June 2016 article
6/24/16, "The ‘Safe’ Risk of Hillary Clinton," Consortium News, Daniel Lazare
"The U.K.’s “Brexit” vote underscores the power of this year’s anti-establishment politics, a warning to Democrats as they nominate status-quo candidate Hillary Clinton, a “safe” choice who may prove very risky, says Daniel Lazare."
"She (Hillary) is a hawk through and through. Her rhetoric was every bit as ferocious as George W. Bush’s in the days after 9/11, if not more so. She voted for the Authorization to Use Military Force, which gave the go-ahead for the invasion of Afghanistan, and also for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. She persuaded President Obama to pursue “regime change” in Libya and spent much of March 2011 recruiting ultra-rich Qatar to join in the effort. But she said nothing when Qatar then poured $400 million into the hands of Islamist rebels who proceeded to spread chaos throughout the country. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Hillary Clinton’s ‘Entangled’ Foreign Policy.”]
Clinton has been no less reckless with regard to Syria. She beat Obama to the punch in calling for Bashar al-Assad’s overthrow, she’s consistently pushed for stepped-up support for the rebels, and, as recently as April, she reiterated her call for a “no-fly zone” even though it would require massive military intervention and would almost certainly mean a confrontation with Russia....
Since U.S. foreign policy directly affects 20 times more people than domestic – i.e. seven billion versus 322 million – then there’s no doubt as to whom the “lesser-evilism” award goes to. It goes to Trump....
Rather than polls, what matters at this point are politics, i.e. a sense of the candidates’ relative ideological strengths and weaknesses. And it’s in this regard that Clinton is more vulnerable than her backers apparently realize.
Her speech in Cleveland following the June 12 Orlando massacre is a good example why. She began – inappropriately in view of the tragic circumstances – with the usual glib shout-outs to local pols....But then came something truly bizarre:
(Hillary): “Now, the third area that demands attention is preventing radicalization and countering efforts by ISIS and other international terrorist networks to recruit in the United States and Europe. For starters, it is long past time for the Saudis, the Qataris and the Kuwaitis and others to stop their citizens from funding extremist organizations. And they should stop supporting radical schools and mosques around the world that have set too many young people on a path towards extremism.”
Why bizarre? Simply because Clinton has been a national figure for two decades as First Lady, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State, yet this was a rare recognition that there was something wrong with the U.S.-Saudi relationship. Otherwise, there has been almost nothing but praise. When the State Department negotiated a record $60-billion arms deal with Riyadh in 2010, for instance, her officials stated (somewhat redundantly) that the sale would benefit the Middle East “by deepening our security relationship with a key partner with whom we’ve enjoyed a solid security relationship for nearly seventy years.”
How do you have a solid security relationship with a country that funds extremist mosques that function as a terrorist breeding ground?
When King Abdullah died in January 2015, she and her husband put out a statement praising the Saudi monarch “for his support of efforts for peace in the Middle East” and “the kingdom’s humanitarian efforts around the world.” Since when do you advance the cause of peace by funding Al Qaeda?"...
[Ed. note: The article's point is that Mrs. Clinton has been shielding a terror sponsor, the Saudis, lying to the American people about what a great friend of the US they are for at least six and a half years. And why should she be rewarded with 8 more years in the White House for this behavior? Her duplicity is formally known thanks only to a Dec. 2009 internal State Dept. memo released by Wikileaks (scroll to item 7). Separately, why is the US "friends" with a religious monarchy that publicly beheads people? Why is ISIS bad for beheading people but the Saudis aren't?]:
(continuing): "To be fair, (Mrs.) Clinton was surprisingly frank--once. In December 2009, she wrote in a State Department memo [scroll to item 7]:
“While the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) takes seriously the threat of terrorism within Saudi Arabia, it has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority. Due in part to intense focus by the USG over the last several years, Saudi Arabia has begun to make important progress on this front and has responded to terrorist financing concerns raised by the United States through proactively investigating and detaining financial facilitators of concern. Still, donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”
The language was tough and unsparing. But the memo is the exception that proves the rule since it was a secret in-house communication that only saw the light of day when Wikileaks put it on the Internet – a disclosure, by the way, that Clinton assailed as “an attack on the international community, the alliances and partnerships, the conversations and negotiations that safeguard global security and advance economic prosperity.” (Full quote here starting at 1:34.)
If it’s long past time now for the Saudis to cease funding extremist organizations, why wasn’t it long past time then?
Why has Clinton repeatedly assured the American people that everything is fine when, as she now concedes, America’s “friends” are funding extremist forces that are trying to kill Americans in the streets?
Trump can be counted on to hammer at such themes, and the more he does, the more voters will want to know. Indeed, Trump followed up her remarks in Cleveland by posting a few hours later on Facebook: “Crooked Hillary says we must call on Saudi Arabia and other countries to stop funding hate. I am calling on her to immediately return the $25 million plus she got from them for the Clinton Foundation!”
Actually, the problem is worse since, if one includes other Gulf states such as Qatar and the United Arab Emirates as well as high-ranking businessmen, the amount of Persian Gulf money flowing to the Clinton family foundation is not $25 million, but anywhere from $51 million to $75 million. That’s a lot of dough. So voters will want to know whether Clinton intentionally held off criticizing the Gulf monarchies because she wanted them to fork over as soon as she stepped down as Secretary of State and that she is only doing so now because the money is in the bag and there is nothing to lose.
Trump plays the politics of fear, as everyone knows. But he also thrives by citing examples of corruption, hypocrisy and incompetence, and Clinton exemplifies all three. Since she entered the Senate, Al Qaeda has grown from a tiny band of conspirators to a major military force wreaking havoc from Indonesia to California. Yet now she expects voters to show their thanks by propelling her into the White House."...
|March 30, 2012, State Dept. photo|