World Could Be A Safer Place without US Militarism: Congressional Candidate

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An American congressional candidate said the world could be a safer and more prosperous place if the US, instead of pushing ahead with its warmongering policies across the globe, spent a fraction of its time and financial resources on international economic development.

“If the United States did more to genuinely support the economic and social development of these and other nations, the crises leading so many to leave their homes would not be so prevalent. Instead, support of non-democratic and brutalist regimes perpetuates instability and violence in these countries. If the US spent a fraction as much time and financial resources on international economic development and cooperation as we do on military operations, the world would be a safer and more prosperous place,” Sander Hicks from New York, who’s running as an independent candidate for the US Congress in this year’s mid-term elections, told Tasnim.

Following is the full text of the interview.

Tasnim: On June 23, the United Nations has issued a damning condemnation of Donald Trump's policy that saw migrant children separated from their parents at the border, suggesting it "may amount to torture". What’s your take on this?

Hicks: We stand with the Child Welfare League of America, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, and National Association of Social Workers in opposition to the Department of Homeland Security’s harmful and inhumane practice of separating migrant children from their parents. Recent and long-standing global conflict and unrest have led to mass migration challenges throughout the entire world. Only through a new era of global peace and cooperation can we generate solutions to ensure that all families and individuals enjoy a dignified and fruitful life.

Tasnim: A number of rights groups have questioned Trump's order, mostly for offering few details on how to deal with the more than 2,300 children detained by the US government since the "zero tolerance" policy was enacted by the president's administration in mid-April. What do you think about zero tolerance policy?

Hicks: Most any "zero tolerance" policy fails to recognize that nuance exists in the world. We can't divide the world into "agree" and "disagree" camps. We make progress when we nurture common ground. In this specific case, “zero tolerance" also ignores basic humanity and decency.

Tasnim: The UN condemnation comes just days after the United States withdrew its membership from the Human Rights Council, saying that the council is against Israel. What do you think about the move?

Hicks: We oppose the move to leave the Human Rights Council and would prefer the US continues to work with other nations and peoples around the world to support human rights of all. Is the UN and HRC perfect? No, but withdrawing from the conversation does not further the cause of peace and prosperity for the US nor the rest of the world.

We support the HRC investigating Israel's killing of protestors on May 14. It happened, actually, while I was speaking in Mashhad at a conference. It was quite harrowing to see it happening live on Press TV while speaking out against Zionism.

Tasnim: The vast majority of immigrants arriving in the US and facing potential separation are coming from turbulent countries like Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. In those countries, high violent crime rates and difficult economic conditions have forced families to leave, migrating north to the US and elsewhere. What’s your perspective on this?

Hicks: If the United States did more to genuinely support the economic and social development of these and other nations, the crises leading so many to leave their homes would not be so prevalent. Instead, support of non-democratic and brutalist regimes perpetuates instability and violence in these countries. If the US spent a fraction as much time and financial resources on international economic development and cooperation as we do on military operations, the world would be a safer and more prosperous place.

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