If you believe like former Democratic Secretary of State Dean Acheson that “[i]n the final analysis, the United States is the locomotive of mankind and the rest of the world the caboose,” an arrogance that begot the gruesome Vietnam War, then you should vote for Hillary Clinton.
Her bellicose, jingoistic foreign policy views bugled in a speech before the American Legion on August 31, 2016 confirms that her presidency would bow to Mars (the God of War), not to Minerva (the Goddess of Wisdom).
Ms. Clinton sermonized that America is an “exceptional” and “indispensable” nation; that “[p]eople all over the world look to us and follow our lead;” and, that when we fail in our providential role to lead, “we leave a vacuum that either causes chaos or other countries or networks rush in to fill the void.” In other words, the United States must conquer the world to avoid chaos wherever we are not; or, even worse, the exercise of power outside our control.
Ms. Clinton must be incredulous that the world survived for thousands of years without falling into chaos before the birth of the United States in 1776; and, the world produced giants like Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato and marvels like the Parthenon, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and the Great Wall of China without United States assistance. And does she really want other countries to follow our lead in endowing the Executive with limitless power to go to war and to play prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner to kill any person suspected of threatening national security based on secret evidence?
According to Ms. Clinton, the United States cannot sit idly by if the world presents an obstacle to the flourishing of our interests. While the interests of all nations are equal, ours are more equal than all the others. We thus have a responsibility to employ our “unique and unparalleled ability to be a force for peace and progress, a champion for freedom and opportunity” to ensure everything in the world is subordinate to our interests.
We can deduce Ms. Clinton’s conception of peace, progress, and freedom by examining her actions and advocacy as a United States Senator, secretary of state, and presidential candidate.
She supported and continues to support United States wars, i.e., the wholesale legalizations of first-degree murder, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen Somalia, Libya, and against ISIL and Al Qaeda everywhere on the planet. If she had her way, we would also be at war with Syria. In all of these conflicts, however, the promotion of freedom is a pretext for global dominance as it was in the Vietnam War. None of these countries or the rebels we support respects the trappings of democracy or the rule of law. Further, our military presence in these nations has aggravated rather than diminished chaos. Post-Gaddafi Libya, for instance, is convulsed by scores of tribal, sectarian, or ethnic militias and competing governments.
As secretary of state, Ms. Clinton assisted in orchestrating regime change in the Ukraine, and then championed the provision of military aid to the new government we created to fight Russia in its historical sphere of influence. She supports our expanded military presence in the Baltic States and Poland which similarly lie within that Russian sphere.
Ms. Clinton’s “pivot to Asia” challenges China over its historical spheres of influence in the South China and East China Seas and in Korea. Following the pivot, we established a marine training base in Darwin, Australia. We began building a THADD U.S. missile system in South Korea. We established five military training bases in the Philippines near the contested South China Sea. We committed to defending Japan’s claim to the Senkaku Islands against Chinese attack. We continued to maintain 50,000 troops in Japan and 30,000 more in South Korea. We forged closer collaboration with the Republic of Singapore Navy. We escalated tensions with China in the air and on the sea, including military patrols and exercises in the South China Sea. China understandably considers these acts aggressive and targeted at its sovereignty and security interests. Ms. Clinton urged President Obama to dispatch an aircraft carrier to the Yellow Sea near China in response to a North Korean provocation against South Korea by triumphally exclaming: “We’ve got to run it up the gut!”
History speaks volumes about what is likely to happen when we challenge Russia or China within their traditional spheres of influence while fiercely protecting our own. We threatened China with armed forces and bombing along the Yalu River during the Korean War. China responded by dispatching 3 million military and civilian personnel to Korea and forcing General Douglas MacArthur’s troops back to the 38th parallel. We threated Russia’s traditional sphere of influence with nuclear-tipped Jupiter ballistic missiles on its border with Turkey and in Italy in 1962. Russia (then the USSR) responded by deploying missiles in Cuba. That engendered the Cuban Missile Crisis which brought the world to the brink of destruction.
The 1964 presidential election is also instructive. Democratic presidential candidate Lyndon B. Johnson held the same tribal, simplistic, good guys vs. bad guys view of foreign policy as does Hillary Clinton. His national security advisor, McGeorge Bundy, was a Dean Acheson disciple. LBJ was viewed as the peace candidate regarding Vietnam as opposed to his Republican rival Senator Barry Goldwater. LBJ prevailed in a landslide, but before he left office 569,000 American soldiers were fighting a futile war in the jungles of Vietnam.
Be forewarned. Hillary Clinton is the 2016 candidate who will fight wars with Russia, China, and anyone else who balks at playing caboose to her locomotive.