Neo-cons flock to Hillary Clinton

Developing Just Leadership

Ayesha Alam

Shawwal 04, 1435 2014-08-01

News & Analysis

by Ayesha Alam (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 43, No. 6, Shawwal, 1435)

America’s neo-cons, dominated by zionists and other warmongers, see in Hillary Clinton a fellow traveler for their aggressive policies. They have flocked to her campaign to advance their belligerent objectives.

It is a fact widely acknowledged that Hillary Clinton is poised to become the Democratic Party’s frontrunner in the 2016 US presidential election. In Washington DC’s business of perpetual elections, the waning years of the Obama presidency provide the stage for prepping the next presidential election. The practice of informed betting, otherwise known as polls, are encouraging political watchers to place their chips with Hillary. According to the July 8 Quinnipiac University National poll, Hillary is already ahead in the prospective primary race, beating her Democratic competitors with 58% of the vote. She even outstrips her Republican competitors by 7% or 9% of the vote.

Hillary’s Presidential campaign will be drenched in liberal self-congratulation, depicted as a victory for feminism, just as Obama’s was depicted as a victory for African Americans and civil rights. Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who published Edward Snowden’s infamous papers, had some choice words to say about her at a May 2014 Question and Answer session. “Hillary is banal, corrupted, drained of vibrancy and passion,” he said. “[S]he’s been around forever, the Clinton circle . . . But she’s going to be the first female president, and women in America are going to be completely invested in her candidacy. Opposition to her is going to be depicted as misogynistic, like opposition to Obama has been depicted as racist. It’s going to be this completely symbolic messaging that’s going to overshadow the fact that she’ll do nothing but continue everything in pursuit of her own power.”

As the Hillary machine gains steam, some are ringing alarm bells about her links with the neoconservatives, the nefarious architects of George W. Bush’s Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The debate was sparked by a July 5 New York Times (NYT) article by Jacob Heilbrunn titled “Are Neocons Getting Ready to Ally with Hillary Clinton?” which warned of neocons regrouping from the “political wilderness” that George W. Bush’s military escapades had thrown them into, by aligning with the Clinton camp. This sent the media machine into a furor, with reactions ranging from alarm at the return of the neocons to measured satisfaction.

During a HuffPost Live conversation about Hillary’s links with the neoconservatives, the Washington bureau chief of the left wing journal Mother Jones, David Corn, noted that this phenomenon is like the past patterns of the neocon group. Corn explained that neocons have a political history of seeking to "burrow into one camp and establish a foothold somewhere,"—in other words, they will actively hunt for any candidate that best suits them. Corn argues that if the Republican Party does not suit their interests, then they will look for a foothold elsewhere.

Hillary herself has demonstrated positions and attitudes that predict the alliance between the neocons and the next Clinton white house. Many have noted the affinities between her and the apologists of imperial war—Glenn Greenwald described her as “like a neocon, practically.” In Heilbrunn’s article, he provides a bucket list of causes that Clinton has adopted that have endeared her to advocates of interventionism. She wholeheartedly championed the Iraq War; has adopted belligerent rhetoric against Putin vis-à-vis the Ukraine conflict; and openly favors military intervention to support “democracy” in countries abroad (aka violent regime change on behalf of US imperial interests).

As the flow of money and political programs are shifting in preparation for the upcoming Presidential election, the neocon party itself is realigning. According to recent reports, the neocons too have been busy rebranding themselves in the 6-year gap afforded to them by Obama presidency. The face of the neocon party has changed, for one thing—the neocon party is now identified by figures such as Robert Kagan, Max Boot, and Michael McFaul. Kagan is a historian employed at The Brookings Institution, a “liberal” think tank tied to the power establishment. Boot is a military historian who is now a National Security Studies fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a favorite neocon venue tied to figures such as Henry Kissinger. Boot has ominously described his philosophy as "American might to promote American ideals." McFaul is a former US Ambassador to Russia who, like Condoleezza Rice, has found a cushy seat at Stanford University following his leave of active diplomatic service.

Kagan, for instance, has been open about voicing his support for the Clinton camp [perhaps with hopes of getting a government position in her administration]. He also noted the rebranding that was going on for both Clinton’s camp and the neocon camp, in order to sell this perfect marriage to the US public. “I feel comfortable with her on foreign policy,” Kagan said. “If she pursues a policy which we think she will pursue,” he noted, “it’s something that might have been called neocon, but clearly her supporters are not going to call it that; they are going to call it something else.”

A core link that strongly ties together these figures is an unabashed support for Israel. Hillary Clinton and the neocons place Israel’s security above all other considerations, and their program for the Arab world and Middle East will be dominated by this consideration. But what does this mean for the Muslim world? To be sure, Obama’s policies have been no less aggressive than G.W. Bush’s. While adopting the façade of a pro-peace defender of liberty, he has presided over AFRICOM’s push into militarizing the African continent; destroyed Libya; burned Syria to the ground; created ISIS, the bloodthirsty militias of havoc and mayhem; and escalated hostilities with Russia to Cold War levels.

However, the neocon playbook adds a new level of suffering and destruction. Neocons, aligned as they are with defense corporations (harkening back to Dick Cheney and his cushy relationships with Halliburton), tend to favor direct military involvement. Instead of outsourcing regime change to militias like the Taliban and ISIS, neocons favor direct US military involvement in the fashion of Israel’s brutal and inhumane attack on Gaza. In fact, Hillary’s statements on Gaza offer a precursor of what a Clinton white house will mean for the Muslim world at large. In Twitter chats on July 21, Clinton roundly declared that Israel was “provoked” into its bloody carnage. She referenced; “[t]he difficulties we currently are seeing in the Middle East because of the actions by Hamas, first to rain rockets on to Israel. Israel being provoked.” Later, she said: “I do think that was part of the Hamas calculation, to provoke Israel to respond to defend itself, which any nation has to do if you are under attack like that.”

In May 2014, Robert Kagan wrote an article that was widely praised in Washington DC’s political circles. Titled “Superpowers don’t get to retire,” he bemoaned the fact that Americans wanted to shed the “responsibilities” of being the world policeman. Hitching the cart of unabashed US imperialism to Hillary Clinton’s wagon, the Muslim world faces a new onslaught of war that will dwarf the armageddons served up by G.W. Bush and Barak Obama.

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