UN General Assembly Approves Historic Resolution

TONY ROBINSON – On December 23, 2016, the United Nations General Assembly approved an historic resolution to launch negotiations in 2017 on a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. The vote follows a decision on 27 October, 2016, by the General Assembly’s First Committee – which deals with disarmament and international security matters – to begin work on the new treaty despite fervent opposition from some nuclear-armed nations.

A Visit to Russia for “Life Extension” of the Planet

BRIAN TERRELL – The life extension of our planet needs to be a universal goal. To speak of, let alone pour a nation’s wealth into a program of “life extension programs for weapon systems” is nothing short of madness. Our Russian friends’ confidence in our collective sanity and the steadiness of our leadership, especially in the wake of the recent election, is a great challenge. I am grateful to new friends for the warmth and generosity of their welcome and I hope to visit Russia again before long. As important and satisfying as these “citizen diplomatic” encounters are, however, we must honor these friendships through active resistance to the arrogance and exceptionalism that might lead the U.S. to a war that could destroy us all.

U.S. Military Contractors Tell Investors Russian Threat Is Great for Business

LEE FANG – The escalating anti-Russian rhetoric in the U.S. presidential campaign comes in the midst of a major push by military contractors to position Moscow as a potent enemy that must be countered with a drastic increase in military spending by NATO countries. Weapon makers have told investors that they are relying on tensions with Russia to fuel new business in the wake of Russian’s annexation of Crimea and modest increases in its military budget.

Abolish NATO

TOM MAYER – A passionate denunciation of NATO is given by Dennis J. Halliday, former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General (1994-98): “NATO as it expands today is absolutely not what the world of struggling economies and deprived populations require. It is nothing, but a negative force. It is undermining an already fragile United Nations. NATO has not been appointed policeman for the globe. It is self-serving, lacks integrity, has demonstrated its leadership cannot be trusted and creates nothing positive. It only yields destruction and human poverty, insecurity and misery. NATO must be abolished!”

U.S. Plans to Saturate Globe With Weapons

DAVID SWANSON – As the United States and NATO antagonize Russia, and pressure NATO members to buy more weapons, and showcase U.S. weapons in numerous wars, and use every carrot and stick in the State Department to market U.S. weapons, an “official” who happens to have been located at a giant weapons trade show predicts that of its own accord “demand” for weaponry is going to grow. Here’s Reuters’ first sentence: “International demand for U.S. weapons systems is expected to continue growing in coming years, a senior U.S. Air Force official said on Sunday, citing strong interest in unmanned systems, munitions and fighter jets.”

How Nonviolence is Building Trust in Afghanistan

KATHY KELLY – Here in Kabul, I read a recent BBC op-ed by Ahmed Rashid, urging a “diplomatic offensive” to build or repair relationships with the varied groups representing armed extremism in Afghanistan. Rashid has insisted, for years, that severe mistrust makes it almost impossible for such groups to negotiate an end to Afghanistan’s nightmare of war. U.S. people should earnestly ask how the U.S. could help build trust here in Afghanistan, and, as a first step, begin transferring funds from the coffers of weapon companies to the UN accounts trying to meet humanitarian needs. The “giant” could be seen stooping, humbly, to help plant seeds, hoping for a humane harvest.

Former OPW Director on Peace Mission to Russia

PETER BERGEL – As some of you know, I’ll leave on June 15 to join a citizen diplomacy peace delegation to Russia for two weeks. I will take with me a peace message from the mayor and mayor-elect of Salem, OR and will, I hope, bring back peace messages from Russian citizens, decision-makers, academicians and journalists. I will also listen carefully to the Russians’ concerns, especially those that concern our own country.

DAVID SWANSON – In the early 1980s almost nobody from the United States traveled to the Soviet Union or vice versa. The Soviets wouldn’t let anybody out, and good Americans were disinclined to visit the Evil Empire. But a woman in California named Sharon Tennison took the threat of nuclear war with the seriousness it deserved and still deserves. She got a group of friends together and asked the Russian consulate for permission to visit Russia, make friends, and learn.

NATO’s Dangerous Game: Bear-Baiting Russia

CONN HALLINAN – “Aggressive,” “revanchist,” “swaggering”: These are just some of the adjectives the mainstream press and leading U.S. and European political figures are routinely inserting before the words “Russia,” or “Vladimir Putin.” It is a vocabulary most Americans have not seen or heard since the height of the Cold War. The question is, why?

Obama and Osama: Where Does the Truth Lie?

IBRAHIM S. BAHATI – Since Osama bin Laden’s death 2 May 2011, the official account of the Navy Seals’ raid has been challenged, most recently and cogently by journalist Seymour Hersh, alleging that “Washington’s official account of the hunt for Bin Laden and the raid that led to his death was a lie.” In fact, there have been more “conspiracy-factual theories” about this event than there are on Illuminati. Was OBL there? Was he even alive then? Is he still?

How Obama’s Aggression in Ukraine Risks Nuclear War

ROBERT ROTH – I voted for Barack Obama for president twice, for one reason: I thought he would not get us into a nuclear war. Now I’m afraid even that reason for my vote is wearing thin, threatened by US and NATO aggression in Ukraine. As the US continues threatening to send so-called “defensive” weapons to the Ukraine government and to impose yet more economic sanctions against Russia – despite the recent ceasefire agreement beginning to take hold – the prospect of Armageddon by accident increases. Moreover, Russian president Vladimir Putin has said he would (understandably) regard the US arming the Ukrainian military an act of war, to which Russia would respond. I don’t think that means he would resort to nuclear weapons, at least initially. But if the already tense situation continues to heat up, anything could happen.

Three Members of Congress Just Reignited the Cold War While No One Was Looking

DENNIS KUCINICH – Late Thursday night [December 11], the House of Representatives unanimously passed a far-reaching Russia sanctions bill, a hydra-headed incubator of poisonous conflict. The second provocative anti-Russian legislation in a week, it further polarizes our relations with Russia, helping to cement a Russia-China alliance against Western hegemony, and undermines long-term America’s financial and physical security by handing the national treasury over to war profiteers.

America is on a “Hot War Footing”: House Legislation Paves the Way for War with Russia?

MICHAL CHOSSUDOVSKY – America is on a war footing. While a World War Three Scenario has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for more than ten years, military action against Russia is now contemplated at an “operational level.” Similarly, both the Senate and the House have introduced enabling legislation which provides legitimacy to the conduct of a war against Russia. We are not dealing with a “Cold War.” None of the safeguards of the Cold War era prevail. There has been a breakdown in East-West diplomacy coupled with extensive war propaganda. In turn the United Nations has turned a blind eye to extensive war crimes committed by the Western military alliance.

Germany Does Something the U.S. Hasn’t for Peace

DAVID SWANSON – Imagine a letter co-signed by former presidents, former representatives from both sides of the aisle, House speakers, former governors, attorneys general, cabinet members, ambassadors, CEOs, movie stars and directors, writers, astronauts, religious leaders, mayors, academics, mainstream media correspondents, and more — all united in stating “Nobody wants war.” Imagine the New York Times publishing this letter. The equivalent happened in Germany just a few days ago.

Five Rules on Which to Base Authentic Security and a World at Peace

KENT SHIFFERD – The latest border changes in Ukraine are just another replay of too many past scenarios: the breakup of former Yugoslavia, East Timor, Chechnya, the Sudetenland Crisis of the 1930s, and the centuries-long back and forth of the Alsace and Lorraine between France and Germany. If we could base the resolution of these types of conflict on recognizing the five principles outlined here, we could greatly reduce the dangers of civil and interstate war.

Possible GOP Ultimatum to Putin Too Much for True Conservatives

PAT BUCHANAN – Editor’s Note: “Who would have thought The PeaceWorker would run an article by conservative Pat Buchanan? Read it and you’ll see why.” July 28, 2014 – With the party united, the odds are now at least even that the GOP will not only hold the House but also capture the Senate in November. But before traditional conservatives cheer that prospect, they might take a closer look at the foreign policy that a Republican Senate would seek to impose upon the nation.

“Who Speaks for Earth?”

WINSLOW MYERS – Few people remember them today, but there were significant global leadership initiatives in the 1980s against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The dawn of the nuclear era had coincided with the beginning of the Cold War. People in the United States and their leaders viewed the world through the lens of East-West cold war superpower tensions, reinforced by the rigid dualistic convictions of officials like John Foster Dulles, U.S. Secretary of State from 1953 to 1959. A quarter century further into the cold war era, nearly 200 less powerful nations came to realize that a superpower nuclear exchange was potentially just as life threatening to them as to the superpowers themselves.

Peace Movements’ Common Vision: The Abolition of Militarism

MAIREAD CORRIGAN MAGUIRE – We are all aware that this is the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo which led to the start of the First World War in l9l4. What started here in Sarajevo was a century of two global wars, a Cold War, a century of immense, rapid explosion of death and destruction technology, all extremely costly, and extremely risky. A huge step in the history of war, but also a decisive turning point in the history of peace.

How Disarmament Activists Saved the World from Nuclear War

LAWRENCE WITTNER – The conventional explanation for nuclear restraint by the relatively small number of nations possessing nuclear weapons is that the danger posed by these weapons has “deterred” nations from waging nuclear war and, overall, has created a situation of nuclear safety. But something is missing from the conventional explanation. The missing ingredient is a massive grassroots movement: one that has mobilized millions of people in nations around the globe: the world nuclear disarmament movement. This is the text of a talk delivered by Dr. Wittner in May 2013 to the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Ottawa.

Moral Obscenities in Syria: Who Benefits?

PHYLLIS BENNIS and DAVID WILDMAN – The threat of a reckless, dangerous, and illegal US or US-led assault on Syria is looking closer than ever. . . . The US government has been divided over the Syria crisis since it began. . . . But the situation is changing rapidly, and the Obama administration appears to be moving closer to direct military intervention. That would make the dire situation in Syria inestimably worse.

U.S.-Afghan Strategic Partnership: Where Are the Voices of Afghan Citizens?

ERIN E. NIEMELA – While the U.S.-Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement is supposed to ensure a secure and sovereign Afghanistan beyond the U.S. withdrawal in 2014, it does not take into account the opinions of those who will most likely be affected by its implementation – the Afghan people. Without their support, the partnership is more likely to inhibit the realization of a peaceful and secure Afghanistan.

FBI Raids Homes of Occupy Protesters in Oregon and Washington

TOM CARTER – Over the last month, heavily armed “domestic terrorism” units of the FBI used battering rams and stun grenades to conduct early-morning raids on the homes of political protesters in Seattle and Olympia, Washington and Portland, Oregon. On July 25, three homes were raided in Portland alone and, since July 10, as many as six homes have been raided.
These raids are only the latest in an emerging pattern of similar raids conducted by the Obama administration in order to terrorize, suppress and chill political dissent, in flagrant violation of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Syria: Only Diplomacy Can Stop the War

PHYLLIS BENNIS – Syria is close to full-scale civil war. If the conflict escalates further, as former UN Secretary-General and current envoy of both the UN and the Arab League Kofi Annan noted: “Syria is not Libya, it will not implode, it will explode beyond its borders.”

Chicago Prepares an Iron Fist for NATO/G8 Protests

BRIAN TERRELL – On January 25, the host committee for the G8/NATO summit in Chicago in May unveiled a new slogan for the event, “The Global Crossroads.” The mood of the organizers is upbeat and positive. This is a grand opportunity to market Chicago with an eye for the tourist dollar and the city is ready, the committee assures us, to deal with any “potential problems.”

Cynthia McKinney Reports from Libya Under NATO Attack

CYNTHIA MCKINNEY – While serving on the House International Relations Committee from 1993 to 2003, it became clear to me that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was an anachronism. Founded in 1945 at the end of World War II, NATO was founded by the United States in response to the Soviet Union’s survival as a Communist state. NATO was the U..S. insurance policy that capitalist ownership and domination of European, Asian, and African economies would continue. This also would ensure the survival of the then-extant global apartheid.

Withdrawal Issues: What NATO Countries Say About the Future of Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Europe

SUSI SNYDER and WILBERT VAN DER ZEIJDEN – For decades, the U.S. has deployed nuclear weapons on the territories of NATO allies in Europe. Now, about 200 of these weapons remain – in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey. The weapons were originally intended to be used to put up a wall of radiation to block a ground invasion from the Warsaw Pact. Their type and numbers were greatly reduced at the end of the Cold War, but they have not been completely eliminated. Yet.

West Plots to Supplant United Nations with Global NATO

RICK ROZOFF: Ten years ago it first became evident to the world that moves were afoot in major Western capitals to circumvent, subvert and ultimately supplant the United Nations, as the U.N. could not always be counted on to act in strict accordance with the dictates of the United States and its NATO allies. At that time in 1999 the NATO alliance was waging what would become a 78-day bombing war against Yugoslavia in flagrant contravention of the United Nations and of international law in general.