Imperial Hubris: Clinton Demands Russia And China "Pay The Price"
At the third meeting of the so-called Friends of Syria in Paris on July 6, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proved once again that diplomacy is to the United States what refined dining etiquette is to a jackal.
The third such meeting, earlier versions were held in "post-revolution" Tunisia and in Turkey, a NATO member with military forces massed on Syria's border, was opened by French President Francois Hollande (who already is making his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy appear less anomalously egregious), who declaimed, "Bashir al Assad must go...a transitional government must be set up."
The head of state of Syria's former colonial master also engaged in comic opera theatrics by observing a moment of silence for - some - of the victims in Syria and insisted that the Syrian government's "fall is inevitable." Just as Sarkozy had done last year with the governments of Ivory Coast and Libya. Just as Clinton had done with both as well and now with Syria.
But Hollande was only the compÃ¨re who warmed up the audience for the true personification of 21st century imperial hubris - Clinton.
She, who in February referred to Russia and China as being despicable for blocking a resolution in the United Nations Security Council aimed at the regime change in Syria mentioned above, abandoned any remaining element of restraint - a quality she has never been noted for, any more than for subtlety, judgment, humility, fairness and other seemingly outdated virtues - and exploited the Syrian crisis to crudely excoriate Russia and China once again.
Her shrill diatribe included an attempt to incite attendees from over 100 countries and organizations against the two alleged villains: "I ask you to reach out to Russia and China and to not only urge, but demand that they get off the sidelines and begin to support the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people."
The operative word is demand. As in dÃ©marche. As in diktat.
However, if the above suggests that she accused Russia and China of what is the international equivalent of criminal negligence, the following demonstrates that she intended something far more severe:
"I don't think Russia and China believe they are paying any price at all, nothing at all, for standing up on behalf of the Assad regime. The only way that will change is if every nation represented here directly and urgently makes it clear that Russia and China will pay a price, because they are holding up progress."
Clinton was born in a hospital on the North Side of Chicago and clearly knows cardinal rule number one of Machine politics there: Reward your friends and punish your enemies. Especially the second. Smite them ruthlessly and remorselessly. Crush them if possible. Teach them a lesson they - and others tempted to pursue a less than completely obedient path - will never forget. Make them "pay a price."
Her commander-in-chief President Barack Obama, his Cardinal Richelieu, David Axelrod, and his first two White House chiefs of staff, Rahm Emanuel and William Daley (son of one long-term mayor and brother of another), all matriculated in the school of Chicago power politics where compromise is a foreign concept and negotiation isn't a word in the dictionary.
For the past 81 years Chicago's chief executive, the mayor, has belonged to the same political party, Clinton's, and currently all fifty members of the legislative body, the City Council, do as well.
Bills and city budgets are regularly passed unanimously, often with little discussion, less debate and no public input.
To be recalled the next time Clinton launches into a tirade against the government of or elections in other nations, as she did in relation to parliamentary elections in Russia last December, which she denounced as "neither free nor fair."
Following the all too brief reprieve provided by the mayoralty of Harold Washington (1983-1987), the city reverted to top-down, autocratic rule, with near-absolute power wielded from the mayor's office on the 5th Floor of City Hall.