A Revolutionary Response to Hillary Clinton’s Anti-Trump Speech

June 6, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


On June 2, Hillary Clinton stationed herself in San Diego—home to one of the world’s largest naval fleets and to a huge community of retired U.S. military. Three days after Memorial Day—the day America celebrates its wars of conquest and plunder, past and present, and glorifies those who fought in them—Clinton made the case that she, not Donald Trump, should be commander-in-chief of the U.S. empire and its unparalleled weapons of mass destruction.

The Real “American Idol”: Elections as Auditions

The audience in the room were 250 handpicked, mostly military personnel—killers and ex-killers for empire. But beyond the crowd and the venue, and all that symbolism, the speech was addressed to two audiences: the public at large and, even more important, the ruling class.

First and foremost, Clinton’s speech was addressed to those who actually decide the terms of what goes on in elections, especially presidential elections. The people Bob Avakian has accurately identified as “that small part of ‘the American people’ which dominates the economy and therefore the politics, the media and in general the means of molding public opinion, and every other sphere of social life: the capitalist-imperialist ruling class and its political and literary representatives.” (See “THE REAL ‘AMERICAN IDOL’: ELECTIONS AS AUDITIONS—Whose Consent Really Counts and How Decisions Are Actually Made,” by Bob Avakian at

In that article, Bob Avakian breaks down the relationship between presidential candidates “auditioning” for the public at large and auditioning for the ruling class. What is that relationship? One part of getting the approval of those who actually call the shots is proving you can get over with the general public. But more important, candidates for president have to prove they can get over with a message that serves the interests of that capitalist-imperialist ruling class.

In that light, Hillary Clinton made the case that she, not Trump, is the most ruthless, cold-blooded, calculating, and serious candidate to manage a global empire that sits atop a world of sweatshops and slums. And she is the best one to orchestrate a whole gamut of global violence to maintain that empire especially at a time of crisis.

And she did this in slickly crafted terms that were designed to align people who are not part of the ruling class—in this country (and even beyond)—to identify not with the interests of humanity, but with the interests of a ruling class that exploits and oppresses the vast majority of humanity.

Who ARE the U.S.’ “Allies”?

Clinton made a big deal out of her experience as secretary of state, and her diplomatic skills. She insisted that she, not a lunatic loudmouth like Trump, would be more effective in making sure “Moscow and Beijing” would not be able to match “our alliances around the world.” Clinton declared, “America’s network of allies is part of what makes us exceptional. And our allies deliver for us every day.”

But what are those alliances around the world? And what do they “deliver every day” for the U.S. rulers?

In every corner of the globe, “America’s network of allies” is made up of blood-soaked and brutal regimes. In the Middle East, the “alliance” starts with Israel, a country built on ever-escalating genocide against the Palestinians. A country that twice in the last 10 years has carried out horrific, one-sided slaughters of thousands of people in the Gaza section of Palestine with U.S. support. Clinton has distinguished herself from Obama (and Trump) as being much more pro-Israel.

And when Clinton insists she has a track record of building these alliances, she’s telling the truth.

During Clinton’s reign as secretary of state, the U.S. moved the brutally repressive regime in Myanmar (Burma) into closer alignment with the U.S. “network of allies.” Myanmar shares a long border with China and the U.S.’ rulers saw it as a key link in encircling and isolating China. Today Myanmar is universally condemned by human rights groups for brutal ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya minority, escalating sex trafficking, massive forced and child labor, widespread torture, systematic gang rape by the military, and pervasive terror against dissidents. Clinton called the emerging U.S. alliance with the Myanmar regime a model of “the unique role the United States can and should play in the world as a champion of dignity and democracy,” and “America at our best” (from Hard Choices: A Memoir, by Hillary Clinton).

Hillary Clinton’s State Department played a key role in legitimizing the 2009 military coup that overthrew an elected government in Honduras that was too close to Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela to suit U.S. interests. In the aftermath of the coup, dissidents and union organizers were beaten, threatened, jailed, and killed. Restrictions on “development” that serves U.S. capitalism-imperialism were torn down. In 2009, Honduran sweatshops were the third-largest exporter of clothes and textiles to the U.S. market, employing over 100,000 workers, mostly women, who made less than $45 a week. Clinton upheld her support for the coup as recently as April 13 of this year on the show Democracy Now!

Israel... Myanmar... Honduras... all examples of “allies” who are “delivering every day” for the U.S. empire. And Hillary Clinton can justifiably take credit for a key role in forging those alliances.

As for the “diplomacy” Hillary Clinton promotes as a sane alternative to Trump’s lunacy, it is a diplomacy of mass murder. Bill Clinton’s former secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, spelled it out when she said “the price was worth it” to kill 500,000 children in Iraq through sanctions that prevented the country from getting food and medicine—when that served the interests of the U.S. empire. And Hillary Clinton bragged about her own role in imposing and enforcing sanctions against Iran—which hit most harshly, by design, at the most marginalized and poor people in that country.

“Hillary the Hawk”

But let’s be clear. Hillary Clinton is not just selling herself as someone who can forge alliances with brutal oppressors, or as someone with a track record of killing innocent civilians with “diplomatic” sanctions. She is, and sells herself as, a proven, repeat war criminal.

Hillary Clinton played a singular role in pushing for the U.S./NATO bombing of Libya that effectively overthrew the regime of Muammar Gaddafi that had been a thorn in the side of the U.S. and the West. The result: Libya is in utter shambles, torn apart by reactionary warlords and a breeding ground for ISIS. Some 400,000 Libyans have fled their homes since the U.S. and its NATO allies overthrew Gaddafi. When Hillary Clinton got news that Gaddafi was dead, she ghoulishly laughed and gloated, “We came, we saw, he died”—invoking the imperial words of Julius Caesar, who is reported to have celebrated a victory over a rival by saying “I came, I saw, I conquered.”

This is not an aberration. In an extensive survey of Hillary Clinton’s record, an article in the New York Times Magazine told you what to expect if Hillary Clinton is the next president: “For all their bluster about bombing the Islamic State into oblivion, neither Donald J. Trump nor Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has demonstrated anywhere near the appetite for military engagement abroad that Clinton has.” [our emphasis]” (“How Hillary Clinton Became a Hawk,” April 21, 2016)

Everything They Do Is Framed in Maintaining Their Empire

from Bob Avakian: The much-proclaimed democracy under this system is a sham, and worse...

In her June 2 speech, Hillary Clinton—almost in passing—objected to Trump demonizing Muslims and Mexicans.

But did Clinton point to the reality that Trump has it totally upside down? That the U.S. conquered half of Mexico in large part to advance slavery, and much of what is left of Mexico has been turned into sweatshops, corporate farms, and massive slums by U.S.-based capitalism? Did she even talk about what a human rights horror it would be to round up millions of people, tear them from their children, and deport them? Did she go after Trump for attacks on Muslims that evoke ominous comparisons to Hitler’s rhetoric about the Jews?

No. She complained that Trump’s rhetoric “alienates the very countries we need.” In other words, Trump’s problem is not that racist, fascist venom is obscene and intolerable. The problem, we are being told to think, is all that gets in the way of enlisting reactionary countries and forces to fight, kill, and die to advance the agenda of the U.S. empire—in largely Muslim areas of the world and in Mexico, where the government plays an indispensable role serving and enforcing the interests of the U.S.

Clinton was selling herself to the rulers. And at the same time, she was also working a mind-fuck on people who are appalled by Trump’s attacks on immigrants and Muslims—getting them to think in terms of what’s good for the U.S. empire, and not to start from the interests of humanity.

Why Should ANYONE Have Their Finger on the “Nuclear Codes”?

In a key sound bite in her speech—something that got a lot of mainstream media play—Hillary Clinton railed against Donald Trump for not being responsible enough to possess the codes that would start a nuclear war.

Hold on. Hit the pause button here. Think about how this system and its operatives get you to think. Clinton is posing that the question is which representative of the U.S. ruling class should have those codes.

The real question is: Why the hell should any representative of the U.S. ruling class be able, at the push of a button, to condemn millions to nuclear destruction and perhaps set off a nuclear war that would endanger humanity!

Who Are You Calling “WE”?

OK, give Hillary Clinton her due. She is a cold-blooded, warmongering proven war criminal for the U.S. empire. But that’s NOT OUR EMPIRE. That’s an empire that enslaves child laborers in cocoa plantations in Africa, burns women sweatshop workers alive in Bangladesh, and poisons Mexican farmworkers on farms run by U.S. agribusinesses.


When Hillary Clinton, or any representative of the U.S. ruling class starts talking about “our” security and “our” interests... the response of anyone with sense enough to understand what that means and enough of a moral backbone to stick to principle needs to be: “Who are you calling ‘WE,’ motherfucker?!” This is not our empire. YOUR interests are NOT OUR interests. Malcolm X was right: We are not Americans, we got sense enough to know it. And we stand with humanity, not the war criminals who rule this country.

The terms of this election—posing a “choice” between a lunatic fascist and a proven, repeat war-criminal-and-proud-of-it—underline how critical it is that people NOT buy into the system’s whole election hustle. And how urgent it is to be organizing, now, for revolution—to bring this monstrous system down at the earliest possible time.



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