Reprinted from Consortium News
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the most right-wing presidential candidate of all?
The answer used to be Donald Trump, famous for his naked bigotry toward Mexicans and Muslims. But that was before Hillary Clinton supporters took a page from the old Joe McCarthy handbook and began denouncing their Republican opponent as "an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation" or arguing that criticism of Clinton and NATO somehow emanates out of Moscow.
Now comes Clinton's speech at an American Legion convention in Cincinnati, her most bellicose to date, in which she savages Trump for failing to embrace the ultra-imperialist doctrine of "American exceptionalism."
"My opponent in this race has said very clearly that he thinks American exceptionalism is insulting to the rest of the world," she said Wednesday. "In fact, when Vladimir Putin, of all people, criticized American exceptionalism, my opponent agreed with him, saying, and I quote, 'if you're in Russia, you don't want to hear that America is exceptional.' Well maybe you don't want to hear it, but that doesn't mean it's not true."
Good people, she went on, do not take exception to the doctrine -- only enemies do:
"When we say America is exceptional, it doesn't mean that people from other places don't feel deep national pride, just like we do. It means that we recognize America's unique and unparalleled ability to be a force for peace and progress, a champion for freedom and opportunity. Our power comes with a responsibility to lead, humbly, thoughtfully, and with a fierce commitment to our values. Because, when America fails to lead, we leave a vacuum that either causes chaos or other countries or networks rush in to fill the void."
It's either American tutelage or Armageddon, in other words, which is why countries that are smart and sensible know better than to resist. To round out her pro-war package, Clinton also promised to respond to foreign cyberattacks with military means -- perhaps sending out drones to bomb Wikileaks? -- and promised to deal with the world's bullies as well.
"I know that we can't cozy up to dictators," she said. "We have to stand up to them."
All this from a woman whose family foundation has received up to $25 million from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, perhaps the most repressive government on earth, plus up to $50 million from other Persian Gulf sources. (The Saudis also donated $10-million to the construction of the Bill Clinton presidential library.)
American Legion's Dubious History
Moreover, it was before an organization, born amid the post-World War I Red Scare that:
--So admired Mussolini that it invited him to address its annual convention in 1923.
--Proclaimed to the world that "the Fascisti are to Italy what the American Legion is [to] the United States," in the words of founder Alvin Owsley.