LAWRENCE WITTNER – When all is said and done, what the recently-approved Iran nuclear agreement is all about is ensuring that Iran honors its commitment under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) not to develop nuclear weapons. But the NPTâ€”which was ratified in 1968 and which went into force in 1970â€”has two kinds of provisions. The first is that non-nuclear powers forswear developing a nuclear weapons capability. The second is that nuclear-armed nations divest themselves of their own nuclear weapons. Article VI of the treaty is quite explicit on this second point, stating: â€œEach of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.â€
TOM H. HASTINGS – In the field in which I teach, Peace and Conflict Studies, we examine alternatives to violence or the threat of violence in the management of conflict. We are a transdisciplinary field, that is, we don’t only draw from an interdisciplinary set of research findings–e.g. Anthropology, Economics, Education, History, Law, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Sociology–but we do so with certain provisos. Our stance favors fairness, justice, and nonviolence. Our research examines both why humans use destructive methods of conflict and why and how we use constructive, creative, transformative, nonviolent methods of handling conflict. We look at interpersonal conflict and social (group-to-group) conflict.
JAMES A. HAUGHT – One of my history-minded friends has a long-range political view summed up in three words: Liberals always win. Complex social struggles may take centuries or decades, he says, but they eventually bring victory for human rights, more democratic liberties, a stronger public safety net, and other progressive goals.
JOE CIRINCIONE and TOM Z. COLLINA – Under Pope Francis the Catholic church is moving away from Cold War nuclear acceptance faster than Congress and the Obama administration; some people are not going to like this key shift in church doctrine on nuclear weapons.
REV. JOHN DEAR – Starting Sept. 20, more than 350 demonstrations, marches, vigils and other public events will be held all across the U.S., covering every state, as part of the second annual â€œCampaign Nonviolenceâ€ week of actions. Tens of thousands of people will be gathering and taking to the streets to speak out against all the issues of violence, including poverty, war, racism, police brutality, gun violence, nuclear weapons and environmental destruction, and call for a new culture of peace and nonviolence as Dr. King envisioned.
RIVERA SUN – Once a year, Campaign Nonviolence invites thousands of people to light a spark of active nonviolence in communities nationwide. This spark is then nurtured and fed year-round to build a light of nonviolence that shines brightly in our world. Through classes, films, speakers, actions, and campaigns for change, this fire of nonviolence can be tended into a central hearth for a whole community, growing a life-changing force that helps humanity evolve.
DAVE MURPHY – What happens when a private company with a long history of producing some of the most toxic chemicals on the planet and now produces our food starts facing public pressure from a growing national grassroots movement to label their products to conform with basic principles of democracy and transparency? Well, if the company in question is Monsanto, then you take a page out of Big Tobaccoâ€™s playbook and hatch a secret plan to enlist public university scientists to bury the potential harm of your genetically engineered crops by whitewashing negative studies and systematically demonizing your opponents in the media to mislead elected officials and the American public about the safety of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and their accompanying toxic pesticides.
SYLVIA FRAIN – On Saturday morning August 29, 2015, the United States Navy signed the Record of Decision (ROD), the final document needed for the implementation of one of the largest â€œpeacetimeâ€ military build-ups in American history. This will cost between $8 and 9 billion, with only $174 million for civilian infrastructure, which Congress has not released yet. As a central aspect of Americanâ€™s foreign policy â€˜Pivot to the Pacificâ€™, the build-up will relocate thousands of Marines and their dependents from Okinawa, Japan to Guam. This does not auger well for the people of Guam.
DAVID SWANSON – I wonder if people in the United States understand what it means that the Labour Party in London now has a peace activist in charge of it. Jeremy Corbyn does not resemble any U.S. politicians. He doesn’t favor “only the smart wars” or prefer drone murders to massive invasions. Corbyn opposes wars, and he works to end militarism.
ROBERT J. GOULD – We need weapons of mass instruction, not mass destruction, in order to slow, stop, and reverse the tragic mass shootings that plague our country.
LAURIE DAUGHERTY – Peter Nelson, author of the Aug. 22 guest opinion, “Time for energy realism in Oregon,” and president of Marc Nelson Oil Products, Inc., should join the 21st century.
RIVERA SUN – In this new millennium marked by the looming threat of transnational trade deals like the Transpacific Partnership (TPP), The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), one unusual trade adventure, Maine Sail Freight, will embark on a creative and bold journey as an act of defiance against what has become a poor standard of business-as-usual. When Maine Sail Freight launches its maiden voyage at the end of August carrying 11 tons of local, Maine-made cargo, the Greenhorns – a plucky band of young farmers – and the sailing crew of a historic wooden schooner are declaring their independence from corporate tyranny and re-invigorating sail freight as a wind-powered transportation agent of the booming local food economy. And, interestingly, they will be carrying one freight item that has a long history of revolutionary potential: salt. Yes, salt.
MEL GURTOV – The dynamics of how the American taxpayer is endlessly tapped to provide massive and unnecessary funds for the US military is explained. Gurtov is not writing about the core military requests for defense of the U.S., but rather the corruption and global adventurism that places US personnel in harms way, and cheats the U.S. itself out of funds needed for the well being of our people.
RAE BREAUX – Iâ€™m writing you from the coast of southern Louisiana. Iâ€™m here because today marks an important anniversary for those of us who care about both climate change and racial justice.
JOHN LAFORGE – Chinese authorities seized more than 881 pounds of baby milk formula that had been imported from Japan because it had been produced in areas known to be heavily contaminated with radioactive material emitted by three damaged nuclear reactors at the Fukushima-Daiichi complex. Chinaâ€™s Xinhua news agency reported that quarantine officials said that no excessive radioactive material was found in the formula, but the baby food was sent back to Japan because China has had a ban on any imports from the areas around Fukushima.
TOM H. HASTINGS – We are SOS in the Middle East. Stuck on Stupid. Can we get unstuck?
DIANE RUSHCAMP – Organizing means bringing people together around an issue we all can relate. In this spirit, explain why an action is being requested, and when using acronyms, take the time to spell them out.