There can be no doubt that Hillary Rodham Clinton is the natural choice of today's Democratic Party in the United States of America as front-runner for the 2016 Presidential election, given her heavyweight political pedigree over many decades. The question is, does the Donkey want to move on?
Let us start the debate by raising the level and let me state categorically that I will refuse to respect or engage with those who mention affairs with interns at the White House (which is as demeaning as it is insulting and has nothing whatsoever to do with Hillary Clinton as a public figure; it is a private matter for the families, who have anyway moved on from there). Let us also not vote for Hillary Clinton just because she is a woman, however appealing the urge because doing so would be as sexist as not voting for Hillary Clinton, just because she is a woman.
The Obama presidential campaigns showed that in the United States of America today, just as is the case in many societies, someone's race, color, creed, gender or sexuality should not and does not bear any part in processes judging a person's capacity or competence to do a job.
So let us judge Hillary Clinton not as the ex-First Lady, not as a woman, but as the woman who has put her name forward, in public, for the Presidential election in 2016. Here, let us remember one thing: the people electing her, or not, are the citizens of the United States of America, not foreigners, yet the very dimension of the USA overseas, with its history of intrusion into the domestic affairs of sovereign nations, its bases in 130-plus countries and the power of the lobbies which control Washington's policies at home and abroad, means that the Presidential election does have an impact on the lives of non-US citizens of the world. Therefore, unless and until Washington minds its own business and sticks to its own frontiers, which it cannot and will not do, we all have our right to speak out.
The second point is that the citizens of the United States of America will not vote for Hillary Clinton on her foreign policy. Only one third of US citizens have a passport and not all of these have travelled abroad.
Nevertheless, it is precisely the foreign policy pursued by Washington that directly affects the lives of those of us who are non-US citizens because whoever is elected in the USA will have an impact at home and abroad.
Internally, Hillary Rodham Clinton can be described today as a fighter within the system, originally an outsider (not being born into the political elite from the East Coast) who managed, through her own merit, to become an insider, and a political heavyweight, heavier even than an eventual push from Bush. There are those who say that President Bill Clinton is the confirmation of the saying that behind every great man... Some referred to him as President Billary (underlining her influence in White House policies).
Certainly without Hillary Rodham, there would have been no Bill Clinton in Arkansas, where the Clinton dynasty was formed and probably not in Washington either. Before then, she had shown outstanding talent as a student, as a lecturer, as a writer, as an activist and as a political campaigner... and orator, showing the charisma to sway and hold audiences and convince people to support her policies. At the age of 22, she was featuring in the local press, and before she was 30, had played an important role in the Watergate scandal as advisor to the House Committee on the Judiciary and a member of the investigating team for Impeachment of President Nixon.
Hillary Clinton's early years are marked by anti-establishment, and increasingly Left Wing causes and social issues: anti-Vietnam War, Civil Rights, public health, women's and children's rights and from an early age identified herself with a focus on the family. As First Lady, Hillary Clinton showed the emotional intelligence required by the job to take a step back, at least in public and gained kudos for her handling of private issues which would have wrecked many conventional marriages. She was also a model early example not only at home but also around the world in favor of women's engagement in policies and empowerment of women in society.
If her bid for the Presidency in 2008 was overshadowed by the mixture of Obama's oratorical brilliance and the wow factor, it also came after she had gained more practical experience of the mechanisms in Washington, as Senator for New York from 2000.
And from here on, we have the confirmation of what Ortega y Gasset wrote, namely Yo soy yo y mi circunstancia (I am myself and that which surrounds me). Although Hillary Clinton voted against banning same-sex marriages, and although she opposed the Iraq War Troop Surge, she had also voted in favor of the attack against Iraq in 2003.
As Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton swung from a socially and politically progressive politician to, as far as it is apparent, a prisoner of the clique of lobbies which closed ranks around President Obama, neutered him and either placed Clinton into a straitjacket, or else she willingly slipped into one.
Under Obama and Clinton, and since Clinton departed from the State Department after four years, the United States of America did nothing to build bridges, enacted zero change in its foreign policy and pursued an insulting, arrogant and chauvinistic approach to its international relations. Hillary Clinton, as the Head of Washington's diplomacy, was extremely disappointing and presented the sorry and spineless image of someone who had been assimilated by the powers she had started her political career fighting against.
Needless to say, the USA continued its policy of supporting and using terrorist groups to topple Governments in sovereign States, and the campaign in Libya, destroying the State of the Jamahiriya under Muammar al-Qathafi, was the most blatant example of criminal activity in recent history. The Libyan leader's work in creating the African Union was forgotten, his tele-medicine and e-learning programs were disregarded, his tremendous record in women's rights, for which he was to receive a prize from the UNO, was swept under the carpet as Takfiri groups released from the gates of Hell were unleashed against what had been until Clinton the country with the highest Human Development Index in Africa. What Gaddafi built, Hillary Clinton destroyed, to protect the lobbies pulling her strings. Let Hillary Clinton go back to Libya today and walk around the areas infested with the filth she unleashed and see what happens to the womenfolk in that country, destroyed by her United States of America. Were I a nasty person, I would ask her to take her daughter with her, if she would prefer to play the voyeur before experiencing it herself. I wonder if she would state "I came, I saw, she died" and then break out in raucous laughter?
In Syria, more of the same and as Russia was doing everything, using Diplomacy to stop Clinton's USA from engaging in open warfare on the side of the Takfiri terrorists (including the precursor to Islamic State which reared its head so ably during Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State), what did Hillary Clinton do? She called Russia's foreign policy "despicable". This, from the person who started her tenure stating "We have a lot of damage to repair" after eight years of the Bush regime.
Singing the siren's song
I would say that Hillary Clinton's foreign policy was worse than that of George W. Bush because with him and his clique of neocon elitists, you knew what to expect. But when someone sings the siren's song, comes across as lovey-dovey and sweet, then stabs the international community in the back, one perceives something very ugly waiting to lunge behind the eyes. Her reaction to what she perceived as the fate of Muammar al-Qathafi proves the point.
Unfortunately, I have to conclude that as far as the US Presidential election is concerned, and while I would love to see the properly qualified woman in charge for a change, based on this sorry record, Hillary Clinton is a "not to be" for the following reason: once a Rottweiler has savaged two people, would anyone in their right mind leave it in charge, standing over a baby?
There are those who voted for Obama, not because he is "black", because he isn't, but because he promised something new; there are those who might be tempted to vote for Hillary Clinton because she is a Lady and will make promises. But...
*Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey has worked as a correspondent, journalist, deputy editor, editor, chief editor, director, project manager, executive director, partner and owner of printed and online daily, weekly, monthly and yearly publications, TV stations and media groups printed, aired and distributed in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, Mozambique and São Tomé and Principe Isles; the Russian Foreign Ministry publication Dialog and the Cuban Foreign Ministry Official Publications. He has spent the last two decades in humanitarian projects, connecting communities, working to document and catalog disappearing languages, cultures, traditions, working to network with the LGBT communities helping to set up shelters for abused or frightened victims and as Media Partner with UN Women, working to foster the UN Women project to fight against gender violence and to strive for an end to sexism, racism and homophobia. He is also a Media Partner of Humane Society International, fighting for animal rights.
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