Category: December 2014

The Christmas Truce: Pitting Sanity Against Insanity

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.

It’s Time Oregon Put a Price on Carbon

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.

Resisting the Unspeakable in Afghanistan

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 America’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.

How About Another Christmas Truce?

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.

Six Myths About Climate Change that Liberals Rarely Question

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 doesn’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.

Three Members of Congress Just Reignited the Cold War While No One Was Looking

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 America’s financial and physical security by handing the national treasury over to war profiteers.

America is on a “Hot War Footing”: House Legislation Paves the Way for War with Russia?

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 “operational level.” 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 “Cold 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.

Germany Does Something the U.S. Hasn’t for Peace

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 — all united in stating “Nobody wants war.” Imagine the New York Times publishing this letter. The equivalent happened in Germany just a few days ago.

How We Learned to Stop Playing With Blocks and Ban Nuclear Weapons

RAY ACHESON – “It is in the interest of the very survival of humanity that nuclear weapons are never used again, under any circumstances.” This is the view of the 155 states that endorsed the joint statement delivered by Ambassador Dell Higgie of New Zealand. “The 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.