Hillary Clinton Hearts Henry Kissinger

If you’d like more evidence that Hillary Clinton would be a clone of neo-conservative Republicans when it comes to foreign policy, look no further than her effusive praise for Henry Kissinger and his new book, World Order, in which he shows some absolutely staggering hypocrisy. In a review of that book in the Washington Post, she writes:

During the Cold War, America’s bipartisan commitment to protecting and expanding a community of nations devoted to freedom, market economies and cooperation eventually proved successful for us and the world. Kissinger’s summary of that vision sounds pertinent today: “an inexorably expanding cooperative order of states observing common rules and norms, embracing liberal economic systems, forswearing territorial conquest, respecting national sovereignty, and adopting participatory and democratic systems of governance.”…

Kissinger is a friend, and I relied on his counsel when I served as secretary of state. He checked in with me regularly, sharing astute observations about foreign leaders and sending me written reports on his travels. Though we have often seen the world and some of our challenges quite differently, and advocated different responses now and in the past, what comes through clearly in this new book is a conviction that we, and President Obama, share: a belief in the indispensability of continued American leadership in service of a just and liberal order…

The things that make us who we are as a nation — our diverse and open society, our devotion to human rights and democratic values — give us a singular advantage in building a future in which the forces of freedom and cooperation prevail over those of division, dictatorship and destruction.

This isn’t just idealism. For an international order to take hold and last, Kissinger argues, it must relate “power to legitimacy.” To that end, Kissinger, the famous realist, sounds surprisingly idealistic. Even when there are tensions between our values and other objectives, America, he reminds us, succeeds by standing up for our values, not shirking them, and leads by engaging peoples and societies, the sources of legitimacy, not governments alone. If our might helps secure the balance of power that underpins the international order, our values and principles help make it acceptable and attractive to others.

It’s a beautiful fantasy world she and Kissinger are selling, don’t you think? If she really thinks that during the Cold War, we had a “bipartisan commitment to protecting and expanding a community of nations devoted to freedom,” she’s utterly delusional. Tell that to the people who were killed by the long list of dictators we supported in Chile, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama, Guatemala, Brazil, Argentina, Indonesia, Iran and many others. Tell them how we were just fighting for freedom and democracy when we installed and propped up brutal dictators in all of those countries, several of them directly under Kissinger.

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  • colnago80

    As Roosevelt was once quoted as remarking about Trujillo, the dictator of the Dominican Republic, he’s an SOB but he’s our SOB. Well, in many of the cases Brayton cites, the alternatives were no better then the clucks the US supported (Castro was hardly an improvement over Batista, the ayatollahs were hardly an improvement over the Shah, the Sandinistas were hardly an improvement over Somoza, etc.).

  • Doubting Thomas

    Clinton and Kissinger? Seems very wrong. Much as I despise him for what he and his boss did to my generation, she’s come way down in my estimation.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    the ayatollahs were hardly an improvement over the Shah

    Yeah, but the ayatollahs weren’t the alternative to the Shah, the alternative was a popular and democratically elected government that we overthrew in order to protect a British oil company. The ayatollahs came to power thanks to our meddling and the strong anti-western sentiment it provoked.

    Strange how acting in violation of our supposed values causes unintended consequences.

  • Michael Heath

    It’d be interesting to understand what strategy Hillary Clinton has developed to win the presidency. I expected her to campaign in a way that offends liberal doves, but over the past year she’s been increasingly offending liberal hawks who are not neo-cons heartburn as well.

    It’d be great to see liberals rally around a pro-economic growth, social liberal who is also dovish on foreign policy without being an isolationist. Because of the type of federal judges Republicans appoint, I can’t see myself voting for anyone but a Democrat in 2016. Increasingly, I’m tempt to prefer the Democratic candidate be somebody other than Hillary Clinton. That’s in spite of my thinking she’d be tough for the GOP to beat in 2016. That’s also in spite of thinking she ran a credible campaign in 2008 where she didn’t so much as a unique talent won that year. But her hawkishness is increasingly concerning.

  • https://www.facebook.com/joseph.sexton.7 Joseph Sexton

    “Everything that files on anything that moves.” Until Henry Kissinger is turned over to Cambodia to face the same sort of investigation and trial as the Khmer Rouge leaders, justice will not have been done.

  • slc1

    Re Area Man @ #3

    Here’s a link to an article by a foreign policy commenter who maintains that the CIA involvement in the overthrow of Mossadegh is greatly exaggerated. I would note that the article was published in Foreign Affairs Quarterly, generally considered a reliable source of information. The fact is that the ayatollahs would have been just as POed at Mossadegh as they were at the Shah because of his secularism.

    http://goo.gl/vQV4Ej

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Tell them how we were just fighting for freedom and democracy when we installed and propped up brutal dictators in all of those countries, several of them directly under Kissinger.

    We were fighting for freedom and democracy. Ours. Much like Civil Rights, the best way to protect freedom and democracy is to prevent others from getting any.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    What the fuck is wrong with Hillary Clinton?! Can’t she just once find the voice to say something that doesn’t sound like spineless capitulation to the radical right? Can’t she at least pretend she can think independently of hated has-beens like Kissinger? Can’t she at least give lip-service to DEMOCRATIC foreign-policy geniuses, like George Kennan and George Marshall? They’re the ones who actually worked to build the world order that Kissinger only managed.

    Hillary seems still to represent a generation of Democrats who caved to their enemies’ propaganda and got it stuck in their heads that they had to cave to the right to appeal to “independents.” Which they kept on doing, very clumsily and incompetently, apparently without even thinking of how their words sounded; and without actually letting themselves see how many people are sick of it.

  • eric

    If you’d like more evidence that Hillary Clinton would be a clone of neo-conservative Republicans when it comes to foreign policy

    I don’t really think of either Clinton as hewing to a particular ideology. In my book they’re both pretty much 90% political opportunist, 10% democrat. Giving a positive review to a (pro-)Kissinger book doesn’t particularly upset me, I just think “meh, playing hired gun again.” Someone payed her for a positive review, so she gave it.

    Michael Heath:

    It’d be interesting to understand what strategy Hillary Clinton has developed to win the presidency.

    I’d be interested to understand what sort of foreign policy she’d enact and legislation she’d propose to congress if there wasn’t political wrangling to be done. What does the real Hilary underneath want to do with the country? Because at this point, beyond pro-choice and pro-healthcare, I don’t think there’s much “there” there. I’m guessing her position on other issues is going to just mirror the makeup of Congress; if it’s middle of the road economically, she’s going to be middle. If it’s hawkish on foreign policy, she’ll be a hawk. If congress is pro-patriot act expansions of police powers, she’ll be pro-patriot act. She’ll probably be pro-SSM because the polls show its got something like 60% approval numbers, but I don’t think she’d spend any political capital on gay rights if it was lower than 40%. Basically, on most issues, I see her as a political chameleon.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    colnago80 @ # 1 & slc1 @ # 6 – please post using one name in a single thread, or those of us who aren’t already clued in to your sleaziness might think there are two people holding your repellent opinions, and those of us who are will have to go look up the FtB rules against sock-puppetry.

  • colnago80

    Re #10

    The use of slc1 was inadvertent. I no longer use that moniker any more. Sorry about that.

  • dhall

    #1 & #6 & #11- There’s nothing unusual about historians, poly sci experts, foreign policy experts, etc., to debate how much influence one party might have had on an event or development. Experts in those fields interested in that event or development can look at the same information–letters, government records, whatever–and honestly reach different conclusions, especially about something as difficult to objectively measure as “influence.” The article you linked to is an example of one side of that particular debate. The author is not necessarily wrong or right, and it’s certainly possible to find equally well written articles by other experts that will represent the other side of the debate.

    However, arguing about how much influence the CIA might have had on the overthrow of Mossadegh is beside the point. The real bottom line point is that the US, by way of the CIA, chose to get involved in the internal affairs of another sovereign nation to help overthrow–or at least signal Washington DC’s approval to overthrow–a duly elected public official in order to reinstall one of the nasty dictators that the US has a tendency to back whenever convenient to US interests. Mossadegh leaned a little further to the left than the US government would tolerate during the Cold War, and sent the CIA to help get rid of him, and to prop the Shah back up. The ayatollahs were not the slightest bit happy with that outcome either, and the knowledge that the US interfered–regardless of how much–absolutely triggered anti-American sentiment, which was amply demonstrated, and repeatedly. In other words, there’s influence, and then there’s influence. Sometimes, mere presence is too much influence.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    The fact is that the ayatollahs would have been just as POed at Mossadegh as they were at the Shah because of his secularism.

    So you’re saying our policy should have been to keep the ayatollahs happy? Say what?

    Mossadegh was highly popular with the people while the Shah was hated. The Shah’s tyranny caused a revolution. If you want to claim that the coup orchestrated by the US and UK had nothing to do with Mossadegh’s ouster, then fine I guess, but there’s no doubt that Mossadegh’s continued leadership would have made the Iranian Revolution far less likely.

  • Nick Gotts

    Castro was hardly an improvement over Batista, the ayatollahs were hardly an improvement over the Shah – colnago80

    Ignorant Cold War drivel. While neither Castro’s regime nor the Iranian theocracy are democratic, both have led to enormous improvements in health and education for the bulk of the population.

  • colnago80

    Re Nick Gotts @ #14

    According to FB blogger Kaveh Mousavi, the Ayatollahs are much worse then the Shah. As for Castro, I would agree that he made improvements in the health care situation (I don’t know about the education situation). However, this was offset by a spying situation on the populous that would have made George Orwell proud. According to a former colleague of mine, who was a refugee from Batista by the way, Castro set up a surveillance system in which every block in Havana had an operative who reported to the government. Big brother indeed. Not even Stalin or Heidler could boast of such a system.

  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    There will never be any improvement to our political system as long as our only choice is between evil and not quite as evil.

  • colnago80

    Re Gregory @ #16

    That’s kind of like what we are facing in Syria, except I haven’t a clue who the not quite as evil guys are. Apparently, Israel has decided that Assad fills that role as far as they are concerned. Better the devil you know then the devil you know not.

    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/09/israel-syria-goln-heights-assad-insurgents-idf-drone.html