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US foreign policy and empire
‘The American Century’ Has Plunged the World Into Crisis
There’s something fundamentally wrong with U.S. foreign policy.
by Conn Hallinan and Leon Wofsy
Despite glimmers of hope — a tentative nuclear agreement with Iran, for one, and a long-overdue thaw with Cuba — we’re locked into seemingly irresolvable conflicts in most regions of the world. They range from tensions with nuclear-armed powers like Russia and China to actual combat operations in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa.
Why? Has a state of perpetual warfare and conflict become inescapable? Or are we in a self-replicating cycle that reflects an inability — or unwillingness — to see the world as it actually is?
The United States is undergoing a historic transition in our relationship to the rest of the world, but this is neither acknowledged nor reflected in U.S. foreign policy. We still act as if our enormous military power, imperial alliances, and self-perceived moral superiority empower us to set the terms of “world order.”
While this illusion goes back to the end of World War II, it was the end of the Cold War and collapse of the Soviet Union that signaled the beginning of a self-proclaimed “American Century.” The idea that the United States had “won” the Cold War and now — as the world’s lone superpower — had the right or responsibility to order the world’s affairs led to a series of military adventures. It started with President Bill Clinton’s intervention in the Yugoslav civil war, continued on with George W. Bush’s disastrous invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and can still be seen in the Obama administration’s own misadventures in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and beyond.
In each case, Washington chose war as the answer to enormously complex issues, ignoring the profound consequences for both foreign and domestic policy. Yet the world is very different from the assumptions that drive this impulsive interventionism.
It’s this disconnect that defines the current crisis.
Stop U.S. War & All Forms of Intervention Against Syria!
Self-determination Free from Outside Intervention
President Obama calls for continued war in Afghanistan through 2014 and beyond
Join the Protest against NATO & the G8 in Chicago on May 20
As occupiers, workers and peace activists were taking to the streets for the most wide-spread May Day actions in the United States in decades, President Obama made a surprise visit to Afghanistan where he signed an agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzi to keepU.S. troops in the
|Bruce Gagnon – Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space|
|Nancy Murray – American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts|
|Matthew Hoey – Military Space Transparency Project
How should we Respond?
U.S. use of drones for warfare and spying has become routine. The use of drones has increased dramatically under the Obama administration. Pentagon funding for drones is scheduled to increase by up to 60 percent while other programs are being cut. Drones have been used for targeted killings in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen. One in three U.S. warplanes are now drone piloted. Drones have also been used for surveillance in the U.S.
Kept under a cloak of secrecy, this new tool for international warfare and domestic surveillance, has far-reaching legal, financial and social ramifications. Learn more about this new instrument of war and plan together about how we can respond.
- Why are drones the US military's weapon of choice for the future?
- Are drones invulnerable to budget cuts?
- Can drone warfare be conducted without the consent of Congress?
- How can drones be used to spy on all Americans?
- Is drone warfare legal?
United for Justice with Peace (617-383-4857)
NOTE: location details below
A US attack on Syria would be a dangerous escalation of the Syrian conflict and only create more destruction and loss of life. US military intervention could possibly spiral into a major regional war including US forces. Only a cease fire leading to political talks among Syrians will resolve the crisis; more violence simply makes things worse and a political solution more difficult.
Rally at Park Street, Saturday, August 31 at 1:00 p.m. Speakers followed by a march to Faneuil Hall
7pm, Public Forum $10
6pm, Reception $50
An event to explore the severity of rape and child slavery as a direct result of Mineral Conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Consumer activists will have the opportunity to learn and become active members in "NO Blood on my Cell phone", a campaign dedicated to spreading awareness about the illegal processes by which Coltan is collected and used to make the vast majority of cell phones and other technologies.
Chuck Turner: Here I Stand
Opening the conference will be a discussion with Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner, whose sentencing hearing follows the conference by only a few days. Turner was recently removed from the City Council after being found guilty of bribery in an FBI operation which seemed strange and unbelievable to many of his supporters.
Turner is a long-time ally of UJP and leader in the movement for peace and justice. One of his priority projects was recently crowned with success with passage of a state level CORI reform bill. Turner will be introduced by Duncan McFarland, UJP planning group member, who will recount some of the history of work done together by Turner and UJP.
US Global Strategy for the 21st Century
Obama Policy, European and Asian Responses
Joseph Gerson will share some of what he learned as a participant in the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Hiroshima, the NATO counter-summit conference and protests in Portugal, and the Japan Peace Conference, which brought together leading Japanese and other Asia-Pacific peace and anti-bases activists.
In addition to lessons about how the Obama Administration is working to create its "arrangement for the 21st century", and reflections about some of committed and inspiring people he met and worked with, Gerson will talk about plans for international campaigns to end the Afghanistan War, to cut military spending to meet human needs, for nuclear disarmament, and for the withdrawal of oppressive U.S. military bases.
Terry Rockefeller of Families for Peaceful Tomorrows hosted a book party July 26 featuring Greg Muttitt talking about his book "Fuel on the Fire: Oil and the Iraq War". A wide ranging discussion followed. Greg focused on the role of oil in the war on Iraq. About 60% of the world's oil reserves are in the Middle East, with about 10% in Iraq.