ANDREW BACEVICH – Deferred for far too long, Judgment Day may at long last have arrived for the national security state.
ANDREW BACEVICH – Deferred for far too long, Judgment Day may at long last have arrived for the national security state.
GEORGE LAKEY – The trouble with pragmatism these days is that our country is becoming less predictable by the minute. What is going on among the 40 percent of the electorate that didn’t bother to vote in 2016’s general election? How about the new voters who’ve become naturalized citizens in the meantime, or the many who’ve turned 18? How much will the Russians skew the results?
ROBERT REICH – The Democratic establishment is viewing American politics through obsolete lenses of left versus right, with Bernie on the extreme left and Trump on the far right. This may have been the correct frame for politics decades ago when America still had a growing middle class, but it’s obsolete today.
HAL FREEMAN – On January 15, 2020 Vladimir Putin delivered a speech to the Federal Assembly that attracted quite a bit of attention. I was reluctant to write a blog on it. There were many articles that appeared in English which focused on the speech. Yet, the vast majority misrepresented what Putin actually said while missing the speech’s very important main topics.
WIM LAVEN – The Trump administration’s proposed budget is alarming in what it presents as the actual priorities of the White House. Among many other disastrous priorities, Trump’s budget for 2021 includes funding “for the orderly closure of the [National Endowment for the Humanities].”
LESLIE D. GREGORY and TOM H. HASTINGS – We can regain our global image as champion of human rights, which is currently undone. We can be the leader in environmental protection, which Trump is wrecking. And we may even catch up to the rest of the tech-advanced world in universal health care if we choose to drop the politics of division and start the politics of unity.
NORMAN SOLOMON – The extremely rich Americans who are now frantically trying to figure out how to intervene in the Democratic presidential campaign make me wonder how different they are from the animated character who loved frolicking in money and kissing dollar bills while counting them. If Uncle Scrooge existed as a billionaire in human form today, it’s easy to picture him aligned with fellow plutocrats against the “threat” of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
ANDREW BACEVICH – Here’s the strange thing for the self-proclaimed greatest power in history, the very one that, in this century, has been fighting a series of unending wars across significant parts of the planet: if you exclude Operation Urgent Fury, the triumphant invasion of the island Grenada in 1983, and Operation Just Cause, the largely unopposed invasion of Panama in 1989, Washington’s last truly successful war ended 74 years ago in August 1945 with the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japanese cities. Every war of even modest significance since — and they’ve been piling up — from the Korean and Vietnam wars to the ones in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Libya, and elsewhere in this century (and the last as well, in the cases of Afghanistan and Iraq) has either ended badly (Vietnam) or not at all (see above).
GEORGE BEEBE – Today, that old dread of disaster has all but disappeared, as have the systems that helped preclude it. But the actual threat of nuclear catastrophe is much greater than we realize. U.S. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle need to start addressing the danger.
CHRIS HEDGES – We must organize to replace existing structures of power with ones capable of coping with the crisis before us.
NICK ENGELFRIED – It began as a call to action from a group of youth activists scattered across the globe, and soon became what is shaping up to be the largest planet-wide protest for the climate the world has ever seen. The Global Climate Strike is the result of a whole new generation taking bold action and could be the turning point for grassroots resistance to fossil fuels.
DR. TIMMON WALLIS – President Trump violated the US Constitution when he unilaterally pulled the United States out of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty on August 2, 2019.
SAM HUSSEINI – A new film depicting the whistleblower Katherine Gun, who tried to stop the Iraq invasion, is largely accurate, but the story is not over, says Sam Husseini.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – On June 19, 2019, President Donald Trump bragged at his re-election kickoff rally in Orlando that, thanks to his leadership, the wages of American workers “are rising at the fastest rate in many decades.” The reality, however, is that they are not. Indeed, wages rose at a faster rate only a few years before, under his predecessor. And a key reason for the very limited wage increases since Trump entered the White House is his administration’s success in blocking any wage increases for some workers and in reducing wage increases for others.
STEPHEN M. WALT – American elites used to see war as a tragic necessity. Now they’re completely addicted to it.
DAVID SWANSON – Meet the corporations that could lose their federal contracts when President Sanders signs a new executive order protecting workers’ rights.
ALICE SLATER – August 6th and 9th mark 74 years since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where only one nuclear bomb dropped on each city caused the deaths of up to 146,000 people in Hiroshima and 80,000 people in Nagasaki. Now, with the US decision to walk away from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force (INF) negotiated with the Soviet Union, we are once again staring into the abyss of one of the most perilous nuclear challenges since the height of the Cold War.
DERRICK BROZE – “The United States is brokering land deals to enrich corporations and deprive the Shoshone of our lawful property rights and interests,” Ian Zabarte, a member of the Western Shoshone nation, says while sitting at his home in the Las Vegas area. Zabarte recently celebrated his 54th birthday and also marked 30 years of defending his community against the controversial Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste site.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – A serious part of a new consciousness concerning climate change must be addressing what it means to live as part of one global community that is in peril from the consequences of exploitative human behavior. This is not a mere moral abstraction, something to do because it’s right and good. We will disappear as a species if we don’t — no matter how much money we have.
GARETH PORTER – The U.S. news media’s coverage of the Iran nuclear issue has been woefully off-kilter for many years. Now, however, those same outlets are contributing to the serious crisis building between Washington and Tehran.
ALLEGRA HARPOOTLIAN – What if there’s an antiwar movement growing right under our noses and we just haven’t noticed? What if we don’t see it, in part, because it doesn’t look like any antiwar movement we’ve even imagined?
MEL GURTOV – The trade war with China that Trump so confidently predicted would result in a great new deal now threatens to become a permanent feature of US-China relations. Why that is likely may have less to do with the specific trade issues in dispute than with the vastly different negotiating styles and operating principles of the two countries’ leaderships.
JOHN HEID – “Don’t Label Me, An Incredible Conversation for Divided Times” (by Irshad Manji, St. Martin’s Press, 2019), opens with an invitation to expand our moral imagination and concludes with an 11-step “moral courage regimen.” The pages in-between read like a manifesto as radical, i.e. deeply rooted, as any I have come across in years. This is a book acutely for our times. Irshad Manji offers critical analysis, alongside a crash course in nonviolent engagement techniques. Theory and practice all in one. The content is as at once a life-size mirror and flashing red lights for the progressive left.
WIM LAVEN – The frustration I experience with dishonest politics reached a peak with Memorial Day this year. I saw protest signs and memes to the effect of: “Some gave all. All gave something. Trump gave nothing.” While it perfectly captured my frustration, it was oversimplified and failed to articulate the real failures.
NORMAN SOLOMON – Let’s be blunt: As a supposed friend of American workers, Joe Biden is a phony. And now that he’s running for president, Biden’s huge task is to hide his phoniness.
NORMAN SOLOMON – When Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell teamed up to invite NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to address a joint session of Congress, they had every reason to expect the April 3 speech to be a big hit with U.S. media and political elites. The establishment is eager to affirm the sanctity of support for the transatlantic military alliance. But huge reverence for NATO is matched by how dangerous NATO has become. NATO’s continual expansion — all the way to Russia’s borders — has significantly increased the chances that the world’s two nuclear superpowers will get into direct military conflict.
ANDREW MOSS – If the Democratic candidates hope to offer a comprehensive vision of what our immigration policy should be, it’s imperative that they shift the debate from sloganeering about the wall and “open borders” to a consideration of an underlying question: What priorities and values will guide our immigration policy in the coming years? Will we continue along the present path of increased militarization and incarceration, or will we forge policies guided by a vision of a more just society?
ALEX MCDONALD – Although the Iranian government has its problems, I saw greatness in its people. The people overwhelmingly were warm and welcoming. They repeatedly told us they love Americans but don’t like our government. So, let’s stand up against corruption in our government, like the influence of hostile forces trying to buy our politicians and use our military power. Let’s oppose governments rather than their people. Let’s use our American strengths for good, or even better, for Greatness.
MEL GURTOV – Trump was correct to describe denuclearization last June as a lengthy “process” that one summit meeting could not achieve. However, the second summit, in Hanoi at the end of February 2019, again showed that personal diplomacy divorced from an engagement process that incorporates flexibility and give-and-take raises the risk of failure.
By BBC News The US is rushing to transfer sensitive nuclear power technology to Saudi Arabia, according to a new congressional report. A Democratic-led House panel has launched an inquiry over concerns about the White House plan to build nuclear…
THOM HARTMANN – Ever since the media began, in a big way in the 1980s, to ignore actual news and go for highly dumbed-down or even salacious stories, many of us who work in the media have been astonished by this behavior by the network and cable news organizations and the major newspapers. They used to report the details of policy proposals in great detail (see this report from the 1970s about Richard Nixon’s proposal for universal health care, comparing his with Ted Kennedy’s, for example). But since the Reagan era, the networks have largely kept their coverage exclusively to personality, scandal, and horse race.
WILLIAM M. ARKIN – January 4 is my last day at NBC News and I’d like to say goodbye to my friends, hopefully not for good. This isn’t the first time I’ve left NBC, but this time the parting is more bittersweet, the world and the state of journalism in tandem crisis. My expertise, though seeming to be all the more central to the challenges and dangers we face, also seems to be less valued at the moment. And I find myself completely out of synch with the network, being neither a day-to-day reporter nor interested in the Trump circus.
EMILY MOON – Beatrice Fihn has spent 12 years working on a campaign to prohibit nuclear weapons, and, as she says, compiling rational arguments and scientific evidence, yet less informed strangers will still pick a fight. But, she adds, “I prefer to argue with politicians than people on the street.” Indeed, she has advanced her arguments and will never give up the fight.
PAUL STREET – The case for Trump’s ouster grows stronger by the week. Beyond his possible obstruction of justice, criminal acceptance of foreign emoluments while in office and felonious campaign finance violations—any one of which could provide grounds for legal proceedings against him—the president has routinely embraced authoritarian rulers around the world and engaged in obvious appeals to violence. He has, at every turn, revealed himself to be entirely unfit for office.
DAVID SWANSON – War is not necessary, not just, not survivable, not glorious. We need to leave the entire institution of war behind us. We need to create a world beyond war.
MEL GURTOV – America’s China problem is no longer about “managing China’s rise.” It is about finding ways to more deeply engage China on common problems, such as climate change and energy, while also establishing rules of the road to avoid military confrontations in the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait.
LYLE JEREMY RUBIN – Coming home from the Forever War can be difficult. Not long after returning from Afghanistan as a Marine officer in early 2011, I found myself feeling betrayed by compatriots who worshiped the idea of my service while refusing to confront what that service entailed. There is a chasm of awareness that often exists between veterans and civilians, especially during an age in which an all-volunteer military prosecutes never-ending wars, and in which those Americans who end up experiencing combat prove statistically negligible. It isn’t so much a chasm of awareness as a chasm of memory.
ANDREW MOSS – How do we transition from being a republic of fear to being an exemplar for other nations wrestling with issues of migration? And how, in redefining our identities as individuals and as a nation, do we come to see the border not as a site of separation and of threats, but as a place of coming together, as a site of possibility and creativity?
LAWRENCE WITTNER – Despite the soaring costs of attending American colleges and universities, their students are receiving an education that falls far short of the one experienced by earlier generations.
LEE CAMP – We live in a state of perpetual war, and we never feel it. While you get your gelato at the hip place where they put those cute little mint leaves on the side, someone is being bombed in your name. While you argue with the 17-year-old at the movie theater who gave you a small popcorn when you paid for a large, someone is being obliterated in your name. While we sleep and eat and make love and shield our eyes on a sunny day, someone’s home, family, life and body are being blown into a thousand pieces in our names. Once every 12 minutes.
POPULAR RESISTANCE – All of humanity is being put at risk by the duopoly of Democrats and Republicans opposition to dialogue with Russia. The combination of Russophobia and the Democratic Party’s compulsion to criticize Trump’s every action, even when he accidentally does something sensible, is preventing the two largest nuclear powers, with the two most advanced militaries in the world, from working together to create a safer and more secure world.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – People searching for an alternative to the nationalist and military alliance-driven approaches of the past would do well to consider strengthened global governance. It’s a foreign policy that has enormous potential for addressing current world problems, as well as substantial public support.
MEL GURTOV – Were it not for the source, it would hardly be news to learn that the United States can’t take care of its most needy—that it may be the richest country, but it is also increasingly, appallingly, unequal in how its wealth and opportunities are shared. When the various dimensions of human security are examined, critics have long noted that the US falls short, whether in treatment of children, poverty rates, income gaps between rich and poor, or even life expectancy. All this has been amply documented in annual reports of the United Nations Development Programme.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – Although many people have criticized the bizarre nature of Donald Trump’s diplomacy with North Korea, his recent love fest with Kim Jong Un does have the potential to reduce the dangers posed by nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula. Even so, buried far below the mass media coverage of the summit spectacle, the reality is that Trump―assisted by his military and civilian advisors―is busy getting the United States ready for nuclear war.
L.A. KAUFMANN – Quite suddenly, over the last week or so, something crucial has shifted in the mood of the grassroots resistance to Donald Trump. You can time it, more or less, to the release of that devastating recording of migrant children weeping for their parents after having been ripped from their arms, or the widely circulated photographs of children being held in cages. The unfolding horror of Trump’s family separation policy, and his administration’s plans for indefinite immigrant detention, is galvanizing people to fight back in a way that hasn’t yet happened under this presidency — specifically, with mass direct action.
ROBERT KOEHLER – We’re stuck, at least here in the USA, with a pseudo-democracy partially but not completely controlled by certain special interests. We possess a fair amount of freedom of thought and action. Maybe it’s not enough to dislodge the entrenched, money-blessed military-industrialism that is our ruling god — but maybe it is, if we can foment a Great Waking Up and start undoing the harm we have been inflicting on ourselves for so long now. The collapse of the Republican Party may signal that change is underway. So is the message from a few millennia back: Love thy enemy as thyself.
BRANKO MARCETIC – As much of the world celebrates a modest step towards peace in Korea, Western pundits seem to be panicking.
LINDA J. BILMES – Humpty Dumpty famously cannot be “put back together” again. For those who care about the environment, every day since Donald Trump took office is a Humpty Dumpty day — with something being broken beyond repair.
PATRICK HILLER – The May 8, 2018 announcement by U.S. President Trump to withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal is a disastrous decision, shredding successful diplomacy into pieces and paving the path toward destructive conflict and war. In his announcement, the President continued to display his utter ignorance of the nature and functioning of the deal.
RICH SCHECK – The Trump/May/Macron attack on Syria constituted a naked act of aggression in violation of the Nuremberg prohibitions making them prospective war criminals.