CRAIG CLINE — I want to recommend a “must read” book for anyone who wonders why our country is still at war after nine years. We wage war – -despite the deep wounds and dreadful deaths that it imposes not only on our so-called enemies, but also on ourselves.
JOHN LAFORGE — The press made a big deal of it. The president even starred in an Oval Office TV show about the â€œend to U.S. combatâ€ in Iraq, which was announced on August 31. Mr. Obama said heâ€™d fulfilled a promise to end the war. Obamaâ€™s bit of theater cost less than George Bushâ€™s May 1, 2003 shameless declaration of â€œmission accomplished,â€ his circus-act-in-military-flight-suit-to-the-flight-deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln. Yet the presidentâ€™s speech was just as dishonest.
JOHN DEAR — “Fourteen anti-war activists may have made history last week in a Las Vegas courtroom when they turned a misdemeanor trespassing trial into a possible referendum on America’s newfound taste for remote-controlled warfare.” That’s how one Las Vegas newspaper summed up our stunning day in court on Tuesday, when fourteen of us stood trial for walking onto Creech Air Force Base last year on April 9, 2009 to protest the U.S. drones.
PETER BERGEL — Best-selling author John Perkins (Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, Hoodwinked) spoke to a large, enthusiastic audience at Willamette Universityâ€™s Smith Auditorium in Salem on Tuesday night, kicking off a month-long series of peace visioning events called the MyPeace Project.
TOM HASTINGS — San Bruno, California, is about 12 miles south of San Francisco, near the airport. That is where the gas line ruptured and exploded into a massive fireball hundreds of feet tall, burning dozens of homes, killing at least four, and injuring many others. Residents report having gotten whiffs of gas now and then for a period beforehand.
DER SPIEGEL MAGAZINE STAFF – Chancellor Angela Merkel had hoped that with a quick resolution, she could sidestep a national debate over nuclear energy. Many, though, see her new plan as a windfall for the country’s power utilities. Opposition, both within her government and elsewhere, is on the rise.
NORMAN SOLOMON — At this bleak political moment, gaining congressional power for progressives might seem like pie in the sky. More and more desperate efforts are underway to stave off a Republican takeover of Congress. But the necessity of trying to prevent right-wing rule on Capitol Hill should not obscure the need to win more seats for genuine progressives.
AFIF SAFIEH — The Obama administration has been persistent about the Middle East peace process. But is it serious about peace? If it is, and I believe that President Barack Obama is personally serious in spite of widespread skepticism among Arabs and Palestinians, then this administration needs to understand why its predecessors have failed. There were serious flaws in previous peace processes, and I saw how they played out firsthand from my posts in London, Washington and Moscow.
EPISCOPAL PUBLIC POLICY NETWORK — The Cuba travel ban has done nothing, over the past five decades, to weaken the Cuban government or to prompt reforms in political or human rights. Most importantly, the Cuban people have been harmed by the ban because they have been cut off from the friendship and support of the American people.
ERIK LINDBERG — The August issue of â€œThe Progressiveâ€ featured a series of essays on â€œthe Big Spillâ€ in the Gulf of Mexico, with the intention, I believe, of bringing our oil addiction into the foreground of political dialogue. In his article, â€œEnergy Extremism,â€ Michael Klare thus asks a vital question about the end of the oil age. It is a question that has been painfully absent from any sustained dialogue: â€œHow, then, should progressives respond to the current [energy] crisis?â€
NATIONAL PRIORITIES PROJECT — With all eyes on our nation’s budget, National Priorities Project (NPP) has overhauled its Trade Offs Tool designed to clarify the magnitude and localized impact of federal spending programs. The tool estimates FY2011 spending for select federal programs for individual states, counties, congressional districts, and towns. It then represents these dollar amounts in terms of localized costs of alternative goods and services such as police, teachers, or care for military veterans.
PETER BERGEL — Hereâ€™s another intrusion into the rights that most of us thought were sacrosanct in these United States: now government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go. This development is the result of a Portland case affirmed by the Ninth Circuit, which includes eight western states. Worse yet, the law draws a line of privilege between the rich and the poor. The rich have rights, the poor donâ€™t.
NORMAN SOLOMON — On the last night of August, the president used an Oval Office speech to boost a policy of perpetual war. Hours later, the New York Times front page offered a credulous gloss for the end of â€œthe seven-year American combat mission in Iraq.â€
SUZY KIST — Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC), an industry leader in tidal, river and deep-water ocean current energy technology and projects, announced on August 18 that its Beta Power System, the largest ocean energy â€œpower plantâ€ ever installed in U.S. waters, has successfully generated grid-compatible power from tidal currents at its Cobscook Bay site in Eastport, Maine.