Hillary Clinton will deliver a foreign policy speech designed to woo neocons and portray Donald Trump as a threat to the national security state.
The New York Times reports today the speech will specifically criticize Trump’s remarks on NATO and his proposal that Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia pay for their own defense.
Clinton will also invoke her experiences as secretary of state, including in 2011 when Navy SEALs allegedly assassinated former CIA operative Osama bin Laden.
It is unlikely, however, Clinton will invoke her remarks on the murder of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi during a showcase of her foreign policy accomplishments. “We came, we saw, he died,” she exclaimed with a chortle in 2011 after the United States and NATO illegally invaded the country and enabled the Islamic State.
Clinton is also responsible for the murder of ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi, where the diplomat oversaw a CIA gun-running operation to the Islamic State in Syria. Clinton approved security conditions at the compound where Stevens ran the arms transfer. Security was left to the February 17 Martyrs Brigade militia, a group affiliated with the al-Qaeda-linked, Islamic extremist Ansar al-Sharia terrorist organization later implicated in the Benghazi assault. (See Aaron Klein, “The Real Benghazi Story: What the White House and Hillary Don’t Want You to Know.”)
Grilled by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the fiasco, Clinton infamously quipped: “What difference at this point does it make?”
Despite a promise by her boss to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, Clinton backed a major escalation of the conflict in that country. She encouraged Obama to send between 30,000 and 100,000 additional troops. Clinton, along with then Defense Secretary Robert Gates and CIA director David Petraeus, pushed for an Afghan surge. 74% of US casualties in the war occurred after Obama announced his first troop increase in February, 2009.
Clinton has a well-established record as an enthusiastic warmonger.“Over eight years as First Lady, eight more as a New York senator and four as secretary of state, Clinton has proven repeatedly abusive of social order and careless of human life,” notes Patrick L. Smith.
On October 11, 2002, she voted for the illegal invasion of Iraq that would ultimately kill more than a million people. As secretary of state, she argued against a complete withdrawal from the country and urged Obama to maintain a residual troop force. Clinton’s State Department proposed spending approximately $3 billion hiring 5,100 private security contractors to fight in Iraq. The mercenary force was described as a State Department “private army.” She was duplicitous on a US troop surge in Iraq, publicly claiming to be against it while privately encouraging it.
Despite 70% of the American public opposing US military action in Syria, Clinton pressured Obama to arm the anti-Assad “rebels” (Islamic State and al-Qaeda linked terrorists) and endorsed airstrikes on the Syrian government. Her meddling has resulted in prolonging the conflict—in effect, a US proxy war—and the death of thousands of Syrians.
“In 2012, Clinton was the obstacle, not the solution, to a ceasefire being negotiated by UN Special Envoy Kofi Annan. It was US intransigence—Clinton’s intransigence—that led to the failure of Annan’s peace efforts in the spring of 2012, a point well known among diplomats,” writes Jeffrey Sachs.
In 2009, Clinton backed a military coup in Honduras.
“When a fascist putsch, a coup d’etat, overthrew at gunpoint the popular progressive democratic President of Honduras on 28 June 2009, and all countries of the world except Israel and the United States promptly declared the junta-installed government illegitimate, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton refused to join all other nations in rejecting the fascist regime… Hillary Clinton supported the fascists,” explains Eric Zuesse.
The coup resulted Honduras having world’s highest murder-rate and becoming a safe haven for narcotics trafficking.
Following Clinton’s speech today, Donald Trump will be well advised to contrast her rhetoric with the record.
“Clinton’s reckless interventionism should hurt her with voters but probably won’t,” notes Jacob Sullum. “Donald Trump seems most inclined to use the issue against her,” but he is skeptical the Republican candidate will in fact do so.