By Daniela Walls, National Chair of the Tax Wall Street Party –
Washington DC, May 5, 2016
I would like to speak to you this morning about the political contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. I hope to show you why you should turn away from Ms. Clinton and instead critically support Bernie Sanders – “hold your nose and vote for Bernie” as my party has expressed it.
I speak to you as a lifelong, committed feminist who has always striven to advance the position of women. In my view, feminism is humanism. It is the essence of humanism. Feminism is the leading edge of the struggle to uplift all of humanity, worldwide. Since women comprise more than half of humanity, whatever is done to women is done to our entire species. If women are excluded, discriminated against, underpaid, degraded, humiliated, mutilated, or killed, then this is a high crime against the totality of human progress. Every man has a mother, a sister, a daughter or a wife so whatever is done to them will damage him as well.
In my mind, feminism is not just another pressure group or identity politics constituency among others, but rather the cause of humanity we must all fight for. Feminism, properly understood, embraces and subsumes all the other issues, without exception. The status of women is the surest barometer of civilization.
In this briefing I have addressed issues like the scandal of websites offering arrangements with “sugar daddies,” in effect forcing American middle class girls into prostitution, often as their only way to afford a college degree or a place to live. In her complacency, Ms. Clinton has never to my knowledge engaged with this hideous economic reality, which reveals the utter bankruptcy of the current system in which she is so thoroughly at home.
Hillary Clinton has captured the attention of many women with her promise of becoming the first female president of the United States. I regard a woman president as an historical necessity, surely in our lifetime, and the sooner the better. The glass ceiling must be shattered. The United States needs the talents and the service of all of our people, bar none.
At the same time, I am convinced that Ms. Clinton cannot and must not be the vehicle getting this job done.
The objections to Ms. Clinton as president are fundamentally two. First, she is a creature and servant of the predatory and sociopathic Wall Street banks from whom she has taken speaking fees, campaign contributions, and payola for the Clinton Foundation, from which she benefits personally.
Hillary wants to share in the credit for the economic decisions made during her husband’s presidency 20 years ago. One of these was the free trade sellout of American workers’ interests known as NAFTA – The North American Free Trade Association. This has turned out to be the giant sucking sound as unscrupulous employers sent their factories and American jobs overseas. Millions of jobs were destroyed, tens of thousands of factories closed, and the living standards of working women disproportionately driven down. Women working on assembly lines. The wives of factory workers.
The Clinton administration also supported the repeal of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program, a key part of Franklin D Roosevelt’s landmark Social Security Act of 1935. This was a surrender to the reactionary Newt Gingrich Republicans. It was a cruel and cynical gambit by Bill Clinton to get reelected in 1996. A top official at Health and Human Services resigned, and progressive opinion concluded that this was the worst thing that Clinton had ever done. It was also unnecessary, since Clinton was not seriously threatened by the elderly Bob Dole in 1996. Bill Clinton was preparing more bipartisan sellouts, including savage cuts in Social Security and Medicare when he was overtaken by the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and could not seal his pact with the Republicans.
And who were the victims? They were largely women and children. AFDC often translated into aid to mothers with dependent children. These were black women, Latina women, poor white women, women in the inner-city, women in rural America, unemployed women, battered women. It was a case study in the sacrifice of women’s interests, and women’s lives to the lust for power shared by the Clintons.
The Bill Clinton administration also legalized interstate banking, abolished of the Glass-Steagall firewall between commercial banks and investment houses, and worst of all totally deregulated derivatives with a bill signed into law by Bill Clinton in 2000. These toxic derivatives are the main factor in the worldwide economic depression, which started in 2008, and which continues down to this day. We can rest assured that more than half of the victims of this depression – people who lost their jobs, their homes, their retirement savings, their hopes for a college education for their children – were, as usual, women and their families.
Ms. Clinton is a notorious warmonger and hawk in foreign policy, whose tenure as Secretary of State has caused a qualitative degeneration in the world situation, bringing the specter of general war much closer, while failing to advance any fundamental interest of the United States. As an aggressive neocon in foreign affairs, Ms. Clinton cares little for the female soldiers, as well as the wives, mothers, and daughters of the US military forces she will be eager to put at risk.
During these primary debates, Ms. Clinton formally and categorically refused to rule out sending US ground forces into a new catastrophic military adventure in the Middle East. I call on Democratic primary voters to remember the epic struggles about war and peace which were so prominent in the decade after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Ms. Clinton would like us to forget that entire agonizing phase. We must not do so.
Ms. Clinton’s troubled and dangerous relation to the concepts of retaliation and the use of military force derives from her mistaken concept of feminism. She wants to be president, a job that requires the highest level of political judgment along with an outlook of prudence not distorted by personal compulsions or complexes. Ms. Clinton wants to be considered as a strong woman. It is good to be strong, but we must also ask, strong in the service of what? Strong in the cause of human progress is a good thing, but strong in the service of a discredited imperialism is unacceptable to the women will pay so much of the price.
Throughout her career, Hillary has feared nothing so much as the perception that she is a weak woman. To compensate for that all-consuming fear, she feels that she must be the most extreme hawk and the most aggressive warmonger. She blusters about the need to retaliate promptly in all instances. This can mean national suicide. Her demand must be rejected.
Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on May 12, 1996 told Leslie Stahl of the CBS program Sixty Minutes that the deaths of 500,000 children in Iraq caused by US sanctions on food and medicine were “worth it.” Secretary Albright reportedly owed her place in the cabinet to lobbying by the feminist Hillary. In any case, Ms. Clinton did not speak out against this monstrous idea. This episode tells us far more about Hillary’s moral compass than her job at the Children’s Defense Fund.
True to her syndrome, Hillary voted in favor of the 2002 resolution which she and everyone else in Congress knew at the time would be used by Bush and Cheney to launch aggressive war against Iraq. In 2008, despite the obvious catastrophic consequences, she was defeated by the less trigger-happy Obama. She says she has finally admitted her 2002 mistake. But she has learned nothing, as shown by her unconscionable boast that she played the role of high priestess of aggression in the attack on Libya in 2011, and her refusal to rule out a new adventure.
Hillary still has the gall to boast of her Arab spring destabilizations of five years ago as one of the supposed achievements in her catalog of experience. This is simply outrageous.
The so-called Arab spring, as observed in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and in Syria, was not a popular grassroots uprising, but rather a typical CIA destabilization. In each of these countries, many economic, social, and religious rights of women were better secured under the pre-2011 order. Hillary helped to direct these destabilizations, often working closely with her close associate Huma Abedeen, who apparently served as her liaison with the Muslim Brotherhood, that Anglo-American intelligence asset at the heart of this entire operation. In Egypt, the result was a brutal dictatorship of the Moslem brotherhood.
In the case of Libya, Hillary – joining Susan Rice and Samantha Power – became the most strident advocate for a NATO bombing campaign, which eventually led to the destruction of the Libyan state, and the descent of the entire country into the chaos and anarchy of a failed state dominated by sectarian militias. In every part of Libya, the most backward, benighted, and barbarian jihadis and fanatics took over. Many were on the payroll of Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf monarchies.
Ms. Clinton celebrated this tragedy with her statement: “We came, we saw, he died.” In reality, this was a violation of international law which Americans will be paying for far into the future. Calls for an invasion of Libya are already being heard.
Later, Ms. Clinton superintended the transfer of the armed jihadis and fanatics to Syria by way of Turkey, a policy which underlies the tragic events in Benghazi, Libya. Syria had been the most ethnically diverse and religiously tolerant country in the entire region – but it is now gripped by war.
The ultimate result of Ms. Clinton’s Middle East policy, including the destruction of Libya and Syria, and building on the Bush administration’s wrecking of Iraq, is quite simply ISIS. Call it ISIL, the Islamic State, Daesh, or the Caliphate, this is the inevitable result of her refusal to work with existing governments.
In this entire tragic narrative, women have been the victims. Arab women have been the victims. Many of them are modern, secular, westernized, women – very much like ourselves. Women dressed in clothes designed in Paris, Milan, or New York. Some were Christian women. They were delivered into the hands of dark ages fanatics by Ms. Clinton’s cynical policies. Such women were stripped at gunpoint of the civil rights, political rights, and social rights they had fought for over decades in undemocratic but at least secular Arab states. Women lost their jobs. Women were forced to stay at home. Women were coerced into covering their bodies in burqas – a custom which is rooted not in the Koran, but rather in the most backward traditions of patriarchy. Women were raped, mutilated and molested.
Do these actions deserve a vote of confidence in the primary? Surely not.
Finally, we come to the most dangerous case of all – Ms. Clinton’s interference in Ukraine. She had promised the world a reset in relations between the United States and Russia. But then – true to form – Hillary insisted on creating frictions and crises where no identifiable American interest was at stake. It was Ms. Clinton who appointed the neocon Victoria Nuland as Assistant Secretary Of State for European Affairs. Nuland and her neocon husband Robert Kagan were known as two of the most prominent hawks in Washington.
It was Nuland who announced that the United States had spent $5 billion on what amounts to a fascist movement, with strong anti-Russian pro-Nazi overtones, in Ukraine. This is the so-called Euromaidan, and the stage was set by Hillary. The result was a rapid deterioration in US-Russian relations. If ever a general war between a NATO and Russia starts in Ukraine, honest historians will inevitably assign much of the war guilt to Hillary Clinton. She has put the lives of all Americans at risk in the service of her own hollow ambition and psychological weakness. Enough is enough. Our number one policy requirement is good relations with Russia.
The Clintons call themselves New Democrats in order to stress their break with FDR, JFK, and LBJ. It is time to start bringing the Democratic Party back to its New Deal and pro-labor roots. My party stands ready to act as a catalyst, including in our role of pushing Bernie Sanders towards more radical and more coherent reform proposals and a more aggressive approach to Hillary.
I therefore call on primary voters to support Bernie Sanders in the remaining states. Decent Republicans should of course be horrified by the choices they are offered on the GOP ballot, and should therefore cross over to the Democratic side and also vote for Bernie. This does not imply that Bernie is qualified for the presidency or that he has the requisite requirements of political courage. We also have profound disagreements with his foreign policy. Hillary is anxious to end the contested primaries, to cut off debate, and to stifle democratic expression. The only alternative is to keep the primary process going, by denying Hillary the preemptive victory she wants. So Bernie is the only available vehicle to keep the primaries and the convention open, including allowing new candidates to enter the race should the first convention ballot prove not to be decisive.
Please stay in touch with the Tax Wall Street Party through our website twsp.us, social media, daily briefings and broadcasts so you can evaluate our ideas on how to get the best possible result out of this primary season.