(Hillary Clinton:... unrelentingly tortured tale ... now blames “white men” for loss)
HILLARY CLINTON has continued her unrelentingly tortured tale of why she lost the November 2016 US presidential election to Donald Trump, her anti-establishment opponent. In the latest episode, narrated to an audience in Mumbai, India, where she was on a visit, Clinton now blames “white men” for her poll defeat: “We [did] not do well with white men and [did] not do well with married, white women. And part of that is … a sort of ongoing pressure [for the latter] to vote the way [their] husband, [their] boss, [their] son, whoever, believes [they] should…” (nationalreview.com, 13 March 2018, accessed 14 March 2018).
THE background to Clinton becoming US secretary of state in 2009 would, in the overall, appear to lend some element of credibility to the premise of her presumed problematic relationship with the country’s “white men” electorate, albeit contradictorily. In the previous year, 2008, Clinton had had a bitterly fought presidential election contest with Barack Obama, an African American, in which she was beaten. On winning, Obama actively sought Clinton’s goodwill by offering her the position of secretary of state in his incoming administration and paying off her huge outstanding campaign debts with surplus funds from the former’s campaign organisation. Clinton’s acceptance of Obama’s cabinet position offer helped in the process of “healing” in the Democratic party after the evidently rancorous poll and her tacit agreement not to challenge the latter in the 2012 election cycle, if he were to seek another term’s presidential run, also included an “understanding” that a 2-term President Obama would deploy the incalculable resources of such an incumbency to support his former rival to run again for the presidency in 2016.
ON AFRICA, right from the outset, two distinct policy areas defined the Obama administration’s focus: imposition and invasion. And both president and secretary of state were in tandem in the formulation and implementation of this mission. A year in office, Obama reinstated the notorious trail of France’s invasion history in Africa which his predecessor, George W Bush, had blocked for seven years as “punishment” for the French 2003 refusal to join the US-led coalition invasion of Iraq. Prior to Bush’s ban, the French had carried out 48 military invasions of most of the so-called 22 francophonie states in Africa between 1960 and 2003 which every US president of the era each supported.
AS FAR AS the Obama presidency (January 2009- January 2017) was concerned, it was in fact business as usual on Africa as its policy programme developed and implemented on the continent explicitly demonstrated. Following Hillary Clinton’s choice of that lexical configuration, “white men”, other likely expressions in the same semantic field should now be invoked to elaborate on this policy programme in the concluding notes here.
It would undoubtedly be the case that the former secretary of state wouldn’t state that she worked for an administration headed by a “white man” but a“[not] white men”. During two terms of presidency, this “[not] white man”-headed government deployed a dual track policy on Africa marked by invasions of states and impositions of “leaders” as we have indicated. Prior to 2008, in US administrations since the 1960s, all headed by “white men”, invasions and impositions of leaders, directly or/and indirectly (especially in approval or in complicity with allies especially France, Britain, France, Portugal, South Africa, Rhodesia), also featured highly as foreign policy goals in Africa. Indeed, given the overriding importance of Libya to Clinton’s work in the Obama administration, we should recall that on 14 April 1986 the “white man”-led Ronald Reagan government ordered the US air force to bomb Libya, pointedly for a raid that was over in just an hour; 25 years later, in 2011, another US president, this time a “[not] white man”, ordered the same US air force to bomb Libya – but for a much longer duration and the consequences duly recorded... It should now be obvious that:
SURELY, a serious, fruitful examination of any feature of human society requires the development, articulation and deployment of tools of analysis to help or enhance interpretation and understanding. As we have shown, Hillary Clinton’s “white man” lexicon and its variations are surely no such tools in trying to understand what, in act, presents as the unchanging thrust and tenor in the trajectory of US foreign policy in Africa for the greater part of the past 50 years irrespective of whether or not the president at the time is “white man” or “[not]white man”. Just as in Africa, Clinton’s “white man” would hardly be fit for purpose as an explanation for why she lost the November 2016 presidential poll.
(Sam Rivers Trio, “Afflatus” [personnel: Rivers, tenor saxophone; Cecil McBee, bass; Steve Ellington, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood, NJ, US, 17 March 1967])