(Photo: Elvert Barnes / Flickr)

“The big problem we face right now, on the question of foreign policy, is that we don’t really have a clue what a Trump foreign policy will look like.,” Phyllis Bennis told FAIR on an episode of CounterSpin.

“The only thing we know for sure,” Bennis said, “is that social movements are going to be far more important than anyone else” — including who’s in Congress, the White House, or the Supreme Court — “Because that’s the only way we’re going to have to change history.”

We don’t know who will be in charge or what Trump stands for, she said. Bennis noted that he’s said we’ll have better relations with Russia, we should be neutral on the Israel-Palestine conflict, and that he opposes a no-fly zone in Syria.

“But there’s absolutely no reason to think that he’s going to stick to those statements. He’s made other statements completely opposed to them,” Bennis said.

For example, he’s said he would tear up the Iran nuclear deal, called for an expansion of nuclear weapons, and then disavowed those statements.

What is also very dangerous, Bennis said, is that Trump’s election and presidency helped a movement rise up around racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and Islamophobia that could begin to feel they have a legitimacy that they never should have had.

So our social movements that we anticipated in resistance of a Clinton administration to mobilize immediately against wars and escalation is going to have to be done in the context of a broader resistance movement, Bennis said, “where motions to build movements against wars are going to have to also be movements to defend refugees that are trying to come here as a result of those wars.”

She said we also have to “link with movements who are providing the first defense for endangered communities,” whether those be immigrants, people of color, Muslims, Arabs, women, or LGBTQ communities.

Listen to the full interview here.

Phyllis Bennis directs the New Internationalism project at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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