Hillary Clinton has on her liberal mask. She is all smiles and is trying hard to “out Bernie” Bernie Sanders. She is hitting all the populist talking points about helping others: Immigration, campaign finance reform, voting rights, gay marriage, economic equality, and middle class families. But she has accumulated a lot of baggage over her political career of 40 years. Hillary and the main stream media have forgotten early scandals such as Whitewater, cattle futures trading, and trying to take the White House dishes when she and Bill moved out in 2001.
Was Hillary Clinton a Good Secretary of State?
Hillary now wants to escape responsibility for Bill Clinton’s presidency, although she embraced it in 2008. She wants us to forgive her when she nostalgically uses Bill’s lingering popularity; after all she is a politician. Just do not bring up slashing welfare, deregulating Wall Street, NAFTA, the ‘Defense of Marriage Act’, ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’, “Slick Willy”, the meaning of “is”, and the blue dress.
Hillary has her own track record now. She was a Senator from New York for eight years. She voted in favor of both the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Hillary said she did not bother to read what the national intelligence estimates (N.I.E.) actually said before voting for war because of Iraq’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction.
Maybe by 2006 Senator Clinton had gotten around to reading the fine print in the NIE, because she opposed “Secretary of War” Robert Gate’s “surge” in Iraq which cost 1,000 American lives and many thousands more Iraqi lives. Or maybe she opposed the “surge” just for political reasons, as Gates has said in his memoir. Hillary was at the time about to announce her candidacy for president in the 2008 election.
From Hillary’s career at the Rose Law Firm to Senator from New York she has escaped from one scandal to another. But as Secretary of State there are more serious matters than her hiding her failure to provide adequate security in Benghazi and hiding her emails.
In 2009 Hillary showed what she really means by “smart power” and backed the military coup in Honduras over the democratically elected president, Manuel Zelaya. Zelaya was getting too close to Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and neocons such as Hillary feared another left-wing government in Latin America.
Coup leaders seized President Zelaya in the middle of the night and flew him to exile in Costa Rico. But first they stopped at a U.S. military base in Honduras, SOUTHCOM Joint Task Force-Bravo. Hillary said it was a “surprise visit”.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives at Armando Escalon Airbase in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on June 1, 2009—just weeks before the military coup. (Photo: US Department of State/flickr/cc)
Demands by both the Organization of American States and the United Nations for the immediate restoration of President Zelaya were ignored by Hillary. Instead after the coup, as Hillary wrote in her book Hard Choices:
“I spoke with my counterparts around the hemisphere. We strategized on a plan to restore order in Honduras and ensure that free and fair elections could be held quickly and legitimately, which would render the question of Zelaya moot.”
The elections were anything but free and fair and reputable election monitors boycotted the election [Watch here]. The only “order” the Hillary-backed military coup has brought to Honduras is the “order” of making Honduras the murder capital of the world [Watch here]. Journalists, opposition leaders, LGBT activists, blacks, natives, peasants, women organizers, priests, intellectuals, and everybody deemed a threat to the coup-government and the oligarchs are murdered, tortured and disappeared to this day.
An op-ed in the New York Times by Dana Frank called Honduras a “mess made in the U.S.” It said that since the coup “the country has been descending deeper into a human rights and security abyss”. It is a mess that Hillary is responsible for making.
What is happening in Honduras is class warfare with 65% of the country living in poverty. The wealth and power is concentrated in the hands of a few land owners, corrupt politicians, generals, and oligarchs. They have declared war against the poor.
The U.S. interest in Honduras is its military bases and U.S. dwindling stature in Latin America. But Hillary has a personal interest as well.
On June 8, 2015 Matthew Pulver published an exclusive article in Salon.com that accuses Hillary of selling out Honduras for money and links it to Hillary advisor Laney Davis and his client “Honduras Chapter of Business Council of Latin America”.
The article also includes a link to a Wikileaks leaked cable from the U.S. Embassy in Honduras to Hillary. The cable makes it clear that Hillary knew that there had been a military coup. Yet Hillary continued the charade that Zelaya had “fled in the middle of the night to avoid justice for his crimes”. Hillary and Obama illegally continued to provide military and economic foreign aid to the coup-government in violation of the Foreign Assistance Act.
Hillary has since praised Honduras as a shining example of democracy and blamed any problems on drug traffickers. Instead of it being what Hillary calls “smart power”, the repression and butchery in Honduras is another reason why Latin American countries loath the U.S.A.
Hillary’s liberal mask fell off in her glee over the carnage in Libya. We get to see the hideous face of a neocon that celebrates the brutal anal rape with a bayonet and the murder of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi. Hillary delights in taking the responsibility. (Watch here.)
The coalition that included the United States, Britain and France went far beyond the United Nations’ responsibility to protect (R2P) civilian life in Libya. The U.S. and coalitions forces used the “no fly zone” as a fig leaf for another illegal war of aggression.
Maximillian Forte’s well-documented book Slouching Towards Sirte, NATO’s War on Libya and Africa does an excellent job of removing the fig leaf. He exposes the pornography of the destruction of a once prosperous Libya, with the resulting loss of millions of lives. Before Hillary’s destruction of Libya the United Nations had just prepared a report “praising Gaddafi’s human rights achievements, legal protections for citizens, making human rights a priority, improving women’s rights, educational opportunities and access to housing [here and here]”.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with Libyan fighters (Reuter’s photo from Oct. 18, 2011)
Hillary approved, participated, celebrated and laughed at the destruction of Libya, and the deaths and misery of its people. NATO and coalition planes flew over 14,000 bombing sorties, most of them against Tripoli, Misrata and Sirte (see map). There was no threat of genocide in Benghazi by Gaddafi, as Hillary claimed. It was another hoax for the U.S. to go to war.
The illegal war on Libya was a blatant regime change cooked up in Washington by neocons like Hillary. The overthrow of Gaddafi did result in the genocide of black African foreign workers by racist Islamic fundamentalists, backed by NATO bombs and CIA boots on the ground.
The real scandal of Benghazi that the main stream media either did not get or did not care about was the CIA presents in Libya. We now know that one mission the CIA had was to round up the treasure trove of Gaddafi’s weapons and ship them to Syria via Turkey.
Those weapons have also gone to Boko Harem in Nigeria. They have also flooded Sub Saharan Africa. They are now in the hands of ISIS. Hillary’s regime change in Libya has caused terrorism, chaos, death and misery on the entire continent of Africa.
Open-air gun market in Libya
During the Arab Spring in Egypt, Hillary showed her preference for dictators and military coups, what she calls “smart power”. After the U.S. had backed Dictator Hosni Mubarak of Egypt for 30 years the Obama administration decided to cut him loose. It was 30 years overdue.
Hillary says she opposed abandoning Mubarak, because he was a long-time friend of the U.S. She did not care what the people of Egypt wanted.
Hillary said she sided with Vice President Biden and “Secretary of War” Robert Gates. Hillary said they disagreed with the “younger generation of White House aides swept up in the drama and idealism of the moment” of the Arab Spring in 2011. She did not seem to mind that Mubarak’s goons where murdering and torturing pro-democracy demonstrators in Tahrir Square. [Watch here]
Woman being stripped and beaten in Tahir Square
Hillary only likes democratic governments that are compliant with U.S. foreign policy goals. When Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi was democratically elected he was not one of them.
The Egyptian generals were not happy with Morsi’s election either and before turning over the government to him they stripped it of his powers, closed the parliament, shredded the constitution, and declared martial law.
When Morsi granted himself broad powers and called for a new constitution it brought both pro-Morsi Muslim Brotherhood and anti-Morsi liberal sectarian demonstrators back into Tahrir Square. With the chaos in the streets the military was all too pleased to restore order by gunning down both pro and anti Morsi demonstrators alike. [Here]
This gave Hillary’s team just the opening they were looking for to get rid of a pesky elected president. Her State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland emerged from the shadow to declare that Morsi was just not democratic enough for Hillary:
“The decisions and declarations announced on November 22 raise concerns for many Egyptians and for the international community. One of the aspirations of the revolution was to ensure that power would not be overly concentrated in the hands of any one person or institution.”
This was a nod to the Egyptian military that the U.S. would not object to a coup. Hillary did not object to power being concentrated with the military. The military obliged and arrested Morsi. He now awaits his execution in an Egyptian dungeon along with 683 of his supporters. The United Nations calls it a breach of international law.
If anyone doubts the hand of Hillary in the beatings, imprisonment, torture and deaths of Egyptian civilians by the military, the pro-democracy protesters of Egypt do not. On an official visit to Egypt in June 2012 they pelted her motorcade with tomatoes and insultingly shouted “Monica, Monica”.
In Hillary’s book she admits favoring “autocratic regimes” over protestors in the street who “promise an uncertain future—particularly in Egypt” (Chapter 15). Hillary calls it another example of “smart power”; others call it being a neocon.
Hillary is hypocritical and one must have a score card to remember which countries she favors democracy for, and which ones she favors right-wing and military dictatorships—it just depends for Hillary.
No one needs to guess at what a President Hillary Clinton administration would be like. She would continue her disastrous neoconservative ways. She would continue the unending wars, especially if she were to appoint a Cabinet full of neocons such as Michele Flournoy.
Hillary supporter Flournoy is a co-founder of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). It is the successor neocon think-tank for a Project for a New American Century (PNAC). CNAS is funded by the military industrial complex; the same ones funding Hillary’s campaign.
Honduras, Libya and Egypt are only some of the ruthless policies that Hillary has perpetrated. Not mentioned yet were her fingerprints on the destruction of Syria, repression in Bahrain, regime change planning for Venezuela, subversions against Cuba, and the illegal fascist coup in Ukraine. Hillary’s belligerence with both China and Russia has ignited Cold War 2.0 that puts the planet at risk of nuclear war. As a Secretary of State she was worse than a failure.
Hillary’s neoliberal planning helped to lay the groundwork for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). From what we know about these secret trade agreements they are going to hurt American workers, consumers, and families. Hillary’s meek words to voters that she will be watching the trade deals “closely” and will “walk away from them” if they are not good for Americans cannot be taken seriously.
Hillary’s close financial ties to Wall Street, bankers, and corporations ; as well as her unconditional support of Israel, right-wing despots and military dictators leave little doubts about whether Hillary is on the side of the people or the powerful.