Both the major party's presidential candidates are hawkish when it comes to expanding the US influence in our world. Both of them are also unabashed supporters of regimes that are guilty of serious violations of human rights. On the other hand, the Libertarian platform endorses a policy of no foreign intervention.
Before we analyze the root of foreign intervention, let's take a look at the candidates for the Libertarian Party.
Jeff Jacoby, a Jewish writer, argues in a recent article in the Boston Globe that Libertarian candidates for president may be better choices over both Clinton and Trump. Not many people may know that both Gary Johnson and his running mate, Bill Weld, are former Republican governors who have become now the torch bearers of Libertarian philosophy of non-intervention.
Johnson is best known for resisting the temptation to solve every problem with government spending and regulation, having vetoed more than 750 bills during his time in office — probably more than all other governors combined. He also cut taxes 14 times while never raising them. He balanced the state’s budget, and left New Mexico with a billion-dollar surplus.
Weld served two terms as Massachusetts governor as a Republican, once in 1990 and again in 1994. Weld managed to accomplish quite a bit during his time in office. As governor, Weld was able to cut taxes 21 times and lower the unemployment rate. Quite impressive. He also led several trade missions across seas during his time in office.
In May, Weld told The New York Times that Trump's plan to remove 11 million immigrants from the United States reminded him of Kristillnacht, likening Trump's actions to the Holocaust. "I can hear the glass crunching on Kristillnacht in the ghettos of Warsaw and Vienna when I hear [Trump's plan], honest." Weld said.
Now consider the case of American meddling.
Israel has been given a military aid of $38 billion lately by the Obama administration - the largest aid ever by the USA to any state. Jacoby asks, "The Jewish state, with its booming economy, doesn’t need American charity." So, why such an aid package to a state that continues to violate UN resolutions? The simple answer is: US policy is run by the 'Amen Corner', and essentially it is Israeli leaders who are holding the leash of control.
It is no surprise that the same Israel-firsters have tried to block a $1.15 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, which the kingdom would be paying in cash. Four senators — two from each party — have offered a resolution that would force a Senate vote on the deal. Sixty-four members of the House of Representatives have signed a letter warning that the deal would have “a deeply troubling effect on civilians” in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is conducting a fierce military campaign. The United Nations has estimated that the Saudi-led coalition bombing Yemen is responsible for “twice as many civilian casualties as all other forces put together.” Yet the Obama administration wants to sell the Saudis 153 battle tanks made by General Dynamics, some of which are to be used in Yemen, as well as machine guns, grenade launchers, and other weapons. “There is an American imprint on every civilian life lost in Yemen,” said Senator Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat who is a cosponsor of the resolution to block the deal. Another cosponsor, Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, called the deal “a recipe for disaster and an escalation of an ongoing arms race in the region.”
Well, on the surface, all such concerns about Yemen are good and appear genuine. But my question is: why a different standard for Israel, which has committed more serious crimes in Lebanon and against the Palestinians living inside Gaza? Where were those concerns for the suffering Lebanese and Palestinians? Just recently, the Obama administration has agreed on a record $38 billion military aid deal to Israel. Even then, Israel-firsters like Senator Lindsey Graham (R – SC) says he intends to introduce a $1.5 billion additional aid deal for Israel just for this year, suggesting that Congress would be free to keep throwing similar “emergency supplementals” at Israel every year if they want to, and saying he believes there’s a lot of support for it. With such friends in the Capitol Hill, Israel can continue to murder anyone it deems endangering its people!
So, no one should be fooled by such moves by the US lawmakers to block the Saudi sale of arms.
One should not forget that since taking office in 2009, Obama has made 42 arms deals with Saudi Arabia, worth a staggering $115 billion. So, what kind of dent will this latest $1.15 bn sales ban make? Nothing!
Arms race help the military industrial complex, which likes the sale of arms everywhere. Chaos, war and confusion gives them the opportunity to sell their deadly weapons. The US government and the Congress have become willing partners to these merchants and profiteers of war. Washington think tanks are only part of the matrix that promotes the American weapons industry.
As noted by Stephen Kinzer (Senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University) in a recent article in the Boston Globe, the roughly 50 companies that make up the industry shower members of Congress with millions of dollars in campaign contributions. They also parcel out contracts across the country, in order to employ people in as many congressional districts as possible. Components for the F-35, for example, are being made in 46 states. This practice is fiendishly effective in assuring that members of Congress continue to support new weapons projects, no matter how ill conceived.
The ludicrously misnamed United States Institute for Peace, for example, is run by Stephen Hadley, a former national security adviser who also earns hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for his service on the board of Raytheon, a leading arms maker. Another arms maker, Lockheed Martin, which has just sold Poland an air-to-surface missile system and wants to sell more, has given the institute $1 million. It’s been a good investment. The Institute of Peace wants European countries to double their military spending and also favors sending more weapons into the Ukraine powder keg.
The US Committee on NATO was founded by a former Lockheed executive and pushed successfully to expand the NATO alliance onto Russia’s doorstep. That sharply increased tension in Europe, which produces a handsome profit for the arms industry. Another influential think tank, the Atlantic Council, is funded by Raytheon and Lockheed. It faithfully produces articles with headlines like “Why Peace is Impossible With Putin,” and urges the United States and European countries to “commit to greater defense spending” and confront “a revanchist Russia.”
It is time to wake up, America! Are perennial wars desirable? If not, may be it is high time to think outside the box and find alternative platforms. I see why Jacoby is endorsing the Libertarian candidate over Clinton and Trump.