Category: December 2015

10 Good Things About The Not-So-Great Year 2015

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.

If We Want to Save the Earth….

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.

The Paris Climate-Change Agreement: Hold the Champagne

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.

Pledging to Resist Fear and Hatred

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.

Top U.S.Special Forces Chief: Iraq War was a “Huge Error”

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.

How Our Naive Understanding of Violence Helps ISIS

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.

U.S. Values Demand That We Accept Syrian Refugees

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.

Pope Francis’ Call for Social Activism Follows in the Footsteps of Other “Radical” Catholics

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.