Hillary Clinton’s Neo-Conservative Foreign Policy

Eric Zuesse

Newly released Hillary Clinton emails clarify the depth of her foreign-policy neo-conservatism, and the closeness of her views to the views of the people who were advising George W. Bush and who advise today’s Republican Presidential candidates. (Donald Trump is an exception: he has recently been publicly condemned by more than a hundred of those Republican foreign-policy advisors, all of whom are neo-conservatives. They condemn him on incoherent grounds. For example, their jointly signed letter says, “His embrace of the expansive use of torture is inexcusable.” But some of the letter’s signatories have themselves defended the use of torture, such as the letter’s writer, Eliot A. Cohen, who defended the use of torture implicitly in his “9/11 rules”; Frances F. Townsend, who in the White House actually authorized torture; Max Boot, who defended the use of torture; and Dov Zakheim, who has also defended torture. Hillary Clinton merely laughed at the torture-to-death of Muammar Gaddafi, but perhaps these foreign-policy ‘experts’ will end up voting for her, because she is so close to so many of them — even personal friends with some of them, such as Robert Kagan.)

In fact, Secretary Clinton’s emails add further insight into the world-view that led her in 2002 to be eager for (and to vote  for) the U.S. to invade Iraq — a country which, at the time (i.e., under Saddam Hussein), was viewed as a threat not only by Iran, but by Israel (a much bigger focus of American foreign-policy concern than Iran is). Neo-conservatives view Israel as an ally — if not as being America’s top ally — but they view Iran as an enemy (partly because it’s considered by Israel to be its top enemy). For some reason, U.S. foreign policy appears to be dictated largely by the preferences of the Israeli government: If Israel considers Iran to be an enemy, the U.S. government likely also will. That’s the way things are, irrespective of whether it makes sense for the American people; and it certainly is the way things are with regard to Ms. Clinton — as is made clear in her emails.

Many of Clinton’s emails were from-or-to Jacob J. Sullivan, about whom the wikipedia listing opens, “Jacob Jeremiah ‘Jake’ Sullivan (born November 28, 1976) is an American policymaker and the top foreign policy advisor to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election campaign.[1] He is widely rumored to be a front-runner for the position of U.S. National Security Advisor under a potential Hillary Clinton administration, should she be elected president in 2016. … He also served as the Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State, and as Deputy Chief of Staff to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He was deputy policy director on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential primary campaign.” It goes on to note that, “Sullivan married Margaret Maggie Goodlander, a former speechwriter to Senator Joe Lieberman and senior policy advisor to Senator John McCain,[13][14] in June 2015.” Both Lieberman and McCain are also prominent neo-conservatives. Strobe Talbott, who has long worked closely with Sullivan, is among the Democratic Party’s senior neo-conservatives, and he says, “The sky’s the limit” for his much younger colleague.

So, Clinton respects Sullivan’s advice on international relations. In fact, she respects his opinions so much that in at least one email, she was on a phone call and emailed him “Can you get into the call w/out being announced?” In other words: she needed his advice but didn’t want the caller at the other end to know that he was listening-in on what was being said. They’re also very close socially.

Two of her other friends and advisors are Victoria Nuland (who organized the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine — it was a coup, and the head of Stratfor even called it “the most blatant coup in history”) and Nuland’s husband, Robert Kagan. Both Nuland and Kagan are friends also of the seminal neo-conservative Bill Krystol, and all of them are commonly called “neo-conservatives,” which wikipedia defines by opening with: “Neoconservatism (commonly shortened to neocon) is a political movement born in the United States during the 1960s among Democrats who became disenchanted with the party’s domestic and especially foreign policy.” They are interventionists abroad, who are devoted to extension of American power, especially of the power of U.S. international corporations. In fact, neo-conservatism arose largely as a response against the anti-war position on Vietnam. It supported the “hawkish” position on Vietnam — the Republican Party’s position at the time, which was also being championed in the Democratic Party by Henry “Scoop” Jackson, “the Senator from Boeing” and a reliable representative of the entire military-industrial complex. Neo-conservatism is simply supporting control of the world by America, specifically the spread of control by international corporations that are headquartered in the U.S. Wikipedia continues: “Many of its adherents became politically famous during the Republican presidential administrations of the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Neoconservatives peaked in influence during the administrations of George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, when they played a major role in promoting and planning the 2003 invasion of Iraq. … Neoconservatives continue to have influence in the Obama White House, and neoconservative ideology has continued as a factor in American foreign policy.” They are reliably advocates for increased ‘defense’ sending. This also means that they favor higher federal debt, and/or lower federal spending on non-‘defense’ spending. In international relations, they’re proud advocates of a ‘muscular’ America. George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton are both prime examples of neo-conservative politicians, though of different Parties.

Another one of Ms. Clinton’s top foreign-policy advisors is Sidney Blumenthal, who (as reported in an informative article at the New York Observer) kept “offering Ms. Clinton unsolicited advice about Libya policy — which she passed around even after other administration officials concluded it was rubbish.” He, too, is highly favorable to America’s invading regimes that Israel wants to overthrow, and is a neo-conservative.

With this as background, here is an email that was passed along by Mr. Sullivan to some unidentified person and which was written by Mr. Blumenthal (“Sid”) to Secretary of State Clinton:

——

http://graphics.wsj.com/hillary-clinton-email-documents/pdfs/C05795332.pdf

UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05795332 Date: 01/07/2016

RELEASE IN PART B6

From:  H <hrod17@clintonemail.com>

Sent:  Tuesday, July 24, 2012 6:53 PM

To:  ‘sulliyanjj@state.gov’

Subject  Fw: H: New intel Syria, Turykey, Israel, Iran. Sid

Attachments:  hrc memo new intel Syria, Turkey, Israel, Iran 072412.docx

Fyi.

From: sbwhoeop

Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 02:23 AM

To: H

Subject: H: New Intel Syria, Turykey, Israel, Iran. Sid

CONFIDENTIAL

July 24, 2012

For: Hillary

From: Sid

Re: Syria, Turkey, Israel, Iran

SOURCE: Sources with access to the highest levels of the Governments and institutions discussed below. This includes political parties and regional intelligence and security services.

1. According to an individual with access to the highest levels of major European governments, the intelligence services of these countries are reporting to their principals that the commanders of the Israeli military and intelligence community believe that the civil war in Syria is spreading to neighboring countries, including Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. These European officials are concerned that the ongoing conflict in Syria will lead to uprisings in these countries that will bring increasingly conservative Islamic regimes into power, replacing existing secular or moderate regimes. This individual adds that, Israeli security officials believe that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is convinced that these developments will leave them vulnerable, with only enemies on their borders.

UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05795332 Date: 01/07/2016

2. In private conversations senior Israeli Intelligence and Military commanders state to their European associates that they have long viewed the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad, while hostile, as a known quantity and a buffer between Israel and the more militant Muslim countries, a situation that is threatened by the growing success of the rebel forces of the Free Syria Army (FSA). This source is convinced that these Israeli leaders are now drawing up contingency plans to deal with a regional structure where the new revolutionary regimes that take over the various countries will be controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood and possibly more problematic groups such as al Qa’ida, which doesn’t bode well for the Israelis.

3. At the same time, looking at the tensions between Israel and Iran as part of the overall situation in the region, these European heads of state are receiving reporting indicating that if Israel were to attack the Iranian nuclear facilities at this time it would only exacerbate relations with their neighbors. In addition, such an attack may lead to further deterioration in the world economy, which would in turn be blamed on Israel. These sources believe that such an attack would also unite the Iranian population against the United States and strengthen their ties to the Mullahs, rather than weaken them. These particular individuals fear that this in turn would accelerate Iranian efforts at building a nuclear arsenal, seeking additional support from their contacts in Russia and China.

4. According to a source with direct access, Turkish Army commanders have stated in private discussions with the highest levels of their Government that an Israeli attack on Iran will surely start a regional war “before the first Israel air-strike sortie has returned to base”. Turkish intelligence estimates, supported by their liaison contacts in Western European intelligence services, advise that thousands of missiles and rockets would fall on Israel fired from Iran, Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza.

5. (Source Comment: The Turkish Army estimates that Syria and Lebanon Hezbollah forces have access to over 200,000 surface to surface rockets and missiles. Their military analysts also believe that an assault from such a force would overwhelm Israel’s defenses.)

6. According to these individuals, the European intelligence sources are also advising their heads of state that international economic sanctions are truly hurting the Iranian economy and have begun to foster frustration among the Iranian people. Sources in Tehran report that this hostility is increasingly aimed at the ruling party. These individuals also advise that an Israeli attack against Iran would immediately serve to undermine this situation, turning the population against Israel, the United States, and Western Europe in support of their rulers, both Islamic and Secular. In this regard, these European security leaders regularly site the words of Prime Minister Netanyahu: “Iran in particular is susceptible to economic pressure. The oil-exporting Islamic republic is virtually a single-crop economy, and imposition of a tight blockade against Iranian oil sales will undoubtedly induce in Teheran a prompt revaluation of the utility of even indirect terrorist tactics.”

UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05795332 Date: 01/07/2016

7. One particular source states that the British and French Intelligence services believe that their Israeli counterparts are convinced that there is a positive side to the civil war in Syria; if the Assad regime topples, Iran would lose its only ally in the Middle East and would be isolated. At the same time, the fall of the House of Assad could well ignite a sectarian war between the Shiites and the majority Sunnis of the region drawing in Iran, which, in the view of Israeli commanders would not be a bad thing for Israel and its Western allies. In the opinion of this individual, such a scenario would distract and might obstruct Iran from its nuclear activities for a good deal of time. In addition, certain senior Israeli intelligence analysts believe that this turn of events may even prove to be a factor in the eventual fall of the current government of Iran.

8. (Source Comment: In the opinion of this particularly sensitive source, after discussions with Israeli contacts, if you consider Israel’s position at this juncture, with all that is ongoing in the region, what position would you take? At present, considering that Israel is not prepared for an all out war with Iran, they may well continue to threaten action, giving the impression they are serious about pursuing aggressive Iranian anti-nuclear efforts. One way to do that is to update weapon systems; secure an air base in Saudi Arabia that would suggest a staging ground for an eventual attack, then “leak” the word to the media that their are eminent plans to carry out a bombing raid and do everything possible to persuade the world they mean business.)

9. At the same time, a separate sensitive source added that the European security services are concerned that this brinksmanship could lead to missteps that could, in turn, lead to a regional war. In this regard these European services are staying in close contact with their Israeli counterparts as they attempt to manipulate events while avoiding a general conflict at this time. This individual stated that a senior Israeli military commander described the current situation from the Israeli perspective by quoting Sun Tzu wrote in THE ART OF WAR: “He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.”

CONFIDENTIAL: This message is confidential, privileged, and is covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (18 USC 2510). This message and any attachments are intended for the sole use of the addresses(s) and any discussion, copying and/or distribution is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender, and immediately delete from your computer system. Thank you.

UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05795332 Date: 01/07/2016

——

Point #1 means that, back on 24 July 2012, Hillary Clinton knew that “European officials are concerned that the ongoing conflict in Syria will lead to uprisings in these countries that will bring increasingly conservative Islamic regimes into power, replacing existing secular or moderate regimes.” Yet still she and President Obama remained insistent that the jihadists in Syria topple and replace Bashar al-Assad — U.S. policy favors the jihadists over Assad, regardless of whether “European officials” feel that way. Thus, too, Clinton’s friend and aide Victoria Nuland said, when Nuland told the U.S. Ambassador in Ukraine whom to select to run the country after the coup would be over, “F—k the EU.” Clinton was actually more insistent in her neo-conservtism than Obama was and is. She was the Administration’s ‘hard-liner.’ The initial preparations for Ukraine’s coup were made just before Clinton stepped down to run for President.

Point #2 means that, “Israeli leaders are now drawing up contingency plans to deal with a regional structure where the new revolutionary regimes that take over the various countries will be controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood and possibly more problematic groups such as al Qa’ida, which doesn’t bode well for the Israelis.” In other words: Clinton (and Obama) were even more determined to overthrow Assad than was the far-right leader of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. Here was a clear instance in which U.S. foreign policy went against that of Israel: it was even farther to the right than that of Israel’s Likud Party. Democratic voters who are voting for Clinton evidently have no idea of how far to the right she is on foreign affairs. Republican voters might like her positions on that, but very few Democratic voters would. They’re simply ignorant of the reality. Maybe that’s because the ‘news’ media hide it from the public. Let’s see if U.S. ‘news’ media will continue to make difficult the public’s finding this out. (It’s hardly even noted in the ‘news.’)

Point #7, however, means that Israel’s government isn’t significantly less right-wing than is America’s, because: “British and French Intelligence services believe that their Israeli counterparts are convinced that there is a positive side to the civil war in Syria; if the Assad regime topples, Iran would lose its only ally in the Middle East and would be isolated. At the same time, the fall of the House of Assad could well ignite a sectarian war between the Shiites and the majority Sunnis of the region drawing in Iran, which, in the view of Israeli commanders would not be a bad thing for Israel and its Western allies.”

Who knew? Hillary Clinton did. The U.S. public still  don’t.

Incidentally: Clinton also knew that her use of private email for State Department business was a violation. She even expressed to Mr. Sullivan that State Department employees weren’t supposed to do that; she said this when he reported to her that a certain subordinate had done it; she replied: “I was surprised that he used personal email account if he is at State.” Sullivan likewise knew that what she was doing here was wrong. In fact, Secretary Clinton, on at least one occasion, gave him instruction on how to have the least likelihood of being penalized for it:

On 17 June 2011, Sullivan emailed her, “They say they’ve had issues sending secure fax. They’re working on it.” And she replied, “If they can’t, turn into nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure.” This meant: strip away the top-secret marking, so that (if her use of private email for official business ever gets found out) I’ll have deniability that I knew I was receiving classified information to my private computer in a non-secure way. He followed her instruction, without hesitation.

She knew that using her private computer for official business was wrong, and she also knew that using this private system for top-secret information was especially wrong. But she did it anyway. She took evasive actions, for both. And her closest policy-advisor uncomplainingly broke the law for her. They keep each other’s secrets. And so do America’s press — even when internal political ‘Democratic’-Republican conflicts, such as over the Benghazi matter, force to become public information, the raw evidence of their knowing complicity.

This, for example, is how it came to be that “Hillary Clinton’s Six Foreign-Policy Catastrophes” are still virtually secrets, unknown by the millions of people who are voting for her. And so is her neo-conservatism, which motivated all of those catastrophes.

She says that her vote to invade Iraq was an ‘error.’ But that’s a lie. She’d do it again, in the same circumstances; she’s still the same person. She’s the very same neo-conservative now, that she was then and long before. She’s a reckless promoter of American Empire. And this is what explains her six catastrophes as Secretary of State.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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