Tag: President Biden

Loose Lips Can Sink Peace 

MEL GURTOV – During World War II, US sailors were warned: Loose lips sink ships. A similar warning should have gone out to all US officials in recent days—and the President should have been the first to acknowledge that the warning included him. Because thanks to loose lips in Washington, the US is contributing to Vladimir Putin’s propaganda, and possibly still worse, to a direct confrontation with Moscow.

Why Won’t Europe Call for an End to This War?

BOAVENTURA DE SOUSA SANTOS – When armed conflicts take place in Africa or in the Middle East, Europe’s leaders are the first to call for a cessation of hostilities and to declare the urgent need for peace negotiations. Why is it then that when a war occurs in Europe, the drums of war beat incessantly, and not a single leader calls for them to be silenced and for the voice of peace to be heard?

Intelligence Professionals Warn Biden Against Ukraine War’s Existential Dangers

VETERAN INTELLIGENCE PROFESSIONALS FOR SANITY (VIPS) – Mainstream media have marinated the minds of most Americans in a witches’ brew of misleading information on Ukraine – and on the exceedingly high stakes of the war. On the chance you are not getting the kind of “untreated” intelligence President Truman hoped for by restructuring intelligence, we offer below a 12-point factsheet. Some of us were intelligence analysts during the Cuban missile crisis and see a direct parallel in Ukraine. As to VIPs’ credibility, our record since Jan. 2003 – whether on Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, or Russia – speaks for itself.

Stumbling into the ‘Sacrifice Trap’

DR. ANN FRISCH – Kenneth Boulding, professor, philosopher, poet, economist and peace researcher, is looking  on, almost 30 years after his death. Leaders of the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and US are locked into what Boulding called the ‘sacrifice trap’: their identities and images of who they are leave aside the realities of the real cost of war.  

Can Iran and the U.S. Breathe Life Back Into Nuclear Deal?

PRABIR PURKAYASTHA – The possibility of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—or the Iran nuclear deal—being revived, though difficult, seems to have brightened in February 2022. The U.S. may now also believe that the potential loss of Russian natural gas and oil due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war needs to be offset by Iran returning to the global oil market.

Biden Promised Nuclear-Policy Reform. He’s Not Delivering.

JOSEPH CIRINCIONE – On the campaign trail and in strategy documents, President Biden committed to a new focus on arms control — and to a reconsideration of dangerous policies. News reports suggest his review of the U.S. nuclear posture will be disappointing. So, what can be done to alter this outcome, and who is working toward changing decision makers’ minds ?

No War with Russia! No Expansion of NATO!

MASSACHUSETTS PEACE ACTION – The US has just managed to extract itself from a 20-year war in Afghanistan. Does our government seriously want to embark on another war? Since 2001, our long, bloody, fruitless interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Pakistan have cost thousands of US lives, hundreds of thousands of civilian lives in those countries, and $6.4 trillion.

China Gives Oomph to Russia’s ‘Nyet’ on NATO

RAY MCGOVERN – Fourteen years ago today, when then-ambassador to Russia William Burns, in an IMMEDIATE cable titled “Nyet Means Nyet: Russia’s NATO Enlargement Redlines,” reported Moscow’s warning that NATO membership for Ukraine would cross a red line, the Russians could do little more than grouse. Enter from left stage Chinese President Xi Jinping last year with the shot of adrenalin Putin needed to make “Nyet” stick. Under-Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and her protégé Antony Blinken seem to be in the dark about the close ties between Russia and China represented by such give and take between the two countries.

Can the US and China Cooperate Around Cobalt Mining?

MEL GURTOV – Cobalt is a valuable mineral that is the subject of intense international competition. Not a new subject: In past times copper, uranium, and rare earth metals have had center stage. Recall the controversy over “blood diamonds”—diamond mining that helped fund civil wars in Africa. More recently we have lithium in Bolivia, where Chinese, American, and other countries’ firms are seeking to gain the upper hand on a mineral that is vital in electrical products. There’s still another battle, this one over cobalt, which is also an essential mineral in cell phones but especially in electric car batteries.

Biden Restores Bears Ears and Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monuments

WES SILER – Today [Oct. 8, 2021], President Biden announced that he’s restoring the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monuments in Utah, as well as the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean to the areas and protections that were in place before Donald Trump massively cut them. The move fulfills a campaign promise, protects sensitive historic sites and fragile ecosystems, preserves air and water quality for local communities, keeps coal and oil in the ground, and listens to the voice of Indigenous people on the eve of Indigenous People’s Day. 

So Long, CENTCOM, and Good Riddance!

ANDREW BACEVICH – Recognizing that the safety and well-being of the American people do not require sustaining a regional U.S. military command that fancies itself called upon to determine the fate of 560 million inhabitants in 21 different countries might just offer a path toward regaining sobriety. After all, recovery begins with taking that first step.

A ‘Strategic Apocalypse’ in Afghanistan: A Seismic Shift, Years in the Making

ALISTAIR CROOKE – A huge geo-political event has just occurred in Afghanistan: The implosion of a key western strategy for managing what Mackinder, in the 19th century, called the Asian heartland. That it was accomplished, without fighting, and in few days, is almost unprecedented. As a consequence, among other “seismic shifts,” China is more determined to shape the region than many analysts realize.

Biden Acknowledges “Over the Horizon” Air Attacks Planned Against Taliban

NICK MOTTERN – On July 2, fleeing questions from reporters about U.S. plans in Afghanistan, President Joe Biden sought refuge behind the July 4th Independence Day holiday, yet obliquely acknowledged that the U.S. will use some level of “over the horizon” air attacks to prevent the Taliban from taking power, attacks that will include drones and manned aircraft, possibly even B-52s.

Is the Biden-Putin Summit Doomed?

RAY MCGOVERN – Whether or not Official Washington fully appreciates the gradual – but profound – change in America’s triangular relationship with Russia and China over recent decades, what is clear is that the US has made itself into the big loser. The triangle may still be equilateral, but it is now, in effect, two sides against one.

The Biden Administration Needs A Kinder, Gentler Foreign Policy

DR. MARC PILISUK – In a world increasingly threatened by nuclear annihilation, there is need for a new vision in which adherence to the values of peace with justice and environmental sustainability are prominent. This goes with support for the international institutions supporting them like the World Health Organization, UNESCO and the International Criminal Court. The outmoded world of aggressive gamesmanship will need dramatic U.S. reformist initiatives if it is ever to change.

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.

Rahm Emanuel is in the Running for a Top Ambassador Post. The Prospect is Appalling.

JEFF COHEN and NORMAN SOLOMON – Rahm Emanuel has never been associated with the word “diplomatic,” but news reports say that President Biden is seriously considering him for a top position as U.S. ambassador to Japan or China. Naming Emanuel to such a post would be an affront to many of the constituencies that got Biden elected. The saga of Emanuel’s three decades in politics is an epic tale of methodical contempt for progressive values.

Ending the Other War in Yemen

BRIAN TERRELL – It is refreshing to hear a U.S. president at least recognize that the Yemeni people are suffering an “unendurable devastation” and this is due to the hard work of grassroots peace activists around the world. Whether President Biden’s proclamation will mean much in the real world beyond a temporary hold on the weapons deals Trump made just before leaving office is yet to be seen.

Biden Takes Huge Step to Put Values First with Yemen Decision

KATE KIZER – “President Biden’s expected decision to end offensive U.S. military support in Yemen is a momentous victory. We, along with all those who have for years fought U.S. complicity in the catastrophic war in Yemen, are thrilled that this day is finally here. We commend the Biden administration for following through on its campaign promise.

A Progressive Agenda for Biden’s Foreign Policy

MEL GURTOV – The predominant direction of a progressive US president should be toward “Making America Safe for the World.” 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.

Democrats, Here’s How to Lose in 2022. And Deserve It.

EZRA KLEIN – Democrates have two years to prove that the American political system can work. Two years to show Trumpism was an experiment that need not be repeated. Two years. This is the responsibility the Democratic majority must bear: If they fail or falter, they will open the door for Trumpism or something like it to return, and there is every reason to believe it will be far worse next time. To stop it, Democrats need to reimagine their role. They cannot merely defend the political system. They must rebuild it.