OPINION: Hillary Clinton: The Contentious Chancellor

By Garrett Byrne

The former Secretary of State and First Lady, Hillary Clinton, would not have found much solace attaining the University’s prime ceremonial accolade of Chancellor following her pitiable defeat in the 2016 Presidential race to political insurgent and novice Donald J Trump. In fairness to Clinton, she polled higher than Trump in the popular ballot owing to support of the metropolises across the US. Conversely, she failed resoundingly to receive the backing of blue-collar voters based in the industrial heartlands. Remarkably, they found her so repellent, that a venal corporate magnate was deemed the preferred alternative for the White House. What evidence could possibly be more illustrative of a nakedly divisive politician. For rather inexplicable reasons, which I will seek to clarify, she has become a darling of Northern Ireland’s academic and political establishment.

‘A special day for Queen’s ‘ tweeted the SDLP’s Claire Hanna, the incumbent MP for South Belfast and – ironically – a self-avowed disciple of the late John Hume, one of Western Europe’s greatest peace brokers. The Irish News and Belfast Telegraph lamented how a small congregation of fringe anti-imperialist activists had ‘hurled abuse’ at the newly installed Chancellor during the installation ceremony; she would have rather have seen her own inauguration take place on Capitol Hill ,Washington DC in January 2017. Both publications omitted the contextual explanations for this, thereby painting the protestors to be nothing but vacant agitators. Clinton, on the other hand, was ostensibly the victim of arbitrary heckling. Interestingly, rival newspapers were content to observe Clinton’s exceptional ‘public service’ and ‘peace’ efforts as acknowledged by Queen’s University.

Hillary Clinton addresses her staff and supporters about the results of the U.S. election as her husband, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, looks on at a hotel in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Mainstream figures and outlets in equal measure channelled considerable efforts and resources to depict Clinton as being equipped with messianic peace-making qualities apropos conflict resolution. Contrary to this absurdly charitable interpretation subscribed to by the University, Clinton’s tenure in politics has been the subject of persistent allegations of war crimes, corruption, and hostility to press freedom. See below the grave controversies associated with Hillary Clinton over the last two decades. No consideration nor nuanced analysis has been entertained by the high profile commentary regarding these disconcerting realities. By contrast, they celebrated her appointment with unquestioning zeal.

· Voted for the Iraq War under President George W Bush, which killed, maimed and displaced tens of millions of people.

· Received funding from foreign Governments via the ‘non profit’ organisation The Clinton Foundation.

· The Clinton Foundation received donations from the Saudi Government, whilst Clinton meanwhile, was head of State Department (Role analogous to Foreign Sectary in the UK).

– Recently declassified 9/11 papers unveiled by the Biden administration (albeit severely redacted), suggest senior Saudi Government personnel supported the hijackers; this brings into question the nature of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the latter of which has proved to be a major embarrassment for the United States and its allies.

· The Saudi Arabian ruling dynasty, lead by Prince MBS, reputedly ordered the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

· Saudi Arabia bankrolled ISIS, and provided logistical support for the Terrorist organisation. Meanwhile, the State Department was sanctioning $80 billion arm sales to Saudi Arabia.

· Leaked e-mails published by whistleblowing organisation Wikileaks, show Hillary Clinton’s knowledge of Saudi Arabia’s propping up of ISIL. Regardless, arms sales were approved, and some weaponry ended up in the hands of Jihadists.

A Cartoon depicting US-Saudi relations in the 2010s taken from Tulsa World, Bruce Plante Cartoons

It is the height of incredulity that a ruling body of a Russell Group University, local politicians, and regional press outfits in unanimity are prepared to uncritically revel in Clinton’s presence. Her appointment as University Chancellor, which saw an outpouring of unmitigated approval from various influential actors, effectively airbrushes objective truths concerning her political legacy, and by extension launders Clinton’s reputation through an estimable academia.

Published by The Gown Queen's University Belfast

The Gown has provided respected, quality and independent student journalism from Queen's University, Belfast since its 1955 foundation, by Dr. Richard Herman. Having had an illustrious line of journalists and writers for almost 70 years, that proud history is extremely important to us. The Gown is consistent in its quest to seek and develop the talents of aspiring student writers.

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