Informit article: Cooper’s last: After Chilcot: War and violence

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Abstract:

One of Hillary Clinton’s slogans at the democratic convention was the much-tweeted and -repeated phrase ‘love trumps hate’. If this worked as a rhetorical strategy against her opponent’s more odious pronouncements against minorities, Muslims, women and so on, there was little evidence of it working in the wider world. Clinton’s wish to present herself as the antidote to the kinds of hatred and prejudice Trump is channelling only works if we stay within the spectacle-culture of the convention, governed by lofty oratory and hyped affirmation. Clinton, as an Establishment figure, brings a set of so-called qualities to the nomination: ‘experience’, a ‘safe pair of hands’, but these are indicators of a structural relationship more conducive to ‘hate’ than its antithesis. If Trump’s rise is the effect of such relationships, figures such as Clinton simply maintain them. This is the case domestically, where Clinton’s ties with the corporate world ensure that the same economic and social divisions continue, and it is even more so outside the United States. Clinton’s hawkish stance on foreign policy – an advocate of aggressive foreign intervention, she has enthusiastically backed military engagement in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria – has largely escaped critical scrutiny in this election, and while Trump vacillates between isolation, aggression and conspiracy theory (Russian hackers, anyone?), it is worth noting that the established position represented by those like Clinton has substantially contributed to the ‘hate’ the West is currently experiencing. The last few weeks have seen a new spate of mass killings and public attacks, in France, Germany, Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as in the United States. Trump’s randomness and unpredictability make him an outlier figure – no one is sure what he would do in terms of foreign policy – but Hillary, as an embodiment of the ‘mainstream’, represents the extremity that lies at the heart of the political centre.

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