RICHARD HEINBERG – When it comes to maintaining energy flows, there is a closing window to avert both climate catastrophe and economic peril.
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.
MEL GURTOV – The predominant direction of a progressive US president should be toward â€œMaking America Safe for the World.â€ That means focusing on domestic problems rather than on foreign policy crusading, relying on diplomacy before making threats and imposing sanctions, redefining the national interest with an eye toward real friends and urgent issues, and finding common ground with adversaries, starting with China, while remaining faithful to our ideals.
NATYLIE BALDWIN – In response to an attack last Friday in Iraq that killed a U.S. military contractor and injured several U.S. service members, the U.S. bombed Iraqi Shia militias known as Popular Mobilization Units (PMUâ€™s), particularly one known as Ketaib Hezbollah, which it claimed was responsible for the Friday attack. The Iraq government warned Washington not to conduct the retaliatory attack, citing violation of Iraqâ€™s sovereignty. The conflict has arisen amid a climate of relations that were already frayed as many of the recent popular protests in Iraq were partly an expression of disgust about perceived foreign control of the country by both the U.S. and neighboring Iran, in addition to domestic grievances.
GEORGE BEEBE – Today, that old dread of disaster has all but disappeared, as have the systems that helped preclude it. But the actual threat of nuclear catastrophe is much greater than we realize. U.S. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle need to start addressing the danger.
PATRICK T. HILLER – It is easy to be a cynic listening to some of the more nonsensical chatter coming out of Congress. Despite the most comprehensive international agreement between the United States and its P5+1 partners (the members of the UN Security Council and Germany) with Iran on its nuclear program, the calls to bomb Iran are still too loud for them to be dismissed.
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.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – In the midst of a nationwide election campaign in which many politicians trumpet their support for the buildup and employment of U.S. military power around the world, the American publicâ€™s disagreement with such measures is quite remarkable. Indeed, many signs point to the fact that most Americans want to avoid new wars, reduce military spending, and support international cooperation.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – The Republican Party has stood up with remarkable consistency for the post-9/11 U.S. government policies of widespread surveillance, indefinite detention without trial, torture, and extraordinary rendition. It has also supported government subsidies for religious institutions, government restrictions on immigration and free passage across international boundaries, government denial of collective bargaining rights for public sector workers, government attacks on public use of public space (for example, the violent police assaults on the Occupy movement), and government interference with womenâ€™s right to abortion and doctorsâ€™ right to perform it.
DAVID SWANSON – A magazine asked me this morning for my thoughts on Iraq and the peace movement. What did this war produce?
MALOU INNOCENT & JONATHAN OWEN – The Republican presidential hopefuls, Ron Paul excepted, would prefer a more bellicose response to Iranâ€™s nuclear aspirations than President Obamaâ€™s current stance. Cato Institute staff argue that this is approach is flawed.
SUSI SNYDER – The European Union, as a key actor in global non-proliferation and disarmament discussions, and charged with facilitating dialogue with Iran over its nuclear program, bears a specific responsibility to encourage a peaceful negotiated solution based on mutual trust and respect for all parties.
WINSLOW MYERS – The biggest challenges we face all have their root cause in an artificial separationâ€”between nations, races, religions, classes, between political parties, between humans and the living ecosystem upon which we depend for lifeâ€”even between our heads and hearts. Such apparent separations represent a kind of global neurosis for which one antidote is what Buddhist philosopher Thich Nhat Hanh calls â€œinterbeingâ€â€”the recognition of our deep interdependence.
DAVID SWANSON – 1. Iran has threatened to fight back if attacked, and that’s a war crime. War crimes must be punished.
IAN HRRIS – When Alice went down the rabbit hole in Lewis Carolâ€™s novel, Alice and Wonderland, she experienced all kinds of unpleasant surprises. What kind of surprises will we Americans face if our government bombs Iran?
ADAM ENTOUS – Pentagon war planners have concluded that their largest conventional bomb isn’t yet capable of destroying Iran’s most heavily fortified underground facilities, and are stepping up efforts to make it more powerful, according to U.S. officials briefed on the plan.
MICHAEL T. KLARE – Welcome to an edgy world where a single incident at an energy â€œchokepointâ€ could set a region aflame, provoking bloody encounters, boosting oil prices, and putting the global economy at risk. With energy demand on the rise and sources of supply dwindling, we are, in fact, entering a new epoch — the Geo-Energy Era — in which disputes over vital resources will dominate world affairs.
DAVID SWANSON – The City Council of Charlottesville, Virginia, home of Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and the University of Virginia, passed on Tuesday evening, January 17, 2012, a resolution believed to be a first in the country, opposing the launching of a war on Iran, as well as calling for an end to current ground and drone wars engaged in by the United States and urging Congress and the President of the United States to significantly reduce military spending.
GLOBAL NETWORK – In one of the most blacked-out stories in America right now, the US military is preparing to send thousands of US troops, along with US Naval anti-missile ships and accompanying support personnel, to Israel. It took forever to find a second source for confirmation of this story and both relatively mainstream media outlets are in Israel.
ROBERT PARRY – With the typical backdrop of alarmist propaganda in place, the stage is now set for a new war, this time with Iran. The slightest miscalculation (or provocation) by the United States, Israel or Iran could touch off a violent scenario that will have devastating consequences.
NICK HOPKINS – Britain’s armed forces are stepping up their contingency planning for potential military action against Iran amid mounting concern about Tehran’s nuclear enrichment programme, the Guardian has learned.
WINSLOW MYERS — Two strategic goals of the U.S. are an apparent desire to control Middle East oil and the expressed commitment to help keep Israel safe. This requires the U.S. to refuse the laudable vision of the Middle East as a nuclear weapons-free zone, which would demand that Israel dismantle its nuclear arsenal. Instead, news reports indicate that Israel may be gearing up for a pre-emptive attack on Iranâ€™s nuclear facilities.