JOHN P. RUEHL – The struggles of Russian weapons manufacturers have added to historic shifts in the global arms market.
HALEY MORROW and TOM H. HASTINGS – The peace movement in the US lobbies for a cessation of military aid, including to the current Sudanese combatants. Lethal aid, paid for by our taxes, is sold or given away, the profits go to military corporations, and the regular tax-paying citizens pay to be part of the bloody business overseas. To the extent we can stop this flow of deadly force, we can help empower nonviolent people power and increase the chances for peace and democracy.
LAURA FINLEY – While there is much to be done to address the many problems with policing in the US, the fix here seems quite simple: Stop hiring and rehiring people who are not good at their jobs.
DEREK ROYDEN – The way sanctions have all too often been used for the past 30 years against weaker nations has been cruel and ineffective, mainly hurting ordinary people who have little control over those that rule them. Sanctions that work are a scalpel, not a broadaxe.
DENNIS KUCINICH – President Kennedy held firm for a peaceful outcome in the Cuban Missile Crisis. As a result, Russia removed its missiles from Cuba. The U.S. removed its then-secret nuclear missile base from Turkey and made a commitment not to invade Cuba. Some believe that to fight is to show strength. America’s doctrine of ‘Peace through Strength’ is an invitation to war. Transformed, ‘Strength through Peace’ emphasizes restraint and inner fortitude, which Kennedy demonstrated at a moment of peril. We need another President Kennedy, with the grace, the inner strength and the intelligence to guide us from our contemporary dangerous encounter with potential nuclear catastrophe … to peace. America and the world are more at risk than ever from the threat of nuclear annihilation brought about through mentalities of greed and hubris.
MEDEA BENJAMIN and NICOLAS J. S. DAVIES – The United States keeps spreading violence and chaos across the world. If we want to stop our rulers from marching us toward nuclear war, climate catastrophe and mass extinction, we had better take off our blinders and start insisting on policies that reflect our best instincts and our common interests, instead of the interests of the warmongers and merchants of death who profit from war.
VIJAY PRASHAD – Ajay Banga will come to the World Bank, whose office is in Washington, D.C., from the world of international corporations. Dilma Rousseff, meanwhile, comes to the BRICS Bank with a different resume. Her political career began in the democratic fight against the 21-year military dictatorship (1964-1985) that was inflicted on Brazil by the United States and its allies.
RIVERA SUN – Nature’s way of correcting itself right now is embodied by the students walking out of school on Fridays, pleading with older generations to take action to ensure their future. Nature is correcting itself through climate scientists publishing well-documented facts about this crisis. Or through activists blocking pipelines or pushing universities and retirement funds to divest from fossil fuels. Earth is speaking through city councils declaring climate emergencies, churches switching to solar and wind, businesses cleaning up their act, and much more.
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL – The price for failing to hold the perpetrators of the Iraq War debacle accountable is that their worldview still dominates America’s national security establishment.
ROGER MCKENZIE – Imagine the uproar if China or Russia—or any other country for that matter—said it aimed to exercise military control over land, sea, air, and space to protect its interests and investments. This amazingly has been the stated United States policy since 1997. Full spectrum dominance, as the doctrine is known, is the reason the United States behaves the way that it does on the international stage.
MEL GURTOV – United States policy should be based on common security in the Middle East, social justice, and peace.
ERIC BRAKEY – In his final point about a Maine joint resolution supporting the United States’ continued stance on the war in Ukraine, Eric Brakey concludes: This resolution should be demanding that Secretary of State Antony Blinken go to Geneva and sit down for peace talks with both Russian and Ukrainian leaders to resolve this border dispute, broker a peace, end the war, end the famine, end the energy crisis, and take the very real threat of nuclear annihilation off the table. That is what this body should be calling for: peace, not war!
MEL GURTOV – The new game in town should be engagement of North Korea through reduced reliance on threat and greater reliance on confidence building and arms control.
SHAWNEE BALDWIN – The sight of bloodied shoes still haunts me and I was not even there that day. The images from December 14, 2012 still induce grief. Newtown parents recalling the day picks a scab off a wound that wasn’t even inflicted on me. And this is just one of many gun violence incidents plaguing our country. Guns only have one purpose – to maim, kill, or forever horribly alter the life of another. They must be regulated far more than they are now.
BRAD WOLF – Being fully human means resisting death in all its forms. It means peacemaking. We have hope because we have the power to nonviolently resist, and that is a remarkable power. When exercised properly, it not only shivers the state, but affirms all of life.
BOB TOPPER – We should be happy that we are a secular nation and work to keep it that way. Yet, in their effort to undermine faith in our democracy, the right often and forcefully complains that we have lost our way, that liberalism and diversity have weakened the country. They say that our government is incompetent, that our scientists can’t be trusted, that our children are being brainwashed, that religious liberty is under attack, that our elections are fraudulent; the list seems endless. They are a very unhappy crowd who want the rest of the country to join them in their misery.
NORMAN SOLOMON – Vast quantities of lies from top U.S. government officials led up to the Iraq invasion. Now, marking its 20th anniversary, the same media outlets that eagerly boosted those lies are offering retrospectives. Don’t expect them to shed light on the most difficult truths, including their own complicity in pushing for war. What propelled the United States to start the war on Iraq in March 2003 were dynamics of media and politics that are still very much with us today.
JODI PICOULT – In the brilliant words of Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, books create windows through which kids can escape and mirrors in which they can find themselves. We want you to stand in solidarity with us, the writers who create these books. Because we’ve seen, historically, what the next chapter looks like when we don’t speak out against book challenges… and that story does not end well.
TOM H. HASTINGS – It is long past time to really pare down the DoD budget. We should not have sophisticated weaponry all over the Earth, under the seas, and in space while families are living in tents in the snow on sidewalks and while health care is still not available to all. Can we unite for peace and prosperity?
BOAVENTURA DE SOUSA SANTOS – Intellectuals do not have a monopoly on culture, on values, or on truth, much less on the meanings attributed to any one of these “domains of the spirit,” as they used to be termed. But intellectuals should also not shrink from denouncing what they see as destructive of culture, values, and truth, notably when such destruction claims to be carried out in the name of these “domains of spirit.”
JEFFREY D. SACHS – We are not at the 1-year anniversary of the war, as the Western governments and media claim. This is the 9-year anniversary of the war. And that makes a big difference.
MEL GURTOV – Israel has always been touted as America’s most reliable friend in the Middle East, a bastion of democracy in a region dominated by autocracies. Now that picture is fraying as the far-right coalition of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu takes power.
NORMAN SOLOMON – With sky-high tensions between the world’s two nuclear superpowers, the chances of ICBMs starting a nuclear conflagration have increased as American and Russian forces face off in close proximity.
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL and JAMES W. CARDEN – At this juncture, with Russia at the start of a new offensive in Ukraine, vanden Heuvel and Carden believe diplomatic engagement is the only moral and realistic policy available to President Biden and his advisors.
NOAM CHOMSKY and VIJAY PRASHAD – For two years, the Biden administration has maintained Trump’s vindictive policy, one that punishes Cuba not for terrorism but for the promotion of peace. But Biden can remove Cuba from this list with a stroke of his pen.
HALEY MORROW and TOM H. HASTINGS – Since the US was the most significant actor in deposing the democratically elected Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953, and then installing Shah, Iranians knew he was a “puppet of the non-Muslim West.” While few Americans know or remember that our country ended democracy and installed a dictatorship in Iran, virtually no Iranians have forgotten. If anything, that is the sad strength of the theocracy–they blame all Iranian problems on “The Great Satan” (the US).
RICHARD HEINBERG – My aim is not to discourage people working toward an energy transition, but to insist that we develop a realistic plan for energy descent, rather than insisting on foolish dreams of eternal consumer abundance by means other than fossil fuels. Currently, politically rooted insistence on continued economic growth is discouraging truth-telling and serious planning for how to live well with less.
DR. TOM H. HASTINGS – I hope the vast majority of us are paying enough attention to get serious about upholding what is good and helpful for us. The devils are hyperactive in the details but, as we heard and saw, they reveal to all of us what they are willing to do if we are at all apathetic about it. As Edmund Burke reminded us, all that is necessary for evil to triumph is good people do nothing.
GARY B. OSTROWER – A world organization with the ability to prevent war makes more sense than a narrow and nationalistic commitment to traditional sovereignty. In that case, the UN may begin to live up to its original promise.
BRANKO MARCETIC – A review of the public record and dozens of diplomatic cables made publicly available via WikiLeaks show that U.S. officials were aware, or were directly told over the span of years, that expanding NATO was viewed by Russian officials well beyond Putin as a major threat and provocation; that expanding it to Ukraine was a particularly bright red line for Moscow; that such action would inflame and empower hawkish, nationalist parts of the Russian political spectrum; and that it could ultimately lead to war.
ROB OKUN – We can have a country, if we launch a sustained nationwide, nonviolent movement to end the scourge of gun violence.
JAMES W. CARDEN – The wariness and suspicion of unnecessary and unsupportable foreign interventions which, albeit all-too-temporarily, stemmed from the “Vietnam Syndrome” is today utterly absent in the corridors of power in Joe Biden’s Washington. The Vietnam Syndrome is indeed kicked: Dead and buried. But we may soon regret its passing.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – Martin Luther King, in 1964, warned of the escalation of violence and its consequences when he delivered his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, pointing out to the world that: “. . . in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones. . . . Violence ends up defeating itself.” Verge of Civil War II? Consider the signs.
NORMAN SOLOMON and JEFF COHEN – Applying adjectives like “moderate” to congressional Republicans is much worse than merely bad word choices. Our language “becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish,” George Orwell wrote, “but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.” And dangerous ones.
WIM LAVEN – It is hard to deliver on political promises. Getting results requires hard work and Kevin cannot do any heavy lifting because he has given up his backbone. As Squeaker of the House we should not expect much more than noise, and the people will need to use their voices to drown out the right-wing extremism that is on its way.
NORMAN SOLOMON – With 2023 underway, Democrats in office are still dodging the key fact that most of their party’s voters don’t want President Biden to run for re-election. Among prominent Democratic politicians, deference is routine while genuine enthusiasm is sparse.
KATHY KELLY – Mindful of the children who are maimed, traumatized, displaced, orphaned, and killed by all of the wars raging today, we must hold ourselves accountable as well. Phil Berrigan’s challenge must become ours: “Meet me at the Pentagon!” Or at its corporate outposts.
PETER GREENE – ESAs (education savings accounts) are legal in around 10 states so far, but if this new idea for promoting school choice hasn’t already been proposed in your state, it may be appearing there soon. Here’s what education savings accounts are, how they work, and what policymakers and families in your state should consider before rushing headlong into adopting this idea.
KARL GROSSMAN – A research physicist at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab working on fusion energy research and development says “it is time to ask: Is fusion really a ‘perfect’ energy source?”
RICK JAHNKOW – A long game is a slow process that doesn’t satisfy our culturally-ingrained need in the U.S. to see immediate results from everything we do. Nevertheless, if we are ever going to break free of the Groundhog Day syndrome, long-game approaches must be given as much emphasis as organizing rallies that demand “change now!”
BRAD WOLF – Thanks to Lewis Powell and his colleagues, the planet now faces multiple crises, and perhaps extinction, by way of corporate hand. The danger is real, existential, measurable. The dead can be counted. The homeless, the hungry, the drought stricken, flooded, burned down, and the war-ravaged form a chorus of suffering. Corporate profits, CEO salaries, lobbying expenditures, and tax cuts reveal the why and how.
BERNIE SANDERS – We need to rebuild and protect a diverse and truly independent press so that real journalists and media workers can do the critical jobs that they love, and that a functioning democracy requires.-
MELINDA BURRELL – A team of psychologists and neuroscientists recently reviewed studies about how to reduce partisan animosity — those negative feelings we have towards people in the other party. The team identified three science-backed areas of potential action: thoughts, relationships, and institutions.
ARJUN MAKHIJANI – We can create a renewable electricity system that is much more resilient to weather extremes and more reliable than what we have today. The thinking needs to change, as the Drake Landing Solar Community in Alberta, Canada, where it gets to negative 40 degrees Celsius in the winter, has shown. It provides over 90% of its heating by storing solar energy in the ground before the winter comes. Better than waiting for the nuclear Godot.
PAUL ENGLER – Music is making a comeback in movement spaces, as organizers rediscover how song culture strengthens the capacity to create social change.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – This will never be a perfect world. This will never be a world without conflict. But let’s pause in this moment, calm ourselves, set down our hatred and look each other in the eyes. I am because you are.
RICHARD HEINBERG – We need a realistic plan for energy descent, instead of foolish dreams of eternal consumer abundance by means other than fossil fuels. Currently, politically rooted insistence on continued economic growth is discouraging truth-telling and serious planning for how to live well with less.
KARL GROSSMAN – “Guinea Pig Nation: How the NRC’s new licensing rules could turn communities into test beds for risky, experimental nuclear plants,” is what physicist Dr. Edwin Lyman, Director of Nuclear Power Safety with the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), titled his presentation last week.
ROBIN SCHER – Water is a finite resource on our planet. We can only rely on what we have, which translates to about 2.5 percent of drinkable fresh water. Of that amount, only 0.4 percent currently exists in lakes, rivers, and moisture in the atmosphere. The strain of this limited supply grows by the day and as this continues, the detrimental impact will continue to be felt in places least equipped to find alternative solutions—in particular, the African continent.
DAVID SCHLISSEL – The promise of cheap power from small modular reactors (SMRs) is disapearing.