The U.S. Peace Movement Should Not and Cannot Afford to Remain Silent
U.S. Peace Council — September 24, 2017
- “The United States of America has been among the greatest forces for good for the history of the world… In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone.”
- “We must uphold respect for the law, respect for borders, and respect for culture….”
- “As President of the United States, I will always put America first.”
- “[I]t has just been announced that we will be spending almost $700 billion on our military and defense…. Our military will soon be the strongest it has ever been.”
- “[A] small group of rogue regimes … violate every principle on which the United Nations is based.”
- “Too often the focus of [the United Nations] has not been on results, but on bureaucracy and process…. We cannot wait for … far-off bureaucrats — we can’t do it. We must solve our problems … or we will be … defeated.”
- “The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.”
- “We face decisions not only in North Korea. It is far past time for the nations of the world to confront another reckless regime….”
- “The Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of democracy…. We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building missiles…. The Iran Deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into….”
- “I have also totally changed the rules of engagement in our fight [in Afghanistan] against the Taliban….”
- “The actions of the criminal regime of Bashar al-Assad … shock the conscience of every decent person…. That is why the United States carried out a missile strike on the airbase that launched the [chemical] attack.”
- “[T]he United States has stood against the corrupt and destabilizing regime of Cuba…. [W]e will not lift sanctions on the Cuban government until it makes fundamental reforms.”
- “We have also imposed tough, calibrated sanctions on the socialist Maduro regime in Venezuela…. The socialist dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro has inflicted terrible pain and suffering on the good people of that country…. We are prepared to take further action if the government of Venezuela persists on its path….
- “The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that it has been faithfully implemented…. From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true socialism, or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure. Those who preach the tenets of these discredited ideologies only contribute to the continued suffering of the people…. America stands with every person living under a brutal regime. Our respect for sovereignty is also a call for action.”
We let President Trump’s own words at the United Nations speak for themselves. His speech at the UN General Assembly on September 19, 2017 was the height of dishonesty, hypocrisy, imperialist grand standing, and total contempt for the UN Charter and international law. It also signified the U.S. administration’s intention to revive the old Cold War.
Trump spoke of the “nuclear threat” of North Korea, calling that country’s leader the “Rocket Man,” without mentioning that U.S. and allied forces are at the same time carrying out military exercises on North Korean borders which are aimed at potential invasion of that country. Nor did he mention the fact that the U.S. has installed first-strike anti-missiles near North Korean borders and maintains over 23,000 troops in South Korea.
Trump spoke of the “nuclear threat” of Iran at the time when Iran, while surrounded on all sides by the nuclear-armed U.S. forces, has signed an agreement with the United States and five other states to refrain from developing nuclear weapons.
Trump spoke of the “criminal regime of Bashar al-Assad” at the time when tens of thousands of criminal terrorists, armed and funded by the United States and its allies, are wreaking havoc on the Syrian people while being protected by the illegal U.S. ground and air forces in Syria.
Trump spoke of the “destabilizing regime of Cuba” without mentioning the fact that the U.S. government and the CIA have been persistently trying to destabilize the Cuban revolution and its government, assassinate its leader, illegally occupy its territory in Guantanamo, and continue U.S. blockade of Cuba in violation of repeated resolutions of the same UN General Assembly he was speaking to.
Trump spoke of “taking action” against the “socialist dictatorship” of President Maduro if “Venezuela persists on its path.” (In the past, he had also stated that he was “not going to rule out a military option” against Venezuela.) But he hid the fact that it was the United States that acted illegally against democracy in Venezuela when it staged a coup against its then democratically elected president Hugo Chavez, and is still doing so by trying to bring down the current democratically elected president, Nicolas Maduro.
It is clear from Trump’s words that the “path” that worries him most, not only in Venezuela but in Cuba as well, is the path of free health care, free education, and free public services for all people; a path that Trump is trying to block and reverse within his own country.
Unfortunately, all of the corporate media’s attention, and most of the peace movement’s objections, about President Trump’s speech have so far been only focused on his threats against North Korea and the obvious need for de-escalation of tensions. But as important and urgent as this is, it involves missing the forest for the tree.
Looking at the whole speech, it becomes quite clear that the situation is far more dangerous than it appears. We are now dealing with a qualitative shift in the official U.S. foreign policy — ironically announced at the headquarters of the United Nations — away from the principles of the UN Charter and international law and toward a unilateral declaration of war and intervention by the United States on any country that stands in the way of its ambition for global domination.
Trump’s “America First” policy, as announced by him at the United Nations, is going to be the core of U.S. government’s foreign policy from now on. This means a total rearrangement of international relations in a manner that only serves the United States and its strategic and economic interests. Obviously, such an imperialist policy, as outlined by Trump in his speech at the United Nations, cannot be advanced without violating the principles of the UN Charter and international law.
The U.S. peace movement bears a special responsibility to prevent such a catastrophic outcome. But no proclamation or public statement can by itself prevent the catastrophe. What is urgently needed is a unified anti-war, anti-interventionist front composed of all segments of the peace movement that is capable of mobilizing an effective mass movement against imperialism and war.
U.S. Peace Council calls upon all peace organizations in the United States to lead local, regional and national demonstrations, and visits to members of Congress, including sit-ins, and demand from the U.S. government to:
- Stop U.S. violations of the United Nations Charter and international law;
- Stop U.S. attempts to sabotage other states’ economies and political systems; stop threatening and overthrowing sovereign governments; stop using economic sanctions as a means of undermining sovereign governments;
- Stop U.S. political and military interventions in the internal affairs of other countries; respect the sovereignty of all nations, including Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea;
- Remove the U.S. economic blockade against Cuba; return Guantanamo to Cuba;
- Stop U.S. joint military exercises with South Korea; stop all forms of threats against North Korea; sign a permanent peace treaty with North Korea through peaceful diplomatic negotiations;
- Respect all U.S. treaties with other nations, including the Iran Nuclear Deal;
- Close all U.S. foreign military bases around the world;
- Initiate efforts to expand nuclear-weapons free zones throughout the world; support the recently negotiated UN Treaty banning nuclear weapons;
- Dramatically reduce U.S. war and military spending; rescind the $700 billion military budget, and spend the funds on health care, education, creating jobs, and other social services.
The U.S. Peace Council is ready to join hands with all peace forces to organize the broadest possible mass protests against the extremely belligerent and imperialist U.S. foreign policy as announced by Donald Trump at the United Nations.