WINSLOW MYERS — Two strategic goals of the U.S. are an apparent desire to control Middle East oil and the expressed commitment to help keep Israel safe. This requires the U.S. to refuse the laudable vision of the Middle East as a nuclear weapons-free zone, which would demand that Israel dismantle its nuclear arsenal. Instead, news reports indicate that Israel may be gearing up for a pre-emptive attack on Iranâ€™s nuclear facilities.
NORMAN SOLOMON — Itâ€™s already history. In mid-August 2010, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan launched a huge media campaign to prevent any substantial withdrawal of military forces the next summer. The morning after Gen. David Petraeus appeared in a Sunday interview on NBCâ€™s â€œMeet the Pressâ€ to promote the war effort, the New York Times front-paged news of its own interview with him — reporting that the general â€œsuggested that he would resist any large-scale or rapid withdrawal of American forces.â€
LAWRENCE WITTNER — The August 9 announcement by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates of cost-containment measures at the Defense Department should not obscure two underlying facts. First, as he conceded, these proposed economies will not result in cutting the overall Pentagon budget, which is slated for expansion.
PETER BERGEL — Two days ago, The PeaceWorker published an explanation by Rep Peter DeFazio of his recent votes on funding the war in Afghanistan. This article was encouraging in that it expressed the misgivings many of us have about the war and those prosecuting it. It also explained in a cogent way what the â€œbest thinkingâ€ in liberal Congressional circles is these days concerning how to extricate ourselves from the Vietnam-like mess which the Afghanistan situation has become. At the same time, the article revealed why the peace â€œmovementâ€ needs so desperately to rethink its overall strategy.
REP. PETER DEFAZIO — Given that the war in Afghanistan has entered its ninth year without clearly defined objectives or an exit strategy, I wanted to provide you an update of my continued opposition to our head-in-the-sand Afghanistan policies. We recently saw a major shakeup in military leadership in Afghanistan, but it is clear that this will not translate to a major change in strategy.
MICHAEL MARIOTTE — The flagship project to build a new nuclear power reactor in the United States â€” the one that provided the economic model for most new reactor proposals since â€” is in serious trouble and likely will collapse of its own weight before construction can even begin.
JASON WHITED —
Fourteen nonviolent direct actionists at Creech Air Force Base in Southern Nevada face charges for entering the base to protest the use of unmanned weapons which kill indiscriminately halfway around the world. These weapons are guided to their targets from air-conditioned trailers at Creech. Trial for the â€œCreech 14â€ is set for September 16, but their action has focused UN attention on the issue of drone warfare.
RALPH NADER — The war in Afghanistan is nearly nine years old â€” the longest in American history. After the U.S. quickly toppled the Taliban regime in October 2001, the Taliban, by all accounts, came back stronger and harsher enough to control now at least 30 percent of the country. During this time, U.S. casualties, armaments and expenditures are at record levels.
EDITOR– The â€œrealitiesâ€ listed in this article are correct as far as they go, but they do not go far enough. While it is strictly true that â€œthere is no Social Security crisisâ€ because the Social Security Trust Fund â€œis full of U.S. Treasury Bonds,â€ the implication is that everything is all right. This is emphatically not the case. Please read the MoveOn article and also the PeaceWorker editorial that follows it.
PETER BERGEL — For decades, beginning during the Vietnam War, our elected leaders have tried to mask the size of the national debt they have permitted to accumulate by â€œborrowingâ€ the surplus from the Social Security Trust Fund. This was done without consulting the public in any way, and largely without public knowledge, even though this money was set aside from all workersâ€™ paychecks in an insurance program guaranteed to provide funds for them in their old age. To be precise, the government purchased U.S. T-bonds with our insurance money.
LOUISE GRAY — A new climate change report from the Met Office [meteorological and climate change forecasts for the UK and worldwide] and its U.S. equivalent has provided the “greatest evidence we have ever had” that the world is warming. It is the first time a report has brought together all the different ways of measuring changes in the climate. The report brings together the latest temperature readings from the top of the atmosphere to the bottom of the ocean
BOB HERBERT — We were told by oil industry executives and their acolytes and enablers in government that deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico would not cause the kind of catastrophe that weâ€™ve been watching with an acute and painful sense of helplessness for the past three months. Advances in technology, they said, would ward off the worst-case scenarios. Fail-safe systems like the blowout preventer a mile below the surface at the Deepwater Horizon rig site would keep wildlife and the environment safe.
WINSLOW MYERS — When I was working as a teacher, I loved the phrase â€œbest practices.â€ It suggested pooled wisdom, a collective weeding out of the more effective from the less effective, a distillation of the authentic out of a world of potential baloney. It implied disinterested cooperation to figure out what really does work when weâ€™re trying to help children learn. Any collection of best practices would synergize with each other in a perfect storm of competency.
PHIL DAVIS — What are 308,367,109 Americans supposed to do? First of all, despite clamping down on immigration, our population grew by 2.6M people last year. Unfortunately, not only did we not create jobs for those 2.6M new people but we lost about 4M jobs so what are these new people going to do?
RUSSELL VANDENBROUCKE — Every August, as the anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki approach, comments resume about American decisions at the end of World War II. Despite the passage of 65 years, heated opinions are repeated as fact and myths become immortalized as truths. Beyond distorting the historical record, wishful thinking about it leads us to repeat past mistakes in new ways against new enemies.
JOE WALSH —
The vote was not even close and especially when you know that it took a 2/3 vote. The reason for the 2/3 vote to pass, was it was a rule change. We have been informed that all our delegation except that one republican voted against war funding, I want to jump for joy, but canâ€™t — sorry.