HARVEY WASSERMAN – Humankind’s ultimate extinction is now flowing through an atomic death spiral. A single errant shell at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia…a single seismic shock at California’s Diablo Canyon…can bury us all in apocalyptic radiation.
ROGER PEACE – Continuation of the current system of big power competition and rival blocs bodes ill for the future. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has set its “doomsday clock” at 100 seconds to midnight, closer than it has ever been, based on nuclear and global warming threats, an indication of how close humanity is to “destroying our world with dangerous technologies of our own making.” Moving toward mutual security and cooperation will set the clock back and allow humanity to move forward.
ROBERT KOEHLER – The U.S. military needs more than just money (a trillion dollars or so) in its annual budget. It needs access to America’s young people as well — their wallets, their bodies, and their minds.
BRAD WOLF – We have it within our means to not only “avoid World War III,” but to fundamentally change the world and create an enhanced quality of life for all. We have “weapons” of our own, nonviolent and effective. Hopefully, we will unite and realize the power we have before we all are boiled alive. There is literally no time like the present.
ROBERT MOORE – It’s not too soon to conclude that continued reliance on nuclear energy to generate electricity can be weaponized, as we never know when a plant might become a military target. If a conventionally powered power plant had an accident or became a military base, the area near it could recover. That’s just not the case with nuclear energy.
WINSLOW MYERS – “Stupid” is the most harsh and humiliating adjective that can be flung at a person, let alone a nation-state. What’s the usual response to being called stupid? Nothing positive. We just go into reaction and resistance. I’m sorry, but there is no other word to describe the obstinate refusal of the nuclear powers to cooperate to dismantle their nuclear arsenals even as the climate emergency sweeps across the world.
CONNOR ECHOLS – Russia and Ukraine may have agreed on a tentative deal to end the war in April, according to a recent piece in Foreign Affairs.
JEFFREY D. SACHS – The overwrought fear of China and Russia is sold to a Western public through manipulation of the facts.
MELINDA BURRELL – In our dynamic world, we need to get comfortable with complexity. Good solutions to our myriad problems require it. Is that the 21st century version of patriotism? If we love our country and want to help it succeed, is our best tool our choice to be inquisitive about people and issues?
NEWS GHANA – Late Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was a good, well-meaning man who ended the Cold War and dramatically reduced superpower and global nuclear tensions, but he put too much trust into the unwritten assurances of American leaders, experts
GEORGE LAKEY – Thirty-five years after his death, the man who mentored Martin Luther King Jr. still has much to teach movements about harnessing the power of ‘people in motion.’
TOM H. HASTINGS – It’s heartbreaking to see our species evolving so fast with gadgets, devices, and all manner of tech, yet failing to grasp both existential threat and paths away from those threats. Humankind will evolve past war or die for lack of trying.
By Rob Okun The mid-term elections are just weeks away, so now is the time for men to use our voices to help defeat extremist, antidemocratic candidates. And, inseparable from electoral politics, men must also speak out against the alt-right,…
DR. JOSEPH PRESTON BARATTA – Dr. Baratta identifies himself as a member of the Love Generation―those Americans who reached adulthood in the Sixties―and he is sometimes asked what he would tell the young people in Generation Z (born since 1996), who feel that their concerns about climate change and other pressing global challenges are not being heard by their government or the United Nations. He reaches out to Gen Zer’s, and his analysis provides some answers.
MEL GURTOV – It won’t be long before winter descends on Europe. Before it does, most European countries must address the question of how long and how well they will be able to handle decoupling from Russian energy.
DR. ARNOLD OLIVER – If Confucius were still around he might well have plenty to say about the English language in general, and our political lexicon in particular. A number of the terms commonly used in American politics conceal more than they reveal and seem almost designed to confuse.
RICK STERLING – There are significant parallels between the international crises in Cuba in 1962 and Ukraine today. Both involved intense confrontations between the USA and the Soviet Union or Russia. Both involved third party countries on the doorstep of a major power. The Cuban Missile Crisis threatened to lead to WW3, just as the Ukraine crisis does today.
LIBBY TRAUBMAN – The world is being choked by plastic waste from huge items to the smallest micro bits, each causing a slow death to our beautiful living system. As I revisited this non-regenerative life cycle of many pieces of plastic lodged in my brain and yours, it suddenly reminded me of something I learned about in the 1970s, the nuclear fuel cycle.
JOHN MIKSAD – Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed 77 years ago this week. The two bombs the United States dropped on those cities killed some 200,000 human beings, most of whom were civilians. Comparing those bombs to the weapons of today is like comparing a colonial era musket to an AR-15. Now we can snuff out the lives of billions with the push of a button. When you consider the other species we’d annihilate, the number of lives lost “mushrooms” into the trillions. The result would be the destruction of a large portion of life on the planet.
ANDREW MOSS – A gross injustice against young immigrants is slowly working its way through the courts. It centers upon a federal judge’s ruling last year that the DACA Program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was “unlawful,” a ruling that puts in doubt a program that has given tens of thousands of young people brought here as children a temporary, renewable reprieve from deportation. Judge Andrew Hanen’s ruling allowed existing DACA recipients to apply for two-year renewals while the court case moves through appeals, but it prohibits approval of any new applications.
THE CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY – A proposed climate and energy package would require massive oil and gas leasing in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, reinstate an illegal 2021 Gulf lease sale and mandate that millions more acres of public lands be offered for leasing before any new solar or wind energy projects could be built on public lands or waters.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – The Ukraine war and the response to it are profoundly troubling. Russia’s military assault upon its neighbor clearly constitutes a major war of aggression that shares many features with such wars of the past. Neither the Russian peace movement nor the Western peace movement has been able to affect it—the former because of government repression and the latter because of divisions within is ranks. Consequently, the war has already been immensely destructive and might well become far more so. As in the past, this kind of tragic situation illustrates the necessity for an effective international security system. Although the United Nations is supposed to provide that system, it lacks authority to do so thanks to the crippling control the great powers have exercised over the world organization. Therefore, the Ukraine war highlights the need to strengthen the United Nations as a force for peace.
RALPH NADER – Other than being an adjunct booster of overseas Pentagon military operations and refortifying its vulnerable embassies, what does the U.S. State Department stand for and do anymore? Sometimes it’s hard to see much difference with the much larger Department of Defense (DOD). Its more belligerent statements or threats since Bill and Hillary Clinton’s days have made the DOD sound almost circumspect.
NORMAN SOLOMON – It’s time to create a grassroots groundswell that can compel Joe Biden to give public notice — preferably soon — that he won’t provide an assist to Republican forces by trying to extend his presidency for another four years. A pledge to voluntarily retire at the end of his first term would boost the Democratic Party’s chances of getting a stronger and more progressive ticket in 2024 — and would convey in the meantime that Democratic candidates and the Biden presidency are not one and the same.
KEVIN MARTIN – This week’s trip by President Joe Biden to Israel, Palestine and Saudi Arabia offers several opportunities to “go big.” With his critical domestic agenda mostly stalled at home, his trip to the Middle East offers potentially historic opportunities for foreign policy breakthroughs that would dramatically increase regional and global peace and security. The president should go big and go bold, and add at least one stop to his itinerary – Tehran. He has several opportunities to make some lemonade out of lemons, if he displays unusual boldness.
JEFFREY D. SACHS – If Europe has any insight, it will separate itself from these U.S. foreign policy debacles.
KEVIN MARTIN and BRAD WOLF – We posit no sexy title for our strategy. Peace, and only peace. That’s it. We can split the atom and rocket to the stars. Surely we can resolve our disputes without incinerating each other. We need set our minds, money, and resources to it. Dominance is for tyrants. It must fall and humanity must prevail. Peace is everything.
CLARE DALY and JAMES W. CARDEN – [Stunning and invaluable perspectives are presented in the interview you are about to read.] Two weeks ago the European Parliament overwhelmingly voted to approve Ukraine’s candidacy for membership in the European Union. Only days before, the EU- and NATO- member state Lithuania enacted a blockade of Russia’s Eastern European enclave, Kaliningrad. Meantime, Russia’s military gains in eastern Ukraine have been met with ever more promises of Western aid for Ukraine. To discuss these and other developments, on Thursday, June 23rd, I spoke with Clare Daly, a courageous and outspoken member of the European Parliament from Ireland, and a stalwart opponent of the trans-Atlantic militarist consensus that has both Washington and the European Parliament in Brussels firmly in its grip.
ARCHBISHOP JOHN C. WESTER – The United States and the eight other nuclear-armed states are boycotting the historic First Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons taking place in Vienna June 21-23. The Treaty, banning nuclear weapons just like previous weapons of mass destruction treaties banning chemical and biological weapons, has been signed by 122 countries and ratified by 62.
DONALD GROSS – The Ukraine-Russia war has raged for more than a hundred days. Now is a critical time to reflect on the case for people of good will to urge their leaders to end the war. The benefits of doing so are manifest.
MELINDA BURRELL – The January 6th Committee is showing us how fragile our democracy is. Our trust in each other and in our institutions is waning – in both parties. Norms of peaceful, inclusive democratic activity are being eroded, as we see from reports about professional election officials being intimidated.
DEREK ROYDEN – The usual suspects in Western media, think tanks and among the political class argue not for negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian leaders to bring the conflict to an end but further escalation,
RIVERA SUN – Political leaders are asleep at the wheel. They’re dreaming of midterm elections, business-as-usual, yet another war, and hoping to pass the buck on dealing with the non-negotiable need for a swift transition away from fossil fuels. We’re running out of time.
MADDY LAURIA – When the natural world inspires engineering projects, the results can both protect us from climate impacts and center the needs of frontline communities.
ROBERT C. kOEHLER – Curbing sexual assault — ending it — is not a power struggle. It’s far more complex than that, a process that can only begin with honoring and valuing the victims, setting aside what we think we know, and listening to them.
NORMAN SOLOMON – Gun control is a great idea. For the small guns. And the big ones.
ARNOLD OLIVER – There are no more important decisions that republics can make than whether to go to war. In such times of crisis, citizens are obliged to inform themselves on the facts and issues as best they can, and to speak out clearly and forcefully. But it is difficult to see how this is possible if any questioning of a rigid orthodoxy leads to immediate attacks on one’s character; or worse, if the major media outlets are in lockstep on the march to war, and deny the public access to dissenting views. All of this happened in 2003, and it is again happening now.
SONALI KOLHATKAR – Billionaires and the politicians who enable their wealth gathered for several days at a luxury resort in Switzerland to offer their puzzled concerns about why they keep getting richer at everyone else’s expense.
MEL GURTOV – To stop global warming at 1.5°C, all sectors of the global economy, from energy and transport to buildings and food, must change dramatically and rapidly, and new technologies, including hydrogen fuel and carbon capture and storage will be needed.
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.
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.
RICHARD HEINBERG – When it comes to maintaining energy flows, there is a closing window to avert both climate catastrophe and economic peril.
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 – 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.
LINDA PENTZ GUNTER – The International Nuclear Energy Act of 2022 is another fatal diversion from the most important task at hand: to eschew wars and nuclear weapons and dumb conspiracy theories and focus on drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions before it is too late.
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.
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?
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.
RAY MCGOVERN – University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer, widely respected “dean” of the realism school (aka, “offensive realism”) of international relations, has put the conflict in Ukraine in a context that everyone can understand – and needs to understand before it is too late.
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.