Samsung Attempts Copyright Censorship of Parody Of Their Exploding Galaxy Note 7 Phone

So gamer “HitmanNiko” modified Grand Theft Auto to add in a new weapon: A Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which can be thrown like a grenade. (It replaces a weapon called “the sticky bomb.”) Some folks uploaded videos of themselves using the new weapon, because hell, it’s funny.

And then Samsung used DMCA notices against these videos, in at least one case successfully.

Something like these videos – which combine parody with commentary on a major current news story – are obviously fair use. But a censorship-loving company like Samsung has no reason not to abuse copyright laws in this way. As EFF notes, there’s a possibility of that changing:

If it doesn’t have a viable copyright claim, why did Samsung send DMCA takedown notices? We asked Samsung’s counsel (the notices were sent on Samsung’s behalf by the 900-lawyer firm Paul Hastings LLP) but received no response. It appears that Samsung took the easy path to removing content it did not like by making a copyright claim where none existed. DMCA takedown notices are, by far, the quickest and easiest way to get speech removed from the Internet. That makes them irresistible for companies, individuals, and even governments eager to censor online speech.

DMCA abuse flourishes because, in practice, companies that send improper notices don’t face sufficiently serious consequences. This issue is currently before the Supreme Court in Lenz v. Universal. In that case, EFF represents Stephanie Lenz who posted a short video to YouTube showing her toddler son dancing to a Prince song. After Universal sent a takedown notice, Lenz sued arguing that the video was clearly fair use and  the notice was sent in bad faith. Last year, the Ninth Circuit ruled that copyright holders must consider fair use before sending a takedown notice. Unfortunately, the appeals court also set a very high bar for enforcing that standard. It held that senders of false infringement notices could be excused so long as they subjectively believed that the material was infringing, no matter how unreasonable that belief. Lenz has asked the Supreme Court to review that aspect of the ruling.

In the next week or two, the Supreme Court will decide whether or not it will hear Lenz’s appeal.

Posted in Free speech, censorship, copyright law, etc. | 2 Comments  

Jack Chick, Creator of Unintentionally Ludicrous Evangelical Comics, RIP


Jack Chick, arguably one of the most widely-read cartoonists in the world, has died.

He was in his nineties. If you’re not familiar with Chick Comics (those tiny little comics fundamentalist preachers give out on street corners), here’s a fairly typical example, giving Jack’s view on rock music. And of course, his comic about Dungeons and Dragons is a classic.

Check out this Marvel-comics-inspired parody of Chick comics: GALACTUS IS COMING!

Posted in Cartooning & comics, Comics other than Hereville!, Conservative zaniness, right-wingers, etc., In the news | 6 Comments  

Open Thread and Link Farm, Penguins on Blue Ice Edition


  1. How the first liberal Supreme Court in a generation could reshape America – Vox
    The possibility of effectively reducing gerrymandering is especially on my mind at the moment.
  2. The GOP created the “rigged vote” myth.
    Trump really isn’t doing anything but taking seriously what the GOP, in a racist attempt to limit Democratic voters’ participation, has been saying for years.
  3. Airbnb Probably Isn’t Driving Rents Up Much, At Least Not Yet | FiveThirtyEight
  4. Trump is not an Act of God
    Trump is the logical outcome of everything the GOP has been telling its base for years.
  5. Clinton’s Alinsky Problem—and Ours – Better Angels
    Surprisingly interesting article about Clinton’s college writing about Alinsky.
  6. A Plan That Can Help Millions : Democracy Journal
    “Hillary Clinton’s new plan for poor people isn’t huge, but it’s reasonable and practicable and would improve millions of lives.”
  7. How False Narratives of Margaret Sanger Are Being Used to Shame Black Women – Rewire
  8. Bike lock developed that makes thieves immediately vomit | The Guardian
  9. At Least 24,000 Inmates Have Staged Coordinated Protests in the Past Month. Why Have You Not Heard of Their Actions? | The Nation
  10. He Kept Us Out Of War? | Slate Star Codex
    Trump has been more hawkish than Clinton, not less.
  11. Actress Jen Richards just nailed the problem with casting cisgender actors in trans roles
  12. Transparent’s Trans Director Silas Howard Tells Us If Jeffrey Tambor Should Have Been Cast
    Well no, he doesn’t, but it’s still an interesting interview.
  13. Mark Ruffalo Made A Movie About Trans People — Without Casting Or Consulting Any Trans People
    I’m kind of amazed this still happens.
  14. Taibbi on Amy Goodman Arrest for Covering Dakota Pipeline Story – Rolling Stone
    The prosecutor arrested her for not being “balanced” in her coverage. I’m not even kidding.
  15. This is the best book to help you understand the wild 2016 campaign – Vox
    “Partisan loyalties are largely built up from fundamental group identities rather than based on profound ideological commitments, and swing voters swing in large part for no good reason at all — maybe because of a recession, but maybe because of a swing in global oil prices or because the Steelers lost or almost anything else.”
  16. If assisted suicide is legal, people will be pressured to commit suicide. It should be legal anyway.
  17. The Price I’ve Paid For Opposing Donald Trump | National Review
    Not just him but also his family.
  18. Participation Awards Don’t Suck. You Suck. | Houston Press
  19. On banter, bonding and Donald Trump | language: a feminist guide
  20. The Myth Of The Absent Black Father
    A report on a CDC study from 2014 that I somehow missed (or had forgotten). But see also this rebuttal from Real Clear Policy.
  21. What A Black Woman Wishes Her Adoptive White Parents Knew – BuzzFeed News
  22. The state map if only White people voted, and if only Non-White people voted.
    Trump would not win a single state if whites couldn’t vote. If only whites could vote, Clinton would still win a few states – the ones you’d expect – but she’d certainly lose the race.
  23. Taking Trump voters’ concerns seriously means listening to what they’re actually saying – Vox
    Trump voters are not typically poor, but that’s the narrative many reporters are invested in.
  24. Women: Have you ever wondered how much energy you put in to avoid being assaulted? It may shock you
  25. The way to a better work-life balance? Unions, not self-help | Guardian Careers | The Guardian
  26. How Did Walmart Get Cleaner Stores and Higher Sales? It Paid Its People More – The New York Times
  27. Watch Asian Americans recount racist microaggressions they experience every day – Vox
  28. Law Professor’s Response to Black Lives Matter Shirt Complaint — Social Design Notes
  29. The white flight of Derek Black – The Washington Post
    How inviting a Stormfront leader to Shabbos led to him renouncing white nationalism.
  30. Why I left Republican Party to register as a Democrat – Business Insider
  31. ‘Game of Thrones’ Is Even Whiter Than You Think | VICE | United States
  32. The Moral Of The Story | Slate Star Codex
    Do not read if you’re allergic to puns.
  33. FBI Facial Recognition Expert Helps Denver PD Arrest Wrong Man Twice For The Same Crime
    The cops beat him up pretty badly, as well. If he hadn’t happened to be on his employer’s security footage at the time he was supposedly robbing a bank, things cold have gone even worse for him.
  34. How Half Of America Lost Its F**king Mind |
    One of a growing genre of “what are Trump voters thinking?” articles. I have issues with this article, and with this trend of articles, but I still think it’s worth reading.
  35. AskTrumpSupporters
    Along similar lines, the “Ask Trump Voters” reddit is interesting reading.
  36. Did Black Americans Own Slaves Before The Civil War?
    Yes, they did, some for profit and exploitation, some for good reasons (such as buying a relative to rescue them), some… in between.
  37. Uber’s Ad-Toting Drones Are Heckling Drivers Stuck in Traffic
  38. ▶︎ Curious | Claire Keepers
    This is an album that you can listen to online. I really enjoyed it.
  39. London Is Still Paying Rent to the Queen on a Property Leased in 1211 | Atlas Obscura
    And no one living knows exactly where the property is located.
  40. The Midwest’s Racial Incarceration Problem
    The South puts more black men in prison in absolute numbers – but as a percentage of prisoners, the North and Midwest are worse.
  41. My body doesn’t need a cure: Sizeism, classism and the big-business hustle of the clean-eating industry –
  42. Clinton’s Aggressive Foreign Policy | The American Conservative

Posted in Link farms | 7 Comments  

Woman Says Bill Clinton Sexually Assaulted Her in 1980s

Hillary Clinton and her husband, Bill Clinton, celebrate his victory in the Democratic runoff for Arkansas Governor on June 8, 1982 in Little Rock, Ark. Clinton defeated former Lt. Gov. Joe Purcell.

Former TV reporter says Bill Clinton sexually assaulted her in 1980s – CBS News

We’ll probably never know for certain, especially with something that took place all those years ago. And maybe new evidence will emerge which changes things. But her story sounds credible to me, and I believe her.

Does this matter for this presidential election? No. Hillary Clinton is not responsible for Bill Clinton’s alleged crimes and misdeeds. And, as I’ve just argued, policy really matters much more than character when voting for a President; that’s even more true when it’s not even the candidate’s character being discussed, but that of her spouse.

But Hillary Clinton has suggested that she’d put her husband in a position with real policy power. (”My husband, who I’m going to put in charge of revitalizing the economy…”) I really question if anyone who has been accused of multiple sexual assaults (including rape) is a good choice for any such position. Even without a guilty verdict, if such a person weren’t the candidate’s husband, wouldn’t a Hillary Clinton administration keep their distance?

If these and other allegations (especially Juanita Broaddrick’s) are true, then Bill Clinton is a criminal and deserves to be punished like one. That won’t happen. But he should at least no longer be a public servant.

Posted in Elections and politics, Rape, intimate violence, & related issues | 9 Comments  

A President’s Character Is Less Important Than Their Policies. Also, why I’m voting for Hillary Clinton and not Jill Stein


There’s been a lot of news, over the last two weeks, about Trump being a serial sexual assaulter – and although Trump now denies it, many of the accusations match up perfectly with Trump’s boasting. It’s clear that Trump is a misogynist, a sexual abuser, and a scumbag. None of that is surprising.

This scandal has hurt Trump significantly in the polls. As someone who thinks a Trump presidency could be a historic disaster, I’m very happy for that.

I’ve also seen people suggest that it’s morally unconscionable for anyone to vote for Trump, because we now know he’s a serial sexual abuser.1 That I can’t agree with. I have to admit, were the situations reversed – if there was a Democrat running who was a serial sexual abuser, and a Republican running who wasn’t – I’d probably still vote for the Democrat.2

A Republican president, even a Republican who has never abused anyone personally, would certainly cancel the US funding for UNFPA Obama restored. By providing pregnancy and birth care, UNFPA prevents hundreds or thousands of deaths every year, and provides better lives for thousands more (for example, by treating cases of fistula). I don’t take rape lightly, but neither do I take these lives lightly. On balance, I’d rather vote for a sexual abuser who would fund UNFPA, saving thousands of lives, than non-abuser who’d take funding away from UNFPA’s vital work.

And multiply UNFPA by dozens of other examples. There are many cases where the difference between a Democrat and a Republican is a life-or-death matter. Just one provision of the Affordable Care Act – which any Republican President would seek to repeal or undermine – has prevented 50,000 deaths. Not enough has been done on climate change – but Obama has been far better than any Republican would have been, and for hundreds of thousands that’s a life-or-death issue. I could go on (I haven’t even mentioned The Supreme Court, or abortion rights, or transgender rights, or civil rights, or….), but those examples suffice.

So yes, if the situation were reversed, I’d ignore the sick feeling in my gut and vote for the Democrat.

And all the above is why I’m not voting for a third party candidate instead of Hillary Clinton. Even if I Jill Stein were better than Hillary Clinton on every policy issue, Stein is not going to be elected. The choice is Clinton or Trump, and one of those choices will pragmatically cause a lot more preventable deaths than the other. That pragmatism overwhelms every pro-Stein argument I’ve read.

But – going back to voting for Trump. I would never vote for Trump, because he’s awful on policy, in ways that could lead hundreds of thousands of people to die who would be less likely to die due to a Clinton administration. I also have enormous doubts about his competence as an executive.

But what if I were a sincere pro-lifer who genuinely believes that voting for Trump could save thousands of unborn lives? In that case, I might vote for Trump – even though he’s a man of disgusting character, a liar, a fraud, and a serial sexual abuser. That would be an understandable vote. For someone with those views, even Trump could seem like the lesser evil.

(Image by DonkeyHotey).

  1. Arguably, we’ve known that for a while, but it’s better known now. []
  2. Obvious case in point: Bill Clinton was credibly accused of raping Juanita Broaddrick. []
Posted in Elections and politics, UNFPA | 27 Comments  

The Ethics of Bearing Witness in Poetry to Violence and Trauma

The issues raised when one chooses to make literary art out of trauma are complex and, as have issues surrounding trauma in general, they have been getting more and more attention. Over at the Ploughshares blog, for example, Tracy Strauss has been writing a series well worth reading called Writing Trauma: Notes of Transcendence. Yesterday, at the Western Maryland Independent Literary Conference in Frostburg, MD, I had a chance to offer some remarks on the topic as part of a panel called “After Violence: The Poetics of Trauma and Resistance.” I’d like to share them with you here. (I also urge you to check out the three wonderful poets who were on the panel with me, Margot Taft SeverEllen Kombiyil, and Susana H. Case.)

Thirty or so years ago, when I was a graduate student at Syracuse University, a common topic of discussion among poets was what it meant to write “political poetry.” Hayden Carruth, one of my teachers, using the word relevant instead of political, wrote in an essay that “poets are failing more and more in the substance of their work. I mean they do not write relevant poems….I’ve ‘taught’ three poetry workshops [since becoming a professor late in my life and] not one student has turned in a poem that deals either directly or indirectly with the impending end of the world…in nuclear war.” (“A Few Thought Following Professor Clausen’s Essay,” in Effluences from the Sacred Cave, pg. 154)

Carruth’s assertion that poets ought to be writing “relevant” poetry, and his implication that we are responsible and accountable when we don’t, resonated with me. Not two years earlier, at Stony Brook University, in the very first poetry workshop I ever took, June Jordan had said much the same thing, though in very different terms. “You write,” she once told me in her office, “because you have something to say, and you write poetry because you want the person you’re saying it to to be changed by what they hear. The change might be big or small, something of which they are conscious or completely unaware, but if that change isn’t what you’re after, why bother turning what you want to say into a poem? You could summarize it for them much more easily.”

The thing that I have to say, that motivates me to write “relevant poetry,” emerges from my experience as a survivor of childhood sexual violence and how being a survivor has shaped the way I choose to live in the world. To put it in different terms, my poems explore what that experience feels like, and here’s the paradox: While sexual violence is anything but beautiful, a poem is, by definition, a beautiful thing made of words. To make a poem that somehow contains sexual violence, then, will inevitably be to falsify, or at least misrepresent, not only the violence itself, but also the victim’s experience of it, by turning it into something it is not: beautiful.

When I say beautiful, of course, I am not talking about loveliness, the simple, straightforward beauty of surfaces, but rather about the beauty that puts us in touch with the full depth of what it means to be human, that does not force us to choose between loveliness and ugliness, or between the impulses towards compassion and dehumanization, but allows us to experience them as they always already exist within us, and in the world around us.

That state of simultaneity is, in large measure, where the misrepresentation I am talking about lies, because there is nothing simultaneous about being violated, or about the shame that follows it, or about the fact of survival, or about not surviving.

To write what Carruth called relevant poems, then—whatever the subject of relevance may be—is to take responsibility for this misrepresentation, and to hold ourselves accountable to our readers for the fact that we do it. It’s what makes writing that kind of poetry the difficult and necessary undertaking that it is.

I’m going to read a poem of mine that I think illustrates what I’m talking about here. It’s called “The Rape of Nanking: Remembering a Photograph from Iris Chang’s Book” (published in an earlier version in Unlikely Stories Mark V). The subtitle refers to the fact that one detail in the poem, the sword in particular, diverges from what the actual photograph depicts, though I did not realize I had misremembered the image until I went back to check the page on which the image appears. I chose not to “correct” the poem because, at least for those who might choose to see the picture for themselves, I wanted the act of misremembering to be part of what the poem is about.

The Rape of Nanking

—remembering a photograph from Iris Chang’s book

This month, Harper’s “Readings” brings

from the people of Boro in eastern India
a list of verbs impossible in English:
khonsay, to pick an object up with care;
dasa, not to place a fishing instrument;
asusu, to feel unknown in a new place.
Some sound like Yiddish curses:
“You should ur,” dig soil like a swine,
or “May your children gobray,”
fall in a well unknowingly.

I want that kind of verb
for the way whoever-it-was
pulled the woman’s robe
up over her head,

for how the men
the man who did this to her
forced to watch—brother,
father, husband, son,
neighbor—for how each of them
invades my sleep;

and for the way I felt
when I first saw it,
what I feel now
remembering it,
the way I kept taking Iris Chang’s
The Rape of Nanking off the shelf
and crouching in the corner
of Borders’ lower level
to stare, and to stare—
for that too I want a verb;

and I want a verb as well,
and it’s not rape,
though certainly he raped her,
for the sword hilt rising
from between her parted thighs,
and for hoping
she was already dead
when he buried his blade in her;

because I can’t not know what he saw,
what he wanted me to see.

Posted in Rape, intimate violence, & related issues, Writing | Leave a comment  

Cartoon: TRIAL


This is my new cartoon on Everyday Feminism. Please go check it out! (Content warning for sexual harassment.)

Posted in Cartooning & comics, Feminism, sexism, etc, misogyny | Leave a comment  

Open Thread And Link Farm, Creepy Staircase Edition


Donald Trump Is Tearing the NFL Apart

A woman had a baby. Then her hospital charged her $39.35 to hold it. – Vox
Another consumer was literally unable to find out, in advance, what a standard birth at a hospital costs.

Police Arrest Black Arkansas Legislator For Filming A Traffic Stop
The law making it legal to film police, was actually authored by the legislator they arrested. The police have dropped the charges and apologized.

Top Evangelical College Group to Dismiss Employees Who Support Gay Marriage | TIME

7 Reasons to Stop Freaking Out About Obamacare
Interestingly, the refusal of many Red states to expand Medicaid for the poor has caused insurance premiums to rise.

Anderson Cooper is surprised to find himself on the RidicuList for smelly candles – YouTube
No deep issue here, I just thought it was funny.

The Dutch Reach: Clever Workaround to Keep Cyclists from Getting “Doored” – 99% Invisible

Is Canadian Obesity Network Really OK Killing 15 of Every 1,000 Fat People? – Paperblog
On their Facebook page, they suggested that if 15 out of 1000 people who have bariatric surgery die, that’s “actually very few.”

It’s time for science to abandon the term ‘statistically significant’ | Aeon Essays
Interesting short read on the reproducibility crisis.

The cost of affordable housing: Does it pencil out?
Interesting interactive tool from the Urban Institute showing the costs of building affordable housing, versus what renting to poor family makes. The bottom line is, there’s no way to make money building affordable housing without significant government subsidies.

What Can Be Done About Skyrocketing Drug Prices? | True Cost – Analyzing our economy, government policy, and society through the lens of cost-benefit
There’s also the idea, favored by Bernie Sanders, using a prize fund.

Louisiana’s “literacy” test, circa 1964.
“Do what you are told to do in each statement, nothing more, nothing less. Be careful as one wrong answer denotes failure of the test. You have ten minutes to complete the test.” I’m highly literate, and I frankly doubt I would have passed it. None of the questions are that hard, taken alone – although some seem designed to trick people into giving a wrong answer – but under pressure, it would be easy to mess up on just one. Of course, I wouldn’t have been asked to take the test.

Priorities: Justice vs. Safety in Convention Culture | Blue Author Is About To Write
“People who are saying that a convention should never act on a complaint without performing a serious investigation, weighing evidence, and having a finding of facts culminating in a verdict in a sentence are, whether they know it or not, advocating for one of two possibilities: an endless succession of unqualified kangaroo courts or a world where conventions never act on complaints.”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg calls Colin Kaepernick national anthem protest dumb and disrespectful — Quartz
And an update: Ruth Bader Ginsburg apologizes to Colin Kaepernick after criticizing anthem protest. Thanks, Duncan!

That’s Not Who We Are – by Mike Dawson
Long-form political cartoon looking at the long roots of racism in America.

The shocking pain of American men – The Washington Post
Despite the title, the pain epidemic is about Americans in general, not just men. But it apparently explains a lot of declining male workforce participation, while the similar decline of female chronic pain sufferers working has been hidden by the general increase in female participation.

The Collective Gaslighting of the Trigger Warning Debate

The evangelical women speaking out against Trump have more influence than you think.

Why French pigs say groin, Japanese bees say boon and American frogs say ribbit – The Washington Post
Includes a fun interactive insert, which you folks who have used up this month’s allotment of WaPo articles can also view here, letting you hear how people in different languages say animal noises.

By the way, if you have Amazon Prime anyway, you get six months of the WaPo free. (I don’t get any kickbacks for saying that, alas.)

Important internet debate: Is a hot dog a sandwich? And if that wasn’t enough, there are further arguments here.

A Multi-Layered Anatomical Mural by ‘Achilles’ | Colossal
I lack the words to describe how cool I find this.

Top image: Treacherous Stair Steps by ‘Skurk’ | Colossal

Posted in Link farms | 26 Comments  

Open Thread And Link Farm, She was all like, “whatever” Edition


  1. Getting real about bad advice | language: a feminist guide
    Why advice to women to change how they speak is misguided. Via Grace, who says “It takes awhile to get there (while making other good points, mind you), but at the end, it makes a really good point about why recognizing and understanding structural inequalities is important.”
  2. Police Body-Worn Cameras Are Making Departments More Powerful – The Atlantic
  3. Scientists reveal most accurate depiction of a dinosaur ever created | Elsa Panciroli | Science | The Guardian
  4. Why Dieting Can Rarely (If Ever) Be Body Positive | Bustle
  5. Is fat-shaming Donald Trump a fair response to his misogyny?
    Their answer (and mine): No.
  6. “This is Us” Fails To Unpack The Tragic Fat Girl Trope At All And It’s Super Bumming Me Out – Medium
  7. In defense of the “imagine she was your sister” argument, and a partial rebuttal.
  8. Also, here’s my contribution to a different thread of the discussion.

  9. When a Worker Freezes to Death in a Walk-In Freezer at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel in Downtown Atlanta
  10. Trump used $258,000 from his charity to settle legal problems – The Washington Post
    He also bought himself hugely expensive things from his charity, bought advertising for his hotel with his charity, etc. He has not, by the way, donated any of his own money to his charity for years; the money comes from other people’s donations. He’s like a cartoon tycoon villain.
  11. Ingenious Hack for Sketching with Two Point Perspective Using an Elastic String | Colossal
  12. ‘Birth of a Nation’ actress Gabrielle Union: I cannot take Nate Parker rape allegations lightly – LA Times
  13. Middle School Students Push for a Gender-Neutral Dress Code—And Win | Bitch Media
  14. I love this little two-page comic about time travel by Bouletcorp.
  15. High Hitler: how Nazi drug abuse steered the course of history | Books | The Guardian
  16. Asking the Wrong Questions: Tales of the City: Thoughts on Luke Cage
    Nussbaum, like me, has a very mixed reaction to Luke Cage. The show does everything so well – except for the story. But the things it does right (mainly, the complete centering of a black and brown community at every level) are so rare to see in the superhero genre that it overwhelms the things it does wrong.
  17. Jeffrey Tambor, Coming Out, and “The Most Important Time To Be An Artist” – Medium
    Interesting story from a writer who took an acting workshop for trans actors taught by Tambor.
  18. Wealthy black kids more likely to go to prison than poor white kids |
  19. Why Trump Answered the Wrong Question on Race
    Really interesting take, especially on how Black communities are simultaneously over and under policed. Thanks to Mandolin for the link.
  20. “I don’t know how to describe this .gif of a mcdonald’s fight on rideau street except to say that at one point, someone pulls out a raccoon.”
  21. It’s Easy for Obamacare Critics to Overlook the Merits of Medicaid Expansion – The New York Times
    Indirect link.
  22. Female Chief Terminates 850 Child Marriages in Malawi and Sends Girls Back to School | Viral Women
  23. ‘Sesame Street’ Afghan Spin-Off’s Puppet Deals With Feminism and Racism — And Trolls
  24. A universal basic income could wind up hurting the poor and helping the rich — Quartz
  25. Greg Rucka on Queer Narrative and WONDER WOMAN | Comicosity
    Rucka is the current writer of the WW comic.
  26. Attorney general to ignore new report finding that commonly-used forensics are bogus.
    I’m really not confident in DA’s ability to discern when evidence isn’t scientifically justified.
  27. Employees at Trump’s California golf course say he wanted to fire women who weren’t pretty enough – Los Angeles Times


Posted in Link farms | 23 Comments  

Let’s Not Pretend Benghazi Was The Only Objection To Clinton’s Libya Policy

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton walks from her C-17 military transport upon her arrival in Tripoli in Libya, October 18, 2011.  (KEVIN LAMARQUE/AFP/Getty Images)

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton walks from her C-17 military transport upon her arrival in Tripoli in Libya, October 18, 2011. (KEVIN LAMARQUE/AFP/Getty Images)

Issac Saul, a Bernie supporter who has learned to love Hillary Clinton, writes:

Perhaps Clinton’s greatest blemish on her record is the destabilizing of Libya, which led to the Benghazi diplomatic compound attack. Certainly, it was one of the career bullet points that made me despise her. But despite $7 million dollars spent on Benghazi investigations, 1,982 published pages of reports on Benghazi, 10 congressional committees participating in investigations, 3,194 questions asked in a public forum, Clinton and her administration have been found guilty of zero wrongdoing.

I really dislike how, even among some lefties like Issac Saul, the problem with Clinton re: Libya has become about “Benghazi.” As if the (genuinely ridiculous) GOP attacks on Cllnton have made lefties forget all the genuine reasons to criticize Clinton on Libya.

But Clinton made bad decisions regarding Libya that may have led to a protracted war and thousands of deaths, and which undermined US credibility on nuclear disarmament. And it’s notable that the Iraq disaster and the Libya disaster both stem, in part, from the same American delusion – underestimating the chaos that follows a forcible regime change, and overestimating the ability of the US to prevent that chaos. This is a worrying pattern.

(Nor are Iraq and Libya Clinton’s only foreign policy disasters – I just posted about her siding against democracy in Honduras.)

I’m going to vote for Clinton, because Trump is so much worse, and because Clinton’s team is advocating some really great policies.

But it’s important that liberals and lefties not abstain from holding Clinton’s feet to the fire on her foreign policy problems. However bad Clinton’s foreign policy will be over the next 8 years – and I assume it’ll be a mix of good and bad – it will be worse if she experiences only compliance from her left.

Posted in Elections and politics, International issues, Iraq | 7 Comments