JON QUEALLY – Worries of ‘New Cold War’ intensify as United States suspends bilateral diplomatic channels for Syria conflict.
RUSSIA INSIDER/THE SAKER – The latest developments in Syria are not, I believe, the result of some deliberate plan of the USA to help their â€œmoderate terroristâ€ allies on the ground, but they are the symptom of something even worse: the complete loss of control of the USA over the situation in Syria and, possibly, elsewhere.
PAUL SONNE, GORDON LUBOLD, CAROL E. LEE – A proposal under consideration at the White House to reverse decades of U.S. nuclear policy by declaring a â€œNo First Useâ€ protocol for nuclear weapons has run into opposition from top cabinet officials and U.S. allies. The opposition, from Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, as well as allies in Europe and Asia, leaves President Barack Obama with few ambitious options to enhance his nuclear disarmament agenda before leaving office, unless he wants to override the dissent.
KEVIN MARTIN – There couldnâ€™t be a better audience, the Hibakusha, atomic bomb survivors, nor a better time for a president whose days in office are dwindling, for Obama to announce concrete steps toward the goal he enunciated in his Prague speech in 2009, the security of a world free of nuclear weapons.
The tragic assassination of Berta CÃ¡ceres, a leading voice for Honduran Indigenous rights and tireless advocate for justice, has resulted from the inability of governments to provide security to environmentalists and makes it increasingly dangerous and difficult for communities to protect their rights and environments. The letter clarifies the details.
MEL GURTOV – The longstanding US approach to North Koreaâ€™s nuclear weapons is way off the mark. The Obama administrationâ€™s strategy of â€œstrategic patienceâ€ shows little attention to North Korean motivations. The US insistence that no change in policy is conceivable unless and until North Korea agrees to denuclearize ensures continuing tension, the danger of a disastrous miscalculation, and more and better North Korean nuclear weapons. The immediate focus of US policy should be on trust building.
MEL GURTOV – The Paris accord gives us something to celebrateâ€”a serious undertaking by virtually every country, rich or poor, to commit to reducing carbon emissions such that our warming planet does not rise another 2 degrees Celsius, and if possible no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. The hope is that the combination of global commitments, technological advances, and business investments will literally turn the tide on climate change. But of course the devil is in the details, and in each countryâ€™s politics.
JOHN LAFORGE – Here at the United Nations, talk is focused on the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (N-P.T.). At about 11 a.m. Apr. 28, I was handcuffed with 21 other nuclear realists after blocking an entrance to the US Mission. I say â€œrealistsâ€ because US media wonâ€™t pay much attention to US violations of nuclear weapons treaties unless somebody is taken off to jail. Barrels of ink are used detailing Iranâ€™s non-existent nuclear arsenal. The US has about 2,000 nuclear weapons ready to launch and used as ticking time bombs every day by presidents — the way gunslingers can get the dough without ever pulling the trigger. Deterrence it is not.
SENATOR RAND PAUL – The president is subverting the Constitutionâ€”and Americaâ€™s latest undeclared war in the Middle East is just the latest example.
JOHN LAFORGE – After so much blood and destruction in Afghanistan, a lot of people dream of Secretary of State John Kerry reviving his monumental 1971 question, â€œHow do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?â€
NORMAN SOLOMON – When the State Department revoked Edward Snowdenâ€™s passport four months ago, the move was a reprisal from a surveillance-and-warfare state that operates largely in the shadows. Top officials in Washington were furious. Snowden had suddenly exposed what couldnâ€™t stand the light of day, blowing the cover of the worldâ€™s Biggest Brother.
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.