The November election in the USA

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By JEFFREY D. SACHS*

The two major U.S. parties offer no real alternative to Americans on the life-and-death issues of war and peace.

Democrats and Republicans are increasingly outdoing each other to see who can lead us, faster, to a Third World War. Joe Biden and Congressional Democrats are making several convincing proposals to be the leaders in this war race. Democratic Party congressmen, for example, just voted unanimously – 210 votes in favor and zero against – a proposal to further prolong the War in Ukraine, approving an additional US$61 billion to kill more Russians and Ukrainians and, for a vast majority by 173 to 37 votes, authorize another $14 billion to expand Israel's mass massacre of Palestinians in Gaza.

Donald Trump considered, shortly before the vote, that the survival and strengthening of Ukraine are “important to us“, and that Europe should pay more for it. Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson also did his part to promote war, calling Russia, China and Iran the new “axis of evil”. The insult came just as Secretary of State Antony Blinken was traveling to China to threaten to impose more US sanctions if China negotiates with Russia in ways that the US disapproves of.

In this context, the peace-friendly presidential candidate with the greatest electoral strength is Jill Stein, candidate for the Green Party, who is about to appear on electoral ballots across the country.[I] Indeed, the Green Party is well advanced in its goal of achieving full national reach, and is working hard to achieve that goal.[ii] Cornel West, another passionate candidate for the cause of peace, is on the ballot in some states, but, as an independent, he faces prohibitive expenses to access the ballots, due to an unfair electoral system manipulated by the two main parties.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., unfortunately, is only a candidate for peace, incisive about ending the War in Ukraine through diplomatic channels, but who vehemently supports Israel's war in Gaza, instead of the urgent and necessary use of diplomatic negotiations capable of ending the war.

On these bipartisan grounds, the White House and Congress are moving the world toward global war. Washington has absolutely no strategy for Ukraine to win the war, but it is determined to arm the country to kill as many Russians as possible, even as the war kills many more Ukrainians. Since the beginning of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine, I called for a negotiated peace, emphasizing the need for Ukrainian neutrality and an end to NATO expansion – which is intensely and understandably opposed by Russia as an existential threat. However, Joe Biden and Congress continue to insist on NATO expansion into Ukraine and therefore more war. The result? Ukraine has suffered hundreds of thousands of casualties and continued territorial losses.

At the same time, Joe Biden is now arming Israel to commit even more war crimes without the slightest compunction, with more support still on the way. US complicity in the Israeli massacre in Gaza is strongly rejected by the American people, especially young people, but Joe Biden and Congress are not listening to the people. The South African government, in a nomination to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), vehemently stated that Israel is committing genocide. However, when American students say the same thing, they are arrested. In fact, the ICJ quickly decided that Israel's actions may well violate the Genocide Convention de 1948,[iii] A final decision is still pending, which will take longer.

If all this were not enough, the US continues to escalate its various provocations against China. In this sense, the US is imposing new unilateral measures regarding international trade, finance and technology to harm China's economy. These measures even violate the American commitment to follow international trade rules; in any case, the US still blatantly imposes them when they consider it necessary. In yet another paranoid and vindictive action, Congress also voted today (29/04/2024) that TikTok must be sold by its Chinese owners to an American owner.

The US also had the gall to attack China for its “overcapacity” in manufacturing production. The term “overcapacity” really just means that China produces a large volume of high-quality manufactured goods at very low prices. Chinese electric vehicle production processes, for example, are surprisingly efficient.

More recently, Biden positioned US troops on Kinmen Island, an island of Taiwan, in flagrant violation of the “One China” policy that has been the basis of US relations with China and therefore peacekeeping. The US has also lightly ramped up anti-China rhetoric, along with the leaders of Japan and South Korea.

The Joe Biden administration’s antagonism toward Iran is equal parts relentless and hypocritical. On April 1, Israel bombed Iran's diplomatic complex, in a flagrant violation of international law. However, rather than condemning Israel's actions, the US vetoed criticism of Israel by the UN Security Council the next day. When, however, Iran counterattacked on April 14, the US harshly criticized Iran e até imposed new sanctions. Washington does what it can to justify employing such ambiguous standards of judgment.

In short, summarizing the issue of the alleged “axis of evil. The US rejects negotiations with Russia because it wants to use the War in Ukraine to weaken Russia, even as the war completely destroyed Ukraine in the process. The US refuses to take any action to contain Israel's mass massacre in Gaza. The US flagrantly provokes China in many ways. The US punishes Iran for an escalation initiated by Israel. In other words: there is no axis of evil. Instead, the US has increasingly brought Russia, China and Iran closer together against their relentless and misguided warmongering.

Americans are deeply dissatisfied with all this warmongering. According to research, only 33% of Americans approve of Biden's foreign policy. Biden is actually a longtime neocon, supporting NATO expansion, military adventures and “regime change” operations for decades. He is also unfit to lead the country for another four years and should not be running for re-election anyway.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump, as president, armed Ukraine, disdained the Minsk II agreement that would have neutralized the crisis, and made a point of antagonizing China and Iran, abandoning diplomacy. For these reasons, the world is closer to the Armageddon nuclear than ever, just missing 90 seconds to midnight, according to Doomsday Clock from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

In short: America's two major parties offer no real alternative to Americans on the life-and-death issues of war and peace. Both are parties of war. Both continue to pour more and more money and ammunition into trying to hide their previous reckless and frivolous calculations. Both parties also serve the same financiers: Wall Street, the military-industrial complex, and the mega-rich, who finance both parties to obtain tax cuts and subsidies for the rich, NATO expansion, and arms contracts for industrial companies. military. Peace and economic justice, therefore, go hand in hand in this context.

The real hope for a sound foreign policy and a fair economy is the leading peace candidate, Jill Stein. In this sense, the most important work of peace activists in the coming weeks is to ensure that Stein is on the ballot in every state in November, despite the brazen attempts of the two major parties to keep the Green Party and peace candidates off the ballot. . As record numbers of Americans speak out for a political alternative outside the failed parties of war and Wall Street, as well as for diplomatic solutions to the wars ravaging the world, a wave of voting for peace could very well occur in November. If Jill Stein is on the ballot nationwide, at least voters will have that choice.

*Jeffrey D. Sachs is professor of economics at Columbia University. Author, among other books, of The era of sustainable development (Current Ed.).

Translation: Lucia Moliani & Sergio Braga.

Originally published on author portal.

Translators' notes


[I] Jill Stein (https://twitter.com/DrJillStein), American doctor and politician, born in Chicago on May 14, 1950, is the Green Party's pre-candidate for president of the United States. In April 2024, she was arrested during a pro-Palestine protest in Washington University. Web site: https://www.jillstein2024.com/

[ii] The candidate's campaign to obtain the signatures and funds necessary for her presidential election candidacy to appear on the electoral ballot can be accessed through the following link: https://www.jillstein2024ballotaccess.com/

[iii] A Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (known as the “Genocide Convention”) is an instrument of international law that codified the crime of genocide for the first time, approved by the UN in 1948 and which came into force in 1951. See the link: https://www.un.org/en/genocideprevention/documents/Genocide%20Convention-FactSheet-ENG.pdf.


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