Peace Researcher 40 – July 2010
- Doug Craig
Hillary Clinton is arguably the most powerful woman in the Western world, by virtue of her position as Secretary of State of a global nuclear and world superpower, the United States. She is in a position to exercise unprecedented power for global peace and justice, or for global unrest and projection of America’s military and economic power. Under George W Bush and his Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, the focus was very much on the latter with the United States prepared to fight two and a half wars against what they termed “global terrorism and weapons of mass destruction”. Has the focus changed much since Senator Clinton was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2008? And is Hillary Clinton’s posture on the projection of American power, consistent with what she espoused in her former political roles - as a member of the Clinton Presidential team from 1992-2000; as a high profile Senator from 2001-08; and as a Presidential candidate during 2007/08?
It is worth looking at the many faces of Hillary Rodham Clinton as she transitioned through a number of high profile political roles in the past 20 years. What have been the issues that she is prepared to speak out on, and has the rhetoric been consistent with her subsequent actions? But first, it would be useful to look at the understanding of American foreign policy as spoken by Hillary Clinton at her confirmation hearing, and how it may actually reflect certain vested interests.
She said: "The best way to advance America's interests in reducing global threats and seizing global opportunities is to design and implement global solutions. ...We must use what has been called "smart power," the full range of tools at our disposal -- diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal and cultural -- picking the right tool or combination of tools for each situation. With smart power, diplomacy will be the vanguard of our foreign policy". A Bureau of Public Affairs document “further defines the context of American foreign policy agenda as powered by partnership, principles and pragmatism”; and by “cooperating and collaborating with other nations and organisations”, (such as the United Nations) “the State Department will work to design and implement global and regional solutions to the world’s most pressing problems” (State Department Bureau of Public Affairs, 5/1/09). This understanding of the multi-dimensional aspect of global issues and their range of possible solutions certainly argues a sea change from the Bush “global cowboy” era.
However, American foreign policy is decided by a mixture of interests – both domestic and foreign. And because of the requirement to pass departmental budgets through the Senate Appropriations Committee process, the domestic angle can often be highly influential. American interests in the stability of investments overseas can be an issue, as can the need to maintain continued American military presences in strategic areas of the globe. Such strategic interests often coincide with access to resources such as oil and gas, strategic minerals, and food. For example, the Middle East has been a focus of strong American strategic interest since 1948 and the consequent formation of the State of Israel. Israel has a very strong American domestic Jewish organisational lobby, particularly in New York – Secretary Clinton’s former Senate seat.
America also maintains a strategic interest in the supply of minerals such as rutile and platinum (vital to the electronic industry) in poor African countries such as Sierra Leone and Gambia. Nigeria, another sub-Saharan country, is the 5th largest exporter of oil to the United States (11% of US oil imports) and US firms such as Exxon-Mobil and Chevron are major foreign investors there. This is not to undervalue US interests in strengthening democratic institutions in Africa; and in humanitarian issues such as combating AIDS/HIV, access to adequate health services, and to food. Africa has certainly become a renewed focus for US attention given President Obama’s African heritage and Hillary Clinton, early on in office, was sent on an 11 day seven country trip to Africa in August 2009. This too would be useful to her in attracting African-American domestic approval, as she lacked vital support from this group of voters during her earlier Democratic Presidential campaign.
This brings up an interesting point in charting her rise to power. Domestically, national level politicians have to appeal to a range of voters, both the party faithful and the non-committed to achieve high political office. Politicians can lose votes on their handling of international issues, particularly in the waging of “adventurous wars overseas” but they primarily win votes through appeal to domestic issues such as jobs, protection of financial savings and healthcare. By appealing to sectional interests such as the defence industry, an important recipient of Government contracts and supplier of jobs, and the large military forces located throughout the mainland USA in some 440 bases, politicians with interests in foreign affairs shore up their domestic support base. Lobbyists from large American transnationals also support likely political candidates through campaign funding, and by engineering high profile speaking engagements for their favoured candidates. This mutual grooming of politicians pays off when they (the politicians) achieve high political office. Former politicians also are headhunted for corporate jobs. A notable former White House Administration person who headed a major transnational corporation was Dick Cheney, former Secretary of Defense under President George Bush senior. After a spell at the ultra-conservative American Enterprise Institute, in October 1996 he became the President and Chief Executive of Halliburton – a defence industry contractor based in Dallas. When Cheney was chosen by George W Bush as Vice-President in 2000 , his former company’s defence contracts with the Pentagon leapt from $US500 million in 2001 (just before the Twin Towers incident) to $US3.9 billion dollars (World Policy Institute report, “The Ties That Bind: Arms Industry Influence In The Bush Administration And Beyond”, William D Hartung and Michelle Ciarocco, October 2004; and Right Web [“tracking the militarists’ efforts to influence American’s foreign policy” at www.rightweb.irc-online.org]). Other defence contractors did even better under Bush. Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense from 2000-2006, and the champion of the abortive Iraq invasion, now holds a position as a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute – a Rightwing think tank in Washington.
Part Of The “Clinton Team”
Carl Bernstein claims that the rivalry between Vice President Al Gore and Hillary Clinton was such that he felt he was the one on the outside “(A Woman In Charge”, Carl Bernstein, 2007, p220/21). Hillary Clinton was acknowledged as a vital part of the Clinton Presidential team, having her own set of advisors in the woman-centred “Hillaryland” and an office in the White House’s West Wing. Early on in the “joint Presidency” she was charged by Bill Clinton with pushing for the establishment of a system of universal healthcare – a goal that President Barack Obama has now (partially) achieved in 2010 over considerable opposition.
However, as Suzanne Goldenberg claims (“Madam President: Is America Ready To Send Hillary Clinton To The White House?”, 2008, p78), her tactics doomed the President’s plans to failure (p78). She failed to consider alternative models of State-funded healthcare provision such as British and Canadian models, and displayed a “righteous certainty, and insistence on secrecy” that alienated the Washington insiders. Within two years this failure to consult and convince saw the end of the universal healthcare insurance proposal and was followed by the loss of Democratic control of the House and Senate in the midterm Senate and Congress elections of 1994.
Her role in foreign policy during this period is unclear. There was a failure to intervene in the Rwandan genocide crisis of 1994; an inadequate Administration response to the World Trade Center bombing of February 1993; and to the killing of five Americans at a Saudi National Guard training facility in Riyadh in November 1995. An earlier commitment by former President Bush to humanitarian intervention by US forces in Somalia from 1992 onwards ended in wholesale anarchy in that failed state and abortive action against the warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid culminated in the embarrassment of the “Black Hawk Down” incident of November 1993 in Mogadishu, in which a number of American troops were killed and the corpses of some were dragged through the streets.
The further bombings of the American Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya by al Qaeda on August 7th, 1998 that left 224 people killed and over 5,000 injured showed that the United States had entered a new phase of global threat – one that conventional military forces were unable to contain. As the Presidential National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger, admitted in testimony before the House-Senate Joint Inquiry into the 9/11 bombing (the 9/11 Commission Report) Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of al Qaeda, was on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s radar screens in 1993 but primarily as a financier of terrorist groups. But by 1998 “he was the radar screen”. Within a few days of this attack, Clinton authorised Operation Infinite Reach, including attacks by Cruise missiles on training camps in Afghanistan and on a so-called VX nerve gas factory in Sudan that turned out to be a pharmaceutical company. Although both Berger and George Tenet, the Central Intelligence Agency Director, defended their intelligence sources, the failure to kill bin Laden or severely disrupt al Qaeda plans for a world wide fatwa against US military or civilian targets had an influence on the reluctance of Clinton and his advisors to authorise any further high profile military actions.
Hillary‘s role in this was somewhat low key, but she did add to the Clinton agenda by undertaking a wide range of official tours to some 80 countries. One of the international issues that she took up was the issue of oppression of women and children, speaking out first at a UN conference on the Status of Women in Beijing in September 1995 and delivering a strong rebuke to the Chinese government on the issues of forced abortion and sterilisation, female infanticide and rape as an instrument of war. She also acquainted herself with the situation of Afghan women under the Taliban. This showed her focus was very much on the human rights dimension of foreign policy – an area she would later return to with the plight of the Kosovo refugees, in the former Yugoslavia.
The Kosovo crisis of 1998 revealed more of Hillary Clinton’s understanding of foreign policy issues, and the range of options used by the White House to meet domestic and international objectives. Although Bill Clinton had tried negotiation with the Serb dictator, Slobodan Milosevic, through Special UN Envoy Richard Holbrooke, the determination of the Serb leader to pursue a war agenda coupled with a renewal of “ethnic cleansing” argued for a potential military response being needed. The upcoming midterm 1998 reversals, coupled with fallout from the revelations of the President’s affair with White House intern, Monica Lewinsky, and subsequently Bill Clinton’s lack of admission of guilt, argued that a strong response on international issues was needed to gain some points (the Lewinsky affair was one of the things that led to Clinton being impeached by the House of Representatives. The trial took place in the Senate, where Clinton was acquitted, in 1999. Ed.). Clinton admitted that his peacemaking (between Israeli leader Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Arafat over Israeli settlements) and over Kosovo was his “personal journey of atonement” for other transgressions (“The Clinton Tapes”, Taylor Branch, 2009). Hillary was somewhat estranged from Bill at this juncture but still gave advice from the sidelines.
George Soros, the billionaire currency speculator, had lobbied Hillary arguing for an aggressive response to overcome Bill Clinton’s inertia on Kosovo. He wanted him to be more muscular. Elie Wiesel, the writer, academic, political activist, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor who is a personal friend of the Clintons, also pressured Bill Clinton for a response earlier in the Bosnian conflict of 1994/95 and Hillary and Holbrooke were both advocates for force in that earlier campaign. She said: “I was convinced that the only way to stop the genocide in Bosnia was through selective air strikes against Serbian targets” (Goldenberg, p153).Their position during a confused tactical situation in Bosnia/Herzegovina was rewarded with limited North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) air strikes in August and September 1995.
She continued to champion the use of NATO planes despite comments that it would be difficult to stop human rights atrocities from 15,000 feet. Although the United Nations Security Council would not countenance the use of force in what was left of Yugoslavia, bombing of Belgrade, the Serbian capital, by the NATO coalition of 19 nations, commenced on March 21 and ended 78 days later on June 10th, 1999. Milosevic went ahead with his military aggression anyway against an inadequate volunteer force of Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) fighters hampered by a NATO-imposed arms embargo. Some 800,000 ethnic Kosovo Albanians were displaced and about 10,000 killed by Serbian forces. NATO’s so-called precision strikes* killed a further 1,500 to 2,000 civilians with just on 1,000 as victims of KLA forces. Senator Bob Dole (who had been the unsuccessful Republican Presidential candidate opposing Clinton in the 1996 election) said that the delay and inadequate response over Kosovo (in not sending NATO ground troops as peacekeepers) and relying on air bombardment with subsequent collateral damage to civilian populations was “one of the casualties of the Clinton impeachment preparations”. Both Vice President Al Gore and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright were for the use of troops but Hillary’s attitude was “to persevere (with bombing) until Milosevic has embraced peace”. The use of depleted uranium munitions during this war also had long term effects on populations and former military personnel (see UN International Criminal Tribunal on Former Yugoslavia, “Final Report On NATO Bombing In The Former Yugoslavia”, www.icty.org/x/file/About/OTP/otp_report_nato_bombing_en.pdf
* These precision strikes included a mistaken bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade on May 7th and the targeting of Serbian Television on April 23rd with 16 civilians killed and 16 wounded. Sian Jones of Amnesty International stated: "The bombing of the headquarters of Serbian State radio and television was a deliberate attack on a civilian object and as such constitutes a war crime" (Sian Jones quoted in Associated Press report, February 1999 and on www.seetv-exchanges.com/code/navigate.php?Id=407. Also see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/340966.stm for details of mistaken NATO bombing targets during 1998-99.
Clinton also relied on short but intensive periods of aerial bombing of Baghdad and other places in Iraq over Saddam Hussein’s intransigence towards the UN weapons inspectors. For example, the four day long Operation Desert Fox in December 1998 involved major bombing and the use of Cruise missiles. As it took place during Clinton’s impeachment trial, critics dubbed it “Monica’s War’, because it was seen as a deliberate distraction from the President’s domestic problems. Throughout his whole Presidency Clinton used US warplanes to enforce no fly zones over great chunks of Iraqi airspace, meaning that any Iraqi military planes entering them were shot down.
By July 1999 Hillary had been sounding out her next career move and had decided to run for New York Senator to replace the long serving Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Liz Moynihan, his wife, noted that “there was a lack of straight talking and dealing” in Hillary’s campaign. With the former Deputy Chief of White House Staff, Harold Ickes, as her campaign manager, and Bill as counsel, consultant and strategist, she campaigned hard first against former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and then, when he withdrew due to illness, against his replacement, Congressman Rick Lazio. She won convincingly by 53% to 43%.and on January 3rd, 2001 was sworn in as the junior Senator from New York.
Being a first time Senator in New York was a fateful move for Hillary Clinton. The Twin Towers attacks of September 11th, 2001 gave a renewed impetus to her career and saw her become a champion of a hard hitting muscular response to terrorism. One of her first public speeches after 9/11 warned local and international critics that “you are either with America in its hour of need or not”. With Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia she secured some $US20 billion in recovery funds for New York, and gave vocal support for New York police and firefighters involved in the 9/11 tragedy. Bernstein claims that 9/11 radically altered Hillary’s agenda but this is to ignore the continuity of attitude from her earlier role in the Clinton Presidency. However, she resolved to burnish her defence credentials after 9/11 and by 2003 had swapped from the Senate’s Budget Committee to the powerful Armed Forces Committee. During this time she relied upon her old friends in the former Clinton Administration, Sandy Berger and Madeleine Albright. Richard Holbrooke also later joined her national security advisory team that assisted her with speeches and positions on the Iraq War.
Arguably the testing point for Clinton was her support for the Bush position on weapons of mass destruction, and the authorisation by the Senate to use force against Iraq and Saddam Hussein. In her well reported and watched speech (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wyCBF5CsCA) she said that: “this is probably the hardest decision I have had to make, any vote that would lead to war should be hard – but I cast it with conviction”. She outlined three reasons for support: firstly, support for the President to lead the US in the United Nations or in war. Secondly, to emphasise national unity, and for “our support for the President’s efforts to wage America’s war against terrorists and weapons of mass destruction”. Thirdly, to back the women and men in the armed forces should they be called upon to act against Iraq. While she later claimed that Condoleezza Rice had told her that an affirmative vote merely gave room for President Bush to manoeuvre in the United Nations Security Council, her words indicate that war against Iraq was very much on the agenda. The counter claims of Rice and Clinton on the justification for the Iraq vote were summed up by a disinterested former and unnamed aide to President Clinton as “you are not dealing with two people with great reputations for candour” (“A Woman In Charge”, Carl Bernstein, 2007, p513).
By the end of 2006 and beginning of 2007 the gloss was wearing off support for the Iraq War amongst US voters and Hillary was beginning to distance herself from her earlier enthusiastic support. Although she refused to completely resile from her earlier vote, she claimed she would have allowed the UN weapons inspectors more time to do their job. She began to criticise Bush’s conduct of the war, especially the troop surge of that year, and by 2007 had sponsored the Iraq Troop Protection and Reduction Act of 2007. This Act would compel President Bush to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq within 90 days of passage, or according to Clinton, Congress would have to dismantle its authorisation for the war. The Act would also end the blank cheque to the Iraqi government and submit it to harsh consequences if boundaries are violated. Lastly, the Act would require the Secretary of Defense to verify the condition, in terms of both supplies and of their training, of all troops before they are sent to Iraq. President Bush vetoed the Act.
On support for Israel, an area of foreign policy critical for her New York support base, she continued to back Israeli actions regarding Palestine. "I believe it is our obligation as friends and supporters and allies of Israel to support Israel's efforts for peace, stability and security. Now, this means doing more than providing Israel with economic aid so that it can remain strong in the face of ongoing threats. We must also demand that (Palestinian) President Abbas dismantle the structure of terror that the Palestinian leadership has employed for so long" (speech to American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference, 24/5/05). This contrasted with her support for a two States solution to the Palestinian Question as far back as 1998.
Democratic Party Presidential Candidate
With the looming end of the catastrophic Bush Presidency, the Democrats were positioning themselves for another run at the domination of Congress and of the Oval Office. A number of contenders emerged, including John Edwards, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Hillary was by far the most high profile candidate but with mixed public approval ratings according to a CBS poll of January 21, 2007. She gained some 43% approval – higher amongst women voters (47%) but another 38% saw her as polarising and divisive.
She made the following claim on a 2007 radio interview regarding her advisory role in the Clinton Presidency. “I certainly did. I not only advised; I often met with him (Bill) and his advisers, both in preparation for, during and after. I travelled with representatives from the Security Council, the State Department, occasionally the Defense Department, and even the CIA. So I was deeply involved in being part of the Clinton team in the first Clinton Administration. And I am someone who wants the best possible advice from as many different sources as possible, and that would certainly include my husband” (Democratic debate on National Public Radio, 4/12/07).
On the hustings she continued to claim that she had extensive policy and international experience arising out of her role in the Clinton Presidency and subsequently as a Senator, but some of her claims were proven to be unfounded or inflated. For example, she claimed she landed at an airstrip under fire in Tuvla, Bosnia, during the war there in 1994 but CNN TV footage disproved this, and the hostilities in Bosnia had officially finished some three months earlier. She also claimed that she had prompted Bill to use US troops to halt the Rwandan massacres in 1994 but again there was no public record of this and US official policy at the time was not to intervene.
Her record on Iraq also continued to haunt her and proved to be a significant point of difference between her and Senator Barack Obama. Liberal activists such as film star Susan Sarandon saw her as being one of the Washington old guard. She (Sarandon) remarked to Jonathan Dimbleby in 2006 that “everybody is so cautious and just trying to get elected, just trying to stay in office, and I think she suffers from that. I think she is a politician like everybody else”. Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic Presidential hopeful, Senator John Edwards, said that she would not trust Clinton, that “she would do or say anything to get and keep power” (“Madam President: Is America Ready To Send Hillary Clinton To The White House?”, Suzanne Goldenberg, 2008).
One method of her seeking and attempting to position herself for office against the Republican threat from former highly decorated soldier, Senator John McCain, as the potential Commander-in-Chief, was to recruit a specialist military support group, Generals for Hillary. By 2007 she had secured the allegiance of some 20 generals and senior military personnel, including General Wesley Clark, the former NATO Supreme Commander; Major-General Taguba; Brigadier-General Watkins; and retired Admiral Owens, the former Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The 27 flag-rank officers endorsing Hillary by January 2008 were joined by more than 2,000 veterans and military retirees who were listed as members of Senator Clinton’s national and state veterans’ steering committees. She became a student of the military and as Goldenberg claims, this re-education effort did not go unnoticed: “…and soon senior Pentagon officials were praising Clinton’s steady judgement on military matters” (Goldenberg, p145), and considered her one of the most receptive ears on military issues (US News and World Report, 1/12/08). Despite running a strong campaign, the lack of popular support from delegates saw her announce her withdrawal from the Democratic race on June 7th, 2008 and endorse Senator Barack Obama the next day.
Secretary of State: Haiti
In December 2008, after his crushing defeat of John McCain in the Presidential election, Barack Obama nominated Hillary for his Secretary of State, citing her broad general international experience, reputation for toughness and carefully cultivated links to senior military officers as a member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee. Her stance on Iraq had differed from Obama, but she was relatively hawkish on measures to combat terrorism, particularly the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Her appointment was reinforced with the reappointment as Defense Secretary of Robert Gates, who had been President Bush’s Defense Secretary; and the appointment of former General Jim Jones, a career Marine Corps officer, and former Allied military commander in Europe, as National Security Advisor. Clinton also maintains her links with former Clinton Administration advisors in her new job, especially with former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, who has coached her on foreign policy matters since 2003. Albright, who had a reputation for abrasiveness, is highly regarded by Hillary as her foreign policy mentor.
It is those associations that possibly show her as being somewhat one track and dogmatic. Although she has emphasised the use of smart power there is a tendency to believe in mobilising a show of military power in certain cases. Four Latin American Heads of State (Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia and Cuba) criticised her mobilisation of US troops in the aftermath of the January 2010 Haitian earthquake rather than facilitate the use of available civilian organisations and facilities. The desire to flex American sea and air power seemed to detract from the humanitarian crisis, they claimed, and smacked of a military invasion. This response, of course, was extremely sensitive to Latin American states given the history of the United States in Haitian affairs. From 1920 to 1934 the US Marines had ruled Haiti, and in 1994 Bill Clinton had ordered a US invasion of Haiti to oust a military junta and restore former President Aristide. The current President Rene Preval had succeeded Aristide in the subsequent elections but was being kept in power by some 7,000 UN peacekeepers.
The reasons given by Hillary in rebuking her critics of the Haitian invasion was the need to restore law and order, protect private property and foreign nationals, as well as deliver humanitarian aid. To this end, she sent 15,600 troops and tied up the only functioning airport for US aircraft. Some French and Brazilian aircraft were turned away. French, Brazilian and other officials complained about the airport's refusal to let their aid planes land, forcing many flights to end up in the neighbouring Dominican Republic, a day's drive away. This situation also provoked an outburst by Italy's civil protection chief, Guido Bertolaso. He blasted the US military intervention as inefficient and out of touch with reality on the ground. In an interview with State-run RAI television in Italy, he said the overall relief effort was a "pathetic" failure, and called for the appointment of an international civilian humanitarian coordinator (Otago Daily Times, 27/1/10). The Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, later said that Bertolaso’s comments had caused misunderstandings and were to be regretted.
The former US military invasion in the 1990s, said to have been reluctantly ordered by Bill Clinton (“The Clinton Tapes”, Taylor Branch, 2009), had been followed by International Monetary Fund-ordered agricultural reforms that had destroyed Haiti’s rural economy, switched it from an exporter of sugar to a net importer of sugar from the US, and provoked the subsequent movement of the rural poor to the slums of the capital, Port-au-Prince. It was their ill-constructed shacks that suffered the greatest damage in the earthquake. In the meantime, the US Coastguard continued to send back Haitian boat refugees, even in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. Bill Clinton and former President Bush, of course, coordinated the US financial aid response to the Haitian situation.
A recent visitor to NZ, Costa Rican MP and member of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), Dr Edine von Herold, also voiced a healthy scepticism about whether Hillary Clinton would be good for US and Latin American relationships. On the touchy issues of the Guantanamo detainees and the practice of rendition of terrorism suspects she has taken a non-committal stance. A letter signed by her, Robert Gates and Janet Napolitano, Head of Homeland Security, to Pat Quinn, the Governor of Illinois, in December 2009, announced the intention of the Government to purchase the Thomson Correctional Facility in Illinois to house a limited number of Guantanamo detainees and allow the closure of Guantanamo Bay detention camp as per Obama’s Executive Order 13492 (22/1/09). The issue of prosecution of the detainees was not addressed, nor the question of removal of some detainees to third countries.
Hillary The Hawk
While for the moment she seems to be content as Barack Obama’s foreign policy spokesperson, she was notably in the background during the 2010 nuclear disarmament talks. And she has expressed no views on the reduction of nuclear weaponry, preferring to concentrate on North Korea and Iran as possible rogue nuclear states. She also rattled sabres over the potential of al Qaeda obtaining nuclear material, presumably from other Islamic states, while neglecting the issue of Israel’s nuclear weaponry.
To sum up she seems to have maintained a moderately hawkish stance in terms of projection of American power, often justifying action on grounds of humanitarian response. Her husband Bill was said to have wrestled with the difficulties of directing US military power in Bosnia and Haiti, gaining a reputation from the more hawkish members of the military as “dithering”. He often sought the use of diplomatic channels before considering military options, but Hillary seems to have no such qualms. She is said to be pragmatic rather than principled, and to be quick to react to her detractors. The potential for a poorly considered response to an international crisis is high. Michael Ignatieff, quoted in the New York Times, sums up the US government acting like the governors of an Imperium, “a global hegemony whose grace notes are free markets, human rights, and democracy, enforced by the most awesome military power the world has ever known” (5/1/03, and “Empire-Lite”, Penguin Books, 2003).