ALASTAIR CROOKE – In the aftermath of the U.S. attack on the Syrian army positions overlooking and commanding the Dier A-Zor airfield â€“ the airfield, whose daily â€œBerlin air-bridgeâ€ style flights, are the sole lifeline to a city long besieged by ISIS â€“ the Russian U.N. Ambassador asked a pertinent rhetorical question at the United Nations Security Council: Who is running U.S. policy: Is it the Pentagon or the White House?
RUSSIA INSIDER/THE SAKER – The latest developments in Syria are not, I believe, the result of some deliberate plan of the USA to help their â€œmoderate terroristâ€ allies on the ground, but they are the symptom of something even worse: the complete loss of control of the USA over the situation in Syria and, possibly, elsewhere.
CESAR JARAMILLO – Make no mistake: neither North Korea’s latest nuclear weapons test nor the recent high-stakes stalemate over Iran’s nuclear program are the root of nuclear insecurity. They are but symptoms of a nuclear disarmament regime in a severe state of disrepair. While every other category of weapons of mass destruction has been specifically prohibited under international law, nuclear weapons — by far the most destructive of them all — remarkably still have not. What is needed is a global legal ban on nuclear weapons, with specific provisions for the elimination of existing arsenals and a timeline for verified implementation.
UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS – â€œCarbon pricingâ€ is a market-based strategy for lowering global warming emissions. The aim is to put a price on carbon emissionsâ€”an actual monetary valueâ€”so that the costs of climate impacts and the opportunities for low-carbon energy options are better reflected in our production and consumption choices. Carbon pricing programs can be implemented through legislative or regulatory action at the local, state or national level.
RIVERA SUN – On April 6th, 1930 at 6:30 a.m. after morning prayers, Mohandas K. Gandhi raised a lump of salty mud and declared, “With this, I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire.”
RIVERA SUN – On August 20, 2013, Antoinette Tuff (right) nonviolently disarmed a school shooter, saving the lives of hundreds of school children. Antoinette was a bookkeeper. She wasn’t supposed to be at the school that day. She was just filling in as a front desk receptionist as a favor to a friend.
JENNI MONET – North Dakotaâ€™s militarized response to activists opposing the Dakota Access pipelineâ€”and the Standing Rock Siouxâ€™s fierce resolveâ€”reflect the area’s particular racial divides.
OUR CHILDREN’S TRUST – 21 young people from across the United States have filed a landmark constitutional climate change lawsuit against the federal government in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon.
JAVIER M. PIEDRA – The Euro-Atlantic world needs to see the strategic potential in working with Russia (as opposed to seeking her strategic encirclement), and must recognize that radical militant Islam is a much greater threat to our way of life than Putinâ€™s Russia.
DAVID SWANSON – This is our lucky day for quite a few reasons. We haven’t yet rendered the climate of this planet uninhabitable for our species. For those of us who are not in prison: we’re not in prison — and not because of some significant difference between us and many who are. For those of us not hungry or scared . . . (see note above re prisons). But there’s another big reason that this is our lucky day — a reason that is different in kind from these.
KARL MATHIESEN – Climate change is the â€œmother of all risksâ€ says Aviva CEO, and hundreds of billions in annual government assistance to oil, gas and coal is â€œsimply unsustainable.â€ Three of the worldâ€™s biggest insurers called on G20 leaders to implement a timeframe for the end of fossil fuel subsidies when they met in China last week.
KEN BUTIGAN – The Vatican has announced that Pope Francis will issue his annual World Day of Peace message for the first time on the theme of nonviolence. Entitled â€œNonviolence: The Style of Politics of Peace,â€ the January 1, 2017 papal message will be sent to all foreign ministries worldwide. Announced by Vatican Radio this week, the traditional message is intended to indicate â€œthe diplomatic concerns of the Holy See during the coming year.â€
NORMAN SOLOMON – While Bernie Sanders was doing a brilliant job of ripping into the Trans-Pacific Partnership during the livestreamed launch of the Our Revolution organization on Wednesday night, CNN was airing a phone interview with Hillary Clinton and MSNBC was interviewing Donald Trumpâ€™s campaign manager. That sums up the contrast between the enduring value of the Bernie campaign and the corporate mediaâ€™s fixation on the political establishment. Fortunately, Our Revolution wonâ€™t depend on mainline media. That said, the groupâ€™s debut foreshadowed not only great potential but also real pitfalls.
ANDREW MOSS – You don’t have to be a poet to breathe new possibilities into an old, familiar metaphor. Recently, for example, author and New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman took a well-worn metaphor â€“ the “web” â€“ and reworked it in such a way as to recast the terms of the current presidential campaigns. His take is both provocative and wrong.
INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO ABOLISH NUCLEAR WEAPONS (ICAN) – United Nations disarmament talks concluded in Geneva today (August 19th) with the overwhelming majority of nations signalling their intention to launch negotiations in 2017 for a global ban on nuclear weapons.