Green Party Congressional Candidate Joseph Diaferia (NY-16) is proposing major changes to United States foreign policy. Diaferia, a college professor whose academic background includes the teaching of Global Studies and
U.S. Foreign Policy, is calling for major structural changes to the manner in
which the United States conducts its overseas affairs, including a ban on all military aid to Israel, and the right of return for all Palestinians. In addition,
Diaferia is calling for major United Nations reform, and “hands off” policies
with regard to Iran, Syria, Pakistan, and Venezuela.
Diaferia commented, “As usual, I’m going to be frank: US foreign policy has never been driven by any virtuous or beneficent desire to bring democracy to other nations. Our foreign policy bears a long and tortured history of imperial brigandage. The ultimate objective of US foreign policy has been to appropriate all of the world’s wealth and resources for the benefit of an elite class here at home. In the case of the so-called War on Terror, the US is seeking to control what remains of the world’s oil and gas, and let us not overlook that gold and heroin are also factors here, particularly in Afghanistan.”
Asked about the role of the Israeli military in the pursuit of American geostrategic objectives, Diaferia explained, “For decades, Israel has served two purposes: The first has been to drive a wedge through the Arab world, thereby making itself the target of regional hostility instead of the United States. Second,
the United States has used Israel as a constabulary entity in the Middle East—a
regional police force, if you will. What the US might be reluctant to undertake
in say—Lebanon, Syria, Iran, or even Iraq, its hired garrison state—Israel—is
happy to carry out—with sufficient compensation, of course.”
Diaferia continued, “Lest there be any doubt with regard to Israel’s role, allow me to read what David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister stated in an Israeli newspaper in 1951: [Reading aloud] ‘Strengthening Israel helps the Western powers to maintain equilibrium and stability in the Middle East. Israel is to become the watchdog. There is no fear that Israel will undertake any aggressive policy towards the Arab states when this would explicitly contradict the wishes of the U.S. and Britain. But if for any reason the Western powers should sometimes prefer to close their eyes, Israel could be relied on to punish one or several neighboring states whose discourtesy towards the West went beyond the bounds of the permissible'."
Asked about the removal and subsequent execution of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, and whether or not this has made the world safer, Diaferia replied, “That Saddam Hussein no longer walks this planet is certainly not a bad thing, but at what cost was he eliminated, for what reasons, and why did the US bring him to power in the first place? The US has killed many more Iraqis than Saddam ever did. From 1990 to the present, close to three million Iraqis have died as a result of US’s violent and genocidal policies. What’s more, it needs to be noted that US first cast its predatory eye on Iraq in 1958. This was Operation Cannonbone; it was a US and British plan to invade and occupy the regions of Iraq that were most abundant in oil. Furthermore, most Americans are unaware that the first forcible regime change in Iraq came not in 2003 but in 1963, with the overthrow and execution of Abdel Karem Kassem in a CIA coup.” Continuing, “Yes, Saddam did deploy chemical weapons upon his own civilian population and that was most certainly a war crime. But from whom did he obtain the weapons, and where was the US’s righteous indignation at the time? It wasn’t until the first Bush Administration embarked upon its propaganda campaign against the Iraqi regime that Americans knew anything of the Halabja massacre.”
Diaferia cites “Peak Oil” as the principal force behind US foreign policy of the past decade. Peak oil, whether seen as reality or conjecture, is the point at which oil extraction reaches its maximum. Thus, as oil becomes scarcer it becomes more valuable, especially as it is the means by which the rest of the world’s economy can be manipulated.
According to Diaferia, some experts predict that the peak of oil production is still more than a decade way, while other experts insist that oil production reached its peak in 2006. “In either case”, said Diaferia, “The entire basis for this ‘war that may not end in our lifetime’—as the Bush-Cheneyacs so fondly of proclaimed—is oil and natural gas. And we needn’t speculate here; Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote in 1997 of how the US needed to seize the resources of the Middle East and south and central Asia. The neocons did similarly in the early 1990s. But we must recognize that wars are always waged under some
magnanimous cover and the actual reasons and circumstances under which the US goes to war are never revealed to the American people. In this case, that
ostensible reason for waging war is to hunt down and dispatch terrorists. Even
the US’s intervention into Somalia at the end of 1992, while represented as a
humanitarian expedition to feed starving people—and indeed people were starving there—was actually a military occupation to protect large oil concessions
promised to Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Philips before the pro-US president Siad Barre was overthrown.”
Regarding the need to protect Americans from global terrorism, especially in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001, Diaferia responded, “I’ll be making a more comprehensive statement regarding 9/11 as the eleventh anniversary approaches; however for now, I would say that anyone who has indulged in even a brief perusal of the vast research that has been assembled, knows the official narrative of 9/11 to be impossible. The essence of neo-conservative theory, as conceived by Leo Strauss and Carl Schmitt before him, is that to ensure social cohesion there must be an enemy image. So in light of that, we must allow for the possibility, and yes, the reality of self-inflicted catastrophes.”
Asked if the Independent Commission assigned to investigate the 9/11 attacks provided a sufficient accounting of the US’s massive intelligence failure that day, Diaferia, after bringing his laughter under control, commented, “I’m just going to paraphrase a Canadian journalist named Barrie Zwicker, who once said that the so-called ‘Independent Commission’ was about as independent of White House control as the abused prisoners at Abu Ghraib were from their jailers. There is not a single finding in the Commission’s report that did not meet the approval of the Bush White House. In fact, even some of the Commission’s members have since backed off of their own findings.”
Diaferia concedes that many voters, particularly those with family members serving in the military, may take issue with his foreign policy statements. Additionally, Diaferia allows as how he has often seen and heard his name juxtaposed with such terms as seditious, subversive, un-patriotic, and anti American. However, Diaferia maintains that his views are ultimately pro-American inasmuch as the secrecy and subterfuge with the United States conducts itself globally bespeaks greatness on the part of the American people.
“If we as Americans were not decent and generous people, our government would not have to consistently lie about what it’s doing in other countries. If Americans knew of even a fraction of the atrocities their government was committing, they would smash their TVs, radios, and computers, and take to the streets by the tens of millions. Our government, or more narrowly defined, our national security apparatus, could not continue to be the instrument of class power if Americans were to know that that over the past century their government has killed two million Koreans, three million Vietnamese and hundreds of thousands more in Laos and Cambodia; three million Iraqis; close to a million in Afghanistan, one million in Mozambique, one and a half million in Angola, one million in Indonesia, and tens of thousands more that have been murdered or disappeared in Chile, Guatemala, Iran, Nicaragua, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, East Timor and elsewhere. So, in the long run, I believe I am arguing on behalf of the greatness and kindness of the American people. It is our leadership that has blazed a trail of uranium saturated carnage throughout the world. These are not the actions of the American people.”
Diaferia concluded by calling for the United States to redirect the nations resources from waging wars of despotic conquest (Diaferia notes that at this writing, the War on Terror has cost over $1.3 trillion) to education, housing, health care, nutrition, and a federal jobs program.
Said, Diaferia, “Wealth that should be used for the benefit of the American people and people worldwide, is instead being squandered on murder and destruction in pursuit of what has amounted to the biggest oil grab in history. Simply stated, over a trillion dollars spent committing crimes against humanity, to secure a resource that is neither ecologically sound nor sustainable, to perpetuate an economic system that is neither sustainable, nor ecologically sound, nor humane. We have the means to
do better. We must.”
Diaferia’s foreign policy proposals also call for:
1.) Closure of all U.S. military facilities abroad, and those at home
that train foreign military and paramilitary personnel.
2.) Immediate and unconditional withdraw of US forces from Iraq and
3.) An end to the U.S. occupation of Guantanamo, Cuba.
4.) The abolition of the Central Intelligence Agency, the National
Security Agency, and all other institutions of covert warfare.
5.) Expulsion of Israeli Mossad agents operating in the United States
6.) Complete and unconditional nuclear disarmament by the United
7.) An international treaty outlawing all weapons of mass destruction.
8.) An international treaty banning the use of depleted uranium in
9.) An end to “drone warfare”.
10.) A halving of the military budget with eventual reductions in military spending to a level commensurate with defense. Hence, a "peace dividend" would be directed to essential human services and to cleaning up contaminated military sites.
11.) The dissolution of NATO, the OAS, the GUAM and all other aggressive military alliances.
12.) Abrogation of all “free trade” agreements.
13.) Payment of all US debts to the United Nations.
14.) An end to veto power in the United Nations.
15.) An end to the United Nations Security Council (All matters relating to Chapter VII, Article 51 of the UN Charter would be taken up by the General Assembly).
16.) A full investigation of United Nations agencies committed to
17.) A constitutional amendment requiring a binding vote of the people on all issues of war or military intervention.
18.) Investigation and exposure of the practice known as synthetic or false flag terrorism.
19.) An independent citizen’s investigation of the attacks of September 11, 2001, with full subpoena power.
Diaferia, a former Democrat, is running for public office for the second time. His opponents are Democratic Representative Eliot Engel, and Republican Joseph McLaughlin. At present, it is not clear if others have entered the race in the 16th District as independent candidates.