Category: Analysis

Economic Sanctions on Venezuela: War by Another Name

H . PATRICIA HYNES – Recall the Monroe Doctrine of 1823 from grade school history? President James Monroe proclaimed that European nations could not colonize nor otherwise interfere in North and South American countries. Ironically, since 1890, the U.S. has intervened in Latin American elections, civil wars and revolutions at least 56 times, according to historian and author Mark Becker, to bolster US corporate interests and to eliminate democratically elected governments and leftist movements.

Trump Has Blocked Wage Gains for American Workers

LAWRENCE WITTNER – On June 19, 2019, President Donald Trump bragged at his re-election kickoff rally in Orlando that, thanks to his leadership, the wages of American workers “are rising at the fastest rate in many decades.” The reality, however, is that they are not. Indeed, wages rose at a faster rate only a few years before, under his predecessor. And a key reason for the very limited wage increases since Trump entered the White House is his administration’s success in blocking any wage increases for some workers and in reducing wage increases for others.

The Trump Administration’s Approach to the Climate Crisis is a Crime Against Humanity

MEL GURTOV – The President of the United States is a criminal. I’m not referring to the twenty-odd investigations of him currently underway for violations of the Constitution, obstruction of justice, and collaboration with the Russian election attack, among other misdeeds. No, I’m referring to his and his administration’s intentional and reckless pursuit of national policies that condemn American and the world’s citizens to environmental destruction and the end of life as we know it.

Why the West Has Historically Feared Russia

NATYLIE BALDWIN – Russia’s vast size – the largest country geographically in the world – and its prodigious resources are present for all to see. But now, having overcome its historical issues with poor agricultural policies, it also has the ability to feed itself, a highly educated citizenry, and the industrial infrastructure to support a space program as well as a sophisticated nuclear and defense system. It has the ability to build cars, trucks, and airplanes completely within its own borders. Unlike many countries in the world, it has very little external debt and major gold reserves. It is weathering the sanctions against it better than Iran or Venezuela.

Hiroshima Unlearned: Time to Tell the Truth About US Relations with Russia and Finally Ban the Bomb

ALICE SLATER – August 6th and 9th mark 74 years since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where only one nuclear bomb dropped on each city caused the deaths of up to 146,000 people in Hiroshima and 80,000 people in Nagasaki. Now, with the US decision to walk away from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force (INF) negotiated with the Soviet Union, we are once again staring into the abyss of one of the most perilous nuclear challenges since the height of the Cold War.

Trump is Trying to Revive the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Site

DERRICK BROZE – “The United States is brokering land deals to enrich corporations and deprive the Shoshone of our lawful property rights and interests,” Ian Zabarte, a member of the Western Shoshone nation, says while sitting at his home in the Las Vegas area. Zabarte recently celebrated his 54th birthday and also marked 30 years of defending his community against the controversial Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste site.

Fighting Climate Change Means Ending War

ROBERT C. KOEHLER – A serious part of a new consciousness concerning climate change must be addressing what it means to live as part of one global community that is in peril from the consequences of exploitative human behavior. This is not a mere moral abstraction, something to do because it’s right and good. We will disappear as a species if we don’t — no matter how much money we have.

Here’s One Way Democrats Can Defeat Trump: Be Radically Anti-War

MARK HANNAH and STEPHEN WERTHEIM – Democrats have a unique opportunity to close the traditional national-security gap with Republicans, but only if they choose a clear direction for foreign policy and not just against Trump. They should listen to the American people and offer them a genuinely pro-peace message — standing firmly against Trump’s bellicosity as well as decades of bipartisan military intervention.

Listening for Immigration at the Democratic Presidential Debates

ANDREW MOSS – If you’ve been repelled by the family separations and other immigration-related cruelties perpetrated by the Trump administration, and if you plan to watch either or both of the upcoming Democratic presidential debates, please listen carefully – not just to what the candidates are saying, but how they’re saying it: how they frame the issues. Will they present immigration as a discrete set of concerns (“fixing our broken immigration system”), or will they describe it in relation to broader historical struggles, distinctly American struggles, for human rights?

Snub of Russia on D-Day a Worrisome Omission

DOUG MALLOUK – Has the current tide of hysteria against all things Russian risen to the point that European and American policymakers are now attempting an Orwellian rewrite of the history of World War II? This is no mere academic matter of misrepresenting the past but has life-and-death importance for the here and now.

When Countries Increase Their Military Budgets, They Decrease Public Health Spending

PEACE SCIENCE DIGEST – One key argument against military spending is that it “crowds out” government spending in public health. The evidence is mixed. Some argue that increased military spending has indirect but positive effects on public health — whether through the diversity of military expenditures or other “growth-stimulating” effects. Others suggest that there is a trade-off between military and public health priorities because government spending is constrained by limited resources. Using sophisticated statistical techniques, this article examines whether a causal relationship exists between military spending and public health spending.

Why the Trade War with China is So Dangerous

MEL GURTOV – The trade war with China that Trump so confidently predicted would result in a great new deal now threatens to become a permanent feature of US-China relations. Why that is likely may have less to do with the specific trade issues in dispute than with the vastly different negotiating styles and operating principles of the two countries’ leaderships.

Seeking True Diversity; Leaving Shame Behind

JOHN HEID – “Don’t Label Me, An Incredible Conversation for Divided Times” (by Irshad Manji, St. Martin’s Press, 2019), opens with an invitation to expand our moral imagination and concludes with an 11-step “moral courage regimen.” The pages in-between read like a manifesto as radical, i.e. deeply rooted, as any I have come across in years. This is a book acutely for our times. Irshad Manji offers critical analysis, alongside a crash course in nonviolent engagement techniques. Theory and practice all in one. The content is as at once a life-size mirror and flashing red lights for the progressive left.

Memorial Day: a Day of Bad Memory

WIM LAVEN – The frustration I experience with dishonest politics reached a peak with Memorial Day this year. I saw protest signs and memes to the effect of: “Some gave all. All gave something. Trump gave nothing.” While it perfectly captured my frustration, it was oversimplified and failed to articulate the real failures.

“Emergency” Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia Lack an Emergency

MEL GURTOV – Trump has authorized the dispatch of 1500 additional troops to the Middle East and the sale of several billion dollars in “precision-guided” weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The arms sale is being made without Congressional authorization or consultation, on the argument (made by Pompeo) that an “extreme emergency” eliminates the legal requirement to make the case to Congress. But there is no emergency.

A Green New Deal Needs to Fight US Militarism

PHYLLIS BENNIS – The Green New Deal must have anti-militarism at its core. Wars and the military render impossible the aspirations contained in the Green New Deal. And slashing the out-of-control military budget is crucial to provide the billions of dollars we need to create a sustainable and egalitarian economy.

Why So Many Journalists Are Clueless About the Bernie 2020 Campaign

NORMAN SOLOMON – Mainstream journalists routinely ignore the essential core of the Bernie 2020 campaign. As far as they’re concerned, when Bernie Sanders talks about the crucial importance of grassroots organizing, he might as well be speaking in tongues. Mainstream journalists routinely ignore the essential core of the Bernie 2020 campaign. As far as they’re concerned, when Bernie Sanders talks about the crucial importance of grassroots organizing, he might as well be speaking in tongues.

Now is the Time to Confront Two World-Threatening Crises

ROBERT F. DODGE, M.D. – On April 22, we marked the 49th anniversary of the first Earth Day. This comes 50 years after the Santa Barbara oil spills which were instrumental in the declaration of the first Earth Day. The fate of our planet remains threatened by two inextricably connected threats, that of climate change and nuclear war. We cannot pretend to be concerned about our environment if we are not simultaneously concerned about the destruction of the planet by nuclear war.

America’s “Hole-in-the-Head” Nuke Suicide Pact Gets Court Approval

HARVEY WASSERMAN – The Supreme Court has just now certified the deadliest and most economically destructive scam of the entire Trump catastrophe. Every downwind American is now threatened with deadly radiation while state after state bankrupts itself with soaring electric bills and ecological disaster, crippling the Solartopian green energy revolution. It is, in short, the “hole in the head” wave of massive state-based nuke bailouts.

Huge Costs of Natural Disasters Dwarfed by Spending on the Disaster of Nuclear Weapons

ROBERT F. DODGE, MD – This year communities across our nation are struggling to recover from the catastrophic natural disasters over the past year. Yet, paradoxically, as we cope with the rebuilding and financial burden of these natural disasters, our nation marches blindly forward spending precious resources funding the greatest potential manmade disaster, namely nuclear war. The effects of nuclear war would dwarf any natural disaster.

Trump’s Immigration Policy: A Study in the Shock Doctrine

ANDREW MOSS – If you look back over the Trump administration’s handling of immigration during the past two-and-a-half years, you’ll see a pattern of chronic tension and dysfunction. Like many people, you may have apprehended the pattern as a series of specific emergencies and dramatic events: the declaration of an “invasion” at our borders; the shutdown, or threatened shutdown, of our government or our southern border; the separation of migrant families crossing the border; the forced resignation of government officials unable to fulfill the president’s demands for ever-harsher measures.

Rep. Barbara Lee’s Startling Vote to Boost Military Spending

NORMAN SOLOMON – What Barbara Lee did on the House floor three days after 9/11 — speaking prophetic words and casting the only vote against a green light for endless war — remains the bravest wise action in Congress during this century. The contrast was jolting last week when her vote enabled the House Budget Committee to approve a bill with a $17 billion increase in military spending for next year and another such increase for 2021.

Pelosi and McConnell Are Inching Us Closer to Nuclear War

NORMAN SOLOMON – When Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell teamed up to invite NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to address a joint session of Congress, they had every reason to expect the April 3 speech to be a big hit with U.S. media and political elites. The establishment is eager to affirm the sanctity of support for the transatlantic military alliance. But huge reverence for NATO is matched by how dangerous NATO has become. NATO’s continual expansion — all the way to Russia’s borders — has significantly increased the chances that the world’s two nuclear superpowers will get into direct military conflict.

Three Mile Island’s Murderous Legacy Still Threatens Us All

HARVEY WASSERMAN – Forty years ago this week, the Three Mile Island nuke began pouring lethal radiation into our air and water, lungs and livers. Throughout central Pennsylvania and beyond, people, animals, plants, and the planet began to die en masse. In 1980, a mile from the plant, I interviewed many of the immediate victims. It was the worst week of my life. Today 98 US reactors could repeat the slaughter