PRABIR PURKAYASTHA – The possibility of theÂ Joint Comprehensive Plan of ActionÂ (JCPOA)â€”or the Iran nuclear dealâ€”being revived, though difficult,Â 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.
JOSEPH CIRINCIONE – On the campaign trail and in strategy documents, President Biden committed to a new focus on arms control â€” 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 ?
DANNY SHAW – Vladimir Putin is considered a threat because he restored Russian sovereignty, erased the humiliation of the Boris Yeltsin era, and championed Russiaâ€™s national interests. But that is just what the U.S. elite could not tolerate.
LINDA GUNTER – The Tennessee Valley Authority could likely rightfully claim a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, but itâ€™s not an achievement for which the federally-owned electric utility corporation would welcome notoriety.
ANDREW MOSS – Benefits to the economy If negotiations in Congress open a path to citizenship this year for the roughly 10.2 million undocumented immigrants in America, have received a fair measure ofÂ attentionÂ in theÂ media, but what hasn’t received as much attention is how an opened path to citizenship will also strengthen American democracy.
MICHAEL CARRIGAN and PETER BERGEL – Our country continues to expend nearly half its discretionary budget on its military might. That leaves only half for everything else. The perennial explanation given to defend this lopsided priority is that the military guards our national security. If only that were true!
JACK GOLDSMITH and SAMUEL MOYN – If President Biden really wants to end the ‘forever wars’, he must work with Congress and go well beyond narrowing old permission slips for conflict.
REV. DR. EMMA JORDAN-SIMPSON – Doing the difficult work of determining the truth and demanding accountability for Donald Trump and the insurrectionists he incited is a small down payment on the truth required for democracy.
STEVE KILLELEA – We need to view our societies as systems, applying the principles of systems thinking. Once a system is moving in a positive direction it is self-reinforcing; it creates a virtuous cycle and Positive Peace provides a lens through which to view a system.
SASKIA HOSTETLER LIPPY, MD – Today I find myself in an untenable position. I run an online encrypted mental health service to serve the Portland protest movement. This is the story of how I came to use a code name, an encrypted email and apps, and risk myself to help frontline activists.
TOM H. HASTINGS and SASKIA HOSTETLER LIPPY MD – Itâ€™s time for us to show the world that Portland is a town of peace warriors. Letâ€™s practice activism that everyone can participate in, including our children. This world is theirs to inherit–letâ€™s make our streets safe for them again.
MEL GURTOV – Commentators evidently desperate for good news are touting the Israel-United Arab Emirates (UAE) agreement as a welcome path to Middle East peace. The agreement trades Israelâ€™s promise not to annex portions of the West Bank for the UAEâ€™s recognition of Israel. One conservative writer for the Washington Post actually thinks Trumpâ€™s role in helping bring the agreement about makes him a Nobel Prize candidate. But hold on.
KATHY KELLY – The cries against war in Yemen fall like rain and whatever thunder accompanies the rain is distant, summer thunder. Yet, if we cooperate with war making elites, the most horrible storms will be unleashed. We must learn–and quickly–to make a torrent of our mingled cries and, as the prophet Amos demanded, â€˜let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.â€
FRED WEIR – In less than a year, the world could enter a period free of nuclear arms control treaties for the first time in more than a half-century. Is such a state of affairs sustainable?
CAROLINE HURLEY – Security, claim peace scientists, is the experience and expectation of well-being. Analyzing management of the major 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa is instructive given Covid 19â€™s global rampage. Despite internal UN dysfunction, especially the veto system pitting members at cross-purposes, that organization proved its worth.
KATRIN BENNHOLD – The coronavirus pandemic is shaking bedrock assumptions about U.S. exceptionalism. This is perhaps the first global crisis in more than a century where no one is even looking for Washington to lead.
GREG PALAST – Unless America radically changes the way we send, receive and count mail-in ballots, the massive switch to postal voting, and the mountain of uncounted minority votes it will generate, could lead to Trumpâ€™s re-electionâ€”no matter the will of the voters.
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL – After this pandemic passes, there must be a profound reckoning. Iâ€™m not referring to President Trumpâ€™s abysmal performance in the crisis; the election in November will render citizensâ€™ judgment on that. No, there must be a reckoning with the profound failure of the United Statesâ€™ domestic and foreign policies and priorities, a failure that was apparent even before covid-19 revealed the catastrophic bankruptcy of our national security strategy.
BRIAN TERRELL – â€œI am convinced that if we are to get on to the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values,â€ said Dr. King. 52 years later, our very existence as a species is at risk and the radical revolution of values that he preached is our best hope.
PEDRO RIOS – From challenging narratives justifying violence to know-your-rights trainings and cultural actions, border communities are building a powerful movement.
ALEXANDER BOLTON – Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Friday introduced a resolution to block President Trump from further escalating hostilities with Iran. The resolution is privileged, which means Republicans cannot block it from reaching the floor, and comes the day after the surprise drone strike that killed Iraninan Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corpsâ€™s elite Quds Force.
MATTHEW HOH – The United States killed Iranian Quds Forces Commander General Qassam Soleimani. There is no hyperbole or exaggeration too great to encapsulate what may befall tens of millions of families. The equivalent of the killing of General Soleimani would be as if the Iranians assassinated General Richard Clarke, the US four-star general in charge of all US special operations, but only if General Clarke had the name recognition of Colin Powell and the competency of Dwight Eisenhower.
JACK MATLOCK – Did the U.S. â€œIntelligence Communityâ€ judge that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election?
Most commentators seem to think so, but this understanding does not hold up under careful analysis.
JAKE JOHNSON – More than 180 House Democrats joined a nearly united Republican caucus Wednesday night to pass a sweeping $738 billion military spending bill that gives President Donald Trump his long-sought “Space Force,” free rein to wage endless wars, and a green light to continue fueling the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen.
WILLIAM J. ASTORE – Ever since 2007, when I first started writing for TomDispatch, Iâ€™ve been arguing against Americaâ€™s forever wars, whether in Afghanistan, Iraq, or elsewhere. Unfortunately, itâ€™s no surprise that, despite my more than 60 articles, American blood is still being spilled in war after war across the Greater Middle East and Africa, even as foreign peoples pay a far higher price in lives lost and cities ruined. And I keep asking myself: Why, in this century, is the distinctive feature of Americaâ€™s wars that they never end? Why do our leaders persist in such repetitive folly and the seemingly eternal disasters that go with it?
STEPHEN F. COHEN – Is U.S. national security being trumped by loathing for Trump? We need to know fully the origins of Russiagate, arguably the worst presidential scandal in American history, and if Ukrainian authorities can contribute to that understanding, they should be encouraged to do so. As Iâ€™ve argued repeatedly, fervent anti-Trumpers must decide whether they loathe him more than they care about American and international security.
H . PATRICIA HYNES – Recall the Monroe Doctrine of 1823 from grade school history? President James Monroe proclaimed that European nations could not colonize nor otherwise interfere in North and South American countries. Ironically, since 1890, the U.S. has intervened in Latin American elections, civil wars and revolutions at least 56 times, according to historian and author Mark Becker, to bolster US corporate interests and to eliminate democratically elected governments and leftist movements.
KATHY KELLY – Rather than punish Iran, the United States should immediately return to the Iran nuclear agreement and support proposals regularly advanced at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty conferences for a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in the Middle East.
MARK HANNAH and STEPHEN WERTHEIM – Democrats have a unique opportunity to close the traditional national-security gap with Republicans, but only if they choose a clear direction for foreign policy and not just against Trump. They should listen to the American people and offer them a genuinely pro-peace message â€” standing firmly against Trumpâ€™s bellicosity as well as decades of bipartisan military intervention.
THOM HARTMANN – If the Democrats promote pro-corporate trade policies in 2020, get ready for four more years of Donald Trump gloating at us all from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
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.
ANDREW MOSS – If you look back over the Trump administration’s handling of immigration during the past two-and-a-half years, you’ll see a pattern of chronic tension and dysfunction. Like many people, you may have apprehended the pattern as a series of specific emergencies and dramatic events: the declaration of an “invasion” at our borders; the shutdown, or threatened shutdown, of our government or our southern border; the separation of migrant families crossing the border; the forced resignation of government officials unable to fulfill the president’s demands for ever-harsher measures.
NORMAN SOLOMON – What Barbara Lee did on the House floor three days after 9/11 — speaking prophetic words and casting the only vote against a green light for endless war — remains the bravest wise action in Congress during this century. The contrast was jolting last week when her vote enabled the House Budget Committee to approve a bill with a $17 billion increase in military spending for next year and another such increase for 2021.
KATHY KELLY – On January 27th, 2019, the Taliban and the U.S. government each publicly stated acceptance, in principle, of a draft framework for ongoing negotiations that could culminate in a peace deal to end a two-decade war in Afghanistan.
ROBERT KOEHLER – The Green New Deal needs to go further than it does. Since itâ€™s already being pilloried as the most radical piece of legislation in modern history, it might as well open itself up to become just that: the cornerstone of a truly sustainable national and global future. The Deal should take on militarism and war as well as climate change and poverty; they are all linked.
MARGARET FLOWERS and KEVIN ZEESE – Every war being fought today is illegal. Every action taken to carry out these wars is a war crime. In 1928, the Kellogg-Briand Pact or Pact of Paris was signed and ratified by the United States and other major nations that renounced war as a way to resolve conflicts, calling instead for peaceful ways of handling disputes.
JAMES CARDEN – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has accused President Trump and Vice President Pence of protecting â€œal-Qaeda and other jihadist forces in Syria.â€
ANNETTE CARY – The possible collapse of a second Hanford tunnel storing radioactive waste is both more likely than thought a year ago and the effects potentially more severe, according to Hanford officials.
JACK F. MATLOCK JR. – “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.â€ That sayingâ€”often misattributed to Euripidesâ€”comes to mind most mornings when I pick up The New York Times and read the latest â€œRussiagateâ€ headlines, which are frequently featured across two or three columns on the front page above the fold. This is an almost daily reminder of the hysteria that dominates our Congress and much of our media.
CHRIS MOONEY and JULIET EILPERIN – White House officials last year weighed whether to simply â€œignoreâ€ climate studies produced by government scientists or to instead develop â€œa coherent, fact-based message about climate science,â€ according to a memo obtained by The Washington Post. The document, drafted Sept. 18 by Michael Catanzaro, President Trumpâ€™s special assistant for domestic energy and environmental policy at the time, highlights the dilemma the administration has faced over climate change since Trump took office. Even as Trumpâ€™s deputies have worked methodically to uproot policies aimed at curbing the nationâ€™s carbon output, the administrationâ€™s agencies continue to produce reports showing that climate change is happening, is human-driven and is a threat to the United States.
ROBERT F. DODGE, M.D. – Ignoring international partners, world public opinion and action, the U.S took additional steps these past weeks to renounce another international leadership role, this time in nuclear disarmament.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – When Donald Trump was running for the presidency, he promised that, if he was elected, â€œAmerican worker[s] will finally have a president who will protect them and fight for them.â€ Today, though, safely ensconced in the White House, President Trump is waging a fierce campaign against American workers.
GEORGE LAKEY – Weâ€™ve had our first year of tweets and leaks from the White House, complete with reactions and outrage in the United States and abroad. The tsunami of words and feelings about Trump has dominated the media and is likely to continue. The question is: Will reactivity to Trump continue among activists, or are we ready to channel our passion into more focused movement-building for change?
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – Dred Scott lives! With the Supreme Courtâ€™s declaration that President Trumpâ€™s third version of a Muslim travel ban is now enforceable, even as legal challenges against it proceed, the court and the country reopen the racism that permeates American history.
PATRICK T. HILLER – There are many ways we can respond to vehicles being used as weapons that make such incidents less likely in the future. If we donâ€™t use these alternatives, it is not because they are not available, but because of artificially imposed constraints, lack of interest, or self-interest. The broad social spectrum gives us ample opportunity in our respective contexts to take the contested area away from the terrorists and dissolve any hateful ideology at its roots.
FRIDA BERRIGAN – The problem isnâ€™t that we are spending more on the military â€” itâ€™s that it comes at the expense of just about every social good imaginable. Over the next decade, the Republican-held White House and Congress are planning over $5 trillion in cuts to the safety net.
RON PAUL – By the end of last month, Defense Secretary James Mattis and National Security Advisor HR McMaster were scheduled to deliver to President Trump their plans for military escalations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. President Trump would be wise to rip the plans up and send his national security team back to the drawing board â€“ or replace them. There is no way another â€œsurgeâ€ in Afghanistan and Iraq (plus a new one in Syria) puts America first. There is no way doing the same thing over again will succeed any better than it did the last time.
ADAM JOHNSON – As tensions between the United States and North Korea continue to rise, one think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), has become a ubiquitous voice on the topic of missile defense, providing Official-Sounding Quotes to dozens of reporters in Western media outlets. All of these quotes speak to the urgent threat of North Korea and how important the United Statesâ€™s deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system is to South Korea.
NORMAN SOLOMON – No longer will the pilots who steer drones and fire missiles while staring at computer screens be confined to remote areas like the Nevada desert. With scant public information or debate, sizable American communities are becoming enmeshed in drone warfare on other continents. Along the way, how deeply will we understand â€” in human terms â€” what the drone war is doing to people far away? And to us?