According to a recent WikiLeaks disclosure, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has known since at least August of 2014 that U.S. allies Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been supporting the Islamic State (ISIS) and other radical groups in the Middle East and North Africa.
In an August 17 email sent from Clinton to her campaign chairman, John Podesta, Clinton outlined a plan to tackle ISIS in Iraq in Syria and suggested the U.S. should use military advisors to train Kurdish forces in lieu of a ground campaign.
“While this military/para-military operation is moving forward,” Clinton wrote, “we need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistical support to ISIL [Islamic State, ISIS] and other radical Sunni groups in the region.”
Once the effort was “enhanced” by the “stepped-up commitment” of the Kurds, Clinton added, “The Qataris and Saudis [would] be put in a position of balancing policy between their ongoing competition to dominate the Sunni world and the consequences of serious U.S. pressure.”
The fact that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would wish to apply pressure to Qatar and Saudi Arabia highlights the tangled mess of conflicting alliances that is United States foreign policy — in the Middle East, in particular — as it’s been revealed the country of Qatar has donated up to $5 million to the Clinton Foundation while oil-rich Saudi Arabia has given upwards of $25 million.
But Hillary is the kind who returns generosity, as a 2015 investigation by the International Business Times found:
Under Clinton’s leadership, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments have given money to the Clinton Foundation.
And just as the U.S. would claim Qatar and Saudi Arabia are complicit in the actions of the extremist groups they support — as Clinton’s August 17 email to Podesta would seem to indicate — many in the international community are now suggesting the U.S. may be complicit due to its continued support of the devastation being wrought by Saudi Arabia in Yemen.
The U.S., in fact, may have already acknowledged its own culpability in the matter.
On Monday, Reuters published an exclusive report describing how the Obama administration has been concerned about blowback from the humanitarian crisis in Yemen since the beginning of the Saudi campaign.
“Since March 2015, Washington has authorized over $22.2 billion in weapons sales to Riyadh, much of it yet to be delivered,” Reuters writes. “That includes $1.29 billion in precision munitions announced in November 2015 and specifically meant to replenish stocks used in Yemen.”
This support has helped contribute to what many have called the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet.
The bottom line, as one senior administration official told Reuters, is that if the U.S. is “going to be supporting the coalition, then we have to accept a degree of responsibility for what’s happening in Yemen and exercise it appropriately.”
Time is yet to reveal if Hillary Clinton will ever accept similar responsibility — or, indeed, if it’s ever forced upon her — for her role, among other things, in the continuing machinations of the War on Terror.
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