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All Hail the Queen of Exceptionalistan

by Pepe Escobar

CounterPunch (June 10 2016)

The “milestone” is barely behind us, but it’s already time to go beyond “history made” and “no [glass] ceiling too hard to break”. From soccer – and security – moms to NASCAR dads, from the “it’s the economy, stupid” armies to the NOTA (None of the Above) legions in the US, extending all across global latitudes from South America to Siberia and all points Africa to the Hindu Kush and the Pamirs, the world as we know it is slowly coming to grips with the fact that Hillary Clinton may be a – protracted – heartbeat away from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

And the world as we know it has every reason to be on edge.

It was only a few days ago when, flanked by nineteen American flags, Hillary Clinton embarked on a foreign policy magna opus that essentially broke down to dissing Donald Trump – portrayed as a major threat to decades of sound, bipartisan US diplomacy.

The money quote – for the whole world to mull – could not be more explicit; the United States “is exceptional – the last best hope on earth”. As in accept our hegemony – or else.

Every sentient being remotely familiar with Hillary Clinton’s record knows by now that, if elected, she will preside over a Warfare State – which, incidentally, is bound to further bankrupt Washington. Spending on the defense/security/surveillance complex will balloon way beyond the current $850 billion a year. We’re not talking about landing under sniper fire in Bosnia here; this is the exceptionalist meat of the matter.

Hillary Clinton’s record shows that she fully supported Bubba’s military adventures in the Balkans, Dubya’s disastrous wars on Afghanistan and Iraq and Obama’s Afghan surge. But her masterpiece as Secretary of State was of course the destruction of Libya – followed by her enthusiastic support for weaponizing “moderate rebels”, aka hardcore jihadis, in Syria.

R2P (“responsibility to protect”) would have remained no more than a hollow smart power-related concept without the Three Harpies (Hillary, Samantha Power and Susan Rice) lobbying non-stop for its implementation in Libya. Libya was the battling ground supposed to gloriously elevate the Clinton Doctrine to the apex of foreign policy smartness.

R2P – as in humanitarian imperialism deployed towards regime change – should have been duly paraded throughout the 2016 presidential campaign. But alas, even with We Came, We Saw, He Died the descent of Libya into a militia hell scotched all those elaborate plans. It was – and remains – more of a case of I came, I Saw and I Got Tangled Up in Benghazi.

As it stands, the Obama administration is taking no prisoners to somewhat salvage Hillary Clinton’s signature menu as Secretary of State; after all some sort of success in Libya must still be paraded in the campaign trail to counterpunch Trump’s Benghazi-related offensive.

The White House game is to try to put all the weaponized Libyan cats in the same bag, hoping they won’t tear the bag – aka “unity government” – apart. Yet it’s actually worse than it sounds, as the weaponized Libyan cats couldn’t give a damn about a ratty US/UN-manufactured bag.

Those Terrifying Words

If the prospect of seeing the whole world turned into a giant Libya was not enough, public opinion all across the Global South must also get to grips with what arguably will become the most terrifying words in the English language: Secretary of State Victoria Nuland.

Oh yes, because a Hillary milestone will certainly translate into a Kaganate of Nulands milestone.

It’s common knowledge that the Kagan clan pose as Washington’s undisputed warmongering resident neocons. Robert Kagan may be the Maharishi of Regime Change, his dull, oracle-style books avidly read and quoted by disciple Barack Obama.

But Victoria is a much more colorful, crossover proposition; aid to Dick “Dark Side” Cheney; Hillary protege at State; career peak in 2013 as Assistant Secretary for European Affairs; architect of the coup in Kiev in February 2104 – “f**k the EU” included. Who cares if the Kaganate of Nulands – formerly know as Ukraine – is a neonazi-infested, oligarch-ridden failed entity? With Hillary in power, Secretary of State Victoria Nuland has got to be seen as a surefire bet.

It’s still a long way to go – and the fat Philly lady has not sung, yet. What’s certain is that the “milestone” meme will soon revert to the original Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (“VRWC”) – as myriad pieces of the vast Hillary puzzle still refuse to match.

Here are a few examples. Hillary was always a sucker for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Asian arm of Nato on trade. But pressured by Bernie Sanders, she started insisting in the campaign trail she was against it. And then, that TPP was not what she’d hoped it might be. That’s now the default position.

It gets curioser and curioser though as the Center for Economic and Policy Research (“CEPR”) found out that in new hardback editions of her Hard Choices (2014) tome, all the passages where she details her push to convince other nations to join TPP simply disappeared.

There’s the subterranean email blues that simply won’t go away. Even Gobi desert nomads are laughing at the fact that the State Department seriously announced it would take 75 years for the full release of emails from top aides to Hillary while she was at State.

Meanwhile Stephen Mull, former executive secretary at State from June 2010 to 2012 – and since last September lead implementation coordinator for the Iran nuclear deal – told lawyers in a civil Judicial Watch lawsuit that he knew about Hillary’s server, but did not think it was used for government business.

Hillary maintains that, “What I did was allowed. It was allowed by the State Department. The State Department has confirmed that”, as she told AP last September. Well, State’s inspector general report fully debunked her version; the departments that oversee security “did not – and would not – approve” her use of a personal email server.

There’s the Clinton Foundation puzzle – arguably qualifying as a prime tax-free international money laundering scheme. There are those Wall Street speeches whose transcripts will never be released.

And there’s even a book to be released one month before Hillary goes to her crowning glory moment in Philly, written by a former Secret Service officer assigned to the Bubba White House. His judgement on Hillary: she “lacks the integrity and temperament to serve in the office”; and her “appalling leadership style” is “volcanic, impulsive, enabled by sycophants, and disdainful of the rules set for everyone else”.

Those who are about to – maybe – survive under the volcano, we salute you, Queen of Exceptionalistan.

All Hail the Queen of Exceptionalistan

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