Monday, March 30, 2015

Missing the Hillary-Libya Boat

Friday afternoon, there was the news release that Hillary Clinton’s private email server was wiped clean. This could be a cover lie like the IRS losing all of Lois Lerner’s emails meant to delay inquiries. The possibility that she destroyed government property when under subpoena by Congress is much more interesting. One can see her cover coming, “I didn’t break the law per se. The emails were destroyed because all of them were handed over to State.” Okay, well where are they State Department? The media will most likely play this like every Obama-DOJ misdeed since 2009, with soft censorship and looking the other way. The right will lick their lips hoping to submarine Hillary with emails, all the while missing the chance to discuss the big torpedo, Libya, and our system in general.

Hillary Clinton will have a slightly better resume than Obama in 2008 because she served as Secretary of State for four years, but she comes with the baggage of low charisma, “the Clintons”, being elderly, head “injuries” and some other items. Forget the technicality pushing of emails, and look at her time as Secretary of State. Good discussion of her acts would poke good holes in her record either way. One, if she says policy was controlled by the White House, she is revealed as a PR hire for the Sec of State slot. This makes those four years look even worse. If she does not use that excuse, just look at that resume. There is the failed reset with Russia, mishandling of the exit from Iraq, the Afghanistan quagmire and Libya. It is a murderer’s row for mishaps and epic fails. This is her resume. That is all, and recycled economic ideas.

The Libya sponsored overthrow is fun to examine because the media has already pushed the idea of HRC being one of three ladies who pushed the humanitarian revolution in Libya on President Obama. The before and after would be a great damning indictment of the entire way we perform foreign policy, and what are our “goals”. I distinctly dislike the use of the term “neocon” often thrown around the alt right, and prefer David Stockman’s “War Party”. Our military industrial complex (and now military technological complex), donates to both sides of the aisle, and works with politicians of the humanitarian persuasion and the US muscle persuasion. It is a blend of Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. Before and after with Libya is horrific in virtually every regard and measure. They cannot even export oil with regularity, and come on, isn’t that what the Middle East is about? This is why HRC’s emails would be wonderful to have. The Pentagon has leaked she was a bit off kilter in pushing war there when diplomatic negotiations were ongoing, so what else is there? Who else was pushing her to push this? Where does the real power lay to push our government officials along?

To take a contrarian view, what if the entire set up is for the media to destroy Clinton and slide in the more reliably leftist candidate for president? Clintons will make deals for themselves, and not the left. Bill Clinton spent the '96 political season signing whatever the GOP congress slid in front of him to kneecap Bob Dole. It worked. Maybe the power interests that truly control the left know they have a headless horseman voting coalition that will win with anyone at the top in presidential years, so they want a more trustworthy lefty in charge. HRC does not look good in this, and each time she steps in front of a microphone defending herself and fielding questions on the fly, it is an opportunity for her to look *old* shaken, *old* confused, *old* and wobbly. Not 3am material. This is the HDTV election era. Vox and other harder lefty press organs are already begging for Al Gore and Liz Warren. 

We will get the trumped up concerns from Fox and other center-right publications about Hillary’s email shenanigans as a knock on her behavior, implying a character unfit for the president. They will avoid the idea that someone so gung-ho for overthrowing Gadaffy should not be anywhere near the Oval Office. Yes, this is the left’s great hope for 2016, but the right aligned or friendly media, while limited, can look beyond erased emails to consider the bigger picture. If people who supported the Iraq invasion can be disqualified, something similar should happen with the foreign policy team of 2009-today. If these politicians are reluctant fighters and shucks, do things they do not want to, who or what are the interests whispering into their ears? Evaluate the system. We will not get that though. Neoliberalism loves globalization for the free flow of capital and goods. Each trade deal and each factory built in a foreign country becomes a reason to care about who is running that county. Pull more countries into the core and one now has more countries to be responsible for and nudge in the proper direction.


peterike said...

Hillary was apparently running her own private foreign policy, most likely to push certain financial interests. There was a good blog about it at Belmont Club.

In an honest and adult nation, she would be tried for treason and hanged. But then, so would probably 80% of our elected officials, and that's not gonna happen either. It's really amazing how corrupt the system has become.

nikcrit said...

Re. the following passage in the link provided in peterike's comment:

“At least 10 of the memos deal in whole or in part with internal Libyan politics and the government’s fight against militants, including the status of the Libyan oil industry and the prospects for Western companies to participate.” There is nothing overtly illegal described in the emails.

However there is clearly the question of whether enlisting private parties, both foreign and domestic to perform certain tasks in exchange for access or rules in successor governments is not in some ways like issuing letters of marque by executive order or private assignment. For those who don’t know what a letter of marque is, “in the days of fighting sail, a letter of marque and reprisal was a government license authorizing a person (known as a privateer) to attack and capture enemy vessels and bring them before admiralty courts for condemnation and sale.

Read more:

this seems quite damning; and a after-the-fact pundit could easily get on a pietous role detailing such exploits.
But the fact is that any --- ANY --- politico routinely dealing at such a powerful and international level would be doing similiar antics in no time; that in fact it would be impossible not to and remain at such a high level of international actions and diplomacy.
Maybe this is obvious to all; because if it was really that outrageous, she'd be called out by GOPs and other political adversaries; but they likely don't because those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, etc.

IMO, license to bend practical and political aims and objectives needs to be granted to those in high positions because, well, because it's going to happen inevitably anyhow, so it wastes less time to simply loosen up the rules of engagement rather than waste time playing predictable ggames of partisan 'gotcha!'

Portlander said...

Unfortunately on my more usual Left Coast comment schedule with this one, but for the record, it must be said…

RE: News Media Can't Cover Long Stories

As we say in the tech industry, "that's a feature, not a bug."

As to Fox News (deliberately) missing the boat, hey those guys eat the same bread & butter as the rest of the Cathedral. They aren't going to upset the apple cart in any fundamental fashion. It goes all the way to the top. Murdoch is a billionaire. With apologies to Tolstoy, all billionaires are alike: they've loaned out their money to lot of dodgy credits and the only hope they have of being paid back is fooling those dodgy credits into their own voluntary wage-slavery.

Like I said the other day: carrot & stick. They couldn't let the US middle-class get too wealthy, they'd stop following orders. They made that mistake in 60's. Dealing with the UAW '68-72, sheesh. Forget about it. One story I remember from a book I was assigned to read in college recounted the poor morale at the GM assembly plant in Fremont, CA. No matter what they tried, one guy would only show-up three days a week. (The horror!) Finally, when asked by his manager why he only worked three days, the arrogant SOB had the gall to say because he couldn't support himself working two days a week. Well, they showed him.

O/T: you ought to consider adding a "latest comment" side-bar to the main page. It would be helpful keeping comments going on posts that aren't on top.