Rep. Walter Jones, Jr. turned from pro-war to an antiwar firebrand after he discovered how Administrations lie us into war. His passing yesterday is deeply mourned by all who value peace and honesty over war and deception. He was an original Board Member of the Ron Paul Institute. What kind of a man was he? We remember Walter Jones in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report.
Ariane Tabatabai reviews Iran’s foreign policy ahead of the 40th anniversary of the revolution, and explains that Tehran’s foreign policy isn’t as ideologically-driven as the administration thinks:
This is because, contrary to what many believe, Iran’s foreign policy today is largely shaped by its threat perceptions and interests – not ideology.
Because the contours of Iran’s foreign policy appear to be drawn primarily by security considerations, including deterrence and power projection, the United States isn’t likely to fundamentally change the country’s behavior.
American policymakers have several blind spots when it comes to understanding the behavior of other governments, especially when they consider them to be adversaries. The worst of these is the tendency to ascribe profound ideological motives to a regime’s leadership when they are usually concerned much more with self-preservation and protecting their national interests as they understand them. During the Cold War, many anticommunists imagined that the Soviets were much more bent on pursuing a revolutionary foreign policy than they actually were. Those who understood that Soviet foreign policy had a great deal of continuity with the policy of pre-revolutionary Russia were more likely to make sense of what the Soviets were likely to do and why they were doing it. Interpretations of other states’ behavior that reduce everything to the official ideology of that state are always going to miss the mark because the real reasons for their conduct are to be found elsewhere.
Rep. Walter Jones, one of the most consistently antiwar members of Congress, has died at age 75 after an extended illness.
The Republican lawmaker had battled a series of ailments in recent years and was granted a leave of absence from Congress late last year after missing a number of House votes.
Jones was originally a strong supporter of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In fact, Jones became well known for leading the effort to have french fries renamed “freedom fries” in House cafeteria menus as a protest against French opposition to the invasion.
By 2005, Jones had reversed his position on the Iraq War. Jones called on President George W. Bush to apologize for misinforming Congress to win authorization for the war. Jones said, “If I had known then what I know today, I wouldn’t have voted for that resolution.”
Jones went on to become one of the most antiwar members of Congress, fighting for ending US involvement in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, and Yemen.
Jones also became a regular donor to Antiwar.com and contributed to the Antiwar.com blog. Jones often made surprise phone calls to me and to news editor Jason Ditz to praise our work and to thank us for helping him to “see the light” on issues of national security.
We at Antiwar.com mourn his passing and extend our condolences to his family and friends.
"Raytheon go home!" chanted a group of protesters.
While Raytheon quietly held a career fair at Northeastern University to recruit students to work for them, they were also met with some pushback.
In an attempt to reach out to students who might be tempted to work at Raytheon, individuals from the Coalition to Stop Genocide in Yemen and Massachusetts Peace Action, lined up in front of the school building where the job fair was being held, calling attention to the US Saudi War in Yemen, particularly Raytheon’s involvement – with their bombs repeatedly being used to target civilians.
"Did you go to school to starve and bomb babies?" read Susan McLucas’s sign.
"Raytheon right here, they have an agenda to make money and to kill people and they know what they do," said Lauren, one of the protesters.
The first Senate bill of the year has taken on those who seek to boycott Israel over its treatment of Palestinians. In a complicated maneuver, the Senate has voted to allow states to boycott the boycotters. Is it a free speech/First Amendment issue? Supporters of the bill say no. Many civil libertarians disagree. We weigh both sides of the argument in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
A new survey finds broad public support for staying in the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty that Trump is killing:
Two-thirds of survey respondents oppose abandoning the treaty, and instead favor pursuing diplomacy to resolve the dispute over compliance by the Russians, according to the survey, conducted by the Program for Public Consultation at the University of Maryland in conjunction with the University’s Center for International and Security Studies. The Center for Public Integrity provided consulting for the survey.
Even the majority of Trump’s fellow Republicans who were surveyed – 55 percent – said they oppose withdrawal from INF, including more than half (51 percent) of self-described Trump voters polled. Among Democrats, 77 percent of respondents said they favor sticking with the treaty.
The survey’s findings make clear that Trump’s decision to exit the treaty doesn’t have popular support, and it shows once again that there is broad public support for arms control agreements. Even among Republicans and Trump voters, more respondents favored sticking with the treaty despite Russian violations. This is one area where there is overall agreement between the public and most foreign policy professionals. The vast majority of arms control experts don’t support withdrawing from the treaty and argue there is nothing to be gained by doing so.