02 September 2015

Doyle McManus on Clinton's hawkishness

​To my friends and farflung correspondents who do not want more war in the Middle East but who cling to the fantasy that Clinton is some kind of progressive, I would cite this from Doyle McManus in the L. A. Times today (in an article about the prospect of Biden entering the Democratic race):
"​Biden and Clinton aren't far apart when it comes to domestic issues, but that's decidedly not true when it comes to international affairs.
"Clinton was on the hawkish side of Obama's team. She supported a big surge of US troops into Afghanistan in 2009; Obama opted for a smaller surge with a time limit. In 2011, she called for US military intervention in Libya; Obama went along. In 2012, she urged him to send military aid to Syrian rebels; Obama resisted (after Clinton left office, he changed his mind).
"Biden was on the opposite end of all three debates. He didn't think adding US military force in Afghanistan would solve the country's problems. He didn't think Libya was central enough to US interests to justify airstrikes. And he was skeptical about the idea of arming Syrian rebels."

 McManus says this about the candidacy of Bernie Sanders:
"To some degree, Democrats already have a choice on foreign policy: Bernie Sanders is, if anything, even less enthusiastic about military intervention than Biden. (Sanders voted against the Iraq war in 2002.) But foreign policy hasn't been the centerpiece of Sanders's pitch Biden would do well to campaign on the issue in part because Democratic primary voters are more likely to agree with his skepticism than Clinton's 'indispensable nation' approach."

While I do not necessarily endorse McManus's view here, the Sanders campaign should perhaps take note, and the candidate should perhaps focus more on foreign policy, making clear that non-intervention absent compelling US national interest is an essential element of his platform. If we get involved in more multi-trillion dollar land wars in Asia, the ambitious domestic development agenda that Sanders proposes to revive our domestic economy and production, will be seriously hampered.

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