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Hillary Clinton: Candidate of War

By       Message Daniel Lazare       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   25 comments

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In case there was still any uncertainty, Hillary Clinton banished all doubt in her second debate with Donald Trump. A vote for her is a vote not only for war, but for war on behalf of Al Qaeda.

This is clear from her response to ABC reporter Martha Raddatz's painfully loaded question about the Syrian conflict. With Raddatz going on about the hundreds killed by the evil twins, Bashar al-Assad and Putin and even tossing in the Holocaust for good measure, Clinton saw no reason to hold back:

"Well, the situation in Syria is catastrophic and every day that goes by we see the results of the regime -- by Assad in partnership with the Iranians on the ground, the Russians in the air -- bombarding places, in particular Aleppo where there are hundreds of thousands of people, probably about 250,000 still left, and there is a determined effort by the Russian air force to destroy Aleppo in order to eliminate the last of the Syrian rebels who are really holding out against the Assad regime.

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"Russia hasn't paid any attention to ISIS. They're interested in keeping Assad in power. So I, when I was secretary of state, advocated, and I advocate today, a no-fly-zone and safe zones. ... But I want to emphasize that what is at stake here is the ambitions and the aggressiveness of Russia. Russia has decided that it's all in in Syria, and they've also decided who they want to see become president of the United States too, and it's not me. I stood up to Russia, I've taken on Putin and others, and I would do that as president."

It was an astonishing performance, even for a presidential debate. Rarely have more lies and misstatements been crammed into a single two-minute statement.

Where to begin? For starters, there are not 250,000 people in Aleppo, but somewhere around 1.75 million, only a small portion of whom live in a rebel-controlled enclave in the city's east. Despite Clinton's claim that Russia is trying to "destroy Aleppo," most of the city manages to carry on quite peacefully despite rebel "hell cannons" lobbing explosive-packed gas canisters into government-controlled areas at regular intervals.

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"One of the most striking things about Aleppo," New York Times reporter Declan Walsh wrote last May, "is how much of the city appears to be functioning relatively normally. Much of the periphery has been reduced to rubble. But in the city center, I saw people on the sidewalks, traffic flowing, hotels and cafes with plenty of customers, and universities and schools open for students."

Not so in the rebel-held east, however. Juan Cole described the area as "a bombed-out slum," a ghost town with a population conceivably as low as "a few tens of thousands." Life under the rebels is "miserable," he went on. "Some neighborhoods are controlled by Al-Qaeda, some by the hard line Salafi Jihadi 'Freemen of Syria' (Ahrar al-Sham), some by militias of, essentially, the Muslim Brotherhood."

The Truth About the Rebels

Although Clinton seems to regard such elements as valiant freedom fighters, a U.S. Defense Department spokesman confirmed last April that Al Nusra, Al Qaeda's affiliate that recently renamed itself Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, or the Syria Conquest Front, was firmly in charge. "It's primarily al-Nusra who holds Aleppo," Col. Steve Warren told a press briefing.

When Secretary of State John Kerry tried to persuade "moderate" rebel forces to sever ties with Al Nusra during last month's brief ceasefire, The Wall Street Journal reported that some of the largest factions responded by "doubling down on their alliance" and drawing even closer to Al Qaeda. In other words, they flipped Kerry the bird.

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The people Clinton supports are thus the same forces that brought down the World Trade Center 15 years ago, killing nearly 3,000 people and triggering a global war on terror that has allowed Al Qaeda to metastasize across half the globe, including its spinoff group, the Islamic State or ISIS.

The statement that "Russia hasn't paid any attention to ISIS" was similarly bizarre. When ISIS converged on Palmyra, in central Syria, in May 2015, it was the U.S. that held off bombing even though the ISIS fighters would have made perfect targets as they crossed miles of open desert. Why didn't the United States attack and possibly keep the antiquities of Palmyra out of ISIS's hands?

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Freelance journalist and author of three books: The Frozen Republic (Harcourt, 1996); The Velvet Coup (Verso, 2001) and America's Undeclared War (Harcourt 2001).


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