ALISTAIR CROOKE – A huge geo-political event has just occurred in Afghanistan: The implosion of a key western strategy for managing what Mackinder, in the 19th century, called the Asian heartland. That it was accomplished, without fighting, and in few days, is almost unprecedented. As a consequence, among other “seismic shifts,” China is more determined to shape the region than many analysts realize.
OLIVER LAUGHLAND – The US government has placed further delays on a proposed multibillion dollar plastics plant in southÂ Louisiana, marking a major victory for environmental activists and members of the majority Black community who have campaigned for years against construction.
ALEXANDRA TOPPING – Forty years ago a small group of women, along with a few men and children in buggies in tow, left their homes in Wales to protest against the arrival of US nuclear warheads at RAF Greenham Common. The steps they took that day would lead to the establishment of the Greenham womenâ€™s peace camp, which at its height gathered more than 70,000 women for direct action and became the biggest female-led protest since womenâ€™s suffrage.
NORMAN SOLOMON – When President Biden announced late Friday afternoon that he will nominate Rahm Emanuel to be the U.S. ambassador to Japan, the timing just before the weekend was clearly intended to minimize attention to the swift rebukes that were sure to come.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – Agent Orange, the most powerful of the herbicides used in Vietnam in Operation Ranch Hand, begun on August 10, 1961, contained dioxin, one of the most toxic substances on the planet. We dropped 20 million gallons of this and other herbicides on Vietnam, contaminating 7,000 square miles of its forests. Half a century later, we are fully aware of the consequences of this strategic decision, not just for the Vietnamese, the Laotians, the Cambodians, but also for many American troops.
ANDREW MOSS – Benefits to the economy If negotiations in Congress open a path to citizenship this year for the roughly 10.2 million undocumented immigrants in America, have received a fair measure ofÂ attentionÂ in theÂ media, but what hasn’t received as much attention is how an opened path to citizenship will also strengthen American democracy.
JAMES W. CARDEN – Hawkish US officials overstated Soviet gains in the third world in the 1970s, and â€œexhibit A in the case that the USSR was inexorably expandingâ€¦was Afghanistan.â€ And after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, â€œWashington believed Russiaâ€™s objective was the Persian Gulf.â€ Yet, it is argued by John Lamberton Harper, that the hawks within the Carter administration, led by Brzezinski, â€œwere misled by their schematic conceptions.â€Â
RAY MCGOVERN – There must be accountability for Afghanistan. The more so since generals and admirals, active duty and retired, are going off half-cocked. Some of them, like Admiral Charles Richards, head of US Strategic Command, are saying nuclear war is possible. Earlier this year Richards wrote that the US must shift from a principal assumption that nuclear weaponsâ€™ use is nearly impossible to “nuclear employment is a very real possibility.” And retired Adm. James Stavridis, former commander of NATO, is already talking about war with China “perhaps ten years from now.” Accountability and effective civilian control of such general officers can prevent the next March of Folly.
PETER BERGEL – Any of our cities could be incinerated by today’s nuclear weapons without warning at virtually any moment, either accidentally or purposely. Yet this monstrous possibility has fallen off the radar of most citizens and politicians.
RIVERA SUN – The story of a “Sixth Mass Extinction” must be turned around. The child born today will be almost 80 in 2100. What kind of world will we build for her?
NORMAN SOLOMON – A vital challenge for progressives is to not only block Republican agendas but also to effectively campaign for policy changes that go far beyond the talking points of current Democratic leaders offering to tinker with the status quo. Merely promising a kinder, gentler version of grim social realities just wonâ€™t be enough to counter the faux populism of a neofascist Republican Party.
DIANNE LUGO – On Thursday, July 29, more than 150 Nez Perce (Niimiipuu) people returned and blessed part of their homeland, a hundred years after the U.S Army drove them from the Wallowa Valley in eastern Oregon.Â
JEREMY SCAHILL – Drone whistleblower Daniel Hale should be pardoned and released, and the government should pay him restitution.
EILEEN FLANAGAN – Indigenous water protectors and allies are effectively engaging all four roles of social change â€” just what’s needed to beat a company as powerful as Enbridge.
KENNY STANCIL – Thirty-nine people, including civil rights champions Revs. Jesse Jackson and William J. Barber II, were arrestedÂ Monday, July 26, duringÂ a sit-in outside the Phoenix office of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a conservative Democrat whose opposition to filibuster reform is enabling Senate Republicans to obstruct the passage of progressive legislation on voting rights, the minimum wage, immigration reform, climate action, and more.
ALYN WARE – By paying lip service to the Fukushima disaster and the nuclear bombs dropped on Japan, these games are downplaying the growing danger of nuclear catastrophe.