Hillary has repeatedly said: “We should also work with the coalition and the neighbors to impose no-fly zones that will stop Assad from slaughtering civilians and the opposition from the air. Opposition forces on the ground, with material support from the coalition, could then help create safe areas where Syrians could remain in the country, rather than fleeing toward Europe.”
This would mean that U.S. fighter-jets and missiles would be shooting down the fighter-jets and missiles of the Syrian government over Syria, and would also be shooting down those of Russia. The Syrian government invited Russia in, as its protector; the U.S. is no protector but an invader against Syria’s legitimate government, the Ba’athist government, led by Bashar al-Assad. The CIA has been trying ever since 1949 to overthrow Syria’s Ba’athist government — the only remaining non-sectarian government in the Middle East other than the current Egyptian government. The U.S. supports Jihadists who demand Sharia law, and they are trying to overthrow and replace Syria’s institutionally secular government. For the U.S. to impose a no-fly zone anywhere in Syria would mean that the U.S. would be at war against Russia over Syria’s skies.
Whichever side loses that conventional air-war would then have to choose whether to surrender, or instead to use nuclear weapons against the other side’s homeland, in order for it to avoid surrendering. That’s nuclear war between Russia and the United States.
Would Putin surrender? Would Hillary? Would neither? If neither does, then nuclear war will be the result.
Here are the two most extensive occasions in which Hillary has stated her position on this:
We should also work with the coalition and the neighbors to impose no-fly zones that will stop Assad from slaughtering civilians and the opposition from the air. Opposition forces on the ground, with material support from the coalition, could then help create safe areas where Syrians could remain in the country, rather than fleeing toward Europe.
This combined approach would help enable the opposition to retake the remaining stretch of the Turkish border from ISIS, choking off its supply lines. It would also give us new leverage in the diplomatic process that Secretary Kerry is pursuing. …
QUESTION: When you were secretary of state, you tended to agree a great deal with the then-Secretary of Defense Bob Gates. Gates was opposed to a no-fly zone in Syria; thought it was an act of war that was risky and dangerous. This seems to me the major difference right now between what the president — what Obama’s administration is doing and what you’re proposing.
Do you not — why do you disagree with Bob Gates on this?
CLINTON: Well, I — I believe that the no-fly zone is merited and can be implemented, again, in a coalition, not an American-only no-fly zone. I fully respect Bob and his knowledge about the difficulties of implementing a no-fly zone. But if you look at where we are right now, we have to try to clear the air of the bombing attacks that are still being carried out to a limited extent by the Syrian military, now supplemented by the Russian air force.
And I think we have a chance to do that now. We have a no-fly zone over northern Iraq for years to protect the Kurds. And it proved to be successful, not easy — it never is — but I think now is the time for us to revisit those plans.
I also believe, as I said in the speech, that if we begin the conversation about a no-fly zone, something that, you know, Turkey discussed with me back when I was secretary of state in 2012, it will confront a lot of our partners in the region and beyond about what they’re going to do. And it can give us leverage in the discussions that Secretary Kerry is carrying on right now.
So I see it as both a strategic opportunity on the ground, and an opportunity for leverage in the peace negotiations. …
QUESTION: Jim Ziren (ph), Madam Secretary. Hi. Back to the no- fly zone. are you advocating a no-fly zone over the entire country or a partial no-fly zone over an enclave where refugees might find a safe haven? And in the event of either, do you foresee see you might be potentially provoking the Russians?
CLINTON: I am advocating the second, a no-fly zone principally over northern Syria close to the Turkish (ph) border, cutting off the supply lines, trying to provide some safe refuges for refugees so they don’t have to leave Syria, creating a safe space away from the barrel bombs and the other bombardments by the Syrians. And I would certainly expect to and hope to work with the Russians to be able to do that. [She expects Putin to join America’s bombing of Syria’s government and troops and shooting-down of Russia’s planes in Syria, but no question was raised about this.] …
To have a swath of territory that could be a safe zone … for Syrians so they wouldn’t have to leave but also for humanitarian relief, … would give us this extra leverage that I’m looking for in the diplomatic pursuits with Russia with respect to the political outcome in Syria.
Hillary Clinton, in a debate with Bernie on 19 December 2015, argued for her proposal that the U.S. impose in Syria a “no-fly zone” where Russians were dropping bombs on the imported jihadists who have been trying to overthrow and replace Assad: “I am advocating the no-fly zone both because I think it would help us on the ground to protect Syrians; I’m also advocating it because I think it gives us some leverage in our conversations with Russia.” She said there that allowing the jihadists to overthrow Assad “would help us on the ground to protect Syrians,” somehow; and, also, that, somehow, shooting down Russia’s planes in Syria (the “no-fly zone”) “gives us some leverage in our conversations with Russia.”
Bernie Sanders’s response to that was: “I worry too much that Secretary Clinton is too much into regime change and a little bit too aggressive without knowing what the unintended consequences might be.” He didn’t mention nuclear war as one of them.
The “no-fly zone” policy is one of three policies she supports that would likely produce nuclear war; she supports all of them, not merely the “no-fly zone.”
Hillary Clinton has never been asked “What would you do if Russia refuses to stop its flights in Syria?” Donald Trump has said nothing about the proposal for a no-fly zone (other than “I want to sit back and see what happens”), because most Americans support that idea, and he’s not bright enough to take her on about it and ask her that question. Probably, if he were supportive of it, he’d have said so — in which case it wouldn’t still be an issue in this election. Trump muffed his chance — which he has had on several occasions. But clearly he, unlike her, has not committed himself on this matter.
Hillary Clinton is obviously convinced that the U.S. would win a nuclear war against Russia. The question for voters is whether they’re willing to bet their lives that she is correct about that, and that even if the U.S. ‘wins’, only Russia and not also the U.S. (and the world) would be destroyed if the U.S. nuclear-attacks Russia.
Every other issue in this election pales by comparison to the no-fly-zone issue, which is virtually ignored, in favor of issues that are trivial by comparison. But a vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for nuclear war against Russia, regardless of whether or not the voters know this. And a vote for Trump is a vote for the unknown. Could the unknown be even worse than Hillary Clinton? If so, would it be so only in relatively trivial ways?
This election should be about Hillary Clinton, not about Donald Trump.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.
Vote as if your life depended upon it, because it does. was originally published on Washington's Blog