HomeArticleNew Soros/Koch-Funded Think Tank Claims To Oppose US Forever War

New Soros/Koch-Funded Think Tank Claims To Oppose US Forever War

If you were to have asked me what news reports I definitely did not expect to see when checking my news feed this morning, “Malignant plutocrats join hands across partisan divide to end America’s forever war” would probably have been among my first guesses. And yet, weirdly, here we are.

A new Boston Globe article titled “In an astonishing turn, George Soros and Charles Koch team up to end US ‘forever war’ policy” reports that the two influential billionaires have chipped in a half a million dollars apiece to start a new DC think tank with the goal of doing the exact opposite of the sort of thing that billionaire-funded DC think tanks normally do.

“Besides being billionaires and spending much of their fortunes to promote pet causes, the leftist financier George Soros and the right-wing Koch brothers have little in common,” the report begins. “They could be seen as polar opposites. Soros is an old-fashioned New Deal liberal. The Koch brothers are fire-breathing right-wingers who dream of cutting taxes and dismantling government. Now they have found something to agree on: the United States must end its ‘forever war’ and adopt an entirely new foreign policy.”

“In concrete terms, this means the Quincy Institute will likely advocate a withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and Syria; a return to the nuclear deal with Iran; less confrontational approaches to Russia and China; an end to regime-change campaigns against Venezuela and Cuba; and sharp reductions in the defense budget,” the article reads.

Responses to this news from Twitter’s blue-ticked commentariat have been largely supportive.

“Great to see that avoiding really stupid, costly wars has support across party lines,” tweeted author and professor Max Abrahms.

“Certainly understand skepticism of Soros and Koch money but with a platform of ending endless war and Trita Parsi at the helm, this sounds very promising and is sorely needed as we inch towards catastrophic nuclear war,” said journalist Dan Cohen.

“A new foreign policy think tank that will ‘promote an approach to the world based on diplomacy and restraint rather than threats, sanctions, and bombing.’ YES PLEASE,” tweeted In The Now‘s Rania Khalek.

“Finally. A think tank that aims to fight the blob and endless war. Hope Stephen Walt will be involved,” tweeted foreign policy analyst Joshua Landis.

Others have been a touch more skeptical.

“Hi Joshua, I’ve got a bridge on sale. You seem very interested in buying such. Gimme a call,” Moon of Alabama tweeted at Landis.

Such skepticism is warranted. It is true that the Quincy Institute’s co-fouder Trita Parsi has been a vocal opponent of US imperialism towards Iran and elsewhere, but it is also true that the Kochs and Soros have both acted as toxic facilitators of US imperialism.

The report claims that the new think tank seeks an end to America’s regime change agenda in Venezuela, for example, yet investigative journalist Greg Palast reports that the Koch brothers have been a major driving force behind that very agenda. The group claims to seek a de-escalation against Syria, yet investigative journalist Vanessa Beeley and alternative media outlet Mintpress News have documented extensive ties between George Soros and the various NGOs and narrative management operations which have been facilitating the agenda of toppling Syria’s government.

In 2014 journalist Mark Ames observed that Soros “funded many of the NGOs involved in ‘color revolutions’ including small donations to the same Ukraine NGOs that Omidyar backed. (Like Omidyar Network does today, Soros’ charity arms—Open Society and Renaissance Foundation—publicly preached transparency and good government in places like Russia during the Yeltsin years, while Soros’ financial arm speculated on Russian debt and participated in scandal-plagued auctions of state assets.)”

Charles Koch has been a major donor to the Iraq-raping think tank American Enterprise Institute, which has returned the favor by aggressively churning out narrative management on the public image of the Koch brothers. George Soros is a major funder of the NATO narrative management firm Atlantic Council, which has been a driving force behind the campaign manufacturing consent for escalations against Russia, something the Quincy Institute claims to oppose.

So if you’re interested in viewing world events through a lens that is untainted by corrupt narrative management, some skepticism of this new Quincy Institute is not just appropriate, but absolutely required.

The term “think tank” almost always refers to a group of academics hired by plutocrats to come up with reasons why it is very good and smart to do something very evil and stupid, and then to market those reasons at key points of influence. They are key tools of narrative management for the billionaire class, and the interests of the billionaire class are rarely in alignment with those of ordinary people. This is especially true when said billionaires are operating in a bipartisan manner.

But the good news is that all we have to do to know the truth about this new group’s purposes is watch its behavior over time, and pay attention to who benefits from the narratives it ends up pushing. Just make a mental note of the information you have about it now, and pay attention to what’s happening when you see the words “Quincy Institute” in reports from the political/media class going forward. If this think tank is what it claims to be, we will see this proven over time in the effects it has on dominant narratives and government policy. If it isn’t, we’ll see that, too.

_________________________

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Latest comments

  • Ummm. Well, if you want to stop expensive, stupid, criminal wars, wouldn’t it be cheaper than funding a new think tank to just NOT START THEM?

    Just askin’.

  • The amount of initial funding from each gentleman is seemingly a token amount relative to either’s actual ability to throw large wads of cash into whatever it is they wish to support. I’d regard this simply as an invitation to others who also have such an ability to “chip in” and share in whatever goodwill is thereby generated. Obviously either billionaire could have independently funded this effort, but that does not fit into the agenda. In this case, the more the merrier.

    • One of the ways to keep something from happening is to talk about how to make it happen. I suspect this may be something along those lines.

    • Cory Booker is very skilled at that.

  • The term “think tank” almost always refers to a group of unprincipled “academics” willing to whore themselves out to the highest bidder, hired by plutocrats to come up with reasons why it is very good and smart to do something very evil and stupid, and then to market those reasons at key points of influence.

    Fixed that for you. Come to think of it, this increasingly describes “academics,” tenured or untenured, at traditional educational and research institutions, public or private. (Witness the Koch Brothers’ quasi-ownership of the economics departments at George Mason University and Florida State, but less blatant arrangements are widespread elsewhere.) In “academia” as in law, public relations, and journalism, he who pays the piper calls the tune.

    • Oops. An end-bold tag didn’t kick in where it was supposed to. But you get the drift: unprincipled hired guns whoring themselves out to the highest bidder was the addition.

  • these cockroaches always play all sides. nothing new. we the people simply must crush them.

  • The plutocrats run the world.
    The narrative management is not so much that they need the support of the unwashed, but more that it is more lucrative is people remain obedient/complacent – like happy cows.

    I sense that we are on the verge of new war (as Pence rushes home).
    Electing, weak, incompetent, nitwit had consequences.

  • Wow! I think it’s extremely naïve, if not downright stupid, to even imagine that anything positive will come out of the Quincy Institute. The big selling point seems to be that Trita Parsi will be at the helm. If you ask me, I think this is the quintessential co-opting of your enemy so that you can eventually de-fang him. To those who think that perhaps Koch and Soros have awakened to the dangers of their actions, I can only say that if you pay any attention you soon realize there is an agenda going forward about which we have no idea, that these people are part of it, and that for whatever reason the whole Earth could blow up and they wouldn’t care. Everything they have ever done has the ultimate goal of doing in humanity, so they should never be given the benefit of the doubt. I can’t see these leopards changing their spots.

  • “Start a new think tank”
    LOL
    I think not . . .

  • I think they’re beginning to suspect that the Perpetual War thing is losing popularity, and maybe even putting some of their own loved ones in harm’s way . . .
    It would certainly be a mistake to imagine that there has been some sort of change in their basic philosophy.

  • don’t forget, both billionaires became rich by cheating. they do anything for money. so what is going on here?

    • Consider how certain Democratic Party operatives dealt with the peace movement which had opposed Clinton’s and then Bush 2’s wars — a growing constituency. Half a million people in downtown Manhattan in 2003! The operatives gave the peaceniks a lot of money and other forms of support: people, connections, public support, and so on. The peaceniks came to depend on it.

      Then, when Mr. Peace Prize got into office, all that disappeared overnight, and the peace movement of the time more or less collapsed because suddenly half of its body was missing. The Democratic Party went back to putting its main energies into warmongering. In the recent Democratic Party debates, war, imperialism, and other features of current American foreign policy, have been studiously supported or at least ignored by all but one of the candidates.

      This is one of the ways the ruling class destroys inconvenient movements, parties, media, and other developments they don’t like. They support the objectionable entity until it becomes dependent on them, and then they cut it off, whereupon it often collapses. I think that is probably what’s going on here. There is increasing disaffection among the American people for their leadership, both Left and Right, about the endless wars among other things. That disaffection is beginning to manifest itself in an organized way. For the bourgeoisie, it’s time to step in and get things under control again.

      I advise any and all anti-war activists to rely on their own resources rather than any associated with official Democrats or liberals (or right-wingers, for that matter). Accept their help, but don’t depend on it. Watch what they actually do. Their most profound and overriding interest is not to peace, but to the power of their class. That is where the Kochs, Soros, Obama, and Bush all come together with others of their kind. ‘Where the carcass is, there the eagles will gather.’

      • Well said. And similar to the co-opting and weaponizing by dem politicians of environmental issues that used to have popular support amongst the middle USA, and some still do i.e. (farm to fork and organic foods gone mainstream). Need more people seeking info outside their prescrubed bubble media so a new consensus can be formed on many important issues. Imho.

  • I am so distrustful of the sociopathic elites of the 0.01% that these two names embody, that I view this with a very wary, skeptical eye.

    The military/industrial complex uses more Koch Brothers fossil fuel products than any other entity on earth.

  • My comment here has gone missing again. You can read it on https://palloy.earth/Palloy's_News_Commentary/2019-07-01.New%20financial%20year.htm

    • palloy is a money cheater.

      • I don’t understand what you mean by “money cheater.” Moreover, my browser warns me that I can’t securely connect to Palloy’s site — I’m guessing its security certificate is either bogus or has expired — and I’m not inclined to override the block to try to find out on my own.

        PS: The Google reCAPTCHA challenges on this site drive me nuts. I wonder whether the reason I get endless reiterations of them before I can post is because I use a reasonably secure, private, and locked-down browser that doesn’t track everything I do (i.e., NOT Google Chrome). I suspect it is. I went through at least ten challenges — my first run quickly “timed out” while I added the initial draft of this PS — before being allowed to click the “post comment” button, only to be told the I did it wrong and have to start again. On the plus side, I read through the rest of the comments and saw that somoeone else is having the same problem and has the same suspicions. I completely understand the need to prevent bots from overrunning the comments section. At the same time, I don’t think that using a tool that forces bona fide commenters to use Google Chrome in order to post is a good way to go about it.

        PPS: I never did succeed in posting from Pale Moon, so now I’m trying from Google Chrome. If it goes through, you’ll know I was right.

  • narrative control during DS’ tactical retreat. Imho

  • Desmond Tutu is supporting War Beyond World in a video calling for people to sign a ‘peace pledge’ which is at the World Beyond War web site. One small step for each of us, a few more steps if our friends join in …

  • Is it possible that these two plutocrats have awakened to the reality that ruling over a radioactive wasteland from an underground bunker, might not be a real fun game to play? I sure hope so. But as Caitlin says, only time will tell how this seeming about face will work out. Something about having billions of bucks seems to make people really nutty, so they can – like Trump – possibly turn on a dime and start marching towards the opposite goalpost at any time. I’ll just keep my fingers crossed on this one…..

  • The hidden agenda here is they’ve done their polling and found that the average American is starting to get sick of the USA sticking it’s nose and picking fights in every corner of the world and see the writing on the wall for the two main parties, just as Doug Casey predicted. Their starting to figure out that once the Democrats and the Republicans go their goes their power to make lots of money and control.

  • Rich grifters are even worse than poor grifters; try to never listen to any of them.
    Is the U.S. Empire on its way out?
    http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176581/tomgram%3A_dilip_hiro%2C_american_decline_/#more

  • An echo chamber works best if it is fully enclosed on all sides.
    Complete the chamber with something measured and controlled to create the illusion of an opposition voice.
    Shut out all other voices.

  • US Elites are waking up to the fact there is more money to be made in a growing world as opposed to the profits they’ve been making producing a world of scarcity. It’s probably also coming to their attention that maybe certain members of Congress and the President might survive in our underground bunkers if the nuclear war they’ve been pushing comes around, but they won’t. Even Rockefeller after 4 or 5 heart transplants finally died, you can’t live forever, might as well leave something for your children.

  • Well. This is odd.

  • Cue appropriate music for “The Age of Aquarius”

    Points to ponder…
    Is the “moon in the seventh house?
    Is Jupiter aligned with Mars?
    Are we talking planets or gods here?
    How does the world’s most powerful leader (actually named “Trump”) fit into all this?

    All very interesting, whether or not very important.
    Time to restock the popcorn.
    Meanwhile enjoy this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mushMMq0ZOg
    No, really!

  • Probably akin to the “conservatives” in Congress co-opting the “Tea Party Movement.”

    It was soon nothing like it’s original formation.

  • If they’re serious, they could support existing organizations promoting peace, some of which have years of experience, especially the Friends Committee on National Legislation, fcnl.org. Another is one of Caitlin’s favorites, codepink.org. Plus these:
    afsc.org
    worldbeyondwar.org
    worldwithoutwars.org
    Why recreate the wheel? What’s their real motive?

  • Remember when India and Pakistan were on the brink of nuclear war, it was the banking and business community that brokered an uneasy peace, and brought things back from the brink. Nuclear war is not good for business.
    However, my first thought was that the businesses these men direct ARE warfare against the earth, and the people who live on it in sustainable respectful relation. Predatory capitalism is warfare. The results are the same; hunger, lack of opportunity to live a full creative life, even to have basic food and shelter, much less loving, stable communities for most or many. Just look at the horror of what Honduras and Libya have become. Obama and HRC say many nice things too, but look at the results of their actions; murder and mayhem, whole countries and regions ruined and robbed.

  • Eisenhower was a lifelong CFR member who attacked the WW One Bonus Army, did all he could to extend WW Two and signed off on OSS assassination of troublesome rival, “Target Patton” by Robert Wilcox. Ike directed the Morgenthau Plan, post war extermination of 10 million Germans, see HellStormDocumentary. As president, he approved 25 nuke tests with forced exposure to tens of thousands of US servicemen and a million downwinders.

    The departing Ike “beware of the M.I.C.” speech was Pontius Pilate washing his blood soaked CFR hands.

    Wiki/Reece_Commision > the unAmerican activities of “charitable” foundations

  • Precisely…..I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • They may be afraid of something. What is it? Are we are getting too smart? nah. Trump?maybe, Q stuff finally coming down. Elements of US military about to revolt? CIA about to clean house? Does this make our favorite Tulsi their shill all along, or are they trying to undermine her in some way?

  • IDK. I trust Rania Khalek, and I know the Koch Brothers have made antiwar statements from time to time. And there are always splits in the ruling class, and this might reflect one such split. But what diff does it make really? We still need a mass movement larger and more militant than the Yellow Vests to have a chance to change anything.

  • Here’s why I’m skeptical: In the 1980s American conservatives started a subtle nationwide effort to become active in environmental organizations and water down their efforts from within. I personally saw this happen in the Audubon Society. Before the 1950s American churches were for the most part progressive, but conservatives quite successively became active in church affairs to water down and stomp out the social gospel. Eventually the progressive voice of the Democratic Party became watered down under closet conservatives like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Anyone who thinks George Soros is a non-interventionist is naive.

    • I think you’re right, Larry.

  • Actually, they’re almost brothers, playing a, ‘good cop, bad cop’, sort of game on the Americas. They are the real, ‘protocols of zion’, not that crap someone threw out there as a, ‘false flag’.

  • If Soros and the Kochs don’t also stop funding the Atlantic Council and the American Enterprise Institute, then the scam will be immediately obvious.

    And by the way Caitlin, I am surprised to see Google capchas on YOUR site!!!! They keep going and going because I use a non Chrome-based browser and other security implementations. Usually I just go away from any site where the Capchas keep repeating (I had gone through 5, before coming back to write this to you). Now I’ll make the effort to slog through the number it takes to get this to you…

    • Agree with your comment about who they fund – see if they put their money where their mouths are.

      Also agree about capchas, especially difficult on a small screen. Well done persevering through six attempts.

  • Funding controlled opposition has been standard operating procedure for the ruling sociopaths for as long as they’ve ruled over us. So yes, they are doing it again, and it will quite likely work as well as it always does. But I hope it doesn’t. Maybe this time we can change our play and mess them up.

  • Words, words and more words. Yet at the end of the day, unless those words are turned into action, they are totally meaningless.
    And I believe in this case, that’s exactly how it will turn out. MEANINGLESS.

  • Mr. Trump goes to North Korea, , , , , ,
    and John Bolton choked on his Wheaties, , , , ,
    are we living in the Twilight Zone or what-?

  • They must not be ready to launch Elysium yet and need to buy a little more time.

  • I’m a cynic. There can be only 1 reason for this, if it’s true – there’s money to be made.

  • I’ll believe them when they kick in a million a piece to fund Tulsi’s campaign.

    • This is my answer too.

  • Nice, Caitlin, .. very well written and I guess we’re heading off in the right direction, but did you ever give thought to the idea that we are just one Reichstag fire incident from a Fascist Trump dictatorship? The historical similarities to the two regimes are uncanny..

    • Didn’t they already pull that maneuver? No need for a figurehead (Trump) to run the fascist state when the unelected determine the actions of our government anyway.

      The president is primarily there to give us reasons to squabble. The real actions are behind the curtain and beyond our reach. Each of the last three presidents has campaigned on “anti-interventionism” yet here we are with forever wars ever increasing since 9/11.

      • Ok. What’s the catch /hidden agenda here?

      • So true, Geo.

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