MEDEA BENJAMIN – It would certainly be easy to do a piece about 10 horrible events from 2015, from the ongoing war in Syria and the refugee crisis, to the bombings in Beirut, Paris and San Bernardino, to the rise of Donald Trump and Islamophobia. But that wouldn’t be a very inspiring way to bid farewell to this year and usher in a new one. So let’s look at 10 reasons to feel better about 2015.
ALLIANCE FOR GLOBAL JUSTICE – The same imperialism that has caused so much damage to the Global South today continues expanding and threatening the whole planet. Consequently, the struggle for climate justice has converted into a struggle for the liberation of all workers, peasants, indigenous and ecosystems. The struggle against Empire is a struggle to save life on Earth.
ERIC MARCH – When Melissa Chance Yassini came home from work on Dec. 8, she found her daughter Sofia in tears. Sofia had been watching the news with her grandmother, when she heard about Donald Trump’s call to deport refugees and ban Muslims from entering America.
JAMES A. HAUGHT – Christ’s teachings were virtually a prescription for the compassionate “safety net” upholding people and families in modern democracies.
LAURA FINLEY – Surely some uber-conservative political candidates will call me out on “politicizing tragedy” but I don’t care. I don’t want to pray for victims. I don’t want to seek vengeance on perpetrators. I want this never to happen again; I want to never feel this weight again. Not just something but so many things must be done.
MEL GURTOV – The Paris accord gives us something to celebrate—a serious undertaking by virtually every country, rich or poor, to commit to reducing carbon emissions such that our warming planet does not rise another 2 degrees Celsius, and if possible no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. The hope is that the combination of global commitments, technological advances, and business investments will literally turn the tide on climate change. But of course the devil is in the details, and in each country’s politics.
RIVERA SUN – At this time, it has become imperative for citizens to speak up and stand up against the rise of Islamophobia, xenophobia, racism, and the politics of hatred. When this pledge from Showing Up For Racial Justice came to my attention, I did not hesitate to sign it.
PAUL VALE – The former top US Special Forces chief claimed on Sunday, November 29, that blinding emotion after the 9/11 attacks led the United States and its allies to take the wrong strategic decisions to counter al-Qaeda, calling the subsequent Iraq War a “huge error.” The admission by Michael Flynn, made to German newspaper Der Spiegel, comes as British MPs prepare to vote on extending the UK’s bombing campaign against the Islamic State into Syria following the massacre in Paris.
GEORGE MONBIOT – By comparison to what it could have been, it’s a miracle. By comparison to what it should have been, it’s a disaster, for until governments undertake to keep fossil fuels in the ground, they will continue to undermine [the] agreement they have just made.
DAVID SWANSON – Exploiting one tragedy to fuel hatred toward a large segment of the human population of earth is madness.
PAUL K. CHAPPELL – Today most people’s understanding of violence is naive, because they do not realize how much the Internet and social media, the newest incarnations of mass media, have changed warfare. The most powerful weapon that ISIS has is the Internet with social media, which has allowed ISIS to recruit people from all over the world.
NORMAN SOLOMON – Here is a condensed version of President Obama’s speech from the Oval Office on Sunday night, unofficially translated into plain English.
SAM ROSS-BROWN – As national efforts heading into the Paris summit fall short of averting catastrophic warming, how far cities can go to close the gap is hard to know.
MURTAZA HUSSAIN – U.S. DRONE OPERATORS are inflicting heavy civilian casualties and have developed an institutional culture callous to the death of children and other innocents, four former operators said at a press briefing in New York.
MAJD ISREB, M.D. – Syrian people have suffered enough for almost five years in the worst humanitarian disaster since WWII. American people who were generous enough to accept about 760,000 Vietnamese refugees, and many Bosnian refugees are surely able to extend a welcoming hand to less than 0.01 percent of the displaced Syrians.
PATRICK O’NEILL – In the wake of Pope Francis’s visit last month, controversy continues to swirl. Some Catholics wish the pope had focused primarily on what they feel is the most important issue for the Catholic church – abortion. Others applaud him for covering a broad variety of global issues. The LGBT community is upset by his private meeting with Kim Davis. Conservatives are frustrated by the choice of a gay man for a lector at the mass at Madison Square Garden. But in one area, Catholics are united. Ever since Pope Francis mentioned two rarely heard of Catholic leaders along with Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln to Congress, Catholics have been intrigued by the social activists their own history seemed to forget.