The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statescraft, a Washington D.C. think-tank that is a joint project of George Soros and Charles Koch, kicked off with its initial conference last week, and iconic anti-war author and journalist Gareth Porter is calling the group out for their lack of authenticity.
Porter hammered the conference for their weak “realism and restraint” messaging and their kowtowing to the political elite. He criticized them for partnering with the warhawks at Foreign Policy magazine and hosting CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus to lead their inaugural conference.
“Quincy needed a way to highlight the weaknesses of the status quo elite’s ideas and the power of its own alternative, and a debate between Petraeus and a highly articulate opponent of his position and argument would have done that. That was a talking point for the defense of Petraeus as a representative of the war system offered by one Quincy officer in advance of the conference,” Porter explained in his exposé of the conference.
“But Petraeus was not about to agree to any such exercise. He is used to speaking from a position of power and not having to defend against sharp rebuttals and tough arguments. A one-on-one debate with an articulate opponent would have been exposed him even more clearly as a vacuous windbag,” he added.
One line particularly showed how insulting and disingenuous Petraeus’ appearance at the conference was to all non-interventionists. “We should be for more restraint until we shouldn’t be,” he said.
However, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), a leader against interventionist wars in the Middle East, was able to articulate a solid argument against military adventurism while speaking at the conference, Porter explained.
“Representative Ro Khanna, the smartest and most articulate congressional advocate for a non-interventionist viewpoint, laid out in an exchange with Cato Institute supporter Will Ruger a sharp critique of U.S. military interventions in the Middle East, starting with the enormous boost that U.S. interventions gave to the previously weak al Qaeda, which went from a presence in three countries before 9/11 to 23 countries today,” Porter wrote.
Although Khanna gave a rare highlight, Porter notes that the tone of the conference was all wrong, and no substantial foreign policy reforms will ever come from playing within the political establishment’s parameters.
“An organization devoted to attacking its illicit and increasingly unpopular policies can only gain traction by offering an analysis that will appeal to the anti-elite sentiments that have already shaken the U.S. political system to its foundations,” he wrote.
“That would mean going beyond “realism and restraint” and talking about the need for fundamental change in the system of national security institutions themselves. Of course, taking that lesson on board might not be in line with the thinking of major funders. It could imply a major reorganization and even a much smaller staff. But if it doesn’t heed the lesson of its initial conference, Quincy is likely to find that the real action in bringing about change in U.S. foreign and policy is coming from political forces involved in the larger national power struggle,” Porter concluded.
Liberty Conservative News has previously outed the Quincy Institute as another fake Beltway think-tank that is in bed with the political establishment. Their first conference has reaffirmed the organization’s controlled opposition status.