Sanders’ foreign policy adviser leaves to join Koch-funded think tank


Senior foreign policy adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vermont), Matt Duss, is leaving his office to join a think tank funded by Charles Koch, a longtime ally of the progressive left.

Duss, who since 2017 has been a top adviser to Sanders, is heading to the US Statecraft program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which last year received a $4.5 million grant from the Charles Koch Foundation. .

Sanders and Duss have – at least until recently – been vocal critics of Charles Koch and his late brother, David, accusing the billionaires of using their political and philanthropic donations to ‘buy elections’, install an ‘oligarchy’ and push a “right”. – the ideology of the Koch brothers.” But Duss, a longtime Israeli critic who has defended me against economic boycotts of the Jewish state, seems to have found common ground with Koch’s vision for American withdrawal.

“The Koch brothers are gearing up to try and buy the Democratic Party and buy the 2020 election,” Sanders said. tweeted in June 2019. “We can’t let them. The only way to stop them is to build a grassroots progressive campaign that rejects their right-wing ideology.” Sanders too said in 2016, during his presidential race, “There is no one in the United States Congress who has confronted the Koch brothers more than Bernie Sanders.” He added later that year: “Our great nation can no longer be hijacked by right-wing billionaires like the Koch brothers.”

Duss occasionally hit the same notes, casting her future patron in an unflattering light. In response to a May 2018 article about the Koch brothers’ alleged influence at the Federal Communications Commission, Duss wrote“Today in the oligarchy.”

Although Duss has spent years promoting the Koch brothers as the best Republican boogeymen in the country, his views on foreign policy have in recent years come closer to those of Charles Koch, who has tried to unite the anti-revolution left. American military power with the isolationist. right.

Koch teamed up with liberal billionaire George Soros in 2019 to launch the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a think tank of Israel critics and Iran apologists. Quincy Institute experts regularly push for increased diplomacy with concessions to the extremist regime in Tehran, Communist China and Russian President Vladimir Putin; the Koch-Soros think tank opposes US intervention around the world – views shared by far-left politicians like Duss.

Koch’s money has also benefited groups like the RAND Corporation and the International Crisis Group, a Qatari-funded liberal advocacy organization known for pushing for anti-Semitic boycotts of Israel.

At other institutions, however, Koch’s funding has caused controversy. The Atlantic Council announced in July that it would end its new American Engagement initiative, just two years after the start of a five-year grant. The move came less than a year after two academics working under the Koch-funded program argued that the United States should ignore Russia’s gross human rights abuses in order to foster a closer relationship. closely with Putin.

The analysis, authored by Emma Ashford and Mathew Burrows, sparked outrage at the Atlantic Council, where nearly two dozen academics publicly disassociated themselves from Ashford and Burrows.

At the Quincy Institute, there were also internal disputes over Russian policy. Joseph Cirincione, a veteran leftist foreign policy analyst, parted ways with the organization over what he said were his efforts to justify Putin’s war in Ukraine.

Duss, like many Koch-funded groups, is a longtime Israeli critic who supports engagement with Iran. Duss’s writings have been described by the Simon Wiesenthal Center watchdog group as “infected with hatred of Jews”. And when Duss became an adviser to Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign, the pro-Israel community expressed disgust, with one accusing the senator of “building a campaign team full of people who have dedicated their careers to carry out anti-Semitic campaigns and calling them anti-Semitic”. Israel.”

A Carnegie Endowment spokesperson did not respond to a Free tag request for comment. Duss did not respond to a request for comment.

Published under:
Anti-Semitism, Bernie Sanders, Carnegie Endowment, Characteristic, George Soros, Iran, Israel, Koch Brothers, Matt Duss, Quincy Institute, Russia, Vladimir Poutine

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