Author: Oregon PeaceWorks

Making “Impregnators” Pay Their Fair Share

ROB OKUN – Long before a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion revealed that by summer Roe v. Wade will likely be overturned, only pregnant people bore the burden of pregnancy—not just physically, but also financially. “Impregnators” have always had the choice to walk away. Sure, they could be on the hook for child support after birth, but what if they could be held responsible for their actions before—from the moment of conception—just as the pregnant person is?

The Energy and Food Crisis Is Far Worse Than Most Americans Realize

RICHARD HEINBERG – Crises make incumbent politicians look bad. But denying or politicizing problems that result from our own prior mistakes just makes those problems worse. Here’s some free advice for policy makers and members of the Fourth Estate: take the long view, even if it’s scary. And tell the truth, even if it means losing an election or Twitter followers.

Here’s How the War in Ukraine Should End

JOHN QUIGLEY – At some point, hopefully sooner than later, there will be a negotiated settlement that will need to deal with the Donbas region in Eastern Ukraine. The Donbas was the focus of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decree he issued three days before invading, recognizing the claimed separate status of the region’s two provinces.

Why Latin America Needs a New World Order

MARCO FERNANDES – Humanity faces urgent challenges, such as inequality, hunger, the climate crisis, and the threat of new pandemics. To overcome them, regional alliances in the Global South must be able to institute a new multipolarity in global politics. But the usual suspects may have other plans for humanity.

Loose Lips Can Sink Peace 

MEL GURTOV – During World War II, US sailors were warned: Loose lips sink ships. A similar warning should have gone out to all US officials in recent days—and the President should have been the first to acknowledge that the warning included him. Because thanks to loose lips in Washington, the US is contributing to Vladimir Putin’s propaganda, and possibly still worse, to a direct confrontation with Moscow.

Why Won’t Europe Call for an End to This War?

BOAVENTURA DE SOUSA SANTOS – When armed conflicts take place in Africa or in the Middle East, Europe’s leaders are the first to call for a cessation of hostilities and to declare the urgent need for peace negotiations. Why is it then that when a war occurs in Europe, the drums of war beat incessantly, and not a single leader calls for them to be silenced and for the voice of peace to be heard?

Intelligence Professionals Warn Biden Against Ukraine War’s Existential Dangers

VETERAN INTELLIGENCE PROFESSIONALS FOR SANITY (VIPS) – Mainstream media have marinated the minds of most Americans in a witches’ brew of misleading information on Ukraine – and on the exceedingly high stakes of the war. On the chance you are not getting the kind of “untreated” intelligence President Truman hoped for by restructuring intelligence, we offer below a 12-point factsheet. Some of us were intelligence analysts during the Cuban missile crisis and see a direct parallel in Ukraine. As to VIPs’ credibility, our record since Jan. 2003 – whether on Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, or Russia – speaks for itself.

Progressives Can’t Depend on the Congressional Progressive Caucus

JEFF COHEN and NORMAN SOLOMON – The Progressive Caucus leadership approach that gave up leverage for Build Back Better is akin to the one that just endorsed Shontel Brown against Nina Turner. Progressives around the country should take note and not forget: We can’t depend on the Congressional Progressive Caucus to provide the kind of leadership we need. It must come from the grassroots.

Jeremy Corbyn: Now, Let Us Talk Peace

JEREMY CORBYN – With Russian shells raining down on Ukrainian cities, an uneasy ceasefire in Yemen, the attack on Palestinians at prayer in Jerusalem and many other conflicts around the world, it might seem to some to be inappropriate to talk about peace. When a war is going on, though, it is absolutely the time to talk about peace.

What Does International Law Say About the Ukraine Invasion?

MEL GURTOV – In just the past few years, we have witnessed mass violence directed at innocent people in many places: China’s Xinjiang province, the Saudi-led war in Yemen, the Myanmar (Burma) junta’s atrocities against the Muslim Rohingya, and of course Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Each of these episodes has its distinctive characteristics, but they all violate international law and our common humanity. None of them can be excused by arguments based on state sovereignty, national security, historical analogy, or the sins of others past and present.

Great Plains Farmers Push Back Against CO2 Pipelines Encroaching on Their Land

LEANNA FIRST-ARAI – Farmers, ranchers, and other rural community members across five Great Plains states and Illinois — many of whom were previously sued by developers of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines wanting to build through their land — are finding their property, safety and livelihoods encroached upon yet again by corporations. This time, they’re coming up against developers, many with fossil fuel ties, who are seeking to cash in on climate solutions tax credits to build a massive network of carbon dioxide (CO2) pipelines across the United States.

Weapons Are Not Helping: How Do We End the War in Ukraine?

CHRIS DE PLOEG – International aggression has major consequences and can lead to massive loss of human life: 2.4 million dead in Iraq, 1.2 million dead in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the U.S. war against the Taliban. Senior American defense officials claim that Russia is still holding back and that its bombers are primarily focused on military targets. These same officials also warn that civilian casualties could massively spike if Russia does decide to enact an Iraq- or Chechnya-style bombing campaign. Can that kind of fate still be prevented in Ukraine? That is the primary question that should concern all commentators. That and the prevention of further escalation, nuclear war. Where do we go from here?

Tax Day and the Fate of the Earth

PETER BERGEL and MICHAEL CARRIGAN – Once again we are all paying our federal income taxes this month. We do this as “the price of civilization” – to pay for the services we value and rely upon – disaster relief, help during the pandemic, wildfire protection, food security, a host of others and… nuclear weapons?

Ukraine: Is this the best we can do?

WINSLOW MYERS – Which of these parallel universes of thought will prevail? Putin’s brutality, whatever its outcome, has only pointed up the stupidity and futility of violence and the perennial possibility of its opposite—a world that chooses survival, takes the risk of cooperation, and ensures a further stage in the unfolding human story.

Europe Is Sleepwalking Into Another World War

BOAVENTURA DE SOUSA SANTOS – More than 100 years after World War I, Europe’s leaders are sleepwalking toward a new all-out war. In 1914, the European governments believed that the war would last three weeks; it lasted four years and resulted in more than 20 million deaths. The same nonchalance is visible with the war in Ukraine.

Ukrainian Climate Activists Say They Don’t Want the US’s Fracked Gas Exports

CANDACE BERND – Climate activists living under the constant blare of air raid sirens in Ukraine say they don’t want the United States’ fracked gas exports, and don’t want frontline communities along the U.S. Gulf Coast living with the impacts of so-called liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure to become sacrifice zones in their name. Instead, they say, they want a dramatic, wartime mobilization for a transition to clean energy.

Energy efficiency guru Amory Lovins: ‘It’s the largest, cheapest, safest, cleanest way to address the crisis’

JOHN VIDAL – Just as with the 1970s oil shocks, the problem today is not where to find energy but how to use it better, Amory Lovins says. The answer is what he calls “integrative, or whole-system, design,” a way to employ orthodox engineering to achieve radically more energy-efficient results by changing the design logic. Design, retrofitting, and efficiency, these are the answers to the climate crisis.

The People of Yemen Suffer Atrocities, too

KATHY KELLY – Jan Egeland, the secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, said, “The people of Yemen need the same level of support and solidarity that we’ve seen for the people of Ukraine. The crisis in Europe will dramatically impact Yemenis’ access to food and fuel, making an already dire situation even worse.”

The Inevitability, Tragedy and Opportunity in the Invasion of Ukraine

JIM GARRISON – What would it take for NATO and Russia to embrace the obvious? The only way for the current crisis to be truly solved is to create a process in and through which all the former antagonists can come together around the creation of a common security and economic zone that brings Russia together with Ukraine as partners in a larger zone of peace. It is possible.

Journalism and Truth Telling in Wartime

ROB OKUN – Brent Renaud. Marina Ovsyannikova. One a US filmmaker killed by Russian troops on March 13 while working on a documentary about refugees. The other, an editor-producer on Russian state TV’s Channel One who dramatically interrupted a news broadcast to hold aloft a sign denouncing Putin’s war. She was immediately arrested. Renaud’s senseless killing one day and Ovsyannikova’s brave action the next, unintentionally have forged a link between journalism and wartime truth telling that cannot be overstated. 

Stumbling into the ‘Sacrifice Trap’

DR. ANN FRISCH – Kenneth Boulding, professor, philosopher, poet, economist and peace researcher, is looking  on, almost 30 years after his death. Leaders of the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and US are locked into what Boulding called the ‘sacrifice trap’: their identities and images of who they are leave aside the realities of the real cost of war.  

300,000 Russians Sign Peace Petition in 12 Hours

RUSSIAN PETITIONERS – We appeal to all sane people in Russia, on whose actions and words something depends. Become a part of the anti-war movement, speak out against the war. Do this at least in order to show the whole world that there have been, there are and there will be people in Russia who will not accept the meanness created by the authorities, who have turned the state itself and the peoples of Russia into an instrument of their crimes.

Can Iran and the U.S. Breathe Life Back Into Nuclear Deal?

PRABIR PURKAYASTHA – The possibility of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—or the Iran nuclear deal—being revived, though difficult, seems to have brightened in February 2022. The U.S. may now also believe that the potential loss of Russian natural gas and oil due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war needs to be offset by Iran returning to the global oil market.

Independent American and Russian Women Call for Peace

WOMENCALL4PEACE – We are women from the United States and Russia who are deeply concerned about the risk of possible war between our two countries, who together possess over 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons. We are mothers, daughters, grandmothers, and we are sisters, one to another. We stand together and we call for peace. Stand with us.

Bob Dylan and the Ukraine Crisis

NORMAN SOLOMON – Desperately needed is a new European security framework, to demilitarize and defuse conflicts between Russia and U.S. allies. But the same approach that for three decades pushed to expand NATO to Russia’s borders is now gung-ho to keep upping the ante, no matter how much doing so increases the chances of a direct clash between the world’s two nuclear-weapons superpowers.

Biden Promised Nuclear-Policy Reform. He’s Not Delivering.

JOSEPH CIRINCIONE – On the campaign trail and in strategy documents, President Biden committed to a new focus on arms control — and to a reconsideration of dangerous policies. News reports suggest his review of the U.S. nuclear posture will be disappointing. So, what can be done to alter this outcome, and who is working toward changing decision makers’ minds ?