Hillary Clinton’s Achievements as Secretary of State

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by Eric Zuesse, The Saker:

Some people say that Hillary Clinton had no achievements as the U.S. Secretary of State; but that view is factually false. She had a huge and enduring impact, on at least three countries, as will here be documented via the links:

HONDURAS:

When the dozen oligarchs who control Honduras overthrew Honduras’s popular democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya on 28 June 2009, and installed a military junta which set about exterminating its opposition, the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was able, alone of officials in the Western Hemisphere, to keep that regime in power (despite efforts by all other governments in the Hemisphere to restore the legal government), by arranging increased military and economic aid to the new government.

Soon afterward, Honduras had the world’s highest murder-rate, and a surging outflow of poor people through Mexico into the United Sates as refugees from the exploding violence at home.

As Vice News reported on 9 September 2014: “Overall, illegal immigration from Central America has risen about 500% since late 2010. Families, single moms, and children, are a larger and larger share of people who make the long, and potentially dangerous trek through Mexico, to the United States. More child migrants are now coming from San Pedro Sula Honduras and surrounding areas [the Bajo Aguán Valley], than anyplace else in Central America; and, as ordinary Hondurans told us over and over again, the outflow is being fueled by an explosive mix of violence, poverty, and inequality.” The democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya, whom Hillary Clinton’s Honduran friends had overthrown, had been trying to impose land reform and other measures which were addressed to meeting the needs of the millions of Honduras’s poor, but the new Honduran government viewed the Honduran masses as trash, and eliminated President Zelaya’s programs to help them.

The November 2013 study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, “Honduras Since the Coup,” reported that: “Economic growth has slowed since the coup. … Economic inequality, which decreased for four consecutive years starting in 2006 [Zelaya had ruled Honduras from 27 January 2006 through 28 June 2009], began trending upward in 2010. Honduras now has the most unequal distribution of income in Latin America.”

The September 2011 study by the International Federation for Human Rights and by the Association of World Council of Churches,  “Honduras Human Rioghts Violations,” reported that, “Since the coup d’etat, … several missions and reports by national and international human rights bodies and organisations have documented systematic and grave human rights violations in Honduras.”

The Los Angeles Times reported on 16 August 2014, that, “For many child migrants, traveling alone to U.S. is safer than staying put in Honduras.” Human Rights Watch issued a report, in February 2014, “’There Are No Investigations Here’: Impunity for Killings and Other Abuses in Bajo Aguán, Honduras.” (This report was anomalous: One of the two co-founders of HRW was a protégé of the Russia-hating George Soros, and the other was America’s leading book-publisher, who was a zionist neoconservative Democrat, and both were strong proponents of U.S. empire, not critics of it. HRW is a Democratic Party neoconservative organization, but in this extraordinary report it criticized a joint Democratic and Republican coup-regime. However, not once did that report so much as even mention either “Clinton” or “Obama.” It was basically protecting HRW’s top sponsors — heavy donors to the DNC — and hiding the U.S. regime’s guilt behind the atrocities that it was criticizing. On 7 September 2010, HRW headlined “George Soros to Give $100 million to Human Rights Watch”. HRW is practically prohibited from saying certain things: it is very much censored by its megadonors. The hypocrisy of their championship of ‘human rights’ is extreme. America’s aristocracy are protected. There is total impunity for them.) On 25 July 2014, Slate headlined: “Honduras’ Killing Fields: In these rural lands, poverty, murder, and injustice fuel a battle between farmers and rich landowners.” Secretary of State Clinton had clearly been on the side of the rich landowners.

On 6 January 2014, Britain’s Guardian reported on: “a dirty war in Honduras, where US-backed security forces are implicated in the murder, disappearance and intimidation of peasant farmers involved in land disputes with local palm oil magnates. More than 100 people have been killed in the past four years, many assassinated by death squads operating with near impunity in the heavily militarised Bajo Aguán region, where 8,000 Honduran troops are deployed, according to activists.” Then, right-wing U.S. taxpayers, faced with the resulting influx of south-of-the-border refugees, shout “Send them back!” (That’s back to die.)

However, the Obama Administration’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (of which Hillary Clinton was the Chairperson) produced a “resettlement program” so that “Honduras was able to move … to compensate affected parties, clear the right of way, and complete construction” that the U.S. oligarchy and their Honduran oligarch-friends want. MCC has programs whose objective is nominally to determine “which investments are most likely to lead to economic growth and poverty reduction.” The poor pouring into the U.S. don’t know anything about it, but only have other ideas about their own “economic growth.”

The richest man in Honduras, and alleged to be the chief planner of the coup there, Miguel Facusse, controls Dinant Corporation, which is developing Palm oil plantations in the Bajo Aguán region. Interviewed by the Los Angeles Times, he said with apparent pride, “My name is mud all over the world. … I’m the bad guy in the world.” But his money is good everywhere. Thus, on 10 January 2014, Huffington Post bannered, “World Bank’s Lending Arm Linked to Deadly Honduras Conflict,” and reported that the World Bank’s Office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman noted that Dinant’s problems keeping up with its loan-payments were “caused in large part by the July 2009 overthrow of Manuel Zelaya, the left-leaning president who visited the Aguan Valley promising land reforms just days before his ouster. Subsistence farmers, without a political ally, took … land owned by Facusse that they say was wrongfully taken from them.” In other words: if only Zelaya hadn’t spoken to poor people and then become overthrown by the landowners, perhaps these problem-loans on the World Bank’s books wouldn’t be problem-loans at all. The problem-loans were caused by Zelaya’s having spoken to poor people. Thus, the World Bank “called Facusse a ‘very respected businessman’ and later approved a $70 million investment in one of Dinant’s biggest lenders, Banco Financiera Comercial Hondurena.” After all, the refugees who are pouring into the United States aren’t any of the World Bank’s business or worry.

On 30 December 2019, Mongabay bannered “Palm oil, fire pushing protected areas in Honduras to the ‘point of no return’”. This is bipartisan (Democratic billionaires, and Republican billionaires) U.S.-backed ‘progress’.

Consequently, among Secretary of State Clinton’s achievements was her major contribution to the surge in recent years of Honduras’s poor coming into the United States. These are people that her Honduran friends (such as Facusse) want to clear off of their land, or at least off of land that they want, and claim, to be theirs. If those excess (in the view of the oligarchs) Hondurans come to the United States, it helps relieve these friends of Hillary of a nasty problem. They can then credit her with having helped them a lot, first by securing their coup, and then by providing an outlet (i.e., the U.S.) for some of the excess Hondurans that Honduras’s oligarchs might otherwise need to be simply gunned down (as many already have been and are). Doing it this way saves them money on bullets.

LIBYA:

According to the often unreliable right-wing Washington Timesreporting on 28 January 2015: “Top Pentagon officials and a senior Democrat in Congress so distrusted Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2011 march to war in Libya that they opened their own diplomatic channels with the Gadhafi regime in an effort to halt the escalating crisis, according to secret audio recordings recovered from Tripoli. The tapes, reviewed by The Washington Times and authenticated by the participants, chronicle U.S. officials’ unfiltered conversations with Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s son and a top Libyan leader, including criticisms that Mrs. Clinton had developed tunnel vision and led the U.S. into an unnecessary war without adequately weighing the intelligence community’s concerns.”

That report links to what are said to be excerpts from the recorded conversations. The report has been ignored by all but Republican ‘news’ media.

The next day, Fox News interviewed the progressive Democrat and former Congressman, Dennis Kucinich, who back in 2011 was in Congress and was trying to stop the Obama Administration’s plan to overthrow Gaddafi, and who was the involved in the discussions with the Gaddafis. He was that “senior Democrat in Congress.” And he confirmed the Washington Times account. A clip from Gaddafi’s son in those phone conversations was played, presumedly supplied now, four years after the event, by Kucinich. Though Kucinich didn’t note that Hillary and the Administration had fabricated the reason for invading, Fox’s interviewer did. Obama was just another George W. Bush.

Furthermore, in a CBS News interview on 20 October 2011, Secretary of State Clinton was asked about the slaughter of Muammar Gaddafi, and she said, with joyous laughter, “We came, we saw, he died!” (It’s also on youtube.) Her callousness came through with stark clarity there, irrespective of what one thinks of Gaddafi or Saddam Hussein or any other tyrant. Her intention in that interview was obviously to take credit for this conquest.

What has happened to Libya since the United States led the bombing and destruction of the Gaddafi regime is something that the U.S. should feel profoundly ashamed of, like our invasion of Iraq in 2003 was. And the resulting destruction of the Libyan people has likewise been comparable to our destruction of the Iraqi people.

Hillary Clinton, in that video clip taking credit for the slaughter of Gaddafi, was more than accepting responsibility for what she and Barack Obama did to Libya; she was even reveling in it. She was proud of it.

Subsequently the Obama Administration worked with the European Union to block the exodus of refugees from Libya and other nations that have been destroyed by the U.S. and its allies, such as in Yemen.

In any case, Libya was also an achievement for Hillary.

UKRAINE:

When Ms. Clinton started at the State Department in 2009, she brought in with her Victoria Nuland, whose husband, Robert Kagan, was a personal friend of Hillary’s. The Nuland-Kagans were far-right-wing Republicans, and Nuland had previously been a foreign-affairs advisor to, first, Vice President Dick Cheney, and, then, Presidential candidate John McCain, the man who was famous for saying “Bomb Iran!” Nuland was installed as the State Department’s spokesperson; and, then, after Clinton resigned to prepare her Presidential campaign, Nuland was selected by Obama to become, nominally under Secretary of State John Kerry, the top State Department official for Europe and Asia, including Ukraine, where Nuland oversaw the February 2014 coup that overthrew the democratically elected but corrupt Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, and replaced him with Nuland’s corrupt friend, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, in a new government, which would be run by Ukraine’s Prime Minister instead of by its President (this change was made in order to confuse the ‘news’ media into thinking that ultimately democracy was going to be restored to Ukraine in new elections; Obama’s ultimate aim was to install as President Yulia Tymoshenko, a rabid anti-Russian, who had led Yatsenyuk’s party, to become elected, but a less extreme supporter of the coup, Petro Poroshenko, won the May 2014 election, and he continued the Yatsenyuk-Tymoshenko policies.

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