JOHN LAFORGE – Steadfast Noon is not just code language, or public relations. The event is a large-scale, psychological operation intended to teach us to pretend that nuclear attacks can do good. Of course if nuclear firestorms saved lives and ended war — as U.S. mythology goes with Hiroshima and Nagasaki — then the Pentagon would have used them in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. People love to be fooled.
CHRIS HEDGES – The same cabal of war mongering pundits, foreign policy specialists and government officials, year after year, debacle after debacle, smugly dodge responsibility for the military fiascos they orchestrate. They are protean, shifting adroitly with the political winds, moving from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party and then back again, mutating from cold warriors to neocons to liberal interventionists. Pseudo intellectuals, they exude a cloying Ivy League snobbery as they sell perpetual fear, perpetual war, and a racist worldview, where the lesser breeds of the earth only understand violence.
DEREK ROYDEN – The U.S. never wants war on its own soil, but seems perpetually eager to generate massive profits for its overwhelmingly powerful armaments industry by supplying weapons to the world in conflict. The rest of the world may at last be rejecting that war footing, if the signs from new initiatives are an indication.
JOSEPH GERSON – The Ukraine War is about far more than Ukraine. It’s not simply a criminal Russian war of aggression, which it is. But as the recent U.S. National Security Strategy informs us, “The post-Cold War era is definitely over, and competition is underway between the major powers to shape what comes next.” The war, its devastations and nuclear threats, and its catastrophic climate fallout are major elements of the collapse of the bi-polar world disorder, the birthing of a new multi-polar order, and the resulting global competition for power and privilege.
Governments alone will not deliver us peace, nuclear disarmament, or deeper international cooperation and unity. Those goals can only be achieved with pressure from below.
ERIC BRAKEY – In his final point about a Maine joint resolution supporting the United States’ continued stance on the war in Ukraine, Eric Brakey concludes: This resolution should be demanding that Secretary of State Antony Blinken go to Geneva and sit down for peace talks with both Russian and Ukrainian leaders to resolve this border dispute, broker a peace, end the war, end the famine, end the energy crisis, and take the very real threat of nuclear annihilation off the table. That is what this body should be calling for: peace, not war!
BOAVENTURA DE SOUSA SANTOS – Intellectuals do not have a monopoly on culture, on values, or on truth, much less on the meanings attributed to any one of these “domains of the spirit,” as they used to be termed. But intellectuals should also not shrink from denouncing what they see as destructive of culture, values, and truth, notably when such destruction claims to be carried out in the name of these “domains of spirit.”
JEFFREY D. SACHS – We are not at the 1-year anniversary of the war, as the Western governments and media claim. This is the 9-year anniversary of the war. And that makes a big difference.
BRANKO MARCETIC – A review of the public record and dozens of diplomatic cables made publicly available via WikiLeaks show that U.S. officials were aware, or were directly told over the span of years, that expanding NATO was viewed by Russian officials well beyond Putin as a major threat and provocation; that expanding it to Ukraine was a particularly bright red line for Moscow; that such action would inflame and empower hawkish, nationalist parts of the Russian political spectrum; and that it could ultimately lead to war.
JAMES W. CARDEN – The wariness and suspicion of unnecessary and unsupportable foreign interventions which, albeit all-too-temporarily, stemmed from the “Vietnam Syndrome” is today utterly absent in the corridors of power in Joe Biden’s Washington. The Vietnam Syndrome is indeed kicked: Dead and buried. But we may soon regret its passing.
By Caitlin Johnstone Vladimir Putin has approved the annexation of four territories in eastern Ukraine, whose addition to the Russian Federation now await authorization from Russia’s other branches of government. The Zelensky government responded to the move by applying to…
ROGER PEACE – Continuation of the current system of big power competition and rival blocs bodes ill for the future. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has set its “doomsday clock” at 100 seconds to midnight, closer than it has ever been, based on nuclear and global warming threats, an indication of how close humanity is to “destroying our world with dangerous technologies of our own making.” Moving toward mutual security and cooperation will set the clock back and allow humanity to move forward.
JEFFREY D. SACHS – The overwrought fear of China and Russia is sold to a Western public through manipulation of the facts.
NEWS GHANA – Late Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was a good, well-meaning man who ended the Cold War and dramatically reduced superpower and global nuclear tensions, but he put too much trust into the unwritten assurances of American leaders, experts
RICK STERLING – There are significant parallels between the international crises in Cuba in 1962 and Ukraine today. Both involved intense confrontations between the USA and the Soviet Union or Russia. Both involved third party countries on the doorstep of a major power. The Cuban Missile Crisis threatened to lead to WW3, just as the Ukraine crisis does today.
KEVIN MARTIN and BRAD WOLF – We posit no sexy title for our strategy. Peace, and only peace. That’s it. We can split the atom and rocket to the stars. Surely we can resolve our disputes without incinerating each other. We need set our minds, money, and resources to it. Dominance is for tyrants. It must fall and humanity must prevail. Peace is everything.
CLARE DALY and JAMES W. CARDEN – [Stunning and invaluable perspectives are presented in the interview you are about to read.] Two weeks ago the European Parliament overwhelmingly voted to approve Ukraine’s candidacy for membership in the European Union. Only days before, the EU- and NATO- member state Lithuania enacted a blockade of Russia’s Eastern European enclave, Kaliningrad. Meantime, Russia’s military gains in eastern Ukraine have been met with ever more promises of Western aid for Ukraine. To discuss these and other developments, on Thursday, June 23rd, I spoke with Clare Daly, a courageous and outspoken member of the European Parliament from Ireland, and a stalwart opponent of the trans-Atlantic militarist consensus that has both Washington and the European Parliament in Brussels firmly in its grip.
ANN WRIGHT – While the world’s attention is focused on the brutal Russia-Ukraine conflict, half-way around the world, in the Pacific Ocean, competition/confrontation of the U.S. and NATO toward China and North Korea is taking an increasingly military turn.
ARNOLD OLIVER – There are no more important decisions that republics can make than whether to go to war. In such times of crisis, citizens are obliged to inform themselves on the facts and issues as best they can, and to speak out clearly and forcefully. But it is difficult to see how this is possible if any questioning of a rigid orthodoxy leads to immediate attacks on one’s character; or worse, if the major media outlets are in lockstep on the march to war, and deny the public access to dissenting views. All of this happened in 2003, and it is again happening now.
VETERAN INTELLIGENCE PROFESSIONALS FOR SANITY (VIPS) – Mainstream media have marinated the minds of most Americans in a witches’ brew of misleading information on Ukraine – and on the exceedingly high stakes of the war. On the chance you are not getting the kind of “untreated” intelligence President Truman hoped for by restructuring intelligence, we offer below a 12-point factsheet. Some of us were intelligence analysts during the Cuban missile crisis and see a direct parallel in Ukraine. As to VIPs’ credibility, our record since Jan. 2003 – whether on Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, or Russia – speaks for itself.
ALAN MACLEOD – Google has sent a warning shot across the world, ominously informing media outlets, bloggers, and content creators that it will no longer tolerate certain opinions when it comes to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
CHRIS DE PLOEG – International aggression has major consequences and can lead to massive loss of human life: 2.4 million dead in Iraq, 1.2 million dead in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the U.S. war against the Taliban. Senior American defense officials claim that Russia is still holding back and that its bombers are primarily focused on military targets. These same officials also warn that civilian casualties could massively spike if Russia does decide to enact an Iraq- or Chechnya-style bombing campaign. Can that kind of fate still be prevented in Ukraine? That is the primary question that should concern all commentators. That and the prevention of further escalation, nuclear war. Where do we go from here?
PETER BERGEL and MICHAEL CARRIGAN – Once again we are all paying our federal income taxes this month. We do this as “the price of civilization” – to pay for the services we value and rely upon – disaster relief, help during the pandemic, wildfire protection, food security, a host of others and… nuclear weapons?
WINSLOW MYERS – Which of these parallel universes of thought will prevail? Putin’s brutality, whatever its outcome, has only pointed up the stupidity and futility of violence and the perennial possibility of its opposite—a world that chooses survival, takes the risk of cooperation, and ensures a further stage in the unfolding human story.
RAY MCGOVERN – University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer, widely respected “dean” of the realism school (aka, “offensive realism”) of international relations, has put the conflict in Ukraine in a context that everyone can understand – and needs to understand before it is too late.
BOAVENTURA DE SOUSA SANTOS – More than 100 years after World War I, Europe’s leaders are sleepwalking toward a new all-out war. In 1914, the European governments believed that the war would last three weeks; it lasted four years and resulted in more than 20 million deaths. The same nonchalance is visible with the war in Ukraine.
BRIAN GARVEY – Cohesive opposition that demands an end to the violence and bloodshed in Ukraine must be the top priority of advocates for peace.
ERIKA SHELBY – Pointing fingers wonâ€™t helpâ€”an attitude shift is what the world needs now.
JIM GARRISON – What would it take for NATO and Russia to embrace the obvious? The only way for the current crisis to be truly solved is to create a process in and through which all the former antagonists can come together around the creation of a common security and economic zone that brings Russia together with Ukraine as partners in a larger zone of peace. It is possible.
DRU OJA JAY – The Russian Federation governmentâ€™s decision to order an illegal invasion of Ukraine has created major military escalations, rapid realignments resembling a new cold war, and a bonanza for arms dealers.
ROBERT E. HUNTER – Vladimir Putin has been sending warning signals for over a decade; once the Ukraine crisis is over, nothing will be the same. As the United States tries to cope with this crisis, missing so far is a clear sense of â€œwhat next?â€ â€” that is, once the current imbroglio is over, as inevitably it must be.
MEDEA BENJAMIN and NICHOLAS J. S. DAVIES – Ukrainians of all ethnicities deserve genuine support to resolve their differences and find a way to live together in one countryâ€”or to separate peacefully.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – As the Cuban missile crisis ultimately convinced Kennedy and Khrushchev, in the nuclear era thereâ€™s little to be gainedâ€•and a great deal to be lostâ€•when great powers continue their centuries-old practices of carving out exclusive spheres of influence and engaging in high-stakes military confrontations.Â Surely, we, too, can learn from the Cuban crisisâ€•and must learn from itâ€•if we are to survive.
MASSACHUSETTS PEACE ACTION – The US has just managed to extract itself from a 20-year war in Afghanistan. Does our government seriously want to embark on another war? Since 2001, our long, bloody, fruitless interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Pakistan have cost thousands of US lives, hundreds of thousands of civilian lives in those countries, andÂ $6.4 trillion.
RAY MCGOVERN – Fourteen years ago today, when then-ambassador to Russia William Burns, in an IMMEDIATE cable titled “Nyet Means Nyet: Russiaâ€™s NATO Enlargement Redlines,” reported Moscowâ€™s warning that NATO membership for Ukraine would cross a red line, the Russians could do little more than grouse. Enter from left stage Chinese President Xi Jinping last year with the shot of adrenalin Putin needed to make “Nyet” stick. Under-Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and her protÃ©gÃ© Antony Blinken seem to be in the dark about the close ties between Russia and China represented by such give and take between the two countries.
JACK F. MATLOCK, JR. – Interference by the United States and its NATO allies in Ukraineâ€™s civil struggle has exacerbated the crisis within Ukraine, undermined the possibility of bringing the two easternmost provinces back under Kyivâ€™s control, and raised the specter of possible conflict between nuclear-armed powers. Furthermore, in denying that Russia has a â€œrightâ€ to oppose extension of a hostile military alliance to its national borders, the United States ignores its own history of declaring and enforcing for two centuries a sphere of influence in the Western hemisphere.
JOHN LAFORGE – When it comes to double-standards, sheer hypocrisy, and laughable duplicity, Germany takes the cake this week â€” for nuclear weapons two-facedness.
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL – Before America chose to lead any kind of â€œSummit for Democracy,â€ and before â€œAmerica is backâ€ to a new Cold War, the country urgently needs a more serious discussion about its real security prioritiesâ€”and the real challenges it faces.
DANNY SHAW – Vladimir Putin is considered a threat because he restored Russian sovereignty, erased the humiliation of the Boris Yeltsin era, and championed Russiaâ€™s national interests. But that is just what the U.S. elite could not tolerate.
BRIAN TERRELL – NATO boasts of â€œSteadfast Noon,â€ betraying the arrogant conviction of the Allied Heads of State and Government that despite a â€œdeteriorating security environment,â€ through annual displays of brute force and profligate waste of fossil fuel, the darkness can be held at bay forever and the exploiters of the earth and its people will bask in the everlasting light of noon. The scholars at The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists who have kept a â€œDoomsday Clockâ€ since 1947, propose instead that the planet is actually closer to midnight, the hypothetical global catastrophe. The Bulletinâ€™s Clock is now at 100 seconds before midnight and humanity is closer to its destruction than ever before, because “the dangerous rivalry and hostility among the superpowers increases the likelihood of nuclear blunder… Climate change just compounds the crisis.â€
ALEXEY GROMYKO – Next year we mark the 40th anniversary of the Report of the Independent Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues under the Chairmanship of Olof Palme. The Report introduced the concept of Common Security and contributed to the end of the Cold War. However, these days the ideas behind Common Security are almost forgotten in spite of the fact that we again live in extremely perilous times.
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?
RAY MCGOVERN – Whether or not Official Washington fully appreciates the gradual â€“ but profound â€“ change in Americaâ€™s triangular relationship with Russia and China over recent decades, what is clear is that the US has made itself into the big loser. The triangle may still be equilateral, but it is now, in effect, two sides against one.
JOHN LAFORGE – Joe Biden has his own Douglas MacArthur moment, and should replace the head of US Strategic Command, Adm. Charles A. Richard, just as Harry Truman fired the insubordinate commander of the US war in Korea.
NORMAN SOLOMON – The U.S. war in Afghanistan wonâ€™t end just because President Biden and U.S. news media tell us so. As countless Afghan people have experienced, troops on the ground arenâ€™t the only measure of horrific warfare.
ANATOL LIEVEN – The initial reaction of Biden administration officials to the latest clash between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian militia (or Russian soldiers serving as militia) in eastern Ukraine exemplifies a very dangerous pattern in U.S. and Western behavior: to believe whatever â€œourâ€ side in a given crisis tells us, automatically, and without checking facts.
WORLD BEYOND WAR – Victoria Nuland, former foreign policy adviser to vice president Dick Cheney, should not be nominated for Undersecretary of State, and if nominated should be rejected by the Senate.
ROBERT C. kOEHLER – Joe Biden, in blatant defiance of the wishes of Donald Trump and the Republican Party, has won the vote and claimed the presidency. He will now, as he told the nation in his acceptance speech, begin attempting to â€œrestore the soul of Americaâ€ and â€œmarshal the forces of decency,â€ which sounds great but means virtually nothing unless the words are linked to a clear and courageous agenda.
JOHN LAFORGE – In a fashion reminiscent of lawless dictatorships the world over, the Trump White House has written to countries that have adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons urging them to withdraw their ratifications.
ANDREW BACEVICH – Free of charge, Joe, here is an action plan that will get you from Election Night through your first two weeks in office. Follow this plan and by your 100th day in the White House observers will be comparing you to at least one President Roosevelt, if not both.
ROBERT kOEHLER – In the linear world of geopolitics, militarism and mysteriously determined â€œnational interestâ€ rule and security means â€” though it is never put this way â€” playing games with Armageddon. This is called realism. And those who claim to be realists never â€” ever, ever â€” allow a word like â€œdisarmamentâ€ into the conversation, much less into the realm of political choice.