Hon. Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Representatives & Jon Soltz / VotVets.org & Daniel Larison / The American Conservative – 2018-03-23 21:58:56
ACTION ALERT: Warhawks in the White House
Hon. Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Representatives
HAWAII (March 23, 2018) — In the last two weeks, two neocon warhawks have been chosen by President Trump to fill key cabinet positions. First, it was CIA Director Mike Pompeo selected to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. Now, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster is out and former UN Ambassador and unapologetic Iraq War champion John Bolton is in.
Like so many of my fellow veterans who served in Iraq, I witnessed the cost of war firsthand during my 12-month tour in 2005. This was a major motivation for me to offer to serve in Congress — so that I could do everything possible to prevent our country from making such disastrous and costly foreign policy decisions again.
The cost of such wars is borne by US troops who are put into harm’s way, who make the ultimate sacrifice, and those who come home with both visible and invisible wounds. It is borne by the American people, whose taxpayer dollars are spent by the trillions on these counterproductive regime change wars, and the inevitable nation-building that follows, while our communities languish with failing infrastructure, resource-strapped schools, and too many who still lack access to quality healthcare.
Yet, the Washington interventionist foreign policy establishment, which has persisted through both Democrat and Republican administrations, remains unmoved by the costly and counterproductive failures of Iraq, Libya, and Syria, and they continue increasing the drumbeat of war.
Just this week, Trump sold another $1 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia while the Senate failed to take action that would end US support for the destructive Saudi-Iran proxy war in Yemen.
Congress never authorized US military support for this horrific war in Yemen. Yet, US military planes are refueling Saudi warplanes that are dropping missiles like the ones Trump just sold them to bomb Yemeni civilians, killing tens of thousands, destroying their infrastructure and access to clean water, leading to the worst cholera outbreak in modern history.
And now, the introduction of warhawk John Bolton as Trump’s National Security Advisor comes as we are on the brink of historic and necessary direct talks between President Trump and Kim Jong Un to denuclearize North Korea, Turkey’s attacks against our Kurdish allies in Syria, and threats of war with Iran.
The American people are sick of our failed regime change wars.They are sick of paying the price for counterproductive wars that have taken the lives of our sons and daughters and taken resources away from our communities, while undermining our security and increasing the threat of terrorism.
The neocon Washington establishment continues to cozy up to Saudi Arabia despite their direct and indirect support of terrorist groups, and their continued global exportation of the extreme Wahhabi Salafi ideology that fuels terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda, directly undermining the safety and security of our country.
Neocon warhawks Pompeo and Bolton will not only continue the status quo, they threaten to worsen the situation with more senseless wars. We cannot allow that to happen.
We need to end our country’s counterproductive regime change war policies that have undermined our national security, destroyed so many countries and taken so many lives. We must instead focus on investing in and rebuilding our communities right here at home.
The best way to honor our troops, the less than 1% of our country’s population who voluntarily put their lives on the line in service to our country, is by making sure that when they are sent into combat, it is the last option, not the first, and that the mission is worthy of their great sacrifice. They are not fodder to be used carelessly to live out the regime-change war addiction that has consumed Washington for far too long.
Join me in taking a stand for peace today. Our future depends on it.
ACTION: The Petition for Peace
The White House takeover by neocon warhawks John Bolton as National Security Advisor and Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State will further perpetuate our country’s destructive policy of interventionist regime change wars, no matter the deathly cost or consequence. Now more than ever we must speak out for peace. Reject the neocon, interventionist foreign policy establishment and join our campaign for peace.
John Bolton Is Bad News for America
Jon Soltz / VotVets.org
(March 23, 2018) — Last night, the White House announced the appointment of a new National Security Adviser to the president . . . John Bolton.
The truth is, it is downright frightening that a man who was key in sending me thousands and thousands of my fellow troops to Iraq is now the National Security Adviser to Donald Trump.
Let there be no mistake — there is no war or regime change, anywhere, that John Bolton wasn’t for. He sees troops not as human beings, with families, but as expendable resources, in his real-life game of Risk.
We are undoubtedly closer to a war in Korea, now, and a war with Iran, with John Bolton as National Security Adviser and with Mike Pompeo as the nominee for Secretary of State.
The voices of veterans in our debate — ones who have experienced war — have never been more important. Help us ensure we can help make them heard.
This Congress, as it now stands, is unwilling, or unable, to keep Donald Trump in check. That means it’s up to us. But we cannot do it alone.
Jon Soltz is an Iraq War Veteran and the Chair of VoteVets (VoteVets.org).
Bolton Wants “Preventive War” Against North Korea
Daniel Larison / The American Conservative
(February 28, 2018) — John Bolton defends preventive war against North Korea, but he won’t call it by that name:
Pre-emption opponents argue that action is not justified because Pyongyang does not constitute an “imminent threat.” They are wrong. The threat is imminent, and the case against pre-emption rests on the misinterpretation of a standard that derives from pre-nuclear, pre-ballistic-missile times.
The concepts of preemption and imminent threat have been so thoroughly warped by the Iraq war debate that their proper meanings have been all but lost. Preemption means striking before an impending attack occurs, but there is no such attack being prepared by North Korea.
If the US strikes North Korea first under these circumstances, our government would be committing an act of aggression pure and simple. There would be no preemption, because there would be no attack to preempt.
Bolton declares that the threat from North Korea is imminent, but this requires us to redefine imminent to mean something entirely different from what it has always meant. Imminent means something that is about to happen, and that does not describe the threat from North Korea.
North Korea is not about to attack the US or its allies. It is not about to do it next month or next year. It is not about to do it at all. It has been deterred from doing so for decades, and continues to be deterred.
In order to believe that there is an imminent threat from North Korea, namely one that is going to happen in the very near future, one also has to believe that its government is bent on self-destruction. Bolton writes about North Korean nuclear weapons and missiles as if their mere existence justifies a US attack, but that is simply nonsense.
Supporters of preventive war cannot honestly defend their position, because the war they favor is illegal and unjust, and so they rename it preemption and hope that no one knows the difference. The frequent confusion of pre-emption and preventive warfare in mainstream media reporting helps to ensure that very few are aware of the rhetorical trick being played on them.
Advocates of preventive war are proposing that the US engage in a war of aggression in violation of international law, but in order to sell the war they need people to believe that the war would be defensive in nature. That is why they keep hiding behind the label of pre-emption.
Josh Rogin accurately described Bolton’s position in his report from earlier this week and reminds us why we should care what the mustachioed militarist has to say:
John Bolton, former US ambassador to the United Nations, whom Trump reportedly is considering to replace H.R. McMaster as national security adviser, supports preventive war through a massive strike, if sanctions fail.
There should be no doubt that Bolton is calling for starting a preventive war, and we should not be fooled by his attempts to confuse the issue by abusing the English language.
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