Hillary Clinton’s War Policy
Brian CLOUGHLEY | 10.08.2016 | OPINION

Hillary Clinton’s War Policy

As a result of Trump’s stumbling, Hillary Clinton seems to be on course to become next president of the United States and it is depressing to reflect on what some of her policies might be if she achieves that office. Unfortunately, the future looks bleak for peace and stability around the world.

She is one of the Washington-Brussels war-drum beaters who planned the 2011 aerial blitz on Libya to destroy the government of President Gaddafi, in whose murder she rejoiced, giggling that «We came; We saw; He died». The US-NATO devastation of Libya caused massive deprivation and suffering, opened the way for feuding bands of militants to fight each other for control of parts of the country, and created a haven for the lunatic extremists of Islamic State.

Immediately after Gaddafi was brutally put to death, Clinton went to Libya and declared that she was «proud to stand here on the soil of a free Tripoli and on behalf of the American people I congratulate Libya. This is Libya’s moment, this is Libya’s victory, the future belongs to you». Her sentiments were echoed by the NATO Secretary General of the time, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who expressed pride that the seven months of rocket, bomb and missile attacks on a defenceless country had been «one of the most successful [operations] in NATO’s history». Not only that, but «Libyans have now liberated their country. And they have transformed the region. This is their victory». Both of them were talking nonsense, but have never given the slightest indication that they regretted for a moment their energetic role in creating the Libyan catastrophe.

Clinton attempted to justify the military assault on Libya by reflecting on the military presence of the United States around the world. She expressed satisfaction that the US maintains massive military bases in so many countries as a result of former conflicts and arrogantly declared «You know, the United States was in Korea, and still is, for many years. We are still in Germany. We are still in Japan. We have a presence in a lot of places in the world that started out as a result of conflict. And if you think about South Korea, there were coups, there were assassinations, there was a lot of problems for the Koreans to build their economy, to create their democracy. This doesn’t happen overnight. And, yes, it’s been a couple of years. I think it’s worth European support, Arab support, American support to try to help the Libyan people realize the dream that they had when they went after Gadhafi».

It is apparent that Clinton will be uncompromising about continuing Obama’s policy of international confrontation, and that she, too, firmly believes «that America remains the indispensable nation». It is open to doubt, however, that the self-imposed mantle of indispensability has done anything to further peace and stability around the globe.

The armed forces and intelligence agencies of the indispensable nation have carried out thousands of airstrikes all over the world over many years. From Pakistan in the east to Libya on the Mediterranean, by way of Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria there have been attacks by F-15 Strike Eagles, B-52 bombers, helicopter gunships, the A-10 Warthog, the even more terrifying Hercules AC-130 Spectre gunship (one of which destroyed a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, last year), Tomahawk cruise missiles, and drones equipped with Hellfire missiles. The amount of explosives delivered cannot be calculated, but as one indicator of quantities, in the two years of attacks on various groups in Syria and Iraq, «coalition» aircraft have delivered about 50,000 bombs and missiles.

US attacks have included many drone strikes in Yemen where, as reported by the US Military Times, «in March 2015, the US evacuated about 125 special operations troops amid the expanding civil war» but «has launched nine strikes this year against al-Qaida, which the US says is a persistent threat in the region and to Western interests». Other sources record rather higher numbers of covert strikes in 2016 – twenty confirmed and many others suspected – but that is irrelevant in the context of legality and effect.

On July 1 the White House released a statement about its worldwide drone war, and the Washington Post noted its admission that «the United States has inadvertently killed between 64 and 116 civilians in drone and other lethal air attacks against terrorism suspects in non-war zones», and commented that «in releasing only aggregate figures that did not include when or where the strikes occurred, the administration shielded those claims from meaningful public scrutiny, even as it sought to bolster its own assertions about the accuracy and effectiveness of the operations».

Even the Post could not praise the drone war, and recorded that «The New America Foundation and the Long War Journal, which have tracked drone strikes since the George W Bush administration, each put the number of civilians killed under the current administration at just over 200».

Nobody in the West cares about Yemen and the horrors inflicted on its population by the Saudis and their backer in Washington, and it seems nobody cares, either, about the new US onslaught on Libya, also in the name of Freedom.

President Obama rejoiced that his aerial blitzes around the globe are increasing and in June declared that «over the past two months I’ve authorized a series of steps to ratchet up our fight against ISIL [Islamic State]: additional US personnel, including Special Forces, in Syria to assist local forces battling ISIL there; additional advisors to work more closely with Iraqi security forces, and additional assets, including attack helicopters; and additional support for local forces in northern Iraq. Our aircraft continue to launch from the USS Harry Truman, now in the Mediterranean. Our B-52 bombers are hitting ISIL with precision strikes. Targets are being identified and hit even more quickly – so far, 13,000 airstrikes. This campaign at this stage is firing on all cylinders». And that was before he attacked Libya, yet again.

President Obama fired on a few more cylinders when, as reported on August 4 by the US military journal Stars and Stripes, «American warplanes attacked Islamic State group fighters in northern Libya on Wednesday, marking a third consecutive day of US airstrikes in the war-torn nation». It can be expected that the campaign will continue for the last remaining months of Obama’s war-promoting presidency – and that his likely successor will pay as little regard as he has to international and domestic laws concerning such gung-ho forays.

Hillary Clinton has not criticised or even questioned Obama’s years of aerial bombardment around the world and her foreign policy adviser, Jeremy Bash, told London’s Daily Telegraph that she will order a «full review» of US strategy on Syria as a «first key task» of her presidency, resetting the policy to emphasise the  «murderous» nature of the Assad regime. He said that Mrs Clinton would work to get Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, «out of there».

President Assad has been selected as another target for the Clinton policy of «We came; We saw; He died» and his country appears doomed to a rerun of the Libya fiasco.

If Hillary Clinton becomes president of the United States, there will be an even greater emphasis on global airstrikes and confrontation in general. Turmoil, chaos and catastrophe lie ahead.

Tags: Libya  Clinton 

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