Liberal boogeyman George Soros and right-wing billionaire Charles Koch have teamed up to stop ‘endless war.’

This is a big deal.

via International Monetary Fund / Flickr and Fortune Brainstorm Tech / Flickr

Say the name George Soros to any die-hard Republican and they’ll probably recoil in disgust. The Hungarian-born billionaire has donated billions to progressive causes throughout his life and is the subject of wide-ranging, unfounded conspiracies spread by conservatives.

Soros has been falsely accused by the right of everything from paying people to participate in the 2017 Women’s March to trying to bring down the global currency market.

Charles Koch is one half of the controversial billionaire libertarian-minded Koch Brothers, a partnership that has given hundreds of millions to right-wing political causes. The Koch’s have a long history of using their money to support tax cuts and the rollback of environmental protections.

Their company, Koch Industries, is the third-largest polluter in the U.S.

The Pine Bend oil refinery in Rosemount, Minnesota, run by Flint Hills Resources, a subsidiary of Koch Industries. Photo by Tony Webster / Flickr.

Koch and Soros have teamed up for a cause that sadly has too few champions in America these days: peace. While this partnership seems shocking to some, there is an overlap in the progressive and libertarian Venn diagram of beliefs.

Libertarians and progressives tend to agree on LGBT rights, immigration, abortion, criminal justice reform, drug decriminalization, and U.S. military intervention overseas.

Koch and Soros’ new endeavor is the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a tribute to former president John Quincy Adams. On Independence Day in 1821, Quincy declared that the United States “goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.”

via Cassowary Colorizations / Flickr

“The Quincy Institute is an action-oriented think tank that will lay the foundation for a new foreign policy centered on diplomatic engagement and military restraint,” the institution’s website reads. “The current moment presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring together like-minded progressives and conservatives and set U.S. foreign policy on a sensible and humane footing. Our country’s current circumstances demand it.”

According to The Boston Globe, the institute will likely advocate for deep cuts in military spending, a withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and Syria, a return to the nuclear deal with Iran, and an end to regime-change campaigns in Venezuela and Cuba.

The institute aims to release policy reports by the end of the year that push for new foreign policy across the globe while advocating to stop “endless war.”

via Debra Sweet / Flickr

The institute also released a bold statement of principles, stating that the U.S. “should engage with the world, and the essence of engagement is peaceful cooperation among peoples. For this reason, the United States must cherish peace and pursue it through the vigorous practice of diplomacy.”

“The use of armed force does not represent American engagement in the world,” the statement continues. “Force ends human life, destroying engagement irreparably. Any resort to force should occur only as a last resort and should remain infrequent. The military exists to defend the people and territory of the United States, not to act as a global police force.”

“This is big,” Trita Parsi, former president of the National Iranian American Council and co-founder of the institute, told The Boston Globe. “It shows how important ending endless war is if they’re willing to put aside their differences and get together on this project. We are going to challenge the basis of American foreign policy in a way that has not been done in at least the last quarter-century.”

via The U.S. Army / Flickr

Since 9/11, the War on Terror has cost U.S. taxpayers over $6 trillion. Just imagine what that money could have done if it was spent on healthcare, cancer research or education?

As of 2016, these wars have killed about 14,000 American soldiers and contractors. Nearly 400,000 residents of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq have lost their lives as well.

At least 800,000 more have been killed due to malnutrition, environmental impacts, and disease caused by the conflicts.

All of the spent blood and treasure seems to be faint background noise in today’s political milieu. Koch and Soros are doing the world a service by turning up the volume on something Americans would rather not hear about and amplifying an idea that seems to have been forgotten over the past generation.


In the category of "claims to fame nobody wants," the United States can now add "exporter of white supremacist ideology" to its repertoire. Super.

Russell Travers, acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, made this claim in a briefing at The Washington Institute in Washington, D.C. "For almost two decades, the United States has pointed abroad at countries who are exporters of extreme Islamist ideology," Travers said. "We are now being seen as the exporter of white supremacist ideology. That's a reality with which we are going to have to deal."

Keep Reading Show less

Since the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, whale populations have been steadily recovering. However, whales in the wild still face other dangers. In the summer of 2018, four Russian companies that supply aquariums with marine animals captured almost 100 beluga whales and killer whales (aka orcas). After a public outcry, those whales are swimming free as the last of the captive whales have been released, the first time this many captured whales have been released back into the wild.

In late 2018 and early 2019, a drone captured footage of 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales crammed into holding pens in the Srednyaya Bay. The so-called "whale jail" made headlines, and authorities began to investigate their potentially illegal capture.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

An anonymous White House official claims President Trump cruelly limited Hispanic immigrants in their new book, "A Warning."

The book, to be released on November 19, gives an alleged insider account of the Trump White House and paints a picture of the president as a chaotic man who lacks the mental and moral acumen required for the job.

The anonymous staffer says that Trump once feigned a Hispanic accent and made fun of women attempting to immigrate to the U.S.

Keep Reading Show less
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The 2020 election is a year away, but Donald Trump has some serious ground to cover if he doesn't want it to be a historical blowout.

A Washington Post- ABC News poll released Tuesday shows that Trump loses by double digits to the top Democratic contenders.

Vice President Joe Biden (56%-39%); Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (54%-39%); Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (56%-39%); South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (52%-41%); and Sen. Kamala Harris of California (52%-41%) all have big leads over the president.

Keep Reading Show less
Yad Vashem

Since 1992, the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous has been holding reunion ceremonies between Holocaust survivors and rescuers once a year. But the tradition is coming to an end, as many have died or are too frail to travel. What might be the last reunion of its kind took place when a 92-year-old woman met up with the two surviving family members that she helped hide during the Holocaust, and their descendants.

Sarah Yanai and Yossi Mor introduced Melpomeni Dina (nee Gianopoulou) to their almost 40 family members, all decedents of the Mordechai family, the family of seven that Dina and her two sisters hid during WWII. "There are no words to describe this feeling," Dina told the Jeruselum Post. "It is very emotional for us to be together again."

Keep Reading Show less