News Release Archive - Foreign Policy

Blinken Ignoring Glorification of Nazis in Ukraine for Geopolitical Gain

Ahead of last week’s visit to Ukraine by the U.S. Secretary of State, Golinkin wrote the piece “Secretary Blinken Faces a Big Test in Ukraine, Where Nazis and Their Sympathizers Are Glorified.”

After Blinken’s visit, Golinkin noted that Blinken “said nothing about the recent pro-Nazi SS march, or anything substantial about the Holocaust. When I asked the State Department for comment, they immediately pivoted to Russia. When I asked about Ukraine having an SS march — one that even Germany condemned — they immediately started attacking by invoking Russian disinformation. …”

Golkin noted in his recent article: “From the moment he was nominated for secretary of state, the media has made much over the Holocaust’s impact on Antony Blinken. Blinken’s stepfather was a famous survivor; his upbringing made the Holocaust an indelible part of Blinken’s identity. Indeed, last month Blinken lambasted America’s callousness during the genocide, going so far as denouncing a World War II-era State Department official for refusing to aid Jews fleeing Europe. …

“The reality is that glorification of Nazi collaborators and Holocaust perpetrators isn’t a glitch but a feature of today’s Ukraine.

“Shortly after the Maidan uprising of 2013 to ’14 brought in a new government, Ukraine began whitewashing Nazi collaborators on a statewide level. In 2015, Kyiv passed legislation declaring two WWII-era paramilitaries — the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) — heroes and freedom fighters and threatening legal action against anyone denying their status. The OUN was allied with the Nazis and participated in the Holocaust; the UPA murdered thousands of Jews and 70,000–100,000 Poles on their own accord.”

Earlier this year, Golinkin wrote the piece piece “How many monuments honor fascists, Nazis and murderers of Jews? You’ll be shocked,” in the Forward, launching the The Nazi Monument Project. He is the author of A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka, a memoir of Soviet Ukraine, which he left as a child refugee.

Coup in El Salvador?

Stoumbelis is with the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador. They recently released a statement condemning the decision of a group of political parties which “upon taking office on May 1, and with the backing of President Nayib Bukele, voted to unconstitutionally remove the five magistrates of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, in what is being denounced in El Salvador as a coup d’etat.” The group is holding a demonstration and press conference on Friday at 3:30 p.m. in front of the Salvadoran Embassy in Washington, D.C.
The group continued: “While it is true that Supreme Court magistrates have historically represented oligarchic interests and that the new Legislative Assembly was democratically elected — though the process was plagued by violations to the electoral code on part of the president and his New Ideas party — this does not justify an assault on democratic institutions. The legislators’ actions set a dangerous precedent that deteriorates the democratic advances made in El Salvador since the signing of the Peace Accords.

“The decision to remove and replace the five magistrates did not adhere to the constitutionally-established justifications for doing so, nor were the magistrates granted a hearing and defense, as is their right under the law. Clearly, the basis for this decision is to eliminate any institutional opposition and guarantee the president’s authority over other branches of government. This explains why legislators also removed the Attorney General, Raúl Melara and next may remove the Human Rights Ombudsman, José Apolonio Tobar Serrano, who, during the pandemic, denounced widespread violations of human rights and corruption among many members of the Bukele administration. …

Condescending lectures from the Biden administration will not impede the continuation of these assaults on democracy; President Bukele and his party are very clear on the type of dictatorship they wish to establish in El Salvador. If the United States government does not immediately act to restrict police, military, and other funds that strengthen the regime, there is no doubt that the United States, too, will be responsible for what follows.”

With Blinken in Ukraine: Where to on U.S.- Russia Relations?

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Tony Blinken is traveling to Ukraine with Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland.

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL,, or via Ricky D’Ambrose,, @KatrinaNation
Editorial Director and Publisher of The Nation magazine, Katrina vanden Heuvel recently wrote for the Washington Post: “The successful campaign to block Matthew Rojansky’s appointment is ominous for Biden’s Russia policy”: “When a new administration comes to Washington, the flowery rhetoric and springtime promises are often less revealing than who is put where to run the place. That’s why many of Washington’s most scurrilous campaigns are backstage fights over potential appointments. And that’s why the successful campaign to block the appointment of Matthew Rojansky as Russia director on the National Security Council is not only a sad reflection of the poisonous state of the debate on Russian policy today, but also an ominous sign for Biden’s foreign policy going forward. …

“Rojansky’s tempered realism is at odds with the strident consensus of the foreign policy establishment. The foreign policy ‘blob’ sees Russia as weak and paints Putin as the devil. They call Russia’s SolarWinds hack an ‘act of war,’ when intelligence experts describe it as ‘reconnaissance and espionage of the sort the U.S. itself excels at.’ They seem intent on extending the U.S. commitment to Ukraine, writing a check that the American people have no intention of backing. New sanctions on Russia are shortsighted and are likely to drive Moscow still further toward Beijing. The result is a self-reinforcing spiral of tensions and hostile postures strengthening hawks on both sides. For the Biden administration, Rojansky’s sensible perspectives would provide a necessary balance to voices such as Victoria Nuland, the hawkish new undersecretary of state for political affairs.

“Upon taking office, Biden promised a ‘foreign policy for the middle class,’ tacitly acknowledging that the debacles of the past decades have badly served all but the few. Keeping that promise requires profound rethinking. By reversing some of Donald Trump’s most egregious follies — returning to the Paris climate accord and the WHO, ending the Muslim ban, beginning negotiations to return to the Iran nuclear deal, extending the START nuclear accord with Russia — Biden has taken the first steps. Recalibrating our relations to Russia — and reducing the tensions around Ukraine and the Russian border — surely must be part of that effort. Getting that right will be much harder if sensible experts such as Rojansky have no place in the administration.”

Katrina vanden Heuvel is vice-president of the American Committee for U.S.-Russia Accord, a group interested in an informed dialogue about improving U.S.-Russia relations. The group recently participated in a talk organized by the Committee for the Republic (see background on the group) on the critical issues confronting U.S.-Russian relations, see video.

Biden “Continues to Support Saudi Aggression on the People of Yemen”

Jumaan is president of the Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation. She said today: “On Monday, I learned that the Biden administration continues to support Saudi aggression on the people of Yemen.”

Jumaan cited a little-reported recent quote from Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby: “The United States continues to provide maintenance support to Saudi Arabia’s Air Force given the critical role it plays in Saudi air defense and our longstanding security partnership.”

She added: “This is extremely disturbing because the U.S. acts like it regards its envoy Tim Lenderking as a mediator in the Saudi-led war on Yemen. But the U.S. government is not an impartial mediator.

“The Biden administration needs to delink the blockade from the political negotiations. We should NOT use the Yemeni population, who are being starved, as hostages to gain concessions from warring parties. Blockade on all points of entry to Yemen MUST be lifted. Aid alone can not support a population of 30 million.

UN Security Council Resolution 2216 is one sided, written by the Saudis with the support of the U.S., UK and France. It calls for Houthi surrender. The U.S. should support efforts to revise it, if we are to realize fair and just peace negotiations.

“The Saudis and the UAE and all Western powers that support them need to pay reparation to the Yemeni people.

“The U.S. government is more concerned about saving face for [Saudi monarch] MBS than they are about the 400,000+ starving Yemeni children.

“Yemeni have a rich history of conflict resolution and negotiations, we need all foreign interference out.”

Examining the Democratic Israeli Lobby: “Burn Gaza”

Abunimah is founder of the Electronic Intifada and can address the events escalating in Jerusalem and Gaza. He can also address the scheduled Palestinian elections, which may be delayed yet again by Mahmoud Abbas, whose term as president, Abunimah notes, expired in 2009.

Abunimah recently wrote the piece “Israel Lobby’s ‘Death to the Arabs’ Damage Control” and tweeted: “Zionist settlers carrying out a pogrom against a Palestinian family in occupied Jerusalem. As the reporter says, you can hear the children screaming. This is everyday Zionism.”

He wrote on Friday: “Over the last few days, disturbing videos have shown mobs of Israeli Jewish youths rampaging through occupied East Jerusalem and attacking Palestinians.”

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported on Wednesday: “Every evening this week, dozens of young Jews walked around Jerusalem’s city center, chanting ‘Death to Arabs’ and attacking passersby with stones and tear gas.”

Abunimah noted that pro-Israeli groups including Democratic Majority for Israel, “a U.S. lobby group aligned with the ruling Democratic Party” condemned the marches.

But he notes that “DMFI has yet to condemn or repudiate its own board member Archie Gottesman, an advocate of genocide who in 2018 tweeted: ‘Gaza is full of monsters. Time to burn the whole place.'”

Abunimah also recently wrote the piece “J Street Brings Together Progressives, Israeli War Criminals.” His past books include One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse and The Battle for Justice in Palestine.

The U.S. Government Will Not Withdraw Forces from Afghanistan

New York Times headline claims: “Biden to Withdraw All Combat Troops From Afghanistan by Sept. 11” but deep in the piece acknowledges: “Instead of declared troops in Afghanistan, the United States will most likely rely on a shadowy combination of clandestine Special Operations forces, Pentagon contractors and covert intelligence operatives to find and attack the most dangerous Qaeda or Islamic State threats, current and former American officials said.”

Hoh is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and a member of the Eisenhower Media Initiative. He is a 100 percent disabled Marine combat veteran, and, in 2009, he resigned his position with the State Department in Afghanistan in protest of the Afghan War by the Obama administration. He was featured on an news release last month: “Biden Rejection of Afghan Agreement Means the ‘Taliban Will Resume Killing Americans.’

“Comparisons of Afghanistan to Iraq in 2014, play on the specious fear that a U.S. exit from Afghanistan will result in a comeback of Islamic militant forces, are disingenuous, and ignore the reality of what actually happened in Iraq after 2011.

“The success of the Islamic State in Iraq in 2014 was not due to the absence of U.S. forces in Iraq, but rather was due to the brutal sectarianism of the Iraqi government against the Sunni minority, and, critically, the the direct and indirect support of the Islamic State in Syria by the United States and its allies. The U.S. believed it could control the Islamic State, and other jihadist groups in Syria, in order to overthrow the Assad government. The U.S. also believed the Islamic State would not cross the literal line in the sand that divides Syria and Iraq, the country that most of the Islamic State leadership came from. The Obama administration decided it could control the Islamic State for its purposes, which resulted in another example of catastrophic blowback in U.S. military and foreign policy.

“Further, the idea Kabul will resemble Saigon in 1975 is again specious fear mongering. The Taliban, of course, want power, but they are not suicidal. They understand a violent takeover of Kabul, akin to the Islamic State takeover of Mosul or al Qaeda’s takeover of Aleppo, will result in Kabul being completely devastated by foreign air forces, just as occurred in Afghanistan in 2001, and in multiple cities in Iraq and Syria from 2014-2017, including Mosul and Aleppo. That is an outcome the Taliban are aware of and cannot want.

“Additionally, the Taliban cannot win in Afghanistan without the support of the Pakistanis. The Pakistanis want a client state in Afghanistan, but they also do not want the instability and chaos of Afghanistan to continue, particularly if a Taliban takeover of Kabul results in renewed resumption of a U.S.-led escalation of the war similar to 2001.

“The Pakistanis have an incentive to see stability and a power sharing agreement occur in Afghanistan, especially if their ally is given a prominent role. This outcome necessitates the need for negotiations and a peace process, and cannot occur if the Taliban are only given the option of victory or defeat.

“This is the first formal peace process in Afghanistan in over 30 years in a war whose violence goes back to 1978, prior to the Soviet invasion. This peace process is dependent upon foreign forces leaving Afghanistan. Regardless of whether the 3500 acknowledged U.S. troops leave Afghanistan, the U.S. military will still be present in the form of thousands of special operations and CIA personnel in and around Afghanistan, through dozens of squadrons of manned attack aircraft and drones stationed on land bases and on aircraft carriers in the region, and by hundreds of cruise missiles on ships and submarines.

“A peace process is what the Afghan people need and deserve after so many decades of cruel and unimaginable suffering, much of which has been perpetrated and sustained by foreign forces and intentions. Violence has proven to be counterproductive and horrifically destructive, a peace process is the only chance for Afghanistan, its neighbors and the world.”

Biden Re-ups Policies that Fuel Desperate Migration from Central America

Chomsky is professor of history and coordinator of Latin American studies at Salem State University in Massachusetts and a contributor to TomDispatch. Her book, Central America’s Forgotten History: Revolution, Violence, and the Roots of Migration, is being published this month. Her latest piece, “Will Biden’s Central America Plan Slow Immigration — Or Speed it up?” was just published by Salon.

She writes: “Read closely, a significant portion of Biden’s immigration proposal focuses on the premise that addressing the root causes of Central America’s problems will reduce the flow of immigrants to the U.S. border. In its own words, the Biden plan promises to promote ‘the rule of law, security, and economic development in Central America’ in order to ‘address the key factors’ contributing to emigration. Buried in its fuzzy language, however, are long-standing bipartisan Washington goals that should sound familiar to those who have been paying attention in these years.

“Their essence: that millions of dollars in ‘aid’ money should be poured into upgrading local military and police forces in order to protect an economic model based on private investment and the export of profits. Above all, the privileges of foreign investors must not be threatened. As it happens, this is the very model that Washington has imposed on the countries of Central America over the past century, one that’s left its lands corrupt, violent, and impoverished, and so continued to uproot Central Americans and send them fleeing toward the United States. …

“For almost two decades the United States has been bullying (and funding) military and police forces to its south to enforce its immigration priorities, effectively turning other countries’ borders into extensions of the U.S. one. In the process, Mexico’s forces have regularly been deployed on that country’s southern border, and Guatemala’s on its border with Honduras, all to violently enforce Washington’s immigration policies.

“Such outsourcing was, in part, a response to the successes of the immigrant rights movement in this country. U.S. leaders hoped to evade legal scrutiny and protest at home by making Mexico and Central America implement the uglier aspects of their policies. …

“The model Washington continues to promote is based on the idea that, if Central American governments can woo foreign investors with improved infrastructure, tax breaks, and weak environmental and labor laws, the ‘free market’ will deliver the investment, jobs, and economic growth that (in theory) will keep people from wanting to migrate in the first place. Over and over again in Central America’s tormented history, however, exactly the opposite has happened. Foreign investment flowed in, eager to take advantage of the region’s fertile lands, natural resources, and cheap labor. This form of development — whether in support of banana and coffee plantations in the 19th century or sugar, cotton, and cattle operations after World War II — brought Central America to its revolutions of the 1980s and its northbound mass migration of today. …

“In mid-March, President Biden appeared to link a positive response to Mexico’s request for some of Washington’s surplus Covid-19 vaccine to further commitments to cracking down on migrants. One demand: that Mexico suspend its own laws guaranteeing humane detention conditions for families with young children. Neither country had the capacity to provide such conditions for the large number of families detained at the border in early 2021, but the Biden administration preferred to press Mexico to ignore its own laws, so that it could deport more of those families and keep the problem out of sight of the U.S. public.”

Saudi Starvation Blockade of Yemen — Why is Biden Admin Denying it’s Happening? 

Friends Committee on National Legislation, Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation, Demand Progress, and Just Foreign Policy have teamed up with actor and humanitarian Mark Ruffalo and the creators of the 2021 Oscar-nominated film “HUNGER WARD,” to urge President Biden to convince Saudi Arabia to immediately lift its “inhumane blockade of Yemen.” Their letter to the administration is excerpted below.

Meanwhile, a group of activists are continuing their hunger strike to stop U.S. backing of Saudi Arabia in Yemen.

Saleh and Isacc are with the Yemeni Liberation Movement. Members of the group began a hunger strike on Monday, March 29 to protest U.S. government support for the Saudi-led blockade on Yemen.

El-Tayyab is the FCNL’s legislative manager for Middle East policy. He said today: “The U.S.-backed Saudi blockade on Yemen is a key driver of the world’s largest humanitarian catastrophe.”
See the letter the coalition of groups just sent to the Biden administration and news release. The letter states: “We are deeply concerned that prior to the CNN report, no U.S. official in the new administration had explicitly publicly acknowledged the six-year-old, Saudi-imposed blockade — much less criticized it. U.S. special envoy for Yemen, Tim Lenderking, declined to adequately respond to [CNN reporter Nima] Elbagir’s on-the-ground reporting and direct questions, referring to Yemen’s hunger crisis simply as ‘complex,’ while denying evidence of the blockade shown in CNN’s report, and, per Elbagir’s account, falsely claiming that ‘food continues to flow through Hodeidah unimpeded.’
“Elbagir concluded: ‘How is [peace] possible when you are not acknowledging the full impact of that U.S.-backed Saudi embargo on the people of Yemen?’ According to the UN, 400,000 children under the age of five could perish from hunger this year without urgent action. For years, the Saudi blockade has been a leading driver of Yemen’s humanitarian catastrophe. The recent fuel shortages triggered by the blockade are quickly accelerating major reductions in access to affordable food, clean water, electricity, and basic movement across Yemen. The blockade also threatens to shut down, within weeks, the hospitals reliant on power generators to tend to victims of famine, while making even emergency travel to hospitals prohibitively expensive for Yemeni families, condemning untold numbers of children to certain death at home.”

Fasting for Yemen and Against U.S. Support for Saudi as Over 2 Million Children Face Extreme Malnutrition

Saleh and Isacc are with the Yemeni Liberation Movement which is having a news conference Saturday, April 3rd at 1 p.m. ET at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

    Members of the group began a hunger strike on Monday, March 29 to protest U.S. government support for the Saudi-led blockade on Yemen. The group is also leading a nationwide fast for Yemen on Monday.

    The hunger strikers and their supporters, largely from Detroit, are “demanding an end to any U.S. support for the blockade — including military, intelligence, diplomatic, or other support — and call for President Biden to use all diplomatic tools to pressure Saudi Arabian dictator Mohammed bin Salman to end it.”

The group notes that despite Biden’s pledge to the contrary, Al-Jazeera reported in March that “the U.S. military is reported to be increasing its assistance to the Saudis, claiming such help is defensive and not offensive.”

The group adds: “Calls for an immediate end to the blockade have become widespread after CNN aired a groundbreaking report on March 10.”
According to a joint statement by four leading United Nations agencies in February: “Nearly 2.3 million children under the age of five in Yemen are projected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2021, four United Nations agencies warned today. Of these, 400,000 are expected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition and could die if they do not receive urgent treatment.”

Syria: Concerns Building that the OPCW Is Rigged

With the U.S. having the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council for March, NPR is highlighting that Secretary of State Tony Blinken is chairing a meeting of the Council on Monday dealing with Syria.

A group of former top UN and OPCW officials, whistleblowers, noted analysts and journalists recently signed a “Statement of Concern: The OPCW investigation of alleged chemical weapons use in Douma, Syria,” below, pointing to manipulation of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in Syria:

“We wish to express our deep concern over the protracted controversy and political fall-out surrounding the OPCW and its investigation of the alleged chemical weapon attacks in Douma, Syria, on 7 April 2018.

“Since the publication by the OPCW of its final report in March 2019, a series of worrying developments has raised serious and substantial concerns with respect to the conduct of that investigation. These developments include instances in which OPCW inspectors involved with the investigation have identified major procedural and scientific irregularities, the leaking of a significant quantity of corroborating documents, and damning statements provided to UN Security Council meetings. It is now well established that some senior inspectors involved with the investigation, one of whom played a central role, reject how the investigation derived its conclusions, and OPCW management now stands accused of accepting unsubstantiated or possibly manipulated findings with the most serious geo-political and security implications. Calls by some members of the Executive Council of the OPCW to allow all inspectors to be heard were blocked.

“The inspectors’ concerns are shared by the first Director General of the OPCW, José Bustani, and a significant number of eminent individuals have called for transparency and accountability at the OPCW. Bustani himself was recently prevented by key members of the Security Council from participating in a hearing on the Syrian dossier. As Ambassador Bustani stated in a personal appeal to the Director General, if the Organization is confident in the conduct of its Douma investigation then it should have no difficulty addressing the inspectors’ concerns.

“To date, unfortunately, the OPCW senior management has failed to adequately respond to the allegations against it and, despite making statements to the contrary, we understand has never properly allowed the views or concerns of the members of the investigation team to be heard or even met with most of them. It has, instead, side-stepped the issue by launching an investigation into a leaked document related to the Douma case and by publicly condemning its most experienced inspectors for speaking out.

“In a worrying recent development, a draft letter falsely alleged to have been sent by the Director General to one of the dissenting inspectors was leaked to an ‘open source’ investigation website in an apparent attempt to smear the former senior OPCW scientist. The ‘open source’ website then published the draft letter together with the identity of the inspector in question. Even more alarmingly, in a BBC4 radio series aired recently, an anonymous source, reportedly connected with the OPCW Douma investigation, gave an interview with the BBC in which he contributes to an attempt to discredit not only the two dissenting inspectors, but even Ambassador Bustani himself. Importantly, recent leaks in December 2020 have evidenced that a number of senior OPCW officials were supportive of one OPCW inspector who had spoken out with respect to malpractice.

“The issue at hand threatens to severely damage the reputation and credibility of the OPCW and undermine its vital role in the pursuit of international peace and security. It is simply not tenable for a scientific organization such as the OPCW to refuse to respond openly to the criticisms and concerns of its own scientists whilst being associated with attempts to discredit and smear those scientists. Moreover, the on-going controversy regarding the Douma report also raises concerns with respect to the reliability of previous FFM reports, including the investigation of the alleged attack at Khan Shaykhun in 2017.

“We believe that the interests of the OPCW are best served by the Director General providing a transparent and neutral forum in which the concerns of all the investigators can be heard as well as ensuring that a fully objective and scientific investigation is completed.

“To that end, we call on the Director General of the OPCW to find the courage to address the problems within his organization relating to this investigation and ensure States Parties and the United Nations are informed accordingly. In this way we hope and believe that the credibility and integrity of the OPCW can be restored.”

Von Sponeck is former UN Assistant Secretary General and UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq. Postol is Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology, and National Security Policy at MIT. They are among the signers of the statement.

Other signers of the statement include: Denis J. Halliday, former UN Assistant Secretary General; Dirk van Niekerk, former OPCW Inspection Team Leader, Head of OPCW Special Mission to Iraq; Noam Chomsky; Katharine Gun, GCHQ, whistleblower; Daniel Ellsberg; Antonius Roof, former OPCW Inspection Team Leader and Head Industry Inspections; Professor John Avery Scales, Professor, Pugwash Council and Danish Pugwash Chair; Alan Steadman, Chemical Weapons Munitions Specialist, former OPCW Inspection Team Leader and UNSCOM Inspector;  Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East, National Intelligence Council; member, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence.

Shortly after the April 7, 2018 alleged attack in Douma, the U.S., Britain and France bombed Syria. See IPA news releases at the time: “Syria Attack: Seeing Through the Propaganda” and “Claims about Syria Attack ‘Unraveling’.” Also see IPA news releases in 2019 including: ”Postol: Newly Revealed Documents Show Syrian Chemical ‘Attacks Were Staged'” and “New Assessments from Leading Scientist Accuse OPCW Leadership of Rigging on Alleged Syrian Chemical Weapons Attacks Used to Justify U.S. Bombings.”

Also see reporting in The Grayzone, including: “OPCW investigator testifies at UN that no chemical attack took place in Douma, Syria,” “OPCW executives praised whistleblower and criticized Syria cover-up, leaks reveal,” “Chomsky: OPCW cover-up of Syria probe is ‘shocking’” and “Ex-OPCW chief defends Syria whistleblowers and reveals he was spied on before Iraq War.”