There is little question that Hillary Clinton is being groomed to be the first woman president of the United States. Like electing our first black president, this will be a long overdue milestone. At the same time, the foreign policies associated with the Bush’s, Obama and the Clinton’s is nothing to brag about. If anything, in the global picture, these tenures have all meant major setbacks for human rights workers the world over. Stephen Zunes has written a summary of Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State that is less than flattering:
Hillary Clinton leaves her position as Secretary of State with a legacy of supporting autocratic regimes and occupation armies, opposing enforcement of international humanitarian law, undermining arms control and defending military solutions to complex political problems. She was appointed to her position following eight years in the US Senate, during which she became an outspoken supporter of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, lied about Iraq’s military capabilities to frighten the public into supporting the illegal war, unleashed repeated attacks against the United Nations, opposed restrictions on land mines and cluster bombs, defended war crimes by allied right-wing governments and largely embraced Bush’s unilateralist agenda.
Like every other person who cares about fairness, I longed for the day when a person of color would occupy the White House. There is no denying the symbolic power of having had a black president, but when Obama leaves office, it is likely that the same basic demographics of racism will be in place that were there when he took office. Having the symbol fairness in office, may have sedated us against working for its actuality.
Like every other feminist in the country, I would love to reach the point where electing a woman to the office of presidency is no big deal, but I don’t understand how electing a woman so firmly ensconced in the good old boys’ club is anything other than a setback.
(I am linking to Zunes’ article. I don’t think he is being completely fair to Clinton, but his core argument is hard to argue with.)