By: Trevor Loudon
Phyllis Bennis, of the Washington DC based Institute for Policy Studies, wrote an article for The Nation, January 8, 2013, posing the question “Will Chuck Hagel’s Appointment Actually Help the Anti-War Left?”
While claiming that Hagel is a conservative, Bennis outlined advantages to leftist “peace movement” activists of Chuck Hagel becoming US Secretary of Defense. Bennis is particularly happy that Hagel’s appointment is a clear signal that Obama intends to move forward with the anti-American left’s number one priority – dramatically downsizing the US military.
Chuck Hagel isn’t anyone I’d pick to be in a position of power. He’s a conservative Republican, a military guy who volunteered to fight in Vietnam…”
At the end of the day, this isn’t about Hagel versus anybody. This is about what President Obama is signaling by his nomination of Hagel as Secretary of Defense—and about the political forces arrayed against him…
Hagel’s nomination engendered bitter, angry opposition from the moment it was floated as a trial balloon two weeks ago. And the fact that Obama went ahead with the nomination, despite the opposition and the threats that the Senate would never confirm Hagel, is a good indication that on at least some critical foreign policy issues, Obama is not prepared to allow either the pro-Israeli lobbies or the hard-core neoconservatives, in and outside of Washington, to determine whom he could and could not choose as Secretary of Defense…
And then there’s the Pentagon budget. Hagel has called it “bloated,” pretty amazing for a future Secretary of Defense. Obama may have felt that a decorated Republican military veteran would be the best choice to convince a Republican-controlled Congress that some cuts will have to be made… a Pentagon chief who actually believes his agency’s budget should be cut—that’s new.
Whatever else he is, Chuck Hagel is no leftist. Standing to the left of President Obama’s center-right military policy is not a very high bar. But again—standing up to AIPAC, the defense industry (and members of Congress accountable to them) and the still-powerful neocons makes the Hagel appointment a good move for Obama. And it gives the rest of us a basis to push much farther to end the wars, to close the bases, to cut the Pentagon funding, to tax the military profiteers.
Institute for Policy Studies approval of Hagel is highly significant. As the most influential, far left think tank in America, IPS has campaigned for 50 years to destroy US military superiority.
In “Cold War” times, the IPS was notorious for its ties to the Soviet Union, the KGB and Cuban intelligence.
In recent times, the IPS has worked with domestic Marxists to build the US peace movement and anti-military movements, including co-founding a “partner organization,” the US’ largest “anti-military umbrella group, United for Peace and Justice.
In 2008, Phyllis Bennis, a former member of the Marxist-Leninist and later pro-Soviet Line of March organization, was voted onto the United for Peace and Justice steering committee. In that capacity, Bennis Worked alongside Communist Party USA leaders Judith LeBlanc (UFPJ’s National Coordinator) and Libero Della Piana. Also on the committee was an old Obama comrade, Marilyn Katz of Chicagoans Against War and Injustice, the group which made the future president nationally famous as an opponent of the Iraq War, when he addressed one of their rallies in September 2002.
Bennis was also a sponsor of War Times, a “War on Terror” journal out of San Francisco. One of War Times key leaders was a young Maoist radical named Van Jones. In 2008, while Jones was serving on the board of another IPS “partner” organization, the New York based “think tank” Demos, IPS tagged him as a potential Obama “Green Jobs” appointee. Obama, who had been a founding board member of Demos, followed IPS’s recommendation and appointed Van Jones as his “Green Jobs Czar” in early 2009. Jones was exposed by this blog later in 2009 and was eventually forced to leave the position.
Interestingly, Ploughshares is dedicated to cutting the US military budget and scrapping America’s nuclear arsenal.
According to the Ploughshare’s website:
Ploughshares Fund is a publicly funded nonprofit foundation that believes nuclear weapons pose a unique challenge to global security. By far the most destructive weapons on Earth, the use of nuclear weapons by accident, malice or design threatens mass destruction. Even unused, however, their terrible power disrupts the international systems meant to preserve order and stability.
Ploughshares Fund seeks to reduce and ultimately eliminate the threat posed by nuclear weapons. “To that end, we partner with the most promising efforts and smartest individuals in the U.S. and abroad seeking and implementing new and innovative solutions to this international problem.
Ploughshares even claims partial credit for the New START disarmament treaty which Obama signed with Moscow, early in his first term and hopes to build on that success.
Against overwhelming odds we helped strengthen U.S. security by winning the New START treaty to reduce U.S. and Russian nuclear arms. We can build momentum for further cuts by generating ideas to overcome obstacles on issues like missile defense and tactical nuclear weapons.
Ploughshares is very happy that one of their own may soon be in a position to implement their agenda.
Chuck Hagel shares the Ploughshares board with:
- John Hoyt, who in turn serves on Organizers’ Forum Board of Social Policy, a magazine run by Democratic Socialists of America aligned Marxists such as Noam Chomsky, Janice Fine, Frances Fox Piven, Heather Booth, Peter Dreier, Ken Grossinger, Communist Party affiliate Tho Thi Do, Tides Foundation kingpin Drummond Pike and former SEIU boss Andy Stern.
- Cynthia Ryan, who has also served on the board of Van Jones’ Green For All.
- Kennette Benedict, Executive Director & Publisher, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a far left, anti-military organization. Among the Bulletin’s founding sponsors were two leading Manhattan Project scientists and suspected Soviet spies, Leo Szilard and Robert Oppenheimer. Obama’s “Science Czar” John Holdren, once edited the Bulletin. Ruth Young, the Marxist wife of Obama’s “former” communist/Democratic Socialists of America member, friend, mentor and personal physician Quentin Young, was a managing editor.
- David Holloway, former member of the Board of Editors for The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
Ploughshares Advisory Board members include:
- Jayantha Dhanapala, a sponsor of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
- Leslie Gelb, President Emeritus for the left leaning Council on Foreign Relations. Gelb also serves on the Board of Directors for the Truman National Security Project, an organization that “seeks to recruit, train and elect progressives who will impact on National Security legislation.” Another Truman Project board member is John Podesta, President and CEO, of the Soros funded Center for American Progress.
- Lawrence Korb, a former Senior Fellow and Director of National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a Senior Fellow of the Center for American Progress. Korb also served on The Sustainable Defense Task Force, which commissioned the Democratic Socialists of America controlled Commonwealth Institute to write a 2010 report for then US reps Barney Frank (a long time Democratic Socialists of America supporter) and Republican Ron Paul, which recommended significant cuts to US military spending.
- Frank von Hippel, former member of the Board of Directors for The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. He also serves on the Board of Sponsors of the radical left Federation of American Scientists. Obama’s friend Quentin Young was once a leader of the organization.
Chuck Hagel may well be conservative on some issues. However, when it comes to foreign policy and defense, he is right in line with of the most extreme leftist, anti-American elements in the country.
Ploughshares and the Institute for Policy Studies are not liberal pressure groups. They are pro-Marxist and unpatriotic to the core.
Their main agenda was to destroy the US military, because American power was the major stumbling block to world socialism.
Will Chuck Hagel be used to give “right wing” cover to a far left anti-defense agenda?
Will the prestige of a decorated war veteran be used to cover the destruction of America’s military superiority?
The US Senate has the power to block Chuck Hagel’s appointment. For the sake of their country’s national security, they must exercise that power.