ANDREW COCKBURN – Sometimes the naked pursuit of self-interest is unabashed, and certain policies or war is pursued, but even when the real object of the exercise is camouflaged as â€œforeign policyâ€ or â€œstrategy,â€ no observer should ever lose sight of the most important question: Cui bono? Who benefits?
JESSICA CORBETT – Indigenous and environmental activists fighting against the Line 3 tar sands pipeline were outraged Thursday, June 24, after the Biden administration filed a legal brief backing the federal government’s 2020 approval of the project under former President Donald Trump.
GREG PALAST and ZACH D. ROBERTS – With Georgia voters to decide control of the United States Senate in a special run-off on January 5, GOP officials appear to be doing all they can to make voting for African-Americans a hellacious experience.
KOLBY KICKINGWOMAN – A federal judge has ordered the Dakota Access Pipeline to shut down and remove all oil within 30 days, a huge win for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, and the other plaintiffs.
CHLOE FARAND – IEA head Fatih Birol is calling on heads of state and international financial institutions to make coronavirus recovery plans sustainable.
MARIE SOLIS – Naomi Klein explains how governments and the global elite will exploit a pandemic.
BOB TOPPER – The religious right has changed what it means to be a conservative. And the religious right seems hell-bent on dictating â€œtheir moral convictions to all Americans in the name of â€˜conservatism,â€™â€ as they try to rewrite American history, and change the meaning of the Constitution. Should they succeed, it will be sad day for everyone,â€¦Christians included.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – The people do not want war, but right now we have almost no say in the matter. A future without war will not be an easy birth. We must continue learning how to become a democracy.
YOTAM MAROM and GEORGE LAKEY – A worried young organizer confronts a movement elder who believes that now â€” in the midst of deep crisis â€” is our best chance to make big progressive change.
CHRIS HEDGES – There is zero chance Trump will be removed from office in a trial in the Senate. The Democratic Party elites have admitted as much. They carried out, they argue, their civic and constitutional duty. But here again they lie. They picked out what was convenient to impeach Trump and left untouched the rotten system they helped create. The divisions among Americans will only widen. The hatreds will only grow. And tyranny will wrap its deadly tentacles around our throats.
JON QUEALLY – ‘Make America 36th Out of 41 Developed Nations Again’: Social Justice Index of Developed Nations Puts US Near Bottom.
WIM LAVEN – I get accused of â€œbeing over-the-topâ€ and using hyperbole by conservative friends and acquaintances with increasing frequency. This is caused, in large part, by me being a vocal and active contributor to the public discourse about issues of peace and justice. I am called a â€œsnowflakeâ€ for responding to those who supportâ€”or even promoteâ€”rape culture. My conservative friends say they cannot take me seriously, which is frustrating, but at least it is honest. The question is: how seriously should we consider the statements others make?
LAWRENCE WITTNER – Despite the upbeat words from Americaâ€™s billionaire president about the â€œeconomic miracleâ€ he has produced, economic inequality in the United States is on the rise.
GRAHAM E. FULLER – After some eight years of civil conflict, the situation in Syria is basically reverting to the pre-conflict norm.
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.
ANDREW MOSS – Considering the magnitude and urgency of human suffering involved in the situation of asylum seekers, the larger task ahead will be to foster a rights awareness that will lead to genuine, substantive change in the foreseeable future.
DAVID SWANSON – Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange’s arrest at the Ecuadorian embassy in London raises serious concerns. Here are ten reasons he should be freed.
FRIDA BERRIGAN – Nuclear weapons ruined my life. And I wouldnâ€™t have it any other way. In fact, I hope they are ruining your life too. Because that is the only way we are going to get rid of them. Editor note: This intimate, first person account is a must-read for everyone (and beyond) who cares about the fight to end the existence of nuclear weapons and nuclear power.
DAVID SWANSON – Back before Donald Trump was inaugurated, I wrote an article called â€œFantasies About Russia Could Doom Opposition to Trump.â€ Perhaps it is less quixotic, or perhaps it is more, to hope that, after more than two years of being barraged with those fantasies, but with their main focus having publicly flopped, more people will now be open to trying something else. That pre-inauguration article read: â€œTrump should be impeached on Day 1, but the same Democrats who found the one nominee who could lose to Trump will find the one argument for impeachment that can explode in their own faces. . . . Meanwhile, we have a man planning to be president later this month whose business dealings clearly violate . . .
DAVID SWANSON – Peter Navarro’s op-ed “Why America Needs a Stronger Defense Industry” argues that “Investing in the sector means more jobs at home and improved security abroad.” Studies, analyses and straightforward observation prove otherwise.
STEPHEN F. COHEN – War With Russia?, like the biography of a living person, is a book without an end. The title is a warningâ€”akin to what the late Gore Vidal termed â€œa journalistic alert-systemâ€â€”not a prediction. Hence the question mark. I cannot foresee the future. The bookâ€™s overarching theme is informed by past and current facts, not by any political agenda, ideological commitment, or magical prescience. This article is adapted from the concluding section of Stephen F. Cohenâ€™s War With Russia? From Putin and Ukraine to Trump and Russiagate, just published, in paperback and e-book, by Skyhorse Publishing.
JOHN LEWALLEN – Did North Koreaâ€™s very credible threat of testing a HEMP nuclear weapon capable of destroying the United States play any role in causing Trump to begin peace talks and acknowledge North Korea as a legitimate nation?
TOM H. HASTINGS – What are we to think about our character, as Americans? How do we square some startling observables?
MEAGAN DAY – Right-wing populism is advancing across the world. Bernie Sanders wants to fight back.
SARAH FREEMAN-WOOLPERT – Among the most important developments for the peace movement in the last year is the formation of broad coalitions. According to international scholar-activist Simone Chun, 2018 marked â€œthe first time we saw a formidable, sustaining coalition with major American peace activists and the Korean activist communities.â€ These coalitions have allowed actors to coordinate strategically in pushing for clear goals, like a formal declaration ending the Korean War and sustained diplomacy on a path to peace. These coalitions have also been key in elevating a range of voices, particularly those of Koreans, women and people of color, who have often been marginalized from the mainstream policy debates in Washington D.C.
STEPHEN F. COHEN – For nearly 100 years, Russia has been under US sanctions, often to the detriment of American national security.
DAVID SWANSON – I donâ€™t propose comparing the horrors of the so-called longest U.S. war â€” as if the wars on Native Americans arenâ€™t real â€” with World War II or Iraq. I propose comparing them with the people of Crimea voting to make their little piece of land part of Russia again. Which is more barbaric, immoral, illegal, destructive, and traumatic?
LAWRENCE WITTNER – Early this February, the Republican-controlled Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed new federal budget legislation that increased U.S. military spending by $165 billion over the next two years. Remarkably, though, a Gallup public opinion poll, conducted only days before, found that only 33 percent of Americans favored increasing U.S. military spending, while 65 percent opposed it, either backing reductions (34 percent) or maintenance of the status quo (31 percent).
WASHINGTON POST – Amid heightened tension with Russia, U.S. Senators Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) today urged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to begin a new round of strategic talks with Russia without delay.
KATHY KELLY – U.S. foreign policy is foolishly reduced to the good guys,â€ the U.S. and its allies, versus â€œthe bad guy,â€ â€“ Iran. The â€œgood guysâ€ shaping and selling U.S. foreign policy and weapon sales exemplify the heartless indifference of the smugglers who gamble human life in exceedingly dangerous crossings. The nefarious actions of the US-supported Saudi military in the Middle East must arouse citizen opposition in the one country where democracy is still strong enough to make a difference, the US.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – Most countries are moving down the road toward a nuclear weapons-free world. This past July, the official representatives of most of the worldâ€™s nations, meeting in a UN-sponsored conclave, voted 122 to 1 (with 1 abstention) for an international treaty prohibiting countries from developing, testing, manufacturing, possessing, transferring, or threatening to use nuclear weapons. However, the nine nuclear-armed nations boycotted the conference and are not among the countries backing this Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weaponsâ€•at least not yet. Given the staggering economic and human costs of nuclear weapons, isnâ€™t it time that the nuclear nations got on board?
DR. HAKIM YOUNG – The eyes of potential investors and benefactors, corporations and governments alike, are fixed on â€˜profitâ€™, not on the potentially disastrous pollution and depletion of the water supply to Mes Aynak and Kabul residents! This does not auger well for Surkh Gul, Inaam, and the estimated 6 million residents of Kabul.
DAVID SIDERS, EMILY HOLDEN AND SARA STEFANINI – A handful of Democratic governors and scores of other lawmakers and mayors are mounting an insurgency at the United Nations climate conference here, orchestrating a highly choreographed campaign to persuade world leaders that President Donald Trump doesnâ€™t speak for the United States on climate change.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – Leaving aside the wisdom of U.S. policy, why is the U.S. government playing a leading role in the North Korean nuclear situation at all?
STEPHEN KINZER – In a democracy, no one should be comforted to hear that generals have imposed discipline on an elected head of state. That was never supposed to happen in the United States. Now it has.
ROMAN KRZNARIC – Hereâ€™s something that might surprise you: One of the most powerful weapons we can use against far-right authoritarians like President Donald Trump has its roots in ancient philosophy. In particular, we can draw on the idea of carpe diem, or â€œseize the day,â€ a maxim penned by the Roman poet Horace. Let me explain.
RT NEWS – Germanyâ€™s top diplomat has backed the suggestion of Social Democrat (SPD) leader and Chancellor hopeful Martin Schulz, who has pledged to rid his country of US nukes. Washington, meanwhile, is pressing ahead to modernize its nuclear stockpile.
ROBERT J. GOULD – Last year, the Economist Intelligence Unit dropped its score for the U.S. from 8.05 to 7.98 (Above 8 is a full democracy; below 8 is a flawed democracy). Not much of a change, and according to the report, no fault of the current President, as the rating has been â€œteetering on the brink of becoming a flawed democracy for several years.â€ Like other flawed democracies (France, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and India), we have â€œweak governance, an underdeveloped political culture, and low levels of political participation, according to the EIU.â€
BRUCE CUMINGS – Itâ€™s easy to dismiss Kim Jong-un as a madman. But thereâ€™s a long history of US aggression against the North, which we forget at our peril.
WILLIAM D. HARTUNG – Never has a society spent more for less.
JOHN ATCHESON – Itâ€™s worth considering what we are not talking about as we watch the political pornography of the Trump Administration play out and also how the focus on Russia undercuts the Democratic Party. In other words, what if this is exactly what Trump intended when he fired Comey? Itâ€™s worth remembering Trumpâ€™s mentor was Roy Cohn, who was a master at controlling the narrative and one of his favorite techniques was to change the subject with an in-your-face outrage of one kind or another.
ANN WRIGHT – President Trump is becoming the third post-9/11 president to prosecute bloody conflicts in the Mideast and impose mass surveillance at home, with no end in sight.
KEVIN MARTIN – President Donald Trump likes to be known for his deal-making, and now he has the opportunity to make deals that can impact world peace and security, not just real estate or other business deals for his profit. North Korea would be a great place to start.
DAVID CAPLAN – Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has issued a dire warning: “The world is preparing for war.” And with a phone call scheduled on Saturday between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Gorbachev is urging the leaders to put a halt to a such a deadly path by spearheading a United Nations resolution that essentially bans nuclear war.