Saturday, November 21, 2015

An Analysis: Hillary's Limited Mind, Creativity and Personality

By Michael S. Rozeff

Hillary Clinton is the odds on favorite (83% probability) to win her party’s nomination and a heavy favorite (59% probability) to win the election over her opponent, who is favored to be Rubio (45% probability). While the Republicans debate, she has been moving toward her nomination and planned presidential victory for months now, constantly introducing proposals that aim for the approval of this or that interest group and portion of the electorate.
Hillary’s economic ideas are confined to well-worn ruts along the familiar road of Washington control. They are laid out here. They are stale, a broken record, the same old pap, a complete bore, and worse than useless.
There is no wrong anywhere in the world that Hillary doesn’t want to correct, using the U.S. government and the American people as her tools. But at the same time, Hillary is a plodder, moving along tediously. She knows how to feather her nest, but in public leadership she’s unimaginative and imitative. The best she can come up with is to surround herself with other intellects whose staleness of thought matches her own, ask them for visions and proposals and then select from them. This is how she comes up with such familiar economic “winners” as these (quoted from the Time article):

– Raise the minimum wage.
– Crack down on employers who misclassify employees as contractors, and fight wage theft.
– Protect President Obama’s health care reform law, lower health care costs and make prescription drugs more affordable.
– Defend and ‘enhance’ social security to make it easier to save for the future.
– Create tax incentives to encourage corporate profit-sharing for employees.
– Tighten the tax code to make sure “millionaires don’t pay lower [tax] rates than their secretaries” and closing tax loopholes.
– Support unions and the right to organize. ‘If we want to get serious about raising incomes, we have to get serious about supporting union workers,’ Clinton said.
Hillary’s mind is very much confined to her own limited thoughts and they are tuned into the same old oligarchic-liberal-socialist-fascist-progressive-New Deal-imperial-exceptionalist wavelengths that dominate U.S. government laws, policies, regulations and aims. There is simply nothing in her mind even remotely tuned into anything creative, open, free, soaring, unstructured, and spontaneous. Everything in her mind is tied down. The trap door to her thought has been closed and padlocked and that’s the end of the matter. Only some sort of personal tragedy or explosion might burst it open.
Foreign policy is where the greater dangers lurk in a Hillary presidency. Given her lack of analytical thought power, she will surround herself with voices with which she is comfortable. She will find one or a few gurus to listen to. She will ignore voices that go against her ingrained biases and hopes to make the world a better place by eliminating evils she perceives. She will be blind to future consequences and ramifications of her actions, seeing matters in her own one-sided and restrictive ways. If anything goes wrong, she will attach the blame to others and/or insist that she did everything rationally possible to make the best choice. Her own lack of foresight, inadequacies of judgment and lack of imagination will be possible failings that will never occur to her.
A sample of her dangerous thought is her November 19, 2015 presentation to the Council on Foreign Relations. The transcript is available for easy access. This speech contains all sorts of revealing features of Hillary’s thought or lack of it, more than I can possibly mention in one blog like this. Evidently she doesn’t read widely, or even if she does she cannot reach a sound conclusion. She’ll stay with inherent contradictions in her policies rather than alter them.
As an illustration, Hillary says “If we’ve learned anything from 15 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s that local people and nations have to secure their own communities. We can help them, and we should, but we cannot substitute for them. But we can and should support local and regional ground forces in carrying out this mission.”
Why should the U.S. do this when doing it for the past 10 years or more has failed? Clearly the conditions are not right for the U.S. to be able successfully to create Iraqi security forces. Their arms fall into enemy hands. They are infiltrated. They lack incentives to fight, etc. Why keep pursuing this mythological mission? And, parenthetically, why did the U.S. create an insecure country in the first place by attacking it? Why did Hillary support that move?
Hillary semi-recognizes the problem, but stubborn as she is and set in her ways, she plows on anyway with the same old failed ideas:
“Now, the obstacles to achieving this are significant. On the Iraqi side of the border, Kurdish forces have fought bravely to defend their own lands and to retake towns from ISIS, but the Iraqi National Army has struggled and it’s going to take more work to get it up to fighting shape. As part of that process we may have to give our own troops advising and training the Iraqis greater freedom of movement and flexibility, including embedding in local units and helping target airstrikes.”
She thinks that all it takes is “more work” (!), as if somehow the amount of work already expended by Bush 2 and Obama was not enough. And so she suggests giving the Special Forces more latitude to move around, possibly get captured or killed, possibly engage in firefights and somehow wave the magic wand of targeting airstrikes.
Once again, Hillary edges toward recognizing that this will not attain her goal of destroying ISIS:
“Ultimately, however, the ground campaign in Iraq will only succeed if more Iraqi Sunnis join the fight. But that won’t happen so long as they do not feel they have a stake in their country or confidence in their own security and capacity to confront ISIS.”
However, she doesn’t realize that the Sunnis have no reason to join the Iraqi Shia and that Sunnis are high up in the ISIS command structure.
For inside information on the ISIS structure and its failings, see this excellent interview with a defector from the ISIS ranks. All 4 parts are worth reading.
Hillary realizes that earlier Sunni cooperation was bought and paid for. She again has some notion of the difficulties with what she is proposing, but she goes right ahead and proposes it anyway! You’d think she might abandon ideas that haven’t worked and think out of the box. But she has a confined mind. She cannot do this:
“So the task of bringing Sunnis off the sidelines into this new fight will be considerably more difficult. But nonetheless, we need to lay the foundation for a second ‘Sunni awakening.’ We need to put sustained pressure on the government in Baghdad to gets its political house in order, move forward with national reconciliation, and finally, stand up a national guard. Baghdad needs to accept, even embrace, arming Sunni and Kurdish forces in the war against ISIS. But if Baghdad won’t do that, the coalition should do so directly.”
Every one of the preceding proposals is a dream. Hillary won’t face facts. She thinks that the U.S. can build the state of Iraq back up again. This task awaits the magic touch of Hillary Clinton.
Her thought on Syria is terribly confused. She wants to get rid of ISIS but at the same time she wants to get rid of Assad, who is anti-ISIS, along with his allies, Hezbollah, Iran and Russia. On Syria, Clinton has nothing to offer except to perpetuate the hopelessly contradictory and confused policies of Obama. More of the same:
“To support them, we should immediately deploy the special operations force President Obama has already authorized, and be prepared to deploy more as more Syrians get into the fight. And we should retool and ramp up our efforts to support and equip viable Syrian opposition units.”
The U.S. totally failed in its efforts “to support and equip viable Syrian opposition units” that were “moderate”. Their arms fell into ISIS hands. Many defected into ISIS ranks. Saudi Arabia and Quatar had more success, but they armed radicals.
Stuck in a rut, Hillary proposes to repeat the effort.
Her new proposal is a no-fly zone: “We should also work with the coalition and the neighbors to impose no-fly zones that will stop Assad from slaughtering civilians and the opposition from the air.” This too is a thoroughly bad idea. It brings the U.S. directly into the war, as do U.S. special forces, without resolving anything. It’s a further excuse to exercise American air power in Syria.
But why is the U.S. involved in Syria in the first place? There is no good reason. All that Obama and Clinton can come up with is to mumble about civil war, barrel bombs, dictators, chemical weapons and now refugees. If they hadn’t supported the anti-Assad forces from the Gulf and Turkey and hadn’t called for Assad to step down, this so-called civil war would not have taken on its current form or have been so devastating.
Hillary speaks ill of Russia, showing again a distinct lack of imagination and independent thought: “And Russia and Iran have to face the fact that continuing to prop up a vicious dictator will not bring stability.” This is a strange statement to make when the U.S. bought stability by supporting dictators, quite vicious ones, in many countries for many years. It’s especially strange in view of the instability in Iraq and Libya once the U.S. got rid of their vicious dictators. This counter-factual statement of hers simply is a way of expressing hostility in a well-worn habitual pattern of thought.
Here is another example of Hillary’s hidebound thinking:”In September I laid out a comprehensive plan to counter Iranian influence across the region and its support for terrorist proxies such as Hezbollah and Hamas.”
When will Hillary Clinton, if ever, recognize that Hezbollah and Hamas are not terrorist proxies for Iran? When if ever will she recognize their political aims and grievances? When will she ever recognize that Israel is a problem? When will she seek a political means and path that might lead Hamas and Israel both to renounce terroristic means?
Hillary at present doesn’t want to commit troops to Iraq: “Like President Obama, I do not believe that we should again have 100,000 American troops in combat in the Middle East.” However, she leaves the door open, adding: “That is just not the smart move to make here.” Hillary could be persuaded, and it might not take much persuading, to make a large troop commitment. She may not be that far away from McCain and Rubio on that. It’s the logical outcome of her goals, if other methods are not achieving her aim.
Coming back to Hillary on Russia, she doesn’t like the idea of Putin helping Assad even if Russians are undermining ISIS. She’d prefer herself to assign Russia a supporting role, as if she were directing and casting a motion picture: “Right now I’m afraid President Putin is actually making things somewhat worse. Now, to be clear, though, there is an important role for Russian to help in resolving the conflict in Syria…” Clinton’s haughty and superior attitude toward Russia is not going to cut ice in Moscow.
Hillary doesn’t understand that ISIS is not an organization built upon hate for the sake of hate or hatred of the West for the sake of hatred of the West. She suggests this faulty idea here: “Online or offline, the bottom line is that we are in a contest of ideas against an ideology of hate, and we have to win.” Hatred arises from sources like anger, resentment and frustrated ideals. Young men join ISIS for reasons that often can be traced back to Western invasions and injustices. Fighting the “crusader-infidels” is one such reason and lure. A “quick trip to Paradise” is another. One ISIS volunteer:
“Abu Abdullah al-Australi, as he went to his death in Ramadi, was convinced that he was carrying out a noble act of self-sacrifice, turning kamikaze for the caliphate. For him, jihad began at home. ‘The turning point in my ideological development,’ he’d written, coincided with the ‘beginning of my complete hatred and opposition to the entire system Australia and the majority of the world was based upon. It was also the moment I realised that violent global revolution was necessary to eliminate this system of governance and that I would likely be killed in this struggle.'” The key phrases here are “this system of governance” and “opposition to the entire system”, with the accompanying idea that ordinary action within that system cannot prevail, so that “violent global revolution” is necessary. In other words, the hatred, a common enough emotion that I am sure even Hillary Clinton feels, is inextricably linked to political ideas.
The contest of ideas cannot be won by an America whose government’s violent actions speak much louder than its announced aims and claims. Hillary Clinton’s record makes it impossible for her to be a believable spokeswoman for non-violent revolutionary change. There is absolutely nothing in her record to suggest that she’d do a 180 degree turn. Her prime opponent, if it’s to be Marco Rubio, is already on the record for having the U.S. make war directly in both Iraq and Syria. It seems that his idea is that a Communist Soviet Union could be waited out but ISIS cannot be waited out. This is based on his belief that the U.S. military force can stop radical Islam once and for all by stopping ISIS. This assumption didn’t work in the case of al Qaeda. ISIS sprang up. Why should it work with ISIS?
Both Clinton and Rubio are more hawkish than Obama. This doesn’t bode well for peace or for the welfare of Americans. Their ballot box choice may be between two degrees of war. It’s very little of a choice. There will be little recourse unless Congress has second thoughts or unless Americans take to the streets with an anti-war message.
Americans should not fear ISIS, and they shouldn’t play into the hands of terrorists seeking to polarize the Muslims in the middle.
Hillary’s black/white thought opposes fear to resolve: “After a major terrorist attack, every society faces a choice between fear and resolve.” She’s wrong. We need not fear and we need not have resolve, by which she means a firm determination to do something. That doing of something generally means more bombs, more Special Forces, more fighting, more destruction, and more recruitment into the ranks of anti-crusader-infidel ranks. What should we do? The opposite. Close down our military operations in the Middle East and Central Asia. Stop sending aid to Israel. Stop joint maneuvers and training with other states. Stop advising and pressuring other states what to do.
Lew Rockwell put it nicely: “There is only one solution to ISIS and similar groups: get out of all Moslem countries. No more bombing, no more drones, no more troops, no more Special Ops, no more CIA, no more foreign aid, no more sanctions, no more coups, no more anything. Leave them alone!”
The above originally appeared at

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