Hillary Clinton has been running for President since she left the White House as First Lady in 2001 and immediately ran for the Senate in New York. Her strategy all along has been to try to take away the usual Republican advantage on foreign policy by taking consistently hawkish stands. As Senator, she voted for the Iraq war in 2002. As Secretary of State, she presided over the constant eastward expansion of NATO regardless of the fact that this moves the tripwire for potential conflict with Russia into nations and areas where American interests are slim to non-existent. NATO has acted as though the West were still under dire threat from communist expansion and has continued to box Russia in with the addition of each new member even though “an attack on one is an attack on all” and so the risks of being drawn in to a hot war with Russia have increased considerably. Her State Department ignored the obvious fascist leanings of those involved in the Ukrainian coup as well as the fact that, other than provoking Russia, we have no interests there whatsoever. She also vigorously supported establishing a no-fly zone over Syria which would have brought us into direct conflict with the Russian air force and which, along with the Ukraine conflict, could have ignited WWIII had cooler heads not prevailed.
In her foreign policy speech, she contended that her judgment is far superior to that of Mr. Trump and so she would not lead America into unnecessary war, while he certainly might. But if we consider her record, she has supported every military action since Bill Clinton bombed Serbia. Conn Hallinan lists the costs in Foreign Policy in Focus:
Afghanistan: Somewhere around 220,000 Afghans have died since the 2001 U.S. invasion, and millions of others are refugees. The U.S. and its allies have suffered close to 2,500 dead and more than 20,000 wounded, and the war is far from over. The cost to the treasury alone runs close to $700 billion, not counting long-term medical bill that could run as high as $2 trillion.
Libya: Some 30,000 people died and another 50,000 were wounded in the intervention and civil war. Hundreds of thousands have been turned into refugees. The cost to Washington was cheap at a cool $1.1 billion, but the war and subsequent instability created a tsunami of weapons and refugees — and the fighting continues. It also produced one of Clinton’s more tasteless remarks. Referring to Gaddafi, she said, “We came, we saw, he died.” The Libyan leader was executed by having a bayonet rammed up his rectum.
Ukraine: The death toll now exceeds 8,000, some 18,000 have been wounded, and several cities in the eastern part of the country have been heavily damaged. The fighting has tapered off, although tensions remain high.
Yemen: Over 6,000 Yemenis have been killed and another 27,000 wounded. According to the UN, most of them are civilians. Ten million Yeminis don’t have enough to eat, and 13 million have no access to clean water. Yemen is highly dependent on imported food, but a U.S.-Saudi blockade has choked off most imports. The war is ongoing.
Iraq: Anywhere from 400,000 to over 1 million people have died from war-related causes since the 2003 invasion. Over 2 million have fled the country and another 2 million are internally displaced. The cost: close to $1 trillion, but it may rise to $4 trillion once all the long-term medical costs are added in. The war grinds on its latest incarnation: a bloody turf war with the Islamic State, which emerged from the Sunni insurgency against the U.S.-installed government.
Syria: Over 250,000 have died in the war, and half the country’s population has been displaced — including four million Syrian refugees abroad. The country’s major cities have been ravaged. The war, like the others, is ongoing.
There are other countries — like Somalia — that one could add to the butcher bill. Then there are the countries that reaped the fallout from the collapse of Libya.Weapons looted after the fall of Gaddafi largely fuel the wars in Mali, Niger, and the Central African Republic.
And how does one calculate the cost of the Asia Pivot — not only for the United States, but for the allies we’re recruiting to confront China? Since the “Pivot” got underway prior to China’s recent assertiveness in the South China Sea, is the current climate of tension in the Pacific basin a result of Chinese aggression, or U.S. provocation?
So who is the real “loose cannon” here? Furthermore, why should we continue with the old strategy of communist containment when the old communist countries, even including North Korea, are opening up and moving toward capitalism? Are China and Russia really threatening us? Or are we provoking them simply because our foreign policy has been on autopilot since the 1950s?
Unlike Secretary Clinton, Mr. Trump sees the need to re-think NATO and its “contain Russia at all costs” imperative. He understands that the threat to America and the entire civilized world no longer comes from international communism, rather the threat today is from Islamism. Clinton’s message was, let’s play it safe and pretend the world hasn’t changed in the last 25 years, in fact, we can just go back to the 90s before the rising tide of jihad had made itself undeniable.
The fact is, NATO may have to be dismantled before it can be reconfigured, for the simple fact of Turkey’s membership. Turkey, you may recall, did not even permit our planes to have flyover rights when we needed them, and the truth is, no Muslim country will ever openly side with the West against another Muslim country. That is rule number one. Therefore, Turkey will always be a hindrance to any effort to configure a defensive posture toward Muslim aggression, which is invariably presented as defense (that’s rule number two).
Furthermore, Russia is a natural ally in establishing such a defensive posture. As Sergey Karaganov writes in Global Affairs, Russia is returning to its Christian roots while Western Europe is intent on severing the same (as translated by MEMRI):
Europe, and to a lesser extent the United States, began to drift away from the values they had always offered to the world, at least the Christian world, and started imposing values that were unacceptable for the majority of countries – multiculturalism, excessive tolerance, and unusual sexual and family relations. The ages-long drift [away] from Christianity and Christian values in Europe accelerated dramatically over the past 25 years, and was codified when the European Union did not mention its Christian roots in the draft EU Constitution that was never adopted, and in the Lisbon Treaty, which replaced it. It only left pragmatism, consumerism, democracy, human rights, and law. Essentially, these values are quite attractive but may provoke a degradation of both humans and their values if detached from a person’s customary devotion to some higher purpose. When the Soviet Union was criticized for godless and amoral communism, it was offen[sive] but essentially true, and many people in the country knew it. The communist practice rejected traditional moral values. Now, ironically, it is the other way round: Can one trust those who espouse godless ‘democratism’ and liberalism? [Russian author Fyodor] Dostoevsky’s well-known… [statement by] Ivan Karamazov [in The Brothers Karamazov],’If there is no God, everything is permitted,’ still sounds relevant.
Mr. Trump is also the only candidate offering to defend Christianity and those Christians who are in peril, and if that requires limiting Muslim immigration into our country and limiting Muslim influence within, so be it. And yes, Mr. Ryan, that IS who we are. We’re not post-Christian Europe. This is still a Christian country which is why we are in the crosshairs of jihad. Secretary Clinton may pretend this isn’t so, but it is so. If we don’t reconfigure our defensive position we will be utterly unprepared for the escalating civilian on civilian warfare which is jihad.
Pace President Obama, jihad is not criminality – it is a war of annihilation and I believe Mr. Trump has the stomach for it. Mrs. Clinton clearly does not. All the “countering violent extremism” programs in the world won’t cut it. This is going to be a long and brutal test of will and it will take a leader who will do what is right for the country regardless of what politically correct barriers are broken.
And yes, securing our southern border is imperative to our national security. Secretary Clinton calls this “fearful” and “cowering behind walls,” but a country without borders cannot be secure. This is simple common sense and it is why the rejection of common sense by our supposed leaders makes Americans so angry. We’re not angry at Mexico or fearful of Mexicans, we’re furious at our clueless leaders, who seem intent on rearranging the deck chairs as our ship of state heads toward the iceberg.
And in the end, this is what Hillary Clinton offers – more of the same. The same attitude of condescension toward ordinary Americans, especially those Americans who support Donald Trump. The subtext of her speech was that Trump voters are morons, smart people vote for “more of the same” Hillary. In fact, the “smart” foreign policy establishment supports her. Of course, those are the same “smart” people who looked at Iraq and saw Eastern Europe.
If voting for Hillary is smart, count me among the idiots.
by Rebecca Bynum (June 2016)
Rebecca Bynum serves as Assistant to the Foreign Policy Advisor to Donald J. Trump, Dr. Walid Phares. She is also New English Review’s managing editor. Her latest book is The Real Nature of Religion, published by New English Review Press.