Category: Big Picture

Montana Becomes First State To Pass Resolution Against Unconstitutional Wars

LIAM MCCOLLUM – The Montana state legislature overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan and unprecedented resolution Tuesday calling on the federal government to end endless wars. The resolution passed 95-3 in the House and 47-2 in the Senate. The resolution specifically urges President Joe Biden and the United States Congress to “end the endless war in Afghanistan,” repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, resist sending U.S. troops into combat without a declaration of war from Congress or specific authorization to do so, and to “execute a prudent foreign policy.”

Playing Russian Roulette in the Ukraine

NATYLIE BALDWIN – There have been recent reports of intensified fighting near the line of contact in the Donbass area of eastern Ukraine between Kiev forces and Donbass rebels who are supported by Russia. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission reported a rise in ceasefire violations at the end of the week before last from 89 to nearly 500. There are accusations back and forth of new attacks by Kiev forces on Donbass and a military buildup in Russia near the border with eastern Ukraine.

‘A Day Peace Activists… Have Been Waiting For’: Biden Vows to Curb US Support for Saudi-Led War on Yemen

KENNY STANCIL – Peace advocates rejoiced on Thursday in the wake of President Joe Biden’s announcement that his administration will be ending U.S. support for “offensive operations” in the Saudi-led war on Yemen and appointing a diplomatic envoy to help resolve the devastating conflict that has caused an estimated 233,000 deaths. “This war has to end,” Biden said during an address at the State Department. “And to underscore our commitment, we are ending all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arm sales.”

The Boss Who Put Everyone on $70K

STEPHANIE HEGARTY – In 2015, the boss of a card payments company in Seattle introduced a $70,000 minimum salary for all of his 120 staff – and personally took a pay cut of $1m. Five years later he’s still on the minimum salary, and says the gamble has paid off.

Governor Newsom, Oregon Governor Brown, Tribal Leaders and Klamath Dam Owner Announce Agreement to Advance Historic Salmon Restoration Plan

JENNIFER K. FALCON – California Governor Gavin Newsom today joined with Oregon Governor Kate Brown, leaders of the Yurok and Karuk Tribes and Berkshire Hathaway-owned PacifiCorp in announcing an agreement to provide additional resources and support to advance the most ambitious salmon restoration effort in history. The project, when completed, will address declines in fish populations, improve river health and renew Tribal communities and cultures.

Conservationists Say State Regulators are Allowing Power Plant Developers to Avoid Carbon Fees

TED SICKINGER – Opponents of a proposed power plantin Umatilla County say state regulators are poised to allow construction of a “road to nowhere” that would allow the plant’s backers to avoid paying millions of dollars in extra fees under a strengthened global warming standard established this spring by Gov. Kate Brown.

Former UK Commanders Call for Nuclear Cuts to Address Covid-19

MOVE THE NUCLEAR WEAPONS MONEY – Three former UK Royal Navy Commanders sent a letter to all UK parliamentarians on April 1 questioning the policy of maintaining a continuous at sea nuclear deterrent. The commanders note that the £2 billion a year cost of maintaining this nuclear posture and readiness for war appear to be unjustifiable, especially as the economic costs of the coronavirus pandemic are mounting

NATO’s Upcoming War Games Targeted Against Russia

PAUL ANTONOPOULOS – Last week NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg explained why the U.S. are strengthening their military presence in Europe. The reason is unsurprisingly to pressurize and intimidate Russia, but also against China and the so-called fight against terrorism. Stoltenberg explained that there are now more U.S. soldiers in EU Member States, more than ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. In the coming months, the Defender-Europe 2020 exercises, the largest of its kind in the last 25 years, will begin. And with this exercise, U.S. troop numbers will only increase in Europe with another 20,000 troops and officers arriving.

Artificial “Trees” in London Offer an Impressive Climate Mitigation Solution

ALEX LANDON – The world is, finally, awakening to the imminent threats posed by climate change and pollution, and London is starting to do its bit to help. From zero-emissions streets to pollution-eating solar panels, along with restaurants trending towards zero-waste and veganism, the capital has begun to put greener, more sustainable methods into practice. Next in the war on global warming are three new City Trees, a series of CO2-filtering structures which have just been installed in Leytonstone.

An Eyewitness to the Horrors of the US ‘Forever Wars’ Speaks Out

KATHY KELLY – What are the lessons learned from the rampage, destruction and cruelty of U.S. wars? I believe the most important lessons are summed up in the quote on Cynthia Banas’s T-shirt as she delivered water to Marines in Baghdad, in April, 2003: “War Is Not the Answer”; and in an updated version of the headline Ramzi Kysia wrote that same month: “Heavy-handed & Hopeless, The U.S. Military Doesn’t Know What It’s Doing” -in Iraq, Afghanistan or any of its “forever wars.”

Kaine Introduces Resolution to Block War with Iran

ALEXANDER BOLTON – Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Friday introduced a resolution to block President Trump from further escalating hostilities with Iran. The resolution is privileged, which means Republicans cannot block it from reaching the floor, and comes the day after the surprise drone strike that killed Iraninan Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’s elite Quds Force.

Iraqis Storm US Embassy in Baghdad After US Bombing of Militias; Iran, Russia and China Conduct Joint Naval Exercises in Gulf of Oman

NATYLIE BALDWIN – In response to an attack last Friday in Iraq that killed a U.S. military contractor and injured several U.S. service members, the U.S. bombed Iraqi Shia militias known as Popular Mobilization Units (PMU’s), particularly one known as Ketaib Hezbollah, which it claimed was responsible for the Friday attack. The Iraq government warned Washington not to conduct the retaliatory attack, citing violation of Iraq’s sovereignty. The conflict has arisen amid a climate of relations that were already frayed as many of the recent popular protests in Iraq were partly an expression of disgust about perceived foreign control of the country by both the U.S. and neighboring Iran, in addition to domestic grievances.

188 Democrats Join GOP to Hand Trump $738 Billion Military Budget That Includes ‘Space Force’

JAKE JOHNSON – More than 180 House Democrats joined a nearly united Republican caucus Wednesday night to pass a sweeping $738 billion military spending bill that gives President Donald Trump his long-sought “Space Force,” free rein to wage endless wars, and a green light to continue fueling the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen.

Raising the Stakes in the Struggle over Immigration Detention

ANDREW MOSS – As the struggle for immigrant rights continues to be fought across America, new battlegrounds may come into view, then fade from public attention. What hasn’t yet come to full attention, however, is the struggle over the future of immigration detention itself, a conflict whose outcome may have far-reaching consequences for immigration reform in years to come.

Carbon Emissions From 30 of the World’s Largest Cities Are Already Dropping Since Signing Climate Pact

C40 CITIES and GOOD NEW NETWORK – The world’s leading scientists have calculated that global greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2020 in order to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C. New analysis published ahead of the C40 World Mayors Summit confirms that 30 of the world’s largest cities, representing more than 58 million urban citizens, have now reached this crucial milestone.

The US Is Spending $1.25 Trillion Annually on War

WILLIAM D. HARTUNG and MANDY SMITHBERGER – There are at least 10 separate pots of money dedicated to fighting wars, preparing for yet more wars, and dealing with the consequences of wars already fought. So the next time a president, a general, a secretary of defense, or a hawkish member of Congress insists that the U.S. military is woefully underfunded, think twice. A careful look at U.S. defense expenditures offers a healthy corrective to such wildly inaccurate claims.