Category: Archive

Again, Washington Jumps to Conclusions over Ukraine-Russia Skirmish

ANATOL LIEVEN – The initial reaction of Biden administration officials to the latest clash between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian militia (or Russian soldiers serving as militia) in eastern Ukraine exemplifies a very dangerous pattern in U.S. and Western behavior: to believe whatever “our” side in a given crisis tells us, automatically, and without checking facts.

Trapped at the Border: Their Fate is our Fate – The Immigration Issue is Complex

ROBERT KOEHLER – It’s far too easy to envision the chaos of emigration getting worse, with the world’s poorest (and most deserving) people trapped in ever-intensifying violence and desperation, increasingly walled off from hope by racist ignorance. Something else becomes possible when we begin to realize that unless we change the world, their fate is our fate.

Selective Service Registration Deserves a Full Hearing in Congress

EDWARD HASBROUCK – The real choice Congress faces regarding draft registration is whether to expand registration to women or to end it entirely. Bills for each of those options were introduced in the last session of Congress, and are likely to be reintroduced within the next few months as part of the annual National Defense Authorization Act. This is a choice about militarism, not a choice about gender equality.

Playing Russian Roulette in the Ukraine

NATYLIE BALDWIN – There have been recent reports of intensified fighting near the line of contact in the Donbass area of eastern Ukraine between Kiev forces and Donbass rebels who are supported by Russia. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission reported a rise in ceasefire violations at the end of the week before last from 89 to nearly 500. There are accusations back and forth of new attacks by Kiev forces on Donbass and a military buildup in Russia near the border with eastern Ukraine.

Where Are the “Other” White Men?

ROB OKUN – Where are the “other” white men? Who wear masks, believe in gender equality (and science), raise their children, don’t “babysit” them; workingmen volunteering in their communities? There are plenty of them below the media’s radar, and many like them are in BIPOC communities.

The Urgent Need for a Biden-Putin Summit

NORMAN SOLOMON – The outbreak of rhetorical hostilities between the White House and the Kremlin has heightened the urgent need for a summit between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin. The spate of mutual denunciations is catnip for mass media and fuel for hardliners in both countries. But for the world at large, under the doomsday shadow of nuclear arsenals brandished by the United States and Russia, the latest developments are terribly ominous.

Rewriting Portland’s Violence Narrative

RANDY BLAZAK, TOM HASTINGS, and SASKIA HOSTETLER LIPPY – Portland residents hold the key to changing the narrative of violence that has characterized the city. Nonviolent civil disobedience, such as peaceful protesting June 1, 2020, a demonstration for Black lives, can help lessen polarization and build broad support for change.

How DC Peace Team Modeled Community Protection during Election-related Demonstrations

METTA CENTER FOR NONVIOLENCE – DC Peace Team, or DCPT, has had a presence in Washington, D.C. since 2011, mobilizing volunteers at different events with the potential to turn violent. So, when local organizations expressed a need for a coalition of experienced volunteers to step forward to be a part of the safety and security collective actions in the city, DCPT team was prepared.

Rahm Emanuel is in the Running for a Top Ambassador Post. The Prospect is Appalling.

JEFF COHEN and NORMAN SOLOMON – Rahm Emanuel has never been associated with the word “diplomatic,” but news reports say that President Biden is seriously considering him for a top position as U.S. ambassador to Japan or China. Naming Emanuel to such a post would be an affront to many of the constituencies that got Biden elected. The saga of Emanuel’s three decades in politics is an epic tale of methodical contempt for progressive values.

Crises Challenge Us to Rise to Our Best

RIVERA SUN – The content of our national character is found in how we take care of one another. Especially in times of crisis. This spirit of neighborly caring is a widely-shared value, stretching from rural communities to urban neighborhoods, encompassing everything from faith-based relief efforts to mutual aid networks.

Our Many Differences Are Not Worth a Second Civil War

WINSLOW MYERS – Are we wholly defined merely by our opinions? The great Sufic poet Rumi said: “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” Kate Johnson, a Buddhist teacher, writes: “The Buddha said that friendship is the whole of holy life. To accomplish it, we need only overcome our fear of reaching out to one another.”

Ending the Other War in Yemen

BRIAN TERRELL – It is refreshing to hear a U.S. president at least recognize that the Yemeni people are suffering an “unendurable devastation” and this is due to the hard work of grassroots peace activists around the world. Whether President Biden’s proclamation will mean much in the real world beyond a temporary hold on the weapons deals Trump made just before leaving office is yet to be seen.

In Promoting New Nuclear Power, Biden-Harris Back Fiction Over Science

LINDA PENTZ GUNTER – Biden-Harris must look at empirical data, not listen to spin doctors and establishment cronies who will keep them anchored to the status quo, thus deferring the very energy revolution they claim they will lead. If Biden-Harris remain in favor of action on climate AND for nuclear power, then they are part of the problem, not the solution.

How a Small-Town Paper is Applying Conflict Mediation Skills to its Opinion Content

JULIE HART – A letter to the editor was painful evidence that a small, community newspaper’s commitment to publishing as many letters as possible was no longer advancing a healthy dialogue among readers, if it ever had. In the town’s increasingly divided community, the paper had to take a hard look at how it could become part of the solution.

‘A Day Peace Activists… Have Been Waiting For’: Biden Vows to Curb US Support for Saudi-Led War on Yemen

KENNY STANCIL – Peace advocates rejoiced on Thursday in the wake of President Joe Biden’s announcement that his administration will be ending U.S. support for “offensive operations” in the Saudi-led war on Yemen and appointing a diplomatic envoy to help resolve the devastating conflict that has caused an estimated 233,000 deaths. “This war has to end,” Biden said during an address at the State Department. “And to underscore our commitment, we are ending all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arm sales.”

A Progressive Agenda for Biden’s Foreign Policy

MEL GURTOV – The predominant direction of a progressive US president should be toward “Making America Safe for the World.” That means focusing on domestic problems rather than on foreign policy crusading, relying on diplomacy before making threats and imposing sanctions, redefining the national interest with an eye toward real friends and urgent issues, and finding common ground with adversaries, starting with China, while remaining faithful to our ideals.

Democrats, Here’s How to Lose in 2022. And Deserve It.

EZRA KLEIN – Democrates have two years to prove that the American political system can work. Two years to show Trumpism was an experiment that need not be repeated. Two years. This is the responsibility the Democratic majority must bear: If they fail or falter, they will open the door for Trumpism or something like it to return, and there is every reason to believe it will be far worse next time. To stop it, Democrats need to reimagine their role. They cannot merely defend the political system. They must rebuild it.

Countering The Fascism To Come

ROBERT C. KOEHLER – The questions, as President Biden takes office, turn increasingly paradoxical: Is a coup, and resulting fascism, the nation’s biggest worry? What about the return to normalcy? I fear the latter as much as I fear the former.

Celebrate MLK’s Legacy: Bring US Into the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty

GERRY CONDON – As a veteran concerned about issues of war and peace, I am happy to celebrate the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), the important new international peace initiative. The “Nuclear Ban Treaty,” as it is also known, was approved 122-1 by the UN General Assembly in July 2017, a clear expression of the will of the world’s people. On October 24, 2020, Honduras became the 50th nation to ratify the TPNW, triggering a 90-day period before it goes into force, on January 22.

Don’t Just Denounce Trump. Demand Progressive Policies from Biden Too.

NORMAN SOLOMON – The Republican plunge into Trumpism has made the party especially unhinged and dangerous, but its basic ideology has long been a shameless assault on minimal standards of human decency. Now — while Democratic leaders and most corporate media outlets are suitably condemning the fascist tendencies of Trump and his followers — deeper analysis and stepped-up progressive organizing are urgently needed.

Climate Activists Mount Utility Strike to Urge the Shutdown of New England Coal Plant

BARBARA PETERSON – The Strike Down Coal campaign provides a COVID-safe form of disobedience, building on more than a year of direct actions to shut down Merrimack Station. Activists protest the continued burning of coal in New England by refusing to pay utility bills, and mailing coal to the utility company instead. (Facebook/No Coal No Gas)