Daughter of Empire in Its Heyday

Diana Johnstone Dissects Hillary, Queen of Chaos

Were Diana Johnstone, author of Queen of Chaos, to bump into Samantha Power in a dark alley, both would be instantly annihilated in a blaze of energy.  For Johnstone, is the anti-Samantha Power, best known for her book, Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Illusions, where she meticulously uncovers the truth about the war on Serbia, thereby dismantling the fairy tale constructed by Power to justify the NATO assault on the Balkans.  That fairy tale has been a model for similar sagas rolled out to whiten the sepulchers of the many “humanitarian” wars since, every one of which bears some of Hillary’s fingerprints.

Johnstone’s new book, Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton, is a must read, but it must be read carefully.  It is a must read because it is a capsule history of the US Empire’s depredations over the past 25 years since the end of the Cold War when the Clintons came upon the national scene.  Given the ever sharper confrontation which our elite is engineering with Russia and China, one that could well lead to nuclear war, this is a history we all need to review and understand correctly.  Our very survival may well depend on it.  And the book must be read carefully because, being both slim and comprehensive, it is packed tightly with information and pointed political insight.  Such an eloquent and compact chronicle is of enormous usefulness right now.

Queen is not a gossipy bio, delineating Hillary’s shallow, belligerent, mendacious, psychopathic character, although such a tome, necessarily massive, would be welcome. These characteristics of Hillary’s necessarily emerge to some degree in Queen of Chaos, but personality portrayal is not the core of the book.  Rather the book is historical.  Johnstone sees Clinton as both a product of her times – privileged child of the U.S. Empire, white, Wellesley, Yale, a dishonest and ultimately fired operative on the Watergate committee right out of law school – as well as a ruthless actor in a global drama growing ever more deadly. The book is more history than Hillary.  But by going this route Johnstone grasps the essential Clinton with crystal clarity.

What about the title, Queen of Chaos?  Chaos?  Is that too much?   The book begins with a quote from George Kennan written in 1948 one year after the birth of Hillary, a prototypical boomer.  WWII had ended only a few years earlier, leaving the U.S. on top of the heap and the rest of the major powers in ashes.  Kennan wrote then:

We have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only about 6.3% of its population….In this situation we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. (This resentment is certainly not surprising since the U.S. and its fellow European colonialists and neocolonialists had gained that wealth by disposing of others, for example in the American Indian genocide, or by extracting from the “other” nearly cost free labor of others, for example, the Black slaves brought to the concentration camps of the South. jw) Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain that position of disparity.

After citing this passage of Kennan’s, Johnstone continues:

Since then the United States has failed to develop any great national purpose other than staying on top. In recent years it has become more frequent to speak of the United States as an Empire.  Yet it is an Empire like no other.  …Its actions are increasingly destructive because the purpose is not in reality to build an Empire but to destroy any real or potential rivals and so maintain the position of superiority gained in World War II…. The destructive nature of these wars is confirmed by the fact that on close examination none of these wars have been “won” in any meaningful sense. … These are essentially ‘spoiler’ wars intended to diminish potential rivals (or those who refuse to obey, jw).   They create deepening chaos and bitter enemies, with no real benefit to anyone.

Thus chaos, of which Hillary is Queen.

There is no better example than China.  All power, as we have known at least since Thucydides, grows from economic power.  If China, with four times the U.S. population, is to have the same standard of living, that is the same per capita GDP, as the U.S., then its economy must grow to be four times the size that of the U.S.!   But that means its economy would eclipse the combined GDP of the US and its allies in Western Europe and Japan.

A high standard of living for the Chinese people is incompatible with the US being number one – not with U.S. prosperity, let us be clear, but with U.S. as global hegemon.  Hence the US Empire is out to “contain” China, that is, to keep it from getting any richer and, if possible, to re-impoverish it or break it up.  According to the IMF, China’s economy measured in terms of Purchasing Power Parity became number one in 2014.  So the “containment” of China is a fool’s errand, which can only bring destruction and possibly world war. But with her “pivot” to Asia, Hillary is out to try.

Drang nach Osten by the Queen and her Erstwhile Consort

Perhaps the Clintons’ greatest sin – to date – was initiating the expansion of NATO to the East. This was too much even for Kennan who cried out in old age in a NYT Op-Ed on February 5, 1997:

In late 1996, the impression was allowed, or caused, to become prevalent that it had somehow and somewhere decided to expand NATO up to Russia’s borders. …The timing of this revelation  — coinciding with the Presidential election….did not make it easy … to insert a modest word of comment.

Translation.  There is nothing like a dash of Drang nach Osten to bring out the Polish and Baltic Nation vote as well as neocon support for re-election.   But this policy was not merely part of electioneering tactics.  It has become overwhelmingly evident since then that the policy was also a heartfelt project of Hillary’s.  Two birds with one stone.

Kennan continued:

And perhaps it is not too late to advance a view that, I believe, is not only mine but is shared by others with extensive ..experience in Russian matters.  The view, bluntly stated is that expanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-cold-war era.

Such a decision would be expected to inflame the anti-Western and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion; to have an adverse effect on the development of Russian democracy; to restore the atmosphere of the cold war to East-West relations, and to impel Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking.  And last, not least, it might make it much more difficult, if not impossible, to secure the Russian Duma’s ratification of the Start II agreement and to achieve further reductions of nuclear weaponry. (Emphasis, jw)

Clearly the Clintons had gone too far even for Kennan who surely must have understood that the “unipolar moment” was over, whereas for Hillary it lives on forever.  And the “others” cited by Kennan who shared his disgust with the Clintons included Jack Matlock, the last ambassador to the Soviet Union.  Matlock, a Democrat, was Reagan’s ambassador to the USSR, and so sickened was he with the Clintons’ actions that he quit the Democratic Party.

The Queen’s dog whistle calls “Vote for me, I’m a woman”

Since the 1990s Hillary has operated solo in public life and has compiled an even bloodier history both in the Senate where she was an ardent supporter of Bush Jr’s War on Iraq and then as Secretary of State.   All of this is in service of making her President.

In the section of Queen entitled, “Vote for Me, I’m a Woman,” Johnstone asks bluntly:

Is there something wrong with American women that they need Hillary Clinton as President to make them feel better?

And she answers thus:

Certainly not.  American women are creating many new ways to lead fruitful, useful and rewarding lives. And rather than making us feel better, it might make us feel much worse if the first woman President brings disaster on the world.  Let us hope that the first woman president will be a person distinguished by a profound understanding of the world and genuine human compassion, rather than relentless personal ambition.

Johnstone adds, “Hillary Rodham Clinton has spent years trying to sell women on the idea that their ambition rather than hers will be rewarded if she is elected President of the United States.”  Obama traded on the same idea among Blacks, but his presidency has not brought substantially better treatment for African Americans.  Ask the people of Ferguson.

Johnstone continues:

Proving this fairly obvious point (that a woman is fully capable of being president) is not the most crucial issue at stake in the next U.S. Presidential election.  There is also the little matter of whether or not to lead the country into war with a major nuclear power.

The Little Matter of Avoiding WWIII, Toria Nuland and Friends

The “little matter” of avoiding WWIII, Johnstone addresses further in chapters entitled “Not Understanding Russia” and “Yugoslavia, the Clinton War Cycle.”  The chapter on Yugoslavia is in some ways the most challenging since Johnstone. probably the leading Western expert on the matter, and one of the few committed to the truth, presents the story in detail and in relatively few words.  But the chapter rewards the reader with a clearer understanding of what happened in the former Yugoslavia and how cynically human rights ideals were used to advance the U.S. agenda to lay Russia low.

More pertinent for the present moment of crisis is the chapter “Not Understanding Russia,” where Johnstone reminds us of President Vladimir Putin’s comment of March 4, 2014:  “I sometimes get the feeling that somewhere across that huge pond, in America, people sit in a lab and conduct experiments, as with rats, without actually understanding the consequences of what they are doing.”  Among those to whom he was referring is certainly Victoria Nuland, the wife of Uber-Neocon Robert Kagan and a protégé of Hillary’s, who served as her spokesperson at State and whom she called “Toria Nuland, my intrepid spokesperson.” Nuland also had served as a top advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney, the real Butcher of Baghdad and of so much else.  She had also served in the highest reaches of the Clinton administration.

Nuland then went on to become Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs where she was the principal architect of the coup in Ukraine.  Her role in this came out in her infamous intercepted phone conversation where she acknowledged that the U.S. had poured billions into Ukraine to set it at odds with Russia and where she responded to the EU’s resistance and misgivings with her diplomatic pronouncement, “Fuck the EU.”   This maneuver has plunged Ukraine into a crisis with thousands of deaths, nearly a million fleeing the country to Russia and collapse of the economy of Ukraine.  Most dangerously it has brought the US into a very sharp confrontation with Russia in Ukraine.  Again the little matter of WWIII arises.  Nuland is only one example of the tight bonds between Hillary and the Neocons, and Johnstone takes this up in her concluding chapter, The War Party.

The Queen’s Blood Lust Surfaces Again. Channeling Caesar after Killing Gaddafi

Perhaps the sharpest insight into Hillary’s world view and bloodthirsty ways comes in the chapter, “Libya, A War of Her Own.” For as Rand Paul and many others have remarked, the assault on Libya was certainly Hillary’s war.  She was the voice in the Obama regime that pushed hardest for it, and she got her way.  Whatever one may think of Gaddafi’s governance (and the story is not so simple as conveyed in the West), Libya under Gaddafi had the highest Human Development Index (HDI) and highest standard of living in all of Africa.  The HDI is a number assigned by the UN to every country in the world and it is a measure of literacy, health care, gender equity and standard of living.

But even though Gaddafi had entered into agreements with the West, which rendered impossible the non-existent grave military threat from Libya, he continued to be a defiant pan-Africanist who sought to weaken the Petrodollar’s hold on the world oil market.  So he had to go.   And when he was brutally killed, Clinton gloated on camera, “We came, we saw, he died.”  Channeling Julius Caesar was a frightening scene to behold, something that is very telling about her state of mind, as I have tried to capture elsewhere.  As usual with Hillary, her own little war was cloaked in an appeal to human rights.  And as a result, Libya today lies in ruins – like Ukraine.  Chaos.

But Hillary’s war on Libya had an even more ominous aspect, UN Resolution 1973 championed by Hillary’s State Department.  Res. 1973 called for a cease-fire in Libya (which Gaddafi promptly observed) and a no-fly zone to protect civilians from the Libyan air force – but nothing more.  As a result a dubious Russia and China did not veto Resolution 1973 but abstained, allowing its passage for humanitarian reasons.  Then the US and NATO went back on their word and began to bomb Gaddafi’s forces and supporters, inflicting massive damage and killing many civilians by taking sides in a civil war.  Putin has remarked that this perversion of Resolution 1973 marked the last time that Russia would trust the West.  Such an outcome is indeed very bad business.  We can well imagine what China learned from this episode.

This brief commentary captures only a small fraction of the insights offered by Queen.  They are abundant.  A small example is the thumbnail that Johnstone gives of the stock recipe employed for regime change by the West in the section entitled “The Kosovo Experiment.”  It is remarkably standard, and Johnstone sums it up in four short pages as a 9-step program: Hitlerization, Sanctions, Local Clients, Human Rights NGOs, Sabotaging Diplomacy, Criminalization, Scare Word “Genocide,” Media and Propaganda, and finally Bombing.   The Chapters “Multicultural Misrepresentations” and “The Taming by the Shrew” which culminates in a section entitled “Women Against Women” are also gems on the topic of “humanitarian” imperialism.

A Desperate Pivot as the Sun Sets on the Empire

If there is a flaw in the book, it is the near absence of Hillary’s key role in the “Pivot” to Asia, an item not so much as cited in the index. This is understandable since Johnstone is an American journalist residing in Paris, and her beat has been Europe.  And this book is about history and Hillary, whereas the “Pivot” has just begun and seems to have stalled.   For a journalist with Johnstone’s high standards there is perhaps not yet enough information to deal with this.  In general, Western intellectuals, as opposed to Western businessmen, often seem to live on a planet that does not include East Asia.  But East Asia may yet be the site of the greatest atrocity perpetrated by Hillary and her counterparts.

Johnstone begins her book with an assessment of Hillary as a creature of the “American Century,” but that period is drawing rapidly to a close with the rise of China, which is pulling other developing countries along.  In fact the 500 year Euro-American epoch of global dominance is coming to an end, and quickly so on a historical scale.  Hillary and company are quite unprepared to accept this inevitability.  There is no need to adapt to the changing world in their eyes.  As Secretary of State, Hillary once gloated that there was no need for the U.S to change its ways because those ways have been working splendidly!  If president, she will have the power to plunge us into nuclear Armageddon rather than abandon the dream of global domination and adapt peacefully to the new situation in the world. This blindness and willfulness may yet result in the greatest cataclysm, the worst chaos, that humanity has ever witnessed. This is the danger that confronts us now as the Queen of Chaos and her fellow neocons get closer to the presidency and weapons of unprecedented mass destruction.   The assessments offered by Queen of Chaos may play a role in forestalling or neutralizing this chilling possibility.  Be sure to read it.

John V. Walsh, @JohnWal97469920, until recently a Professor of Physiology and Neuroscience at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, has written on issues of peace and health care for several independent media. Read other articles by John V..