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.
JOSEPH CIRINCIONE – On the campaign trail and in strategy documents, President Biden committed to a new focus on arms control â€” and to a reconsideration of dangerous policies. News reports suggest his review of the U.S. nuclear posture will be disappointing. So, what can be done to alter this outcome, and who is working toward changing decision makers’ minds ?
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.
WES SILER – Today [Oct. 8, 2021], President Biden announced that heâ€™s restoring the Bears Ears and Grand Staircaseâ€“Escalante National Monuments in Utah, as well asÂ the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean to the areas and protections that were in place before Donald Trump massively cut them. The move fulfills a campaign promise, protects sensitive historic sites and fragile ecosystems, preserves air and water quality for local communities, keeps coal and oil in the ground, and listens to the voice of Indigenous people on the eve of Indigenous Peopleâ€™s Day.Â
LINDA GUNTER – The Tennessee Valley Authority could likely rightfully claim a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, but itâ€™s not an achievement for which the federally-owned electric utility corporation would welcome notoriety.
JEREMY SCAHILL – Drone whistleblower Daniel Hale should be pardoned and released, and the government should pay him restitution.
MARK ENGLER and PAUL ENGLER – The importance of grassroots organizing is still being underestimated.
JACK GOLDSMITH and SAMUEL MOYN – If President Biden really wants to end the ‘forever wars’, he must work with Congress and go well beyond narrowing old permission slips for conflict.
JEFF COHEN and NORMAN SOLOMON – Rahm Emanuel has never been associated with the word â€œdiplomatic,â€ but news reports say that President Biden is seriously considering him for a top position as U.S. ambassador to Japan or China. Naming Emanuel to such a post would be an affront to many of the constituencies that got Biden elected. The saga of Emanuelâ€™s three decades in politics is an epic tale of methodical contempt for progressive values.
BRIAN TERRELL – It is refreshing to hear a U.S. president at least recognize that the Yemeni people are suffering an â€œunendurable devastationâ€ and this is due to the hard work of grassroots peace activists around the world. Whether President Bidenâ€™s proclamation will mean much in the real world beyond a temporary hold on the weapons deals Trump made just before leaving office is yet to be seen.
LINDA PENTZ GUNTER – Biden-Harris must look at empirical data, not listen to spin doctors and establishment cronies who will keep them anchored to the status quo, thus deferring the very energy revolution they claim they will lead. If Biden-Harris remain in favor of action on climate AND for nuclear power, then they are part of the problem, not the solution.
EZRA KLEIN – Democrates have two years to prove that the American political system can work. Two years to show Trumpism was an experiment that need not be repeated. Two years. This is the responsibility the Democratic majority must bear: If they fail or falter, they will open the door for Trumpism or something like it to return, and there is every reason to believe it will be far worse next time. To stop it, Democrats need to reimagine their role. They cannot merely defend the political system. They must rebuild it.
CAROLINE HURLEY – Security, claim peace scientists, is the experience and expectation of well-being. Analyzing management of the major 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa is instructive given Covid 19â€™s global rampage. Despite internal UN dysfunction, especially the veto system pitting members at cross-purposes, that organization proved its worth.
GREG PALAST – Unless America radically changes the way we send, receive and count mail-in ballots, the massive switch to postal voting, and the mountain of uncounted minority votes it will generate, could lead to Trumpâ€™s re-electionâ€”no matter the will of the voters.
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL – After this pandemic passes, there must be a profound reckoning. Iâ€™m not referring to President Trumpâ€™s abysmal performance in the crisis; the election in November will render citizensâ€™ judgment on that. No, there must be a reckoning with the profound failure of the United Statesâ€™ domestic and foreign policies and priorities, a failure that was apparent even before covid-19 revealed the catastrophic bankruptcy of our national security strategy.
BRIAN TERRELL – â€œI am convinced that if we are to get on to the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values,â€ said Dr. King. 52 years later, our very existence as a species is at risk and the radical revolution of values that he preached is our best hope.
GEORGE LAKEY – The trouble with pragmatism these days is that our country is becoming less predictable by the minute. What is going on among the 40 percent of the electorate that didnâ€™t bother to vote in 2016â€™s general election? How about the new voters whoâ€™ve become naturalized citizens in the meantime, or the many whoâ€™ve turned 18? How much will the Russians skew the results?
MATTHEW HOH – The United States killed Iranian Quds Forces Commander General Qassam Soleimani. There is no hyperbole or exaggeration too great to encapsulate what may befall tens of millions of families. The equivalent of the killing of General Soleimani would be as if the Iranians assassinated General Richard Clarke, the US four-star general in charge of all US special operations, but only if General Clarke had the name recognition of Colin Powell and the competency of Dwight Eisenhower.
H . PATRICIA HYNES – Recall the Monroe Doctrine of 1823 from grade school history? President James Monroe proclaimed that European nations could not colonize nor otherwise interfere in North and South American countries. Ironically, since 1890, the U.S. has intervened in Latin American elections, civil wars and revolutions at least 56 times, according to historian and author Mark Becker, to bolster US corporate interests and to eliminate democratically elected governments and leftist movements.
GEORGE LAKEY – From grassroots movements to presidential hopefuls, the importance of creating visionary plans for change is no longer being ignored.
HARVEY WASSERMAN – The environmental policy centerpiece of the incoming Democratic House of Representatives has ignited tremendous grassroots enthusiasm, but it faces many challenges, including from nuclear advocates who could undermine it?
LAWRENCE WITTNER – When Donald Trump was running for the presidency, he promised that, if he was elected, â€œAmerican worker[s] will finally have a president who will protect them and fight for them.â€ Today, though, safely ensconced in the White House, President Trump is waging a fierce campaign against American workers.
BRIAN TERREL – On Thursday, January 11, the sixteenth anniversary of the opening of the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba was marked by a coalition of 15 human rights organizations gathered in Lafayette Park, across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House in Washington, DC.
MEDEA BENJAMIN – When I recently asked a prominent activist how she was doing, she took my hands, looked me in the eyes and said, â€œEverything Iâ€™ve been working on for 50 years has gone down the toilet.â€ With so many good people feeling depressed, letâ€™s point to the positive things that happened, even in this really, really bad year.
ADAM FEDERMAN – A little-known bureaucrat named James Cason is reshaping the Department of the Interior.
DAVID SWANSON – If war were moral, legal, defensive, beneficial to the spread of freedom, and inexpensive, we would be obliged to make abolishing it our top priority solely because of the destruction that war and preparations for war do as the leading polluters of our natural environment.
NICHOLAS J.S. DAVIES – This is the state of war in the United States in July 2017.
MEL GURTOV – President Obamaâ€™s engagement with Cuba was one of his administrationâ€™s success stories. The policy shift was based on the entirely realistic as well as humanitarian assessment that permanent estrangement deepens enmity, isolates two peoples and separates families, reduces opportunities for improvement in the quality of life in Cuba, inhibits the two-way flow of information, and prevents cooperation on common problems. But the Trump administration, pressed by Senators Marco Rubio and Robert Menendez, is still fighting the Cold War, as evidenced by Trumpâ€™s disengagement order the week of June 20.
ERIC DE PLACE – After a string of successes defending the Northwest from ill-conceived dirty energy projects, the thin green lineâ€”the Northwestâ€™s opposition movement to coal, oil, and gas exportsâ€”is starting to play offense. Local governments around the region are already updating land use laws to protect their communities from the depredations of fossil fuel infrastructure schemes.
KAREN WEHRSTEIN – With all the talk of Donald Trumpâ€™s mental health status, Iâ€™ve decided to do something Iâ€™ve put off for a while: write a diary that shows he is a textbook case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), and spell out what that means in terms of what to expect from him and how to deal with it. Certainly the term â€œnarcissistâ€ is being applied to him a lot, but most people donâ€™t know the entirety of what that means, psychologically.
KATHY KELLY – No matter what gang is issuing the orders to kill, whether a massive military power or a smaller group that has acquired weapons, we can all claim our right not to develop, store, sell or use weapons. We can claim our right not to kill and not to live with the memory of having killed. â€œDeclaring eternal hostilityâ€ to the fear, greed and hate which are our real enemies seems to be our true hope. We can lay aside forever the futility of killing. We can be hopeful and determined that our resources and ingenuity are directed toward meeting human needs.
TYLER DURDEN – The mainstream media has lambasted the president-elect for “endangering the world” and “starting another nuclear arms race.” However, that same mainstream media appears mute in their response to what President Obama just did.
ERIC TEGETHOFF – Immigrant communities across Oregon are preparing to take President-elect Donald Trump at his word regarding ramping up deportations during his presidency.
REV. ANTHONY GRIMES – Right now, FOR National Council member Sahar Alsahlani, former National Council member Rick Ufford-Chase, FOR executive assistant Juliette Suarez, and I are traveling to the Standing Rock Sioux nation in North Dakota to join more than 350 faith leaders from across the United States.
DAVID SWANSON – Officially, of course, the national bird of the United States is that half-a-peace-sign that Philadelphia sports fans like to hold up at opposing teams. But unofficially, the film National Bird has it right: the national bird is a killer drone.
JENNI MONET – North Dakotaâ€™s militarized response to activists opposing the Dakota Access pipelineâ€”and the Standing Rock Siouxâ€™s fierce resolveâ€”reflect the area’s particular racial divides.
NUCLEAR AGE PEACE FOUNDATION – Two dates this month have special significance to those who want to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons: the International Day of Peace (September 21) and the UN High-Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament (September 26). Instead of honoring the significance of these dates and working in good faith to achieve nuclear disarmament, the United States has chosen to schedule two tests of its Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile on September 22 and September 26.
PATRICK T. HILLER – The red line was crossed; letâ€™s fire a shot across the bow. It sounds so easy, so clean, so surgical. Splash! A harmless shot landing in the water to make the enemy compliant. Since the American public â€“ and for that matter the entire world â€“ is rightfully doubtful of yet another U.S. military adventure, the administration is trying to play down what indeed are the preparations for going to war with another country.
NORMAN SOLOMON – A simple twist of fate has set President Obamaâ€™s second Inaugural Address for January 21, the same day as the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday.
Obama made no mention of King during the Inauguration four years ago — but since then, in word and deed, the president has done much to distinguish himself from the man who said â€œI have a dream.â€
HEATHER RODGERS and SAMANTHA COOK – Environmental groups have long warned that Americaâ€™s ravenous consumption of fossil fuels is not sustainable as a matter of public health or econmic health â€” either on a national or planetary level. But on the heels of a boom in domestic natural gas production â€” most of it the result of the adoption of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking â€” their opponents are in the ascendency. The conservation and convert-to-clean-fuels messages of the environmentalists are increasingly deridedas out of touch, unrealistic, and harmful to the economy.
DAVID SWANSON – Almost 10,000 Americans have sent messages to the Italian Embassy in Washington thanking Italy’s high court for upholding the conviction of 23 Americans (22 CIA officers and one military official) for the offense of kidnapping a man off the street in Milan on February 17, 2003, and shipping him to Egypt to be brutally tortured.
RITIKA SINGH and BENJAMIN WITTES – Political parties in the United States, like a spatting couple in a bad marriage, have been fighting over the law of counterterrorism for more than a decade. And like the spatting couple, they have developed an almost rote script for their fight. The script has a logic of its own. It is a comfortable one for both spousesâ€”and the fight is soothing in its own way. Republicans and Democrats alike wrap up some portion of their partyâ€™s identity and self-image in the conflict over national-security policy. The fight gives each side the impressionâ€”and the confidenceâ€”that the other endangers America. And it gives each side something to tell voters about why they should vote one way rather than another.
DR. ROBERT DODGE – This week marks the 67th anniversary of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the combined initial death toll of approximately 200,000 and thousands more in the years that followed. As Albert Einstein famously said, â€œWith the dawn of the nuclear age everything changed save [except] our modes of thinking, and thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.”
JEFREY SACHS – Just when it seemed that all of Washington had lost its values and its connection with the American people, a bolt of hope has arrived. It is the People’s Budget put forward by the co-chairs of the 80-member Congressional Progressive Caucus.
JOE CIRINCIONE AND PAUL CARROLL – Headlines and pundits once again declare that we have a crisis on our hands in the wake of discovering that North Korea is building a new nuclear reactor and a uranium enrichment plant. More ominously, last Tuesday brought news of direct artillery barrages between North and South Korea, heightening tensions and costing lives. But as provocative and serious as this is, neither is a crisis. Both fit a clear pattern of North Korean behavior — a pattern that ultimately holds out the opportunity for progress.
REP. PETER DEFAZIO — U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, (OR-04) in a speech on the House floor June 24th, urged President Obama to reconsider his policy in Afghanistan in light of the replacement of General McChrystal. Read the speech.