NOLAN HIGDON – The context and details of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, as well as its historic roots, are being pushed aside in favor of a kind of binary knee-jerk activism that is far too common in American political culture.
MARC PILISUK – For years, military preparedness and war itself have been granted extensive support in the United States.Â At the current moment, public opinion is questioning whether this support has added to Americansâ€™ security or placed it in greater danger. Indeed, the termination of a failed war in Afghanistan has brought into question, whether that war was wrong from the start.
ANDREW COCKBURN – Sometimes the naked pursuit of self-interest is unabashed, and certain policies or war is pursued, but even when the real object of the exercise is camouflaged as â€œforeign policyâ€ or â€œstrategy,â€ no observer should ever lose sight of the most important question: Cui bono? Who benefits?
WIM LAVEN – Now, more than ever, it is necessary for the U.S. to be smart about our narrative and the appraisal of our role in the world.Â
JACK GOLDSMITH and SAMUEL MOYN – If President Biden really wants to end the ‘forever wars’, he must work with Congress and go well beyond narrowing old permission slips for conflict.
MATTHEW HOH – The AUMFs have allowed for wars to be waged without end by the executive branch, wars the American people, including veterans, say have not been worth fighting. Congress has the ability and responsibility to help bring about an end to these wars by ensuring the repeal of the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs.
KATHY KELLY – U.S. foreign policy is foolishly reduced to the good guys,â€ the U.S. and its allies, versus â€œthe bad guy,â€ â€“ Iran. The â€œgood guysâ€ shaping and selling U.S. foreign policy and weapon sales exemplify the heartless indifference of the smugglers who gamble human life in exceedingly dangerous crossings. The nefarious actions of the US-supported Saudi military in the Middle East must arouse citizen opposition in the one country where democracy is still strong enough to make a difference, the US.
TULSI GABBARD – â€œThose who have seen and experienced war firsthand share a unique appreciation for the need for peace. From Iraq to Libya and now in Syria, the U.S. has and continues to wage wars of regime change, each resulting in unimaginable suffering, devastating loss of life, and the strengthening of terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS. I am grateful to have the support of Veterans for Peace for the Stop Arming Terrorists Act, and for their work to prevent the United States from continuing to pursue counterproductive, interventionist wars,â€ said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
ROBERT PARRY – By inviting in Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat hostile to â€œregime changeâ€ wars, President-elect Trump may be signaling a major break with Republican neocon orthodoxy and a big shake-up of the U.S. foreign policy establishment.
ALEXANDER MERCOURIS – One place where Donald Trumpâ€™s election victory has had an immediate effect is in the battlefield around Aleppo. Reports from the area of the battlefield speak of a total collapse of morale amongst the Al-Qaeda led Jihadi forces which have been attacking the city from the south west, as whatever lingering hopes there were of a Western military intervention following a victory by Hillary Clinton in the US Presidential election have turned to dust.
SPUTNIK INTERNATIONAL – During testimony before the Senate Committee on Armed Services last week General Joseph Dunford rang the alarm over a policy shift that is gaining more traction within the halls of Washington following the collapse of the ceasefire brokered by the United States and Russia in Syria saying that it could result in a major international war which he was not prepared to advocate on behalf of.
NICOLAS J S DAVIES – The world faces huge problems that must be addressed and resolved in the next few decades. The question facing us is this: will the allocation of increasingly scarce resources and the necessary transformations of the 21st century be directed by international cooperation for the benefit of all and the survival of human civilization? Or will our world be torn apart by a desperate scramble for dwindling supplies of precious resources as the most powerful countries use military force to try and grab what they can at the expense of everybody else? Our countryâ€™s current war policy offers only one answer to that question. We must find a different one – and an effective political strategy to impose it on our deluded leaders while there is still time.
JONATHAN MARSHALL – Money may not be the root of all evil but it surely contributes to horrible war crimes when lucrative arms sales distort U.S. foreign policy and cause selective outrage over human rights atrocities: Forget oil. In the Middle East, the profits and jobs reaped from tens of billions of dollars in arms sales are becoming the key drivers of U.S. and British policy. Oil still matters, of course. So do geopolitical interests, including military bases, and powerful political lobbies funded by Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the other Gulf states. But you canâ€™t explain Washingtonâ€™s deference to Saudi Arabia, despite its criminal war in Yemen and its admitted support for Islamist extremism, without acknowledging the political pull generated by more than $115 billion in U.S. military deals with Saudi Arabia authorized since President Obama took office.
JON QUEALLY – Worries of ‘New Cold War’ intensify as United States suspends bilateral diplomatic channels for Syria conflict.
PAUL VALE – The former top US Special Forces chief claimed on Sunday, November 29, that blinding emotion after the 9/11 attacks led the United States and its allies to take the wrong strategic decisions to counter al-Qaeda, calling the subsequent Iraq War a â€œhuge error.â€ The admission by Michael Flynn, made to German newspaper Der Spiegel, comes as British MPs prepare to vote on extending the UKâ€™s bombing campaign against the Islamic State into Syria following the massacre in Paris.
FODAY JUSTICE DARBOE – In the wake of the coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris and the double suicide bombing in Beirut on November 12th, many Muslims took to Twitter to loudly and unequivocally condemn the terrorists attacks with the hashtagsâ€” #NotInMyName, #MuslimsAreNotTerrorist, but is this enough to counter Islamic extremism? When will â€œmoderate Muslimsâ€ stand up and speak against the terror and mayhem committed in the name of Islam?
PETER BERGEL – Thanks to Foday Darboe for setting an example to those he calls â€œmoderate Muslims.â€ I will follow his lead to set an example for â€œpatriotic Americans.â€
DAVID SWANSON – Reading Nick Turse’s new book, Tomorrow’s Battlefield: U.S. Proxy Wars and Secret Ops in Africa, raises the question of whether black lives in Africa matter to the U.S. military any more than black lives in the United States matter to the police lately trained and armed by that military.
ROBERT PARRY – Showing who some in Congress believe is the real master of U.S. foreign policy, House Speaker John Boehner has invited Israelâ€™s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session and offer a rebuttal to President Barack Obamaâ€™s comments on world affairs in his State of the Union speech. Boehner made clear that Netanyahuâ€™s third speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress â€“ scheduled for Feb. 11 â€“ was meant to counter Obamaâ€™s assessments.
ERIN NIEMELA – A relatively new group engaging in non-state political violence, ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, recently called for the creation of an Islamic state in Iraq and Syria and a continuation and strengthening of jihad during Ramadan, according to a video that emerged through social media. ISIS, born of Al Qaeda members in Iraq and matured in the Syrian civil war power vacuum, is so radical that Al Qaeda â€œdisownedâ€ it. As if its goals of coerced dominance arenâ€™t bad enough, Al Qaeda criticized ISIS for its brutality against civilians and Muslims. Repeat: Al Qaeda criticized ISIS. For brutality.
TOM ENGELHARDT – The United States has been at warâ€”major boots-on-the-ground conflicts and minor interventions, firefights, airstrikes, drone assassination campaigns, occupations, special ops raids, proxy conflicts and covert actionsâ€”nearly nonstop since the Vietnam War began. Thatâ€™s more than half a century of experience with war, American-style, and yet few in our world bother to draw the obvious conclusions. Given the historical record, those conclusions should be staring us in the face. They are, however, the words that canâ€™t be said in a country committed to a military-first approach to the world, a continual build-up of its forces, an emphasis on pioneering work in the development and deployment of the latest destructive technology, and a repetitious cycling through styles of war from full-scale invasions and occupations to counterinsurgency, proxy wars, and back again.
DAVID SWANSON – The relationship of women to war has changed dramatically in recent decades, even while remaining the same. But make no mistake, waging war at the behest of female politicians is no different than waging war at the command of male politicians.
JOHN LAFORGE – After so much blood and destruction in Afghanistan, a lot of people dream of Secretary of State John Kerry reviving his monumental 1971 question, â€œHow do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?â€
DAVID SWANSON – Evidence of “weapons of mass destruction” is “no slam dunk,” U.S. officials are saying this time around, reversing the claim made about Iraq by then-CIA director George Tenet. Opposition to a U.S.-led attack on Syria is growing rapidly in Europe and the United States, drawing its strength from public awareness that the case made for attacking Iraq had holes in it.
RITIKA SINGH and BENJAMIN WITTES – Political parties in the United States, like a spatting couple in a bad marriage, have been fighting over the law of counterterrorism for more than a decade. And like the spatting couple, they have developed an almost rote script for their fight. The script has a logic of its own. It is a comfortable one for both spousesâ€”and the fight is soothing in its own way. Republicans and Democrats alike wrap up some portion of their partyâ€™s identity and self-image in the conflict over national-security policy. The fight gives each side the impressionâ€”and the confidenceâ€”that the other endangers America. And it gives each side something to tell voters about why they should vote one way rather than another.
DAVID SWANSON – Attorney General Eric Holder explained last week why it’s legal to murder people…
SEN. JEFF MERKLEY – In the aftermath of September 11th, our nation went to war in Afghanistan. We had three goals: to dislodge the Taliban government, destroy al Qaeda training camps, and to bring to justice those who masterminded the attacks.
JENNIFER M. FREEDMAN – President Barack Obamaâ€™s failure to close Guantanamo Bay and his decision to try some prisoners in military courts are â€œextremely disappointing,â€ said the United Nationsâ€™ top human-rights official.
URI AVNERY – We are in the middle of a geological event. An earthquake of epoch-making dimensions is changing the landscape of our region. Mountains turn into valleys, islands emerge from the sea, volcanoes cover the land with lava.
People are afraid of change. When it happens, they tend to deny, ignore, pretend that nothing really important is happening.