Both Ms. Clinton and I got burned out: for very different reasons

Yesterday I watched Ms. Clinton on the television screen, stumbling towards her van, after attending a ceremony at the WTC in New York City. She had to be grabbed by both arms by her aids, and then literally pulled into the vehicle.

Embarrassing? Not really. People get exhausted; they get sick and sometimes they can even hardly remain standing on their feet. When they stumble, when they fall, their close ones should offer them support and help, immediately.

Several days earlier I met my German translator in Heidelberg, and he showed me an introduction to a book he was working on, a book written by a British journalist who had been covering several terrible conflicts in Africa; conflicts triggered by the Western Empire. At one point, a journalist wrote that he collapsed; he was not able to walk, anymore. The burden of knowing, of witnessing unspeakable horrors, was too overwhelming.

I know exactly how this feels. It happened to me as well, just few short months ago. For more than a year I had been ignoring all the red lights and warnings that my body was sending me. At the International Conference of Psychiatrists for Peace, at which I spoke in Pretoria and Johannesburg, in 2015, several friends warned me that I am actually suffering from Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As I was presenting several clips from my films shot in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Kenya, Egypt, Iraq and elsewhere, they were just staring in disbelief, repeating: “How could you manage to witness all this, in just a year or two? Please stop and rest for a while!”

I did not listen. I kept rolling, defiantly, fighting against the Empire while neglecting my own body. I was a tough, hardened, fearless, Hemingway-style writer, after all, wasn’t I? But then I collapsed. It was in Seoul, South Korea, in December 2015. I was at a subway station, trying to leave… but my legs suddenly gave out. I could not walk up to the stairs. I fell… Then I just sat on the floor, and I wept, like a child.


It has happened to others, too; it happened to many others. The specters, the nightmares, all that desperation of knowing, of witnessing, while not being able to radically improve things for the many people who are suffering immensely right in front of your eyes!

Recovery is always slow, and never complete, unless one gets totally self-centered and sends the rest of the world to hell. Which I couldn’t… And so I kept working and traveling, even as I was trying to get better.

Then I saw Ms. Clinton, as she was suffering from the same, or similar symptoms.

And I thought: “How did she get there? It is partially her responsibility that the world is the way it is! The horrors all over Africa and the Middle East – many of them were actually triggered during those years when she was a Secretary of State, or when her husband, Bill, was a President…”

Could one get actually exhausted, even burned out, from causing incessant pain? From destroying lives of millions of innocent people?

Somehow I think the answer is: yes!

A person may not always realize it, but subconsciously, somewhere deep inside, he or she almost always takes responsibility for his or her crimes, at least to some extent. Even if there is no intellectual acknowledgement, the body somehow responds. Our bodies are honest.

Although… her aids are now saying that it is all because a pneumonia! But that is one of the body’s responses.


Then I thought: If I manage to run myself fully to the ground covering Bush’s, Clinton’s, Obama’s and other wars and nightmarish global scenarios, then it would be only my own expiration, temporary or permanent, with no real consequences to others (except that I’d be forced to stop producing).

It would be totally different scenario, if Ms. Clinton hits the bottom.

If Ms. Clinton falls (after, and if, she gets herself seated on the throne of the Empire), the nightmarish saga would most likely continue. The world would simply ‘inherit’ a man it knows close to nothing about but whom she personally selected – Tim Kaine.

Tim Kaine is the running mate of Ms. Clinton, and the future Vice-President – that we all realize.

But how many Americans and especially foreigners (many of whom would have to taste his whip if he replaces Ms. Clinton) know that he is actually a neocon, a dedicated neo-cold war warrior? Tim Kaine helped shape the ‘hawkish’ US foreign policy towards at least several unfortunate places, including Ukraine and Syria.

Of course, on the official websites, and on the pages of mass media, he is often described as a ‘progressive’, but so is Ms. Clinton, as well as her husband Bill, and President Obama… Perhaps, soon, even Henry Kissinger, a proud mentor of Ms. Clinton, will join the list, and after him maybe even people like Zbigniew Brzezinski?

This raises the question, “What does it mean to be ‘progressive’ in the United States these days?” Does it simply indicate ‘an increasing speed’ with which these gentlemen and ladies are pushing the world towards the WWIII and the nuclear catastrophe? It definitely does not mean that Tim Kaine and Ms. Clinton are somehow related to former progressives like Diego Rivera or Bertold Brecht.


As terms and definitions are shifting and becoming extremely confused, it would be good to learn who Mr. Tim Kaine really is and who he isn’t. It would be good to know more about the gifts he kept receiving as Virginia Senator, but above all, about his foreign policy ‘ideals’. Tell us about his strategies and his global vision, please!

Of course, the running mate of Donald Trump, Mike Pence, is also a neocon and what many described a ‘Tea Party hardliner’. This is well known and widely publicized, and nobody calls him a ‘pussycat’ or a ‘teddy bear’ or a socialist, unless I’m reading the wrong publications.

US history is full of bizarre and disturbing pirouettes. Let’s recall FDR, a ‘savior of capitalism’ and the father of “New Deal”, that series of social programs that were supposed to shelter the middle class from devastating economic crises. Shortly after being elected for the fourth term in the White House, Roosevelt collapsed, actually passed away and got immediately replaced by his Vice President Harry Truman who turned out to be a quite different specie than FDR. He dismantled several social policies, and brought the United States into the Cold War.

The nature and extent of FDR’s ailments were withheld from the American public for a long time…

This is not to say that Ms. Clinton has anything in common with FDR – I did not lose my marbles! I only humbly suggest here that both Truman and Kaine should have been put through a thorough scrutiny (as should had been, in a totally different context, that bloody putchist and rapist of Brazilian democracy, a former Brazilian Vice President and now ‘President’, Michel Temer). After all, the world should know who might end up sitting with his/her finger on the nuclear button.

Maybe Mr. Kaine is actually even more ‘progressive’ than Ms. Clinton, or maybe he is more ‘regressive’; whatever that means. Maybe, would it be up to him and would he be in charge, there would be no country called Syria, as we know it. Who knows? Unfortunately, who knows!


I wish you a good health and prompt recovery, Ms. Clinton! We may be at two opposite sides of the battlefield, but I am too Asian to wish you bad; I do respect my adversaries, even my enemies. A victory is glorious only when we perceive our enemies as healthy and noble (even when in reality, he or she is an exhausted swine).

It seems that we both worked and fought hard: for opposite goals and contrary results, but still… I sympathized with you, when I saw how your team had to carry you into that van.

But please, tell us more, perhaps about yourself, and definitely about your running mate. We should all know. It is our right to know. Just in case you get too exhausted from marching forward (or backwards) on the surface of this scarred, plundered Planet of ours!

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Five of his latest books are China Belt and Road Initiative: Connecting Countries, Saving Millions of Lives, China and Ecological Civilization with John B. Cobb, Jr, Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism, the revolutionary novel Aurora, and Exposing Lies of the Empire. Also watch Rwanda Gambit his documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky On Western Terrorism. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter. Read other articles by Andre.