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Hawkish Hillary: Clinton May Sound Friendly to Muslims. But Her Record Is Bloodier.

| August 14, 2016

Warplanes are no props in Clinton's background. (Hillary for America)

Warplanes are no props in Clinton’s background. (Hillary for America)

By Peter Certo

It was impossible not to be moved as Khizr and Ghazala Khan, two Muslim immigrants from Pakistan, stood before the Democratic National Convention and mourned their son Humayan, a U.S. soldier who’d been killed in Iraq.


Humayan, his grieving father recalled, was “the best of America.” Yet if it were up to Donald Trump, Khan said, the slain soldier “never would have been in America.” It was a compelling rebuke to the GOP nominee’s unrepentant calls to banish Muslims and immigrants alike.

Trump, in his fashion, responded poorly. The billionaire insisted that, like the Khans, he’s “made a lot of sacrifices.” He sneered that perhaps the bereaved Ghazala had remained silent on stage because “she wasn’t allowed” to talk.

It was sad and ugly. But amid the word salad was a kernel of truth: “Hillary voted for the Iraq war,” Trump cried, “not me!”

Here at least, he wasn’t wrong.

As a senator from New York, Clinton not only voted for the war. She was among its most vocal supporters in either party, eagerly rehashing the Bush administration’s claims that Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction.

“I stand by the vote,” Clinton told the Council on Foreign Relations in late 2003, when those weapons had failed to materialize. Six months later, Humayan Khan was killed by a car bomb in Iraq. He was one of4,424 U.S. soldiers to die in that war — along with perhaps up to a million Iraqi civilians.

other-wordsThe war in which Khan gave his life has been a political football for so long that it’s become hard to appreciate just what an enormous catastrophe it was — and remains. The invasion exploded sectarian tensions across the Middle East and led directly to the rise of ISIS.

As the worst refugee crisis since World War II unfolds across the Middle East and Europe — and as ISIS terrorists murder innocents from Baghdad to Belgium to San Bernardino — the gaping wound we opened in Iraq sits beneath it all like a black hole, eviscerating human lives at ferocious speed even 13 years later.

Yet as late as her first presidential bid, Clinton refused to apologize for supporting the invasion. If you’re looking for “someone who did not cast that vote or has said his vote was a mistake,” she told Democratic voters in 2007, “there are others to choose from.”

As her polling numbers soured, Clinton eventually did cop to making a “mistake” on Iraq. But that didn’t stop her, once she joined Obama’s administration, from supporting escalation in Afghanistan, deeper involvement in Syria, and intervention in Libya’s civil war, which also ended disastrously.

As a presidential candidate this year, Clinton remains committed tolaunching a “no-fly zone” in Syria. What could go wrong?

Well, in Iraq, a no-fly zone gave way to a full-scale invasion. In Libya, it gave way to regime change and a civil war. Both countries became basket cases and ISIS strongholds, leading the Obama administration to launch new wars in each afterward — most recently with a huge U.S. bombing raid on Sirte, Libya.

Is there any reason to expect Syria to turn out better?

Clinton’s rhetoric on the Muslim world might be friendlier than Trump’s, but her record is much bloodier. Even while she condemns Trump’s erratic statements on foreign policy, there’s no evidence she sees any need to redraw her own hawkish playbook.

The Humayan Khans of America, who freely offer their lives to protect their country, deserve a better approach — one based on diplomacy and human rights. And so do the millions of people of the Middle East, Muslim and otherwise.

Peter Certo is the editor of OtherWords and the editor of Foreign Policy In Focus.

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9 Responses for “Hawkish Hillary: Clinton May Sound Friendly to Muslims. But Her Record Is Bloodier.”

  1. JimB says:

    How can anyone support this evil woman. Her hands are bloody with everything she is associated with. She has no ethics, no morals and she sold her soul to the devil long long ago. She and her husband are disgusting human beings yet people worship and idolize them.
    Hillary has covered for her sex perverted husband, paid off his victims and stood by her man. And what a repulsive man he is. For example, he’s taken 26 trips aboard the “Lolita Express”, (proven by FAA required flight manifests).
    If you don’t know what the Lolita Express is, let me enlighten you. It is a privately owned 727. The owner is Jeffrey Epstein. He also owns a 72 acre private island where he takes his guests. Epstein is a convicted pedophile and has had girls as young as 12 years old supplied for his guests which of course include Bill Clinton. On five of those 26 trips, Clinton didn’t take his Secret Service detail with him (less witnesses?).
    Eventually billionaire Epstein was charged with solicitation and procurement of minors for prostitution, cut a deal with the feds to plead guilty and serve 13 months in a Florida prison. In exchange, he nor his “co-conspirators” would face federal charges. Real classy huh?
    Just one of the shady characters in Bill and Hillary’s sordid lives.
    How could anyone even imagine having these revolting people anywhere near our White House again? Is this the kind of people we want representing our country?

  2. Fredrick says:

    This article lost me at “nominee’s unrepentant calls to banish Muslims and immigrants alike.”…. that is not what he said regardless of how the liberals want to spin it.

    Since we can’t have a “do over” and since we are stuck with one of these two moron, I have to vote for Trump. Man does that sound revolting but not as revolting has Clinton.

  3. PCer says:

    And with all that, she is still a better candidate than Trump.

    and JimB – Bill is not running.

  4. Knightwatch says:

    Truth be known, Bill Clinton was one of our more successful presidents. America thrived economically under his leadership. His Clinto Foundation has raised billions to advance education, health care, economic development and democracy around the world.

    As for Hillary, yes, she “stood by her man” as do thousands, if not millions, of women who fight daily to hold their families together under similar circumstances. Hillary is a super intelligent woman who has fought all of her adult life for women and children. She was the original sponsor for universal health care for American families. As the twice elected senator fron New York, she fought for vetrens benefits, jobs and social justice for the disadvantaged. As Secretary of State, she guided American foreign policy through the tumultuous period following our disasterous invasion of Iraq and the continuing war in Afghanistan which, combined, tore apart the Middle East and gave rise to Al Queda and ISIS.

    Hillary is among the most qualified people to ever run for president. Her domestic and foreign policy experience is unparalled, and certainly dwarfs and embarrasses that of Donald Trump.

    Oh, by the way, through eight congressional and other investigations, the last two by Republican-led congressinal committees, and the last one lasting almost three years, there was no evidence, and no fnding of culpability for Benghazi on the part of Hillary Clinton. No malfeasance and no lying… none!

    And as for her e-mails, she was not the first ecretary of state to use a private e-mail server. Colin Powell did and I believe, so tid Condoleezza Rice. Yes, her responses to inquiries are muddled, but there is no evidence – none! – that she compromized national security.

    So… “evil”, “bloody”, “ethics”, “morals”? I think you have reached a level of hyperbole and hate matched only by your guy, Trump. You know you are going to lose this election – bigly – and you are going to have to choke down your bile for eight long, long years. My advice… drink heavily.

  5. PCer says:

    And now it is revealed that Trump’s right hand man is in bed with Russia. Nice!!!

  6. gino says:

    I guess Palm Coasters on the right have been thrown a bone by our editor- Finally an article criticizing our former Sec of State- although I doubt if the families of the casualties of Benghazi’s US embassy would refer to her as hawkish- maybe a stronger description.

  7. Donald Trump's Tiny Fingers says:

    Dude is a literal Manchurian candidate, hahaha. And according to Giuliani 9/11 happened because of Obama and there has never been a terrorist attack when a Republican in office.

  8. DaveT says:

    The woman is as friendly as a black widow. But people “trust her” which is the worst thing they can do. Obama had the change” happening and Clinton has the BS in full swing and Trump has brainless thought.s.

  9. Guest says:

    “Hillary is among the most qualified people to ever run for president. Her domestic and foreign policy experience is unparalle[le]d…”

    If by “qualified” you mean an ability to continue with the same brand of American foreign policy as before, then, sure, Clinton is qualified.

    If you want to see a president who wants to avoid further American-initiated regime changes and unwinnable wars, then you could do better than Clinton. Even Trump tops her in this regard.

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