NORMAN SOLOMON – In January 2019, House speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi was recorded on video at a forum sponsored by the Israeli American Council as she declared: “I have said to people when they ask me — if this Capitol crumbled to the ground, the one thing that would remain is our commitment to our aid, I don’t even call it aid — our cooperation — with Israel. That’s fundamental to who we are.” Even making allowances for bizarre hyperbole, Pelosi’s statement is revealing of the kind of mentality that continues to hold sway in official Washington. It won’t change without a huge grassroots movement that refuses to go away.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – Although there are no guarantees that social movements and enhanced global governance will transform our divided, problem-ridden world, we shouldnâ€™t ignore these movements and institutions, either. Indeed, they should provide us with at least a measure of hope that, someday, human solidarity will prevail, thereby bringing to birth â€œa new world from the ashes of the old.â€
KATHY KELLY – The U.S. government owes reparations to the civilians of Afghanistan for the past twenty years of war and brutal impoverishment.
MEL GURTOV – â€œThe problem with the Middle East is that you can try to turn your back on it, but it wonâ€™t turn its back on you,â€ said Martin S. Indyk, former US ambassador to Israel. And it hasnâ€™t: once again, Israelis and Palestinians are at war.
ALONSO GURMENDI DUNKELBERT – The growing popularity of parliamentary coups in Latin America is frequently overlooked outside of the region, but it is nonetheless an extremely worrying practice. What has happened in Peru should be seen by the international community as a renewed opportunity to examine this new kind of antidemocratic procedure. In the meantime, without a clear consensus on how to move forward and restore stability, there will be difficult months ahead for Peru â€“ and Latin American democracy in general.
BOB FLAX – The U.S. government has championed ICC investigations into abuses in Burma and Syria, and even recently used human rights as a cudgel against China, Iran, and North Korea. But when the investigators’ eyes turned towards America, cooperation ends.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – Itâ€™s hard to take seriously Trumpâ€™s claim that U.S. workers have thrived during his presidency. Indeed, even before the disasters wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, American workers received a raw deal.
KATHY KELLY – The cries against war in Yemen fall like rain and whatever thunder accompanies the rain is distant, summer thunder. Yet, if we cooperate with war making elites, the most horrible storms will be unleashed. We must learn–and quickly–to make a torrent of our mingled cries and, as the prophet Amos demanded, â€˜let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.â€
KATHY KELLY – As COVID-19 threatens to engulf war-torn Yemen, it is even more critical to raise awareness of how the war debilitates the country.
J.P. LINSTROTH – At this moment, China has as many as one million Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslim minorities held in concentration camps in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in northwestern China. This has been ongoing for some time now and is beginning, finally, to be noticed.
KEVIN MARTIN – On September 12, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo officially certified Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates â€œ…are undertaking demonstrable actions to reduce the risk of harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure resulting from military operations of these governments.â€ This is required to allow U.S. planes to continue refueling jets for the Saudi/UAE coalition, without which it could not keep dropping bombs on targets in Yemen. Secretary of Defense James Mattis concurred with Pompeo, though congressional legislation required only Pompeoâ€™s say-so.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – Within a matter of months, the U.S. government seems likely to become the only nation in the world still rejecting the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Sometimes called â€œthe most ratified human rights treaty in history,â€ the Convention has been ratified by 195 nations, leaving the United States and South Sudan as the only holdouts. South Sudan is expected to move forward with ratification later this year. But there is no indication that the United States will approve this childrenâ€™s defense treaty.
DAVID SWANSON – A president is not legally allowed to invent criteria for killing people. Never mind that he doesn’t meet his own criteria. We should not be so indecent or so lawless as to engage in such a conversation. We should not want to see the blood-soaked memo.
NORMAN SOLOMON – International law is suddenly very popular in Washington. President Obama responded to Russian military intervention in the Crimea by accusing Russia of a â€œbreach of international law.â€ . . . Unfortunately, during the last five years, no world leader has done more to undermine international law than Barack Obama. He treats it with rhetorical adulation and behavioral contempt, helping to further normalize a might-makes-right approach to global affairs that is the antithesis of international law.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS – HANOI, Vietnam – Working on her blog in California one day, Vietnamese democracy activist Ngoc Thu sensed something was wrong. It took a moment for a keystroke to register. Cut-and-paste wasn’t working. She had “a feeling that somebody was there” inside her computer. Her hunch turned out to be right.
JOHN LAFORGE – Four more innocents were released from Americaâ€™s Robben Island this month. Our offshore penal colony at Guantanamo Bay still holds 158 prisoners, 84 of whom have been cleared for release. The men sent home were never charged with a crime and were cleared four years ago.
ERIN E. NIEMELA – While the U.S.-Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement is supposed to ensure a secure and sovereign Afghanistan beyond the U.S. withdrawal in 2014, it does not take into account the opinions of those who will most likely be affected by its implementation â€“ the Afghan people. Without their support, the partnership is more likely to inhibit the realization of a peaceful and secure Afghanistan.