Charles Koch and Soros funding anti-interventionist think-tank!?

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Charles Koch and Soros funding anti-interventionist think-tank!?

Christmas in July--or April Fools in July?

Let me imagine it is the former, and not peacewashing.  Welcome and uplifting, I shall extend happy hour to suppress skepticism and retain the glow.

Democracy Now:

In an unexpected partnership, liberal billionaire donor George Soros and right-wing billionaire Charles Koch have teamed up to finance a new think tank with the mission of “mov[ing] U.S. foreign policy away from endless war and toward vigorous diplomacy in the pursuit of international peace.” The co-founders of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, which launches in September, include Trita Parsi, founder of the National Iranian American Council, and Andrew Bacevich, retired colonel and Vietnam War veteran—both outspoken critics of U.S. military and foreign policy.

The Independent:

....In an editorial for the Globe, historian Stephen Kinzer, who spoke to the co-founders, said the  foundation was likely to advocate for a return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, for the withdrawal of US troops from Syria and Afghanistan, and for less confrontational approaches to perceived adversaries such as Russia and China....

Charles Koch, George Soros Help Fund Think Tank Opposed To 'Endless War'

Welcome to 21st-century politics (finally) with creation of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.

NICK GILLESPIE | 7.1.2019 8:57 AM..

...From the Globe's write-up:

It will promote an approach to the world based on diplomacy and restraint rather than threats, sanctions, and bombing. This is a radical notion in Washington, where every major think tank promotes some variant of neocon militarism or liberal interventionism. Soros and Koch are uniting to revive the fading vision of a peaceable United States. The street cred they bring from both ends of the political spectrum—along with the money they are providing—will make this new think tank an off-pitch voice for statesmanship amid a Washington chorus that promotes brinksmanship….

The institute plans to open its doors in September and hold an official inauguration later in the autumn. Its founding donors—Soros's Open Society Foundation and the Charles Koch Foundation—have each contributed half a million dollars to fund its takeoff. A handful of individual donors have joined to add another $800,000. By next year the institute hopes to have a $3.5 million budget and a staff of policy experts who will churn out material for use in Congress and in public debates. Hiring is underway. Among [Trita] Parsi's co-founders are several well-known critics of American foreign policy, including Suzanne DiMaggio, who has spent decades promoting negotiated alternatives to conflict with China, Iran, and North Korea; the historian and essayist Stephen Wertheim; and the anti-militarist author and retired Army colonel Andrew Bacevich....

From the skeptical side, Caitlin Johnson goes over the arguments but ends on an appropriate wait and see note:

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

....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.





Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Both Trita Parsi and Andrew Bacevich have great credibility to me, so perhaps this isn't just a con by Koch/Soros.

voice of the damned

I'm sure there are numerous activist and lobby groups that are funded by people from opposite ends of the political spectrum, if the groups are taking positions on which both sides overlap.

Dr. Henry Morgentaler's lawyer in his successful court cases was Morris Manning, a right-wing libertarian who later fought for the rights of workers to withhold union dues. I believe Manning's wife was also the head of some pro-choice physicians group, and they likely had a few left-wing supporters.



Re: Soros & Koch

Seriously doubt these two wrongs can make a right.

voice of the damned

See Kristol's comments in the Reason article for an example of the kind of right-wingers who will NOT be supporting this endeavour.

As for the Koch brothers, they've always identified as libertarians, and possibly subscribe to some sort of "welfare/warfare state" analysis of the supposed connection between socialism and foreign adventurism. And I don't know if Soros is known for being particularly social-democratic in his economic views: if not, then the gap between him and the Kochs' might not be that huge.


I mentioned this in another thread.  Any counter balance to the neocons and liberal interventionists is a good thing.  This is an issue where libertarians and social democrats can come together.


Koch and Soros already are trying to influence our politics so its good t seem them playing in their own back yard. Both of them are US billionaires who I am sure believe in American Exceptionalism, what could possibly be bad about ideas they promote?


NDPP wrote:

Re: Soros & Koch

Seriously doubt these two wrongs can make a right.

China is having huge success with peace diplomacy policy!

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, economic sanctions are like drinking poison and expecting your enemies to die. 

The US investment in its war machine is a super shitty investment. Investing those billions into hospitals railways schools etc etc has much larger returns. 

This may be seen as an admission that US foreign policy is a roadmap to bankruptcy and that China is the world leader, better catch up now before Indian economy leap frogs the US. 


Michael Moriarity wrote:

Both Trita Parsi and Andrew Bacevich have great credibility to me, so perhaps this isn't just a con by Koch/Soros.

I agree.  Additional co-founders Eli Clifton and Stephen Wertheim have also done good work. 

I'm not going to jump the gun and condemn these people based on the past sins of funders before I even see the institute's positions papers generated.

It's a radical departure event to have a potentially high profile institute articulating less murderous interventionistic positions.

The major neocons, ultra-zionists, military procurement shills and a good deal of the connected MSM are already attacking it. 

"Wait and see" seems the rational response to me, rather than a reponse requiring purity of ideology or origins.