RAY MCGOVERN – As senior U.S. and Russian negotiators begin talks early next week in Geneva, the makings of a first-step-in-the-right-direction deal are already at hand. And for this we can thank Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin for serious, attentive, one-to-one conversations in the past several weeks.
JAMES W. CARDEN – In his latest book, The Stupidity of War: American Foreign Policy and the Case for Complacency, American political scientist John Mueller demonstrates that since the end of World War II, American policymakers have developed a kind of addiction to threat inflation by “routinely elevating the problematic to the dire… focused on problems, or monsters, that essentially didn’t exist.” And with regard to the American foreign policy establishment’s current twin obsessions, Russia and China, Mueller, ever the iconoclast, counsels complacency.
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.
WORLD BEYOND WAR – Victoria Nuland, former foreign policy adviser to vice president Dick Cheney, should not be nominated for Undersecretary of State, and if nominated should be rejected by the Senate.
MARIA J. STEPHAN, CANDACE RONDEAUX and ERICA CHENOWETH – With elections four months away, and the rule of law under steady attack, people power could prove decisive in ensuring a constitutional transfer of power without violence.
GEORGE BEEBE – As our debacles in Vietnam and Iraq demonstrate, expert consensus is not always a recipe for success. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that American policy toward Ukraine has also been steeped in illusions.
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.
DMITRI TRENIN – Russian influence is coming to a region near you.
GEORGE BEEBE – Today, that old dread of disaster has all but disappeared, as have the systems that helped preclude it. But the actual threat of nuclear catastrophe is much greater than we realize. U.S. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle need to start addressing the danger.
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 I’ve argued repeatedly, fervent anti-Trumpers must decide whether they loathe him more than they care about American and international security.
STEPHEN F. COHEN – War With Russia?, like the biography of a living person, is a book without an end. The title is a warning—akin to what the late Gore Vidal termed “a journalistic alert-system”—not a prediction. Hence the question mark. I cannot foresee the future. The book’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. Cohen’s War With Russia? From Putin and Ukraine to Trump and Russiagate, just published, in paperback and e-book, by Skyhorse Publishing.
PAUL STREET – Given the current state and rate of environmental destruction, the continuing advance in the destructive power of nuclear weapons systems, and the likelihood of pandemics in a warmer and more globalized world, there are good reasons to wonder if a human civilization with historians will exist a century from today. We may well be standing near the “end of history,” and not the glorious bourgeois-democratic one that Francis Fukuyama imagined with the end of the Cold War.
GILBERT DOCTOROW, UTE FINCKH-KRAMER, LUDGER VOLMER, ROLF EKEUS and NOAM CHOMSKY – A transatlantic appeal for a new policy of détente with Russia has been launched. The declaration’s authors invite the general public to join leading political figures and social activists who have publicly rallied to support the call.
JONATHAN MARSHALL – If Donald Trump wants to make a decisive and constructive mark on U.S. foreign policy early in his presidency, there’s no better place to start than by helping to end the brutal war in Ukraine that has claimed some 10,000 lives.
ROBERT PARRY – By inviting in Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat hostile to “regime change” wars, President-elect Trump may be signaling a major break with Republican neocon orthodoxy and a big shake-up of the U.S. foreign policy establishment.
JOHN PEPPER – In reading the recent biography of Robert Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy:The Making of a Liberal Icon by Larry Tye, I have acquired a very different understanding of the Cuban Missile Crisis and its relevance to the challenging geo-political situation we face today.
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.
MEL GURTOV – How should we evaluate Obama’s foreign policy record? Right-wing critics will of course excoriate Obama for all the usual things—weakness against adversaries like Russia and China, negotiating with instead of subverting Cuba and Iran, eviscerating the US military, undermining relations with Israel. On the left, Obama is already being cast as another liberal leader whose actions failed to deliver on his promises, from Guantanamo to the Middle East. Historians will have plenty of things to quarrel about, but we need not wait.
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?
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – A quarter century after the end of the Cold War and decades after the signing of landmark nuclear arms control and disarmament agreements, are the U.S. and Russian governments once more engaged in a potentially disastrous nuclear arms race with one another? It certainly looks like it.
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.
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.
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.
ROBERT PARRY – Neocon ideology appears to have seized near total control over the editorial pages of America’s premier news organizations, including the New York Times and the Washington Post, contributing to an information crisis inside “the world’s superpower,” a development that should unnerve both Americans and the world community.
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.
KSIYA SIMONOVA: The winner of “Ukraine’s Got Talent,” Kseniya Simonova, 24, draws a series of pictures on an illuminated sand table showing how ordinary people were affected by the German invasion during World War II. Her unusual talent is mesmeric to watch.