We can’t have more of the same: The very real dangers of Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy
Trump may well be dangerous. But know what you’re getting with Hillary: American hegemony that’s hated worldwide
Just what we needed: another foreign policy speech from Candidate Clinton. This one arrived last Thursday in San Diego—well-chosen ground, given the Navy’s immense base on the city’s shore and the Marine Expeditionary Force garrisoned at Camp Pendleton. It has a long military tradition, San Diego, and the projection of American power is what drives the local economy. Perfect for Clinton. Her speech to this crew-cutted, right-wing town was, of course, “major”—as all of her speeches on the foreign side cannot help but be.
Clinton’s people advised the press beforehand that, major or not, this presentation was not intended to break any new ground—no new positions, no new policy initiatives or ideas. This hardly had to be explained, of course: Hillary Clinton has no new ideas on American foreign policy. That is not her product. Clinton sells continuity, more of the same only more of it because it is so good. In continuity we are supposed to find safety, certainty and security.
I do not find any such things in the idea that our foreign policy cliques under a Clinton administration will simply keep doing what they have been doing for many decades. The thought frightens me, and I do not say this for mere effect. In my estimation, and it is no more than that, the world is approaching maximum tolerance of America’s post–Cold War insistence on hegemony. As regular readers will know, this is why I stand among those who consider Clinton’s foreign policy thinking, borne out by the record, the most dangerous thing about her. And there are many of us, by the evidence.
Nominally, as advertised in the advancers published before Clinton spoke, Clinton’s speech was a rolling barrage against Donald Trump’s various assertions on foreign policy questions. It was that. She hacked into Trump’s “America First” stance and a few of his specific positions. But I question whether this was her true point. I find evidence in her remarks to suggest Clinton’s more fundamental intent was to counter all the talk of “Hillary the hawk” and “Killary.” It is catching up on her; the givenness to invasions, bombing campaigns, “regime change” and conjured-from-nothing hostility may well prove a serious burden as she tries to line up the Sanders people—that vast segment of the Democratic Party she has so thoroughly alienated—behind her.