One is a good complexion preservative, the other very left. Charles Koch and George Soros together set up a think tank that intrigues observers.
From our correspondent in Washington Hélène Vissière
It is the marriage of the carp and the rabbit. George Soros, the billionaire of Hungarian origin who supports left-wing causes, has joined forces with Charles Koch, a wealthy industrialist, an ardent defender of conservative policies. They have just created together a think tank, the Quincy Institute, a think tank which intends to work for a “responsible policy”, close to the White House. Its purpose is to promote ideas for ending US involvement in “endless wars” and “to lay the foundations for a new foreign policy centered on diplomatic engagement and military control.”
READ ALSOGafam – When America is afraid of its giants
The institute is named after President John Quincy Adams, who in 1821 said in a famous speech: “America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. Failure to respect this principle, the institute believes, has harmed the country’s interests and caused all kinds of serious humanitarian repercussions. “Political leaders have increasingly used military means in a ruinous, counterproductive and indiscriminate manner”, sums up the institute’s website.
For me foreign policy is a form of madness
George Soros, who for decades has funded all kinds of initiatives to defend democracy and human rights, denounces excessive American militarism. Charles Koch with his industrial empire supports anti-regulatory, anti-global warming and isolationist policies. In an interview from 2015, he said: “For me, foreign policy is a form of madness. We spend our time debunking dictators and then we have nothing better to put in place and we disrupt the lives of lots of people, we spend fortunes and we end up with Americans killed and maimed. “
Ending America, the world’s policeman
The institute hopes to bring together all the supporters of the right and the left who consider America’s role as a world policeman a failure and are in favor of a less interventionist policy. It draws on the examples of Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. The Washington Post has just published a major survey showing how successive administrations have manipulated public opinion by touting progress in Afghanistan when they were aware of the failure of the American intervention.
READ ALSOHow Washington hid the Afghan disaster for years
In Washington, most think tanks defend the role of a superpowered and interventionist America. “Much of the foreign policy community has succumbed to intellectual lethargy and dysfunction. It prevents and avoids serious debate and is incapable of holding politicians and commentators responsible for disastrous policies, ”the institute’s website indicates.
The think tank will bring together some forty researchers, whose objective is to propose a different approach that puts forward peace and diplomacy. Soros and Koch each contributed $ 500,000.
But since its launch, it has drawn criticism. James Kirchick, an expert from the Brookings Institution, another rather left-wing think tank, wrote a column in the Washington Post titled “Why George Soros and Charles Koch Collaborate in a Think Tank Breaking Sugar on America’s Back.” According to him, the institute’s philosophy is a “bizarre amalgamation of far-right and far-left ideas, united by a shared isolationism and an aversion to America’s role as a force for good.”