The USA has a bad bipartisan foreign policy

The so-called War on Terror is bipartisan.

George W. Bush ran in 2000 on a promise to adopt a more “humble” foreign policy.  He said the United States should stop dictating to the rest of the world.

But following the 9/11 attacks, he not only got authorization for an invasion of Afghanistan, whose government had given refuge to Osama bin Laden, the planner of the attacks.

He obtained authorization for an invasion of Iraq, which had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, based on false claims that its ruler, Saddam Hussein, was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction.

General Wesley Clark, the former commander of NATO, said he was shown a plan by the Secretary of Defense shortly after 9/11 that called for invasion of seven countries in five years—Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.

Barack Obama voted against the authorization to invade Iraq.  But during his administration, the US continued the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and financed radical Al Qaeda-like militias to overthrow the governments of Libya and Syria.  The U.S. also bombed Somalia and stationed troops in Sudan, among many other countries.

In fact, nobody knows how many countries U.S. forces have bombed or how many they are bombing right now.

Obama did try to ease hostilities with Iran.  He negotiated an end to international economic sanctions on Iran in return for the Iranians renouncing a nuclear weapons development program that never existed in the first place.

Donald Trump is continuing all the wars of the Bush and Obama years, including the ones in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, while working up to a possible new war with Iran.

He also is doubling down on the use of economic sanctions, which is a form of war.  The use of U.S. financial power to try to cut off Venezuela and Iran from world trade is the same as surrounding these two countries with ships and troops to prevent trade from getting in.  It creates just as much suffering as other forms of war.

∞∞∞

The USA has been ramping up to a new Cold War with Russia since the Clinton administration.

President George H.W. Bush and Secretary of State James Baker promised General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev that, if he would allow self-determination for the Soviet-dominated states of eastern Europe, the United States would not extend the NATO alliance “one inch” further east.

At that time there was good will between the USA and Russia, and a real chance to end the enmity between the two nations.  The Bill Clinton administration sent advisers who persuaded the Russians to sell off their national assets at bargain prices to the future oligarchs, with the promise that the magic of private enterprise would make Russia prosperous.

The Clinton administration also sent campaign advisers who helped the inept and unpopular Boris Yeltsin win election as President of Russia.  This supporting Yeltsin as he disbanded the Duma, the national legislative body, and seize control of Russian TV broadcasting.  All the authoritarianism for which Vladimir Putin is blamed had its origin in the Yeltsin era.

At the same time, Clinton broke the Bush-Baker promise and brought Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic into NATO.  The George W. Bush administration added four more former Soviet satellites and three Baltic nations that were part of the Soviet Union itself.  The younger Bush also canceled the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, an important nuclear arms treaty with Russia.

President Barack Obama’s administration continued to expand NATO and began a nuclear weapons modernization program, intended to make small nuclear bombs that could be used on the battlefield.  He started consideration of admitting the former Soviet republics of Ukraine and Georgia into nation.

In support of that, his administration supported an anti-Russian coup in Ukraine that brought to power a government that included neo-Nazis in the governing coalition.  When Vladimir Putin’s government intervened to secure Russia’s naval base in Crimea and protect the secessionist Russian-speaking minority, the Obama administration denounced Russia as an aggressor nation and imposed economic sanctions against Russia.

Donald Trump campaigned for President on a promise of improving relations with Russia, which Putin said he welcomed.  But while there have been affable meetings between Trump and Putin, hostilities between Russia and the USA continue.

The Trump administration has sent weapons to Ukraine, imposed new economic sanctions against Russia and individual Russians and canceled the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Arms Treaty, another important nuclear arms treaty with Russia.

Worse, he is expected to cancel the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).  Under this treaty, the USA and Russia have both reduced the number of their nuclear arms.  Repeal of the treaty will set off a new nuclear arms race and increase the danger of nuclear war.

But the Democrats in Congress accuse Trump of being an appeaser.  They claim Putin is manipulating American politics via the Internet.  Even Bernie Sanders goes along with this.  Peace with Russia seems impossible for a generation.

LINKS

Why Both Republicans and Democrats Want Russia to Become the Enemy of Choice by Philip Giraldi for Strategic Culture Foundation.

To Stop Trump’s War With Iran, We Must Also Confront the Democrats Who Laid the Groundwork by Sarah Lazar and Michael Arria for In These Tilmes.

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7 Responses to “The USA has a bad bipartisan foreign policy”

  1. David G. Markham Says:

    The purpose of war of any kind is to induce fear in the population which the 1% wants to manipulate and control. War serves an important function for the oligharchs of any country which is to control the bottom 99%. Capitalists get rich from waging war. UUs covenant together to affirm and promote the inherernt worth and dignity of every person and justice equity and compassion in human relations. The UU principles are in direct odds with America’s politics of war..

    Like

  2. whungerford Says:

    How does the Russian Annexation of Crimea differ from the German annexation of Sudetenland?

    Liked by 1 person

    • philebersole Says:

      in the eyes of the world, it is the USA, not the Russian Federation, that seems most Hitler-like. It took me longer than it should have to understand this, and I do not say it with any joy or self-righteousness.

      The United States has waged undeclared wars, bombed countries without warnings, assassinated their leaders and attempted to replace their governments, using economic and covert warfare as well as direct military attacks and going after those who expose its lying propaganda.

      By a conservative estimate, more than a million people have died as a result of U.S. military actions since 2001.

      In the case of Ukraine, an elected government was overthrown by a U.S.-backed coup. The new government had actual Nazis in its governing coalition and its armed forces.

      Ukraine is a candidate for admission to NATO, which would mean that the Russian naval base in Crimea would host nuclear-armed U.S. submarines. This would be as much an existential threat to Russia as Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba in 1962.

      The German annexation of the Sudetenland is understood in history as part of a succession of events—preceded by the Anschluss with Austria and followed by the annexation of all of Czechoslovakia and then demand for control of the Polish corridor, the ultimate aim being the conquest of Poland, Ukraine and other Slavic lands to serve as lebenstraum.

      There is no evidence that Vladimir Putin has any such ambitions. His governments military actions have been to protect the status quo—to preserve Russia’s Crimean naval base, to enable the Russian-speaking minority in eastern Ukraine to defend itself and to prevent his Syrian ally from being overthrown.

      My hope is that the U.S. government can get back to something approximating President Roosevelt’s Good Neighbor policy before the rest of the world turns on us and it is too late.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nikolai Vladivostok Says:

        In addition, the allies could have easily prevented the occupation of the Sudetenland or retaken it if they had moved quickly.
        The US was and is in no position to do anything about Crimea. Russian forces were already there. Sanctions are clearly not working because the Russians consider holding their base to be more important.

        Liked by 1 person

      • whungerford Says:

        Phil says we should be concerned if there is a pattern of aggression; Nikolai says we should intervene only if it is easy. If Russia would invade Estonia where there is a substantial Russian minority, would there be a pattern (Georgia, Crimea, …) which would mandate some response or would we look the other way because there would be no easy answer?

        Like

    • philebersole Says:

      One of the common defenses of the crimes of U.S. policy is hypothetical questions. “You say you oppose torture, but if there was a nuclear weapon hidden in Manhattan to be set off by a time bomb, and you had a prisoner who knew its location and refused to talk?” “You say invading countries, bombing their cities and killing their people, but what if the leaders of one of these countries had weapons of mass destruction, and was planning to use it on the United States.”

      There are possible situations in which the United States might have to fight in its defense or in defense of an ally to which it is bound by treaty.

      None of this has to do with the wars the United States has been fighting for the past 20 years, in Ukraine or anywhere else.

      The United States, not Russia, has a pattern of aggression, and our national security establishment unfortunately finds intervention all too easy.

      Our national identity as Americans comes from thinking of ourselves as defenders of democracy and freedom. It is very hard for any of us to see ourselves outside that framework. It took me much longer than it should have to get to that point.

      Like

      • whungerford Says:

        Another of the common defenses of U.S. policy is the domino theory in various forms–we have to fight them there so we don’t have to fight them here. We have heard that often lately. When if ever is that valid?

        Like

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