Category: Analysis

Interdependency Is the Missing Understanding in International Relations

WINSLOW MYERS – New thinking motivates disarmament and accelerates new forms of sustainable energy. The opportunity is for everyone, citizens and leaders, to say no to obvious dead ends like the arms race and yes to new levels of cooperation—including reaching out with endless patience to our adversaries with a larger vision of self-interest that leads to life for all. 

A Class Analysis of the Trump-Biden Rerun

RICHARD D. WOLFF – One crucial lesson of the New Deal will have been learned and applied. Leaving the capitalist class structure of production unchanged—a minority of employers dominating a majority of employees—enables that minority to undo whatever reforms any New Deal might achieve. That is what the U.S. employer class did after 1945. The solution now must include moving beyond the employer-employee organization of the workplace. Replacing that with a democratic community organization—what we elsewhere call worker cooperatives—is the missing element that can make progressive reforms stick

Latest Huge Transfer of 2,000-Pound Bombs from U.S. to Israel Not Newsworthy to the New York Times

NORMAN SOLOMON – The saying that “justice delayed is justice denied” has a parallel for news media and war — journalism delayed is journalism denied. The refusal of the Times to cover the story after it broke was journalistic malpractice, helping to make it little more than a fleeting one-day story instead of the subject of focused national discourse that it should have been.

Biden Is Quietly Funding Nuclear Weapons Upgrades That Could Imperil the Planet

JONATHAN KING and RICHARD KRUSHNIC – The continued funding of nuclear weapons development is a pork barrel of herculean proportions, funneling tax dollars from all Americans into the pockets of the nuclear weapons industry. We suspect that the Biden administration’s silence represents their decision to keep this boondoggle out of public view.

What’s More Powerful Than a Ruling Authoritarian?

WINSLOW MYERS – Everything I do or don’t do affects you, and everything you do or don’t do affects me—authoritarians and would-be authoritarians included. That’s a wrenchingly positive enlargement of our conception of true self-interest. As a Peace Corps volunteer once said, and it cannot be repeated too often: “The earth is a sphere, and a sphere has only one side. We are all on the same side.”

The Tears of War Belong to All of Us

ROBERT KOEHLER – First you call them terrorists. Then you say you’re defending yourself. Moral problem solved! You can kill as many of them as you want. Well, maybe there will be consequences later (and maybe not), but for the moment you have overcome your own moral barriers and can start doing your job as a soldier: killing people. And in the process, you are making the world – your world, not theirs – safe. War is such a paradox: killing one’s way to peace. But apparently it’s humanity’s primary organizing principle. Citizens of America, citizens of Israel, citizens of Russia . . . citizens of the world . . . this has to change! Now is the time to end war, by which I mean transcend war: disarm, demilitarize. 

Empire Decline and Costly Delusions

RICHARD D. WOLFF – The last 40 to 50 years of the economic history of the G7 witnessed extreme redistributions of wealth and income upward. Those redistributions functioned as both causes and effects of neoliberal globalization. However, domestic reactions (economic and social divisions increasingly hostile and volatile) and foreign reactions (emergence of today’s China and BRICS) are undermining neoliberal globalization and beginning to challenge its accompanying inequalities. U.S. capitalism and its empire cannot yet face its decline amid a changing world. Delusions about retaining or regaining power at the top of society proliferate alongside delusional conspiracy theories and political scapegoating (immigrants, China, Russia) below.

Full Speed Ahead on the Global Titanic

NORMAN SOLOMON – Yes, the Doomsday Clock keeps ticking — it’s now at 90 seconds to midnight, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists — but the ultimate time bomb never gets the attention that it deserves. Even as the possibility of nuclear annihilation looms, this century’s many warning signs retain the status of Cassandras.

Is North Korea Preparing for War?

MEL GURTOV – Two of America’s most prominent North Korea experts, Robert Carlin and Siegfried Hecker, begin their latest analysis lwith this sentence: “The situation on the Korean Peninsula is more dangerous than it has been at any time since early June 1950.” But US policy on North Korea over the last few decades has changed little.” At the least, the US needs to test Kim’s interest in engagement. Now.

Reviving the Concept of Trusteeship as a Stepping-Stone to Peace in the Middle East

SOVAIDA MAANI EWING – Like it or not, our world has become so interconnected and interdependent that events that have hitherto been regarded as regional in nature now threaten our well-being everywhere. The international community must step up and shoulder a responsibility it has, for too long, abdicated: to maintain and restore peace in the world.

Magical Thinking About Biden 2024 Paves the Way for Another Trump Presidency

JEFF COHEN and NORMAN SOLOMON – Defenders of sticking with Biden glibly dismiss negative poll numbers while noting that polls in January can’t tell us where persuadable voters will end up in November. But there’s a serious problem beyond just polls. It’s the disaffection of activists – pivotal because thousands of talented, hard-working activists are needed to help persuade voters on the fence, and to get-out-the-vote of traditional Democrats who are only “occasional voters.” 

The No-State Solution Becomes More and More Real as Israel’s Permanent Nakba Continues

VIJAY PRASHAD – The U.S. veto in the Security Council and the votes against in the General Assembly are effectively votes for the Permanent Nakba of the Palestinian people, the No-State Solution. At least, that is how they will be read across the world, not only in al-Mawasi, as the bombs get closer, but also in the demonstrations from New York to Jakarta.

Return to an Abandoned UN Precedent for an End to the Ukraine War

LAWRENCE WITTNER – Based on both international law and precedent, the UN Security Council has the authority to impose a settlement of the disastrous Ukraine War.  What kinds of international action this would require would need to be determined by the world organization, just as the final terms of a peace agreement would ultimately need to be accepted by the contending parties.  But, given the overwhelming support in the UN General Assembly for the withdrawal of Russian military forces from Ukraine and for a lasting peace agreement, such a peace settlement is likely to be a just one.

Israel’s Military Is Part of the U.S. War Machine

NORMAN SOLOMON – In January 2019, House speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi was recorded on video at a forum sponsored by the Israeli American Council as she declared: “I have said to people when they ask me — if this Capitol crumbled to the ground, the one thing that would remain is our commitment to our aid, I don’t even call it aid — our cooperation — with Israel. That’s fundamental to who we are.” Even making allowances for bizarre hyperbole, Pelosi’s statement is revealing of the kind of mentality that continues to hold sway in official Washington. It won’t change without a huge grassroots movement that refuses to go away.

Seeing Through the Economic Bait and Switch

SONALI KOLHATKAR – The values of the U.S. public are not the same as those of the wealthy and corporations. It took a UN official—an outsider—to point out the dissonance. Furthermore, evaluations of the U.S. economy by the U.S. media and politicians are based on corporate prosperity while the UN’s evaluation is based on individual prosperity.

The War in Israel: Costs and Consequences

MEL GURTOV – That Netanyahu is the only top Israeli national security official who has not accepted any blame for the Hamas attack is indicative. Will postwar Israel again be plunged into political chaos? Will the far right be empowered or discredited because of the war? Will Israel after the war continue expansion of settlements and deprivation of Palestinians’ rights in the West Bank? One outcome of the extraordinary violence seems certain: The hope for Israeli-Palestinian coexistence, not to mention a two-state arrangement, has been dashed for many years to come.

The Savagery of the War Against the Palestinian People

VIJAY PRASHAD – The many Israeli attacks on Gaza pulverize the minimal infrastructure that remains intact in Gaza and hits the Palestinian civilians very hard. Civilian deaths and casualties are recorded by the Health Ministry in Gaza but disregarded by the Israelis and their Western enablers. As the current bombing intensified, journalist Muhammad Smiry said, “We might not survive this time.” Smiry’s worry is not isolated. Each time Israel sends in its fighter jets and missiles, the death and destruction are of an unimaginable proportion. This time, with a full-scale invasion, the destruction will be at a scale not previously witnessed.

As RFK Jr. Shifts His 2024 Strategy, He’s Bad News for Progressives

JEFF COHEN and NORMAN SOLOMON – If Robert F. Kennedy Jr. follows through on his apparent plans to run for president in the fall 2024 general election, that will make it all the more important for progressives to have a clear understanding of who Kennedy is and what he really stands for. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. offers progressives a mishmash of appealing statements, “free market” corporatism and assorted political toxins. Not a good deal.

A major win against factory farming points to a powerful new direction for the climate movement

NICK ENGELFRIED – Small farmers in Oregon, backed by a coalition of animal rights and climate activists, secured a big legislative victory over industrial factory farms, providing inspiration for wider action. “Part of our philosophy is you cannot only oppose or restrict the bad actors, although that is important,” Alice Morrison said. “You also have to lift up folks doing things that align with good stewardship of the land. Any solution to factory farming will be more viable if it puts forward that kind of positive vision.”

Finding a Way Out of the “Security Dilemma”

WINSLOW MYERS – As Stephen Kinzer argues in an op-ed in the Boston Globe: “In the coming years, China and its partners will work intensely to strengthen their military power—only to counter American threats, of course. So will the United States and its partners—only to counter Chinese threats. Each side insists that it seeks only to defend itself. Neither believes the other, so both prepare for war. That makes war more likely. Because this spiral of mistrust is so common, it has a name: the security dilemma. It tells us that steps one country takes to increase its security often provoke rivals to take countersteps. That leads to competition that makes all parties less secure.”

Fact Checking Biden’s UN Speech: Words Versus Action

TED SNIDER – US President Joe Biden’s speech before the General Assembly on September 19 spent surprisingly little time on Russia and the war in Ukraine and, in many ways, hit many of the right notes with its praise of “Sovereignty, territorial integrity, human rights . . . the core tenets of the U.N. Charter, the pillars of peaceful relations among nations. . ..” But America’s past performance on these very issues weaken the persuasiveness and sincerity of the appeal.

Celebrate September 21, the International Day of Peace

TOM H. HASTINGS – Dwight Eisenhower, broadcast with Prime Minister Macmillan in London, 8/31/1959, said, “I like to believe that people, in the long run, are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.”