinton showed how much she has become a neocon true-believer. Despite the catastrophic ‘regime changes’ in Iraq and Libya, she vowed to invade Syria, although she dresses up that reality in pretty phrases like ‘safe zones’ and ‘no-fly zones’. She also revived the idea of increasing the flow of weapons to ‘moderate’ rebels although they, in reality, mostly fight under the command umbrella of Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front.“…After the violent coup, when the people of Crimea voted by 96 percent to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia, the U.S. government and Western media deemed that a ‘Russian invasion’ and when ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine rose up in resistance to the new authorities in Kiev that became ‘Russian aggression’.
”Though President Obama should know better – and I’m told that he does know better – he has succumbed this time to pressure to go along with what he calls the Washington ‘playbook’ of saber-rattling and militarism. NATO is moving more and more combat troops up to the Russian border while Washington has organized punishing economic sanctions aimed at disrupting the Russian economy.“…Though Clinton’s anti-Russian delusions are shared by many powerful people in Official Washington, they are no more accurate than the other claims about Iraq’s WMD, Gaddafi passing out Viagra to his troops, the humanitarian need to invade Syria, the craziness about Iran being the principal source of terrorism (when it is the Saudis, the Qataris, the Turks and other Sunni powers that have bred Al Qaeda and the Islamic State), and the notion that the Palestinians are the ones picking on the Israelis, not the other way around.“However, Clinton’s buying into the neocon propaganda about Russia may be the most dangerous – arguably existential – threat that a Clinton presidency would present to the world. Yes, she may launch U.S. military strikes against the Syrian government (which could open the gates of Damascus to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State); yes, she might push Iran into renouncing the nuclear agreement (and putting the Israeli/neocon goal to bomb-bomb-bomb-Iran back on the table); yes, she might make Obama’s progressive critics long for his more temperate presidency.“But Clinton’s potential escalation of the new Cold War with Russia could be both the most costly and conceivably the most suicidal feature of a Clinton-45 presidency. Unlike her times as Secretary of State, when Obama could block her militaristic schemes, there will be no one to stop her if she is elected President, surrounded by likeminded neocon advisers.”