June 23, 2003
The Greens—International Solidarity

(See this post for background on this series.)

A Global Green Deal: Build world peace and security through a Global Green Deal. First, the US should finance universal access to primary education, adequate food, clean water and sanitation, preventive health care, and family planning services for every human being on Earth. According to the 1999 UN Development Report, it would take only an additional $40 billion to Fund Global Basic Human Needs, an amount that is only 13% of the 2000 US military budget. Second, the US, which now spends half of the world's military expenditures by itself, should demilitarize its economy and reinvest the Peace Dividend in financing and technical assistance for an Ecological Conversion of Human Civilization to Sustainable Systems of Production.

The US is expected to be responsible for curing all the ills of the world. How typical; a blame-America-first in reverse (demand handouts from America first). Considering how much graft and waste occurs is some of the most impoverished countries, that figure should be four or five times higher, at least. And if we expect the countries to spend the money on the projects for which they are intended, isn't that a form of imperialism, exerting our will upon sovereign nations? I can guarantee that some will use that sort of convoluted reasoning against any sort of control.

Also note the capitalization of "Ecological Conversion of Human Civilization to Sustainable Systems of Production"; it's as if they are citing chapter and verse of their bible; perhaps they are. Fundamentalism comes in many forms, and this is just as offensive as any other manifestation.

Peace Conversion: Cut US military spending unilaterally by 75% in two years to establish a non-interventionist, non-offensive, strictly defensive military posture and save nearly $250 billion a year.

This is just about the only way they can even conceive of financing their grandiose plans for a government-run paradise. Their plans for a defensive, non-interventionist military sound suspiciously like the Republicans of the 1930's who opposed Roosevelt's plans to strengthen our military. I don't know about you, but *I* am glad that Roosevelt kept the military growing.

Peace Dividend: Dedicate the $250 billion a year Peace Dividend to the Global Green Deal, Ecological Conversion, the Economic Bill of Rights, and providing full income and benefits for all workers and soldiers displaced by demilitarization until they find new jobs at comparable income and benefits.

Considering that this will irrevocably and permanently damage or destroy our military's ability to fight, offensively or defensively, and will shutter the entire defense industry, with hundreds of thousands of workers, we are talking about a mighty big dividend indeed. By wiping out a tremendous number of relatively high-paying jobs, there will be people looking for a LONG time for jobs that pay as well.

Unilateral Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Disarmament: These weapons of mass destruction have no place in a non-offensive military. The US should set the example and demand that other nations match our lead before the proliferation of weapons to countries around the world leads to mass destruction.

When has this strategy worked? Do you really think that China and France will give up their nukes? Do you really think that India and Pakistan will back down? Do you think that Libya and Syria will give up their chemical weapons and their research facilities? For what it's worth, the US does not possess any bioweapons, and all of our research is geared towards finding antidotes and cures to bioweapons such as anthrax and pneumonic plague.

Cooperative Security: Pursue a "cooperative security" strategy that seeks mutual arms reductions, progressive elimination of cross-border offensive capabilities, and further cuts in military spending. The goal is to progressively demilitarize down to a non-offensive defense of U.S. national territory using a coast guard, border guard, national guard, and light air defense system, which would cost about $3 billion, or less than 1% of current US military spending.

There is no way that our country could be defended for such an absurdly low sum. After 12 straight years of decline (in absolute terms, before taking inflation into account), our military budget starting inching up again during the end of the Clinton Administration. It didn't kick into high gear until after 9/11. The events of September 11, 2001 illustrate that we cannot survive through wishes and hopes, and I sincerely hope that the official Green Party platform will be adjusted to take those events into account.

NOTE: The party's platform was adopted in 2000, but this is the current wording from the official website. If they have changed their platform, there is no identification as such.

Democratize the United Nations: Cooperative security cannot work as long as the United Nations remains a US puppet. Support reforms to democratize the United Nations, such as more proportionality and power in the General Assembly, an elected Security Council, and the elimination of the Great Power Veto on the Security Council.

The UN is a US puppet? What are they smoking? I support the veto as a guarantee against tyranny of the majority, as Israel would have been voted out of existence long ago if not for the US veto power. It sounds amusing to wish to democratize an organization of nations of which a plurality are not (and never have been) democratic.

A Pro-Democracy Foreign Policy: We call for a fundamental shift in US foreign policy, from supporting repressive regimes in the interests global corporations to supporting the pro-democracy labor, social, and environmental movements of the people. ·Support International, Multilateral Peacekeeping to Stop Aggression and Genocide ·No Unilateral US Intervention in the Internal Affairs of Other Countries ·Close All Overseas US Military Bases ·Disband NATO and All Aggressive Military Alliances ·Ban US Arms Exports ·Abolish the CIA, NSA, US Army School of the Americas, and All US Agencies of Covert Warfare ·End the Economic Blockades of Cuba, Iraq, and Yugoslavia ·Cut Off US Military Aid to Counter-Insurgency Wars in Colombia and Mexico ·Freedom for Lori Berenson and All Political Prisoners ·Require a National Referendum to Declare War

Hmmm. Multilateral peacekeeping is not covered by the coast guard/national guard/border patrol security envisioned by their "cooperative security" plank. Is it too much to ask for consistency within sections of a party platform?

No unilateral intervention...the only one I can think of would be Panama. Korea was under the auspices of the UN. Vietnam was supported by a number of governments. The first phase of the gulf war (arguably just one, since the cease-fire terms violations by the Iraqis caused the resumption of combat) enjoyed international support; the second phase had the support (material and moral) of a host of nations. Even the Grenada invasion was at the behest of four of the island nation's neighbors, frightened of what was going on in their back yards.

NATO is not an aggressive military alliance. It is defensive in nature. The only reason NATO began the offensive in the Balkans is because the Europeans lack the infrastructure to adequately police their own neighborhood without US support.

We've accomplished two of the three, regarding embargoes—Iraq and Serbia and Montenegro are no longer under trade restrictions. Of course, they didn't end under the circumstances that the greens envisioned, but it's what they wanted.

Lori Berenson is not a political prisoner. She was jailed by the outraged Peruvians, who really resented a foreigner aiding a murderous terrorist group which derives its support from the Cuban government. In any case, wouldn't forcing the Peruvians to release her be intervening in their internal affairs?

Requiring a referendum to declare war is another one of those things that requires an inconvenient constitutional amendment. Damn that pesky piece of parchment!

End Global Financial Exploitation: Cancel the debt owed by poor countries to global banks. End the exploitation of poor countries by IMF "structural adjustment" policies. Abolish the IMF and World Bank and replace them with a democratic international financial institution for balancing international accounts and financing short-term current account balances.

They're not content with destroying our banking system; they want to destroy the entire global financial system. Wipe the slate clean and abolish the accounting systems to keep track of how the money is spent. Why should we have any money? We can give it ALL to the third world. We know how they have demonstrated their fiscal prudence.

Fair Trade: Withdraw from the World Trade Organization, NAFTA, and all other corporate-managed trade agreements that are driving down labor and environmental conditions globally. Establish an internationalist social tariff system that equalizes trade by accounting for the differences among countries in wages, social benefits, environmental conditions, and political rights. Tariff revenues to a democratic, international fund for ecological production and democratic development in poor countries in order to level up social and environmental conditions to a high common standard.

More anti-globo claptrap. It all sounds nice and warm and fuzzy, but it is totally unattainable, and in any case it rewards countries which are unwilling to play fairly. As long as there are nations with corrupt leaders, those nations will be mired in poverty, and they will continue to get more money to line their leaders pockets.

posted on June 23, 2003 07:37 PM


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