Observing the US elections from the outside, it becomes clear that Hillary Clinton's campaign is starting to look lacklustre, desperate, out of steam, harangued, beleaguered and in short, a "weiner" short of a barbecue. The same adjectives could be applied to Senator Clinton herself. Let us examine her credentials for the position of POTUS.
Hillary Clinton's insolence towards the Russian Federation while she was still Secretary of State was commented on in this column after she called Russia's strategy in Syria "despicable" when all Russia was doing, and is doing, in a nutshell, is helping the legitimate government of the country fight terrorists.
This includes helping the police and ambulance services and fire brigade to protect the civilians from being massacred, raped, beheaded, slaughtered by demonic hordes in many cases trained by the United States of America, the country which stood back and looked on while Islamic State grew up on its watch in Iraq and then spread to Syria. In contrast, Russia is conducting a successful anti-terrorist operation. One side supports and nurtures and trains terrorists, the other does something about it.
So in criticizing Russia's policy, Hillary Clinton is showing a blatant disregard for the public services in Syria which are trying to do their job protecting the innocent civilians and in taking the side of terrorists who have raped nuns and raped little girls after forcing them to watch their parents having their throats slit and who have raped them before and after the girls were themselves beheaded, she is sending out a message that she does not know what she is doing. She's backing the wrong side and trying to worm her way out of the mess.
For someone who has reportedly studied international relations, Hillary Clinton's grasp on international affairs is extremely weak, as we saw in her pitiful comments in Libya upon the murder of Muammar al-Gaddafy, the man who took Libya from the poorest nation in Africa and gave it the highest Human Development Index in the continent. What did Hillary Clinton do? She practically giggled over his death and then masterminded the monumental balls-up which saw the country slide into chaos, where it remains today. Complete with ISIS.
Not a very good business card. And now on the campaign trail, what do we see? Do we see an exciting, dynamic lady leading with interesting new ideas, opening fresh lines of debate on public services, launching new economic challenges? No, we see a very ordinary, sometimes manic-looking Hillary Clinton pressing the same, tired old buttons, playing the Russia Card in her attempt to win over her people through the manipulation of fear. That is soooo 1990s.
The way it works is like this. Using the Goebbels-style mantra that if a lie is repeated often enough it becomes perceived as the truth, she creates a "them" (Russia) to justify the "us" (U.S.), lets the media surf the hype and work its magic and wave its wand, and creates an ogre, so that her people will cower in fear and allow her to tell them she will keep them safe, if they vote for her. Bullshit meter off the scale...
The puerile statues of Trump dotted all over the sidewalks denote an even more worrying fact - that the Clinton campaign is based on negativity against Trump, demonology against Trump and ridiculing Trump but not on any policies. If Trump is ridiculous, he is at least far more aware of where the hearts and minds of the international community stand, and that is with Russia, that is with the United States of America, that is with a multilateral world coming together, taking decisions together, fighting climate change together, achieving development together through investment in people and not through deployment of troops.
America was great once. It fought for social causes, fought for the worker, fought for racial equality, fought for women's rights, fought for children's rights, provided public services in communities where decent, hard-working folk could make a living and live in peace. Take a leaf out of Hillary Clinton's book and look at it. We have Islamic State in Iraq, Islamic State in Syria, Islamic State in Libya, we have the United States of America training and siding with terrorists, we have Iraq reduced to the status of a failed state, ditto Libya and if Russia wasn't helping President Assad fight this scourge, the same would be true of Syria. And who does Senator Clinton criticize?
America is not great today. It stands alone, is universally hated, Americans traveling abroad prefer to say they are Canadians, America is seen as the pariah of the international community, covering for Israel's war crimes and human rights outrages, it is seen as a country which makes a mockery out of international law and internally, public services hardly exist in some areas, are failing badly in others and in many cities the streets are no-go areas.
What is this? It is the America of Hillary Clinton, whose policies are wish-washy, failed, tired, stale and outdated. It is a pity because ten years ago Hillary Clinton, like Barack Obama, promised so much.
What we see today is their highly disappointing legacy, reminding us of a brilliant political cartoon printed just after Obama and Clinton came to power, in which the democrat and republican Establishment were giggling together about promises of change.
And what we see today is that a vote for Clinton is a vote for more of the same. Time for a breath of fresh air? To date, how many countries has Trump trashed? None. He denounces terrorists rather than siding with them and he understands that the entire world wants and demands a fresh start and a frank, trustworthy interlocutor. Change? With Clinton, certainly not. With Trump, maybe. But only with the people behind him and not ridiculing someone who is trying to try. Give the guy a hand, not a kick in the face.
At least he stands as someone who for once is prepared to listen. And that is a very good start. In Russia, he has an interlocutor who has a massive popularity index. Russians vote for Putin in democratic exercises, free and fair democratic exercises, and Clinton has a problem with that?
*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. A Vegan, he is also a Media Partner of Humane Society International, fighting for animal rights. He is Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru.
First and foremost, it goes about the replacement of the French-Russian SaM146 engine with the Russian PD-8 aircraft engine