Hillary Clinton Is to MENA as LBJ was to Vietnam

Hillary Clinton as president will escalate everywhere in the MENA (Middle East North Africa) countries that she can. We already know this from her published statements and positions.

She’ll ramp up aid to Israel and fully commit to it. She has a hair trigger for increased sanctions and pressures on Iran. She’s trigger happy for greater U.S. warfare against Assad in Syria. She’s anxious to defeat ISIS.

Given an excuse or chance, Clinton’s militaristic tendency will easily spread to other countries anywhere in Africa and Asia.

It isn’t only that she’s prone to use force. It’s also that Clinton will blunder in her escalation and applications of force because she doesn’t know what’s she doing. The ways she thinks about the countries and their problems are wrong; and she thinks about their connections with America in wrong ways. Just as LBJ misconceived Vietnamese communism, Ho-Chi Minh and a great deal more, so Clinton has very serious misconceptions. She’s primed to cause a lot more grief than she’s already caused, as in Libya.

In September of 2015, Clinton released her “5-Point Plan on Iran“. She thinks of Iran as an enemy and state sponsor of terrorism against Israel. She thinks of Israel as a close ally of the U.S.

Her plan’s 5 points are all wrong things to do. Clinton would increase aid to Israel and Saudi Arabia. More headway would be made with these countries by withholding aid. She’d seek a ban on Hezbollah, “including its political wing”. Why play favorites? She’d accuse Iran of human rights violations and increase sanctions again. Why make Iran an enemy because Israel is paranoid about her? She’d again seek the elusive “moderate rebels” in Syria and support them. This strategy is a farce.

Clinton’s proposals are largely a pro-Israel policy. They do not even come close to an America first objective. But support of Israel is what has caused great problems in that region and for the U.S. and Europe ever since the idea of its becoming a state was implemented. The U.S. just keeps getting in deeper and deeper in support of Israel, and as it does the fanatical element in the Muslim world gains currency. As it does, the U.S. policies become more and more confused and byzantine.

In December of 2015, she said

“The United States should also work with our Arab partners to get them more invested in the fight against ISIS. At the moment, they’re focused in other areas because of their concerns in the region, especially the threat from Iran. That’s why the Saudis, for example, shifted attention from Syria to Yemen. So we have to work out a common approach.”

Like the U.S. government, Clinton regards Saudi Arabia as a staunch ally. This approach is wrong because it automatically makes the U.S. a party to disagreements, disputes and conflict that are intra-regional and not our business. Neutrality is far better; but the U.S. gave that up once it started supporting Israel and started worrying so much about Saudi oil. The Saudi aggression in Yemen would not be possible without the tangible assistance of the U.S. military. The U.S. should not be reinforcing the fears of Saudi Arabia concerning Iran.

Clinton adds. “In September, I laid out a comprehensive plan to counter Iranian influence across the region and its support for terrorist proxies such as Hezbollah and Hamas. We cannot view Iran and ISIS as separate challenges. Regional politics are too interwoven. Raising the confidence of our Arab partners and raising the costs to Iran for bad behavior will contribute to a more effective fight against ISIS.”

It’s amazingly wrongheaded to lump Iran and ISIS together under a terrorist label. Hezbollah and Hamas are not the same as ISIS in aims, scope, appeal or behavior. Iran looks upon ISIS as an enemy. Why can’t we view them separately? We should in fact do so. I fail to see how punishing Iran helps fight ISIS when Iranians are dying in Syria to fight ISIS fanatics. I fail to see why the U.S. government is supposed to “raise the confidence” of Arab partners, i.e., Saudi Arabia. Are they babies or something, or are they instead playing the U.S. for all that they can get from us?

How many wrong ideas has Clinton been promoting in just these few sentences? They’re everywhere. Wrong ideas pervade her proposals. There are ideas deeply entrenched with her that she does not question or think about.

Without considering the downsides, she presumes that the U.S. government must commit to this region and be heavily involved in it. She ignores decades of earlier involvements that have backfired and done the U.S. and people in the affected MENA countries great harm.

She presumes that Israel is some kind of ally. I’d like to know what the U.S. has bought for its multi-billion dollar investment in Israel. Occasionally, we read of some intelligence matter or some weapon or some technique, but were they the objective? And were they worth not only the money cost, taken out of the pockets of working Americans, but also the enormous grief and ramifications this investment has brought?

The problem of the Palestinians and of Israel’s relations with them, inside and outside its borders, remains unsolved. And nothing that Clinton proposes even remotely addresses this problem that is a concern to her targeted enemies. She is not going to solve this problem by sanctions on Iran, bottling up Iran, pledging to keep the Straits of Hormuz open, throttling Hezbollah, removing Assad, creating a new Muslim government in Syria, destroying Yemen, kowtowing to Israel and Saudi Arabia, arming Israel with F-35s, condemning Hamas, looking the other way while Israel attacks Gaza, and supporting human rights in Iran. Making a priority of fighting ISIS is actually a diversion from the unsolved central issue: Palestine and Israel.

This issue might possibly have been solved a long time ago by some combination of reparations, payments, repatriation, right of return and a change in the state structure of Israel to accommodate several peoples on equal terms.

Hillary Clinton has no fresh ideas on MENA. The ideas she does have are wrong, beside being tired and worn out. They are destined to fail, as they have in the past. A new vision is needed for the U.S. government: one of neutrality and non-intervention. Paying off countries is wrong. Supplying aid that gets stolen and misdirected is wrong. Choosing favorites is wrong. Attempting to remake societies is wrong. If private individuals and charities and such wish to help or attempt to help, they may, at their own cost and risk. This is not a job for the American government. That approach has led to amazing involvements of the U.S. government in a host of countries. To mention but a few: Jefferson went to the Barbary coast, McKinley to the Philippines, Polk to Mexico, Lincoln to Atlanta, Wilson to Europe, Roosevelt to Japan, Europe and Africa, Truman to Korea, LBJ to Vietnam, Bush I and Bush 2 to Iraq, Bush 2 to Afghanistan, Bill Clinton to Yugoslavia and Somalia, Hillary Clinton and Obama to Libya.

Is there not something basically flawed in an approach that produces so much warfare, usually when no issue of self-defense is involved?

Will not Clinton’s suggested policies all fit into the very same mold? They attack phantom problems based upon misconceived ideas while ignoring problems that cannot be solved by violence.

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7:15 pm on August 24, 2016