Beyond Bolton: The Path to a Progressive Foreign Policy

America’s miserable record over 30 years should make it clear a serious and genuine commitment to the rule of international law offers a more viable way forward than the “law of the jungle,” argue Nicolas Davies and Medea Benjamin.

By Nicolas J. S. Davies and Medea Benjamin
Special to Consortium News

Across the arc of chaos and instability caused by U.S. wars, interventions and sanctions around the world, the past several weeks have seen new flare-ups of deadly violence and worsening humanitarian crises.

A single day’s headlines at the beginning of September included;  “School Hit in Huge Somali Explosion; ” “US Army Sends More Military Equipment to Bases in Syria;” “Libya Announces State of Emergency in Capital Tripoli After 39 Deaths in Unrest;” “Lebanon Is Balancing on a Tightrope;” “Saudis Admit Strike on Bus Carrying Children Unjustified;” “Police Disperse Protesters at Entrance to Iraq’s Nahr Bin Omar Oilfield.;” “Brazil Calls in Army After Mob Attacks on Venezuelan Migrants;” “Thousands Mourn Ukraine Rebel Leader;” and an article about Afghanistan 17th US Commander Takes Over America’s Longest War.”

The last article, by Voice of America, reported that General Austin Miller is taking command of 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan as they soldier on in the “graveyard of empires” after 17 years of war. In the heady days after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 and the end of the Cold War, who would have predicted that America would soon be mired in its own quagmire in Afghanistan or that the fall of the Berlin Wall would usher in an era of U.S. wars that would sow violence and chaos across so much of the world?

And yet, it was precisely in those heady days at the end of the Cold War that what Mikhail Gorbachev has called Western triumphalism was born. In the bowels of the Pentagon, in corporate-funded Washington think tanks and in offices in the White House under Republican and Democratic administrations, ideologues linked to both parties dreamt of a Pax Americana or a New American Century in which the U.S. would be the unchallenged, even unchallengeable, imperial power.  

Two former cold warriors, President Johnson’s Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and President Reagan’s Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb, told the Senate Budget Committee in 1989 that the U.S. military budget could safely be cut in half over ten years. Committee Chairman Senator Jim Sasser hailed “this unique moment in world history” as “the dawn of the primacy of domestic economics.”

McNamara: Favored 50 percent cut in military spending.  (LBJ Library photo by Yoichi Okamoto)

Instead, despite small cuts in the early 1990s, the military budget never fell below the Cold War baseline established after the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and began climbing again in 1999. The longed-for, post-Cold War “peace dividend” was trumped by a “power dividend” born of triumphalism, wishful thinking and the “disastrous rise of misplaced power” in the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower recognized and warned against in his farewell speech to the nation in 1961.

Many who embraced the enticing vision of monopoly leadership and domination,” as Gorbachev called it, wanted to believe that a world ruled by American economic and military power would be a reflection of the best in American society. But these privileged members of the liberal elite were quite blind to the endemic injustices inside the United States, let alone the reality of life in the farther reaches of America’s neocolonial empire, policed by head-chopping kings, corrupt dictators and murderous death squads.

Neocons Step In

John Bolton and the neocons were not so idealistic. They simply believed that the U.S. could use its many forms of economic, military and ideological power to impose a new world order that dissenters around the world would be powerless to resist. U.S. dominance would often have to be imposed by force, but resistance would be futile as long as America’s leaders kept their nerve and were prepared to use as much force as necessary to impose their will.

This would require brainwashing new generations of Americans to fill the ranks of a poverty draft of imperial troops and an even larger army of passive consumers, taxpayers and voters who would embrace whatever dreams corporate America and its captive political and media systems conjured for them. Fortunately, the new generation is proving more intelligent, creative and revolutionary than the neocons imagined.

The central dystopian fantasy of the people who have run America for the past generation, drunk on these toxic cocktails of idealism and cynicism, is that the United States can govern the world as a preeminent, supranational economic and military power, exercising the kind of  “monopoly on violence” that national governments claim the right to within their own territory.

In this worldview, when the U.S. uses violence, it is legitimate, by definition; when U.S. opponents use violence, it is illegitimate, also by definition. Noam Chomsky refers to this as “the single standard,” but it is the antithesis of an international order based on the rule of law, in which rules and standards would apply equally to all.

Bolton: Free to commit crimes and and then threaten the police. (Wikimedia)

When Bolton threatened the prosecutors and judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) with U.S. sanctions and prosecution in U.S. courts, even as he boasted that U.S. efforts to undermine the court have made it “ineffective,” he laid bare the disdain for the rule of international law in America’s “single standard.”

It is not the ICC that “constrain(s) the United States,” but binding multilateral treaties like the UN Charter and the Geneva Conventions, which were signed and ratified by a wiser generation of American leaders and which Article VI (2) of the United States Constitution defines as part of the “supreme law of the land.” The ICC did not invent these treaties, but it is necessary to enforce them, so Bolton’s speech was just a political attack, with no legal basis, to preserve U.S. impunity for war crimes.

In his opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Senator Edward Kennedy described the 2002 U.S. National Security Strategy, the ideological blueprint for the invasion, as a call for 21st century American imperialism that no other nation can or should accept.” But Kennedy’s faith that the rest of the world would reject and resist resurgent U.S. imperialism was overly optimistic, at least in the short to medium term.  Despite an international uproar against the US-led invasion of Iraq, the U.S. war machine rolled on, and other countries have made their accommodations with this ugly reality.

Now the U.S. is outsourcing its wars, arming proxies around the world as a substitute for direct U.S. military action. This minimizes both domestic opposition from a war-weary U.S. public and growing international resistance to the catastrophic results of U.S. wars, while U.S. military-industrial interests are well served by ever-growing arms sales to allied governments.

In a new Code Pink report, “War Profiteers: The U.S. War Machine and the Arming of Repressive Regimes,” we explore the links between the U.S. weapons industry and the atrocities that Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt have used its products to commit, from bombing school buses, marketplaces and hospitals in Yemen to massacring civilians in Gaza and Cairo.

Toward a Progressive Foreign Policy

As we approach the 2018 U.S. midterm election, Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign has served as a template for progressive candidates to stake out more radical positions on healthcare, criminal justice reform, college tuition and other domestic issues. Sanders has successfully tested these positions in a national campaign, but there has been precious little talk of what a more progressive U.S. foreign policy would look like.

Congressman Adam Smith, who would likely become the chair of the House Armed Services Committee if the Democrats win a majority in November, has promised to trim the Trump administration’s nuclear weapons ambitions, and to provide more oversight of the U.S. role in Yemen and “special” operations in countries like Niger.  

Sanders: Found domestic solutions.    (Photo by Chelsea Gilmour)

But we believe that the illegitimate and destructive form of U.S. militarism that has evolved since the end of the Cold War requires a much more fundamental rethink, not just some trimming around the edges.  The world desperately needs American progressives to confront the catastrophic results and existential dangers of the “21st Century American imperialism” that the late Senator Kennedy presciently warned against before its violence and chaos become even more widespread and intractable.

Just as Senator Sanders’ domestic positions are designed to confront the fundamental problems of our society and to propose real solutions to them, progressive politicians must confront the disaster of our militarized foreign policy at its roots, and likewise propose real solutions.

So here are three foundations of a progressive U.S. foreign policy that we would ask progressive office holders and candidates to adopt in 2018:

  • An explicit commitment to diplomacy to achieve peaceful coexistence with all our neighbors in a multipolar world, upholding universal protections for human rights and social justice, but not seeking to impose them by force;
  • A call for the belated realization of the post-Cold War peace dividend. We suggest cutting the FY2018 US military budget by 50 percent over the next 10 years, as McNamara and Korb called for in 1989. The savings of over $3 trillion per decade could go a long way toward addressing critical social and environmental needs.
  • A serious U.S. commitment to the rule of international law, including the UN Charter’s prohibition against the threat or use of force. To make this enforceable, the U.S. must accept the binding jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and International Criminal Court (ICC).

A 50 percent cut in U.S. military spending sounds radical, but this would only be a 25 percent cut from the Cold War baseline that U.S. military spending fell to in the 1950s after the Korean War, in the 1970s after the Vietnam War, and again in the 1990s.

The third item may be a more radical and far-reaching change in U.S. policy: a U.S. agreement to simply be bound by the same rules of international law as our less powerful neighbors.  

Under the UN Charter, all nations have agreed to settle their differences peacefully, and the Charter therefore prohibits the threat or use of force unless authorized by the council.  The monopoly on the use of force that the U.S. has tried to claim for itself is already reserved to the UN Security Council, not to any one country, alliance or coalition.

This has never worked perfectly or prevented all wars. Like domestic law, international law is an imperfect and evolving system of laws, courts and enforcement mechanisms.  But all legal systems work best when the rich and powerful submit to their rules, and courts have the authority to hold even the most powerful people, institutions or countries accountable.

As President Roosevelt told a joint session of Congress after his meeting with Churchill and Stalin at Yalta in 1945,

“(The UN) ought to spell the end of the system of unilateral action, the exclusive alliances, the spheres of influence, the balances of power, and all the other expedients that have been tried for centuries—and have always failed. We propose to substitute for all these, a universal organization in which all peace-loving Nations will finally have a chance to join.”    

Our miserable record over the past 30 years should make it clear to any doubtful American that a serious and genuine commitment to the UN Charter and the rule of international law offers us a more viable, sustainable and peaceful way forward than our deluded leaders’ reversion to the “law of the jungle” or “might makes right,” which has predictably led only to intractable violence and chaos. 

Politicians running in the midterm elections and voters who want to end U.S. wars should adopt and uphold these common sense positions.


Nicolas J. S. Davies is a writer for Consortium News, a researcher with CODEPINK and the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq.  Medea Benjamin is cofounder of CODEPINK Women for Peace, and author of several books, including Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic. They have also co-authored War Profiteers: The U.S. War Machine and the Arming of Repressive Regimes for the Divest From the War Machine campaign.

image_pdfimage_print

42 comments for “Beyond Bolton: The Path to a Progressive Foreign Policy

  1. Joanne Scaglione
    September 16, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    Brilliant article Sandy!!! Congratulations!
    Peace and Blessings ?

  2. September 14, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    The existing banking system whereby the US is capable of destroying countries by choking off commerce, akin to acts of war, has been so commonplace that it is threatened by overuse. Talk of challenging the system is common, but whether the opposition to the existing system is committed enough is the question. When ordinary people die in countries under sanctions because of the sanctions, it is murder. How else would you define what happened in Iraq at the end of the last century.

  3. September 14, 2018 at 8:26 am

    An excellent, well-reasoned, and historically grounded argument. Well done Mr, Davies and Ms. Benjamin.
    Now to get from here to there.
    — Patrick Lawrence

    • PETER LOEB
      September 15, 2018 at 4:31 pm

      GETTING FROM THERE TO HERE…

      History had documented that over many decades there has never been any
      way to “get from there to here”. Instead, we have have gone nowhere.

      See various histories of the defense industries. An excellent example is
      is William G. Hartung’s “PROPHETS OF WAR”.
      It takes little political acumen to note that militaristic sectors of of our
      body politic are particularly powerful and their power power is
      reflected also in the size of the appropriations the receive in Congress,
      in the”shows” at many athletic events and the like.

      Progressives who wish to be returned to office shake in their boots.

    • Peter Loeb
      September 16, 2018 at 9:24 am

      The sad, sad truth is that ther no way to get there from here.Our body politic
      and our research into many fields documents this as incontrovertible fact.

      Read William G. Hartung’s superb book PROFITS OF WAR for an analysis
      of some of of the major barriars we face. (Including the political ones as
      well as the bureaucratic ones.

      (Lone live John McClaine!)

      —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA

  4. September 14, 2018 at 7:04 am

    Latest Trump Project. The Idlib Golf Course to be named ‘The Bolton Green Eighteen’ . A course with over 100 bunkers on the 18 par fives situated on an old airport runway. A strange but exciting misty atmosphere enlivens the experience of playing the unique and personally designed Trump course. Accommodation provided in the nearby luxurious underground hotel. Hire the unique golf carts with caterpillar tracks and get the Isis caddie free of cost.
    http://ablindeye.com/golf.html

  5. John G
    September 12, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    The citing of Eisenhower and his warning of the MIC is a bit complicated, as he was part of the MIC. He authorized or approved the following while president:
    1. The overthrow of the democratically elected governments of Iran in 1953, of Guatemala in 1954 and the failed coup attempt of 1958 in Indonesia.
    2. He authorized the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, the first elected Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in 1960-1961.
    3. He approved of the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba and the numerous assassination attempts of Castro.
    4. He, along with the Dulles brothers, violated the Geneva Accords of 1954, setting the stage for our full involvement in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

    • September 12, 2018 at 10:27 pm

      This is a good point. Eisenhower was piece and parcel member of MIC, so it takes some thinking, what he did not like about MIC that he was so familiar with? Surely not all the little interventions and proxy wars that happen on regular basis. It had to be something different.

      The bulk of money, manpower, scientific research etc. was consumed for preparation for the war that did not happen: total war in Europe, pitting against each other thousands of tanks, millions of troops and, last but not least, nuclear weapons that had rapidly increasing capabilities at the time of the speech. The potential for repeating the world war insanity for the third time, in yet more devastating manner was something that could unnerve this leader of wars large (veteran of WWII) and small. Yet, perhaps it was merely a momentary sentiment, something that sounded nicely within a farewell speech.

      It does not mean that Eisenhower should not be cited. Perhaps not as a sage, but a well informed witness.

  6. Mrs. Debra L. Carr de Legorreta
    September 12, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    The Democrats will not go along. These are more than sensible policies, but from Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren all the way to Chuck Schumer and Diane Feinstein, the Dems are in bed with the military congressional industrial complex. Obama is back to unite what right; and the New Dems” are snookering progressives and radicals away from real power while vampiring their blood, sweat, and tears that’s fueling the ‘Blue Wave.” The real fight is not with Trump or with the GOP, it’s with the Dems.

    Boycott the midterm elections or settle for something far less — the old “Schumer is not so bad and he’s certainly preferable to the alternative” argument.

    Split from the Democratic party or kiss good-bye the illusions of peace on earth.

  7. unfettered fire
    September 12, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    Never lose sight of the fact that the real battle lies between neoliberalism and the nation-state:

    “The twenty-first century will witness an epic struggle between the forces of global governance and the sovereignty of liberal democratic states.” ~ John Fonte, author of Sovereignty or Submission: Will Americans Rule Themselves or be Ruled by Others?

    “Hayek is in direct reaction to the mobilization of Western economies during WWII by the centralized planning of the state. Before the Nazi’s were even defeated, he was worried about the implications of a state directed economy and the populace falling in line to the tune of a Kafkaesque bureaucracy. The individual would not so much be reduced to an amalgamated undifferentiated mass of humanity as a witless follower of arcane directions to please take a number and wait your turn when someone will be available to see you. All of the fabled tales of individual alienation from all manner of social relations, traditions, and even national identities were being swept away in the single minded pursuit of military victory. And explosive economic productivity, not caused from any market demand for worldwide death and destruction, showed that the politician, not the business man or even the marveled inventions of Edison, Bell and Tesla could bring a new world of material goods out the disheveled ruins of a global economic depression.

    The moral equivalent of war, during peacetime, did bring cars, interstate highways, a building boom, and education boom in universities, and space travel to the moon, and safely back the likes of which the world had never seen. And all of these accomplishments, planned by government agencies, funded publicly showed that markets did not naturally drive the economy, but that the government could set goals with equally productive results as any captain of industry, such as Ford or Carnegie.

    In my reading of Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom”, I saw little more than a squeamish fear of the state taking over free will from the individual, as if the problems of anyone amounted to more than a hill of beans in this world. As if you could exist for one second outside of a pre-existing social order that you had no say in what so ever when born, and you could not even think or write about without massive socialization that transmitted language and critical thinking skills for you to even create some social fiction of an individual identity in the first place. Repeating over and over freedom, liberty, the state this the state that, did not give the force of argument to Hayek enabling him too conquer hearts and minds with his Neo-Liberal position. It was the 1 million copies of a Readers Digest insert, a shorter version to be sure, but a widely distributed political tract, a post WWII pamphleteer that enabled a ideological message to pre-emptively strike in the gathering places of small town America to blunt the 4 term FDR juggernaut of massive government programs that did not exist in the size or extent before the New Deal.

    Capitalism did not save the world, the US Government did so by directing all of the labor and materials at the disposal of both the public and private sectors together at the same time in a planned market free social order. So much so, that Robert Dalek comments on JFK’s decision to enter politics. Kennedy saw that the world had changed from the time of his father, where a rich business man would make the important decisions about how the government would be run, who would be in the office to run it, and who would have power in society at large over the population as a whole. John Kennedy wanted to be an elected government official because that is where the power is, and where it would continue to be, not in the business world. If you wanted to be the man who got what he wanted, how he wanted it, and when he wanted it, you ran for office because WWII showed him that is where the power now resided.

    The business class also saw this and mobilized against it and won. And it isn’t some fresh, new ideas that we need, what we need are new young warriors to march off to take power away from the Neo-Liberal Washington consensus. Power is not about better ideas, it is about forcing your ideas. The fact that economics has been debunked by it’s failure to see its own collapse coming and prevent it does not invalidate its power to hold on to its privileged position. Its power to hold onto its privilege is not based on scientific validity, but the political takeover staged as a reaction to the New Deal and Great Society programs, which was diminishing the power of the wealthy by rendering them irrelevant. If a democratically controlled republic can wage global war and win and then convert that productive capacity to the highest standard of living the world has ever seen for the masses and then begin to wipe out poverty, what the fuck do we need rich people laying around doing nothing for?” ~ Paul Tioxon

  8. scrdmgl
    September 12, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    I unequivocally believe that the present administration is not to blame for the aggressive path of US foreign policy. In fact, the problem does not lie in “party politics” or US president’s personality or style, but in the irrepressible nature of Capitalism as a political system.
    To think and believe otherwise is a dangerously naive illusion. I have said it before and I will say it to the end of my days, the true and most determined enemy of the American people and so called “deplorables”, is the fake populist Democratic Party and its acolytes a la Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Ocasio-Cortez “Left wingers”, and et al. They should be neutralized and removed from the US political spectrum, as a matter of national emergency. The GOP, Neocons and assorted creeps are basically easy to opposed since they don’t hide their true nature and inclinations.

    • September 12, 2018 at 12:56 pm

      A nice combination of non-sequiturs. Canada is a capitalist country, or Brazil to give another example, and for all their faults, they do not exhibit much of “aggressive path” in foreign policy. It is not a feature of capitalism, but power, regardless if the power stems from a slave owning in antiquity, feudalism, capitalism etc. Power has to be expressed, and domination abroad one of the ways. Following calculus of loses and gains is something for the weak, the greater the power the more whimsical it can afford to be.

      Current Administration is so whimsical that expresses the logic of power more crisply than the previous Administration that pretended to be rational. We can attack Syria, or not, ha ha! Ditto with North Korea, Yemen, Venezuela etc. etc. However, since they DO NOT HAVE TO support s…t in all those places, hard to see why they are “not to blame”. And why “fake populists of the Democratic Party” are worse than, say, uber fake populist in the White House, I have no idea and this comment did not give a hint either.

  9. September 12, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    “Congressman Adam Smith, who would likely become the chair of the House Armed Services Committee if the Democrats win a majority in November, has promised to trim the Trump administration’s nuclear weapons ambitions, and to provide more oversight of the U.S. role in Yemen and “special” operations in countries like Niger. ”

    Oversight of “US role in Yemen” is long overdue, because we can see a counterproductive redundant efforts by our allies in the Peninsula. If the children are starved to death, is it necessary to also bomb the school buses? It would be more logical to assess both methods of inducing the rebels to submission, and pick the better one. Of course, the American way is to use the smart weapons that are our pride and sellable product, a dumb bomb could at best hit a school, scant chance of hitting a moving bus. But the Congress should make an impartial inquiry.

    This is our current humane liberalism in a nutshell.

  10. Philip
    September 12, 2018 at 10:10 am

    Finally someone is using common sense to get Washington into an Imperialist / uni polar DETOX PROGRAM.

  11. September 12, 2018 at 8:47 am

    Bravo! .

    The US public must choose between the sage advice of Dwight D. Eisenhower, our Supremne Commander in World War 2, who as President warned
    :
    TtHE WORLD NO LONGER HAS A CHOICE BETWEEN FORCE AND LAW. IIF CIVIILIZATION IS TO SURVIVE IT MUST CHOSE THE RULE OF LAW “.

    I prefer Eisenhower to the rantings of Bolton.

    Ben Ferencz, – Conbat veteran and sole Nuremberg war crimes prosecutor.

    • Nicolas J S Davies
      September 12, 2018 at 10:55 am

      Thank you Ben,

      You have always been the voice of sanity, not least in this interview a week after September 11th, when you told NPR, “It is never a legitimate response to punish people who are not responsible for the wrong done”:
      http://benferencz.org/2000-2004.html#crimesagainsthumanity

      Law Not War!

    • September 13, 2018 at 9:09 pm

      Mr. Ferencz,

      Thank you for your inexhaustible decades-long efforts to manifest on Earth a universal legal framework guaranteeing the presence of an institution effective for ending impunity for wars of aggression forever. That your simple-to-understand solution for ending criminal wars has not yet reached and been accepted by the whole of humanity is both profoundly frustrating and disappointing. We would hope Consortium News publishes your writings and interviews you soon.

      Of course, as you of all people certainly know, the International Criminal Court (ICC) that John Bolton bashes is precisely the institution for ending war crimes impunity for all time, for all future generations – if only all nations on Earth agreed to sign the Rome Statute and come under ICC jurisdiction. A United Nations reform making it mandatory for all member states to agree on ICC jurisdiction for their respective nations or face expulsion from the UN – a UN “terms of service”, if you will – would be impossible to reject except for those nations wishing to prolong war crimes impunity.

      The “public relations disaster” facing nations which would reject universal ICC jurisdiction is that their nations would face a near immeasurable loss of reputation, or in other words become perceived as a war-like nation, with all the negative, mainly economic, consequences. The choice of joining the ICC or not, when UN member states weigh and assess the potential severe negative outcomes associated with being perceived the world over as a “warmonger nation”, virtually guarantees no nation will reject the reform, therefore 100% of nations on Earth will (if sane/rational) agree to ICC jurisdiction.

      Humanity now experiences a new disturbing phenomenon as relates to international law, as yourself and readers of Consortium News are aware after reading articles 1st published by the late great Robert Parry, – that being being expansion of so-called “Magnitsky Act” legislation in a number of countries around the Earth, begun in the United States and followed by Canada, the United Kingdom, Lithuania, among others. In America, the legislation has expanded to passage in the U.S. Congress of a so-called “Global Magnitsky Act”, which could be described as an alternative International Criminal Court, but with different aims and/or agendas, – namely, the capacity to carry out economic/financial warfare against any individuals, groups or nations on Earth.

      There is an unresolved controversy surrounding Magnitsky Act legislation, made more visible by the mention of Bill Browder by Russian President Vladimir Putin at his press conference with U.S. President Donald Trump a few weeks ago in Helsinki, Finland. There is what could be described as an “Iron Curtain” separating the narratives of Russia and the United States regarding Browder and Magnitsky. A powerful documentary film which contradicts Bill Browder’s narrative of how Sergei Magnitsky died – “The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes” – was the subject of an article by Mr. Parry, bringing many people an awareness of the controversy. Mr. Nekrasov’s film was recently published at Vimeo.com, and a few days ago taken down from the platform after Vimeo management reportedly received communications from Mr. Browder’s legal advisors.

      A book by author Alex Krainer, “Grand Deception”, deconstructs “errors” in Mr. Browder’s book “Red Notice”. After Mr. Krainer published the book critical of Mr. Browder on Amazon.com, like the documentary film taken down at Vimeo, reportedly Mr. Browder’s legal advisors contacted Amazon shortly before Mr. Krainer’s book was removed from that platform. The question is why were these messages critical of Bill Browder’s narrative regarding Sergei Magnitsky effectively repressed?

      One might reasonably suggest the recent bashing of the International Criminal Court by Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton is directly related to the global expansion of Magnitsky Act legislation. The magnitude of this issue is unprecedented, massive and of profound historical significance. One might also reasonably suggest, given the current state of international affairs, that the controversy surrounding Bill Browder and Sergei Magnitsky is the most important – and sadly, under-reported – story of the 21st century.

      • rosemerry
        September 14, 2018 at 2:44 pm

        Thank you. I saw the long interview with Ben Ferencz online and also managed the two hours of Andrei Nekrasov’s very revealing and honest film before it was removed. Browder’s tentacles in the legal fraternity seem never-ending, as it is almost impossible to find the film, showing how great is the fear that truth will prevail.

  12. mike k
    September 12, 2018 at 7:44 am

    Sheep dog Sanders is a disaster. The sheeple don’t have a clue where this fraud is taking them.

  13. Babyl-on
    September 12, 2018 at 7:06 am

    “As we approach the 2018 U.S. midterm election, Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign has served as a template”

    Please give me a break, Bernie Sanders is not a “liberal” (whatever that means) not a “progressive” (whatever that means today, I guess supporting status quo Imperial policies). Just the other day, there was a vote in the Senate on 15 Circuit Court lifetime appointments. To stop or delay the evil Trump judges would have taken only one vote it did not come, not Sanders, not Warren not a single vote against, all 15 got a walkover. This is what Sanders calls “resistance”

    But the main disagreement I have with the author is that the “Western Liberal Democracy” he believes in is well and truly dead. The Enlightenment itself is dead the 500 year old ideas that came from it don’t work any more. “Democracy” is an utter failure. The concept of god given “rights” has proved to be a prison not freedom.

    Just listen to progressives today, every other word out of their mouths is “democracy” – race a problem – elections and democracy, climate change – the solution “democracy” no matter what the conditions, no matter what other ideas may be out there for progressives this is “the end of history” democracy is the only answer to every civil issue — look around democracy is an utter and contemptible failure.

    The only constant is change.
    The only absolute is the absence of the absolute.

    Things change the world and human consciousnesses move on, Shakespeare is not absolute, democracy is not absolute. The Enlightenment gave us an abundance of great art, but it also put Feudalism in a fancy dress called democracy and used to slaughter innocent people around the globe.

    Geopolitical analysis from the view of the Imperial overlord and what it might do as he end all and be all of understanding geopolitics is well and truly over. The US and its “manifest destiny” (Global full spectrum domination.) has lost, the system that perpetrated the greatest – by far – genocide in human history and hundreds of years of slavery is now slaughtering innocent people by the thousands across the world and has done so EVERY SINGLE DAY for over 73 years.

    But hay who cares about the olden days? One more election, one more “vote of the people” and a “progressive” and the tide will change everything. “Democracy” will prevail – just as it always has and always will – kind of like god – eternal immutable and sacred “democracy”

    People don’t seem to realize how much bigger the world is now, after the Imperial West has lost its grip surrounding Eurasia, look at all the peoples and vast land across the Steppes culturally coming alive, Africa now that they are being treated as equals by other cultures is suddenly far larger and more culturally interesting than ever. Western ideology has lost “free speech” as defined by the West – that is it is a “right” granted by god to all people and therefore immutable, all powerful and will be true for all eternity. Therefore, by definition, the “right” to “free speech” must be spread to the world even as we do god’s will by the slaughter and sacrifice of innocent people to appease a vengeful god spread “rights” and rid the world of evil.

    No ashes no Phoenix.

    • mike k
      September 12, 2018 at 7:42 am

      I agree Babyl-on. The old ideas have become toxic and inadequate. Moral rot has undermined whatever relevance they once held. Ideas like democracy have become poisonous in our hands. Trust and caring have become weaknesses for the “realistic”, greedy, and unscrupulous to exploit.
      The only way out of our death spiral is a deep re-evaluation of who we are, why we are here, and how we should live together. The chances of this happening are vanishingly small, but there is no other way. The way to perdition is broad and easy, but the path to salvation is narrow and difficult. Today choosing the path less taken is crucial – but are we up to it?

    • Nicolas J S Davies
      September 12, 2018 at 11:39 am

      I agree with most of your comments, but please don’t put words in our mouths: “liberal;” “democracy”; “Western liberal democracy;” etc. These are all ambiguous, much abused terms, as George Orwell wrote in 1946, and I really try to write more clearly than that: http://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/politics/english/e_polit

      The UN was set up on the principle of sovereign equality, so that each country, West or East, has one vote. The Charter is legally binding on all countries. The structure of the Security Council and the veto need reform, but that seems impossible until the US accepts, or is forced to accept, the basic principles of the Charter. So structural reform will have to come later. All we tried to do in this article is to set down some basic principles that candidates who consider themselves “progressive” or want to be seen that way should stand up for and that voters can measure them by.

      Nicolas

    • dean1000
      September 13, 2018 at 6:55 am

      Babyl-on: Liberal Democracy is not dead. It has never existed. Liberals abuse the word democracy. They don’t want democracy. They want to take over government from the plutocrats.
      Liberals are a numerical minority. So a liberal government would be another government by the few. It could be better than government by the plutocratic few but it will not be democracy.

      Democracy is direct rule by the people. Every citizen is a voting member of the legislative body. Democracy is government by the people rather than government by representatives and senators.
      It has been plutocratic and autocratic government that has slaughtered innocent people
      around the world. Don’t try to blame it on a democracy that doesn’t exist. Failure of manifest destiny and full spectrum dominance is not a failure of democracy as the U.S. is not a democracy.
      The people who abuse the word democracy have apparently forgotten the pledge they took in grade school: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the “republic” for which it stands…”
      If you have a beef with the government you have a beef with a republic, a plutocratic republic if you live in the U.S.
      The constitutional monarchies of Europe ( Denmark, Norway, UK ) are republics, and are more democratic than the U.S.

  14. September 12, 2018 at 6:16 am

    Progressive foreign policy?

    The United States?

    Well, I suppose there is the need to dream and keep hopes, but this borders on fantasy.

    After all, you are talking about an unrepentant global imperial power.

    Since WW II, it has done nothing but engage in wars, coups, and interventions.

    In that period, it has killed far more people than were killed in the Holocaust.

    And it really does not matter which of the two political parties rules, it is always still war and empire.

    This has effects on your own society too.

    No resources are left for ordinary Americans. All politicians seeking careers know where the paths to power are.

    You cannot have both an empire and a decent society.

    America made her choice long ago, and I don’t see anything, short of a catastrophe or inevitable eventual decline, that can alter that path.

    • mike k
      September 12, 2018 at 7:49 am

      Thanks for the shot of realism John. Too many want to hang on to their fantasies of what the United States stands for. Those fantasies are used by our real Rulers to keep us enslaved and obedient to their designs.

  15. September 11, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    Is A Big War Coming? See link below.
    —————————————————
    11 September 2018 1:00 PM
    Please write to your MP now without delay – War, terrible war, may be on the way again.
    WMD All Over Again: Our Government moves stealthily towards a new war of choice.
    By Peter Hitchens
    http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2018/09/please-write-to-your-mp-now-without-delay-war-terrible-war-may-be-on-the-way-again-.html

    • mike k
      September 12, 2018 at 7:52 am

      You mean is a bigger war coming. We are already in a big war.

  16. September 11, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    A fine piece, but I would say that we need to get beyond the “law of the neocons” rather than of the jungle, and we need to call these psycho individuals out for who they are and what they have done to the world, which is that they have nearly wrecked it. Most of these neocons, raving maniacs really, have not even served in war, from what I have read. They ought all to be in a dock like at Nuremberg and judged harshly by the entire world. We the People are overdue to stop these vile individuals from continuing their diabolical fantasies, and celebrating themselves as we saw with the orgy of John McCain’s funeral.

    • Joe Tedesky
      September 11, 2018 at 9:15 pm

      You are so right Jessika, these people need to be held accountable. Letting these killers off Scott free sets one hell of a bad precedent. Them keeping us citizens rallying around the flag keeps the citizens minds off of the war crimes being committed in our country’s name. This circus must end, because the clowns are not funny anymore, and the ringmaster is a cheap thug. You said it well Jessika, and I agree with you. Joe

      • Skip Scott
        September 12, 2018 at 9:50 am

        Joe-

        I suspect that it would be impossible to let them off Scott free. The war criminals are in charge, and they will stay in charge until they are arrested and brought to justice. They would never settle for a simple retreat into anonymity. They are addicted to power. I wish I knew how to unseat them by peaceful means, but they hold all the tools of violence, and they own Robert Parry’s “Mighty Wurlitzer”. I hope these authors are right, and that the youth of today will lead us to a better tomorrow. Time is running short.

        • Joe Tedesky
          September 12, 2018 at 9:58 am

          Skip I am putting my money on the next generation to correct all the ills we have created. The best I can say about my feelings, is what else is left to believe in when corporate power wields such a heavy axe of destruction. Watching how the Demarcates treat their rising progressive stars doesn’t give one much hope for a better future, or a creative change. Who knows maybe through all of the political and social chaos the U.S. citizen will find a way out of these terrible wars of choice. Let’s again help pave the way for our youth to change what we older folks found hard to turnover. Joe

        • RnM
          September 12, 2018 at 10:03 pm

          If there is any validity to John Kaisic’s statement that John McCain was “put to death,” then why is Bolton on the loose? Could it be that President Trump is giving him access to the rope (aiding US enemies and international war crimes) to get himself (Bolton) hanged?

    • KiwiAntz
      September 12, 2018 at 2:59 am

      Couldn’t agree more Jessika, these cowards & the majority of them are draft dodging scumbags, never fight in the wars they create, yet they have no qualms in sendibg others to their deaths! The biggest problem is the US has no regard for any International Laws & doesn’t abide by the U.N Charter? It also has contempt for & ignores the Geneva Convention in regards to codes of conduct in Warfare & as you suggested the whole cabal of America’s Political; Military & Intelligence Agencies should be on trial at the Hague for crimes against humanity like the Nazi criminals! John Bolton’s recent, contemptible display regarding the supreme, lawless arrogance of the US Empire to disregard any attempts to charge & bring to trial any War crimes committed by the US Govt or its Citizens at the International Criminal Courts confirms that this US Empire is a Rogue, lawless, totally corrupt & immoral Nation! The massive hypocrisy of the US dictating to other Countries of their noncompliance to International Laws is a demented joke played on the World, when they don’t abide by any laws themselves! America also treats the United Nations with open contempt & abuses this forum & I can see this organisation disappearing in the near future like its forerunner the League of Nations, thanks to American arrogance & its contemptible behaviour & failure to abide by International Law!

      • ronnie mitchell
        September 12, 2018 at 1:36 pm

        I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said but want to clarify that the reasons those you mention are “draft dodging scumbags” BECAUSE they promote wars in which they, nor their family members will ever fight.

        I’ve heard draft dodgers vilified by many people, yet I’m proud to say I was a ‘draft dodger’ in regards to Vietnam and had I not made my way into Canada I would’ve gone to prison for refusing to join the killing spree of innocent people in a Country most people couldn’t find on a map. What I wish is that hundreds of thousands of others had refused to serve as war fodder and the arms and legs of a murderous empire.
        It reminds me of that famous poster in the 60’s “what if they gave a war and nobody came ?”
        As long as the ruling parties can keep the people of the US struggling to survive there will be more people that join the military just for the money and hoped for benefits, all things they keep the general public from having minus military service.
        After the invasion of Iraq (which did nothing to deserve it) a friend of mine’s son was back home from a stretch in Iraq and his father said his son was being offered $50,000 to re-enlist which was more money than they’d ever seen at one time and more than they made in a few years.
        His son said no, he’d seen enough and his father was certainly happy as he said that he’d rather stay dirt poor than possibly lose his son to a war based on lies, if it were in defense of the Country it would be a different story.
        This was coming from people that I knew as very conservative and staunch Republicans.
        One of my very first heroes was Muhammad Ali when he refused to go to Vietnam, giving up the Championship at the height of his career because he wasn’t going to go and kill Vietnamese people that “never done nothing to hurt me”, not to mention that they didn’t have the capability of harming us.
        Again, that aside I totally agree with your entire post.
        Too bad you may not see this comment today or possibly tomorrow but I had to say what I did just in case you look back over the comments.

  17. jo6pac
    September 11, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    I agree with everything except dod budget needs to be cut by 70% and the money used the truly rebuild Amerika. Like that will happen. The so-called free lame stream press and other media are controlled by the 1% and their interest are for more war for more profit. Sadly if we the people only have two parties that are controlled by money to vote for we the serfs are doomed.

    Please remember to vote but not for the lesser evil.

    • Nicolas J S Davies
      September 11, 2018 at 8:54 pm
      • Joe Tedesky
        September 11, 2018 at 9:09 pm

        Great article. I had a burst of a thought while reading it though, that if it were solely up to me before I’d give the Pentagon another red nickel I’d want to know where the 21 trillion dollars went, that can’t be accounted for. I’d do it out of ‘tough love’ like you would do giving money to a drug or gambling addict. I’d also switch our military over to a strictly defensive guard, rather than having some 900 bases scattered through out the world. America has so much more to offer other than war, it’s a crying shame we in the U.S. don’t insist we do more peacefully as opposed to violently crushing societies at our will. We can do better, much better. Joe

        • RnM
          September 12, 2018 at 10:22 pm

          Good purposes, Joe, for America’s (I hope not lost) best potential gifts to World Harmony. Thanks. It’s up to the young people to do any implementing of the work it takes to get there.

          However…..

          I was watching a youTube documentary on WWII, and segment came on that showed young men and boys drafted into the German defense during the last gasps of the Nazis. While showing a zoom-in of a few of these unfortunate boys’ hardened faces, the commentor said that most these individuals were raised in the climate of the Hitler worship of the 30’s and early 40’s, and that they were unaware of the futilty of their fighting due to the fact that war and Nazism were all they knew.

          I felt a bit of a chill when I realized what may well have happened to youngsters in the US, as a result of NeoConLibs and their ilk in the aftermath of 9/11.

  18. Tom Kath
    September 11, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    Australia’s Slim Dusty sang,
    If I were in power,
    I’d shorten the hours
    And double our whole bloody pay rate
    With free beer and rations
    And a bloody good bashin’
    For the blighters that grizzle then, eh mate.

    It’s always nice to hear or read utopian reflections of how things could or should be, and of course we hope for a rising movement towards more rational and decent policies. We must not disregard current reality however, so must remain aware of what IS and WILL or MAY happen.

  19. September 11, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    Important article link below. Is the false flag coming?
    ——————————————–
    Filming of staged chemical attack in Syrian Idlib begins – Russian MoD
    Published time: 11 Sep, 2018 11:25Edited time: 11 Sep, 2018 17:34
    https://www.rt.com/news/438158-staged-chemical-attack-idlib/

    • Jeff Harrison
      September 11, 2018 at 10:28 pm

      The answer is very probably. And I have more than a sneaking suspicion that if the US reacts to our “moderate” rebel scum using poison gas to try to thwart the ass kicking that Assad and Russia are about to give them, Russia is likely to shoot down our aircraft as well as the cruise missiles but they may chose to sink a missile destroyer or two that are shooting those cruise missiles while they’re at it. The US is in Russia’s back yard in the Med off the Syrian coast. They can hit our forces with cruise missiles from ships in the Black Sea (they’ve already done that to the Rebel scum). Not to mention all the other weaponry that they have. So, who would win? Who the fuck knows. But why do we want to do this? Because we want to make it clear that we are the world’s imperial overlords.

      Yeah, good luck with that.

      • KiwiAntz
        September 12, 2018 at 3:21 am

        Putin should just supply Syria & Iran with nuclear weapons & intercontinental missiles with the capacity to reach American shores, like it did with Cuba in the 1960’s & just as the US has given Israel the Bomb! That would bring peace to the Middle East, quick smart via MAD (mutual assured destruction)? The US, Israel or Saudi Arabia wouldn’t dare attack Syria or Iran, once they had the Bomb? No more fake chemical attacks to contend with or to blame on Assad or Iran & no more American MIC & it’s Terrorist proxies invading there sovereignty & Lands by the Rogue, out of control US Empire & it’s ISIS partners! What the hell, the US Empire is going to drag us into WW3 & Thermonuclear War with the way things are heading & as depressing as it sounds, Russia may as well arm its Allies to even up the score?

Comments are closed.