In a lengthy article (April 21st) at the "liberal" New York Times, "How Hillary Clinton Became a Hawk," Hillary is variously described as "aggressive," "tough," a "military wonk" who's "more muscular" than President Obama when it comes to advocating for the use of force. Noted for her "pugnacity" and "hardheadedness," Hillary is praised for her close relationships with U.S. generals, to include David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal. Indeed, the article highlights the fact that Hillary is sometimes more aggressive in advocating for military force than the generals she confers with. Nevertheless, or rather because of this, the generals apparently like Hillary. They really like her!
What are we to make of this puff piece that praises Hillary the Hawk? Obviously, with Hillary's victory in New York and her forthcoming, now nearly inevitable nomination as the Democratic candidate for president, Hillary Clinton and her allies have decided it's time to sharpen her beak and claws. No more nonsense about being a touchy-feely progressive like Bernie Sanders. It's time for Hillary the Hawk to take charge and soar, preempting any criticism by Republicans that she'll be "weak" on defense.
But, tell me again, how did America's wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and elsewhere go for the United States? At least three trillion dollars lost, tens of thousands of U.S. troops killed and wounded, hundreds of thousands of "foreigners" killed and wounded, millions made refugees, and for what, exactly?
Hillary the Hawk wants to double-down on a losing hand. That's neither "aggressive" nor "tough": It's reckless and dumb. Worst of all, she's playing with our chips as well as the lives of our troops, not to mention the lives of all those "foreigners" seeking shelter from American bombs and bullets and drones. (But we have a word for them: collateral damage.)
Hillary Clinton, like all of the remaining presidential candidates, never wore a military uniform. Her one child, Chelsea, married well and lives in a posh apartment (price: a cool $10.5 million) in New York City. Indeed, like most American politicians in Congress, Hillary is a millionaire without children in the military, therefore she risks little in advocating for more U.S. troops to be sent off to war. Her defenders (including Hillary herself) will say she will use force only as a last resort, yet the "Hillary Hawk" article cited above makes plain that she is no reluctant warrior. Hell, why not, when she earns such praise for her wonkish warrior posturing from the New York Times?
Admirer of Henry Kissinger, supporter of the Iraq War in 2003, self-styled conqueror of Qaddafi and Libya ("We came. We saw. He died," Hillary the Hawk laughed), fervid supporter of Bibi Netanyahu and Israel, Hillary Clinton is ready to take on the world.
One thing is certain: We can't say we weren't warned.
A retired lieutenant colonel (USAF) and history professor, Astore blogs at Bracing Views.