Leading Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton this morning [Sep. 9] delivered a foreign policy speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington. By itself, the choice of the venue was revealing.
Brookings served as Ground Zero for centrist think tank advocacy of the Iraq War, which Clinton (along with potential rival Joe Biden) notoriously and vehemently advocated. Brookings’ two leading “scholar”-stars — Kenneth Pollack and Michael O’Hanlon — spent all of 2002 and 2003 insisting that invading Iraq was wise and just, and spent the years after that assuring Americans that the “victorious” war and subsequent occupation were going really well (in April 2003, O’Hanlon debated with himself over whether the strategy that led to the “victory” in his beloved war should be deemed “brilliant” or just extremely “clever,” while in June 2003, Pollack assured New York Times readers that Saddam’s WMD would be found).
Since then, O’Hanlon in particular has advocated for increased military force in more countries than one can count. That’s not surprising: Brookings is funded in part by one of the Democratic Party’s favorite billionaires, Haim Saban, who is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Israel and once said of himself: “I’m a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel.” Pollack advocated for the attack on Iraq while he was “Director of Research of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy.” Saban became the Democratic Party’s largest fundraiser — even paying $7 million for the new DNC building — and is now a very substantial funder of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. In exchange, she’s written a personal letter to him publicly “expressing her strong and unequivocal support for Israel in the face of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement.”
So the hawkish Brookings is the prism through which Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy worldview can be best understood. The think tank is filled with former advisers to both Bill and Hillary Clinton, and would certainly provide numerous top-level foreign policy officials in any Hillary Clinton administration. As she put it today at the start: “There are a lot of long-time friends and colleagues who perch here at Brookings.” And she proceeded to deliver exactly the speech one would expect, reminding everyone of just how militaristic and hawkish she is.
The context for her speech was the Iran Deal, which Clinton supports. It would be virtually impossible for her not to do so — there is no way anyone could win the Democratic nomination while opposing a key foreign policy legacy of the sitting Democratic president — but, regardless of the motives, she has the right position on that. But that deal is vehemently opposed by AIPAC and of grave concern to the hawkish foreign policy circles on which she has long depended, and so the core purpose of the speech was to assure those nervous precincts that, despite the Iran Deal support, she’s still the same aggressive, war-threatening, obsessively Israel-devoted, bellicose hawk they’ve grown to know and love.
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“The American economic elite, probably prepares the scenery for a more 'willing' puppet in power after the end of the Obama administration. It appears that, for the moment, the most probable person for this role is Hillary Clinton, for impression and distraction purposes too (she will be the first woman president of the United States, if elected, after Obama, who is the first African-American president).”
“Hillary Clinton seems more willing to play the dangerous game of Washington's 'hawks' - she recently liken Putin's actions with Hitler's during 30s - while we should not forget that Bill Clinton brought a bloodbath in Bosnia and Yugoslavia through NATO bombings during 90s. We should not forget also that Clinton was the one who opened the way for the total dominance of neoliberalism in the West, after the advices from the bankers.”