WINSLOW MYERS – A hundred years after the “Christmas Truce” it seems we would prefer to sentimentalize the story of Christmas in the trenches rather than using it as a measure of our own mental health. In the way we think about war, most of us suffer equally from group schizophrenia, made infinitely more dangerous by the presence of nuclear weapons combined with antique delusions of victory.
CAMILA THORNDIKE and DAN GOLDEN – Climate change hurts Southern Oregon. It hurts local businesses that rely on skiers and snowboarders when Mount Ashland fails to open. It hurts ranchers and farmers with drought and unseasonable heat. It hurts our forests when the fire season starts sooner and ends later each year. But these hardships are tiny compared to the challenges our children and grandchildren face if we fail to act on climate change.
PAT KENNELLY – 2014 marks the deadliest year in Afghanistan for civilians, fighters, and foreigners. The situation has reached a new low as the myth of the Afghan state continues. Thirteen years into Americaâ€™s longest war, the international community argues that Afghanistan is growing stronger, despite nearly all indicators suggesting otherwise. Yet, there is another possibility, that the old way has not worked, and it is time for change; that nonviolence may resolve some of the challenges facing the country.
ABOLITION 2000 – Global coalition follows-up Vienna conference with mobilization to achieve a nuclear abolition agreement at the 2015 NPT Review Conference.
ARNOLD OLIVER – On the evening of December 24th a century ago, peace broke out in the most unlikely of places. In the blasted, putrid trenches of Belgium and France, soldiers fighting on the Western Front put aside their arms in what became known as the Christmas Truce. Although World War I was then only a few months old, there had already been a million combat deaths. Many soldiers were weary of the futility and horrific costs of the war, and thousands of them spontaneously stopped trying to kill each other.
NAOMI KLEIN – What does #BlackLivesMatter, and the unshakable moral principle that it represents, have to do with climate change? Everything.
ERIC LINDBERG – We have a situation, then, where one half of the population says it is not happening, and the other half says it is happening but fighting it doesnâ€™t have to change our way of life. Like a dysfunctional and enabling married couple, the bickering and finger-pointing, and anger ensures that nothing has to change and that no one has to actually look deeply at themselves, even as the wheels are falling off the family-life they have co-created. And so do Democrats and Republicans stay together in this unhappy and unproductive place of emotional self-protection and planetary ruin. Here are some of the stories we tell ourselves, to allow us to continue this behavior. How to kick the habit? That’s a little tougher.
DENNIS KUCINICH – Late Thursday night [December 11], the House of Representatives unanimously passed a far-reaching Russia sanctions bill, a hydra-headed incubator of poisonous conflict. The second provocative anti-Russian legislation in a week, it further polarizes our relations with Russia, helping to cement a Russia-China alliance against Western hegemony, and undermines long-term Americaâ€™s financial and physical security by handing the national treasury over to war profiteers.
JOE CIRINCIONE – While Iran negotiations get screaming headlines, recent conferences on the consequences of the use of nuclear weapons have not gotten much attention. Maybe they should. They are generating a growing movement that could have a bigger impact on U.S. nuclear policy than many have assumed.
KEVIN CLARKE – The Catholic Church seemed to throw its support behind what is, in Europe at least, an accelerating movement demanding the abolition of nuclear weapons during the first day of the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons on Dec. 8.
MICHAL CHOSSUDOVSKY – America is on a war footing. While a World War Three Scenario has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for more than ten years, military action against Russia is now contemplated at an â€œoperational level.â€ Similarly, both the Senate and the House have introduced enabling legislation which provides legitimacy to the conduct of a war against Russia. We are not dealing with a â€œCold War.” None of the safeguards of the Cold War era prevail. There has been a breakdown in East-West diplomacy coupled with extensive war propaganda. In turn the United Nations has turned a blind eye to extensive war crimes committed by the Western military alliance.
DAVID SWANSON – Imagine a letter co-signed by former presidents, former representatives from both sides of the aisle, House speakers, former governors, attorneys general, cabinet members, ambassadors, CEOs, movie stars and directors, writers, astronauts, religious leaders, mayors, academics, mainstream media correspondents, and more â€” all united in stating â€œNobody wants war.â€ Imagine the New York Times publishing this letter. The equivalent happened in Germany just a few days ago.
ROBERT PARRY – Neocon ideology appears to have seized near total control over the editorial pages of Americaâ€™s premier news organizations, including the New York Times and the Washington Post, contributing to an information crisis inside â€œthe worldâ€™s superpower,â€ a development that should unnerve both Americans and the world community.
KATHY KELLY – It seems the greatest danger â€“ the greatest violence â€“ that any of us face is contained in our attacks on our environment. Todayâ€™s children and generations to follow them face nightmares of scarcity, disease, mass displacement, social chaos, and war, due to our patterns of consumption and pollution.
RAY ACHESON – â€œIt is in the interest of the very survival of humanity that nuclear weapons are never used again, under any circumstances.â€ This is the view of the 155 states that endorsed the joint statement delivered by Ambassador Dell Higgie of New Zealand. â€œThe only way to guarantee that nuclear weapons will never be used again is through their total elimination. The majority of states and their publics share this view. It is only a handful of states, generally among the most wealthy in the world, that have consistently resisted progress in this area.
MANUEL A. GONZALEZ SANZ – Costa Rica abolished its army 66 years ago. During national celebrations children and young people as the main protagonists carry the Costa Rican flag and proudly parade in their school uniforms. The image of a military parade with thousands of soldiers displaying their weapons and equipment is unknown to us.
JOHN FEFFER – The countries of the former Warsaw Pact are not knuckling under to pressure from Russia. They’re trying to avoid a new cold war.