Hawkish Hillary Clinton Prefers the Big Stick

by James M. WallHillary Clinton Holds New York Primary Night Gathering In Manhattan

The ugliest, meanest, primary-caucus season in modern history, is over.

History will record the ending came when Republican champion Donald Trump swept five states in Tuesday’s primaries while Democratic winner Hillary Clinton won four out of five primaries.

Other primaries will continue through June 7, but the winners have been chosen: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the insult bully and the Israel Lobby’s favorite war hawk, will face off in the General Election, November 8.

Our Hillary a war hawk? How can this be? 

Her record is out there. Her preference for military solutions was never more obvious than in the New York primary debate, Thursday, April 14.

Asked about his earlier statement that Israel had a “disproportionate response” to Palestinian rocket fire against Gaza, Bernie Sanders responded on behalf of an embattled people under occupation. 

Clinton’s response, in sharp contrast, was pure AIPAC, a perspective that merges her pro-Zionism with her militarism.

Below are ten minutes of the debate in which Clinton emphasizes Israel’s “need” for military force in its relationship to Palestinians, in both the West Bank and Gaza.

She tries to bolster her case by using long-refuted Israeli lies, including Israel’s “departure from Gaza”, and Yasir Arafat’s rejection of a non-existent “offer on the table” from Israel.

Clinton also refers to Hamas as a terrorist group, rather than as the political party which won a monitored 2006 election against Fatah, a Palestinian party backed by Israel and the U.S.  

She encourages her image as a hawk. Her campaign team monitors her media exposure tightly, so it was hardly a coincidence that the Sunday before the New York primary, The New York Times magazine featured a cover story by Mark Landler under the title, “How Hillary Became a Hawk”

Landler writes:

As Hillary Clinton makes another run for president, it can be tempting to view her hard-edged rhetoric about the world less as deeply felt core principle than as calculated political maneuver. But Clinton’s foreign-policy instincts are bred in the bone — grounded in cold realism about human nature and what one aide calls “a textbook view of American exceptionalism.”

If her focus on military power is not clear enough, Landler emphasizes her contrast with Barack Obama, the president she served for four years. 

It set her apart from her rival-turned-boss, Barack Obama, who avoided military entanglements and tried to reconcile Americans to a world in which the United States was no longer the undisputed hegemon.

As for her potential Republican opponents, Landler writes:

Neither Donald J. Trump nor Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has demonstrated anywhere near the appetite for military engagement abroad that Clinton has.

Ladler quotes Vali Nasr, a foreign-policy strategist who advised her on Pakistan and Afghanistan at the State Department, who said, ““Hillary is very much a member of the traditional American foreign-policy establishment.”

She believes like presidents going back to the Reagan or Kennedy years, in the importance of the military — in solving terrorism, in asserting American influence. The shift with Obama is that he went from reliance on the military to the intelligence agencies. .  .  .

Unlike other recent presidents — Obama, George W. Bush or her husband, Bill Clinton — Hillary Clinton would assume the office with a long record on national security. 

Ladler writes, “There are many ways to examine that record, but one of the most revealing is to explore her decades-long cultivation of the military — not just civilian leaders like [Robert] Gates, but also its high-ranking commanders, the men with the medals”.

Her affinity for the armed forces is rooted in a lifelong belief that the calculated use of military power is vital to defending national interests, that American intervention does more good than harm and that the writ of the United States properly reaches, as Bush once put it, into “any dark corner of the world.”

Unexpectedly, in the bombastic, testosterone-fueled presidential election of 2016, Hillary Clinton is the last true hawk left in the race.

Clinton’s belief in military-focused foreign policy, has not endeared her to the more progressive wing of her party, many of whom had favored Bernie Sanders in the race for the Democratic nomination.

Now that Sanders is essentially out of the nomination race, Clinton has no one pushing her leftward. 

That push will have to come from progressives who will need to do their pushing in the General Election campaign through public and social media. Voices for peace will be heard. 

Children of the StoneSandy Tolan, author of a new book, Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land, is just such a voice.  He recently wrote in Truthdig that Clinton has gone “radical right” on Israel, to Donald Trump’s right. 

Tolan wrote that Clinton told this year’s AIPAC gathering:

“Israel faces brutal terrorist stabbings, shootings and vehicle attacks at home,” she said. “Palestinian leaders need to stop inciting violence.” Yet she had not one word for the 188 Palestinians killed during the same period, some of them in extrajudicial executions by the Israeli military, including here, here and here.

Clinton has also been equating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism, largely through her condemnation of BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), a nonviolent movement to confront Israel’s human rights abuses through direct economic and political pressure. (Would she prefer suicide bombers and rockets?).

A tide of citizen resistance must follow Clinton through the Democratic convention in July, and to the General Election.

Progressives in dismay over the remaining political choices for November, have work to do. There is still a Congress to be changed. And, the next national race for the White House is just four years away.

          The photo of the Clintons above is by Spencer Platt for Getty Images

About wallwritings

From 1972 through 1999, James M. Wall was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, lllinois. He was a Contributing Editor of the Century from 1999 until July, 2017. He has written this blog, wall writings.me, since it was launched April 27, 2008. If you would like to receive Wall Writings alerts when new postings are added to this site, send a note, saying, Please Add Me, to jameswall8@gmail.com Biography: Journalism was Jim's undergraduate college major at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He has earned two MA degrees, one from Emory, and one from the University of Chicago, both in religion. He is an ordained United Methodist clergy person. He served for two years in the US Air Force, and three additional years in the USAF reserve. While serving on active duty with the Alaskan Command, he reached the rank of first lieutenant. He has worked as a sports writer for both the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, was editor of the United Methodist magazine, Christian Advocate for ten years, and editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine for 27 years. James M Wall died March 22, 2021 at age 92. His family appreciates all of his readers, even those who may have disagreed with his well-informed writings.
This entry was posted in Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Gaza, Hillary Clinton, Israel, Middle East Politics, Obama. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Hawkish Hillary Clinton Prefers the Big Stick

  1. robertassaly@gmail.com says:

    Depressing, but true. Any chance the Bern will run as an independent?

    Can the lesser of two evils on warmongering forgive a vote for Trump?

  2. Dan Casey says:

    When I wonder why the German people did not respond to the atrocities inflicted on the Jews I see how in leaders like Hilary Clinton, not only do they not speak out against the violence and human rights violations they support a military path that will not serve Israel in the future.

    As you suggest Jim, changing the congress seems to be our only path to justice.

  3. Jim, your elaboration of Clinton’s deep-seated militarism is convincing. I was aware of her bowing and scrapping at the AIPAC convention (disgusting) and am in dismay over how we are caught between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea in the coming General Election.
    How can we in good conscience vote for either of these deeply flawed candidates? Some of us think Mr. Trump has a shot at winning the Presidency, despite current polls to the contrary. He is winning over the electorate with his populist, bombastic jingoism, unprincipled expediency, and foolish America First narcissism.
    What choice do we have other than to keep the grassroots growing, bringing Israeli abuses to light, pressing Congress to break with its addiction to AIPAC influence, and sending more people on immersion trips over there.
    Thanks for your enlightened exposure of Mrs. Clinton. I expect you will do a similar expose of Mr. Trump soon. JRK

  4. AWAD PAUL SIFRI says:

    Thank you, Jim for highlighting the exposure of Hillary Clinton as a Neo-con hawk.
    In fact, she is doing her best to prove that she is actually a SUPER HAWK, and foremost, an Israeli hawk, par excellence, rather than soaring high in the upper skies, as a glorious American eagle.
    The ugly truth is that she is not even a hawk. She is, in fact, a SUPER V-U-L-T-U-R-E.
    She is proving to be a blood-thirsty vulture who craves arousing those who are struggling for freedom and independence, and resisting tyrannical Israeli occupation to hate America, FIRST, in order to draw America, First, into the quagmire of Israel’s wars in the Middle East.
    Hillary wants them to hate America, First, as the supreme enabler of Israeli occupation, apartheid, and nuclear arsenal. Because she can then lay down the false rationale for America’s involvement under the fake excuse that it is for “America’s interest”, not Israel’s.
    It seems to me that this Vulture would like our American men and women in uniform to sacrifice themselves on the altar of “Israel’s BAAL”, so she can swoop over their remnants and prove once more her devotion to Israel.
    And then it would be time to scramble for a 2nd term in Office, once more against Bernie Sanders.

  5. Dr. Ron Zoutendam says:

    Along with JRK, I appreciate your analysis, Jim. It is no less than appalling to review the New York April 15 debate to see and hear Hillary’s hawkish, one sided view of the Is/Pal matter. I am tired of hearing about Israel’s right to defend itself, and the gracious decision on the part of Israel to “pull out of Gaza” (yes to remove the settlers, only to place Gaza under siege) as well as justifiaction for the recent slaughter of Palestinians. It looks like JRK is correct about being caught between the “Devil and the Deep Blue Sea”. The “apropos” caricature of Hillary as a VULTURE makes Trump appear as a DOVE (insulting, bellicose and bullying as he is). Choosing the lesser of two evils will be difficult, if not impossible. Even as a social and fiscal conservative, I would long for the opportunity to vote for Bernie

  6. Basim says:

    I have been on this site for many months blasting Hilary
    for what she is: Bibi’s clone!

    I wish Sanders had a chance as an Independent. You have to
    re-register in all 50 states as an Independent and sadly
    the deadline has passed for most of the states. Hope that answers
    the question of a previous writer.

    I think next time Sanders can easily beat Hilary but usually the
    Democratic National Machine does not support candidates
    running against a sitting president seeking a second term.
    He may run and succeed as an Independent against her in 2020.

    So we are left with the lesser of 2 evils: Trump or Hilary.

    In my opinion Trump is by far the lesser of the 2 evils. Sure
    he has scared Muslims by the way he addresses them. But
    Trump has addressed almost everyone he has an issue with
    in an extremely hostile manner. That is just him being him!

    I won’t forget that he wanted to be neutral and fine genuine
    peace between Israel and Palestine. He was speaking from
    his heart in an earlier debate. When the 16 other candidates
    started falling over each other in their respective praises of Israel, for
    the only time in this run for the candidate of Republican PARTY,
    the mighty Donald did buckle under pressure and change his tone
    in less than 1 minute. Understandable, he wants to get elected.

    With Trump we have a small chance. With Hillary we
    have absolutely no chance. I will go with the small chance, the hope, the faith and vote
    for Trump over Hilary.

    Ps. Just so happy to see Mr. Jim Wall finally expose the real ruthless Hilary Clinton.
    He nailed it just right this time! Keep up the great writings…..

  7. Jack Graham says:

    The only reason Hillary has gone anywhere is that she has Wall Street behind her, — and, therefore, is a neo-con, pro-Israel hawk. Not even women like her. Unfortunately, even Trump needs to cuddle up to Isreal, hence is odious pandering to AIPAC. I will probably vote for Jill Stein again this year, although I disagree with her on many questions. I like doctors of medicine.

  8. Samia Khoury says:

    Thank you Jim for exposing Hillary Clinton. What an appropriate title for your article. Indeed she is a shame to all women whom we had hoped could lead the world into a completely different path. This election campaign is indeed a disaster, With the lesser of two evils as some have already commented, may the lord have mercy on your people and our people should she win.

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