Category: Analysis

The Simple Reason Why the U.S. Wants ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’ of the Earth

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.

Maine State Senator Tells the Truth About the Ukraine War

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!

How Long Will Gun Rights Trump Humans’ Right to Live?

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.

Mad As Hell; Not Gonna Take It!

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.

Protecting Our Elections is Our Protection Against Religion’s Dark Side

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.

The Urbanity of Evil: 20 Years After the Invasion of Iraq

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.

What Florida Doesn’t Want You to Know About Its Book Bans

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.

The Deafening Silence of Intellectuals in the Face of Growing Global Conflicts

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.”

The Case for Diplomacy in Ukraine

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.

Shah-ddy Workmanship: How the US Undermined Democracy in Iran

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).

A Realistic ‘Energy Transition’ Is to Get Better at Using Less of It

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.

State of the Union Address Shows Us Reality and Surreality

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.

Don’t Give Up on the UN

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.

Diplomatic Cables Prove Top U.S. Officials Knew They Were Crossing Russia’s Red Lines on NATO Expansion

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.

The U.S. Foreign Policy Establishment Proves in Ukraine That It Forgot the Lessons of Vietnam

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.

Are We on the Verge of Civil War II?

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.

The Myth of the “Moderate Republican” — and Why It’s So Dangerous

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.

The Squeaker of the House

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.

School Vouchers Have Been a Disaster—Now Advocates Are Trying to Rename Them

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.

Corporate Control in the US: How Pervasive Is It?

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.

Small modular reactors will not save the day. The US can get to 100% clean power without new nuclear.

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.

The Renewable Energy Transition Is Failing

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.

Across Africa, Water Conflict Threatens Security, Health, and the Environment

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.

The Need for Global Unity: How World Law Can Save Us All

JACOPO DE MARINIS – Many people will say that a world republic is unattainable. What country would agree to limit its absolute sovereignty? And yes, a country whose political leaders are held captive by special interests like military contractors and the fossil fuel industry might not agree to such an arrangement. Yet if the people unite with conviction to claim their right to live in a peaceful world, free from nuclear weapons, and to enjoy an economically and environmentally sustainable future―birthrights a world federal government is uniquely positioned to protect―this seemingly unattainable dream could become our reality.

How the US Should Respond to Israeli Right-Wing Extremism

MEL GURTOV and LARRY KIRSCH – While it is far from clear precisely how US policymakers will express their opposition to Israeli extremism—whether indirectly, through the FTO list as we have suggested, or more directly through diplomatic or legislative means—most important is that the US government deter terrorism sponsored by entities close to the heart of the incoming Israeli government. And those who rightly decry Palestinian terrorism need to take a hard look at what Israelis have just voted in—a coalition that has prominent advocates of violence against innocent Arab citizens. Doing so would give substance to US support of human rights, not only in Israel but in the Middle East generally.

Our Climate is On the Ballot – Protect It

MICHAEL DOVER – It’s no secret that the extremists who now control the Republican Party are vehemently opposed to ending our addiction to fossil fuels, the main culprits in the climate crisis. Even before the rise of Donald Trump, diplomats who forged the Paris Accords cited the U.S. Republican Party as the most serious obstacle in the world to climate progress. 

If You Value Your Life, Better Vote D

LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – Although, in recent decades, American conservatives have embraced what they call the “Right to Life,” they have certainly done a poor job of sustaining life in the United States. That’s the conclusion that can be drawn from a just-published scientific study, “U.S. state policy contexts and mortality of working-age adults.”

Will Greed and Dissociation from Nature Do Us In?

ROBERT KOEHLER – It’s fascinating how “interests” interfere with survival. We prepare for — and, of course, wage — war with an overwhelming percentage of our resources (to the benefit of the profiteers), but we plead poverty when it comes to helping people or, you know, saving the planet.It’s fascinating how “interests” interfere with survival. We prepare for — and, of course, wage — war with an overwhelming percentage of our resources (to the benefit of the profiteers), but we plead poverty when it comes to helping people or, you know, saving the planet.