At Wednesday night’s Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton attacked Bernie Sanders for praising Fidel Castro in the 1980s, as well as for standing with Central American governments and rebel groups targeted by Ronald Reagan’s brutal covert wars.
“You know,” said the former secretary of state, “if the values are that you oppress people, you disappear people, imprison people or even kill people for expressing their opinions, for expressing freedom of speech, that is not the kind of revolution of values that I ever want to see anywhere.”
To defend her remarks, Clinton’s faithful Good Democratic supporters began instantly spouting rhetoric that sounded like a right-wing, red-baiting Cold War cartoon; in other words, these Clinton-defending Democrats sounded very much like this:
Democrats trust a guy who praises Castro & honeymooned in USSR more than Clinton. Says a lot about Clinton & current Dem party #DemDebate
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) March 10, 2016
Vehement opposition to Reagan’s covert wars in Central America, as well as to the sadistic and senseless embargo of Cuba, were once standard liberal positions. As my colleague Jeremy Scahill, observing the reaction of Clinton supporters during the debate, put it in a series of tweets:
The U.S. sponsored deaths squads that massacred countless central and Latin Americans, murdered nuns and priests, assassinated an Archbishop. I bet commie Sanders was even against Reagan’s humanitarian mining of Nicaraguan waters & supported subsequent war crimes judgment vs. U.S. Have any of these Hillarybots heard of the Contra death squads? Or is it just that whatever Hillary says must be defended at all costs? The Hillarybots attacking Sanders over Nicaragua should be ashamed of themselves.
Let’s pretend for the sake of argument that the horror expressed by Clinton and her supporters over Sanders’ 1980s positions on Latin America was all driven by some sort of authentic outrage over praising tyrants and human rights abusers rather than a cynical, craven tactic to undermine Sanders using long-standing right-wing, red-baiting smears.
Is Hillary Clinton a credible voice for condemning support for despots and human rights abusers? To answer that, let’s review much more recent evidence than the 1980s:
Egyptian despot Hosni Mubarak:
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad:
Clinton on Face the Nation, 2011, arguing that Qaddafi is worse than Assad:
There’s a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer. … There’s a difference between calling out aircraft and indiscriminately strafing and bombing and strafing your own cities, than police actions which frankly have exceeded the use of force that any of us would want to see.
As PolitiFact noted, Clinton phrased the “reformer” comment as something “members of Congress” believe, but it was cited by her in order to favorably compare Assad to Qaddafi: “Clinton’s choice to talk about those members’ opinions of Assad without knocking them down suggests she may have found them credible.”
The Saudi regime:
Diplomatic cables revealed from the World’s biggest »Whistle Blowing« journal WikiLeaks, which for most U. S. Government senior officials the revelation of the cables is its integrity. US diplomacy, with the WikiLeaks revelation tells us that is completely different what they do and say it publicly, as well as what they do and say it privately, a fact that the United States never means what it says, a way that sustain to defend only and only the U. S. self-narrow interest. Having such a style on diplomacy, The United States, has lost the trust.
See short piece of the documentary ‘Secret Life of a Superpower’. Otherwise, please click here to read full analysis written by Glen Greenwald of the Intercept.