We’re privileged to have Marjorie Cohn on World Focus. Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law where she taught for 25 years. The former president of the National Lawyers Guild and criminal defense attorney is a legal scholar, political analyst and social critic who writes books and articles, makes media appearances and lectures throughout the world about human rights and U.S. foreign policy. She has a book which has recently been undated and is very important called Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral and Geo Political Issues. It will be republished in March, and I hope you will read it because it’s a matter of targeted killings in an extremely ugly era of warfare. Thank you for joining us, Marjorie Cohn.
Marjorie: Thank you, Blase.
Blase: You wrote a wonderful piece for TruthOut called A Year of US Militarism, and I was just so impressed by it because it seemed to stress that this is what we do all the time. Would you care to comment on that piece looking back at the long-time-ago in 2016 and what became normalcy or routine behavior. How do we account for that?
Marjorie: One of the most alarming developments in US foreign policy last year was the ratcheting up of the new Cold War. If we look at this last year of Obama’s presidential tenure, other developments include the ongoing proxy war in Syria, with Russia supporting the Assad forces and the US supporting the so-called rebel forces. The US supported Saudi-led bombing in Yemen, the US use of drones and manned bombers in Libya, US bombing in Iraq and Afghanistan, unprecedented US military aid to to Israel, US special operations on the African continent, including Kenya, Djbouti, Ethiopia and Yemen, and saber rattling against China in the South China Sea. Also, certifying Iran as having complied with the nuclear deal, along with another plus, another positive development, steps toward normalization of relations with Cuba.
In terms of the intensification of the Cold War dynamic, it really increased in March when the US government said it would significantly increase the number of troops stationed in Eastern Europe, which is a direct provocation of Russia. Reuters called it the “biggest military buildup on Russian borders since the Cold War.” And in spite of overwhelming American support for a no first use nuclear policy, Obama refused to pledge that the US would not again be the first nation to deploy weapons. Of course the former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and leader of the US Strategic Command, said that using nuclear weapons first against Russia or China would endanger our and our allies very survival by encouraging a full-scale retaliation. (Read More)