My comments are in italics below, the plain text are all quotes
Normally my posts here are largely quotes, with at most a line or two of commentary, but the quote below, from “I’m With Her… I guess” by Elie Mystal has me so irritated that I’ve been compelled to write a bit more. Here’s the key quote:
“Hillary’s foreign policy is terrifying. If elected, she will kill people. Many of them will be terrorists and some of them will be criminals, but all of them will be people and she will not let other, non-terrorist people, stand in the way of killing the people she thinks we need to kill. And when she’s not killing people, she will be spying on people in case she needs to kill those people later.
So… that’s bad.
But I don’t understand liberals who hate Hillary Clinton. ” [link]
There are three things that really bother me about this. The first is the idea that a “terrifying” foreign policy, one that will lead to the deaths of many people overseas, should be ignored by liberals. Shouldn’t a terrifying foreign policy be enough for at least some liberals to hate the candidate whose advocates such things? Why does the author, who is himself a black man, set this up and then dismiss it in the next breath?
Second, and equally as bothersome, this statement minimizes the absolute bloodiness of what he is describing, and makes the pursuit of people considered enemies of the state an antiseptic one. Consider Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. There was nothing antiseptic about any of these. Over 10,000 rounds of depleted uranium were fired in Iraq, raising concerns about long term radioactive poisoning. Heck, they’re still clearing mines from Laos, a conflict from 40 years ago. And Libya is currently a bad situation, both for the Libyans and for neighboring countries. Any military action the US engages in has the potential to hurt a lot of civilians both now and into the future. And you know what? Those brown and black lives matter too.
Last, this statement misconstrues Clinton’s broader approach to foreign policy, missing what makes her distinctive as a candidate. Clinton was one of the most hawkish members of the Obama administration.
“For all their bluster about bombing the Islamic State into oblivion, neither Donald J. Trump nor Senator Ted Cruz of Texas have demonstrated anywhere near the appetite for military engagement abroad that Clinton has.” [link]
Evan Osnos of the New Yorker said that she is closer to the Republican foreign policy establishment than any other candidate. And remember, Hillary’s mentor is Henry Kissinger, a man she vacations with. Her foreign policy will be Kissinger-esque, and Kissinger was chilling in his disregard for the lives of people in the Global South.
None of this is to deny that there are good reasons to support Hillary Clinton. There are. But what bothers me is when liberals make statements that either minimize her foreign policy, trying to treat it like it doesn’t matter or worse, like the lives of people living in poor countries doesn’t matter. I just wish we would see more intellectual honesty and open discussion about this aspect of the candidate.