KYLE ANZALONE and WILL PORTER – Russia has offered to relax its blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, but only in exchange for sanctions relief from the West, amid fears that the war raging in Eastern Europe is driving a major international food crisis.
DRU OJA JAY – The Russian Federation governmentâ€™s decision to order an illegal invasion of Ukraine has created major military escalations, rapid realignments resembling a new cold war, and a bonanza for arms dealers.
BARNEY FRANK – There were so many encouraging signs for liberals in the election results this year that one of the most significant has been overlooked.
MICHAEL MOORE – I don’t support the troops, America, and neither do you.
TOM HASTINGS – I’m a peace person, as are my friends. I am striving to be nonviolent and have tried to learn nonviolence for years. I can point to alternatives to guns, I can argue against them, and that’s about it. What we need — what would dramatically change our national discourse on this — is for gun owners to stand up and tell the rest of us, “We no longer want our possessions to be regarded under our Constitution as sacred and above the law. We reject the kneejerk response from the NRA and the gun industry every time there is a tragedy. Not once — never, ever one single time — have they admitted that guns can ever be a problem and are just things that should be subjected to laws like anything else.”
LAURA FINLEY – The root problem underlying the Sandy Hook mass shooting tragedy is that the U.S. is a violent, militaristic culture that, in virtually every institution, demonstrates violence as a means of solving problems.
RANDY SCHUTT – ilitary spending (inflation-adjusted) has nearly doubled in the past 12 years, from $361.3 billion in FY2000 to $610.9 billion in FY2012. This massive increase has taken place during a time when the United States has the most powerful military ever in history and when we have no significant military enemies. The U.S. spends more on the military than the next 14 countries combined and vastly more than any possible enemies: roughly 5 times more than China, 10 times more than Russia, and 95 times more than Iran.
DAVID MCREYNOLDS – We should be reminded, in looking at anything involving Netanyahu, that we are not dealing with an “ordinary” head of state, but with a man of the far right. His late father was an open racist whose comments about the Palestinians are fully the equal of the Nazi views of the Jews, and was a follower of the Jabotinsky movement – the extreme right of the Zionist movement (Jabotinsky worked with Mussolini before WW II). The Israeli Prime Minister is truly his father’s son.
JEFF MERKLEY – This letter is a reply from Sen. Jeff Merkley to PeaceWorker Editor Peter Bergel in response to Bergelâ€™s request that Merkley support major cuts to the military budget during the upcoming â€œfiscal cliffâ€ debate, rather than allow cuts to social security, medicare, or other remaining components of the safety net. Letâ€™s hold Merkley to this encouraging approach.
ALLISON BARRIE – Lurking (and leaking) beneath the world’s oceans are an estimated 200 million pounds of unexploded and potentially dangerous explosives — from bombs to missiles to mustard gas. Texas A&M oceanographers William Bryant and Niall Slowey documented two such dumpsites in the Gulf of Mexico recently. They conservatively guess that at least 31 million pounds of bombs can be found not just in the Gulf, but also off the coasts of at least 16 states, from New Jersey to Hawaii.
DAVID SWANSON – Almost 10,000 Americans have sent messages to the Italian Embassy in Washington thanking Italy’s high court for upholding the conviction of 23 Americans (22 CIA officers and one military official) for the offense of kidnapping a man off the street in Milan on February 17, 2003, and shipping him to Egypt to be brutally tortured.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – In the midst of a nationwide election campaign in which many politicians trumpet their support for the buildup and employment of U.S. military power around the world, the American publicâ€™s disagreement with such measures is quite remarkable. Indeed, many signs point to the fact that most Americans want to avoid new wars, reduce military spending, and support international cooperation.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – The Republican Party has stood up with remarkable consistency for the post-9/11 U.S. government policies of widespread surveillance, indefinite detention without trial, torture, and extraordinary rendition. It has also supported government subsidies for religious institutions, government restrictions on immigration and free passage across international boundaries, government denial of collective bargaining rights for public sector workers, government attacks on public use of public space (for example, the violent police assaults on the Occupy movement), and government interference with womenâ€™s right to abortion and doctorsâ€™ right to perform it.
ERIN NIEMELA – About a week ago I had the unfortunate experience of being followed off a bus on a dark corner. The man who followed me made it clear that he intended harm â€“ even growling at me as I hastened into a nearby open market. The experience was benign compared to many others Iâ€™ve had, but it compelled me to revisit my understanding of and beliefs in feminism.
ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU – â€œStars Earn Stripesâ€ is not just another reality show. Hosted by retired four-star general Wesley Clark, the program pairs minor celebrities with US military personnel and puts them through simulated military training, including some live fire drills and helicopter drops. The official NBC website for the show touts â€œthe fast-paced competitionâ€ as â€œpay[ing] homage to the men and women who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces and our first-responder services.â€
PATRICK HILLER – In 1951 the U.S. gs partovernmentâ€™s Civil Defense Branch produced the film Duck and Cover. … Even at that time the usefulness of the proposed duck-and-cover maneuver in the face of the utter annihilation arising from a nuclear blast was questioned.
ADAM KLASFELD – A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction to block provisions of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that would allow the military to indefinitely detain anyone it accuses of knowingly or unknowingly supporting terrorism.
ERIN E NIEMELA – As the NATO summit approaches in May, throngs of peace protestors are expected to descend on Chicago to pressure the U.S.-led, 28-nation military alliance for an end to the war in Afghanistan. But for some activists, it will be too late to protest the greatest threat to a peaceful Afghanistan: the signing of the U.S.-Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement.
CRAIG CLINE – Former Vice President Dick Cheney is the fortunate beneficiary of a heart transplant. I hope his new heart has more compassion than his old one did.
EDITOR’S NOTE – This article adds to the peace movementâ€™s usual analysis, which views control of oil supplies as the driving force behind U.S. policy toward Iran, the notion that nuclear nonproliferation might actually be the prime objective. Whether or not you believe that nonproliferation is the most important aspect, it is reasonable to believe that it does play an important role, as author Jonathan Schell maintains.
REBECCA GRIFFIN – Tell your representative and senators to oppose bills that bring us closer to war with Iran, and to support diplomacy.
JOSH LEVS – The U.S. Defense Department cannot account for about $2 billion it was given to cover Iraq-related expenses and is not providing Iraq with a complete list of U.S.-funded reconstruction projects, according to two new government audits.
DAVID SWANSON – The City Council of Charlottesville, Virginia, home of Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and the University of Virginia, passed on Tuesday evening, January 17, 2012, a resolution believed to be a first in the country, opposing the launching of a war on Iran, as well as calling for an end to current ground and drone wars engaged in by the United States and urging Congress and the President of the United States to significantly reduce military spending.
NAOMI WOLF – I never thought I would have to write this: but – incredibly – Congress has now passed the National Defense Appropriations Act, with Amendment 1031, which allows for the military detention of American citizens. The amendment is so loosely worded that any American citizen could be held without due process.
MICHAEL LERNER – Call Mayor Bloomberg of NYC, Mayor Jean Quan of Oakland, or whoever is your mayor and suggest that they support the Occupy movement by providing encouragement to social workers, teachers, clergy and others to go down to the Occupy encampments and volunteer time and energy to help those who badly need this support!!
DAVID SWANSON – Weaponized UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), also known as drones, have their own caucus in Congress, and the Pentagonâ€™s plan is to give them their own state as well.
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH – Libyan rebels have entered Tripoli. As gun battles break out across the city, it is timely to enter into a discussion as to how the rebels arrived there. It is time to review the curious role of NATO and the future of U.S. interventionism.
REP. KURT SCHRADER – Rep. Kurt Schrader joined 94 other members of the House in sending the following letter to President Barack Obama urging him to remove all U.S. troops by this yearâ€™s end. â€“ Ed.
PATRICK T. HILLER – A new, citizen-driven nonviolent reality is emerging in the escalated war on drugs in Mexico.
NORMAN SOLOMON – In times of war, U.S. presidents have often talked about yearning for peace. But the last decade has brought a gradual shift in the rhetorical zeitgeist while a tacit assumption has taken hold — war must go on, one way or another.
DAVID SWANSON – The New York Times has posted seven super-short columns on how to cut the U.S. military. All seven seem to support cutting the military in one way or another. That’s excellent, and I don’t mean to complain, but . . . .
LAWRENCE J. KORB – Like jilted lovers, the U.S. military and many of those who got U.S. into the senseless invasion of Iraq have been pressing the Iraqi government to change its mind about removing all U.S. troops by the December 2011 deadline.
PETER BERGEL: The government and the Pentagon are right. Our national security is definitely at risk. Afghanistan? Iraq? Al Qaeda? Small potatoes. Yemen? Iran? Even smaller. Nope, the big threats are not military. Nor can they be addressed by the military.