‘Regime Change’ in Belarus Looks Like an Objective of Both the Trump Administration and the Biden Campaign

It seems that whoever wins the presidency, United States foreign policy will keep chugging away at intervening across the world, including via “regime change” efforts. Over the last couple decades, targets for US-government-supported overthrow have included Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, and Venezuela. Belarus also appears to be in the US government’s crosshairs. If its government holds back through January the effort seeking to topple it, Belarus looks sure to remain a US target for regime change during either a second term of President Donald Trump or a first term of President Joe Biden.

On Monday, as revolutionaries in Belarus capital Minsk attempted to oust the Belarus government, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden issued interchangeable statements regarding Belarus and US policy toward it. Both Pompeo’s statement and Biden’s statement condemned the government of Belarus, called fraudulent the country’s recent national election in which President Aleksander Lukashenko won reelection by a wide margin, and made demands upon the Belarus government.

The statements of Pompeo and Biden may not seem so threatening if you imagine them coming from the government of a country of average population, economic strength, military power, and tendency to intervene in other countries. The comments could then just be understood as politicians spouting off or being relatively harmless buttinskis.

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Many People in NATO Countries Say ‘No’ To Supporting a NATO Ally in a Military Conflict with Russia

NATO is marketed as providing each member nation with the benefit that the other member nations are committed to coming to its aid militarily in the event of an attack by another nation, especially Russia. However, Pew Research Center poll results released Sunday indicate that the majority or plurality of people in 11 of 16 NATO countries where individuals were questioned oppose their respective governments meeting this commitment, at least if the military adversary were Russia.

These poll results indicate that serious thought should be given to disbanding NATO, an organization with a primary objective that appears to be at odds with public opinion in many NATO countries.

When asked if their respective countries’ governments should use military force to defend a NATO ally country neighboring Russia with which “Russia got into a serious military conflict,” people living in the 16 NATO countries tended to answer in the negative. “No” was the answer for the majority of polled individuals in eight countries – France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Turkey. In three more NATO countries – the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland – a plurality rejected military intervention. Only in five countries – the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Lithuania – did more people (a majority in each case) support such military intervention than reject it.

Read the poll results here.

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

Bill Weld, Champion of Foreign Intervention

Ron Paul, who had been the 1988 presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party, spent much time in his 2008 and 2012 Republican primary presidential runs criticizing US intervention overseas and promoting following a noninterventionist foreign policy. Some people might expect Bill Weld would do the same thing in his current Republican primary challenge to President Donald Trump. Weld was, after all, the 2016 Libertarian nominee for vice president. However, as Weld made crystal-clear in his October 8 editorial at Foreign Affairs, Weld aspires to oversee as president a foreign policy that is solidly interventionist.

Weld, in his editorial titled “Reclaiming Republican Foreign Policy,” presents a view far removed from the argument for nonintervention expected from a libertarian. Indeed, the editorial provides a rundown of Weld’s support for the US government intervening militarily and otherwise across the world.

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Libertarian Party Chairman Promoting Video Calling for Venezuela Regime Change

You might hope that at least the United States Libertarian Party could be counted on not to support the US government’s effort to install its chosen politician as president of Venezuela. Oh well. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Earlier this month, a “Dear Libertarian” letter from party chairman Nicholas Sarwark appeared on the Libertarian Party’s website in which Sarwark promotes viewing a video by Kyle Varner – described by Sarwark as a party member – in which Varner delivers the US government’s regime change line in regard to the South America country.

In the video, Varner, purporting to speak for the Libertarian Party and all libertarians, compares Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro to Adolf Hitler, places the blame on the Venezuela government for problems in the country while neglecting to mention US sanctions or any other US government efforts that contribute to suffering in the Venezuela, and praises Juan Guaidó who is seeking to overthrow the Venezuela government and who the US government has been calling the “interim president” of Venezuela.

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Walter B. Jones Restoring Power to Congress Act Would Repeal the 2001 AUMF

In his work opposing United States wars overseas, Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), before his death Sunday, put much effort into seeking a repeal of the 2001 authorization for use of military force (AUMF) that has been used by successive presidents as a basis for intervention and war across the world in the name of fighting terrorism. In the week before Jones’ death, Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) introduced the Walter B. Jones Restoring Power to Congress Act (HR 966), with Jones as the original cosponsor, that would repeal that AUMF and thus eliminate a reason used for presidents to intervene overseas without particular congressional approval.

Garamendi spoke fondly of Jones in Garamendi’s press release announcing the introduction of the bill,:

‘Congress has a Constitutional responsibility to debate and declare war, and we have abdicated that responsibility for far too long,’ Garamendi stated. ‘That is why I am introducing this legislation to repeal the 2001 AUMF within one year of enactment, which would provide ample time to debate this important issue in Congress. I am also grateful to recognize the leadership of my dear friend, Walter Jones, who is currently in hospice care. Walter has championed this cause for years, I have worked with him closely on this issue in Congress. I am grateful for his wisdom, passion, and advocacy.’

In March of 2017, Jones and Garamendi spoke in-depth in a C-SPAN interview about their effort to end funding for the US government’s war in Afghanistan. You can read about and watch that interview here.

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Rep. John Duncan’s Final Comment on the House Floor: ‘Seek Peace and Pursue It’

Come the swearing in of members of the new United States Congress on January 3, Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN), who is one of the longest-serving Republican members of the House of Representatives and among the House’s strongest peace advocates, will be beginning his retirement from political office. Duncan spoke on the House floor in a short December 21 speech focused on the importance of ending US military intervention abroad. Quoting the Bible, Duncan concludes his final House floor speech with this advice: “seek peace and pursue it.”

Watch Duncan’s speech here.

Read Duncan’s speech, as printed in the Congressional Record, here:

Mr. Speaker, too many of our leaders today seem to want to be modern-day Winston Churchills and think of themselves as great war leaders. They are far too eager to go to war and far too willing to stay in a war after it has started. But the American people do not want permanent, forever wars, and especially do not need such wars.

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