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10 Steps to Wean US Foreign Policy Off Militarism


#1

10 Steps to Wean US Foreign Policy Off Militarism

Medea Benjamin

US progressives are delighted to see the US administration making some progress on the diplomatic front with Cuba and Iran. We should now clearly define what a progressive foreign policy looks like, and push presidential candidates and other officials to move US foreign policy towards one based on respect, cooperation and diplomacy.


#2

The American Psychological Association - challenged by dissident members on ethics of practice in colluding with medicalized torture by the weakening of standards of a healing discipline is an example of the steps in maturation - which is always a conscious and consciousness process. Note that the word 'pride' is NOT used in this context, but of necessity, the word dignity in identity is what is appropriate.

Maturation of the human mind is never complete because it is living, always learning and always integrated in countless ways in maintenance of health. Maturation of the body likewise requires healthy environs and conscious choice to live in stewardship of all that implies. In this context the human notion of love is a resilient process of maturation with dignity.

Looking at 'election debates' how do we break through the sub-culture engendered by spectacle, win/lose that short circuits free, prior and informed consultation essential to participatory discourse and the capacity to question, analyze advise and dissent.


#3

Naturally, it takes a (wise) woman to see through the distorted worldview that identification with Mars, weaponry, and militarism breeds. As Medea Benjamin points out, arming the world's most destabilized nations (and related tyrannies) hardly advances the interests of so-called National Defense. What it does is make weapons' contractors fat... with cash; and that's all the better to fund lobbyists who push their pro-war agenda at any congress person who requires campaign funding.

Every point mentioned on Medea's list is a solid one... and compelling.

I would add that Monsanto--proving its homage to the Mars-rules worldview by producing the Agent Orange used to bring Vietnam to its ecological knees now has control of over 50% of the world's seed stocks.

Through treaties like the TPP that declare war on both Democracy (citizens' right to determine what they put into their bodies in the way of food) and the living world, a continued WAR on nature is furthered.

Check this out if you want a real scare on the most pertinent threat to life as we know it:

Seeds of death: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6OxbpLwEjQ


#4

To paraphrase Hedges, we break through that subculture by making these people subjects of ridicule. I don't know if that will work but I'm for it.
With regards to Ms. Benjamin's subject, I recommend the Drake interviews on the Real News. Drake says some very strong stuff and people should know.
Peace
Po


#5

Note that Ms Benamin's work above could not appear in US mainstream media. It had to be presented originally by Hugo Chavez' Telesur.


#6

"how do we break through the sub-culture" Better, how do we break through the culture? I walked through downtown Seattle with 30,000 citizens protesting the Iraq war nonsense. That's less than the attendance at local baseball and foot ball venues. Alas.


#7

Benjamin's ten points are worthy and admirable and a good start for unplugging the war machine, but she assumes that peace is the objective of our foreign policy and that our leader's actually want to unplug the war machine. They don't.

Our foreign policy has always been about making the world a more profitable place for big business, corporations and providing ongoing opportunities for the Pentagon to flex its muscles. War is our foreign policy. Can't let peace get in the way.


#8

But many, many times more than any politician gets; discounting, of course, some major political "fool us again" speeches.


#9

Medea Benjamin has my vote for Bernie Sander's new Secretary of State in 2016!


#10

Excellent article. I would only add one thing:

End the War on Drugs/Private Prison Complex that is causing the Black Holocaust and disenfranchising of minorities from elections.


#11

Your point is well taken, but, and its a BIG but, take the idea of 'culture' right down to true meaning. Culture is in essence the societally agreed upon boundaries of healthy behavior within which personal liberties exercise stewardship, respect the precautionary principle and the premise of first do no harm. When that is applied, I would submit that culture is inclusive, particularly at the personal level of engagement with the society in which one lives, in the vast majority of diversity of human cultures. Sister Earth (to coin the term used by Francis in the Laudato Sí encyclical) is as some put it 'in the throes of travail'. One can see this as death throes or equally as going through birthing pains - glass half empty/half full. I would submit that the latter reflects the majority personal default perspective in engagement in the vast majority of cases across the spectrum of life. Hence sub-culture, despite the derivative and abusive power being wielded, which is what ultimately renders it a sub-culture. The 'anthropocene", is still a nascent concept, still approached from the media perspective, and the final 'but' being that Nature is an indisputable teacher in the long run. The sub-culture doing its damndest to keep that veiled. Counter the insidious twisting by Rham Emmanuel of 'never let a crisis go to waste' by tying the dynamics of abuse with ever more salient critique and as Po noted of Hedges - become allied adepts at pointing out the ridiculous cartoon versions being fomented by the abusive powers.


#12

Google Sanders + F-35. The maker of that $400 billion money pit, Lockheed Martin, owns Sanders. Sanders always votes for more military spending, always supports US imperialism in the mid-east.


#13

Yeah, don't vote. And after Republicans win and we bomb Iran, Russia, China, North Korea, Venezuela, etc., women go back to back alley coat hanger abortions, liberals are rounded up and put in camps, Global warming makes the earth a living hell, the military budget takes up our entire GDP, and the oligarchy finishes destroying the economy, we can have a revolution, hoping that the next dictator will be better than the last one. You promise?


#15

#1 charge the torturers and warmongers and let the mercenary class and its warmongering apparatus know they will be held responsible and there are consequences for crimes against humanity and hopefully they will back off.


#16

Ridiculous use of the We-item to conflate what the 1% does with what The People allegedly would or could do. Human possibility has been tainted, thwarted, inhibited, conditioned, and socialized at nearly every turn to serve 2 gods: Mammon--the naked profit motive, and Mars-rules: unchecked violence, the preferred currency of the (white male, but also used by males, primarily, of all hues) dominator.

To take from this limited equation, the usual FALSE generalizations about WE--as if it signified some uniform mass without any differentiations of distinctions--is an apologia to the status quo. If you were the revolutionary that some of your prior posts suggested, you would be a witness to alternatives. Instead, you reinforce the disgusting paradigm built by a few and from that crippled paradigm, assert that this is what people have done.

Just a spell-bounding lack of imagination coupled with an inordinately limited intelligence... IF, it could be termed that. But then, perhaps I'm just assessing the preferred Talking Points so heavily and regularly trafficked in on this site's comment threads. How better to marginalize dissent in order to manufacture consent for the deadly status quo.


#17

It's the F ing wars stupid.


#18

From the article: "The Obama administration has prosecuted more whistleblowers than any other president. The US government should recognize the value of whistleblowers in serving the best interests of the public. Whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning should be pardoned. And the US should put an end to the myriad programs of mass surveillance, including the bulk collection of personal data."

I am in full agreement with the author's list, but for the last item, cited above. If the vast majority of the electorate agrees that the whistleblowers' disclosures served "the best interests of the public," why should they be punished? And if they shouldn't be punished, why would they need to be pardoned?" Wouldn't a pardon be predicated on the notion that what they did was wrong? Wouldn't a pardon vindicate the notion that the government was right to prosecute them for disclosures that "served the best interests of the public?"

It's true that Manning and Snowden both violated oaths of confidentiality in exposing governmental wrongdoing. Manning is in prison for violating that oath. Snowden is criticized for not having the courage of his convictions, for being unwilling to return to the U.S. to "face the music" in a fair trial. Were he to return to the U.S. for trial as a whistleblower, however, he would almost certainly be convicted and spend the rest of his life in prison. Why? Because he would not be permitted to defend himself by arguing that in exposing governmental wrongdoing, he was obeying an overarching obligation to uphold the Constitution and satisfy the public's right to know what its government was doing. The statute under which he would be prosecuted explicitly bars him from raising this argument, the strongest justification for his actions. It’s as though the government, in its wisdom, has erected a legal safeguard that prevents its conscience-stricken employees from disclosing what it is doing. Like Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men, the government is snarlingly informing the electorate that "You can't handle the truth!"

Snowden should not risk returning to the U.S. unless he secures an agreement that he will not be prosecuted. He will be endangered even then. Some of our lawmakers would like to see him killed, and where there's a will, there's a way.


#19

Your terror of being human like everyone, colors everything you write.

We, humanity, indeed, are on our way out, and taking most of the rest of life with us. While you cling to your pristine "blamelessness," it does you nor anyone else any good. Somehow, despite your "incisive" analysis, we are not stopping the omnicide.

Mass extinction is caused by humans. The Earth, the plants, the animals, and (you may not have noticed this) the humans, do not give a shit about your super-human effort to narrow the "blame" down to a tiny sliver of humanity.

And despite your delusional fervor, no Susan, there is no massive deep-state effort to manipulate the common usage of pronouns. It's just the common usage of pronouns.

But it is interesting to watch you operate.


#20

Plus, as usual, you stoop to insult, which habit makes you look like a self-inflated mean-spirited person, and detracts from actual points you may have.


#21

And on third reading, delightfully, you simply misunderstand Tom Johnson's use of "we" in his comment! And gosh, that is so far from the first time you've jerked your knee without actually grasping what it is that caused your knee to jerk!