US Ties to Suspected Haiti Assassins Follow Long History of Neocolonial Intervention

From The Grayzone:

A growing number of suspects in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse have US ties. At least one is a former DEA informant and several have received U.S. military training. Scholar Jemima Pierre of The Black Alliance for Peace discusses the unfolding mystery surrounding Moïse’s killing and the context of longtime US, foreign intervention and neocolonialism in Haiti.

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Foreign Policy Is Not a Game

David Brooks tells a tale of sanitized U.S. foreign policy and likens our two major failed wars of the twenty-first century to a bad night of pitching:

For most of the past century, human dignity had a friend – the United States of America. We are a deeply flawed and error-prone nation, like any other, but America helped defeat fascism and communism and helped set the context for European peace, Asian prosperity and the spread of democracy.

Then came Iraq and Afghanistan, and America lost faith in itself and its global role – like a pitcher who has been shelled and no longer has confidence in his own stuff. On the left, many now reject the idea that America can be or is a global champion of democracy, and they find phrases like “the indispensable nation” or the “last best hope of the earth” ridiculous. On the right the wall-building caucus has given up on the idea that the rest of the world is even worth engaging.

It is very American to look at failed wars that killed hundreds of thousands of people, displaced millions, and destabilized entire regions and conclude that the real victim is America’s confidence in itself. If we have “lost faith” in our “global role,” it is because we have come to realize that many of the myths we have woven about ourselves are false and we are not the benevolent hegemon or indispensable nation that interventionists said we were. Believing in these myths led the US to commit not only major blunders, but serious and terrible crimes against whole nations. The phrases themselves are clichés, but it is the people that cling to them as guides to policymaking that deserve the ridicule.

The baseball metaphor trivializes decades of disaster, and it makes it seem as if wars that last a generation are no more than having an off night playing a game. Foreign policy isn’t a game. The “pitcher” flung countless bombs and missiles at these two countries, committed war crimes against the civilian population, and waged a damaging “war on terror” in many other parts of the world. The “field” where Brooks urges the US to remain is soaked in the blood of countless innocents, and pretty much everywhere that the US has forcibly intervened is demonstrably worse off than it was before our forces arrived.

Brooks asserts that this has “meant that global terrorism is no longer seen as a major concern in daily American life,” but that’s not true. Large majorities of American remain preoccupied with the exaggerated threat from terrorism because our leaders keep telling them almost twenty years after 9/11 that they should still be afraid. The US has “taken the fight” to lots of groups in at least half a dozen countries, and the result has been to make life for ordinary people in those countries much worse. The actual threat to the US from international terrorism is small, but our “war on terror” has been nothing but a boon to terrorist organizations, which have proliferated and carried out far more attacks than they had before the war began.

Read the rest of the article at SubStack

Daniel Larison is a weekly columnist for Antiwar.com and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

Battle of the Atlantic: Citing Nazi Germany as Model, US Military Chief Hails New NATO Command

General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was in Norfolk, Virginia on July 15 to mark the second NATO command in America achieving full operational capability. NATO’s Joint Force Command – Norfolk (JFC-Norfolk) joined NATO’s Allied Command Transformation (ACT) in the same city as the only NATO commands outside Europe.

ACT, whose website is titled Allied Command Transformation: NATO’s Warfare Development Command, was inaugurated in 2003.

The new command was initially launched shortly after NATO’s Joint Support and Enabling Command was in Ulm, Germany in late 2019. Both commands at that time achieved initial operational capability (or initial operating capability). Joint Force Command – Norfolk is designed to expedite the deployment of troops and armor across the Atlantic; Joint Support and Enabling Command’s mission is to “speed up, coordinate and safeguard the movement of allied armor and infantry across European borders.” The two are thus integrally connected.

Continue reading “Battle of the Atlantic: Citing Nazi Germany as Model, US Military Chief Hails New NATO Command”

A Thoroughly Misleading Article on Iran and the Nuclear Deal

A new article on Biden and Iran in The New York Times typifies the serious flaws in a lot of American reporting about Iran and related issues. David Sanger frames Biden’s approach to Iran as a “balancing act” between sometimes bombing Iranian-backed Iraqi militias and negotiating over the U.S. return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The two issues are “deeply intertwined,” Sanger informs us, but he doesn’t talk about the thing that actually links them, which is the ongoing economic war against Iran that Biden has continued. The only reference to sanctions in the entire article is a passing mention of sanctions imposed on the incoming Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi.

There are several points where the article presents the reader with false or misleading information, and there are several places where important context is left out. Sanger refers to Iran’s “march toward the capacity to build a nuclear weapon,” but there is no such march. To the extent that Iran has increased enrichment, it has done so to protest the sanctions imposed on them by Trump and kept in place by Biden. If the U.S. would rescind these sanctions, Iran would resume complying with the agreement as they had done for the first three and a half years since implementation started. He describes this “march” as being “in part an effort to demonstrate that Tehran is a force to be reckoned with in the Middle East and beyond,” but the Iranian government had accepted extensive restrictions on its nuclear program and intrusive inspections to verify compliance just a few years ago. Whatever effort Iran might be making to show that it is a “force to be reckoned with,” it decided that building up its nuclear program was no longer a necessary part of that. The problem is that the U.S. under Trump refused to take yes for an answer and insisted on a raft of new demands that Iran was never going to accept.

Later in the article, Sanger comments on a meeting between Biden and outgoing Israeli president Reuel Rivlin: “It was intended as a signal that Israel and the United States share the same goal, even if they have very different concepts of how to disarm the Iranians. [bold mine-DL]” Iran has no nuclear weapons, it has no nuclear weapons program, and it does not enrich uranium to weapons-grade level, so there is nothing to “disarm.” The effect of Sanger’s language is to create confusion about the current state of Iran’s nuclear program and its current position on whether to build nuclear weapons. To say that Biden is seeking to disarm them implies that they are currently armed when they are not.

Read the rest of the article at SubStack

Daniel Larison is a weekly columnist for Antiwar.com and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

Conflicts of Interest: Hawks in Dove Feathers

On COI #135, Connor Freeman – writer at the Libertarian Institute – returns to the show to discuss how the popular ‘Breaking Points’ podcast sells war under the guise of populism and nonintervention. Connor reviews the career of host Saagar Enjeti, who spent time in neocon hotspots like the Hudson Institute before joining The Hill’s YouTube show, ‘Rising.’ While Saagar – as well as co-host Krystal Ball – present themselves as members of the independent media, they often echo the empire’s narrative.

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The Insane Idea of Attacking Cuba

Francis Suarez, the mayor of Miami, just casually suggested military action against Cuba today:

“Are you suggesting air strikes in Cuba?” MacCallum interrupted.

“What I’m suggesting is that that option is one that has to be explored and cannot be just simply discarded as an option that is not on the table,” Suarez responded.

Suarez is a politician in Miami, so he is probably just pandering to hard-liners there, but it is important to understand why military action against Cuba is absolutely not an option that “has to be explored.” It would be insane, immoral, and illegal.

It would be an act of illegal aggression against another state. There is no pretense here that the United States would be defending itself, so it would be out-and-out aggression against a small, neighboring country. This is the very sort of act that the U.N. Charter’s prohibition on the use of force was meant to discourage. Article 2 (4) of the Charter states, “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.” Initiating hostilities against a weaker country because you want to exploit its internal political upheaval is not noble or admirable. It is criminal.

Read the rest of the article at SubStack

Daniel Larison is a weekly columnist for Antiwar.com and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.