December 27, 2018
Of the United Nations’ 18 major human rights treaties, the United States is party to 5, fewer than any other nation on earth, except Bhutan (4), and
The United States is the only nation on earth
Seven countries and the European Union reached an agreement on Iran and nuclear energy, but the United States uniquely withdrew. President Donald Trump is
The United States not only stands outside the International Criminal Court, but openly threatens sanctions against it and against nations that support it.
The United States leads opposition to democratization of the United Nations and easily holds the record for use of the veto in the Security Council during the past 50 years, having vetoed U.N. condemnation of South African apartheid, Israel’s wars and occupations, chemical and biological weapons, nuclear weapons proliferation and first use and use against non-nuclear nations, U.S. wars in Nicaragua and Grenada and Panama, the U.S. embargo on Cuba, Rwandan genocide, the deployment of weapons in
Contrary to popular opinion, the United States is not a
Unlike other countries, the United States counts as 40
Keeping the above context, discussed at greater length here, in mind, let’s add to it one other set of facts. Unarmed civilian protectors and nonviolent
Thorough studies of violent and
Now, keeping all of that in mind, does anything strike you as
Is there anything peculiar about the scores of
Five years ago, there was a debate over whether to bomb Syria flat, and those opposed to doing so were accused of “isolationism.” Now the idea of pulling troops out of
This is simple-minded thinking in the extreme, notwithstanding its claims to be just the opposite. “I’m against war but we can’t be simplistic about it and just end one of them willy-nilly, abandoning our allies.” This is the type of language used to support imperialism in the great debate between isolationism and imperialism, a debate wholly dependent on the ridiculous pretense that these two choices constitute the full range of possible human behaviors.
A lot of people no longer fall for such sophistry when it comes to domestic politics. “Should we ignore drug users or lock them up?” The obvious answer of “No, we shouldn’t do either of those things,” actually occurs to a good many people unprompted. “Should we allow shoplifting or imprison shoplifters for the rest of their lives?”
This is a
But what about this question: “Should we keep the U.S. military engaged in each of these wars or ignore and abandon and forget about and forsake the people there?” Ah, now we have a patently stupid question that has been repeated so many, many times that it’s hard to hear the stupidity of it.
Each year that a war gets worse while continuing somehow fails to constitute outrageous proof that it should not have been continued. The past year of the war on Afghanistan has been one of the deadliest, yet it is the fear that things might go badly after U.S. troops leave that is supposed to concern us.
And we are supposed to be powerless to
Here’s another idea that I think has
What if the United States were to:
– sign and ratify and abide by the major laws of the world,
– support the world’s systems of justice,
– cooperate in disarmament (including the nuclear weapons ban treaty),
– collaborate on climate protection,
– provide humanitarian aid on an unprecedented scale (albeit
– jumpstart a reverse arms race,
– democratize the United Nations,
– participate in truth and reconciliation hearings,
– invest in unarmed peacekeeping,
– cease arming and training brutal dictatorships, and
– actually back democracy abroad and by its own example?
The son of the last dictator the United States imposed on Iran
What if the United States ceased worrying about rogue
But, you may object, none of that fantasy is going to happen
Back here in the real world, in which the United States and its allies are going to go on flooding the Middle East
And the response to this shocking if completely predictable and predicted development will be violence or nonviolence, depending on what we have been conditioned to suppose is normal or “natural” or “inevitable.”
Given that what is at stake here is human survival, given that the U.S. presidency has been gradually endowed with imperial powers such that the fate of thousands of people can be determined by a tweet, are we really obliged to limit our short-term thinking to (a) “support the troops” by keeping them in a desert exchanging bullets with the locals, or (b) “abandon” people?
Why not demand of the U.S. government and/or other nations purporting to care about humanity:
– immediate announcement of an end to the weapons trade,
– the opening of diplomatic talks with all relevant parties,
– the commencement of a major aid program, and
Such an alternative to the imperialism-or-isolationism trap is no more difficult to think of or to act on than treating drug addiction or crime or poverty as reason to help people rather than to punish them.
The opposite of bombing people is not ignoring them. The opposite
By the standards of the U.S. communications corporations, Switzerland must be the most
The fact that