‘US foreign policy is a marketing strategy for selling weapons’ – Jill Stein

From RT

July 31, 2017

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein © Dominick Reuter
Democrats and Republicans are controlled by banks, oil giants, insurance companies and war profiteers, says Green Party presidential candidate, Dr. Jill Stein. Her party, she claims, gets no money from corporations and has liberty to really address problems.

According to Dr Stein, in the current presidential race, the American public is “clamoring for something else at unprecedented levels”.

People have rejected not only both of these parties, which are minority parties by actual polling…Their candidates are running at record levels, all time highest for people disliking the Democratic and Republican candidates,” she said.

The American people and the people all over the world are being thrown under the bus by this political system…in which both parties are basically funded by and controlled by predatory banks, by fossil-fuel giants, by war-profiteers, the health insurance industry – the usual suspects who are calling the shots from behind the closed doors,” Stein says.

Stein says that since her campaign and the Green Party “are the only candidates and party” that do not take money from corporations and lobbyists, and do not have super PACs, they have “the liberty to address the crises” that the US people are facing.

‘What Trump says has already been done by Clinton’

Speaking about the frontrunners, the Green Party candidate noted that if you “look at the track record, the terrible things that Donald Trump says – which are truly reprehensible and horrific – have actually been done by Hillary Clinton”.

For example, she said, “on immigrants, xenophobia and hate mongering, we’ve learned that Trump and the Republicans are the party of hate and fear”. But, Stein went on, “the Democrats are the party of deportation, detentions, and night raids”.

And the night-raiding is carried out against the women and children “who are feeling the violence that Hillary Clinton herself gave the thumbs up to with this horrific corporate coup in Honduras”.

US policies very much promoted by “Clinton herself are generating these refugees, which she then, and the Democrats, are criminalizing when they get here and sending them back,” says Stein.

Speaking about security issues – “finger on nuclear button”, as she put it, the Green Party candidate noted that Trump makes “irresponsible statements” and Clinton advocates the enforcing of a no-fly zone over Syria “against a nuclear armed country that is Russia.”

Clinton has already been antagonizing Russia by surrounding it with missile bases and soldiers, Stein said. “How would we feel if Russian troops were amassing on the border of Mexico and Canada?” she added.

Trump – product of economic misery created by Clintons

Dr Stein has called Donald Trump “a product” of economic misery, which created vulnerability, fear, and sense of dread on behalf of the American worker and middle class, “to whom adversity is somewhat new”.

They become very vulnerable to demagoguery, to wishful memory about ‘how we can recreate a powerful America of the past’,” she said. But not much is being asked about what caused this misery. In Stein’s opinion, this goes back to Wall Street deregulation “and the economic crash” that resulted in disappearance of millions of jobs, “stole five million homes out from under home owners, and to NAFTA which basically allowed a million jobs and more to be sent overseas and for wages to be pushed downward.”

The Wall Street deregulation passed by Bill Clinton was advocated for and celebrated by Hillary Clinton, she said.

So, putting another Clinton in the White House – that’s not a solution; that was the problem, that is only going to fan the flames of right-wing extremism,” Stein said.

‘We bailed out crooks, time to bail out their victims’

The real solution would be economic investments in a form of a Green New Deal like the one that got the US out of the Great Depression and job-creation, the Green Party candidate said.

This is not a kind of pie in the sky that we can fix this. The real solution here is economic investment; it’s job creation; it’s not wish fulfilment about how Donald Trump is going to cut a better deal for us. Donald Trump leaves a lake of bankruptcies and lawsuits behind him from workers who’ve been cheated, and jobs that have been sent overseas. So, Big Daddy is not the Big Daddy that we need,” she said.

The Green Party, she insists, can grow the economy in a just and sustainable way. Her campaign suggests cancelling the student debt that affected about 40 million people “like we cancelled the debt for the Wall Street crooks who crashed the economy.”

If we bailed out the crooks, it’s time to bail out their victims through the same tool of quantitative easing that doesn’t cost taxpayers a thing…” Jill Stein said.

Demilitarizing foreign policy

The US spends a trillion dollars a year on its military, says Jill Stein. If that budget is cut it in half, the American economy will have the money it needs at home to provide for free public higher education, insure any health costs that aren’t covered already and work with other countries to address the problem of climate change – which remains one of the crucial problems globally, she believes.

Few people know what we pay for this catastrophic military which shoots first and asks questions later. In fact, what we have is a foreign policy which is essentially a marketing strategy for selling weapons,” she said. “We’ve had these wars for oil – which are opportunities to sell weapons and to come and dear other people’s fossil fuel resources, which is basically what our military is doing. Why do we have a thousand bases for a hundred countries around the world?  This isn’t something that other countries do.

The reason why the US keeps doing so is to safeguard its energy supplies and their routes of transportation, Stein says.

This can no longer be justified – it’s all obsolete when we have a Green New Deal, which will reach 100 percent wind, water and sun clean renewable energy entirely by 2030. So, we can begin phasing down this network and stop stealing other people’s oil right now,” she said.

The US spent six trillion dollars on wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – both of which failed, the presidential candidate said.

The US killed a million people in Iraq alone, “not winning the hearts and minds of people in the Middle East to say the least. And what do we have for it? Failed states, mass refuge migrations that are tearing apart Europe as well as the Middle East, and creating worse terrorist threats,” she added.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/354079-jill-stein-green-us-elections/

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Interview with Green Party U.S. Presidential candidate Jill Stein (VIDEO)

On Contact with Chris Hedges
July 31, 2016

25:27

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein speaks during a rally of Bernie Sanders supporters outside the Wells Fargo Center on the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 26, 2016 © Dominick Reuter / Reuters

Now that the two major political parties have officially selected their nominees for president, Chris Hedges sits down with Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein, to discuss an alternative way forward. Bernie Sanders might be out of the race, but Stein says the Green Party is leading the revolutionary charge. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil looks at third parties that have renewed the political vibrancy of American society.

https://www.rt.com/shows/on-contact/354052-presidential-elections-trump-Hillary/

Protesting the Democratic National Convention — Video, Chris Hedges interviews Cheri Honkala and Galen Tyler

From RT

July 17, 2016

https://www.rt.com/shows/on-contact/351670-protests-human-rights-poverty/video/

In this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges discusses the protests planned for the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with two local organizers. Cheri Honkala, director of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, and Galen Tyler, leader of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union, are leading the March for Lives, which will aim to raise awareness of poverty and homelessness. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil looks at the cost of security at the upcoming national conventions.

For further information: http://www.march4ourlives2016.org

https://www.rt.com/shows/on-contact/351670-protests-human-rights-poverty/

Presidential candidate Jill Stein’s platform more viable than Sanders’

Jill Stein offers a new vision and a real change from Democrat/Republican foreign and domestic policy. Her website is http://www.jill2016.com.

30 January 2016

By David Swanson, American Herald Tribune

I asked Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein about her platform this week and came away believing it had a better chance of winning than Bernie Sanders’. I know that platforms don’t run, people do, and they do so within a two-party dominated system. But this already crazy presidential election could turn into a crazier five-way race. And, even if it doesn’t, or if it does but still nobody ever learns that Jill Stein exists, there is nonetheless much for us and for the other candidates to learn from her platform.

If you think free college is popular, you should see what young people think of free college and erasing all existing student debt.

If single-payer healthcare with raised taxes (but net savings, if you make it to that fine print) excites voters, how do you think they’d respond to single-payer healthcare with no raised taxes?

If fewer wars and asking Saudi Arabia to do more of the funding and fighting sounds promising, what would you say to no more wars, a 50 percent cut in the $1 trillion/year military spending, no more weapons sales to Saudi Arabia which is doing more than enough killing, thank you, no more free weapons for Israel either, and investment of some of the savings in a massive green energy jobs campaign producing a sustainable energy policy and a full-employment economy?

Senator Bernie Sanders’ domestic proposals have got millions excited, but the (unfair and misleading) criticism that he’ll raise taxes may be a tragic flaw, and it’s one he opens himself up to by refusing to say that he’ll cut the military. Stein would cut at least half of the single biggest item in the discretionary budget, an item that takes up at least half of that budget: military spending. She’d cut fossil fuel subsidies, as well, and expect savings to come from healthcare, including as a result of cutting pollution and improving food quality. But the big immediate item is the military. Cutting it is popular with voters, but not with Democratic or Republican presidential candidates. Sanders will be labeled the Tax Man by the corporate media, while Jill Stein will have to be attacked in a different way if she gets mentioned.

“Cutting the military budget is something that we can do right now,” Stein told me, “but we want to be clear that we are putting an end to wars for oil – period. And that is part of our core policy of a Green New Deal which creates an emergency program, establishing twenty million living wage jobs, full-time jobs, to green the economy, our energy, food, and transportation systems, building critical infrastructure, restoring ecosystems, etc. This is an emergency program that will get to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. So this is a war-time-level mobilization in order to completely detoxify our energy system, and that means both nuclear and fossil fuel. In doing that, we deprive the empire of this major justification for wars and bases all around the world. So we want to be clear that that emphasis is gone, and goading the American public into war so as to feed our fossil fuel energy system – that ends and makes all the more essential and possible the major cutting of the military budget.”

Which 50 percent of the military would Stein cut? Two places she named that she would start with (there would have to be much more) are foreign bases (she’d close them) and the U.S. nuclear weapons program. Would she unilaterally scrap U.S. nukes? I asked.

“We don’t even need to do it unilaterally,” Stein said, “because the Russians have been begging to revive the process of nuclear disarmament, which the U.S., in its wisdom, undercut. … The Russians have been persistently trying to restore those nuclear talks for the purpose of disarmament. And that would be step one – is to make major reductions between the U.S. and Russia and then to convene a world forum to put an end to nuclear weapons altogether.”

The “war on terror,” Stein pointed out, has only created more terror, while costing each U.S. household $75,000. “That’s not going to make people terribly enthusiastic for it, particularly when you point out that all this has done is create failed states, worse terrorist threat, whether you look at the Taliban, the globalization of al-Qaeda, the creation of ISIS. This has been an utter, unmitigated disaster, and the massive refugee crisis which is threatening to tear apart the European Union. This is absolutely unsustainable by any count.”

To change U.S. foreign policy, Stein proposed financial reforms unheard of in any presidential debate thus far. She suggested that military and other government contractors should face “pay to play protections” preventing them from “buying their way into policy.” Stein explained: “If you establish that anyone who contributes, who provides campaign contributions, or who lobbies is not eligible for contracting with the government, the minute you break that umbilical cord, then the industry loses its power to corral Congress and dictate foreign policy.” Stein said such protections could also block U.S. government facilitation of weapons sales to foreign buyers.

“War profiteering should not be allowed,” Stein explained, “in the same way that energy profiteering is not compatible with our survival.” Ultimately, the big profits, Stein said, are in healthcare: “We spend a trillion dollars plus on the military industrial complex every year, but we spend three trillion and counting every year on the sick care system, which doesn’t make us well. It just enables us to tread water while we cope with these disastrous health impacts of the war economy and the fossil fuel economy.”

Stein did not hesitate to highlight differences when I asked her about Bernie Sanders. She cited his “support, for example, for the F-35 weapons system which has been an incredible boondoggle.” While Sanders would keep killing with drones and “fighting terrorism,” Stein calls “fighting terrorism” an oxymoron and points to counterproductive results: “Terrorism is a response to drones that sneak up on you in the night and to night raids and this is where we recruit and we enable ISIS and al-Qaeda to continue expanding … something Bernie hasn’t quite gotten straight by saying the solution here is to turn the Saudis loose; the Saudi’s need to ‘get their hands dirty’.”

“We can actually begin to rein in the Saudis with a weapons embargo and by impounding their bank accounts,” Stein said. The same goes for Israel, she added, stressing the need to respect the law. Should the United States join the International Criminal Court, I asked. “Oh, my god, of course!” was Stein’s reply. “And the treaty on land mines?” “Of course! My god. Yes. … There are all sorts of treaties that are ready to move forward. In fact the Soviets and the Chinese have been prime movers in expansion of treaties to prohibit weapons in space and to establish the rule of law in cyberspace.”

So, what would President Jill Stein do about ISIS? She answered that question with no hesitation: “Number 1: we don’t stop ISIS by doing more of what created ISIS. This is like the elephant in the room that none of the other presidential candidates are willing to acknowledge, even Rand Paul, I might say, surprisingly. So we don’t bomb ISIS and try to shoot ISIS out. We’ve got to stop ISIS in its tracks by ending the funding of ISIS and by ending the arming of ISIS. How do we do that? We do that with a weapons embargo. And so the U.S. can unilaterally move forward on that, but we need to sit down and talk with the Russians as well, and Putin tried to do this.

“You know, Putin, our arch enemy Putin, was actually trying to create a peace process in Syria. … We need to begin talking with Russia and with other countries. We need to build on our relative détente with Iran to engage them, and we need to bring our allies into the process. Right now, the peace process, as I understand it, is held up by, guess who — Saudi Arabia, who wants to bring in known terrorist groups as the representatives of the opposition. The Saudis should not be defining the way forward here … Our ally Turkey needs to understand that their membership in NATO or their position with the U.S. and other allies around the world should not be taken for granted, and that they cannot be in the business either of funding ISIS and related groups through the purchase of their oil [or of] shipping weapons. They also need to close down their border to the movement of the militias.”

Stein was sounding an awful lot like the leader of the Labour Party in Britain, Jeremy Corbyn, and I asked her about him. “I have already met with Jeremy Corbyn,” she said, “when I was in Paris for the climate talks, … and we had a surprising amount of time to talk and we agreed completely on collaborating on this ‘peace offensive,’ which is the name we have given to our solution to the problem of ISIS. Peace is not passive. We need an active, interventionist program based on peace which means to stop the flow or arms and money, etc. So, we’ve already agreed that we see eye-to-eye on foreign policy.”

But Corbyn is in office with a shot at becoming prime minister. With the U.S. public completely sold on the hopelessness of third-party bids, at least by non-multi-billionaires, what is Stein’s plan for actually becoming president?

“First of all,” she says, “there are 43 million young people and not-so-young people who are trapped in debt, in student debt. My campaign is the only campaign that will be on the ballot that will abolish student debt. We did it for the bankers who plunged us into this economic crisis that persists in spite of what they say. And they did that by way of their waste, fraud, and abuse. Yet we bailed them out to the tune of $16 trillion and counting.

“So, isn’t it about time we bail out the victims of that waste, fraud, and abuse — the young people of this country whose leadership and whose civic engagement is essential for blazing the trail to our future? It has always required a fresh generation to re-envision, you know, what our future looks like. So, we need to bail out the young people, for their benefit and for ours. That can be done through another quantitative easing which is relatively simple, does not cost us, essentially expands the money supply in a way that works as a stimulus to the economy, unlike the bailout that they provided to Wall Street which has only created a stimulus for more reckless gambling – waste, fraud, and abuse. … I have yet to find a young person in debt who doesn’t become a missionary for our campaign the minute they learn that we will cancel their debt. … The 43 million young people – that is a plurality of the vote. In a three-way race, that’s enough to win the vote.”

Stein also pointed to 25 million Latinos who, she said, “have learned that the Democrats are the party of deportation, of night raids, and of detention, of refugees who are fleeing a crisis in their home countries that we created. How? Through NAFTA, though illegal coups and CIA-sponsored regime changes, and through the drug wars. … If people want to fix the immigration problem, the answer is, ‘Stop causing it.'”

But will Stein be in the debates for the general election? “In my experience,” she told me, “all you have to do is have a real conversation, have an open mic, a true presidential debate that actually allows presidential candidates to debate who have broad enough support that they are on the ballot for a majority of Americans and could numerically win the election. We are challenging the Commission on Presidential Debates in court and we will be challenging them soon with a direct action campaign, so stay tuned, because the American public deserves to know about the issues. The American public deserves the right to vote. And they have a right to know who they can vote for and what they are voting about.”

Here’s audio of the interview that produced this report.

http://davidswanson.org/node/5038