MIKE FERNER – During the Vietnam war, there was a vibrant, courageous resistance movement within the military itself. Young men and some women did anything they could to end the killing. They demonstrated, sabotaged military equipment, and fragged their officers. They also published dozens of underground newspapers, one of which was put out by the crew of the carrier, USS Kitty Hawk, cheekily called Kitty Litter.
ERIN NIEMELA – Two days before Christmas my brother called, frantically demanding I tell him what to purchase for my two young children and myself. For the kids, I said, buy Legos. For myself, I neither need nor want anything. I requested he write for me a brief letter answering the following question: If you could give me anything in the world for Christmas, what would it be and why? My dear brotherâ€™s response was less than agreeable: â€œWhat the hell? Iâ€™m too busy to do that! Just tell me what you want!â€ In his defense, he just had a new baby, but his response warrants a closer look into American culture and how it impacts all of us.
TOM HASTINGS – I’m a peace person, as are my friends. I am striving to be nonviolent and have tried to learn nonviolence for years. I can point to alternatives to guns, I can argue against them, and that’s about it. What we need — what would dramatically change our national discourse on this — is for gun owners to stand up and tell the rest of us, “We no longer want our possessions to be regarded under our Constitution as sacred and above the law. We reject the kneejerk response from the NRA and the gun industry every time there is a tragedy. Not once — never, ever one single time — have they admitted that guns can ever be a problem and are just things that should be subjected to laws like anything else.”
ERIN NIEMELA – About a week ago I had the unfortunate experience of being followed off a bus on a dark corner. The man who followed me made it clear that he intended harm â€“ even growling at me as I hastened into a nearby open market. The experience was benign compared to many others Iâ€™ve had, but it compelled me to revisit my understanding of and beliefs in feminism.
DAVID SWANSON – Almost every account includes belated discoveries of the extent to which a government was been spying on and infiltrating activist groups. And almost every such account includes belated discoveries of the extent to which government officials were influenced by activist groups even while pretending to ignore popular pressure.
PATRICK HILLER – In 1951 the U.S. gs partovernmentâ€™s Civil Defense Branch produced the film Duck and Cover. … Even at that time the usefulness of the proposed duck-and-cover maneuver in the face of the utter annihilation arising from a nuclear blast was questioned.
EYDER PERALTA – A U.S. Navy variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35C, conducts a test flight over the Chesapeake Bay in 2011. As Congress struggles to rein in the federal deficit, a new survey finds Americans preferred to cut defense spending more than any other program.
DR. JOSEPH GERSON -Beyond this hysteria, peace, labor and immigrant rights activists and scholars are gathering in Chicago for the May 18-19 Counter-Summit for Peace and Economic Justice, to present the case against NATO-driven militarism.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER -“World military spending reached a record $1,738 billion in 2011 — an increase of $138 billion over the previous year. The United States accounted for 41 percent of that, or $711 billion.”
REBECCA GRIFFIN – Tell your representative and senators to oppose bills that bring us closer to war with Iran, and to support diplomacy.
CRAIG CLINE – Last summer, Congress passed, and President Obama signed, a law that requires the DoD to reduce its enormous â€œbudgetâ€ by close to $1 trillion over the next 10 years.
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.
DENNIS KUCINICH – Ten years ago, as we watched the Bush administration â€“ through Attorney General John Ashcroft – respond to the horrific events of 9/11/01, Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio gave this stirring speech. Now, ten years later, measure Kucinichâ€™s wisdom against that which has been actually directing our nationâ€™s path
DAVID SWANSON – 1. Iran has threatened to fight back if attacked, and that’s a war crime. War crimes must be punished.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – Conservative politicians often portray the United Nations as a powerful monster, poised to gobble up the United States and other countries and put them under alien rule. The reality, of course, is quite different.
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?
BRIAN TERRELL – On January 25, the host committee for the G8/NATO summit in Chicago in May unveiled a new slogan for the event, â€œThe Global Crossroads.â€ The mood of the organizers is upbeat and positive. This is a grand opportunity to market Chicago with an eye for the tourist dollar and the city is ready, the committee assures us, to deal with any â€œpotential problems.â€
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.
BRIAN J. TRAUTMAN – Each year, Congress authorizes the budget of the Department of Defense through a National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA of 2012, however, is unlike any previous ones. This yearâ€™s legislation contains highly controversial provisions that empower the Armed Forces to engage in civilian law enforcement and to selectively suspend due process and habeas corpus, as well as other rights guaranteed by the 5th and 6th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, for terror suspects apprehended on U.S. soil.
PRESS RELEASE – Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility announces its fourth annual Greenfield Peace Writing Contest for 11th or 12th grade students in Oregon. Students may enter by submitting an original piece of fiction, poem, or essay (maximum 600 words) reflecting on the following question:
MADELYN HOFFMAN – As 2011 ends, it is time to reflect upon continuing U.S. involvement in overseas wars and the impact that involvement has here at home. It is a good time to reflect on the role that protest played in getting us here and what those protests still want to achieve so the U.S. is genuinely safe and secure.
NAOMI KLEIN – I was honored to be invited to speak at Occupy Wall Street on Thursday night. Since amplification is (disgracefully) banned, and everything I say will have to be repeated by hundreds of people so others can hear (aâ€‰kâ€‰a â€œthe human microphoneâ€), what I actually say at Liberty Plaza will have to be very short. With that in mind, here is the longer, uncut version of the speech.
PETER BERGEL – Rami Khouri will deliver Salemâ€™s annual Peace Lecture on October 19th at 7:30 p.m. at Willamette Universityâ€™s Hudson Hall in the Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center. As this yearâ€™s Peace Lecturer, Khouri becomes the 22nd speaker in a series which has featured such luminaries as Daniel Ellsberg, Philip Berrigan, Helen Caldicott, Jonathan Schell, Dolores Huertaand many others. The lecture is free and open to the public. His topic is â€œThe Arab Spring: Revolution or Evolution?â€
GEORGE LAKEY – I am happy to announce that a four-year project is now ready for release to you: 430 cases (and growing) of campaigns from around the world that used nonviolent direct action.
ANDREW MARSZAL – Coral reefs are on course to become the first ecosystem that human activity will eliminate entirely from the Earth, a leading United Nations scientist claims. He says this event will occur before the end of the present century, which means that there are children already born who will live to see a world without coral.
CORY MCMAHON & RICHARD CLARK – Genocide expert Daniel Goldhagen has shown that genocide â€” which includes deliberate famine and other silent killing campaigns â€” has occurred more than 70 times since 1900 with a death toll of at least 127 million, outnumbering the casualties of all of mankindâ€™s 20th century wars. It is no wonder that Goldhagen calls genocide an â€œurgent first order global problem.â€
BETSY CRITES – What do Durham and Afghanistan have in common? We are worlds apart, but we both have people who need jobs, health care, schools, transportation and sewers, and help for our homeless, elderly and hungry. Neither of us is getting our critical needs met in part because a war neither of us really wants is draining our economies, killing and injuring our young people, and depleting our spirits.
PETER BERGEL – On Tuesday night a reported 100,000 Americans joined Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz for a national conversation about breaking the partisan gridlock in Washington DC. It was another great example of the growing willingness of ordinary people to reclaim their power from those to whom they have delegated it, only to see it abused.
PEACE ACTION – U.S. military spending is higher than it has been since World War II, at a level difficult to justify by any threats to the American people. A close look at U.S. military spending shows that it is directed toward threats posed by conventional opponents such as the Soviet Union. That is, we are preparing to fight the last war.
DOUGLAS E. NOLL – Those of us outside of Washington D.C. are faced with potential disaster if our elected representatives cannot compromise on debt ceiling limits. The conflict has spiraled into pure ideology. As a mediator and peacemaker, I deal with this type of conflict frequently.
VERNICE SOLIMAR, PHD – Over the years, students and faculty at John F. Kennedy University have expressed a desire to apply principles of psychology, human development and human potential to social action, diversity and systems approaches to planetary issues…a major need for the 21st century was a new paradigm of leadership that would solve problems, shift systems and create opportunities that engendered respect and care of the community, ecological integrity, social and economic justice and world peace.
REP. KURT SCHRADER – Rep. Kurt Schrader joined 94 other members of the House in sending the following letter to President Barack Obama urging him to remove all U.S. troops by this yearâ€™s end. â€“ Ed.
TODD DIEHL – As September 11, 2001 reaches its 10th anniversary, I would like to propose an alternative: Love Your Enemy. We have all witnessed the actions of a nation focused on hate and revenge. Now it is time to move our hearts and turn our focus to actions based on love, reconciliation, and healing. As Martin Luther King, Jr, said, â€œIt is love that will save our civilization; love even for our enemies.â€
ERICA CHENOWETH – From Cairo, Egypt, to Madison, Wisconsin, civil societyis fighting back through massive nonviolent resistance. But what makes for a successful campaign? The data is in.
REBECCA GRIFFIN & TOM HAYDEN – Rebecca Griffin and Tom Hayden are both strong peace advocates who have worked long and hard to end the wars in the Middle East. Their views on President Obamaâ€™s speech about his Afghan war plans are quite divergent, yet both make valid and important points.
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.
NORMAN SOLOMON – In times of war, U.S. presidents have often talked about yearning for peace. But the last decade has brought a gradual shift in the rhetorical zeitgeist while a tacit assumption has taken hold — war must go on, one way or another.
CYNTHIA MCKINNEY – While serving on the House International Relations Committee from 1993 to 2003, it became clear to me that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was an anachronism. Founded in 1945 at the end of World War II, NATO was founded by the United States in response to the Soviet Union’s survival as a Communist state. NATO was the U..S. insurance policy that capitalist ownership and domination of European, Asian, and African economies would continue. This also would ensure the survival of the then-extant global apartheid.
THE INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS AND PEACE – The threat of terrorist attacks and the likelihood of violent demonstrations were the two leading factors (1) making the world less peaceful in 2011, according to the latest Global Peace Index (GPI), released May 25, 2011. This is the third consecutive year that the GPI, produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), has shown a decline in the levels of world peace. The economic cost of this to the global economy was $8.12 trillion in the past year.
IAN HARRIS – People should not be surprised that the United States has put itself in line to dictate the nature of the next head of state in Libya. After all, in 1954 this country replaced an elected leader in Iran, Mohammad Mossadegh, who had promised to nationalize the oil in his country. Look what happened to Saddam Hussein after he nationalized the oil in Iraq! In 2009 Moammar Quadhafi mentioned nationalizing the oil industry in Libya, where the largest oil company was already state owned. This made Quadhafi a dangerous mad dog renegade who needed to be replaced. Do you see a pattern here?
CRAIG CLINE – Iâ€™m a â€œbaby boomerâ€ — one of about 76 million American children born during the demographic post-World War II baby boom — between the years of 1946 and 1964. If youâ€™re a baby boomer, too, this message is especially for you. We have patriotic work to doâ€¦ again.
KENT D. SHIFFERD – With the 20th century having been the bloodiest in history, and with bombs falling in Libya, explosions in Iraq, Hamas rockets falling on Israel and a seemingly endless war in Afghanistan, the answer to the question above seems an obvious â€œNo!â€ However, if you take the long view and look at some trends that have been going on more or less unnoticed for a couple of hundred years, it could well be a â€œmaybe.â€
BETTY A. REARDON AND TONY JENKINS – The New York Times recently featured significant articles highlighting the important role of non-formal civilian education and training contributing to the nonviolent toppling of dictatorships in Tunisia and Egypt (Feb 13: A Tunisian-Egyptian Link That Shook Arab History; Feb 16: Shy U.S. Intellectual Created Playbook Used in a Revolution). In our peacebuilding work, we have found that such significant nonviolent political transformations are not likely to occur without the essential education and training of everyday citizens in the knowledge and skills of peacemaking, mediation and negotiation, conflict transformation, and nonviolent resistance. This is why we believe the February 18 vote in the U.S. House of Representatives in favor of amendment 100 to HR 1 (246 to 182 â€“ largely along partisan lines) that will eliminate all federal funding for the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) is a tremendous mistake.
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.
JEFF COHEN AND NORMAN SOLOMON – While Washington pundits are talking up a new civility, many progressives are bracing for the old servility — a bipartisanship that is servile to a corporate elite that is unquenchably greedy and more powerful than ever. But this is not a time for despair. Itâ€™s a time for new activism — built upon one of the great achievements of the last decade: the rise of independent media.
LEONARD EIGER – Last Saturday, January 15, the Seattle Raging Grannies set the mood for honoring Martin Luther King, Jrâ€™s birthday at the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in Poulsbo, Washington. Eighty three people from the Center participated in a vigil at the Kitsap Mall in Silverdale with the help of a full scale, 44 foot long, inflatable Trident D-5 missile. Each D-5 missile, deployed on Trident nuclear submarines, carries up to 8 warheads, each with an explosive yield of up to 475 kilotons. Each D-5 missile costs approximately $60 million.
ED HEMMINGSON — My thoughts here are in response to Oregon PeaceWorksâ€™ call for personal visions of what the world might look like if â€œpeace broke out.â€ That term of course, is a satirical twist on the common expression, â€œwar broke out,â€ which is used by the popular media, as though war were some wild beast that just got loose. In reality, war is the result of cold calculations by people in power who see it as being to their advantage.
PETER BERGEL: Here, in no particular order, are websites (both articles and organizations) and books that I and others have found helpful in researching peace visioning.