One Big Reason Why I won’t be Voting Clinton in the Primary

Cornel West in a pickup truck for Bernie

Cornel West in a pickup truck for Bernie

Nothing but terror and turmoil all around the world. Daesh is back to doing terrorism instead of trying to maintain state borders, and US college campuses are reeling from continued ethnic unrest—much of which is being fostered by deanlets and deanlings seeking to further expand the administration. Hillary Clinton figures into both problems, and those are the top two (of many) reasons why I won’t vote for her in the primary. Bernie Sanders will win the presidency handily if he can beat Hillary, so that pragmatic pig doesn’t fly. I’ll start with the foreign policy problem, and whine about Clinton’s corporate education model later.

World peace matters a lot to me, and the US has been a key impediment to peace because of the military industrial complex which controls our economy, media, and foreign policy establishment. Clinton is from the “liberal imperialist” establishment as Stephen Walt calls them–naive liberals who think that we can use American force to shove “democracy” down the throats of people in other nations. Only, we don’t really want democracy. We want them to act like us. So, when we kill their dictators (and their children) and they elect someone we don’t like, we kill that person, too, thinking that if we just keep killing the regimes we don’t like, eventually they will all become upper class New England liberals like Hillary. It doesn’t work, and we’re sitting on over a century of failed foreign policy proving the liberal hawks (and the conservative hawks) wrong.

Jimmy Carter has been the only consistent voice of reason and realism in American foreign policy since the 1970s, and his take on the situation in Syria and with Daesh and Iraq is a must read. Even though nobody read it. They should have had him on every talk show. Salon and the Atlantic and other progressive outlets should have devoted weeks to analyzing what could and should be done. President Obama should have been grilled by the media about why he hasn’t attempted to prosecute the Carter agenda. Instead, nothing. Just more “bomb them back to the stone age” shit.

Buried in Carter’s plan is a cold stiff backhand to Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama—though I think we all know that on this the former was more at fault than the latter. John Kerry has been a much more peaceable Secretary of State, negotiating with Iran instead of threatening them….etc. Before 2011, Syria was doing ok. There was peace. They had some problems, and the drought hurt, a lot, but it was not an unstable place. The US used the “Arab Spring” uprisings to foster regime change throughout the area, and when Bashar al-Assad freaked out and leveled a few Sunni neighborhoods WE unilaterally demanded that he step down. Wow. Really? His family’s been in power without any serious threat to their authority for 45 years. As Carter puts it “Because of many complex reasons, he (al-Assad) was supported by his military forces, most Christians, Jews, Shiite Muslims, Alawites and others who feared a takeover by radical Sunni Muslims. The prospect for his overthrow was remote.”

Carter laments the ignorance and arrogance of the Clinton/Obama non-diplomatic strategy “Despite our (the Carter Center’s) persistent but confidential protests, the early American position was that the first step in resolving the dispute had to be the removal of Mr. Assad from office. Those who knew him saw this as a fruitless demand, but it has been maintained for more than four years.”

It is instructive that even in the face of open US and Saudi military support of Sunni rebel groups (including ISIS/Daesh), al-Assad’s dynasty did not fall. Still, the US, with Hillary in charge, refused to negotiate with Assad. We could have talked him down. We could have tried to understand what was going on in Syria that was freaking him out.

Now, it should be obvious. Al-Assad may be an asshole as Carter put it “His most persistent characteristic was stubbornness; it was almost psychologically impossible for him to change his mind — and certainly not when under pressure.” That’s how Jimmy says, “he’s an asshole.” But, what kicked in his assholery was the realization that a very significant Sunni militia was pouring across his border with heavy equipment from the US and Iraqi Sunni groups. The Islamic State was being birthed in front of his eyes and in his country. That’s gotta freak a guy out. So, we want to rid Syria of a secular Alawite and leave them to ISIS/Daesh because nobody messes with Hillary and Amurika gets to tell you who your dictator will be.  We chose to give material, military, and financial aid to Daesh just so we could tell Syria who could be their dictator.

We did the same thing in Libya. Two years before demanding that the Gaddafi’s exit (so US oil companies could take over…), Hillary was hanging with Gaddafi’s hot son signing cooperation agreements. The real scandal that nobody cares about is that we destablized Libya which led to a bloody civil war and no real resolution.

Like Carter says, we need to work with Russia, Iran, Syria, Turkey, and the Saudi’s to deescalate Sunni militarism and Syrian tyranny. And now, we’ll have to do that in a context of having a radical Salafi regime-in-formation in Eastern Syria and Southwest Iraq. What we don’t need is another absolutist, tone-deaf, militaristic regime in the US promoting endless war.

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