PATRICK LAWRENCE: Hillary Clinton at the UN?

Whether or not Biden appoints her, things are getting very brazen and very bitter, very fast.

Joe Biden campaigning for president, Oct. 18, 2020. (Biden for President/Flickr/Adam Schultz, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News

We are now told that President-elect Joe Biden may name none other than Hillary Clinton to be his ambassador to the United Nations. This bombshell, a calculated leak by an unnamed “person familiar with the chatter” inside the Biden transition team, was delivered 14 paragraphs into The Washington Post’s report on how swiftly and successfully Joe is pulling together his restorationist project.

It does come time to ask just what the Biden regime is going to look like on the foreign-policy side. What is it likely to do, and what is it likely not to do? These are our questions.

Hillary Clinton our UN ambassador? Whether or not she gets the appointment, this is getting very brazen and very bitter, very fast. By way of U.S. conduct abroad, Biden offers not even a pretense that he intends to step back from America’s widely recognized role as the world’s most destructive political, diplomatic and military force.

Here is how the Post, evidently intent on dropping the Clinton news gently (as well it should have been), explained this preposterous proposition:

“The thinking behind the move was that it would be a way for Biden to highlight the importance of that position in his administration and that placing her there would raise the prestige of the U.N. itself at a time when global cooperation, and the U.S. role on the world stage, has ebbed.”

Raising the UN’s prestige? Our mainstream media have us talking to one another in the language of bedtime stories. How much further detached from reality are we willing to drift — ignoring, of course, there is a price to pay for this fabulist version of what America is and what it does in the world?

For the record, during her years as secretary of state, 2009 to 2013, Hillary Clinton did as much or more than any predecessor to undermine the authority of the UN and numerous other international institutions. Remember when, in 2011, she swindled the Russians to get Security Council backing for “humanitarian intervention” in Libya, then went on to bomb Tripoli, destroy an entire nation, murder Muammar al–Gaddafi (and then laugh about it )?

Hillary Clinton as U.S. secretary of state, Feb, 4, 2013. (Hillary Clinton, Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Remember when she advised Barack Obama, her boss, to forget the UN and bomb Syria? Remember, remember and remember — the list is very long. 

Let us now send this conscienceless liar to the UN to make sure the world knows we’re all for international cooperation so long as all others submit to our dictates and don’t get in our way when we invade other countries, foment coups or otherwise breach international law.

I confess to longstanding animosity toward the odious Clinton. In truth she is merely the apotheosis of what we’ve known for some time about the incoming regime’s character.

Biden’s army of foreign-policy transition advisers — 2,000 in number — is chock-a-block with warmongers, Russophobes, Sinophobes, Iranophobes, exceptionalists, puppets of apartheid Israel, humanitarian interventionists, and others promising nothing but trouble. We’ve known this for some time.

Dec. 1, 2009: President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. (White House, Pete Souza)

Now Come the Appointments

Ten days ago Politico published a lengthy list of contenders for posts in Biden’s cabinet. Michele Flournoy, the odds-on favorite for defense secretary, has been a prominent architect of every war the U.S. has started since the 1990s — including the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Politico ranks Susan Rice, who served as Obama’s UN ambassador and later national security adviser, the front-runner for State. Rice is compulsively Russophobic and supported numerous of Obama-era interventions, Libya and Syria high among them.

Now comes more, some of the nitty and gritty. Last Wednesday Defense News reported that Biden announced his “landing team for the Department of Defense,” a list of 23 names. We’re left to wonder what a landing team is — one surmises this is language Biden’s people dictated and Defense News dutifully scribbled down — but we’re given to understand these people include “contenders for top DoD jobs.”

Here is your Pentagon, in other words, those who will run things under the secretary (and my money, along with nearly everyone else’s, is on Flournoy). There are heavy contingents of Obama-era lingerers, think-tank denizens (RAND, CSIS, Center for a New America), and bureaucratic lifers. And let us not forget: 15 of the 23 people listed are women. This, of course, will make all the difference.

ZeroHedge toted up the names and numbers and reckons that a third of these people are funded by weapons makers. I don’t know how ZeroHedge calculated or how many degrees of separation it took as valid, but it seems very nearly safe to say all of these people have the defense industries’ approval in one or another way: Can one otherwise contend for a top DoD job?

Social media are now alive with zany apologies for this discouraging state of affairs. One Mieke Eoyang, an MSNBC contributor among her other pursuits, offers this:

Translation: They’re warmongers and servants of the arms makers, but they’ve been at it a long time and they’re awfully good at it. Why would anyone assume the views of these people would have anything to do with their eligibility for posts in the Biden regime? Patently silly.

Eoyang’s tweet is part of an effort by establishment Democrats to smear anyone who questions Flournoy’s appointment, including Consortium News. Tamara Cofman Wittes, a senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, whom Eoyang retweets, tweeted:

A Dubious Platform

The Democratic 2020 platform published on the eve of Biden’s nomination last summer, intended to bring Bernie Sanders’ supporters on board, included these commitments on the foreign-policy side: 

  • “Bringing our forever wars to a responsible end.”
  • “Rationalizing the defense budget.”
  • Ending covert “regime change” operations in favor of “more effective and less costly diplomatic, intelligence, and law enforcement tools.”
  • “Right-sizing our counterterrorism footprint.”
  • Scaling back U.S. involvement in Afghanistan in favor of “a durable and inclusive political settlement” with a residual role for special operations forces.

Didn’t President Donald Trump attempt to achieve various of these objectives? Didn’t hawks in his administration and at the Pentagon vigorously and illegally subvert these attempts? Didn’t the mainstream press cheer on these subversions while lambasting Trump daily for jeopardizing “national security” as he tried (however inconsistently) to bring troops home, settle up in Afghanistan, negotiate with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and other such things?

Let us set aside the astonishing hypocrisy here. With reference to Biden’s impending appointments, how much of this will come to pass as he stocks the West Wing, the Pentagon and State?

Very, very little, in my view, and maybe none of it to any appreciable degree. This is not a difficult call. It is a bitter call, in part because it is not at all difficult.

Those who expected the Biden regime to give Americans a thoughtful, informed, post-exceptionalist foreign policy — and I am not among these people — are in for too many disappointments to list over the next four years. Let us consider a few of the more consequential.

No Peace Pipe with Russia

It is possible that Biden will open up space for negotiations to extend the about-to-expire New START arms-control treaty with Russia, crucial if we are to avoid another ruinous arms race. This would be a fine thing.

How cynically Biden would approach new talks is for now an outstanding question, but my answer is very if Rice, Flournoy and other such figures have anything to do with the undertaking.

Of this there is no question: Biden has zero intention of reversing our prevalent Russophobic paranoia and constructively recasting relations with Moscow.

No Peace in Northeast Asia

In his final presidential debate with Trump, Biden was vigorously critical of Trump’s two summits with Kim Jong-un, accusing Trump of legitimizing “a thug.”

He went on to say he would reassume the pre–Trump position on North Korea — an insistence that Pyongyang meet U.S. demands before negotiations can begin on those very demands. It’s an illogical nonstarter cynically intended to fail.

No Peace in the Mideast

There is little chance Biden will reverse much, or maybe any, of Trump’s radical shift in Israel policy. Two reasons. One, by moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, subsequently recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory and negotiating a peace plan that is almost comically unbalanced in Israel’s favor, Trump has moved the fence posts in U.S.–Israeli relations and Biden has neither the integrity nor the principle to address this forthrightly. Two, Biden is himself far too pro–Israel to risk a politically damaging breach either with Israel or on Capitol Hill.

Here he is telling a reporter that “You don’t have to be Jewish to be a Zionist.

And here he is on the Senate floor saying that if Israel didn’t exist, it would have to be invented.

No Peace with Iran

On Iran, the superficial wisdom has it that Biden intends to restore the U.S. to the 2015 accord governing Tehran’s nuclear programs, from which Trump withdrew in 2018. Why not? The nuclear agreement was Obama’s work, and Biden scores off his association with Obama every chance he gets.

I doubt this logic will prove out, again for two reasons. First, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s obsessive hostility toward Iran not only foiled Trump’s chances to negotiate a new nuclear agreement, as Trump signaled two years ago he wished to attempt; Pompeo significantly sharpened Capitol Hill’s animosity toward Tehran in the bargain.

Biden won’t risk wading into the Iran question in any such climate. Second, bringing the U.S. back into the nuclear accord would instantly ignite Israel’s anti–Iran passions. Even before Biden won the election, Israeli officials warned that any move to rejoin the pact would push Israel into war with Iran.

Military Spending

Shrinking the Pentagon budget? We don’t have even a hollow promise. “Rationalizing” is something different. And the military industry is unconcerned and welcomed Biden.  More civilized relations with China based on a sober, balanced  understanding of its aspirations? One does not wait for these things.  

The Post quoted an industry  consultant:

“Although defense manufacturers have benefited from increased spending, tax cuts and deregulation under President Trump, their executives have told investors that they expect the former vice president and longtime senator will largely maintain the status quo with respect to defense spending.

‘Our industry knows Joe Biden really well, and he knows our industry really well,’ said Arnold Punaro, a retired Marine Corps major general and Democratic Senate staffer who works as a defense consultant. ‘I think the industry will have, when it comes to national security, a very positive view’ of a Biden presidency, Punaro said.”

The platform calls for an end to “regime change” ops, and bringing troops home? One does not wait for it.

One principle will guide the Biden regime’s foreign policies. Biden is a man of empire and those around him empire’s lieutenants. This will determine all of what is to come.

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, author and lecturer. His most recent book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century. Follow him on Twitter @thefloutist. His web site is Patrick Lawrence. Support his work via his Patreon site. 

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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35 comments for “PATRICK LAWRENCE: Hillary Clinton at the UN?

  1. Arlene Hickory
    November 18, 2020 at 15:06

    And yet…..INSTEAD of voting for the sane legitimate people of the GREEN party, we vote same old same old. Other than the huge percent ( was it 44?..!) of WOMEN that voted for TRUMP ( I am determined to figure out what that is about…I have ideas) ..we still bought the lessor evil gambit. I took the hook too….reluctantly…..on the basis that the “awoke” were ready to do the hard work required. And where was the “White” vote? Hiding in the bushes as usual while the suffering people of color and class oppression were at the front. ( Not entirely fair….I know there were some white groups out there). Well I am mad and sad… Rest assured…..I am not playing this game next time.

  2. Dr. Hujjathullah M.H.B. Sahib
    November 18, 2020 at 11:52

    Without any doubts Ms. Hillary Clinton is easily the most professionally qualified person to be America’s U.N. envoy on a number of criteria. Given the recent trend of elevating women to key portfolios with the likes of Gina Haspel, Kamala Harris, Susan Rice and soon perhaps Michele Flournoy launched in too, the Democratic Party may clearly be reorientating the USA out of its recent nationalism-induced isolationism to return to internationalism, if not also to globalism.

    But would this new bio-chemistry of “feminism” and internationalism bear positive fruits of “humanitarianism in comfy pumps” or result in negative berries of “imperialism in killer stilettoes” remains to be watched carefully.

    Given Biden’s propensity to grab, in foreign policy, and inclination to grope, in social interactions, both vulnerable nations like North Korea, Syria, Venezuela and Iran if not also China and Russia and proximate women, no matter how potentate, like Harris and Flournoy if not also Haspel and Hillary need to stay extra alert in the mid- to long-term, for sure. For Biden may not, in his elderly ways, be able to resist the temptation to have his hands full given these decidedly alluring circumstances, if I may say so !

  3. November 18, 2020 at 03:00

    Just to say, an excellent article which brings out all the truth about this ‘lesser’evil.’ This is quite horrifying

  4. DH Fabian
    November 17, 2020 at 19:17

    The Democrat right wing finally took over the rest of the party, with much help from the liberal bourgeoisie. The Democratic Party is just history now.

  5. Jeff Harrison
    November 17, 2020 at 17:56

    I suspect that this is likely to be Shrub part II and not Obama part II. I find that even scarier as (a) Shrub was even more violent than Obama and (b) the US has been attacking steadily more capable opponents ever since we beat up on that clear and present danger – Grenada. It’s now about time to attack either Russia or China. Either would be a serious mistake. Assuming that it was stopped quickly, the US may only wind up beyond flat broke. We’re already broke as our sovereign debt exceeds our GDP. I think it’s insane that I’m saying these things but I am very aware that the people in Washington DC are not particularly sane either.

  6. rosemerry
    November 17, 2020 at 17:51

    Excellent article from Patrick, and comments from the rest!

    With HRC, Biden would be trying to find a worse US Rep to the UN than any of the former spectacular destroyers of the possibility of global peace and /or harmony- a difficult task, indeed.

  7. November 17, 2020 at 15:22

    This election was a choice between the Mafia Nazi and the Rubber Chicken….It looks like the Rubber Chicken WON! YAY?…At least the hamsters got to watch Bernie Sanders (and ALL hopes for the radical course change needed to “save” the USSA) get shot in the back TWICE! Perhaps this will give them something upon which to meditate while locked into their bunkers….

    • DH Fabian
      November 17, 2020 at 19:24

      No, the election was the routine contest between the two offices of the ruling right wing duopoly, seen every four years. Pushing back against the right required finding a way to bring the proverbial “masses” together, poor and middle class, etc., and there was simply no interest in doing that. Regardless of how 2020 turned out, the right wing won.

  8. Cratylus
    November 17, 2020 at 14:57

    Great article. Congrats to CN for publishing it.

    There is one passage that caught my attention:
    “ ZeroHedge toted up the names and numbers and reckons that a third of these people are funded by weapons makers. I don’t know how ZeroHedge calculated or how many degrees of separation it took as valid, but it seems very nearly safe to say all of these people have the defense industries’ approval in one or another way: Can one otherwise contend for a top DoD job?
    “Social media are now alive with zany apologies for this discouraging state of affairs. One Mieke Eoyang, an MSNBC contributor among her other pursuits, offers this:etc.”

    This is not a bit surprising. It was the danger in supporting Biden or voting for him. Once that commitment was made, the all too human tendency is to defend the choice. So now we shall find all the progressives who supported Biden clamoring for us to “understand” the acts that follow no matter how heinous. As Lawrence points out, we have seen all this before when most of the progressive opposition to the Bush/Obama forever wars dried up. Exceptionalism is a very nasty disease.

    Again congrats to CN and Patrick Lawrence for this article.

  9. November 17, 2020 at 14:35


    • November 17, 2020 at 14:39


  10. evelync
    November 17, 2020 at 14:28

    I’m nauseous just remembering all the horror these people perpetrated serving the gods of wars for profit while making the world less safe and robbing the treasury to feed the oligarchs while working people suffer.
    It continued under a compliant dazed Trump….

    Under the corrupt GOP & DNC millions displaced, murdered, maimed.
    Hundreds of thousand of our soldiers suffering from the horror they are asked to commit not to serve the people of this country but for profit wars.

    It seems Joe’s proving that he’s learned absolutely nothing; still scared of the national security state that’s heading us towards a cliff via nuclear war, climate disruption and/or bankruptcy.

    He’s been a groveling servant to the war machine and every other machine that’s been set up to raid the treasury and rip off working people.
    It’s been our horrific foreign policy and reckless deregulation of the banking system that lost the trust of millions of Americans, some of whom voted for con man Trump who “promised” no more wars. Some of those people wrongly blame their financial stagnation on immigrants, etc. etc instead of the predatory trade policy , predatory banking policy and the rest. But others see through these failures and they may not have expected much from Trump but no longer trusted the two main parties to function in a rational way.

    I’ve talked to conservative average working people who’ve lost faith and have no trust in people like Hillary Clinton who happily cosied up to war criminal Henry Kissinger and was never able to articulate a set of policies that people trusted to work to get us on a sustainable path. It was always evident that she had 2 sets of books – the pablum she gave the voters and the dark dirty “hard choices” she made without remorse it seems.

    The words “national security” are hollow threats to shut down any honest public scrutiny of foreign policy.
    The “best and the brightest” who run things do so to fatten the pockets of their benefactors…

    Looks like Joe intends to be the puppet he has always been….
    heaven help this country….

  11. November 17, 2020 at 14:24

    No one does governmenting (LOL) like
    The non partisan DOD.
    America is the Empire of Shite.

  12. November 17, 2020 at 14:05

    Like Empires before her, the New Rome will go down and a new world will arise, broken and scattered like autumn leaves.
    History dictates the directions of wash, rinse, repeat only this time into a dying world of uncertain climate change.

  13. Rob Roy
    November 17, 2020 at 13:23

    I agree.

  14. Kathleen H
    November 17, 2020 at 13:18

    Biden has dementia. Therefore, he is not initiating anything. He is sagely nodding his head when whoever (Obama? Clinton?) is really running things says to.

  15. Anonymot
    November 17, 2020 at 12:32

    Yes, and well said. But there’s one thing to keep in mind, the usual deep state conglomerate (CIA/MIC/WallSt) couldn’t have a baby so they adopted the Clintons. The Clintons repaid the kindness with money by the shipload of which they surprisingly seem to have siphoned a lot. Even sweet Bernie never talked about foreign policy, because that wasn’t his territory; it was “theirs”.

    And those who noticed kept in mind what the public forgot, Hillary owns the Democrat’s party mechanism, the DNC via her stand-in, Tom Perez.

    That said, you may rest assured that Biden and Harris are obedient surrogates for Hillary’s handlers.

    The only consolation is that she could cause no more anti-Americanism in the UN that Susan Rice did.

    Finally, the Orange Outrage was just a pothole on the road to war. I think he really feared war because the bone growth was in his head not his foot. He kept war away by flooding the military with so much money for new gadgetry that real war became beside the point.

    We’re looking at 4 years of a paper- mache copy of Obama/Clinton. Erik Prince will get fatter again.

  16. Punkyboy
    November 17, 2020 at 12:15

    I thought that horrific warmongering viper (HRC, of course) had her sights set on Secretary of Defense. UN Ambassador is even worse – maybe. No matter, really. Kamala’s administration will be guided from the shadows by Clinton and Obama in any event. Not to worry, folks. Everyone loved St. Obama, remember?????

    • November 17, 2020 at 15:26

      Right up there with St. Reagan

    • Anonymot
      November 17, 2020 at 17:50

      And who do you think is in the shadows guiding Obama & Hillary?

  17. November 17, 2020 at 11:57

    Unfortunately, Hillary Clinton remains a central power in the Democratic Party.

    Kamala Harris was taken under the wings of important Hillary Clinton supporters a few years ago.

    And here’s Hillary herself being touted as Biden’s likely choice for Ambassador to the UN.

    A number of old Clinton associates also appear lined up for big jobs.

    Money indeed makes the world go around in American politics, the Clintons having become legendary in their capacity for enriching themselves while in office.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      November 17, 2020 at 15:40

      Hear, hear. You are absolutely correct.

  18. November 17, 2020 at 11:44

    Thank you Patrick for concise, articulate and well supported assessment of the tragedies that surely are before us, and the world.

  19. Vera Gottlieb
    November 17, 2020 at 11:35

    Time has come to replace the old with the new…Time to let the younger generation(s) take over. Time for “fresh air”.

  20. Anne
    November 17, 2020 at 10:49

    Oh – all so bloody and truly barbarically correct, Patrick. (And you wait – the B-H admin will be “looked up to” because it will have women and likely more than one woman of “color” no matter what greed and barbarity soaked people they are. “Wokeness” is all that matters.)

  21. Susan Leslie
    November 17, 2020 at 09:57

    Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to war we go…

  22. coup 63
    November 17, 2020 at 08:49

    Thank you David, that reminded me of an old song that I never knew!

  23. Realist
    November 17, 2020 at 05:05

    And the media call Trump a crazy would-be tyrant! Those who can remember the 40’s and early 50’s will recall the last world leader known to the public as “Uncle Joe.” The latest one sounds about as dangerous. The DNC certainly displayed the judgement of the old Politburo in foisting this demented thug upon us. The hands of the so-called “Doomsday Clock” have just been moved up to Midnight if all Mr. Lawrence says here is true, which I do not doubt. May God restrain America and protect the world from it.

    • Anne
      November 17, 2020 at 10:54

      Joe Stalin was by no means as dangerous to the world and its peoples as every US prez and their MICIMATT have been since 1945. He wasn’t good for a lot of Russians (as in Tsarist and Soviet Russia) – but bombing, slaughtering, devastating, destroying other peoples around the world?

      • Realist
        November 17, 2020 at 15:46

        You forget his role in the forced occupation of Eastern Europe, especially the siege of Berlin (requiring the airlift) and ruthless suppression of the Hungarian Revolution. There was also his role in North Korea and the rise of Mao in the Chinese Civil War, severe ramifications of which persist to this day. Putin condemns him publicly for these and the domestic actions you mention. Do not fall into the trap of remembering only what is convenient. For me to say that Joe Biden has the potential to become as hideous an historical figure as Hitler, Stalin and Mao is really condemnatory on my part.

  24. David Otness
    November 17, 2020 at 01:35

    I’m just, I’m just, I’m just. . . . consigned to this likely being the last hurrah. Who (outside of perma-Dems) didn’t see this punch being telegraphed?
    End of the line time?

    Our democracy is defunct, moribund, it is but the clanking of rusty chains echoing in that now moaning wind I hear, and so marks their rise, yes, it is them again, from the crypt come these so-called smartest, wise-to-the-Washington ways, these ‘playahs’ of the now and forever right wing Dems are getting another crack at inflicting their insatiable egos on the 21st century’s surviving inhabitants and denizens. All species, all critters large and small, back under their most dubious purview.

    These obsessively-driven super-achievers, these power-adulating former stars of errant and illicit administrations’ past, these immoral and amoral both, these liberal—in the worst sense of that word—cabalists of retreading dread, these failed as ‘good human beings’ are set loose, born-again werewolves, resurrected, self-anointed and no doubt circle-jerking self-congratulatory—and they are ONLY here because Trump was so vile and shitty. We’re trapped in an impossible political dynamic here. And of COURSE these Dems of Clinton Inc and Obama the Omniscient knew it, and now here comes the real “In yo face” part.

    These vile, loathsome dynastic apparatchik hacks are freed to again run rampant with their already guaranteed legacy of never enough of gorged blood and misery to inflict, they are ours, they have risen up from our common humanity to cackle hysterically and to inflict their perverse, antithetical to peace and justice sociopathy upon the world again. To know their irreplaceable thrum of absolute power once more. All it took was one shot at it before. That first taste. And they were hooked. Stone cold junkies for power over others. Lifers.

    How did we come to this? How did we ever not see the sand grains slipping through the hourglass faster and faster to arrive at this moment, this point of no return? Our lesson I fear is just that—our blindness, our inability to effectively process such immeasurable magnitudes as the single snowflake became an avalanche over the decades, and just like the CO2 acidifying our oceans, the great ice caps and glaciers slip-sliding away, the heat, heat, heating of our one Earth. And the beat, beat, beating of humanity’s own heart and all of our hopes now growing perceptibly dimmer. And slower. And quieter. As the long shadows of a previously unimaginable winter come home to roost.
    Did I mention how much I truly loathe these people?
    God help us All.

    • forceOfHabit
      November 17, 2020 at 10:15

      Spectacularly well written!

    • November 17, 2020 at 11:53

      Reply to David Otness.
      Thanks for the clear and prophetic assessment of our tragic circumstance, as the majority of left leaning voters revel in the news.
      Nothing to do but to tell it like it is wherever anyone will listen, take it on the chin, keep smiling and honing the message. It is
      most important to point out that if one gets one’s “news” from the mainstream media, it is understandable why they wander in the fairy tale. Perhaps we should be giving gift subscriptions to Consortium News as holiday gifts.

    • November 17, 2020 at 14:28

      I think I found my soul mate.

    • Hujjatullah
      November 18, 2020 at 12:12

      Fantastic articulation of the decidedly bitter reality ahead, that is if they are allowed to indulge in their devices by the Congress !

Comments are closed.