Category: Analysis

If You Care About Keystone and Climate Change, Occupy Exxon

PAUL LOEB – It seemed like the afterthought in the payroll tax cut extension fight, a small consolation prize to the Republicans on what should have been the easiest of bi-partisan votes. But the two-month clock is now ticking on whether Obama will approve the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada’s environmentally disastrous tar sands. If we want him to make the right decision and deny the permit, maybe it’s time to Occupy Exxon, with creative protests at local Exxon/Mobil stations.

Bring the War Dollars Home

BETSY CRITES – The withdrawal from Iraq is to be celebrated like a migraine that finally subsides. It is what the majority of Americans have long asked for through pollsters and by their election of a president who promised to get us out.

Do We Have Our Priorities Straight?

BETSY CRITES – What do Durham and Afghanistan have in common? We are worlds apart, but we both have people who need jobs, health care, schools, transportation and sewers, and help for our homeless, elderly and hungry. Neither of us is getting our critical needs met in part because a war neither of us really wants is draining our economies, killing and injuring our young people, and depleting our spirits.

Your Taxes Fund Anti-Muslim Hatred

CHRIS HEDGES – News personalities, politicians, self-appointed experts on the Muslim world, and law enforcement and intelligence officials, as well as the Christian right, have successfully demonized Muslims in the United States since the attacks of 2001. It is acceptable to say things openly about Muslims that could never be said about any other ethnic group.

Debt Deal Will Increase Economic Inequality, Devastate American Workers, Communities

BRIAN J. TRAUTMAN – The debt deal cuts roughly $2.4 trillion in federal spending over the next decade without any new revenue streams. It slashes social services like education and health, and threatens to weaken the vital entitlement programs of our frayed social safety net. It is far from representing the shared sacrifice that an overwhelming majority of the American people had demanded of their elected officials in the days and weeks leading up to the debate and negotiation.

Conventional Wisdom Challenged: Technology is NOT Neutral

MICKEY Z – “The truth has to be repeated,” wrote Pakistani scholar Eqbal Ahmad. “It doesn’t become stale just because it has been told once. So keep repeating it. Don’t bother about who has listened, who not listened… the media and the other institutions of power are so powerful that telling the truth once is not enough. You’ve got to keep repeating different facts, prove the same point.”

Report: Time is Ripe to Rebalance U.S. Security Resources

LAWRENCE KORB and MIRIAM PEMBERTON – Two of 2011’s most extraordinary developments point in a single direction.
First, the death of Osama bin Laden was accomplished by means that resembled a police action. A painstaking investigation preceded the operation by a group of special forces roughly the size of a SWAT team. Then came the extensive diplomatic work to improve the critical, complex, and challenging relationship between the United States and Pakistan.

Sacred Mantras Need Examination

URI AVNERY – The Palestinians are planning something thoroughly obnoxious: they intend to apply to the UN for statehood. Why obnoxious? Any Israeli spokesman (not to mention spokeswoman) will tell you readily: because it is a “unilateral” move. How dare they proclaim a state unilaterally? How dare they do so without the consent of the other party to the conflict – us?

Was Fukushima Too Big to Fail?

TOM H. HASTINGS – When George Bush started bailing out corporations, and Barack Obama continued Bush’s program, we were told that those corporations were too big to fail. The dangers of massive corporations dragging down all of us were noted, they were bailed out. And then were they then downsized? Nope. What is up with that?

Cynthia McKinney Reports from Libya Under NATO Attack

CYNTHIA MCKINNEY – While serving on the House International Relations Committee from 1993 to 2003, it became clear to me that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was an anachronism. Founded in 1945 at the end of World War II, NATO was founded by the United States in response to the Soviet Union’s survival as a Communist state. NATO was the U..S. insurance policy that capitalist ownership and domination of European, Asian, and African economies would continue. This also would ensure the survival of the then-extant global apartheid.

Kucinich Calls for Obedience to War Powers Act re: Libya

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH – Mr. Speaker. The critical issue before this nation today is not Libyan democracy, it is American democracy. In the next hour I will describe the dangers facing our own democracy. The principles of world democracy are embodied in the UN Charter, conceived to end the scourge of war for all time. The hope that nations could turn their swords into plowshares reflects the timeless impulse of humanity for enduring peace and with it an enhanced opportunity to pursue happiness.

Revenge is Obsolete

WINSLOW MYERS – Our euphoric national mood in the wake of the assassination of Osama bin Laden may make for a reluctance to look once again, or perhaps for the first time, at his demands. There has been almost nothing in the mainstream press that examines his motivations for terrorism.

The Anti-War Roots of Mothers’ Day

GARY G. KOHLS – Julia Ward Howe, author of the Mother’s Day Proclamation of 1870 was a life-long abolitionist and therefore, early on, she was a supporter of the Union Army’s anti-slavery rationale for going to war to prevent the pro-slavery politicians and industrialists in the Confederate South from seceding from the union over the slavery issue.

How Americans Can Get Up and Stand Up

DAVID SWANSON – In December 2009, psychologist Bruce Levine published an article at Alternet called “Are Americans a Broken People?” His timing couldn’t have been better. Americans of good will and bad analysis were suffering a severe fit of Obamanation withdrawal. The article was reposted everywhere, commented on endlessly, and responded to voluminously. (This was my response.) Levine has now developed his article into an important book called “Get Up, Stand Up.”

WikiLeaks Points to a New Kind of Journalism

RACHEL KENNEDY – April has been a momentous month for WikiLeaks. On April 6 Julian Assange was given a date by Britain’s High Court to appeal against extradition to Sweden. Meanwhile, British diplomats have joined many others who are pressuring the U.S. to provide humane treatment of 23-year old Bradley Manning, the U. S. soldier accused of leaking classified data to WikiLeaks and currently held in 24-7 solitary confinement in the stockade at Quantico, often stripped naked.

Attack on Libya May Unleash a Long War

PHYLLIS BENNIS – The United States and its allies launched the war against Libya on the eighth anniversary of the 2003invasion of Iraq. President Barack Obama says the U.S. will transfer command authority very soon, that military action should be over in “days, not weeks,” and that he wants no boots on the ground. But theparallels with other U.S. wars in the Middle East don’t bode well.

Let’s End the War Now!

CRAIG CLINE – I’m a “baby boomer” — one of about 76 million American children born during the demographic post-World War II baby boom — between the years of 1946 and 1964. If you’re a baby boomer, too, this message is especially for you. We have patriotic work to do… again.

People Power – The Unconquerable Authority

WINSLOW MYERS – Muhammar Khaddafy’s brutal reaction to the aspirations of his own people is becoming a textbook case in the futility of opposing the citizens from whose consent a leader’s political authority derives, however illegitimately. Instead, his stubborn egotism has led to absurd violence, even civil war. At moments like this, the world trembles with indignation and apprehensive hope.

Defending Democracy 101

DAVID D. LEEPER – Main Street Wisconsin—harbinger for the nation—is becoming aware that our democracy is being threatened by some very rich, powerful people. The super-wealthy are threatening the very core of our democracy as they consolidate more and more wealth and power.

Nuclear Power Madness

NORMON SOLOMON – Like every other president since the 1940s, Barack Obama has promoted nuclear power. Now, with reactors melting down in Japan, the official stance is more disconnected from reality than ever.

The People vs. the U.S. Government

DAVID SWANSON – Statistically speaking, virtually nobody in the United States of America knows that we spend more on the military than the rest of the world combined, that we could eliminate most of our military and still have the world’s largest, that over half of the money our government raises from income taxes and borrowing gets spent on the military, that our wars (outrageously costly as they may be) cost far less than the permanent non-war military budget, or that most of the financial woes of the federal and state governments could be solved just by ending a war in Afghanistan that two-thirds of Americans oppose.

As Climate Crime Continues, Who’s Going to Jail? Tim DeChristopher?

BILL MCKIBBEN – Let’s consider for a moment the targets the federal government chooses to make an example of. So far, no bankers have been charged, despite the unmitigated greed that nearly brought the world economy down. No coal or oil execs have been charged, despite fouling the entire atmosphere and putting civilization as we know it at risk. But engage in creative protest that mildly disrupts the efficient sell-off of our landscape to oil and gas barons? As Tim DeChristopher found out on March 3, that’ll get you not just a week in court, but potentially a long stretch in the pen.

‘Mad as Hell’ in Madison

RALPH NADER – The large demonstrations at the state Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin are driven by a middle class awakening to the spectre of its destruction by the corporate reactionaries and their toady Governor Scott Walker.

For years the middle class has watched the plutocrats stomp on the poor while listening to the two parties regale the great middle class, but never mentioning the tens of millions of poor Americans. And for years, the middle class was shrinking due significantly to corporate globalization shipping good-paying jobs overseas to repressive dictatorships like China. It took Governor Walker’s legislative proposal to do away with most collective bargaining rights for most public employee unions to jolt people to hit the streets.

Trading Self-Destructive Activism for Nonviolence

ALEX DOHERTY – [It gives me especial pleasure to present this article to PeaceWorker readers because I recall hearing Mark Rudd speak at a rally on the U of California campus in 1968, just after the occupation he refers to below. I thought his rhetoric was wrong-headed at the time and am delighted that he – who later became one of U.S. movement’s most ardent supporters of violence – has now come to appreciate the importance of nonviolence. – Editor]

[From 1965 to 1968, Mark Rudd was a student activist and organizer in the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) chapter at Columbia University. He was one of the leaders of the Spring 1968 occupation of five buildings and the subsequent strike against the university’s complicity with the Vietnam war. After being kicked out of Columbia, he became a full-time organizer for SDS, where he helped found the militant Weatherman faction. Mark was elected National Secretary of SDS in June, 1969, then helped found the “revolutionary” Weather Underground, which had as its goal “the violent overthrow of the government of the U.S. in solidarity with the struggles of the people of the world.” Wanted on federal charges of bombing and conspiracy, Mark was a fugitive from 1970 to 1977. He spoke to NLP’s Alex Doherty on the dangers of self-indulgent activism and his thoughts on current anti-war organizing in the United States.]

A Strong Wind Blows Mubarak Into History

URI AVNERY – We are in the middle of a geological event. An earthquake of epoch-making dimensions is changing the landscape of our region. Mountains turn into valleys, islands emerge from the sea, volcanoes cover the land with lava.

People are afraid of change. When it happens, they tend to deny, ignore, pretend that nothing really important is happening.

Blind Faith in Militarism Serves U.S. Poorly

MICHAEL TRUE – Blind faith — adhering to a proposition with no reasonable justification of its truth — is more dangerous for politicians than it is for religionists. True believers may acknowledge their blind faith in religious dogma, while foreign policy wonks seldom acknowledge their blind faith in political dogma. Yet many legislators and administrators — as well as columnists and academics — adhere to the dogma of “military supremacy,” which dominates U.S. foreign policy. American tax payers, who have invested heavily in that dogma, may have serious questions about whether it works. The evidence?

A Time for Action — Not Servility

JEFF COHEN AND NORMAN SOLOMON – While Washington pundits are talking up a new civility, many progressives are bracing for the old servility — a bipartisanship that is servile to a corporate elite that is unquenchably greedy and more powerful than ever. But this is not a time for despair. It’s a time for new activism — built upon one of the great achievements of the last decade: the rise of independent media.