LEONARD C. GOODMAN – A wrongly targeted Afghan aid worker and his family are among the latest casualties.
LEONARD C. GOODMAN – A wrongly targeted Afghan aid worker and his family are among the latest casualties.
JAMES W. CARDEN – In his latest book, The Stupidity of War: American Foreign Policy and the Case for Complacency, American political scientist John Mueller demonstrates that since the end of World War II, American policymakers have developed a kind of addiction to threat inflation by “routinely elevating the problematic to the dire… focused on problems, or monsters, that essentially didn’t exist.” And with regard to the American foreign policy establishment’s current twin obsessions, Russia and China, Mueller, ever the iconoclast, counsels complacency.
NICK ENGELFRIED – Simply teaching kids about the science of the climate crisis isn’t enough. To prevent feelings of disempowerment, they need to see how they can make a meaningful impact.
JOHN LAFORGE – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has confirmed that it is investigating allegations that counterfeit, substandard parts are currently being used in scores of nuclear reactors across the United States, and further that emergency responders in New Hampshire’s National Guard and the Massachusetts State Police have been gagged by orders not to reveal that it is impossible to conduct a safe evacuation of the Seabrook reactor during an emergency.
TOM H. HASTINGS – In my field of Conflict Transformation, one of the things we study is the lingering effects of a conflict. How that conflict was resolved is key. If it’s done peacefully, very little legacy of resentment persists. If it’s done destructively, there is often a burning desire for revenge, often handed down inside the defeated tribe, nation, or people. It is the collective version of the passive-aggressive individual problem with being harmed and humiliated.
JOHN FEFFER – Despite the enormous economic and political gaps that separate people around the world, we have to somehow join hands across vast differences to leapfrog over the fossil-fuel economy. United we transform or united we fall.
RALPH NADER – Both the Republicans and the Democrats vote as if the nation’s middle-class taxpayer is a sleeping sucker.
JAKE JOHNSON – West Virginia activists in kayaks and electric boats converged on Sen. Joe Manchin’s yacht in Washington, D.C. on Monday, September 27, to protest the right-wing Democrat’s continued obstruction of his own party’s reconciliation package, a central component of President Joe Biden’s climate and safety net agenda.
JAMES HAUGHT – Few people realize it, but secular humanism – the progressive crusade to improve life for all – may be the chief driving force of western civilization. Humanism means helping people, and secular means doing it without supernatural religion.
ANDREW BACEVICH – Recognizing that the safety and well-being of the American people do not require sustaining a regional U.S. military command that fancies itself called upon to determine the fate of 560 million inhabitants in 21 different countries might just offer a path toward regaining sobriety. After all, recovery begins with taking that first step.
LINDA GUNTER – The Tennessee Valley Authority could likely rightfully claim a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, but it’s not an achievement for which the federally-owned electric utility corporation would welcome notoriety.
MARC PILISUK – For years, military preparedness and war itself have been granted extensive support in the United States. At the current moment, public opinion is questioning whether this support has added to Americans’ security or placed it in greater danger. Indeed, the termination of a failed war in Afghanistan has brought into question, whether that war was wrong from the start.
KOOHAN PAIK-MANDER – President Joe Biden called President Xi Jinping of China on September 9, 2021, to work toward rapprochement as tensions in the western Pacific had reached a fever pitch. The very next day, Biden’s call was undermined by inflammatory information provided on September 10 to the Financial Times by anonymous officials from his own administration. It drew immediate ire from Beijing.
ANDREW COCKBURN – Sometimes the naked pursuit of self-interest is unabashed, and certain policies or war is pursued, but even when the real object of the exercise is camouflaged as “foreign policy” or “strategy,” no observer should ever lose sight of the most important question: Cui bono? Who benefits?
RIVERA SUN – From Sept 18-26, tens of thousands of people took action for a culture of peace and active nonviolence, free from war, poverty, racism, and environmental destruction.
CHRIS HEDGES – The hijackers who carried out the attacks on 9/11, like all radical jihadist groups in the Middle East, spoke to us in the murderous language we taught them.
NICK ESTES – Sonia Guajajara, executive director of the Association of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil, clearly expresses the Indigenous perspective: “We have been fighting every day for hundreds of years to ensure our existence and today our fight for rights is global.”
WIM LAVEN – Now, more than ever, it is necessary for the U.S. to be smart about our narrative and the appraisal of our role in the world.
BRENDA GOH and YILEI SUN – Regulators in China have come down hard on its biggest technology firms this year, criticizing them for policies that exploit workers and infringe on consumer rights in addition to unleashing a slew of anti-trust probes and fines.
BRIAN TERRELL – All of us in the U.S., the politicians, voters, tax payers, the investors and even those who protested and resisted it, are responsible for 20 years of war in Afghanistan. We are also all responsible for ending it.
ANDREW MOSS – It’s easy to say, “our immigration system is broken.” Or to declare: “we are a nation of immigrants.” But neither description goes very far to explain the realities of immigration and immigration policy in America. To get closer to the reality, you need a more sharply focused statement – something like the following: “we are a nation in a long-standing struggle over immigration, a struggle that reaches back to the founding of this republic.”
TOM H. HASTINGS – Almost all of us can do far better to fight climate chaos with relatively little effort.
ISABELLE GERRETSEN – Fionn Ferreira says he has encountered skepticism throughout his journey as a young inventor and hopes that inventions such as his will help change that attitude. And as his generation inherits problems created by those that came before them, the world is likely to need more imaginative solutions.
NETA C. CRAWFORD – The war in Afghanistan, like many other wars before it, began with optimistic assessments of a quick victory and the promise to rebuild at war’s end. Despite Bush’s warning of a lengthy campaign, few thought then that would mean decades. But 20 years later, the U.S is still counting the costs.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – Although there are no guarantees that social movements and enhanced global governance will transform our divided, problem-ridden world, we shouldn’t ignore these movements and institutions, either. Indeed, they should provide us with at least a measure of hope that, someday, human solidarity will prevail, thereby bringing to birth “a new world from the ashes of the old.”
ALISTAIR CROOKE – A huge geo-political event has just occurred in Afghanistan: The implosion of a key western strategy for managing what Mackinder, in the 19th century, called the Asian heartland. That it was accomplished, without fighting, and in few days, is almost unprecedented. As a consequence, among other “seismic shifts,” China is more determined to shape the region than many analysts realize.
OLIVER LAUGHLAND – The US government has placed further delays on a proposed multibillion dollar plastics plant in south Louisiana, marking a major victory for environmental activists and members of the majority Black community who have campaigned for years against construction.
ALEXANDRA TOPPING – Forty years ago a small group of women, along with a few men and children in buggies in tow, left their homes in Wales to protest against the arrival of US nuclear warheads at RAF Greenham Common. The steps they took that day would lead to the establishment of the Greenham women’s peace camp, which at its height gathered more than 70,000 women for direct action and became the biggest female-led protest since women’s suffrage.
NORMAN SOLOMON – When President Biden announced late Friday afternoon that he will nominate Rahm Emanuel to be the U.S. ambassador to Japan, the timing just before the weekend was clearly intended to minimize attention to the swift rebukes that were sure to come.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – Agent Orange, the most powerful of the herbicides used in Vietnam in Operation Ranch Hand, begun on August 10, 1961, contained dioxin, one of the most toxic substances on the planet. We dropped 20 million gallons of this and other herbicides on Vietnam, contaminating 7,000 square miles of its forests. Half a century later, we are fully aware of the consequences of this strategic decision, not just for the Vietnamese, the Laotians, the Cambodians, but also for many American troops.
ANDREW MOSS – Benefits to the economy If negotiations in Congress open a path to citizenship this year for the roughly 10.2 million undocumented immigrants in America, have received a fair measure of attention in the media, but what hasn’t received as much attention is how an opened path to citizenship will also strengthen American democracy.
JAMES W. CARDEN – Hawkish US officials overstated Soviet gains in the third world in the 1970s, and “exhibit A in the case that the USSR was inexorably expanding…was Afghanistan.” And after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, “Washington believed Russia’s objective was the Persian Gulf.” Yet, it is argued by John Lamberton Harper, that the hawks within the Carter administration, led by Brzezinski, “were misled by their schematic conceptions.”
RAY MCGOVERN – There must be accountability for Afghanistan. The more so since generals and admirals, active duty and retired, are going off half-cocked. Some of them, like Admiral Charles Richards, head of US Strategic Command, are saying nuclear war is possible. Earlier this year Richards wrote that the US must shift from a principal assumption that nuclear weapons’ use is nearly impossible to “nuclear employment is a very real possibility.” And retired Adm. James Stavridis, former commander of NATO, is already talking about war with China “perhaps ten years from now.” Accountability and effective civilian control of such general officers can prevent the next March of Folly.
PETER BERGEL – Any of our cities could be incinerated by today’s nuclear weapons without warning at virtually any moment, either accidentally or purposely. Yet this monstrous possibility has fallen off the radar of most citizens and politicians.
RIVERA SUN – The story of a “Sixth Mass Extinction” must be turned around. The child born today will be almost 80 in 2100. What kind of world will we build for her?
NORMAN SOLOMON – A vital challenge for progressives is to not only block Republican agendas but also to effectively campaign for policy changes that go far beyond the talking points of current Democratic leaders offering to tinker with the status quo. Merely promising a kinder, gentler version of grim social realities just won’t be enough to counter the faux populism of a neofascist Republican Party.
DIANNE LUGO – On Thursday, July 29, more than 150 Nez Perce (Niimiipuu) people returned and blessed part of their homeland, a hundred years after the U.S Army drove them from the Wallowa Valley in eastern Oregon.
JEREMY SCAHILL – Drone whistleblower Daniel Hale should be pardoned and released, and the government should pay him restitution.
EILEEN FLANAGAN – Indigenous water protectors and allies are effectively engaging all four roles of social change — just what’s needed to beat a company as powerful as Enbridge.
KENNY STANCIL – Thirty-nine people, including civil rights champions Revs. Jesse Jackson and William J. Barber II, were arrested Monday, July 26, during a sit-in outside the Phoenix office of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a conservative Democrat whose opposition to filibuster reform is enabling Senate Republicans to obstruct the passage of progressive legislation on voting rights, the minimum wage, immigration reform, climate action, and more.
ALYN WARE – By paying lip service to the Fukushima disaster and the nuclear bombs dropped on Japan, these games are downplaying the growing danger of nuclear catastrophe.
ROBERT KOEHLER – Robert Koehler asks questions of the United States’ history not in regard to individual, but rather collective — governmental — behavior. He fears that as we unite, we diminish our ability to respect, and understand, the complexity of the universe, and of our fellow humans. We unite around simplistic certainties, and these certainties seem always to involve an enemy, or Other. And empowerment means being able to kill, rather than understand, embrace and learn from — or hear the music of — that Other.
DR. MARC PILISUK – After a war has ended, historians, elected officials, and faith leaders, no less than the people involved, often raise doubts over whether the outcomes were worth the many horrific costs. But mourning diminishes over time and life for the survivors goes on. Such a recovery from destruction is no longer assured or even likely in the age of nuclear weapons. World leaders, however, continue to play the game of war in ways that risk the war that could end life on earth.
ROZ BROWN – As the Bootleg fire burns in southern Oregon, the U.S. Senate is considering an infrastructure package that environmental scientists say contains misguided provisions. The infrastructure bill would include billions in funding for the U.S. Forest Service in the name of wildfire prevention.
BRETT WILKINS – “Louisiana’s ‘critical infrastructure’ law is an attempt to take away our personal freedom along with our constitutional right to protest,” Annie White Hat continued. “I stand proud of our work and am grateful for the countless allies who bravely stepped forward to support the first direct actions to stop oil and gas in the swamps of south Louisiana.”
DAVID CARROLL COCHRAN – Despite conventional wisdom, Russians relied principally on a sophisticated and diverse array of nonviolent methods to end centuries of tsarist rule in 1917.
GIORGI LOMSADZE – Following the death of a cameraman who was attacked by a far-right mob, thousands rallied against the government, which they blamed for condoning the violence. But the authorities only doubled down.
KATHY KELLY – The U.S. government owes reparations to the civilians of Afghanistan for the past twenty years of war and brutal impoverishment.
KEVIN MARTIN – This year marks the sixth annual edition of coordinated advocacy days calling for peace in Korea. When it first started in 2015, just 12 people participated; the effort has now grown to include more than 200 people. Korean-Americans, the fifth largest Asian-American population in the U.S., are leading the effort and have become more politically engaged than just a few years ago, but everyone in this country, in Asia and around the world, would benefit from a more peaceful, less militarized Korean peninsula.
ANDREW MOSS – The Biden administration’s support of an appeal of an earlier U.S. District Court ruling that largely upheld a 2019 California law mandating the phase-out of private immigration detention facilities in the state constitutes a serious mistake. It’s not just a matter of the fact that this legal position contradicts Biden’s expressed commitments to end private prisons and detention facilities; it also continues support for a dark and destructive side of our immigration policies.