Creating people's geographies
Rightly finding the Bush neocons abhorrent doesn’t mean that the corollary is that Clinton is somehow held up as a paragon of virtue or that it was an administration that differentiated itself as a real alternative in this era of unilateralism in US foreign policy. This blog has been duly critical of both Congressional Democrats and Congressional Republicans and the current two party system has proved to be but wings of the same corporate war party. As John Pilger, in Good ‘Ol Bill, the liberal hero, reminds us:
Clinton is able to make a shedload because he is contrasted with the despised Bush as the flawed good guy who did his best for the world and brought economic boom to the US – the fabled American dream no less. Both notions are finely spun lies. What Clinton and Blair have most in common is that they are the most violent leaders of their countries in the modern era; that includes Bush.
Consider Clinton’s true record:
In 1993, he pursued George H W Bush’s invasion of Somalia. He invaded Haiti in 1994. He bombed Bosnia in 1995 and Serbia in 1999. In 1998, he bombed Afghanistan; and, at the height of his Monica Lewinsky troubles, he momentarily diverted the headline writers to a major “terrorist target” in Sudan that he ordered destroyed with an onslaught of missiles. It turned out to be sub-Saharan Africa’s largest pharmaceutical plant, the only source of chloroquine, the treatment for malaria, and other drugs that were lifelines to hundreds of thousands. As a result, wrote Jonathan Belke, then of the Near East Foundation, “tens of thousands of people – many of them children – have suffered and died from malaria, tuberculosis and other treatable diseases”.
Long before Shock and Awe, Clinton was destroying and killing in Iraq. Under the lawless pretence of a “no-fly zone”, he oversaw the longest allied aerial bombardment since the Second World War. This was hardly reported. At the same time, he imposed and tightened a Washington-led economic siege estimated to have killed a million civilians. “We think the price is worth it,” said his secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, in an exquisite [not!] moment of honesty.