‘US foreign policy is a marketing strategy for selling weapons’ – Jill Stein
As the two major US political parties have officially selected their nominees for president, Chris Hedges, host of RT’s On Contact program, discussed with the Green Party candidate for president, Dr. Jill Stein, what could be an alternative way forward.
According to Dr Stein, in the current presidential race, the American public is “clamoring for something else at unprecedented levels”.
“People have rejected not only both of these parties, which are minority parties by actual polling…Their candidates are running at record levels, all time highest for people disliking the Democratic and Republican candidates,” she said.
“The American people and the people all over the world are being thrown under the bus by this political system…in which both parties are basically funded by and controlled by predatory banks, by fossil-fuel giants, by war-profiteers, the health insurance industry - the usual suspects who are calling the shots from behind the closed doors,” Stein says.
Stein says that since her campaign and the Green Party “are the only candidates and party” that do not take money from corporations and lobbyists, and do not have super PACs, they have “the liberty to address the crises” that the US people are facing.
‘What Trump says has already been done by Clinton’
Speaking about the frontrunners, the Green Party candidate noted that if you “look at the track record, the terrible things that Donald Trump says – which are truly reprehensible and horrific – have actually been done by Hillary Clinton”.
For example, she said, “on immigrants, xenophobia and hate mongering, we’ve learned that Trump and the Republicans are the party of hate and fear”. But, Stein went on, “the Democrats are the party of deportation, detentions, and night raids”.
And the night-raiding is carried out against the women and children “who are feeling the violence that Hillary Clinton herself gave the thumbs up to with this horrific corporate coup in Honduras”.
US policies very much promoted by “Clinton herself are generating these refugees, which she then, and the Democrats, are criminalizing when they get here and sending them back,” says Stein.
Speaking about security issues - “finger on nuclear button”, as she put it, the Green Party candidate noted that Trump makes “irresponsible statements” and Clinton advocates the enforcing of a no-fly zone over Syria “against a nuclear armed country that is Russia.”
Clinton has already been antagonizing Russia by surrounding it with missile bases and soldiers, Stein said. “How would we feel if Russian troops were amassing on the border of Mexico and Canada?” she added.
Trump – product of economic misery created by Clintons
Dr Stein has called Donald Trump “a product” of economic misery, which created vulnerability, fear, and sense of dread on behalf of the American worker and middle class, “to whom adversity is somewhat new”.
“They become very vulnerable to demagoguery, to wishful memory about ‘how we can recreate a powerful America of the past’,” she said. But not much is being asked about what caused this misery. In Stein’s opinion, this goes back to Wall Street deregulation “and the economic crash” that resulted in disappearance of millions of jobs, “stole five million homes out from under home owners, and to NAFTA which basically allowed a million jobs and more to be sent overseas and for wages to be pushed downward.”
The Wall Street deregulation passed by Bill Clinton was advocated for and celebrated by Hillary Clinton, she said.
“So, putting another Clinton in the White House – that’s not a solution; that was the problem, that is only going to fan the flames of right-wing extremism,” Stein said.
‘We bailed out crooks, time to bail out their victims’
The real solution would be economic investments in a form of a Green New Deal like the one that got the US out of the Great Depression and job-creation, the Green Party candidate said.
“This is not a kind of pie in the sky that we can fix this. The real solution here is economic investment; it’s job creation; it’s not wish fulfilment about how Donald Trump is going to cut a better deal for us. Donald Trump leaves a lake of bankruptcies and lawsuits behind him from workers who’ve been cheated, and jobs that have been sent overseas. So, Big Daddy is not the Big Daddy that we need,” she said.
The Green Party, she insists, can grow the economy in a just and sustainable way. Her campaign suggests cancelling the student debt that affected about 40 million people “like we cancelled the debt for the Wall Street crooks who crashed the economy.”
“If we bailed out the crooks, it’s time to bail out their victims through the same tool of quantitative easing that doesn’t cost taxpayers a thing…” Jill Stein said.
Demilitarizing foreign policy
The US spends a trillion dollars a year on its military, says Jill Stein. If that budget is cut it in half, the American economy will have the money it needs at home to provide for free public higher education, insure any health costs that aren’t covered already and work with other countries to address the problem of climate change – which remains one of the crucial problems globally, she believes.
“Few people know what we pay for this catastrophic military which shoots first and asks questions later. In fact, what we have is a foreign policy which is essentially a marketing strategy for selling weapons,” she said. “We’ve had these wars for oil - which are opportunities to sell weapons and to come and dear other people’s fossil fuel resources, which is basically what our military is doing. Why do we have a thousand bases for a hundred countries around the world? This isn’t something that other countries do.”
The reason why the US keeps doing so is to safeguard its energy supplies and their routes of transportation, Stein says.
“This can no longer be justified – it’s all obsolete when we have a Green New Deal, which will reach 100 percent wind, water and sun clean renewable energy entirely by 2030. So, we can begin phasing down this network and stop stealing other people’s oil right now,” she said.
The US spent six trillion dollars on wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – both of which failed, the presidential candidate said.
The US killed a million people in Iraq alone, “not winning the hearts and minds of people in the Middle East to say the least. And what do we have for it? Failed states, mass refuge migrations that are tearing apart Europe as well as the Middle East, and creating worse terrorist threats,” she added.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.