Distrusted by most Americans and generating little enthusiasm even among supporters, Hillary Clinton has fallen behind Donald Trump in the polls. Last week she launched a brutal attack on his foreign policy views.
Clinton is the Democratic neoconservative who backed every major conflict fought by the U.S. over the last quarter century. Her needless foreign adventures consistently created new crises and consequent demands for more intervention and war.
Nevertheless, her basic message was that Donald Trump is “temperamentally unfit” for the presidency. True, but common sense still occasionally surfaces in the Trump world view. It rarely makes an appearance as Clinton backs Washington’s attempted domination of the globe.
Ultimately, she is most appalled that Trump appears to oppose the conventional wisdom that Washington is destined to micro-manage the globe. For instance, she began by posing “a choice between a fearful America that’s less secure and less engaged with the world, and strong, confident America that leads to keep our country safe and our economy growing.” However, Clinton-backed military interventions have left America poorer and less secure.
In her speech she imagined Trump “leading us into war just because somebody got under his very thin skin.” He could. But she doesn’t require even that much justification for going to war. She has backed U.S. involvement in virtually every unnecessary conflict.
She pushed her husband to remake the Balkans. She strongly supported the Iraq invasion, one of America’s worst foreign policy blunders.
She backed doubling down in nation-building in Afghanistan. She orchestrated the campaign in Libya, which resulted in a vacuum filled by ISIS. She advocates that the U.S. get more involved militarily in Syria, a multi-sided civil war in which America has no vital interest and for which Washington has no answer.
Yet she believes this list of mistakes entitles her to the presidency: “I’m proud to run on my record.”
In her speech she said “we need to stick with our allies,” which make “us exceptional.” Yet America is not exceptional because dozens of whiny dependents expect the U.S. to subsidize, reassure, and defend them. Actually, nations all over the world are begging Washington to do so.
Allies should make the U.S. stronger. America should not protect those who can protect themselves.
The Europeans are not only wealthier and more populous than Russia, their only serious potential antagonist, but also America, which does most of the heavy lifting in defending the continent. South Korea has more than 40 times the GDP and twice the population of North Korea.
These alliances are a source of conflict, not strength. Washington has no cause to risk war over the Baltic States, Japan’s claims to the Senkaku Islands, or who controls the Korean peninsula.
Clinton endorsed diplomacy and specifically the Iran nuclear accord. She’s right, but though Trump has been inconsistent on Iran, he appears to be more open to diplomacy elsewhere, especially in dealing with the PRC and Russia.
She advocated being “firm but wise with our rivals.” Clinton rightly criticized Trump’s sometimes bizarre praise of foreign dictators, but she supports confrontation with Russia over Ukraine even though the latter is not in NATO and is of far greater interest to the Europeans.
She also argued that “We need a real plan for confronting terrorism,” but, as I point out in Forbes, she “failed to mention the most obvious point. Stop creating enemies around the globe. Terrorism is evil and awful, but it almost always is a political act directed against outsiders, in this case, unfortunately, Americans.”
Clinton advocated that Americans “stay true to our values.” Her criticisms of Trump’s grotesque behavior struck home.
Yet her public values are worse: a belief in global social engineering, a willingness to go to war for frivolous reasons, a willingness to wreck entire nations while pursuing failed policies. Clinton, too, is not qualified to be commander-in-chief.
Clinton made a case against herself as well as Trump. Whatever happens in November is likely to leave Americans in greater danger.