Tag Archives: Anti-War

McCain’s Foreign Policy Record Not Representative of ‘American Values’

Arizona senator John McCain recently criticized Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for statements about sometimes setting aside American values in foreign policy. Tillerson said in an address to the State Department on March 3rd, that “if you condition our national security efforts on someone adopting our values…it really creates obstacles to our ability to advance our national security interests, our economic interests.” McCain responded in the New York Times by writing that “we are a country with a conscience….our values are our strength and greatest treasure. We have long believed moral concerns must be an essential part of our foreign policy, not a departure from it.”

McCain is absolutely right that all of our foreign policy decisions should be based on universal values of liberalism – freedom, equality, and a belief in the inherent dignity of all people. The problem is that McCain himself represents the worst in American foreign policy, and has championed some of the most inhumane foreign policy decisions of the last 30 years.

 

Continue reading on AntiWar.com

American Empire Will Not Be Stopped by a Blundering Semi-Isolationist President

As Donald J. Trump climbed up the polls, and into the Oval Office, to the bafflement of most, and the cheers of some, there was deluded optimism and melodramatic horror freely expressed about his plans once sworn in. The antiwar-cum-xenophobia demonstrated by many self-proclaimed isolationists meant that Trump’s bizarre policy collections had piqued their interest. But even with the relatively low standards that that mentality suggests–less war, perhaps, more domestic misery, certainly, especially when it comes to the lives of undocumented immigrants–Trump will likely fail. The non-interventionists who value the lives of immigrants, and the freedom of all people to live without police intervention remain unsurprised at Trump’s failures of international peace, even as they scorn the neocons just as much as the isolationists do.

America has been at war since 2001. In other ways, America has been at war nearly nonstop since its founding. As in so many other nation-states, the native population had to be culled and brutalized so that Westerners could flourish. Once that was mostly complete by the late 19th century, America eyed Cuba and the Philippines, and engaged in savage, now-forgotten wars in order to colonize there. World Wars one and two are defended by many people, especially the latter, but the savagery with which America fought even its most justified enemies spoke to its disinterest in a moral highground based on anything besides whatever the US says it right at whatever particular time. Korea and Vietnam, various Middle East scuffles and bombings, coups and interventions, not to mention the two decades spent trampling Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan, and other places where terrorists occasionally lurk, all of this adds up to a searing black mark on the credibility of the shining city on the hill. Except that among the powerful and the silent majority in middle America, it doesn’t really diminish much of anything.

American wars have been on autopilot for at least the past decade. Mass outrage, most prominently seen during the Vietnam war, is the exceptional response to interventions abroad. And even in the “come on people now/smile on you brother”era, that war wasn’t stopped until two million Vietnamese, nearly 60,000 Americans, and countless Cambodian and Laos citizens were dead. At best, then, outrage as the life and death threat of the draft hangs over American 19-year-olds’ heads, can lead to the stopping of a war after a decade.

How to get out of the death grapple that is the war on terror remains to be seen. Or, perhaps it won’t be. In the grimmest, most borderline conspiratorial interpretations of the post-9/11 world, there is no reason for the US to ever get out of this war against a tactic, an extreme interpretation of a religion, against anyone who consider themselves against the US, and will engage in violence towards that end.

We may or may not have moved away from full-scale invasions like Iraq in 2003. However, Libya and Afghanistan have been destabilized plenty. And the residents of half a dozen other countries now find it necessary to accept the presence of silent robots hovering above them, Hellfire missiles at the ready. The American people are easily exhausted by wars, but they are also easily frightened into them. Letting a few troops, then a few more, then a few drones handle things is the easiest way to keep them distracted, but feeling safe enough.

 

Continue reading at CounterPunch

On Memorial Day, Let’s Remember the True Costs of War

Americans Must Claim Memorial Day as a Day to Promote Peace

Memorial Day often seems to bring about uneasy feelings among many Americans. People too often allow their anti-war views to manifest into disdain for U.S. troops. This shouldn’t be the case.

Memorial Day is an opportunity for Americans to honor the memory of American soldiers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice — a reminder of the true costs of war.

Memorial Day began as a Union holiday to honor the fallen soldiers of the Civil War and was eventually merged with Confederate remembrances to their Civil War dead. The joining of the north and south’s Memorial Day celebrations into a national remembrance for the fallen of all American wars was a critical step toward post-Civil War reconciliation between the north and south.

Today, Memorial Day can serve the same purpose. Americans must join together to honor the brave people who gave their lives in service of their country. But we must also take the next step by making the moral case of honoring the fallen through peace, rather than more war.

There have been 6,882 Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past 15 years. This is more than a statistic. Every soldier who has died was a human being with parents, siblings, a spouse and possibly children. Every life lost through violent conflict prematurely cuts short the hopes and dreams these men and women, and their families, had for the future.

Memorial Day is an opportunity to honor the fallen, and to highlight the need to ensure that more Americans are not sent to perish in conflicts that do not advance our national interests.

Read the full article at the PanAm Post.

Libertarians should embrace Jeremy Corbyn – and not just because he’s unelectable

Following an hour-long televised debate, Jeremy Corbyn emerged as the surprise favourite for next Labour leader amongst the party’s grassroots. The 66 year old MP for Islington North is a darling of the Labour left, relying heavily on their online campaign to get him on the ballot in the first place. Though he remains unlikely to win the contest, his presence should be regarded as a positive development for libertarians and lefties alike.

The traditional right-wing argument for supporting Corbyn is simple. He won’t win the 2020 General Election, and now that the Labour Party has introduced a way for non-members to vote in the leadership contest, the Right can elect Corbyn as leader. Such is the potential of the ‘#ToriesForCorbyn’ strategy that there is serious discussion about how much it would cost for the Conservative Party to ‘buy’ the next election. However, libertarians should welcome Corbyn’s leadership campaign for reasons beyond the fact he will never secure a Labour majority.

First and foremost, Corbyn is staunchly pro-immigration. In both the recent TV debate and in Parliament, he has repeatedly emphasised the economic and social contributions made by immigrants to Britain. Having such a vocal defender of immigration as candidate for leadership of the UK’s second largest political party is great news for libertarians, who can disregard Corbyn’s support for a planned economy whilst capitalising on freedom of movement inching into the Overton Window.

Secondly, Corbyn has spent much of his political career campaigning against military interventionism. Inspired by a universal (rather than nationalistic) outlook, his views on foreign policy sound awfully libertarian:

I argue for a different type of foreign policy based on political and not military solutions; on genuine internationalism that recognises that all human life is precious, no matter what nationality…

Corbyn’s position as potential leader of the Labour Party means that he is perfectly placed to put anti-interventionism at the centre of the political agenda. If by some miracle he actually became leader of the Labour Party, the effectiveness of his pro-immigration, anti-war message would be magnified significantly. That he is even running is something to be welcomed by libertarians.