Author: Oregon PeaceWorks

Epidemic Violence on Indian Reservations Must Be Addressed

GAIL SKENANDORE and TOM HASTINGS – We believe a light needs to shine on the pockets of escalating violence on Indian reservations. The intersection of guns, drugs, poverty, scant education, substandard health care, high unemployment, and corruption are literally producing conditions that invariably redound the hardest and worst on young people of color.

Real Conservatives Don’t Try to Dictate Their Religion

BOB TOPPER – The religious right has changed what it means to be a conservative. And the religious right seems hell-bent on dictating “their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of ‘conservatism,’” as they try to rewrite American history, and change the meaning of the Constitution. Should they succeed, it will be sad day for everyone,…Christians included.

NATO’s Upcoming War Games Targeted Against Russia

PAUL ANTONOPOULOS – Last week NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg explained why the U.S. are strengthening their military presence in Europe. The reason is unsurprisingly to pressurize and intimidate Russia, but also against China and the so-called fight against terrorism. Stoltenberg explained that there are now more U.S. soldiers in EU Member States, more than ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. In the coming months, the Defender-Europe 2020 exercises, the largest of its kind in the last 25 years, will begin. And with this exercise, U.S. troop numbers will only increase in Europe with another 20,000 troops and officers arriving.

1970 New York Times Ad Helped Spark an Environmental Revolution. 50 Years Later, 2020 Ad Hopes to Make History Again

DENICE ZECK – On Sunday, February 2, Earth Day Network ran a full-page ad in The New York Times announcing a global day of activism to mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, 2020. The advertisement ran nearly 50 years to the day that a full-page ad in The New York Times used the words “Earth Day” for the first time. The ad changed everything about environmental awareness.

What if the Media Stopped Giving War a Moral Pass?

ROBERT C. KOEHLER – When the mainstream media writes about war, even critically, the image that often comes to mind for me is an infant wrapped in plastic. That infant is naked reality, a.k.a., the present moment, suffocating and screaming for its life; the plastics smothering it are the journalistic euphemisms by which murder and terrorism turn into abstract acts of national necessity.

Fouling Our Own Nest & Draining Our Wallets: It’s Time to Divest from Endless Wars

GRETA ZARRO – Just one month into a new decade, we face an ever-increasing risk of nuclear apocalypse. The U.S. government’s assassination of Iranian General Soleimani on January 3 intensified the very real threat of another all-out war in the Middle East. On January 23, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists accordingly reset the Doomsday Clock to just 100 short seconds to midnight, apocalypse. Where do we go from here?

New Film Exposes How US Undermined Iran’s Government and Brought About Today’s Crisis

WINSLOW MYERS – The enthralling new documentary directed by Iranian film maker Taghi Amirani and edited and co-written by the renowned film editor Walter Murch (“Apocalypse Now”; “English Patient”) is a meticulous backward look at an event that still determines much of the resentment Iran feels toward the government of the United States—and Britain: the 1953 coup which overthrew Mohammed Mossadegh, the democratically elected leader of Iran.

Trump’s Latest Depredation: Increase Environmental Poisoning

LESLIE GREGORY and DR. TOM H. HASTINGS – Did Trump say out loud, “I’m going to gut the original environmental law of the US and it will affect everyone’s health negatively but the health of black and brown people the most?” Of course not. But that is exactly what is afoot with his intention to roll back major portions of the 1969 germinal environmental law—the National Environmental Protection Act—the original law upon which all such important protections are built.

Artificial “Trees” in London Offer an Impressive Climate Mitigation Solution

ALEX LANDON – The world is, finally, awakening to the imminent threats posed by climate change and pollution, and London is starting to do its bit to help. From zero-emissions streets to pollution-eating solar panels, along with restaurants trending towards zero-waste and veganism, the capital has begun to put greener, more sustainable methods into practice. Next in the war on global warming are three new City Trees, a series of CO2-filtering structures which have just been installed in Leytonstone.

Overcoming White Nationalism Has Been a Winning Strategy in the Past and Can Be Again

LESLIE D. GREGORY and TOM H. HASTINGS – We can regain our global image as champion of human rights, which is currently undone. We can be the leader in environmental protection, which Trump is wrecking. And we may even catch up to the rest of the tech-advanced world in universal health care if we choose to drop the politics of division and start the politics of unity.

An Eyewitness to the Horrors of the US ‘Forever Wars’ Speaks Out

KATHY KELLY – What are the lessons learned from the rampage, destruction and cruelty of U.S. wars? I believe the most important lessons are summed up in the quote on Cynthia Banas’s T-shirt as she delivered water to Marines in Baghdad, in April, 2003: “War Is Not the Answer”; and in an updated version of the headline Ramzi Kysia wrote that same month: “Heavy-handed & Hopeless, The U.S. Military Doesn’t Know What It’s Doing” -in Iraq, Afghanistan or any of its “forever wars.”

Kaine Introduces Resolution to Block War with Iran

ALEXANDER BOLTON – Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Friday introduced a resolution to block President Trump from further escalating hostilities with Iran. The resolution is privileged, which means Republicans cannot block it from reaching the floor, and comes the day after the surprise drone strike that killed Iraninan Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’s elite Quds Force.

U.S. Killing of Iranian Leader Threatens Devastating War

MATTHEW HOH – The United States killed Iranian Quds Forces Commander General Qassam Soleimani. There is no hyperbole or exaggeration too great to encapsulate what may befall tens of millions of families. The equivalent of the killing of General Soleimani would be as if the Iranians assassinated General Richard Clarke, the US four-star general in charge of all US special operations, but only if General Clarke had the name recognition of Colin Powell and the competency of Dwight Eisenhower.

Iraqis Storm US Embassy in Baghdad After US Bombing of Militias; Iran, Russia and China Conduct Joint Naval Exercises in Gulf of Oman

NATYLIE BALDWIN – In response to an attack last Friday in Iraq that killed a U.S. military contractor and injured several U.S. service members, the U.S. bombed Iraqi Shia militias known as Popular Mobilization Units (PMU’s), particularly one known as Ketaib Hezbollah, which it claimed was responsible for the Friday attack. The Iraq government warned Washington not to conduct the retaliatory attack, citing violation of Iraq’s sovereignty. The conflict has arisen amid a climate of relations that were already frayed as many of the recent popular protests in Iraq were partly an expression of disgust about perceived foreign control of the country by both the U.S. and neighboring Iran, in addition to domestic grievances.

Inside 350.org and Why They Rise for Climate

350 not only networks people together at the grassroots level, but connects fellow climate change activist groups and unites them for major conglomerate projects and demonstrations. It helps smaller organizations make big changes together. There may not be a more significant presence in climate change activism than 350.

The Great American Shakedown

CHRIS HEDGES – There is zero chance Trump will be removed from office in a trial in the Senate. The Democratic Party elites have admitted as much. They carried out, they argue, their civic and constitutional duty. But here again they lie. They picked out what was convenient to impeach Trump and left untouched the rotten system they helped create. The divisions among Americans will only widen. The hatreds will only grow. And tyranny will wrap its deadly tentacles around our throats.

188 Democrats Join GOP to Hand Trump $738 Billion Military Budget That Includes ‘Space Force’

JAKE JOHNSON – More than 180 House Democrats joined a nearly united Republican caucus Wednesday night to pass a sweeping $738 billion military spending bill that gives President Donald Trump his long-sought “Space Force,” free rein to wage endless wars, and a green light to continue fueling the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen.

Another Trump Crime: Zealots in High Office

JAMES A. HAUGHT – Back in 2003, in a top-secret international phone call, President George W. Bush urged French President Jacques Chirac to join America in invading Iraq on grounds that Christian nations must thwart the Satanic forces of Gog and Magog. Chirac was baffled by such crackpottery. A few French newspapers wrote derisive sneers about the born-again U.S. leader. Today, it’s déjà vu all over again. Religious kooks in high office are an absurd facet of the Republican Trump administration.

Letter to Kings Bay Plowshares Judge Calls for Gratitude

PETER BERGEL – Judge Lisa Godbey Wood has the unenviable task to sentence the Kings Bay Plowshares actionists recently found guilty of conspiracy, destruction of government property, depredation and trespassing for a 2018 anti-nuclear weapons protest at Kings Bay Naval Base in Georgia. I write to her urging a very light punishment, for the very specific reason that issuing such a sentence is to act in the service of gratitude. I invite you to write your own letter.

American Exceptionalism Is Killing The Planet

WILLIAM J. ASTORE – Ever since 2007, when I first started writing for TomDispatch, I’ve been arguing against America’s forever wars, whether in Afghanistan, Iraq, or elsewhere. Unfortunately, it’s no surprise that, despite my more than 60 articles, American blood is still being spilled in war after war across the Greater Middle East and Africa, even as foreign peoples pay a far higher price in lives lost and cities ruined. And I keep asking myself: Why, in this century, is the distinctive feature of America’s wars that they never end? Why do our leaders persist in such repetitive folly and the seemingly eternal disasters that go with it?

Brown Needs to Join Urban and Rural Oregonians in Standing Against Jordan Cove

KRISTINE CATES and EMMA MARRIS – Seldom does one issue unite Oregonians like this one. Last month, nearly 1,000 of us from all over the state met at the state Capitol to demand that Gov. Kate Brown do all she can to stop the ill-advised Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas export terminal and Pacific Connector fracked gas pipeline. . . . Governor, the time to oppose the Jordan Cove LNG project is now.

Biden and Bloomberg Want Uncle Sam to Defer to Uncle Scrooge

NORMAN SOLOMON – The extremely rich Americans who are now frantically trying to figure out how to intervene in the Democratic presidential campaign make me wonder how different they are from the animated character who loved frolicking in money and kissing dollar bills while counting them. If Uncle Scrooge existed as a billionaire in human form today, it’s easy to picture him aligned with fellow plutocrats against the “threat” of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Raising the Stakes in the Struggle over Immigration Detention

ANDREW MOSS – As the struggle for immigrant rights continues to be fought across America, new battlegrounds may come into view, then fade from public attention. What hasn’t yet come to full attention, however, is the struggle over the future of immigration detention itself, a conflict whose outcome may have far-reaching consequences for immigration reform in years to come.

The Greatest Scam in History: How the Energy Companies Took Us All

NAOMI ORESKES – Scientists have been seriously investigating the subject of human-made climate change since the late 1950s, but science failed to have the necessary impact in significant part because of disinformation promoted by the major fossil-fuel companies, which have succeeded in diverting attention from climate change and successfully blocking meaningful action.