Category: Analysis

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.  

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.

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 ?

What the Cuban Missile Crisis Can Teach Us About Today’s Ukraine Crisis

LAWRENCE WITTNER – As the Cuban missile crisis ultimately convinced Kennedy and Khrushchev, in the nuclear era there’s little to be gained―and a great deal to be lost―when great powers continue their centuries-old practices of carving out exclusive spheres of influence and engaging in high-stakes military confrontations. Surely, we, too, can learn from the Cuban crisis―and must learn from it―if we are to survive.

In the Line of Eternal Fire: Ukraine’s Nuclear Reactors – CounterPunch.org

LINDA PENTZ GUNTER – As Craig Hooper so chillingly warned us in his December 28, 2021 article for Forbes, a Russian invasion of Ukraine, “could put nuclear reactors on the front line of military conflict.” The result, he said, depending on the tactics deployed by the Russians, could be equivalent to “nuclear warfare without bombs.” It’s yet one more reminder of just how much an already perilous situation can become orders of magnitude worse, once you introduce the risk of major radioactive releases into the equation.

China Gives Oomph to Russia’s ‘Nyet’ on NATO

RAY MCGOVERN – Fourteen years ago today, when then-ambassador to Russia William Burns, in an IMMEDIATE cable titled “Nyet Means Nyet: Russia’s NATO Enlargement Redlines,” reported Moscow’s warning that NATO membership for Ukraine would cross a red line, the Russians could do little more than grouse. Enter from left stage Chinese President Xi Jinping last year with the shot of adrenalin Putin needed to make “Nyet” stick. Under-Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and her protégé Antony Blinken seem to be in the dark about the close ties between Russia and China represented by such give and take between the two countries.

4 Good Reasons NOT to go to War in Ukraine

RIVERA SUN – How many reasons do we need to not go to war with Russia over the Ukraine? Instead of a foolhardy plunge into yet another military conflict, let’s look closer to home and take care of the many crises we face in the United States. Be sure to tell your elected officials this – they may not have gotten the memo.

A Citizen of the World – Still Speaks True

ROBERT C. KOEHLER – The speech, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence,” is remembered and celebrated (or not) as MLK’s official condemnation of LBJ’s war, inappropriately “mixing peace and civil rights” and shattering ties with the country’s pro-war liberals. My takeaway after reading it: The speech is a lot more than that.

Can the US and China Cooperate Around Cobalt Mining?

MEL GURTOV – Cobalt is a valuable mineral that is the subject of intense international competition. Not a new subject: In past times copper, uranium, and rare earth metals have had center stage. Recall the controversy over “blood diamonds”—diamond mining that helped fund civil wars in Africa. More recently we have lithium in Bolivia, where Chinese, American, and other countries’ firms are seeking to gain the upper hand on a mineral that is vital in electrical products. There’s still another battle, this one over cobalt, which is also an essential mineral in cell phones but especially in electric car batteries.

Current Dispute Over ICBMs Is a Quarrel Over How to Fine-Tune the Doomsday Machinery

NORMAN SOLOMON – Nuclear weapons are at the pinnacle of what Martin Luther King Jr. called “the madness of militarism.” If you’d rather not think about them, that’s understandable. But such a coping strategy has limited value. And those who are making vast profits from preparations for global annihilation are further empowered by our avoidance.

Ukraine: Tragedy of a Nation Divided

JACK F. MATLOCK, JR. – Interference by the United States and its NATO allies in Ukraine’s civil struggle has exacerbated the crisis within Ukraine, undermined the possibility of bringing the two easternmost provinces back under Kyiv’s control, and raised the specter of possible conflict between nuclear-armed powers. Furthermore, in denying that Russia has a “right” to oppose extension of a hostile military alliance to its national borders, the United States ignores its own history of declaring and enforcing for two centuries a sphere of influence in the Western hemisphere.

Mass Murder: New Victims, Same Old Questions

ROBERT KOEHLER – Why is the American sense of justice simply linear and bureaucratic? Why is priority number one, in the wake of such a crime – a crime against humanity – to charge, convict and punish, rather than heal, understand and change? Rupert Ross, in his book Returning to the Teachings, examines indigenous approaches to justice around the world: “The purpose is healing, not punishment – a healing accomplished by the full range of people who were affected by the original event.” This is the core of Restorative Justice.

Choose the River

KERN BEARE – This holiday season, in a world that feels increasingly conflicted — where so many cultural battle lines have been drawn it’s impossible not to stumble over one of them and find yourself in unfriendly territory — what centering force helps us maintain our inner sense of wellbeing, our faith in a better future? The experience of Janessa Gans Wilder may be instructive. She found her centering force in the midst of a war zone.