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Foreign Policy Reform Urgent Task for Brand New Congress

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Bernie Sanders supporters have started a grassroots initiative to transform the U.S. Congress in a more progressive direction by 2018, advocating a platform of economic equality, climate justice, civil rights, criminal justice reform and fair trade, according to The Nation.

Strong emphasis should also be placed by Brand New Congress (BNC) on reforming U.S. foreign policy, channeling money from foreign wars and the so-called military industrial complex into domestic revitalization and reform.

During the Democratic Party primary, Bernie famously called Hillary Clinton out for her ties with Henry Kissinger and support for regime change, and lamented on at least a few occasions' obscene military spending levels.

Foreign policy generally took a back seat though to domestic issues.

Bernie's critique of the role of money in politics could have more consistently extended to DynCorp, Bechtel, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC - known as ""NSA West") and other war profiteers who influence elections and buy off politicians in a similar way to Exxon-Mobil, Goldman Sachs and the major pharmaceutical giants.

President Barack Obama Jr. received large donations from the head of General Dynamics, one of the largest weapons manufacturers in the world. His administration in turn preserved record military budgets while lessening regulation on arms exports.

In 2012 General Atomics, the leading drone manufacturer, received $1.8 billion in government contracts while donating $505,000 during that election cycle, 61 percent to Republicans and 39 percent to Democrats in what was a good return for its investment.

Two of the top Congressional recipients, Buck McKeon (R-CA) and Jerry Lewis (R-CA), sat on the congressional drone caucus, while the third, Diane Feinstein (D-CA) was a consistent supporter of huge military budgets and had an assistant that became a paid General Atomics lobbyist.

These cases illustrate the hold of the so-called military industrial complex on Congress, which a genuine political revolution should aim to overturn.

The urgency of this latter task is spelled out by Noam Chomsky in his latest blockbuster book, Who Rules the World?

The Yoda of the American left quotes William J. Perry, Bill Clinton's former Defense Secretary and long a proponent of high tech weapons systems, who believes the threat of nuclear holocaust is greater now than at the height of the Cold War.

Pressured by Congressmen in the pockets of Bechtel which now runs many of the top nuclear weapons production facilities, the Obama administration has initiated a trillion dollar nuclear arms modernization initiative which has triggered a renewed nuclear arms race with the Russians and Chinese. They feel encircled with the expansion of NATO and military "pivot to Asia."

Perry was among those to call for President Obama to kill a newly developed nuclear tipped cruise missile with improved targeting and lower yield that might encourage "limited nuclear war" which could escalate to utter disaster.

Patrick Cockburn, recipient of the 2014 foreign affairs journalist of the year award, spells out another urgent reason for foreign policy reform in his chilling book, The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution.

He traces the growth of ISIS to the wreckage bred by the U.S. war in Iraq and persecution of Sunnis by the sectarian Shiite government of Nouri-al Maliki, and to the dissolution of Syria bred in part by the Western decision to prolong the civil war by arming oppositionist rebels led by militant jihadists.

Cockburn's book gets into the role of Turkey in providing a haven for jihadist fighters and the extensive financing provided to Sunni militant groups by Saudi Arabia, recipient of record billion dollar arms packages by the Obama administration.

The Saudis have long aimed to export their fanatical Wahhabist religious faith and have stoked sectarian divisions fueling a lot of the unrest in the Middle East.

Since the 1980s, the U.S. has meanwhile poured billions of dollars into nuclear-armed Pakistan, whose intelligence services have financed the Taliban.

The 2011 U.S.-NATO war in Libya was another catastrophe which ruined Africa's wealthiest economy and turned the country over to sectarian militias and fundamentalist gangs.

With Iraq and Syria, Libya is now a vivid symbol of the failure of the U.S. War on Terror.

Despite billions of dollars spent and much blood that has been shed, the scourge of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism has extended to levels beyond Osama bin Laden's wildest dreams and threatens the West on a level greater than ever before.

BNC is a welcome new initiative which urgently needs to focus on getting into office candidates who will work to end the failed War on Terror, and reverse Obama's nuclear weapons buildup and other militaristic policies that are contributing to a more dangerous world order.

Along with other progressive measures like fighting climate change and economic inequality, this platform would I believe be supported by a large number of Americans who see things falling apart at home and are tired of endless wars.

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