17 April 2016 **** Front Page
By Tapani Lausti
Diana Johnstone, Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton. CounterPunch Books 2016.
In a recent interview Diana Johnstone said that it was the Libyan catastrophe that inspired her to write this book. In the interview Johnstone said: “War creates chaos, and Hillary Clinton has been an eager advocate of every U.S. aggressive war in the last quarter of a century. These wars have devastated whole countries and caused an unmanageable refugee crisis. Chaos is all there is to show for Hillary's vaunted “foreign policy experience.”
Of all these destructive wars, the attack on Libya was, in Johnstone's words, “Hillary's very own war”. Clinton was very proud to have played a decisive role in orchestrating the massacre in Libya . Johnstone writes: “… in the divided Obama administration, she was enthusiastically in favor of going after Gaddafi, along with Susan Rice and Samantha Power, who all cited the need to “stop” an imaginary “genocide.”
Clinton later bragged of having put together a coalition to get rid of the Libyan leader. However, the Arab leaders the US aligned with were simultaneously attacking pro-democracy demonstrators in Bahrain. No matter, with typical opportunism, Clinton praised US adherence to “our values and credibility”. She blocked all efforts to negotiate peace, although Gaddafi was willing to compromise even before the NATO assault began. When it was all over, the winner was chaos.
Later Clinton wrote: “When America is absent extremism takes root, our interests suffer, and our security at home is threatened.” The reality? Here is Johnstone: “Extremism has taken root in the Middle East almost entirely because America was all too present, along with its three-billion-dollar-a-year spoiled brat, Israel.”
Johnstone has harsh words about her old country (she has lived in France for many years): “The America that aspires to command the world today is killing not only nations; it is killing all nobility of spirit.”
Hillary Clinton like so many members of the American political elite goes around the world telling other countries what to do although she has no real knowledge and understanding of these countries. Russia is a case in point. Johnstone writes: “Looking at the U.S.-Russian relations over the past two and a half decades, it is clear that for the Washington foreign policy establishment such trifles as Russian values and interests are not considered worth respecting, noticing, or understanding at all.”
Russia has been invaded twice in modern times. Bearing this in mind, it should not be a mystery why the Russians feel worried when the US and NATO push their troops right next to the Russian border and carry out military maneuvers in these border areas.
Johnstone writes: “When, eventually, Russia reacts to these constant threats, mainstream media will report this reaction as an unprovoked gesture of paranoid hostility.” Johnstone ponders the motives behind U.S. behavior: “The final aim, if there is one, may be to use conflict on the edges of Russia to destabilize rather than conquer; in short to create chaos leading to disintegration, just as in other countries targeted by U.S. aggression.”
The problem for the U.S. is that whoever might replace Putin as a consequence of these provocations would probably have a more aggressively nationalistic attitude towards the West than Putin, whose conciliatory gestures towards the U.S. have been ignored. Instead, the idea of weakening Russia is a central motive in American foreign policy thinking.
A major blow against Russia was prepared in a conference in September 2013 in Crimea. Although the conference was attended also by Russian officials, the Western dignitaries were mainly people with a hostile attitude towards Russia, Hillary Clinton among them. Thus Johnstone: “The general tone was euphoria over the prospect of breaking Ukraine's ties with Russia in favor of the West.” Johnstone adds: “American interventionists knew full well that their plans to integrate Ukraine into the West would cause trouble, but trouble was evidently exactly what they wanted – trouble for Vladimir Putin.”
Whatever one thinks of Russia and Putin's intentions, it is clear that the US has been playing a very dangerous game that could trigger a world war. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the US had invested over five billion dollars to ensure Ukraine “the future it deserves”, that is pulling it into the Western camp. Detaching it from Russian influence has been a long-term goal; it could then be brought into NATO, in order to gain control of Russia 's Black Sea naval base in Sebastopol, Crimea. Imagine American reactions if Russia had similar plans near US territory.
A year after the publication of this book, Johnstone commented on the US presidential elections: “What is still lacking in this campaign is clear denunciation of the very worst of Hillary Clinton's many negative traits: her eagerness to go to war. And it is not merely Hillary who needs to be defeated: it is the entire militaristic power structure she represents.”
Johnstone also writes: “The occasion of this campaign should be seized not only to expose the lies of Hillary Clinton, but also to seek freedom from America's seven decades of subjugation to the military-industrial complex and its organic intellectuals who never cease conjuring up “threats” and “enemies” to justify the war economy. This entire policy needs to be exposed, denounced and rejected. That is what I tried to do in Queen of Chaos .”
The archive: Diana Johnstone, Russia and Ukraine, Libya, Middle East, United States, Tariq Ali, Ramzy Baroud, Jean Bricmont, Phyllis Bennis, Noam Chomsky, Patrick Cockburn
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