Clinton is no Einstein (and in any case, it’s extremely unlikely that Einstein said the statement about the definition of insanity) but she is bordering on the .. well, I’m no psychiatrist so I don’t want to use, and probably mis-use, a technical term.

I don’t want to go into detail about Hillary (sic) Clinton’s performance, nor that of Donald Trump, in last night’s televised debate : they were both astonishingly lightweight and combative to the point of failing to deliver any comment of merit. Trump is often incoherent, with broken phrases and incomplete sentences and vague assertions. Clinton is clear and focussed – and frequently evasive and, even, downright misleading. Both of them talk utter rubbish sometimes.

Clinton’s grasp on reality was demonstrated to be sadly lacking: she boasted about being a lawyer but then equated being “American” with race by saying “he never apologised for the racist lie that President Obama was not born in the United States of America.” FYI, Mrs Clinton, nationality is not race, and race is not nationality. We expect nonsense from Trump, but we should expect better from Clinton who wears her profession and her experience in government with zeal.

Also, Clinton made a defence of the situation relating to e-mails that would be laughed at if a junior school child made it. Her defence is simply this: I made a mistake, my e-mail servers were not hacked and no classified material ended up on the wrong hands. In short, even if you accept her defence at face value, it amounts to “no harm, no foul.” How can a lawyer and someone who expects (or hopes, it’s still in the balance) to be president argue that to say “oops” and to deny (which, for a variety of technical reasons is probably not strictly true) that no unauthorised person had access to the content of the e-mail. Criminal prosecution is based on conduct, sentencing is based on effect. Even on her own admission, she broke laws, not codes of conduct, that ban those in senior public office from holding data outside the government’s security perimeter. I suppose if someone questions that admission she will just claim, as she has in the past, that she “mis-spoke.”

But both of them got serious when talk turned to Syria. Trump as usual went off in a waffling speech that got bogged down in his circular repetitions of Isis, Iraq and Mosul. He made one strong point in the middle of a frankly awful speech: he said that he does not understand why the government announces a countdown to its attacks on e.g. Mosul because with, for example, four weeks warning because the Da’esh (like most Americans he persists in calling them ISIL or ISIS) leaders have ample time to move. Why, he questioned, are there not operations conducted without warning and then an announcement made to the American people of the success. He didn’t mention it but that was, of course, the way that the Bush administration dealt with many raids.

That led Clinton to respond with the most worrying thing she has said so far:

I would not use American ground forces in Syria. I think that would be a very serious mistake. I don’t think American troops should be holding territory, which is what they would have to do as an occupying force. I don’t think that is a smart strategy. I do think the use of special forces, which we’re using, the use of enablers and trainers in Iraq, which has had some positive effects, are very much in our interest. And so I do support what is happening.

I hope that by the time I — hope by the time I am president that we will have pushed ISIS out of Iraq. I do think that there is a good chance that we can take Mosul. And you know Donald says he knows more about ISIS than the generals. No, he doesn’t.

There are a lot of very important planning going on. And some of it is to signal to the Sunnis in the area, as well as Kurdish fighters that we all need to be in this. And that takes a lot of planning and preparation. I would go after Baghdadi. I would specifically target Baghdadi because I think our targeting of Al Qaeda leaders, I was involved in a lot of those operations, highly classified ones, made a difference. So I think that could help.

I would also consider arming the Kurds. The Kurds have been our best partners in Syria, as well as Iraq. And I know there is a lot of concern about that in some circles, but I think that they should have the equipment they need so that the needs of Kurdish and Arab fighters on the ground are the principal way that we take Rocco after pushing ISIS out of Iraq.

The history of the USA arming groups in foreign conflicts is one of repeated failure. Indeed, when the USA, amongst others, were arming Syrian rebel groups, one of those groups was the nascent Da’esh. And who can forget that much of the growth of radicalism under the guise of Islam began with the Taliban which grew out of the Afghan Mujahideen that the USA armed in its proxy war with Russia.

Now, Clinton’s answer is to do the same all over again, to drop weapons but not troops and to leave the country with the weapons in the hands of a group over which she would have no control or, even, influence.

Psychiatrists won’t use the word “insane.”

Me, I’ll just say she’s deluded and dangerous and more than a little crazy.

© 2016 Jefferson Galt
All rights reserved

words by JG - The Blog