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The Temptation of Expanding U.S. Military Involvement


The Temptation of Expanding U.S. Military Involvement

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Hillary Clinton’s speech last week on the Islamic State at the Council on Foreign Relations has received more praise than parsing, benefiting from the contrast to the shameless fear-mongering of Republican presidential candidates. But sounding better than the cacophony coming out of the GOP ship of fools is a low bar. On the question of whether her strategy makes sense, the speech falls dramatically short.


This came yesterday from Stephen Kinzer and I didn't have time to respond:

"Violent extremism in the Middle East will end only when people who live there end it. That cannot begin to happen until outsiders leave the region to its own people. The Middle East will not stabilize until its people are allowed to act for themselves, rather than being acted upon by others."

This appears to be the "new narrative" from the professional "left," and what it leaves out is just what entities destroyed the region in the first place.

It's nifty to speak of a region's right to self-determination AFTER it's been bludgeoned back to the Stone Age. More responsibility than mere walking away is required... but that responsibility does not translate to war, weapons, or aggression.

Massive humanitarian aid in conjunction with sane and sincere diplomatic negotiations are LONG overdue.


Obama's neo con agenda shows gross incompetence & criminality in the mid east.
He & the republican neocon's & there is little difference between the two don't know what the fuck they are doing.
They have fucked up & cannot be trusted to lead. Time to get out of there!!


The editor of the Nation here is giving Hillary Clinton far too much credit. Even if Ms Vanden Heuvel points to serious problems in the Clinton proposal.

In fact, the Nation (through its editor) is acting as if Clinton would be a good nominee for the democrats. It’s a mistake, even if Vanden Heuvel is writing for the WaPo here.

Far more simply: The Clinton speech last week made very clear that Ms Clinton would pursue very dangerous policies in that region. (This being an area were a large sub-set of the US christian right has fantasies of starting a nuclear war–and I’m sure that Turkey shooting down a Russian plane yesterday plays into this “vision”.)


Humanitarian aid can oft be used for cover for spying and undermining an established government (think Syria or Ukraine) or as far back as the Sandinistas in the late 1980s, after the US had stopped its support for the "rebels".

For now the key is cutting funding to ISIS, and that funding comes mostly from the Gulf States and the Saudis--not black market oil sold by ISIS.

Then the US, which caused so much of this mess, has to actually work with states it doesn't like--the Assad government and the Iranians. Israel will object.


This whole developing situation -- or tangled array of developing situations -- is even more confusing and ridiculous than the ones that led to World War I: Syrias for Assad, Syrians against Assad, Turkey and Russia, Shias and Sunnis with the difference between never given even an attempted explanation as to what that dispute is and why they hate each other, the US against the attempted reconstitution of the Former Soviet Union and where do the Kurds belong in all that? the US agsinst China -- how does the South China Sea fit with ISIS, ISIL, Al Qaida, and Dinaesh and affect the Mid East ever changing narrative? France, Belgium, and Germany are now involved too, and parts but not all of Africa,

All of it could cease to be of these "power players" just said "let's not do this." But of course none of them are capable of believing that they can pick up their marbles and say "I won't play" because then what might happen to hegemony, to the currencies, the per barrel price of oil? Apparently the "west" can't just decide that NATO Treaty obligations might tossed aside as being less important than, say, global warming and all the other elements of environmental spoilage, increasing food insecurity et al. These are real problems, serious ones that have the potential to cause massive fatalities without the use of weapons of mass destruction, that won't go away, that sure seem to me to have nothing to do with this Cold and Hot running war threat madness,


Given Hillary's track record, no one should be even remotely surprised that she plans to take a more war-like stance than Obama. If anything, she likely toned down her position in the speech as not to distress potential progressive voters. A Clinton presidency guarantees a continuation of the Bush-Obama policy of regime change. As with Bush and Obama, Hillary talk of creating coalitions is empty political fluff.


the 65 member coalition is a joke.


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Theres no difference between them they're all neocons


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