September 18, 2018 | ° F

KHAVICH: Make Trump, not war this upcoming election


Opinions Column: Self-Evident Truths


Because of the unconstitutionally abused War Powers Resolution, one of the few powers the President wields almost entirely unchecked is the command of the military, and so a candidate’s foreign policy is one of the most important positions they can take. With that in mind, I urge every reader to consider the ramifications of electing the warmonger Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton as president, lest we find ourselves at war — possibly nuclear war — with Russia.

The proxy conflict in Syria has escalated immensely, to the point where Aleppo is being bombed almost constantly. The ceasefire implemented to facilitate humanitarian aid fell apart within days, with nobody innocent of wrongdoing — the U.S. managed to airstrike Syrian troops, killing 62, while a Syrian or Russian aircraft struck a United Nations aid convoy, hitting 18 trucks and killing 12. The Obama administration is currently weighing its options, and none of them are good. Whether it’s to target Syrian military bases, which will without question antagonize the Russians further, or to continue backing “moderate” rebels. “Moderate” rebels, of which we know 60 percent are sympathetic to the Islamic state, and a third explicitly share their ideological goals. “Moderate” rebels that the Pentagon has reported handed over weapons to Al Qaeda and, according to Amnesty International, the Islamic state itself. The Obama policy in Syria and the Middle East at large has been an abject failure, and at the epicenter of it is Hillary Clinton.

Clinton has a long record of hawkish policy with little regard for consequences, whether she was voting for the war in Iraq, increasing troops to Afghanistan or destabilizing Libya and leaving American ambassadors to die there. And she shows no intention of stopping. Clinton has consistently shown support for aforementioned “moderate” rebels that oppose Assad, and calls for a no-fly zone. I would like to make this clear: A no-fly zone in Syria implies an intent to shoot down Russian planes. It seems absurd that I should have to write this, but that is a terrible, terrible idea. Besides escalating our tensions with Russia even further, Clinton has admitted in leaked speech transcripts that Syrian civilians would be killed. Assad is an oppressive, terrible dictator who has treated his people with disdain, but he maintains a relative level of stability in the region. To topple him as Clinton intends would be the same mistake we made in Libya, in Iraq, in Afghanistan and the results would be disastrous for the region and for U.S. national security. We would be explicitly undermining the Russian position in Syria and targeting a Russian ally, with the possibility of directly hitting Russian forces.

Clinton is not only expecting this, but encouraging it: She continues to push the unproven allegation that Russia was behind the hacking of her documents, accuses Russia of trying to aid Republican nominee Donald Trump and is prepared to retaliate as though it were an act of war — all without evidence! This comes seven years after Clinton attempted and failed to foster a “reset” of Russo-American relations — if anything, things are now worse.

The warning signs in the last few days have been startling, from the Russian Emergencies Ministry launching a nationwide civil defense drill involving 40 million people, to Russia moving nuclear capable missiles within striking range of NATO targets, to ordering its officials to fly home all relatives living abroad, to Putin-allied Kremlin officials blatantly stating, “Americans voting for a president … must realize that they are voting for peace … if they vote for Trump … (voting) for Hillary (is) war … there (would) be Hiroshimas and Nagasakis everywhere.” The entire world can see this, except, it seems, for the Democratic Party. The tables have flipped in terms of foreign policy this cycle — Republicans, recognizing the failures of the interventionist Bush era, dismissed the neoconservatives and nominated Donald Trump, whose rise was greatly expedited by his willingness to criticize the Iraq War and regime change. Meanwhile, Democrats, the once “party of peace,” the same people that will tell you that Iraq was President George W. Bush’s greatest folly, the same people who protested former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for being a “war criminal” are now lining up to elect a woman whose record is eerily similar, if not worse. A woman who far-left Green Party candidate Jill Stein has said is “scarier than Donald Trump, (as he) does not want to go to (nuclear) war with Russia.”

Clinton has often implied that Donald Trump is too cozy with Putin, despite herself having praised Putin as recently as 2014, but the truth is that Trump’s words towards Russia have been largely neutral, showing a commitment to rebuilding relations with Russia while maintaining American strength. This November, whether you are liberal or conservative, take the time to consider whether your values stand for an extension of the past 20 years and a possible Cold War regression, or whether they stand for peace. I will be voting for peace.

Aviv Khavich is a School of Engineering sophomore majoring in computer engineering and computer science. His column, "Self-Evident Truths," runs on alternate Mondays.


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Aviv Khavich

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