BECK index

LET US
MAKE PEACE
in 2021

with Freedom, LOVE
& Justice for All
What a Good President Can Do

by Sanderson Beck

 

Questions with Answers

Why are you running for President?
How does your experience qualify you to become President?
As part of your educational campaign will you please explain which crisis you consider the most urgent at this time and why?
So what are the cures? What policies do you recommend to cure US addiction to war?

Why are you running for President?

My purpose is to share enlightening knowledge on how with love, freedom, and wisdom we can bring about peace, health, prosperity, and justice to our troubled society that is suffering from militarism, war, inequality, greed, corruption, and a polluted atmosphere. Like Socrates and Jesus, I realize that only God is truly wise, and I do my best to follow the inner spiritual guidance that comes from the Spirit of God and divine principles. I admit that I am a fallible human, and in my effort to learn and teach what is best for everyone I adhere to the following principles:

1. To tell the truth that frees us and never to lie to people.
2. Always to seek ideas and policies that will work for the good of everyone.
3. To listen to people and learn as much as I can from experts on relevant issues.
4. To work as hard as I can to serve all the people by God’s will rather than money and what is selfish.
5. When I realize I may have made a mistake, to work to correct it as soon as possible.
6. To love and respect all persons regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, political views or other opinions, wealth or social positions.
7. To work to maximize the freedom of individuals to choose for themselves a good life as long as they do not interfere with the freedom of others.
8. To make sure that everyone in the United States has the opportunity to meet their basic needs for security, health care, education, access to justice, clean water, pure air, food, housing, and clothing.
9. To dedicate my life to resolving violent conflicts nonviolently by ending wars, reducing weapons of war, abolishing nuclear bombs, and replacing them with peacekeeping and settlement of disputes by justice through international law and diplomacy.
10. To work to preserve the delicate web of life on Earth as a habitat for humans and other living creatures by reducing pollution and restoring land to maintain fresh water.
11. To transform our judicial system so that everyone has equal justice including victims of crime and so that perpetrators, instead of being punished and made worse, can have opportunities to rehabilitate themselves with education, counseling, and fair treatment.
12. To respect the right of women to have sovereignty over their own bodies and what is in them. To encourage birth control so that unwanted pregnancies can be avoided.
13. To reform elections so that it is easier for everyone to vote, to promote the National Popular vote in enough states to replace the Electoral College, and to institute ranked voting so that one does not have to choose between the “lesser of two evils” including in the 2020 Democratic primaries.
14. To communicate with the public by holding regular news conferences and by answering questions openly and honestly.
15. To be fiscally responsible by greatly reducing military spending and by increasing federal revenues by making taxes more progressive so that the wealthy, who have gained from this society, will give back some of their excessive riches to help those who are less fortunate and have had fewer opportunities.
16. To make the United States a safer place by banning assault weapons and reforming gun laws to include limits on guns and ammunition while establishing registration and licensing.
17. To accept refugees who are fleeing from other nations and to respect the rights of immigrants as human beings so that they can become citizens.
18. To share the wealth and skills of Americans with other nations that need assistance with basic needs, in mitigating the effects of climate disruption, and to help them to have healthy and sustainable societies.
19. To respect freedom of expression and learn from critics of my policies as well as those who support them and want to improve them.
20. To share with the public what my policies are and to explain them so that people can understand them and make comments and suggestions.

How does your experience qualify you to become President?

For the past fifty years I have dedicated my life to serving God and humanity. To do that I have been constantly learning. I earned a B.A. in Dramatic Art, an M.A. in Religious Studies, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy. I became a conscientious objector to war in December 1969. In January 1972 I was ordained a Minister of Light in the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA), and in 1974 I was elected to the Ministerial Board and served for two years editing the Ministerial Newsletter. I have taught more than forty college courses in different subjects, mostly in philosophy (especially ethics), psychology, and religion.

In 1982 I formulated principles for the World Peace Movement. In 1987 I traveled to 47 states and met with more than 600 peace groups working to influence the 1988 elections to bring about peace and to take advantage of Gorbachev’s plan for nuclear disarmament. I have protested against wars and militarism with many nonviolent actions and have been arrested for civil disobedience more than fifty times. I founded the non-profit corporation World Peace Communications on September 1, 2001, and since then I have served as its President. I have written and published 36 books that are all on my website and can be read there for free without advertisements. These include 18 volumes on the Ethics of Civilization, a 2-volume History of Peace, and several other books related to world peace and progressive politics.

I have been influenced most by Jesus the Christ, Socrates, Gautama the Buddha, Lao-zi, Confucius, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Francis of Assisi, William Penn, Rousseau, Kant, Emerson, Thoreau, Bahá’u’lláh, Tolstoy, Sylvia Pankhurst, Jane Addams, Dorothy Day, Einstein, Schweitzer, Bertrand Russell, Mandela, Cesar Chavez, Helen Caldicott, Noam Chomsky, and Medea Benjamin to name a few. My policies would implement the teachings of Jesus as well as these thinkers, and I welcome the support of Christians and those of other religions and philosophies.

I admit that I have not been elected or held a political office. My primary goal is to influence the election more than to be elected, though I will be glad to serve if by a miracle I am nominated and elected. I am asking for support during the primaries in the polls so that I can get into the Democratic debates and influence the other candidates and the voters. I believe that many people might prefer a candidate like myself with integrity who is intelligent, honest, and knowledgeable with good policies to professional politicians who have learned how to raise money and then vote or govern so that they can get more money and re-elected. I have noticed that most Democratic candidates this year have very little information on their websites about their policies while asking for money and volunteers. I ask people to compare my policies to theirs especially in regard to my 29 Progressive Benchmarks for evaluating 2020 candidates. If you agree with my policies, I ask for your support during the primaries in order to influence other candidates to adopt these positions.

As part of your educational campaign will you please explain which crisis you consider the most urgent at this time and why?

Yes, I will. In 2014 I published UNITING HUMANITY by Spiritual Evolution & Democratic Revolution: Solutions to the Megacrisis of Climate, Poverty & War, and I published an updated second edition in 2017. Thus there are three major crises we need to solve at the same time, and all three are being made worse by the counter-revolution of the Trump Administration which has been trying to take America in the wrong direction on all three, making them worse. Yet this folly is awakening Americans to the seriousness of these problems. Fortunately progressive Democrats led by Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are helping to move Democrats in a better direction on the issues of climate disruption and economic inequality, and I strongly support these efforts to reform our society and government on those issues. However, the main reason I am running for President is because none of the prominent candidates are taking on the war-and-peace issue adequately as I am attempting to do.

Thus this answer will explain why militarism is the most urgent danger we face as a nation and a species. Recently I read Daniel Ellsberg’s The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a War Planner which is a truly terrifying book. I knew this was humanity’s greatest challenge and have been working on it steadily since 1982. To describe how serious and prevalent this difficulty is I need to review how this has developed in American history.

The western hemisphere was isolated from the rest of human civilization for thousands of years until the largest empires of Incas in Peru and Aztecs in Mexico arose and were conquered by the Spaniards after Columbus “discovered” America for the Europeans who had not followed up on the earlier Vikings’ exploration. As isolated cultures and tribes the native peoples that Columbus incorrectly called “Indians” did not have the advanced technology developed in Asia, North Africa, and Europe nor did they have horses. When conflicts arose, the Europeans used these advantages to subdue the native Americans.

In northern America there were fewer native Americans, and the English and French competed for colonies with each other and with the Spaniards south of these. Many of the English and French who came to America were fleeing religious persecution and monarchical power, and as they settled land and came into conflict with native tribes on the frontiers they used their weapons to dominate them.

One great exception was the colony of Pennsylvania where the Quaker William Penn led the Holy Experiment that respected the natives without using violence and purchased their land from them. This peaceful community was a model and lasted until a military skirmish led by young George Washington in 1754 triggered the French and Indian War in America and then the Seven Years War in Europe. The English colonists helped the British defeat the French and their Indian allies in 1763. Then the British began taxing the Americans to pay for the war, but the colonists resisted without using much violence in the Stamp Act crisis of 1765. More taxes were imposed and were opposed. As the conflict gradually got worse, representatives of the thirteen American colonies met in a Continental Congress in 1774, and the nonviolent struggle erupted into a war in April 1775 which led to the Independence of the United States in July 1776. The Americans fought the imperial British, and the French eventually helped them prevail in 1781. For a few years the Confederation struggled to get along as thirteen states, and in 1787 they decided to form a stronger union and agreed on a revolutionary Constitution which was accepted after an innovative Bill of Rights was added in ten amendments.

The terrible scourge of African slavery had been accepted to keep the northern and southern states together, though the importation of slavery was stopped by 1807. As population increased, the Americans spread west across the continent as the slavery issue festered for decades. Not only did the Americans take land away from native tribes, they also took Texas from Mexico in 1836 and nearly half that nation in the Mexican-American War in 1846-48. The ignorant and foolish President George W. Bush once said, “We are not a conquering people.”

Slavery also existed in Latin American nations, but in the 19th century they managed to eliminate this atrocity without a massive Civil War like the one that killed more than 600,000 people in the United States 1861-65. Abolitionists led by William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass and others worked to liberate slaves and end the rotten system, and they advocated nonviolent means they called “nonresistance” taken from the words of Jesus who advised people “not to resist evil” with violence. Even though Abraham Lincoln hated slavery, he was not an abolitionist and was intent on preserving the Union as his first priority. I have written the dramatic series Abraham Lincoln, and I included in that book my essay, “How Lincoln Could Have Prevented Civil War.” Although the English colonists had seceded from the British Empire, he would not let the southern states secede from the United States, probably because they had such a bad reason for doing so. Nonetheless this evil and conflict could have been solved without massive killing which left traumatic scars and resentment that still persist in the conservative southern states.

The United States spread to the west coast between British Canada and independent Mexico and took over Hawaii and Alaska, though did not admit them as states until 1959. American imperialism went to war against Spain in 1898 and took control of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Though Cuba was dominated by American business, it was not annexed.

Although Woodrow Wilson was raised as a racist in Virginia, as a Princeton professor of political science and president of the university he became a progressive Democrat. After only two years as Governor of New Jersey he was elected US President. His Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan was a pacifist, and Wilson managed to avoid the Great War of 1914 until 1917. He formulated his famous 14 Points to solve the problems of that war; but his innovative plan for the League of Nations tragically failed because the Republican Party opposed it in order to win the Presidency in 1920. President Warren G. Harding was probably the worst president up to that time, and the corruption of the Teapot Dome and extra-marital scandals were ended by his death in 1923. Nonetheless the “trickle-down” economic policies of him, Coolidge, and Hoover led to the stock market crash in 1929 and the beginning of the Great Depression.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt had supported the League of Nations when he was campaigning as the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 1920, and after recovering from polio he was Governor of New York for four years before becoming US President in January 1933 when Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. Without the United States the League of Nations was not strong enough to enforce disarmament efforts, and Germany and Italy were allowed to re-arm and intervene in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). The progressive Republican President Theodore Roosevelt had broken up trusts with his Square Deal, and Franklin Roosevelt worked to alleviate the suffering of the Depression with his famous New Deal legislation that gave people jobs doing constructive work without wasting money and workers on the military.

Once again a Democratic President tried to stay out of a second world war, but FDR led the nation into the war after the traumatic attack on the naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii in December 1941. Roosevelt warned the war leaders not to bomb cities; but in the later stages of the war the United States was destroying cities in Germany and Japan, though it was President Truman who used the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. World War II could have been avoided if the League of Nations had been strong enough to keep the peace and supervise disarmament. Yet Americans came to believe that this was a “good war” fought by the “greatest generation” even though about 80 million people died in that war including more than 50 million civilians, more than 20 million from the USSR and about 420,000 from the US. Yet Nordic nations that were occupied by Germans showed the effectiveness of nonviolent noncooperation. Norway lost about 10,000 people and Denmark 6,000.

Nonviolent methods were used not only by the abolitionists but also by suffragettes working to gain the vote for women and notably by Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa and India, which during thirty years of nonviolent action and negotiation finally won its liberation from the British Empire in August 1947.

The secrecy of the atomic weapons project was blown when the bombs were dropped on Japan. The Soviet Union refused to withdraw their forces from eastern Europe and by 1949 had developed atomic weapons also, beginning the Cold War that would last forty years. In response the US, Canada, and western European nations formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military alliance to contain Communism. By 1953 the US and the USSR had become superpowers with hydrogen bombs that are about 500 times more powerful than atomic weapons.

During the Korean War (1950-53) the US forces were responsible for killing many of the nearly three million people who died. After the United Nations (mostly Americans) drove the invading North Koreans back across the border, in October 1950 the US forces invaded North Korea despite the warning by Zhou Enlai that this would draw the Chinese into the war. Dwight Eisenhower became the first person never to have held a political office before being elected US President iIn 1953 . That year after the death of Stalin he was able to stop the horrendous Korean War. Yet no treaty resolved the conflict between North and South Korea, and many US troops have been stationed in South Korea to this day.

Both the superpowers now had genocidal weapons, and in the nuclear arms race they began developing missiles to deliver them from land and sea as well as by planes. Ellsberg learned that Eisenhower’s policy was to retaliate with massive force to an attack by either the USSR or China by destroying the power of both those large nations because he thought it was too expensive to try to plan separate attacks. This theory of deterring an attack by threatening Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) is truly an insane policy when an all-out nuclear war between superpowers could kill hundreds of millions and might cause a nuclear winter that could bring about the starvation of the survivors.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) directed covert operations that helped overthrow leftists governments in Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, Indonesia in 1965, and Chile in 1973 among others.

As a superpower paranoid that Communist countries were trying to take over the world, the United States got involved supporting the French colonial war in Indochina. After the French were defeated and left in 1954, the US refused to allow North and South Vietnam to be unified.

In 1960 John F. Kennedy ran for President claiming that the US was behind the Russians because of a “missile gap,” but in fact the US was way ahead. In 1961 the United States began stationing Jupiter missiles in Turkey near the USSR. When the US discovered that Russians were moving missiles into Cuba in October 1962, a nuclear confrontation was narrowly avoided because of mediation by Bertrand Russell and the reasonableness of Khrushchev. Kennedy rejected the suggestions of UN Secretary-General U Thant and insisted that his dismantling of the US missiles in Turkey be kept secret. Kennedy had been persuaded to limit atomic testing in 1961, and that year the McCloy-Zorin Accords had made progress toward eliminating nuclear, chemical, and bacteriological weapons of mass destruction; but after the Cuban missile crisis the Soviet Union decided to catch up with the US in the arms race.

In 1964 the US military used an incident in the Gulf of Tonkin to persuade President Lyndon Johnson to escalate that conflict into what became a major war in Vietnam that would kill about 3 million people before it finally ended in 1975. During that war the US dropped bombs about equal to all the explosives in World War II during the Johnson years and as many again under President Nixon. The assassination of Robert Kennedy enabled Nixon to win a narrow victory over Vice President Humphrey who supported Johnson’s war. Recently it was reported that Johnson was planning to end the war; but the day before the election he learned that Nixon had arranged for a Chinese woman to sabotage the peace talks so that he would be elected. Johnson could have revealed that so that Nixon would lose; but he refused to do so because he did not want to expose government secrets. Nixon wanted to use atomic weapons to end the Vietnam War, but the peaceful anti-war demonstrations were so large in the fall of 1969 that he realized it would be political suicide if he did.

Nixon used many dirty tricks to defeat the peace candidate George McGovern in the 1972 elections, but trying to cover up those crimes led to his likely impeachment and resignation in August 1974. President Gerald Ford supported with weapons the Indonesian invasion of East Timor in December 1975 that would kill more than a 100,000 people, and President Carter increased the arms sales to Indonesia which occupied East Timor until 1999. In December 1979 Carter approved deployment of the MX, Trident, Pershing, and cruise missiles, which are first-strike weapons. The Russians responded to that decision by intervening in Afghanistan. Carter reacted by declaring that the US would fight for access to Mideast oil and by cancelling US participation in the Olympic Games at Moscow.

Ronald Reagan secretly and illegally arranged with the Iranians not to release the American hostages while Carter was still President, and they were released on the day he was inaugurated in January 1981. Reagan was a fierce anti-Communist, and he revived the trickle-down theory that his rival George H. W. Bush called “voodoo economics.” By implementing large cuts in taxes for the wealthy while escalating the arms race with increased military spending, Reagan tripled the national debt in his eight years. This gave the temporary illusion of prosperity but actually began the class warfare that shifted to the wealthy almost all of the economic gains during an era of burgeoning computer technology that has continued to increase the economic inequality to this day.

Reagan’s anti-Communism worsened the conflicts going on inCentral America where leftist Sandinistas had taken over Nicaragua, and right-wing death squads were killing people in El Salvador. Reagan sent military aid to El Salvador and approved secret aid to Contra rebels fighting against Nicaragua’s government. When Oliver North arranged for money from the weapons deal with Iran to be sent to Contras in planes that imported cocaine into the US, accelerating the crack epidemic, in 1987 Reagan had to admit the scandal to avoid impeachment.

In March 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union and declared his commitment to abolishing nuclear weapons. At Reykjavík, Iceland in 1986 Gorbachev persuaded Reagan to accept the idea; but his military advisors changed his mind, and the deal was blocked because the US would not give up the Strategic Defense Initiative (called “Star Wars”) which was theoretical and unlikely to work. The only way it could possibly work against a superpower would be in combination with a massive first strike by attempting to shoot down what was left. This crazy idea would destroy the deterrence that had temporarily kept a very precarious peace. Thus the hostility of Reagan and the Republicans to reasonable disarmament and peaceful co-existence missed a golden opportunity to work toward a much more peaceful world.

President George H. W. Bush ordered the invasion of Panama in December 1989 that killed many civilians in order to arrest Manuel Noriega, who had worked for the CIA for a quarter century, but who became so involved in the drug smuggling which Bush wanted to prove that he opposed. Bush gained high approval ratings because of the war mentality in the US with his attack to drive Iraq's forces out of Kuwait in 1991. This brief war killed more than 125,000 Iraqi soldiers and about 50,000 civilians. Then the US imposed sanctions on Iraq that UNICEF reported had caused the death of 878,856 children by 1997 while 1,234,000 suffered from diseases related to malnutrition.

The Cold War ended primarily because of the radical policies of Gorbachev’s restructuring (Perestroika) and openness (Glasnost) as well as his efforts toward disarmament which did persuade Reagan to agree to limit Intermediate Nuclear Forces in the INF Treaty in 1987. Gorbachev actually enabled a totalitarian Communist empire to give up control over allied nations in eastern Europe, withdrew Soviet forces, and allowed them to be independent and democratic. Then he even allowed Soviet Socialist Republics including Russia to become independent and democratic. All of this was done despite Reagan’s unwillingness to agree to complete nuclear disarmament. Yet many Americans believe that Reagan “won the Cold War” by escalating the arms race so much that it bankrupted the Soviet Union. In doing so he turned the US into the world’s largest debtor nation, and those debts have greatly increased since then except during the eight Clinton years which benefited from the peace dividend after the end of the Cold War.

In December 1998 at the same time as President Clinton was violating international law by bombing Iraq, the US Congress overwhelmingly supported that while impeaching him for lying about a consensual sex offense. In 1999 he ordered the bombing of Serbia and Kosovo in the former Yugoslavia.

After the conservatives on the US Supreme Court went against their own principles to steal the Presidential election for George W. Bush in 2000, he gave big tax cuts to the wealthy. Aggressive US interventions in the Mideast provoked retaliation which shocked Americans when 19 hijackers took over four airplanes; two blew themselves up attacking the World Trade Center in New York; one did so at the Pentagon while resistance in the other plane caused it to crash. In reaction the US Congress passed the authoritarian USA PATRIOT Act, and Bush launched an endless war against “terrorism” because some of those allied to the dead hijackers were training people in Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden and others who had fought with the Mujahideen (and later became Al Qaida) had been supported by US military aid sent via Pakistan against the Russians fighting in Afghanistan. In 2002 the US withdrew from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

John Adams once said that there is no greater guilt than to start an unnecessary war which is what George W. Bush did in March 2003 when he ordered US forces to attack Iraq even though inspectors had not found any evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Military historian Andrew Bacevich has suggested that those suspected weapons were a cover story because the US really wanted to control the Mideast because of the oil. Also Bush probably wanted revenge against Saddam Hussein for ordering a failed attempt to assassinate Bush’s father. These disastrous wars have dragged on since then although the US pulled out many troops in 2011 because Iraq would not agree to give US soldiers immunity from criminal prosecutions.

President Obama campaigned on an escalation of the Afghanistan War to please the war mentality that does not want to lose another war like Vietnam. Yet it is very similar to that war, though not as bad. Actually no nation ever wins a war. In war nearly everyone loses except maybe some war profiteers; the victors only manage to lose less than the vanquished.

President Donald Trump has made many dangerous threats of war against North Korea, Iran, and Venezuela especially as well as other hostile remarks. He also has revived and escalated the nuclear arms race, by saying he wants small ones he can use, by pulling out of the INF Treaty, and he has agreed to Obama’s program for a major reconfiguration of the nuclear arsenal over next ten years. He has supported Saudi Arabia’s horrific war against Iranians fighting in Yemen which is suffering terribly from this proxy war in their country. Trump has also followed the Republican plan of cutting taxes for the rich while asking for large increases in military spending.

Since the end of World War II the United States has attempted to overthrow at least 50 foreign governments, interfered in the elections of more than 30 nations, tried to assassinate over 50 foreign leaders, bombed more than 30 countries killing several million people, and tried to suppress popular revolutions against oppressive governments in 20 nations.

The purpose of this history lesson is to show that since December 1941 especially the United States and its people have had a war mentality which I consider a contagious social disease that needs curing if we are going to avoid a future that could destroy the entire human species or make the Earth a living hell poisoned by radiation.

So what are the cures? What policies do you recommend to cure US addiction to war?

Albert Einstein once said, “The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking, and thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.” Thus we need a new way of thinking, a way that Jesus, Buddha, and many others have taught. The nation that prepares for war is likely to go to war, and nations that prepare for war frighten other countries into preparing for war also. Thus we need to make changes in the United States and with other countries. This massive transformation of our civilization from killing each other to a safe and peaceful society that solves its conflicts without violence will take some time and can be carried out in stages. Nonetheless we must begin with an intelligent plan that is practical and thorough to solve this immense problem that humanity is facing. Of course many things can be done at the same time.

Yet to build confidence among the leaders in every nation we can start by disarming the most dangerous and useless weapons of mass of destruction, namely nuclear, bacteriological, and chemical. Much progress has been made on the latter two, and some reductions have been made in the nuclear arsenals of the United States and Russia. Since these two nations still have about 95% of the nuclear weapons in the world, this would be a good place to start. Diplomatic negotiation can lead to confidence-building measures.

During the first two years or so of the Trump administration US relations with Russia have been changing in strange ways. While Trump has been trying to be friendly with Russian President Vladimir Putin in peculiar and mysterious ways, Putin has become more aggressive in his military policy in Ukraine and Syria while also developing supersonic missiles for delivering nuclear bombs. Also many Americans are concerned about how the Russians interfered with the 2016 election to help elect Trump, and this has naturally increased hostility toward Russia.

To understand the views of others, especially our adversaries, we need to look at situations from their point of view. After Gorbachev allowed the dismantling of the Soviet empire and its transition to independent republics that are no longer dominated by the Communist Party, the nuclear weapons were removed from all the states except Russia which while adopting capitalism became almost a kleptocratic country dominated by the rich and powerful under the leadership of Putin.

Gorbachev dissolved the Warsaw Pact in February 1991 and allowed the reunification of Germany with the promise from the US that they would not expand NATO to the east. That commitment made by the first Bush and James Baker was not kept by the US presidents that followed who permitted the expansion of NATO to a total of 29 nations by adding seven former Soviet satellite nations in eastern Europe and then even the three former Soviet republics of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. The Trump government has even been sending weapons to Ukraine which is on Russia’s border, and Putin is aiding Russian speakers in Ukraine. Putin has said that the end of the Soviet empire was the worst thing that happened to Russia in the 20th century, and he has been trying to regain some of that. From his viewpoint the US and NATO have been acting very aggressively in relation to Russia, and so it is understandable that he has been trying to build up their defenses. Let us not forget that a main reason why Putin wanted to defeat Hillary Clinton was because she had tried to get him defeated in the 2012 Russian presidential election. She practiced what she called “coercive diplomacy” which violates the United Nations Charter by threatening the use of force.

Negotiations with Russia will be complicated and must consider various factors in order to work out agreements that will be good for both nations and the world. Nuclear disarmament will actually be of great benefit to the United States and Russia because both nations will save much money and wasted efforts on those weapons systems.

Since the Warsaw Pact no longer exists and because several of those nations have joined NATO, why is there a need for the NATO military alliance that was formed to prevent the expansion of the Communist Soviet empire which also no longer exists? Who appointed NATO and the US to be the police for the whole world? Many nations and people resent this, especially Muslims in the Mideast. Why should the US and the NATO nations have to bear this burden? If there is to be a world police force to keep the peace, then it should be done by an international organization such as the United Nations. Using UN Peacekeepers would be a good step in the right direction. Yet in the long run we also need to realize that UN peacekeeping is supervised by the UN Security Council in which the five powers that won World War II and were the first to get nuclear weapons control that council. Thus making United Nations governance of international law more democratic would also be a major step forward.

The United States will also gain much by dismantling its imperialistic militarism not only by giving up its useless genocidal weapons but also by removing its military bases in foreign countries. Okinawans have been protesting against US bases there for decades. The US has about 800 military bases in at least 70 other nations, far more than any other country.

The total US military spending for the 2020 fiscal year is $1.668 trillion. This comes from $704 billion in the Defense Department and $112 billion military expenditures in other departments. Additional spending is $868 billion for military health care, retiree pay, veterans benefits, and interest on the national debt caused by past borrowing for the military. China is now second in the world spending about $250 billion, and Russia this year will spend only $61 billion. The other 12 nations in the top 15 are all allies of the US. I estimate that the changes I am recommending could enable the US to reduce its $816 billion spending on current military by about 25% per year. Progressive taxes to pay down the national debt will reduce interest payments.

I also recommend that the US stop using the CIA to lie to people and conduct covert operations. The use of pilotless airplanes and drones to drop bombs and assassinate “enemies” in other countries must be ended because these are violations against international law (war crimes). How would Americans like it if other nations did this in the United States?

Negotiation to end the war in Afghanistan by being fair to all sides will enable the US to withdraw its forces and weapons from that nation. United Nations peacekeepers could be employed there, and to encourage the maintenance of peace the US could send humanitarian aid.

The United States could close its military bases in foreign nations and bring the troops home. The United States should also stop selling weapons and giving military aid to other nations. After the United States and Russia have disarmed at least half of their nuclear arsenals and related weapons systems, then the other nuclear nations could be persuaded to disarm their nuclear weapons at the same time that US and Russian nuclear arms are completely dismantled. As nuclear weapons are abolished, UN inspectors could make sure that no nation has cheated or hidden any. If one or two nations refuse to give up their nuclear weapons, then other nations should impose nonviolent sanctions until they do so.
     
After nuclear arms have been abolished, the next phase would begin to disarm the worst weapons of war in stages including missiles, air forces, navies, and armies. These steps will improve the economies of nations and make wars much less likely and smaller if any should break out. Nations would still have police for law enforcement in their jurisdiction, but no nation would be allowed to send any forces outside their borders. The United Nations could be made more democratic and could be strengthened to keep the peace and make sure that international law is enforced as nonviolently as possible. UN peacekeepers trained in conflict resolution would be composed of volunteers from every country with no more than 5% from one nation.

As the most powerful nation in human history and believing itself to be dedicated to democratic ideals, the United States could transform itself from being feared and hated in the world to lead the world to peace with justice through nonviolence and international law. Having been perhaps the most warlike nation in the world for the past three generations, the United States could redeem itself and its ideals by leading the world to peace through universal disarmament and respect for human rights of which the most basic is security that prevents violence.

Copyright © 2019 by Sanderson Beck

UNITING HUMANITY by Spiritual Evolution & Democratic Revolution: Solutions to the Megacrisis of Climate, Poverty & War

29 Progressive Benchmarks for evaluating 2020 candidates

Beck for President 2020

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