Ask Jesse Episode 7: Peace > Partisanship

Click here to listen to full episode on YouTube

Show Notes By Victoria Lynn Hall

I greatly admire author, activist and former presidential candidate Marianne Williamson and one of the many reasons I became a grassroots volunteer for her campaign was because of her stance on foreign policy in general as well as her specific proposal for a U.S. Department of Peace.

Since suspending her campaign for president, however, I feel that she has not been as vocal about foreign policy issues as I would prefer and at times has appeared to express things that seem contradictory to what I believe her views to be. While I want to give her the benefit of the doubt, the social media marketer in me can’t help but be disappointed in what is, at the very least, inconsistent messaging and I haven’t been shy about expressing this.

I know there are people who disapprove of or don’t understand my occasional disagreements with Williamson on Twitter. They mistakenly view this phenomenon as my withdrawing support or a lack of loyalty or respect. For the record, it is none of those things, or at least that is not how I see it.

I have followed Marianne Williamson’s career closely for nearly 30 years, have read most of her books, have listened to many of her lectures and I passionately supported her presidential campaign. Her work and the principles it is based on (those of A Course In Miracles) has instructed and shaped my life in profound ways and continues to do so on a daily basis.

So whenever I express my truth from a place of conviction, I feel that I am only doing what I learned from Marianne Williamson to do – even when that means I am disagreeing with Marianne Williamson.

That doesn’t mean I am never wrong or don’t make mistakes. And it certainly doesn’t mean that I’m “canceling” her, even when I do feel that she is wrong. And, frankly, if that means I am cancelled by some members of “Team Marianne” then so be it.

I will always act and speak according to my own values and conscience even if, in some instances, that means disagreeing with someone I admire and respect like Marianne or agreeing with someone who I have no admiration for like Donald Trump – not because it brings me pleasure or popularity because it does neither – but because I want peace more than I want those things.

I can’t have peace with myself if I betray my own principles for the sake of comfort or social standing and there will never be peace in this world if I and others can’t recognize our common humanity with those who don’t seem to display those principles.

If you are not familiar with Marianne Williamson’s proposal for a cabinet level United States Department of Peace, you can find it at: https://www.mariannenow.com/issues

There is also currently a bill before the U.S. House of Representatives to establish a Department of Peacebuilding. You can learn more about it and how to support it through The Peace Alliance, an organization that Williamson co founded.


Show Notes By Jesse Crall

A $750 billion defense budget.

800 military bases around the world.

Lethal sanctions imposed on vulnerable countries.

A war in Afghanistan coming up on 20 years.

We broadly know the details of American foreign policy, the casualties and money wasted. But why do we remain ensconced in an imperial agenda that serves so few and hurts so many? Because propaganda proves a remarkable catalyst. 

Late last year, the Washington Post published The Afghanistan Papers, revealing what many of us already suspected: The Bush, Obama & Trump administrations all lied about Afghanistan operations in order to retain support for their endeavors. 2019 was also the first year since the war began that coalition forces led by the U.S. killed more civilians than the Taliban. And the Taliban controls more territory than they did in 2001. In short, the war was a bipartisan failure, yet another example of how the largest military in modern history only expanded despair. And America drew a collective yawn.

In 2012, Michael Lewis published an article in Vanity Fair detailing Barack Obama’s administration, focusing on the decision to invade Libya with NATO support. The problem? Most of what Lewis printed turned out to be lies propagated by a government trying to sell a vicious economic war as a humanitarian endeavor. Obama repaid the favor by buying the rights to Lewis’ most recent book, The Fifth Risk, via his production company at Netflix.

Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American progress think tank, holds sizable influence in Establishment Democratic circles. She was expected to hold the Chief of Staff position in a Hillary Clinton White House. With Biden looking like the likely president, she’s sure to retain considerable regard at the highest levels of power. Following the Libya disaster, Tanden argued that Libya should let us extract their oil as payback for the costs of our invasion. Never mind that we invaded illegally and only fostered ongoing chaos that now includes open air slave markets.

Susan Rice, one of the prime advocates for invasion in Libya, remains on Biden’s short list for Vice President and will likely play a role dictating the administration’s foreign policy. Ditto Samantha Power, the U.N. Ambassador under Obama and a vehement supporter of arms deals to the Saudi Arabians in their genocide against Yemen. Their hawkish agenda appears to hold no detriment to their standing in elite D.C. circles. Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof hosted Power at a talk last year and praised her views and recent book, The Education of an Idealist.

Of course, why wouldn’t Kristof praise Power? He supported the Libya invasion as well. He also hosted Juan Guiado, applauded him and argued that current Venezuelan president Nicholas Maduro belongs in jail. This as U.S. sanctions were in the process of killing upwards of 40,000 Venezuelans following overt coup attempts. Venezuela holds considerable oil and gold reserves but sure, John Bolton & Mike Pompeo wanted regime change because they care about civilians so deeply…By celebrating an unelected puppet to international corporate interests, Kristof, a critic of Donald Trump and a self-styled progressive, was carrying water for the most hawkish members of our current administration. He also goes out of his way to praise George W. Bush. Repeatedly. He later wrote a column lamenting the deaths from our sanctions, revealing once again that ignorance is an asset to one’s media career.

It’s dispiriting to live in a nation in which hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis produces little more than ineffectual outrage on the fringes of discourse. Few still defend that war but in treating George W. Bush as anything but a catastrophe for human life, we collectively demonstrate how little those deaths really matter. A hospital in Fallujah posts regular images of babies born bearing the horrific scars of the depleted uranium Bush dropped almost two decades ago in the region (Warning: Graphic Content). Their efforts haven’t stopped Barack Obama from insisting that George W. Bush “had basic regard for the rule of law.” And the media machine insists that we take all these men and women seriously as they fail to offer any sustained challenge to the lies told and lives wasted. In so irrational a world, is it any wonder that Donald Trump could emerge victorious?

 I see no reason to expect a shift on our thinking. A majority of Democrats “approve” of George W. Bush, who spent the last few years lobbying on behalf of Brett Kavanaugh and making highly paid speeches touting the need for imperialism. Barack Obama enjoys almost unanimous support within his party and hell, his Vice President is the Democratic nominee. Biden’s already promised to illegally occupy Syrian oil fields and tried to out-hawk Trump on Venezuela earlier this week. Congressman Jamie Raskin can lie outright to a journalist about Russian influence on our elections and few care. So while the Nicholas Kristofs of the world continue to zero in on Trump’s failures, ignore Bush & Obama’s and repeat the talking points favored by Mike Pompeo and torture defenders like John Brennan, we can feel assured that Imperialism will remain an unwavering American Institution. It won’t cost us much more than our souls and if we own stock in weapons manufacturers, we might even make some money out of it. And we can all feel good about ourselves for opposing the Bad Orange Man while Syrians starve, Venezuelans die and the brilliant leaders responsible for such destruction move on to another book deal, another MSNBC contract, another high-minded salon hosted by the New York Times…Vote Blue!

If you have a question you would like to “Ask Jesse” or have a topic you would like us to explore in a future episode, you can email us at AskJesse@amplifireproject.com

Watch the full episode below or on YouTube where you can subscribe to all of our video content. We would also like to thank Kim D. for contributing her fabulous song, “Corporation Coup” for use as a theme for our videos, you can find the full recording of this song at: https://soundcloud.com/wondergalaxy13/corporation-coup


A self taught artist and creative entrepreneur, Victoria Lynn Hall lives in the Kansas City area with 4 spoiled cats. She believes in art and the magic of kindness.

linktr.ee/victorialynnhall

Jesse Crall

A Los Angeles native, Jesse Crall graduated from UCLA’s English Department before working as a copywriter, script reader and project manager for an engineering firm. Now pursuing a master’s degree in writing at NYU, he splits his time between Studio City and Manhattan. https://linktr.ee/jessecrall

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