NORMAN SOLOMON – Yes, the Doomsday Clock keeps ticking — it’s now at 90 seconds to midnight, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists — but the ultimate time bomb never gets the attention that it deserves. Even as the possibility of nuclear annihilation looms, this century’s many warning signs retain the status of Cassandras.
NORMAN SOLOMON – What Martin Luther King Jr. called “the madness of militarism” finds its supreme expression in the routine of nuclear weapons policies, which rely on an extreme shortage of countervailing outcry and activism. The ultimate madness thrives on our daily accommodation to it.
NORMAN SOLOMON – The Fourth of July — the ultimate patriotic holiday — is [here] again. Politicians orate, American Flags proliferate and, even more than usual, many windows on the world are tinted red, white and blue. But an important question remains unasked: Why are patriotism and war so intertwined in U.S. media and politics?
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.
STEPHEN ZUNES -As we approach the 20th anniversary of the fateful congressional vote authorizing the invasion of Iraq, many are questioning what would have happened had Congress refused to go along. There was widespread public opposition to going to war at the time.
ANDREW MOSS – A gross injustice against young immigrants is slowly working its way through the courts. It centers upon a federal judge’s ruling last year that the DACA Program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was “unlawful,” a ruling that puts in doubt a program that has given tens of thousands of young people brought here as children a temporary, renewable reprieve from deportation. Judge Andrew Hanen’s ruling allowed existing DACA recipients to apply for two-year renewals while the court case moves through appeals, but it prohibits approval of any new applications.
TOM HASTINGS – The unraveling of US democracy continues as the third branch of government, contaminated by Republican dirty tricks, confirms the trend of voter suppression laws designed to prevent entire groups of people who tend to vote Democrat from actually being able to vote.
DAVID BROMWICH – Regardless of which party is in power, US foreign policy since 9/11 has meant a unified government under the masters of war.
NORMAN SOLOMON – The best way to not become disillusioned is to not have illusions in the first place. And the best way to win economic and social justice is to keep organizing and keep pushing. What can happen during the Biden presidency is up for grabs.
NORMAN SOLOMON – The Republican plunge into Trumpism has made the party especially unhinged and dangerous, but its basic ideology has long been a shameless assault on minimal standards of human decency. Now — while Democratic leaders and most corporate media outlets are suitably condemning the fascist tendencies of Trump and his followers — deeper analysis and stepped-up progressive organizing are urgently needed.
NORMAN SOLOMON – Silence or grumbling acquiescence as the Biden presidency takes shape would amount to a political repetition disorder of the sort that ushered in disastrous political results under the Clinton and Obama administrations. Progressives must now take responsibility and take action. As Nina Turner says, â€œeverything we love is on the line.â€
ANDREW BACEVICH – As Americans learned in Vietnam, the only way to end a war gone wrong is to leave the field of battle. If that describes Trumpâ€™s intentions in Afghanistan, then we may finally have some reason to be grateful for his service to our nation. With time, Joe Biden and Mitch McConnell might even come to see the wisdom of doing so.
RALPH NADER – It is difficult to overestimate the continuing harm to our beleaguered democracy and its people, should Trump and his cohorts not be brought to justice.
NORMAN SOLOMON – The evident defeat of Donald Trump would not have been possible without the grassroots activism and hard work of countless progressives. Now, on vital issues — climate, healthcare, income inequality, militarism, the prison-industrial complex, corporate power and so much more — itâ€™s time to engage with the battle that must happen inside the Democratic Party.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – Rather than manufacturing jobs returning during the Trump administration, they have been departing.
BRETT WILKINS – The Belmarsh Tribunalâ€”named after the notorious British prison where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is imprisoned as he faces possible extradition to the U.S.â€”was convened remotely Friday morning by Progressive International (PI). The activists “put the United States government on trial” for crimes ranging “from atrocities in Iraq to torture at GuantÃ¡namo Bay to the CIA’s illegal surveillance programâ€”and draw attention to the extradition case of Julian Assange for revealing them.”
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – Democratic majorities were crucial this summer to the defeat of three separate bills, introduced by progressive Democrats, to reduce military spending and/or undo the militarization of police departments. These included amendments in both the Senate and the House to the National Defense Authorization Act, diverting 10 percent of the Department of Defense budget to health care, education and jobs; as well as a Senate proposal to end the 1033 Program, which allows the Pentagon to transfer military gear to the police. The amendmentâ€™s defeat in the House was especially an outrage in that the Dems hold a majority in the House and could have passed it.
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL – Americans know how to engage. In the past four years alone, weâ€™ve seen a groundswell of grass-roots activism on threats from climate change and gun violence to racial injustice and gender inequity. Today, we must add one more to the list: the threat of nuclear weapons. As Collina said, â€œNuclear disarmament must be part of the new mass movement.â€
KOLBY KICKINGWOMAN – A federal judge has ordered the Dakota Access Pipeline to shut down and remove all oil within 30 days, a huge win for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, and the other plaintiffs.
NORMAN SOLOMAN – After events of 2016, when facts emerged showing that the Democratic National Committee put anti-Sanders thumbs on the scales, many progressives have become acutely sensitive to shortages of fairness in party proceedings. The last thing we need are fresh examples of powerful politicians opting for self-serving actions over democratic principles.
FRED WEIR – In less than a year, the world could enter a period free of nuclear arms control treaties for the first time in more than a half-century. Is such a state of affairs sustainable?
RALPH NADER – For long-term fighters for justice, up against cruel or reckless corporations and their political toadies, there are few accolades, almost no recognition, and no citizen Hall of Fame.
ANDREW BACEVICH – Hereâ€™s the strange thing for the self-proclaimed greatest power in history, the very one that, in this century, has been fighting a series of unending wars across significant parts of the planet: if you exclude Operation Urgent Fury, the triumphant invasion of the island Grenada in 1983, and Operation Just Cause, the largely unopposed invasion of Panama in 1989, Washingtonâ€™s last truly successful war ended 74 years ago in August 1945 with the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japanese cities. Every war of even modest significance since — and theyâ€™ve been piling up — from the Korean and Vietnam wars to the ones in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Libya, and elsewhere in this century (and the last as well, in the cases of Afghanistan and Iraq) has either ended badly (Vietnam) or not at all (see above).
CHRIS HEDGES – We must organize to replace existing structures of power with ones capable of coping with the crisis before us.
NICK ENGELFRIED – It began as a call to action from a group of youth activists scattered across the globe, and soon became what is shaping up to be the largest planet-wide protest for the climate the world has ever seen. The Global Climate Strike is the result of a whole new generation taking bold action and could be the turning point for grassroots resistance to fossil fuels.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – On June 19, 2019, President Donald Trump bragged at his re-election kickoff rally in Orlando that, thanks to his leadership, the wages of American workers â€œare rising at the fastest rate in many decades.â€ The reality, however, is that they are not. Indeed, wages rose at a faster rate only a few years before, under his predecessor. And a key reason for the very limited wage increases since Trump entered the White House is his administrationâ€™s success in blocking any wage increases for some workers and in reducing wage increases for others.
STEPHEN M. WALT – American elites used to see war as a tragic necessity. Now theyâ€™re completely addicted to it.
NATYLIE BALDWIN – Russia’s vast size â€“ the largest country geographically in the world â€“ and its prodigious resources are present for all to see. But now, having overcome its historical issues with poor agricultural policies, it also has the ability to feed itself, a highly educated citizenry, and the industrial infrastructure to support a space program as well as a sophisticated nuclear and defense system. It has the ability to build cars, trucks, and airplanes completely within its own borders. Unlike many countries in the world, it has very little external debt and major gold reserves. It is weathering the sanctions against it better than Iran or Venezuela.
ALICE SLATER – August 6th and 9th mark 74 years since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where only one nuclear bomb dropped on each city caused the deaths of up to 146,000 people in Hiroshima and 80,000 people in Nagasaki. Now, with the US decision to walk away from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force (INF) negotiated with the Soviet Union, we are once again staring into the abyss of one of the most perilous nuclear challenges since the height of the Cold War.
GARETH PORTER – The U.S. news mediaâ€™s coverage of the Iran nuclear issue has been woefully off-kilter for many years. Now, however, those same outlets are contributing to the serious crisis building between Washington and Tehran.
MARK HANNAH and STEPHEN WERTHEIM – Democrats have a unique opportunity to close the traditional national-security gap with Republicans, but only if they choose a clear direction for foreign policy and not just against Trump. They should listen to the American people and offer them a genuinely pro-peace message â€” standing firmly against Trumpâ€™s bellicosity as well as decades of bipartisan military intervention.
ALLEGRA HARPOOTLIAN – What if thereâ€™s an antiwar movement growing right under our noses and we just havenâ€™t noticed? What if we donâ€™t see it, in part, because it doesnâ€™t look like any antiwar movement weâ€™ve even imagined?
MEL GURTOV – Donald Trump and his minions are the chief threats to Americaâ€™sâ€”and for that matter, the worldâ€™sâ€”real security.
PAUL STREET – The case for Trumpâ€™s ouster grows stronger by the week. Beyond his possible obstruction of justice, criminal acceptance of foreign emoluments while in office and felonious campaign finance violationsâ€”any one of which could provide grounds for legal proceedings against himâ€”the president has routinely embraced authoritarian rulers around the world and engaged in obvious appeals to violence. He has, at every turn, revealed himself to be entirely unfit for office.
NORMAN SOLOMON – As candidates and in office, the last two Democratic presidents have been young, dynamic and often progressive-sounding, while largely serving the interests of Wall Street, big banks, military contractors and the like. Do we need to make it three in a row?
NORMAN SOLOMON – Twenty-five years ago — when I wrote a book titled â€œFalse Hope: The Politics of Illusion in the Clinton Eraâ€ — I didnâ€™t expect that the Democratic Party would still be mired in Clintonism two and a half decades later. But such approaches to politics continue to haunt the party and the country.
GEORGE LACKEY – We need to step up and use our strategy heads to think clearly enough to map out campaigns that win.
LYLE JEREMY RUBIN – Coming home from the Forever War can be difficult. Not long after returning from Afghanistan as a Marine officer in early 2011, I found myself feeling betrayed by compatriots who worshiped the idea of my service while refusing to confront what that service entailed. There is a chasm of awareness that often exists between veterans and civilians, especially during an age in which an all-volunteer military prosecutes never-ending wars, and in which those Americans who end up experiencing combat prove statistically negligible. It isnâ€™t so much a chasm of awareness as a chasm of memory.
LEE CAMP – We live in a state of perpetual war, and we never feel it. While you get your gelato at the hip place where they put those cute little mint leaves on the side, someone is being bombed in your name. While you argue with the 17-year-old at the movie theater who gave you a small popcorn when you paid for a large, someone is being obliterated in your name. While we sleep and eat and make love and shield our eyes on a sunny day, someoneâ€™s home, family, life and body are being blown into a thousand pieces in our names. Once every 12 minutes.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – Although many people have criticized the bizarre nature of Donald Trumpâ€™s diplomacy with North Korea, his recent love fest with Kim Jong Un does have the potential to reduce the dangers posed by nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula. Even so, buried far below the mass media coverage of the summit spectacle, the reality is that Trumpâ€•assisted by his military and civilian advisorsâ€•is busy getting the United States ready for nuclear war.
JACK F. MATLOCK JR. – “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.â€ That sayingâ€”often misattributed to Euripidesâ€”comes to mind most mornings when I pick up The New York Times and read the latest â€œRussiagateâ€ headlines, which are frequently featured across two or three columns on the front page above the fold. This is an almost daily reminder of the hysteria that dominates our Congress and much of our media.
LINDA J. BILMES – Humpty Dumpty famously cannot be â€œput back togetherâ€ again. For those who care about the environment, every day since Donald Trump took office is a Humpty Dumpty day â€” with something being broken beyond repair.
PAUL STREET – Given the current state and rate of environmental destruction, the continuing advance in the destructive power of nuclear weapons systems, and the likelihood of pandemics in a warmer and more globalized world, there are good reasons to wonder if a human civilization with historians will exist a century from today. We may well be standing near the â€œend of history,â€ and not the glorious bourgeois-democratic one that Francis Fukuyama imagined with the end of the Cold War.
TOM H. HASTINGS – Since the #GagMeElection of 2016 we have heard a great deal about â€œresistance.â€ Nevertheless, weâ€™ve seen relatively little of it actually happening. Who is doing what toward what announced goal?
CHRIS HEDGES – The encampments by Native Americans at Standing Rock, N.D., from April 2016 to February 2017 to block construction of the Dakota Access pipeline provided the template for future resistance movements. The action was nonviolent. It was sustained. It was highly organized. It was grounded in spiritual, intellectual and communal traditions. And it lit the conscience of the nation.
CHRIS HEDGES – The ruling elites, who grasp that the reigning ideology of global corporate capitalism and imperial expansion no longer has moral or intellectual credibility, have mounted a campaign to shut down the platforms given to their critics. The attacks within this campaign include blacklisting, censorship and slandering dissidents as foreign agents for Russia and purveyors of â€œfake news.â€
JOHN LAFORGE – The US public wants to know why North Korea is so paranoid, militarily hostile and boastful. LaForge answers.
MARIANNE LAVELLE – These efforts are mostly flying under the radar, but they could short-circuit lawsuits and make it harder to restore environmental protections.
MEL GURTOV – Now, just below the radar, the US military is engaged in an ever-increasing number of â€œadvise-and-assistâ€ missions, supplemented by major arms deals and CIA-run drone strikes, that commit the US to long-term intervention in Africa and the Middle East. And Donald Trump, unlike Barack Obama, is happy to cede operational controlâ€”to â€œlet the war fighters fight the war,â€ as Stephen Bannon told CNN.
ROB BYERS – Earlier this spring, I was asked a question about my late father, who had been a coal miner in the 1970s and â€™80s. It had to do with a familiar romantic storyline: Did he feel at home underground? Was it a calling that tugged at him during the layoffs, a longing to get back to the job he loved? Short answer: No. Long answer: Hell, no.