‘Clinton’s foreign policy – nonsensical belligerence’
Donald Trump says on his website he wants to end the US policy of regime change, contrasting with President Obama’s repeated remarks that “Assad must go.”
RT: During Sunday’s debate Trump dodged questions about the tape and pivoted the conversation to US strategy on ISIS, saying that despite his negative feelings toward the Syrian President, “Assad is killing ISIS, Russia is killing ISIS, and Iran is killing ISIS,” and these countries are lined up, because of US “weak foreign policy.” Does Trump have it right on the Middle East?
Jim Jatras: Of course he does. Assad, the Iranians, and the Russians are fighting against ISIS, and Al-Qaeda, and the varieties of jihadists that we insist on calling “moderates” that really are not.
RT: Does Hillary Clinton have a consistent position on the Middle East based on the e-mails that have been released, the communication and also what she said in the first debate about her policy on Syria?
JJ: It’s consistently wrong. She is basically creating a third option, where there isn’t one. She talks about fighting Islamic radicals and of course in the e-mail that was released she knows that our allies, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, are supporting ISIS, Al-Qaeda, all these jihadist groups.
She also talks about getting rid of Assad. But who is going to be the third force to take over? There simply isn’t one. There are no moderates capable of taking power. That is what her policy is – it’s nonsensical.
RT: How revealing are these e-mails about her position and her acknowledgment in communication with staffers in dealing with Saudi Arabia and Qatar?
JJ: The first thing that occurred to me – that was August of 2014, over a year after she left the State Department – my first thought was: “She just didn’t discover that day the Saudis and the Qataris are supporting ISIS. When did she know that, when did she formulate this absolutely absurd policy?”
RT: Clearly she was formulating policy with her staff knowing that she was going to run for president. But she didn’t announce until a year later. What insight do these e-mails give us on what kind of president she would be and what kind of foreign policy she would advocate?
JJ: One thing I noticed, by the way, she says “pressure the Saudis,” but she doesn’t say pressure to do exactly what? She doesn’t say in so many words: “Make them stop supporting ISIS,” and … she’s got a lot of money in the foundation from these people. So I think she will continue to trade carefully with governments we know are supporting terrorists. She would continue to have an unrealistic policy about where we want to go with this. But the bottom line with her will be belligerence - “Attack Assad, let’s get into this war.”
RT: There is a school of thought that Assad will never give up power as long as the Russians are allies. Where does that leave the US? Is it at a crossroads of making a decision?
JJ: I think we [the US] are. The Obama administration I believe just simply wants to keep it simmering until Hillary – President Obama hopes – takes office. He wants Assad out for what reason? Because we said so. It really boils down to that. That was the position we took – this whole mythology of the Arab Spring; that this is all caused by the oppressive government. And it is not in the real world.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.