Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Hillary the hawk is a myth

The New York Times magazine published a lengthy profile of Hillary Clinton under an illustration of her as a toy soldier and the headline "How Hillary Clinton Became a Hawk."

The profile, by Mark Landler, traces her evolution on foreign policy, explores her legacy as secretary of state, and seeks to deduce a Clinton worldview. It's fascinating, deeply reported, and well worth reading. It also reiterates what is perhaps the defining piece of conventional wisdom about Hillary Clinton and foreign policy: she is a super-hawk...

A few hours after the piece went online, something else was published comparing the presidential candidates on foreign policy. And the story it told could not have been more different.

It was a simple scorecard, assembled by a non-partisan nuclear nonproliferation group called Global Zero, comparing the five remaining candidates on a battery of eight foreign policy issues.

On every issue that Global Zero measured, Clinton is indicated as far less hawkish than all three of the Republican candidates, and as basically tied with Bernie Sanders. She supports the Iran nuclear deal; the Republicans all oppose it. She supports using diplomacy to solve the North Korean nuclear crisis; John Kasich is the only Republican to do so. She supports negotiating with Russia to reduce nuclear weapons; no Republican candidate does.

This measured only policies related to nuclear weapons, and so is far from comprehensive. But on these major geopolitical challenges — including the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs, which seem among the few crises that could plausibly draw the US into war — Clinton is significantly more dovish than all three Republican candidates...

The above is an antidote to the self-righteous stupidity of the ultra-left. From Alternet:

Nothing in Clinton's record proves that she can or will work to curb the national-security mania, the militarist juggernaut and predatory marketing and lending that have trapped us like flies in a spider’s web of 800-numbered, sticky-fingered pick-pocketing machines that are pumping not only inequality but heartsickness and violence into our daily lives...

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