ELLIOT NEGIN – For more than two decades, Koch-controlled foundations spent more than $160 million to stymie government action on climate change
MEL GURTOV – Despite the best efforts of the Israeli government under Benjamin Netanyahu to disrupt the nuclear talks with Iran by attacking Iranâ€™s nuclear computer network, the news out of Geneva is that a new agreement is close to being signed. It has been a very rough road to get thereâ€”a road worth recalling because among that agreementâ€™s accomplishments will be resumption of multilateral diplomacy with the US at the table.
MEL GURTOV – The predominant direction of a progressive US president should be toward â€œMaking America Safe for the World.â€ That means focusing on domestic problems rather than on foreign policy crusading, relying on diplomacy before making threats and imposing sanctions, redefining the national interest with an eye toward real friends and urgent issues, and finding common ground with adversaries, starting with China, while remaining faithful to our ideals.
RUSSELL VANDENBROUCKE – What term should citizens apply to Secretary of State Mike Pompeoâ€™s half-truths, insinuations, and misleading assertions about Palestine and Palestinian aspirations and negotiating stances, especially when repeated insistently enough by government officials to become enshrined, not simply as the party line, but as truth itself? How do we speak truth to power when power hunkers inside an echo chamber where it hears only its own truth?
MEL GURTOV – The President of the United States is a criminal. Iâ€™m not referring to the twenty-odd investigations of him currently underway for violations of the Constitution, obstruction of justice, and collaboration with the Russian election attack, among other misdeeds. No, Iâ€™m referring to his and his administrationâ€™s intentional and reckless pursuit of national policies that condemn American and the worldâ€™s citizens to environmental destruction and the end of life as we know it.
MEL GURTOV – Trump has authorized the dispatch of 1500 additional troops to the Middle East and the sale of several billion dollars in â€œprecision-guidedâ€ weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The arms sale is being made without Congressional authorization or consultation, on the argument (made by Pompeo) that an â€œextreme emergencyâ€ eliminates the legal requirement to make the case to Congress. But there is no emergency.
MEL GURTOV – This US policy of regime change in Iran is absolutely inexcusable: It is aggressive and baseless, oblivious to diplomacy, and guaranteed to cause untold hardship and chaos for the people of the region.
POPULAR-RESISTANCE – On Friday, December 14, President Trump had another long phone call with the Turkish President Erdogan. Thereafter he overruled all his advisors and decided to remove the U.S. boots from Syria and to also end the air war. This was the first time Trump took a decisive stand against the borg, the permanent neoconservative and interventionist establishment in his administration, the military and congress, that usually dictates U.S. foreign policy. It was this decision, and that he stuck to it, which finally made him presidential.
ROBERT KOEHLER – Whenever the topic is nuclear weapons, I remain in a state of disbelief that we can talk about them â€œstrategicallyâ€ â€” that language allows us to maintain such a distance from the reality of what they do, we can casually debate their use.
MEL GURTOV – With the appointments of Mike Pompeo as secretary of state and John Bolton as national security adviser, Donald Trump has signaled his preparedness by the May 12 deadline to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and ramp up pressure on North Korea if it refuses to denuclearize. The two moves would have interactive consequences.