Hillary Clinton, Russia, China and the dangerous logic of endless war

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton walks from her C-17 military transport upon her arrival in Tripoli Libya, Tuesday Oct. 18, 2011. The Obama administration on Tuesday increased U.S. support for Libya's new leaders as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made an unannounced visit to Tripoli and pledged millions of dollars in new aid, including medical care for wounded fighters and additional assistance to secure weaponry that many fear could fall into the hands of terrorists. (AP Photo/Kevin Lamarque, Pool)Have you noticed the almost complete silence with regards to foreign policy in the 2016 election cycle—especially on the Democratic side? Considering that “front runner” Hillary Clinton’s last job was Secretary of State and before that she sat on the senate Committee on Armed Services, this seems really odd.

Well, maybe it is not so amazing when we think about the fact that Clinton, the preferred candidate of Wall Street, the Pentagon and their servants in the media, is entirely exposed on foreign policy: she is largely responsible for the undoing of Libya as a state. She has played a very public role in nearly 30 years of imperialist jingoism and violence in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Syria and beyond that has destabilized whole regions, reduced the lives of millions of people to ashes and given rise to ISIS and the refugee crisis. She has also—as a consequence of her actions—made significant contributions to the global economic stagnation and the rise of fascism in Europe and the United States.

On top of all that, she is stumping for greater use of U.S. military power—which would require a lot more money—to solve the international crises that she and many Washington insiders helped create in the first place. It would not take very long to utterly destroy her on foreign policy in a fair and equal debate. Just like Jeb Bush, she might be out of the race now.

Despite the understandable fear about a Trump presidency, we must have as much clarity about Hillary Clinton as possible. If elected president, she will escalate the wars in Iraq and Syria. She will push to spend whatever it takes to reassert and expand U.S. power in the world and dangerously provoke China, Iran and Russia.

She will not only be another president of endless war and lies—if she is allowed to carry out her program of greater aggression it would pose a grave and unnecessary threat to the human race.

Maybe I’m sounding too crystal-ballish. Of course, Clinton can be stopped. U.S. imperialism can be stopped. Real world events can intervene at any time to alter or render obsolete the likely scenario. I realize we cannot predict anything with certainty, but there is every reason, in the current circumstances, to lay out a scenario that can be seen with near absolute certainty.

My thesis regarding Clinton’s likely foreign policy of U.S. expansion is not conjecture. In fact, it is already being carried out, in a preparatory and lesser fashion, by people within the Obama administration and the military. The growing number of troops and equipment being sent to Iraq, Syria and to the border of Russia—the warships moving closer to China and Russia—these signal a shift in deployment of force that is already underway.

U.S. imperialism is expanding its power in an attempt to reassert the unilateralism it is losing, ironically, as a result of its aggressive unilateralism. The expansion is not about defense or protection. There is no substantive plot to attack or destroy the United States—the use of U.S. military in every corner of the planet is not about a “democratic” or “liberal” world order or about saving the world from evil authoritarians—it is about projecting U.S. business interests across the globe. It is an inherently aggressive foreign policy.

There is already a kind of government in waiting—centered around the Clinton-related Center for a New American Security—ready to carry out this planned expansion of the U.S. military. The rationale for the escalation is that the U.S.-led world order is threatened by Chinese, Russian and Iranian “aggression.” Absurd and very dangerous propaganda. Again, as any objective observer would admit, U.S. imperialism has slipped, not through any external threat, but through its own violence and idiocy.

Of course, there is also the long-term structural “problem” of the imperialism question: Washington can neither accept a fair or equal competition in the world, nor can they stop the will of other peoples to rise. Ultimately, imperialism must and will be replaced.

Are China and Russia marching on the United States?

In the current situation, it would be suicidal for China and Russia, or any other country for that matter, to be in anyway aggressive toward the United States. The leaderships of China and Russia are not stupid, they are not suicidal and they are not seeking the destruction of the United States. In fact, they have tried really hard, until very recently, to not antagonize Washington. U.S. military might is overwhelming and entirely organized around destroying any “competitors.” The militaries of China and Russia are entirely organized, out of necessity, in defense of their own countries from U.S./European/Japanese aggression and invasion.

Let’s be really clear about the relationship of forces. The United States and Europe are able to meet any imaginary Russian military “aggression” with cataclysmic force. Russia, as things stand now, is in no position to do anything offensive against Europe or the United States. If Russia is a threat to U.S. imperialism, it can only be so in the sense that is unconquered, independent and capable of acting outside its borders.

There is repetitive rhetoric from the Pentagon and the media about the danger of a Russian invasion of the Baltic States. Nonsense. This is propaganda meant to justify moves against Russia. What will make countries like Romania, Poland and the Baltic States targets of military measures by Russia is the United States and NATO making these countries into centers of anti-Russian confrontation and encirclement.

The irony: the more that the United States presses Russia and China, the more they are likely to respond with aggressive maneuvers. U.S. imperialism is, in fact, engaging in a highly dangerous foreign policy—a foreign policy that could very easily lead to a war between major powers.

If you need more proof that Russia and China are in no way an immediate threat, let’s add military budgets: $741 billion for the United States, Britain, Germany, France and Italy; $46 billion for Russia; $622 billion for the United States and Japan; $155 billion for China (2015 numbers).

I guess you could say that Russia or China or India or Brazil or another country could one day rise to challenge the United States. But what’s the resolution to that conflict in the age of nuclear weapons beside extinction or cooperation? Cooperation, equality and solidarity—socialism—is the only solution. The solution is certainly not attacking China and Russia in the name of subordinating them to U.S. domination. In large part, Clinton is hated in the United States because millions of people can sense the futility of supporting leaders who embody endless war.

Let me be clear about one thing before I continue. A rising threat of war between major powers would cause a crisis for humanity. The root of the threat is U.S. imperialism. In order for imperialism to be overcome, there would most likely need to be a crisis that is unbearable, leading to a revolt. I am for a revolt that defeats capitalism and imperialism. In this case, however, the revolt must come before a nuclear war, not during or after. So, I am in no way for another imperialist war. We must join hands across the planet and disarm the Western powers.

Hillary Clinton, the neocons and the Center for a New American Security

Despite its sheer madness, we can be nearly certain that Hillary would pursue a neocon strategy for three very concrete reasons:

1. Her record;

2. She is endorsed by the unrepentant and still influential Robert Kagan, the founder of the disgraced and failed Project for the New American Century, which was ideologically responsible for the destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan and the destabilization of the Middle East;

3. The Clinton-related “bipartisan” think tank mentioned above, Center for a New American Security, just released a major strategy paper on May 16 entitled “Extending American Power.” The paper is authored by Kagan, Michele Flournoy, the probable Secretary of Defense under a Clinton presidency, and many other neo-neocons from both parties. The CNAS strategy paper calls for escalating the war in Iraq and Syria and adopting a much more aggressive posture toward China, Iran and Russia.

CNAS is the most influential foreign policy think tank in Washington and is advised, led and staffed by almost all of the key players in Washington’s foreign policy and military establishment—from both parties. CNAS is also funded and staffed by the big banks, weapons manufacturers and many others from the heights of the capitalist establishment. The think tank functions as a straight-up shadow government where Wall Street, weapons manufacturers and imperialist policy makers hash out policy, strategy and tactics. Hillary Clinton was the keynote speaker at the founding conference of CNAS in 2007.

Hillary’s record

As Secretary of State, Clinton was the one in the Obama administration who led the war against Libya. She supported a rightwing, murderous coup in Honduras. She wanted a war in Syria.

Clinton was against the withdrawal from Iraq. She was against improved relations with China, Iran and Russia. She is among the most vocal U.S. political figures in support of Israel.

She supported and voted for the 2003 Iraq war, trumpeting all of the lies of the Bush administration.

When Bill Clinton was president she gave full-throated support for the criminal war against Yugoslavia—a war in which the Clinton administration destroyed Yugoslavia through massive media deception, indiscriminate bombing campaigns and the arming and supporting of drug traffickers, fascist-leaning leaders and reactionary Islamist forces.

In Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and beyond she is responsible for an aggressive strategy that has made ISIS possible and Al-Qaeda-like groups stronger. Bosnia and Kosovo, whose “independence” was made possible by the Clinton administration, are currently hotbeds for ISIS recruitment—contributing more fighters per-capita than anywhere in the world. It is in no way a coincidence that the Clinton administration supported forces—in both regions—who were fighting to destroy the multi-national, secular and socialist Yugoslavia in order to build Islamic states. In Bosnia, the “freedom fighters” the United States backed were fighting for a Muslim state with Islamic law and gladly accepted thousands of U.S. trained jihadists from the war in Afghanistan into their ranks. The Clintons paved the way for the growth of ISIS in the former Yugoslavia. In fact, without the destruction of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yugoslavia, ISIS’ rise would have not happened.

Hillary Clinton is reaction in international relations personified. She is the very embodiment of imperialist arrogance and violence. That’s who she is. She’s a war criminal and she hangs out with war criminals like Madeline Albright, a CNAS director, and Henry Kissinger.

Center for a New American Security: the not-so shadow government in waiting

On May 16, the Center for a New American Security released a report, a major strategy paper, entitled, “Extending American Power: Strategies to Expand U.S. Engagement in a Competitive World Order.”

The paper is intended to be a “blueprint for several crucial aspects of American foreign policy, which we believe the next occupant of the White House should adopt no matter what party he or she represents.” All of the signers of the paper are either pro-Clinton or pro-Clinton due to the fact that they have rejected all the other candidates. This document is meant as a Clinton strategy document—as the strategy document for a post-Obama administration—and is seen as such by the international media, foreign powers and the U.S. establishment. The Washington Post has echoed the strategy with its own editorial.

Arch neocon Kagan is the co-chairman of the project that produced the CNAS strategy paper. James Rubin, who is also a Co-chairman of the CNAS project, was part of the Bill Clinton administration that destroyed Yugoslavia through massive media deception and actual genocide. Other people involved with the project and CNAS include Victoria Nuland, married to Kagan, who helped organize a semi-fascist coup in Ukraine; Madeline Albright, war criminal; Richard Armitage, prominent neocon and an architect of the Iran-Contra scheme; Richard Fontaine, CNAS president and John McCain’s foreign policy adviser from 2004-2008 and during the 2008 election campaign; and Richard Danzig, former Secretary of the Navy under Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama’s senior foreign policy adviser in the 2008 presidential campaign.

When asked if Clinton supports the report, Flournoy stated, “I don’t want to speak for her [Clinton], but what I will say is I think the policies she’s already articulated in a series of speeches and in her record as secretary of state suggest that she understands the importance of American leadership in the world.”

This is what Kagan said about Clinton in 2014 in the NY Times: “I feel comfortable with her on foreign policy,” he said. “If she pursues a policy which we think she will pursue, 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.”

In Syria, despite the facts on the ground, the CNAS report and Clinton are calling for Assad’s overthrow before they will make peace. They are also calling for a no-fly zone. No-fly zones, in every case—Bosnia, Iraq and Libya—have provided cover for bombing civilians and infrastructure as a basic military strategy.

No-fly zones are preludes to greater military actions in all of their real world applications. Their very purpose, in reality, is to destroy countries and overthrow governments. The CNAS report admits that a no-fly zone would help create areas where “the moderate opposition militias can arm, train, and organize.” Yes, that’s right, CNAS is still talking about the very-hard-to-prove-they-even-exist “moderate” rebels in Syria.

This CNAS orientation is without a doubt, Hillary Clinton’s playbook. It is also, without a doubt, the central orientation of the U.S. capitalist class. Hillary is Wall Street’s choice for 2016. The imperialists trust her, the Pentagon brass largely trusts her and they are uniting around the CNAS “plan” which calls for virtually no limits on military spending and an era of maximum U.S. assertiveness—all in the name of Wall Street’s global hegemony. They are, in other words, planning to continue and escalate the failed strategies of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya—policies that CNAS’s advisers, directors and staff are all responsible for in one way or another. That they would continue to follow the same strategies seems absurd—even for them.

Completely missing from the CNAS report—and the election campaign of Hillary Clinton for that matter—is any real acknowledgment of the obvious implications of the recent destabilizing aggressions and atrocities of imperialism.

According to CNAS and Clinton, we are supposed to accept that the destruction of Iraq and the deaths of millions of Iraqis was a “mistake.” In arguing for a no-fly zone in Syria, the report claims the strategy was successful in Iraq. Really? The no-fly zones in Iraq were the direct precursors to the current abysmal conditions for the Iraqi people.

Ridiculously, the paper asserts that it is “authoritarian” governments like the Assad regime that are to blame for the rise of ISIS. Nowhere in the document do they point out the obvious fact they themselves have been the central cause of their own predicament with regards to ISIS and their failed wars.

In fact, the report, while completely ignoring any U.S. culpability, states things like:  “We also reject Iran’s attempt to blame others for regional tensions it is aggravating, as well as its public campaign to demonize the government of Saudi Arabia.” So, Iran is to blame for aggravating “tensions” in the Middle East!

Any reasonable solution to the Middle East crisis or the conflict between the United States and Russia and China would start with the absolutely demonstrable truth that the United States is to blame and can play no real productive or progressive role in solving international crises and conflicts.

Instead CNAS asserts that the problem with China’s rise is that it “Claim[s] that security in Asia is a matter for Asians, i.e., not the United States.” This is not a problem. China asserting that Asian countries take military responsibility for their region is a basic matter of sovereignty. Would Washington let China control security matters in North America? No, Washington would not.

CNAS and Clinton continue to propagate the Big Lie about Russia’s role in recent conflicts. For example, the report states that global stability “is threatened by growing Russian ambition and willingness to use force, including the invasion of neighboring countries.” Russia is not planning an invasion of a neighboring country. For example, Russia could overrun the now hostile Ukraine, but then would run the great risk of facing the combined and overwhelming might of the United States, all of Europe and beyond.

Ukraine now has a Western-dependent government, thanks to a U.S. backed coup, that wants to station NATO forces in its country. If that happened, it would bring NATO closer to the heartland of Russia than at any time in its history.

Russia has intervened in Ukraine, that’s true. What choice does Russia have? If Ukraine was fully absorbed into NATO, it would be the equivalent of having Mexico or Canada in an anti-United States military alliance with Russian forces and fire power stationed in Juarez or right across the border from Detroit. No country can let a hostile country surround it without responding. A Russian invasion of a neighboring country would surely be an answer to NATO aggression and not the other way around.

Free trade Hillary and the global crisis

Despite what she says, Clinton is fundamentally for the hated “free trade” deals on the table right now—the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. The CNAS paper urges Congress to pass the TPP as soon as possible, presumably before the election, to strengthen the U.S. “stewardship” of Asia. In other words, free trade agreements which are not freedom for workers—in reality they serve only to make world trade more subordinate to dictates of Wall Street—will be helpful, primarily, in expanding U.S. power. The greater poverty, misery and evisceration of rights that the TPP would bring about for workers in Asia and the U.S. be damned.

Laughably, CNAS asserts that “free trade” will help the U.S. economy grow. Where would they spend those imaginary additional resources? In their own words: “An additional benefit of a growing economy, of course, is the availability of additional resources to strengthen America’s military, economic, and diplomatic capabilities.”

So, let’s look at the situation: the worldwide economy is stagnant—that’s a generous characterization. Most places have not recovered from the last economic crisis. What would be one of Hillary’s solutions? Spend more money on war! That is truly disgusting—and it will not work. The economic malaise of global capitalism is the result of Wall Street sucking up all the wealth and resources of the planet while spending trillions on war and driving the toilers of the world into the ground.

What will a Clinton administration do if there is another economic crisis on its watch—a crisis that seems likely to be very deep? Would that administration carry out a reduction in military spending, an expansion of social programs or magically come up with a fiscal policy that will save capitalism? No, Clinton will be inclined to opt for spending cuts, military aggression, and the demonizing of domestic and foreign resistance—a resistance that would naturally flow from the contradictions of a period of economic crisis and world war.

Let’s be straightforward. Under a Clinton administration, and right now, the people of the U.S. will need to join hands with the workers and oppressed of the world and escalate our common struggle. To avert a calamitous outcome, we must prepare now for the inevitable struggle against the next president should it be someone like Clinton or Trump.

Reject the system

We cannot let people like Hillary Clinton determine our future.

But how will we get ourselves out of the bind we are in with regards to the growing face-off between the United States and China and Russia and all of the other serious economic and environmental problems we are up against? Political conflict left unresolved will inevitably lead to war.

The view of Hillary Clinton and CNAS that U.S. might will make things right strains logic. It flies in the face of the chaos and devastation wrought by U.S. preeminence since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The people of the world didn’t cause the disintegration of secular, sovereign states and the rise of reactionary forces in the Middle East. That was not Russia or China or Iran. That was not those in the United States that reject endless imperialist war. That was Washington and its hegemonic ambition.

The people of Russia and China are not our enemies, but Hillary Clinton is our enemy. So too are the Wall Street billionaires who have created the looming crises through their savagery, idiocy and shortsightedness.

The U.S. spearheaded global capitalist order has no solution for the economic, diplomatic and environmental crises of the planet. The fact that virtually the entire imperialist establishment is crystallizing behind neocon Clinton shows us clearly that imperialism is not a policy. It is the structural foundation of the rulers of our epoch.

If the United States persists in pursuing an international program of provocation and military escalation to maintain its power, then that’s just final proof that the United States is in no way a legitimate arbiter of our future. Capitalism, the system of wealth and power for the elite of one country and the hell with the rest of humanity, must be dismantled—root and branch. We can and must build a new set of relations based on cooperation, peace and justice. Socialism is not a utopia. It’s a necessity and it will not be achieved through wishful thinking.

Socialism will be built by a new generation of fighters—the international multi-national youth—who are rejecting people like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, two people who represent a moribund and decaying order that needs to be destroyed in order to build the new world that people and planet rightfully deserve.

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