Millennials entered their political consciousness understanding that Republicans support war, nation-building, and foreign interventionism, while Democrats have a more peacenik approach to military action and war.
This election, they’re about to see that paradigm change entirely. Hillary Clinton showed during her “foreign policy” address on Thursday, as she has during her entire career, that she is the pro-war, pro-military intervention candidate for president.
Between her tirades against Trump, Clinton detailed how she would launch her foreign policy doctrine that calls for America to play a greater role in international affairs and possibly start more future wars.
“And if America doesn’t lead, we leave a vacuum,” the former First Lady said. “And that will either cause chaos or other countries will rush in to fill the void.”
That’s code for more American intervention, the same kind Clinton has supported her entire career. She has always been but one thing: a war hawk.
Here is a millennials’ guide to the history of Clinton’s pro-war stances over the last two decades:
Democrats like to promote her husband’s presidency as a time of peace and prosperity; that was hardly the case. The Clintons had a series of international disasters from Somalia, Kenya, to Tanzania, including a crippling food sanction on Iraq that killed more than 500,000 children. Then of course, there was the time that Bill passed on killing Osama bin Laden.
As First Lady, Hillary developed a reputation for over-embellishing her international work on behalf of her husband. She claimed to have “negotiated open borders” in Macedonia to fleeing Kosovar refugees even though the border opened a day prior to her visit. She said she “br[ought] peace to Northern Island” despite the facts that key players agree that she was not directly involved in any actual negotiations. And, there was that famous trip to Bosnia where she falsely claimed that she had to dart sniper fire.
It wasn’t until she became a Senator from New York that her pro-war record began to bloom. She famously supported the war in Iraq, despite being advised by Gen. Buster Hagenbeck against the vote. The war turned out to be a complete disaster killing an over half a million people, and according to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was partially responsible for the rise of ISIS.
Nonetheless, Clinton was unapologetic in her vote, and it was partly responsible for her downfall in the 2008 Democratic primary. She changed her tune in May 2015 and said the Iraq vote was a mistake.
According to The New York Times, Hillary began surrounding herself with military hawks after the Iraq War vote. None was more influential than Jack Keane, a brazen neocon, one of the intellectual architects of the Iraq surge, and the chairman of the ironically named think tank, Institute for the Study of War.
As Secretary of State, Clinton’s push more foreign interventions only grew. Clinton played a key role in the decision to overthrow Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, a choice the destabilized the region and created a failed state. Despite the fact that ISIS is now full control of several areas of the country, Hillary still defends the military intervention.
ISIS was not the only jihadist group that has benefited from Clinton’s time at the State Department. She was one of the earliest advocates for arming the Syrian rebels who were attempting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Despite President Obama hesitance at first, he ultimately relented and created a $500 million aid program to train and arm Syrian rebels.
By September 2015, U.S. Central Command admitted that at least a quarter of the weapons supplied to U.S. backed rebels ended up in the hand of al-Qaeda affiliates. Once again, Clinton maintains a position that arming the rebels was the correct approach.
Throughout her decades of experience, Hillary’s appetite for foreign intervention has only grown more ravenous, and her close circles are more hawkish.
Hillary’s agenda is not to recreate Bill’s decade of “peace and prosperity.” It’s George W. Bush on steroids.