Saturday, January 30, 2016

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World upset by Saudi Arabia’s crimes: Analyst

Press TV has interviewed Saeed Shehabi, a political commentator in London, about an influential US senator who questioned Washington’s unwavering support for Saudi Arabia despite the regime’s backing of extremist ideology and its military offensive in Yemen.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: I guess it is better late than never when you have US senators coming out talking about this alliance and how there is another side to it but what good would that do if the US continues with the support of Saudi Arabia whether it is through arms sales or through the wars that Saudi Arabia is waging in the region?
Shehabi: I agree with you better late than never if it comes really late it is okay but the problem is that is it going to come? Is the American foreign policy going to change with regards to the Saudis and the other [Persian] Gulf allies? Are they going to tell, today or tomorrow, are they going to tell Saudi Arabia enough is enough?  We cannot tolerate anymore this funding and support for extremism and terrorism. Are they going to tell them stop the war on Yemen? Are they going to tell them withdraw your troops, your occupational troops from Bahrain?
Of course if they do that then we would say okay, you were not aware of what the Saudis were doing before, now you are doing the right thing by cutting off all the support for this murderous and reactionary regime.
The problem is that are they going to change the foreign policy? What I heard two days ago from the foreign minister here at the Foreign Office in [the] UK following the revelation of the United Nations experts’ report on Yemen, on war crimes in Yemen, what he said is that oh yes, I am going to sit down with the senior politicians of Saudi Arabia and talk to them. What does that mean? This is nothing. I thought he would say yes, we will abide by those resolutions, by that report of the United Nations, we will stop our support to Saudis in their war on Yemen and we will tell them to stop immediately their support to extremism, fanaticism and sectarianism.
Press TV: So when it comes down to this relationship, when do you think that given this particular piece of news that we are going to see perhaps some cracks in this relationship from this point forward or are we just looking at some criticisms just like when 9/11 happened knowing that Saudi nationals were involved and then continue?
Shehabi: Well I think there may be some change. I do not dismiss the possibility that there will be a review of what can be done with the Saudis because the world is upset, the whole world not just America, Europe, France, everywhere. Now Saudis are supporting [the groups] which are working and occupying Libya of course in addition to Syria, Iraq and Yemen.   
So I think there will be some change. However, how much that change is going to be will depend on whether President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron are going to really protect, whether they are willing to protect the interest of their own nationals, of their own strategic interests because they must understand that this war that is being waged by the Saudis whether in Yemen or in Syria or in Libya, is not going only to affect the Muslims or the Shias but they are going to affect the whole world.
So I hope they will hit the goal for an immediate ceasing of support to this reactionary and extremist regime.

‘Tsunami of money from Saudi Arabia funding 24-k Pakistan madrassas’

About 24,000 ‘madrassas’ in Pakistan are funded by Saudi Arabia which has unleashed a “tsunami of money” to “export intolerance”, an American senator has said, adding that the US needs to end its effective acquiescence to the Saudi sponsorship of radical Islamism.
Senator Chris Murphy said Pakistan is the best example of Saudi Arabia funding religious schools that nurture hatred and terrorism.
“In 1956, there were 244 madrassas in Pakistan. Today, there are 24,000. These schools are multiplying all over the globe. These schools, by and large, don’t teach violence. They aren’t the minor leagues for al Qaeda or IS. But they do teach a version of Islam that leads very nicely into an anti-Shia, anti-Western militancy.”
“Those 24,000 religious schools in Pakistan -- thousands of them are funded with money that originates in Saudi Arabia,” Murphy said in an address to the Council on Foreign Relations, a top American think-tank, on Friday.
According to some estimates, since the 1960s, the Saudis have funnelled over $100 billion into funding schools and mosques all over the world with the mission of spreading puritanical Wahhabi Islam.
As a point of comparison, researchers estimate that the former Soviet Union spent about $7 billion exporting its communist ideology from 1920-1991.
“Less-well-funded governments and other strains of Islam can hardly keep up with the tsunami of money behind this export of intolerance,” Murphy said.
“The uncomfortable truth is for all the positive aspects of our alliance with Saudi Arabia, there is another side to Saudi Arabia that we can no longer afford to ignore as our fight against Islamic extremism becomes more focused and more complicated,” he said.
“The United States should suspend supporting Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen, at the very least until we get assurances that this campaign does not distract from the fight against IS and al Qaeda, and until we make some progress on the Saudi export of Wahhabism,” he said.
Murphy demanded that Congress should not sign off on any more US military sales to Saudi Arabia until similar assurances are granted.
He said that the political alliance between the House of Saud - Saudi Arabia’s ruling royal family - and orthodox Wahhabi clerics is as old as the nation, resulting in billions funnelled to and through the Wahhabi movement.
The vicious terrorist groups that Americans know by name are Sunni in derivation, and greatly influenced by Wahhabi and Salafist teachings, Murphy said, adding that leaders of both Democratic and Republican parties should avoid the extremes of this debate, and enter into a real conversation about how US can help the moderate voices within Islam win out over those who sow seeds of extremism.

Saudi Arabia's Defeat in Yemen: The Stakes Could Not Be Higher

Alexander Mercouris

The most dangerous crisis in the world today is not the confrontation in the South China Sea, the war in Syria, the crisis in Ukraine or the North Korean nuclear test.

All these crises have their share of irrational actors, and there is a risk any one of them might spiral out of control.
However the main parties in these quarrels — the US, China, Russia and Germany — have long histories of squaring off against each other. They have worked out rules with each other about how to handle such conflicts, which for the moment are just about working.
The most dangerous crisis in the world, the one where the potential risks are greatest and where the actions of the players are least predictable, is the war in Yemen.
Last year Saudi Arabia backed by a coalition of conservative Sunni Arab states intervened militarily in Yemen, which has been in a state of prolonged political crisis since 2011.
Saudi Arabia’s declared reason for doing so was to restore the country’s legitimate President. Its actual reason was to prevent the takeover of the country by political and militia groups it believes are aligned with Iran.
As is always the case with anything involving Saudi Arabia, it is very difficult to say how its intervention in Yemen is going. Such reports as there are however suggest it is going badly.

Despite heavy bombing and the deployment of large numbers of Saudi troops the opposition in Yemen appears to be undefeated.

More alarming still, the Yemeni opposition appears to be going onto the offensive, launching attacks on Saudi territory, capturing Saudi towns and settlements along the border.
That is an astonishing development which must be causing growing alarm within the Saudi government.
The fact foreign forces have captured Saudi territory despite all the Saudis have thrown at them must be causing alarm about the competence of the Saudi army and its ability to win the war.
Worse, it may be jeopardising the stability of the Saudi state itself.
Saudi Arabia competes with North Korea in its success in keeping its internal political situation secret.
For example, it nows seems that in the 2000s Saudi Arabia had to fight on its own territory an al-Qaeda led jihadi insurgency. Though it was defeated, outside Saudi Arabia hardly anyone knows about it.

That there are people in Saudi Arabia who oppose the government is hardly disputed, though their number, militancy and state of organisation is unknown.  

How these people will react to the Saudi army’s defeats in Yemen is anyone’s guess.
There must however be at least a possibility that like the revolutionaries in Russia in 1905 and 1917 they will use the impression of weakness created by the defeats to step up their opposition to the Saudi government.
As for the Saudi government, I have little doubt the war in Yemen is by far its biggest worry, eclipsing concern about oil prices.
It is probably nervousness about the effect of the defeats in Yemen on Saudi Arabia’s internal situation which explains the recent wave of executions — including that of a Shia cleric — as the Saudi government tries to intimidate its enemies and put on a show of strength.
Saudi Arabia is the world’s leading oil producer and geographic heart of Islam. It lies on an extraordinary multiplicity of geopolitical, economic and religious fault-lines.  A crisis that risked the survival of the Saudi monarchy would throw the entire international system into chaos.
It would be the biggest and most dangerous crisis the world has seen since the end of the Second World War.
That however could be what we might be looking at before long.

Read more:

Time to drop Saudi Arabia

In many ways, denial is the lifeblood of politics.
Those elected to office rarely accept or take responsibility for mistakes.
Admitting error is a cardinal political sin, one to be avoided even when the truth is as plain a fact as gravity.
It’s been just over a week since Premier Kathleen Wynne stood before the province to say she had just learned of the deeply problematic relationship two Ontario colleges have with the oil kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Niagara College and Algonquin College both bowed before the altar of sharia law, capitulating to its insistence of female subservience, and set up men’s-only campuses in the hopes of generating a significant new stream of revenue.
Like many Canadians, Wynne says this situation is an unacceptable violation of Canadian values, and dispatched her education minister to get to the bottom of it.
This is all well and good, but Wynne’s sudden discovery of the cruelty of Saudi law cannot be taken seriously.
Niagara and Algonquin established their Saudi operations with the full knowledge and blessing of Queen’s Park two years ago.
(The Niagara Postmedia newspapers, for instance, were pressing both the college and the government on the issue from the start.)
Instead of admitting the province made an error in using Ontario tax dollars to fund these campuses, the premier and her minister now say they are shocked.
There are only two ways this can be believed: Either the provincial government doesn’t know what Saudi Arabia is and what it does, making it ignorant; or it was content to ignore the situation there, making it irresponsible.
Even now, Wynne’s vision is limited.
She is focused on the exclusion of women, but says nothing of the beheadings, crucifixions, and torture of those in Saudi Arabia whose only “crime” is to speak their minds.
Nor does she mention the loss of public dollars.
Niagara and Algonquin colleges to date have lost a total of about $2.5 million on this program, which includes public money.
Both schools project small profits for this year, but that doesn’t change the fact Ontario tax dollars are helping to fund the education system of a violently repressive, theocratic regime.
These ventures into Saudi Arabia did not happen in a vacuum. Rather, they fit comfortably into Canada’s hypocritical relationship with the kingdom.
As a nation, Canada wants to be regarded as a defender of human rights and dignity.
How often have we criticized cruel and brutal dictators that dot the globe?
And yet, our political leaders are comfortable ignoring the reality of Saudi Arabia, a country with arguably the worst human rights record on the planet.
The previous federal Conservative government, under Stephen Harper, struck a secret, $15 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, selling Canadian-made military vehicles to the Saudis.
Despite public outrage, the current Liberal government shows no will to cancel the deal.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau brushed it off by referring to the heavily armed and well-armoured fighting vehicles being sold as “jeeps”.
So why would an Ontario college looking for more revenue, do any different? Why would it not follow Ottawa’s lead?
Algonquin and Niagara colleges suggest they are agents of change in Saudi Arabia, that all education is corrosive to tyranny
This all but ignores the reality that they agreed to abide by sharia.
The tepid content of their classes — business education and tourism — have never fanned the flames of revolution.
The Saudi campuses are not just the manifestation of poor decision making by the colleges. They are also the result of the willfully blind politics of Queen’s Park and Ottawa.
Which means they are the fault of all of us who cast a ballot.
International politics and economics is a messy business.
We deal with nations whose activities are deeply troubling all the time.
But rarely has Canada so overtly rejected its own values for the sake of money.
If Canada is to be what we say it is, the time has come for our action to match our words, and to abandon Saudi Arabia.

Music Video - Taylor Swift - Bad Blood ft. Kendrick Lamar

#IowaCaucus - Road to the White House explained - BBC News

Expert Says Zika Outbreak Not Likely in the U.S.

#IowaCaucus - What is the Iowa caucus, why is it so important and how does it work?

Most people think the Iowa caucuses are just the first presidential primary in the nation — a chance for Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to see how they're really doing with voters. And while that's wrong, it's also partly true.
The Iowa caucuses do involve voting and Iowa is the first state to do any voting, but that's kind of like saying hosting Thanksgiving dinner only involves eating at a table. With the caucuses, there's a much more involved and longer process — especially for Democrats.
And to take the Thanksgiving analogy a step further, the word "caucus'' actually comes from a Native American Algonquian word meaning a gathering of tribal leaders.
Here' a quick primer on how they work as we zero in on the Iowa caucus date.
1. No voting booths to hide in, no levers to pull.
Instead of going to voting booths, people gather together at a library or a high school gym or even private homes to speak their mind and support their chosen candidates. In Iowa, there are 1,681 such precincts for GOP voters to gather.
2. For Republicans, the caucus is a pretty simple affair.
GOP voters use secret ballots, and then tally their votes to see who'll attend the party's county, state and national conventions. The Iowa GOP has 27 Republican delegate positions awarded proportionally based on the statewide vote. Overall, Iowa will send 30 to the GOP convention.
3. For Democrats, it gets a bit more complicated
After an hour of hearing candidates' volunteers make their case about why they should vote for them, the precincts hold an unofficial ballot as a test of opinion, called a "straw vote," so-named because you can tell which way the wind is blowing by looking at a field of straw. Sometimes this gets done by a show of hands or by dividing themselves into groups according to candidate.
Candidates who don't get at least 15 percent of the vote are considered out of the running.
In rural precincts where the population is so small they only elect a single delegate, the selection is done by majority vote on a paper ballot.
Those caucusing for these remaining qualifying candidates then seek to persuade each other to support for their candidate and get the most votes.
In Iowa, you can register to vote right up till caucus day, and many do. In rural precincts where the population is so small they only elect a single delegate, the selection is done by majority vote on a paper ballot. Although sometimes that means just a scrap of paper stuffed into a shoebox, it actually works.
Iowa Democrats will elect 29 delegates at the district level. In all, the state will send 52 to the convention.
4. There's another step after the caucuses
Regardless of whether it's a Democratic or GOP caucus, the district results get reported to each of Iowa's 99 counties' conventions, and the county votes get reported to the Iowa state convention.
5. Where it ends up
Finally, the state results are used to determine how the parties' convention delegates are divvied up among the candidates.

#IowaCaucus - Bill Clinton's Former Adviser: Hillary Is The Most Qualified Candidate Since Washington

Sam Levine
James Carville, the well-known political adviser to former President Bill Clinton, is a bit baffled that more donors have given to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) than to Hillary Clinton, especially given the former secretary of state's résumé.
"I don't mean to be cranky, but what in the hell is that all about?!," Carville wrote in a fundraising email for Clinton Saturday. "We've got the best chance we've ever had to put a woman in the White House, and oh, by the way, she just happens to be the most qualified candidate maybe since General George Washington himself!!"
The number of contributions to the Sanders campaign topped 3 million as of Saturday morning.
Clinton has had a remarkable amount of experience to prepare her for the presidency. Before serving as secretary of state during President Barack Obama's first term, she served as a U.S. senator representing New York for eight years and as first lady of the United States before that. Sanders also has a wealth of political experience: he was elected the mayor of Burlington, Vermont, in 1981, served in the U.S. House of Representatives for over a decade and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006.
Washington served as the commander in chief of the continental army and president of the 1787 constitutional convention.
According to HuffPost Pollster, which aggregates publicly available polling data, the race between Sanders and Clinton is extremely close in Iowa ahead of the state's caucuses on Monday.

Video - #IowaCaucus - President Bill Clinton on why Hillary is the greatest change maker he's ever known

Video - #IowaCaucus - Hillary Clinton: I'm ready to do the job

US warned on Diaoyu Islands statement

Chinese marine surveillance ship Haijian No. 46 (L) tries to approach towards Japanesefishing boats (2nd and 3rd from front) while a Japan Coast Guard boat sails (front), in theEast China Sea, near Diaoyu islands, in this photo taken by Kyodo May 26, 2013.

Beijing urges Washington to "be cautious in words and actions in regard to the DiaoyuIslands issue", the Ministry of National Defense said on Fridaya stern warning overrecent remarks by a top United States Navy official.
Harry Harriscommander of the US Pacific Commandspoke about Chinese territory inthe East China Sea on Wednesday at a Washington think tank event.
Referring to the islandsHarris said: "We will clearly defend them if they are attacked byChina," Japan's Kyodo News Agency reportedIn a written reply to China Daily on Friday,the Chinese ministry said: "China has taken notice of the relevant report," adding that theChinese military's determination to safeguard regional peace and stability is "unswerving".
It is hoped the US side will "take tangible efforts in safeguarding the peace and stability inthe region as well as the big picture of China-US relations", the ministry said.
Ruan Zongzevice-president of the China Institute of International Studiesnoted that USPresident Barack Obama promised over two years ago to honor US treaty obligations indefending the islands.
Ruan called Harrisremarks aimed at encouraging Japan to be bold in its military actionsthere.
"As Washington attempts to make Tokyo part of its so-called patrols in the South ChinaSeait has to make an additional offersome more defense commitmentsin exchange,"Ruan said.
Harris is actually encouraging Japan's self-defense forces to play a bigger role and boostits equipmentRuan added.
Teng Jianquna senior expert on US studies at the CIISsaid Washington's outspokenremarks and its security commitments made to treaty allies in Asia "often go further thanits actions", leading to a drastic mismatch.
Although it seems embarrassing to have such mismatchesit is unlikely Washington willbreak away from such a patternTeng said.
In addition to his comments on the East China SeaHarris also drew Beijing's criticism forhis comments on the South China Sea situation when speaking at the Center for Strategicand International Studies on Wednesday.
Harris said the US will continue to challenge China's position on the South China SeaHealso said his personal view is that "those islands do not belong to China".
On Thursday nightYang Yujunthe ministry's spokesmansaid: "Such remarks astonishme as they completely lack historical common sense."
Peace and stability in the South China Sea should be safeguarded by China and the ASEANcountriesand, "We do not need countries outside the region finger-pointing on this issue,let alone making any ignorant remarks," Yang said.

Russian Defense Ministry Denies Violation of Turkish Airspace by Su-34

The Russian Defense Ministry said Saturday that no Russian aircraft had violated Turkish airspace, adding that neither Russian air defense in Syria, nor Syrian radards had detected violations of Turkish borders by a Russian Su-34 warplane as Ankara claimed earlier in the day.

Turkey's reports of an alleged violation of Turkish airspace by a Russian Su-34 are unfounded and "propaganda," the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said.
"There were no violations of Turkish airspace by aircraft of the Russian air group in the Syrian Arab Republic. Turkish authorities' statements of an alleged violation of Turkish airspace by a Russian Su-34 jet are naked propaganda," Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.
The alleged incident involving a Su-34 fighter bomber took place on Friday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said earlier in the day, adding that the plane had been warned by Turkish air radar units.
"None of these radars are able to establish the type and affiliation of an aircraft — whether it belongs to Russia or to the so-called US-led anti-ISIL [Daesh] coalition," Konashenkov told reporters.

He emphasized that neither Russian air defense systems in Syria nor Syrian radar stations detected any violations of the Turkey-Syria border.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said earlier in the day it had summoned the Russian ambassador after an alleged incident involving a Su-34 fighter bomber. On Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he wanted to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin after the incident.

On November 24, a Turkish F-16 fighter shot down a Russian Su-24 bomber with two pilots on board over Syria. Ankara claimed it had downed the Russian warplane as it had allegedly violated Turkish airspace. Both the Russian General Staff and the Syrian Air Defense Command have confirmed that the Russian jet never crossed into Turkish airspace.
In response to Ankara's "stab in the back," as the incident has been described by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Moscow imposed a number of economic measures on Turkey.

Read more:

Zika virus: Vladimir Putin orders Russian scientists to develop vaccine

Russia is developing a vaccine for the Zika virus on Vladimir Putin’s orders.
Although the country is not at risk from contamination, its president has voiced concern that people can still take planes and may come from South and Central America to Russia. 
The virus is transmitted by mosquitos in some parts of Africa and across the Americas.
Symptoms are mild and cold-like, but the virus can have a severe effect on pregnant women and their babies. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the virus is “spreading explosively”.
“We know that such an epidemic does not threaten us… We do not have the natural fauna that would carry the infection,”  health minister Veronika Skvortsova told state news agency RIA Novosti. 
Russian scientists hope to have the patent ready for testing by March, and plan to export the vaccine to countries with the Zika virus.
Ms Skvortsova explained how Russia is also pursuing the treatment to develop “a full inventory of vaccines”.
According to Dr Margaret Chan, head of the WHO, Zika has changed from “a mild threat to one of alarming proportions”.
Travellers, especially those who are pregnant, are being advised toavoid travel to the Americas, as Zika is said to lead to potential brain defects in babies.

#IowaCaucus - Bill Clinton Says Hillary in ‘Dog Fight’ for Iowa Caucus Win

  • With just 76 hours until the Iowa caucusHillary Clinton leaned on a long-kept, family motto -- “We're all in this together” -- on Friday, as she linked up with Bill Clinton at a joint campaign rally in Davenport, Iowa.
    The event, which came after a packed day of television interviews and campaign events across the state, is part of the Hillary Clinton campaign’s aggressive, final stretch strategy -– a topic Bill Clinton addressed last night.
    “You just have to fight,” the former president told ABC News from the rope line when asked what his wife needs to do over the next three days to see a victory on Monday. “This is a dog fight. You fight to the last hour.”
    Hillary Clinton is currently neck-and-neck with her opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, and which candidate wins the caucus is expected to come down to turnout.
    To rally support, both Clintons have been stumping in Iowa over the past few days, holding more than 25 different campaign events combined. Their daughter, Chelsea Clinton, is joining them on the trail tomorrow night.
    “You need to touch as many people as you can,” Bill Clinton explained.
    Aides to Clinton –- and the Democratic presidential candidate herself –- see the former president as one of their biggest assets in these final days.
    “I brought a pretty good warm-up act, don’t you think?” Hillary Clinton asked the crowd packed into the Col Ballroom on Friday.
    Their joint-event drew more than 1,500 people -- a number larger than Sanders, who had a crowd of roughly 1,000 at his campaign event nearby.
    Bill Clinton played down his role in bringing out the crowds, however. “She’s doing fine well on her own,” he said as took selfies and shook hands on the ropeline.
    When asked how confident he is about winning on Monday, the former president responded with a mix of confidence and caution.
    “I feel good,” he said. “I feel like we’ve done everything we could.”

    #IowaCaucus - New York Times Endorses - Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Nomination

    Voters have the chance to choose one of the most broadly and deeply qualified presidential candidates in modern history.
    For the past painful year, the Republican presidential contenders have been bombarding Americans with empty propaganda slogans and competing, bizarrely, to present themselves as the least experienced person for the most important elected job in the world. Democratic primary voters, on the other hand, after a substantive debate over real issues, have the chance to nominate one of the most broadly and deeply qualified presidential candidates in modern history.
    Hillary Clinton would be the first woman nominated by a major party. She served as a senator from a major state (New York) and as secretary of state — not to mention her experience on the national stage as first lady with her brilliant and flawed husband, President Bill Clinton. The Times editorial board has endorsed her three times for federal office — twice for Senate and once in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary — and is doing so again with confidence and enthusiasm.
    Mrs. Clinton’s main opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-described Democratic Socialist, has proved to be more formidable than most people, including Mrs. Clinton, anticipated. He has brought income inequality and the lingering pain of the middle class to center stage and pushed Mrs. Clinton a bit more to the left than she might have gone on economic issues. Mr. Sanders has also surfaced important foreign policy questions, including the need for greater restraint in the use of military force.
    In the end, though, Mr. Sanders does not have the breadth of experience or policy ideas that Mrs. Clinton offers. His boldest proposals — to break up the banks and to start all over on health care reform with a Medicare-for-all system — have earned him support among alienated middle-class voters and young people. But his plans for achieving them aren’t realistic, while Mrs. Clinton has very good, and achievable, proposals in both areas.
    The third Democratic contender, Martin O’Malley, is a personable and reasonable liberal who seems more suited for the jobs he has already had — governor of Maryland and mayor of Baltimore — than for president.
    Mrs. Clinton is a strong advocate of sensible and effective measures to combat the plague of firearms; Mr. Sanders’s record on guns is relatively weak. Her economic proposals for financial reform reflect a deep understanding of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform act, including the ways in which it has fallen short. She supports changes that the country badly needs, like controls on high-frequency trading and stronger curbs on bank speculation in derivatives.
    Mr. Sanders has scored some rhetorical points against Mrs. Clinton for her longstanding ties to Wall Street, but she has responded well, and it would be comical to watch any of the Republican candidates try to make that case, given that they are all virtually tied to, or actually part of, the business establishment.
    One of the most attractive parts of Mrs. Clinton’s economic platform is her pledge to support the well-being and rights of working Americans. Her lifelong fight for women bolsters her credibility in this area, since so many of the problems with labor law hit women the hardest, including those involving child care, paid sick leave, unstable schedules and low wages for tipped workers.
    Mrs. Clinton is keenly aware of the wage gap for women, especially for women of color. It’s not just that she’s done her homework — Mrs. Clinton has done her homework on pretty much any subject you’d care to name. Her knowledge comes from a commitment to issues like reproductive rights that is decades old. She was well ahead of Mr. Sanders in calling for repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which severely limits federal money to pay for abortions for poor women.
    As secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton worked tirelessly, and with important successes, for the nation’s benefit. She was the secretary President Obama needed and wanted: someone who knew leaders around the world, who brought star power as well as expertise to the table. The combination of a new president who talked about inclusiveness and a chief diplomat who had been his rival but shared his vision allowed the United States to repair relations around the world that had been completely trashed by the previous administration.
    Mrs. Clinton helped make it possible to impose tougher sanctions on Iran, which in turn led to the important nuclear deal now going into effect. She also fostered closer cooperation with Asian countries. She worked to expand and deepen the dialogue with China and to increase Washington’s institutional ties to the region. Mrs. Clinton had rebuked China when she was first lady for its treatment of women, and she criticized the Beijing government’s record on human rights even as she worked to improve relations.
    In January 2011, before the Arab Spring, Mrs. Clinton delivered a speech that criticized Arab leaders, saying their countries risked “sinking into the sand” unless they liberalized their political systems and cleaned up their economies. Certainly, the Israeli-Palestinian crisis deepened during her tenure, but she did not cause that.
    Mrs. Clinton can be more hawkish on the use of military power than Mr. Obama, as shown by her current call for a no-fly zone in Syria and her earlier support for arming and training Syrian rebels. We are not convinced that a no-fly zone is the right approach in Syria, but we have no doubt that Mrs. Clinton would use American military power effectively and with infinitely more care and wisdom than any of the leading Republican contenders.
    Mrs. Clinton, who has been accused of flip-flopping on trade, has shown a refreshing willingness to learn and to explain, as she has in detail, why she changed her mind on trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership. She is likely to do more to help workers displaced by the forces of trade than previous presidents have done, and certainly more than any of the Republicans.
    Mrs. Clinton has honed a steeliness that will serve her well in negotiating with a difficult Congress on critically important issues like climate change. It will also help her weather what are certain to be more attacks from Republicans and, should she win the White House, the possibility of the same ideological opposition and personal animus that President Obama has endured. Some of the campaign attacks are outrageous, like Donald Trump’s efforts to bring up Bill Clinton’s marital infidelity. Some, like those about Mrs. Clinton's use of a private email server, are legitimate and deserve forthright answers.
    Hillary Clinton is the right choice for the Democrats to present a vision for America that is radically different from the one that leading Republican candidates offer — a vision in which middle-class Americans have a real shot at prosperity, women’s rights are enhanced, undocumented immigrants are given a chance at legitimacy, international alliances are nurtured and the country is kept safe.