One of the main reasons I favored Bernie Sanders in this election cycle was Hillary Clinton's foreign policy positions. While I think Clinton may well be an effective president when it comes to championing progressive causes, her history of foreign policy blunders is deeply, deeply troubling.
Clinton is a foreign policy hawk, and has favored US military action at almost every stage of her political career. She backed the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, kowtows to Israel, has threatened Iran with "massive" force, and is promising a "muscular" foreign policy should she become president. For anyone vaguely aware of the world outside of America, this should cause great alarm given the country's track record of wrecking, well, pretty much everything.
Given Bernie Sanders has virtually no chance of wining the Democratic primary, we are basically stuck with Clinton's foreign policy positions -- not great, but not the end of the world given Clinton is an intelligent operator who isn't particularly ideological, and adapts well to changing circumstances.
Which brings us to Donald Trump, whose foreign policy positions quite literally could mean the end of the world. The Guardian reported on a speech Clinton plans to give today in California that will attack Trump's national security plans for the country -- plans that would virtually guarantee unnecessary conflict:
Clinton’s campaign said the speech, which will be delivered in San Diego at 11.30am local time, will draw a clear line between the former secretary of state’s plans and those outlined by Trump, which include having Mexico pay for a border wall that its president, Enrique Peña Nieto, said his country would not support, and temporarily banning Muslims from entering the US.
Clinton campaign senior policy adviser Jake Sullivan said the speech would outline why Trump was “fundamentally unfit” to be president....
Clinton’s campaign has said it expects to secure the final delegates she needs to officially become the party’s nominee after the California and New Jersey primaries on 7 June.
“She will rebuke a litany of dangerous policies that Trump has espoused,” Sullivan said, “ranging from nuclear proliferation to endorsing war crimes, from denouncing Nato to banning Muslims.
To entertain any of these policies is beyond ridiculous, and no sane American should support Trump in his bid to dismantle the country's standing in the world. While the specifics of Trump's policies are horrific, it is the general tone he has adopted while discussing foreign policy that is the most troubling. As laid out in his first major speech on national security, Trump essentially stated that he viewed other countries as enemies and competitors that need to be beaten by America. "America first will be the overriding theme of my administration," Trump said. "Under a Trump administration, no American citizen will ever again feel that their needs come second to the citizens of foreign countries."
This type of language does not go unnoticed by other countries, and it serves to heighten tensions between America and her allies. Trump's belligerence and willingness to disregard international conventions because "America" could well incite major conflict should he become president. We saw what happened during the Bush administration when the operating principle was force and coercion as opposed to cooperation and persuasion, and given Trump's notoriously thin skin, one can only imagine what his response would be to potentially explosive situations.
So yes, Hillary Clinton's foreign policy positions are not ideal and it would be preferable to elect someone who, for example, saw the stupidity of the Iraq war before it happened. But just think of the alternative -- a fascist bully who openly advocates war crimes and thinks putting America first means degrading and insulting everyone else.
At the end of the day, the President of the United States will have access to the country's nuclear codes -- the largest arsenal of thermonuclear weaponry in human history. Anyone want to take a risk with this guy?: