US Foreign Policy

Clinton Foreign Policy, the Witches’ Song

The Clinton foreign policy recalls the opening lines of The Witches’ Song in Shakespeare’s Macbeth:

Double, double toil and trouble; 

Fire burn and caldron bubble. 

Fillet of a fenny snake, 

In the caldron boil and bake; 

Eye of newt and toe of frog, 

Wool of bat and tongue of dog, 

Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting, 

Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing, 

For a charm of powerful trouble, 

Like a hell-broth boil and bubble. 

There were three witches, the Weird Sisters, in Macbeth as there are now three hawks brewing the cauldron of the coming Clinton foreign policy: Hillary Clinton, a neo-con Congress, Republican and Democrats alike, and the Military-Industrial Complex. The ingredients in this case are: the US, Russia, China, TTIP, TPP, Israel , Iran Turkey and Syria but I have not taken the trouble to identify these with Macbeth’s witches’ ingredients. Could Syria be “blind-worm’s sting” ?

One of the most important objectives of the hawks is to deny a resurgent Russia but now, enter a dissident dove, Barack Obama, who suggests a decidedly different and milder recipe from that of the Chef, Hillary the Hawk.  Whereas one of the the more memorable Hillary songs is the recent frothing at the mouth speech she gave for the American legion, one in which she practically pushed for World War III against Russia and China.

Mind you, Obama has no love for Russia but his dislike and policies are several degrees more sensible than Clinton’s. He has, as example, at this writing, worked out a partnership with Russia in the Syrian conflict. Clinton, on the other hand, lays the blame for every ill of the US at the doorstep of Russia. Is Russia really that all-powerful? I think not and there was a very good article on the Guardian in which the author points out that Obama has not indulged in the same irrational attacks on Putin and Russia as Clinton

For the most part, the author, Timm, gets it right, except for describing Russia’s intervention in Syria an act of desperation. That it is not. It is a well calculated geopolitical move to reinsert Russian into the Middle East as the major player it was pre-1990. In addition, Russia is now proposing itself as the mediator on the Palestinian/ Israeli conflict by hosting a Moscow meeting between the two parties.

The Intercept published an article contrasting the conflicting Obama and Clinton Russian policies and brings into it the other major players in US foreign policy. Although I have not been a fan of Obama’s foreign policy, compared to Clinton, Obama has been much more statesmanlike than Clinton promises to be. If she is to be taken at her rhetoric we could well be facing the prospect of a nuclear conflict during her administration.

As for the dreaded military-industrial complex, Eisenhower warned the US about it in 1961. How prescient he was! For a refresher, some excerpts:

Then there are the proposed TTIP, Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and TPP, Transpacific Partnership, both supported strongly by Obama and opposed by Clinton as well as many in congress both US political parties. The differences multiply.

Looking ahead through the glass darkly I foresee…

Double, double toil and trouble; 

Fire burn and caldron bubble










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