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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Who’s The Bigger Danger Clinton or Trump?

Who’s The Bigger Danger Clinton or Trump?

Clinton’s belligerent interventionism makes war, even nuclear war, more likely.

By Ivan Eland
Consortiumnews
June 22, 2016

The senseless murder of forty-nine revelers at an Orlando, Florida
nightclub has amplified our need for a long overdue national
conversation this election season about the overall direction of
U.S. foreign policy and our proper role in the world.

With the party nominating conventions just weeks away,
now is a good time to start.

In what was billed as a major foreign policy address several weeks
ago, Hillary Clinton who will carry the Democratic banner in this
year’s contest for the White House, got the ball rolling,
characterizing presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump’s views as
“dangerous.”

Focusing on Trump’s statement that Japan and South Korea should
defend themselves, rather than rely on the United States, even if
this includes the possible use of nuclear weapons, Clinton was
anything but subtle.

“This is not someone who should ever have the nuclear codes
because it’s not hard to imagine Donald Trump leading us into
a war just because somebody got under his very thin skin.”

By comparison, Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 television ad smearing
Barry Goldwater, which featured a nuclear mushroom cloud,
and a little girl with a flower, was the epitome of subtlety.

Clinton’s biting attack on Trump got high marks from many in
the media.

Yet, ironically, Trump’s foreign policy views, if you think about it,
are less scary even in their implications for possible nuclear war,
than Clinton’s belligerent, "Interventionism" sold as, “American
World Leadership.”

Even if one fervently opposes nuclear proliferation, a strong case
can be made that the United States should spend more time
worrying about the radical or unstable countries that either have
nuclear weapons or are seeking them such as Iran, Saudi Arabia,
Egypt, Pakistan and North Korea, than worrying about Japan and
South Korea.

But that’s not where Clinton chose to take us.

Instead, Clinton and much of the U.S. foreign policy elite,
Republican and Democrat alike, obsess about Trump saying
what should be obvious.

It would not be a catastrophe if Japan, and South Korea, stable
democratic societies and good world citizens, were able to deter
aggression, if need be, even with nuclear weapons.

In fact, for many years, the U.S. foreign policy establishment has
covered up the danger to the American public, an illusion created
by America’s extensive web of international security alliances and
agreements.

There is no plausible scenario in which any of our NATO allies, or
any of the other nations that rely on the U.S. security umbrella
Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Israel, for example, is going to
be called upon to defend the United States.

As a practical matter it only works the other way: we guarantee
their security.

Very few U.S. allies have nuclear weapons, and if they get into a
scuffle with a nuclear power such as China or Russia, even over a
minor issue, such as contested rocks in the South China Sea, the
United States could ultimately be responsible by treaty to defend
them.

This ultimately could mean using nuclear weapons and inviting
a retaliatory strike on American soil.

This essentially irrational policy was initiated during the Cold War
to protect countries from attack by the powerful Soviet Union.

However, as bad as a Soviet takeover of Western Europe or Japan
would have been, it pales in comparison to American cities
becoming nuclear wastelands.

The implicit U.S. pledge to use nuclear weapons to defend its allies
was predicated on the risky notion that it would deter a Soviet
attack.

There was little or no conversation about the cataclysmic horror
that could result if deterrence didn’t work.

If the policy was irrational during the Cold War, continuing it has
been even more irrational since the Cold War ended.

Donald Trump is wise to question the United States outdated,
inflexible, and costly commitment to protect large numbers of
nations around the world.

Such formal and informal alliances are the core of an overextended
American foreign policy that requires having hundreds of U.S.
military bases overseas and conducting countless, now seemingly
perpetual military campaigns, such as the wars Clinton supported
in the Balkans, Iraq, and Libya, to support this informal American
Empire.

With a $19 trillion national debt, the United States can no longer
afford such a policy.

Besides, it is unwise and puts the American public and our military
unnecessarily at risk.
https://consortiumnews.com/2016/06/19/whos-the-bigger-danger-clinton-or-trump

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