TOM H. HASTINGS – Even some of my favorite doves are advocating a mixed military response to ISIS. I canâ€™t agree. The history of our violent response to terrorism began as a trickle, then a stream, then a torrent into Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, and Syria. Each and every time we â€œwonâ€ (deposed the Taliban in Afghanistan, â€œMission Accomplishedâ€ by knocking over Saddam, the surge), the response from the terror side has gotten worse. Now, for pityâ€™s sake, we see a genocidal terror caliphate. Our game of violence is a loser.
HARVEY WASSERMAN – As you read this, a terror attack has put atomic reactors in Ukraine at the brink of another Chernobyl-scale apocalypse. Transmission lines have been blown up. Power to at least two major nuclear power stations has been â€œdangerouslyâ€ cut. Without emergency backup, those nukes could lose coolant to their radioactive cores and spent fuel pools. They could then melt or explode, as at Fukushima. Yet amidst endless â€œall-fear-all-the-timeâ€ reporting on ISIS, the corporate media has remained shockingly silent on this potential catastrophe.
VICTOR WALLIS – The more extreme the crimes of state, the more the state seeks to shroud them in secrecy. The greater the secrecy and the accompanying lies, the more vital becomes the role of whistleblowers â€“ and the more vindictive becomes the state in its pursuit of them.
MEL GURTOV – The contrast between Obama the engager and Obama the warrior is striking. US arms exports to authoritarian regimes such as Pakistanâ€™s, just one element of military aid, continue to rise even as we celebrate the Presidentâ€™s initiatives with Iran and Cuba.
FODAY JUSTICE DARBOE – In the wake of the coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris and the double suicide bombing in Beirut on November 12th, many Muslims took to Twitter to loudly and unequivocally condemn the terrorists attacks with the hashtagsâ€” #NotInMyName, #MuslimsAreNotTerrorist, but is this enough to counter Islamic extremism? When will â€œmoderate Muslimsâ€ stand up and speak against the terror and mayhem committed in the name of Islam?
PETER BERGEL – Thanks to Foday Darboe for setting an example to those he calls â€œmoderate Muslims.â€ I will follow his lead to set an example for â€œpatriotic Americans.â€
RIVERA SUN – In the past 36 hours, I have watched and listened to hundreds of reactions of ordinary people to the attacks in Paris. With a clenched gut, I feared the reiteration of the sequence of 9/11: anger, shock, fear, calls for vengeance, war, and more violence. Instead, I saw the unexpected, and a tendril of hope grew inside my heart.
PHYLLIS BENNIS – France is in mourning and in shock. We still donâ€™t know how many people were killed and injured. In fact, thereâ€™s a lot we still donâ€™t knowâ€”including who was responsible. The ISIS claim of responsibility tells us virtually nothing about who really planned or carried out the attacks; opportunist claims are an old story. But the lack of information hasnâ€™t prevented lots of assumptions about who is â€œobviouslyâ€ responsible and what should be done to them. Already the call is rising across Franceâ€”â€œthis time itâ€™s all-out war. But we do know what happens when cries of war and vengeance drown out all other voices; weâ€™ve heard them before.
WILLIAM M. ARKIN and ALEXA O’BRIEN – An information and intelligence shift has emerged in America’s national security state over the last two decades, and that change has been reflected in the country’s educational institutions as they have become increasingly tied to the military, intelligence, and law enforcement worlds. This is why VICE News has analyzed and ranked the 100 most militarized universities in America.
GENE WEXLER – A new survey of 23,000 injured service members finds post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) are two of the biggest mental health issues facing veterans right now.
JOHN LAFORGE – â€œWe should be carefully monitoring the oceans after what is certainly the largest accidental release of radioactive contaminants to the oceans in history,â€ marine chemist Ken Buesseler said last spring. Instead, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency halted its emergency radiation monitoring of Fukushimaâ€™s radioactive plume in May 2011, three months after the disaster began. Japan isnâ€™t even monitoring seawater near Fukushima, according to a Sept. 28 story in â€œThe Ecologist.â€
ISAAC SAUL – In the Canadian town of Medicine Hat, Alberta, where 60,000 people live, everyone has a home tonight.
UNFOLD ZERO [November 1, 2015] – From Monday November 2, and running the whole week, the United Nations General Assembly in New York [is voting] on a number of draft resolutions on nuclear disarmament. Many of these are repeat resolutions from previous years â€“ and countries [are likely voting] for them the same way as they have in the past. However there are a few exciting new resolutions â€“ which if adopted with significant support â€“ could pave the way for effective multi-lateral negotiations.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – The shock and disbelief with which many political pundits have responded to Bernie Sandersâ€™ description of himself as a â€œdemocratic socialistâ€â€”a supporter of democratic control of the economyâ€”provide a clear indication of how little they know about the popularity and influence of democratic socialism over the course of American history.
TOM H. HASTINGS – Democracy, said Winston Churchill, is the worst form of governmentâ€”except for all the rest. This is also true for nonviolence. When people are victims of injustice, especially a violent injustice, a violent response is easy to justify. â€œIâ€™m not going to sit still while someone attacks me,â€ is quite reasonable. But the consequences of our actions are worth considering.
LAURA FINLEY – Several days ago, the Miami Herald published an editorial from a college student who argued that allowing students on college campuses to carry concealed weapons was not only a constitutional right but would help prevent rape. While I appreciate her passion for the subject and am saddened to read about anyoneâ€™s victimization, this position is deeply problematic. I donâ€™t wish to take up the constitutional argument here, but I cannot in good conscience fail to respond to the argument that a woman with a gun can prevent a rapist from sexually assaulting her.