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?
MEL GURTOV – In just the past few years, we have witnessed mass violence directed at innocent people in many places: China’s Xinjiang province, the Saudi-led war in Yemen, the Myanmar (Burma) junta’s atrocities against the Muslim Rohingya, and of course Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Each of these episodes has its distinctive characteristics, but they all violate international law and our common humanity. None of them can be excused by arguments based on state sovereignty, national security, historical analogy, or the sins of others past and present.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – The speech, â€œBeyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence,â€ is remembered and celebrated (or not) as MLKâ€™s official condemnation of LBJâ€™s war, inappropriately â€œmixing peace and civil rightsâ€ and shattering ties with the countryâ€™s pro-war liberals. My takeaway after reading it: The speech is a lot more than that.
MARC PILISUK – For years, military preparedness and war itself have been granted extensive support in the United States.Â At the current moment, public opinion is questioning whether this support has added to Americansâ€™ security or placed it in greater danger. Indeed, the termination of a failed war in Afghanistan has brought into question, whether that war was wrong from the start.
JOHN MIKSAD – Earth Day has meant many things to us since its inaugural year, 1970. Now, more than ever, its legacy must include opposition to militarism and war.
NORMAN SOLOMON – The outbreak of rhetorical hostilities between the White House and the Kremlin has heightened the urgent need for a summit between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin. The spate of mutual denunciations is catnip for mass media and fuel for hardliners in both countries. But for the world at large, under the doomsday shadow of nuclear arsenals brandished by the United States and Russia, the latest developments are terribly ominous.
ANDREW BACEVICH – As Americans learned in Vietnam, the only way to end a war gone wrong is to leave the field of battle. If that describes Trumpâ€™s intentions in Afghanistan, then we may finally have some reason to be grateful for his service to our nation. With time, Joe Biden and Mitch McConnell might even come to see the wisdom of doing so.
BRETT WILKINS – The Belmarsh Tribunalâ€”named after the notorious British prison where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is imprisoned as he faces possible extradition to the U.S.â€”was convened remotely Friday morning by Progressive International (PI). The activists “put the United States government on trial” for crimes ranging “from atrocities in Iraq to torture at GuantÃ¡namo Bay to the CIA’s illegal surveillance programâ€”and draw attention to the extradition case of Julian Assange for revealing them.”
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.
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.
MIKE FERNER – During the Vietnam war, there was a vibrant, courageous resistance movement within the military itself. Young men and some women did anything they could to end the killing. They demonstrated, sabotaged military equipment, and fragged their officers. They also published dozens of underground newspapers, one of which was put out by the crew of the carrier, USS Kitty Hawk, cheekily called Kitty Litter.
LORI WALLACH – On Sept. 6, as President Barack Obama promised jobs and transparency in his Democratic National Convention acceptance speech, his top trade officials were cloistered in conditions of extreme secrecy at the Lansdowne resort in Leesburg, Va., negotiating a massive â€œtradeâ€ agreement that will promote more U.S. job offshoring and ban Buy American procurement preferences.
NORMAN SOLOMON —
For the warfare state, it doesnâ€™t get any better than 99 to 0. Every living senator voted to approve Gen. David Petraeus as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. Call it the unanimity of lemmings — except the senators and their families arenâ€™t the ones whoâ€™ll keep plunging into the sea.
WINSLOW MYERS: The challenge of helping Afghanistan while also serving U.S. security goals includes four aspects: first, U.S. fear of more terrorist attacks mounted from the region, second, fear that other powers, such as Russia or Iran, could assume undue influence, third, the potential use of the territory as a route to move resources such as oil and natural gas, and fourth, U.S. unwillingness to admit that the application of power may not part of the solution at all.
NORMAN SOLOMON: This month, a lot of media stories have compared President Johnson’s war in Vietnam and President Obama’s war in Afghanistan. The comparisons are often valid, but a key parallel rarely gets mentioned the media’s insistent support for the war even after most of the public has turned against it.