THOM HARTMANN – The merger of billionaire wealth with partisan Republican governance—and their combined efforts to reshape our government in their own corrupt image, the public be damned—threaten the integrity and future of the American experiment.
By Rob Okun The mid-term elections are just weeks away, so now is the time for men to use our voices to help defeat extremist, antidemocratic candidates. And, inseparable from electoral politics, men must also speak out against the alt-right,…
ANDREW MOSS – A gross injustice against young immigrants is slowly working its way through the courts. It centers upon a federal judge’s ruling last year that the DACA Program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was “unlawful,” a ruling that puts in doubt a program that has given tens of thousands of young people brought here as children a temporary, renewable reprieve from deportation. Judge Andrew Hanen’s ruling allowed existing DACA recipients to apply for two-year renewals while the court case moves through appeals, but it prohibits approval of any new applications.
ANDREW BACEVICH – Recognizing that the safety and well-being of the American people do not require sustaining a regional U.S. military command that fancies itself called upon to determine the fate of 560 million inhabitants in 21 different countries might just offer a path toward regaining sobriety. After all, recovery begins with taking that first step.
CENTER FOR CITIZEN INITIATIVES – CCI calls for results-oriented dialogue to rediscover the road to a world free of nuclear weapons.
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL – Americans know how to engage. In the past four years alone, weâ€™ve seen a groundswell of grass-roots activism on threats from climate change and gun violence to racial injustice and gender inequity. Today, we must add one more to the list: the threat of nuclear weapons. As Collina said, â€œNuclear disarmament must be part of the new mass movement.â€
TOM H. HASTINGS – To me, Memorial Day will always be a peace holiday. It should commemorate the hundreds of millions who did not die from thermonuclear warfare this year. May we be so lucky until next Memorial Day.
WINSLOW MYERS – The enthralling new documentary directed by Iranian film maker Taghi Amirani and edited and co-written by the renowned film editor Walter Murch (â€œApocalypse Nowâ€; â€œEnglish Patientâ€) is a meticulous backward look at an event that still determines much of the resentment Iran feels toward the government of the United Statesâ€”and Britain: the 1953 coup which overthrew Mohammed Mossadegh, the democratically elected leader of Iran.
ANDREW BACEVICH – Hereâ€™s the strange thing for the self-proclaimed greatest power in history, the very one that, in this century, has been fighting a series of unending wars across significant parts of the planet: if you exclude Operation Urgent Fury, the triumphant invasion of the island Grenada in 1983, and Operation Just Cause, the largely unopposed invasion of Panama in 1989, Washingtonâ€™s last truly successful war ended 74 years ago in August 1945 with the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japanese cities. Every war of even modest significance since — and theyâ€™ve been piling up — from the Korean and Vietnam wars to the ones in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Libya, and elsewhere in this century (and the last as well, in the cases of Afghanistan and Iraq) has either ended badly (Vietnam) or not at all (see above).
ALICE SLATER – August 6th and 9th mark 74 years since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where only one nuclear bomb dropped on each city caused the deaths of up to 146,000 people in Hiroshima and 80,000 people in Nagasaki. Now, with the US decision to walk away from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force (INF) negotiated with the Soviet Union, we are once again staring into the abyss of one of the most perilous nuclear challenges since the height of the Cold War.
THOM HARTMANN – If the Democrats promote pro-corporate trade policies in 2020, get ready for four more years of Donald Trump gloating at us all from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
DAVID SWANSON – Back before Donald Trump was inaugurated, I wrote an article called â€œFantasies About Russia Could Doom Opposition to Trump.â€ Perhaps it is less quixotic, or perhaps it is more, to hope that, after more than two years of being barraged with those fantasies, but with their main focus having publicly flopped, more people will now be open to trying something else. That pre-inauguration article read: â€œTrump should be impeached on Day 1, but the same Democrats who found the one nominee who could lose to Trump will find the one argument for impeachment that can explode in their own faces. . . . Meanwhile, we have a man planning to be president later this month whose business dealings clearly violate . . .
THOM HARTMANN – Ever since the media began, in a big way in the 1980s, to ignore actual news and go for highly dumbed-down or even salacious stories, many of us who work in the media have been astonished by this behavior by the network and cable news organizations and the major newspapers. They used to report the details of policy proposals in great detail (see this report from the 1970s about Richard Nixonâ€™s proposal for universal health care, comparing his with Ted Kennedyâ€™s, for example). But since the Reagan era, the networks have largely kept their coverage exclusively to personality, scandal, and horse race.
KATE ARONOFF – Democratic socialism will be defined by what its most public adherentsâ€”people like Sanders, Tlaib, and Ocasio-Cortezâ€”are able to accomplish once they have the opportunity. At least in the short term, turning their ambitious bills into law will mean prying open the Overton window in policy debates to accommodate what might elsewhere be considered fairly basic social-democratic demands. But with just 12 years left to prevent a total climate catastrophe, time is a luxury that progressives simply donâ€™t have.
POPULAR RESISTANCE – All of humanity is being put at risk by the duopoly of Democrats and Republicans opposition to dialogue with Russia. The combination of Russophobia and the Democratic Partyâ€™s compulsion to criticize Trumpâ€™s every action, even when he accidentally does something sensible, is preventing the two largest nuclear powers, with the two most advanced militaries in the world, from working together to create a safer and more secure world.
WINSLOW MYERS – With the executive branch demonstrably willing to gallop bareback off the established foreign policy reservation, the knee-jerk adversary of progressives for decades, the so-called â€œdeep state,â€ with its reflexive fear of Russian totalitarian infiltration and its perpetuation of military dominance in all earthly spheres, may at least be providing a sorely needed element of restraint and integrity.
LINDA J. BILMES – Humpty Dumpty famously cannot be â€œput back togetherâ€ again. For those who care about the environment, every day since Donald Trump took office is a Humpty Dumpty day â€” with something being broken beyond repair.
NORMAN SOLOMON – Movie critics are already hailing â€œThe Post,â€ directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Meryl Streep as Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham. Millions of people will see the film in early winter. But the real-life political story of Graham and her newspaper is not a narrative thatâ€™s headed to the multiplexes.
ADAM FEDERMAN – A little-known bureaucrat named James Cason is reshaping the Department of the Interior.
GEORGE LAKEY – I was among the 100,000 who marched in San Franciscoâ€™s Womenâ€™s March the day after Donald Trumpâ€™s inauguration. While enthusiasm for the struggle seemed high, an important question was looming: Whatâ€™s the strategic plan, as we head into the Trump era? Although thereâ€™s no simple answer, I offer this 10-point plan â€” fully open for discussion and debate.
SHARON TENNISON – For the whole of 2016, we have been actively deliberating how best to use the Center for Citizen Initiatives’ 33-year experience in the US-Russia fieldâ€“â€“since Russia is increasingly being declared Americaâ€™s enemy #1â€“â€“which we totally reject. Weâ€™ve concluded that our successful programs of the â€™80s are precisely what is needed again in todayâ€™s baffling environment.
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.
STEVEN PIFER – On March 23, 1983, Ronald Reagan announced the Strategic Defense Initiative, popularly known as â€œStar Wars.â€ After thirty-two years and tens of billions of dollars, defending the U.S. homeland against attack by strategic ballistic missiles still poses a daunting challenge. Missile defense ambitions have been regularly scaled-back. The United States should make prudent investments in missile defense as part of its overall force mix. But Washington should bear in mind the limits of technology and the nature of the relationship between offense and defense, in which offense has and, for the foreseeable future will retain, the advantage.
RANDY SCHUTT – ilitary spending (inflation-adjusted) has nearly doubled in the past 12 years, from $361.3 billion in FY2000 to $610.9 billion in FY2012. This massive increase has taken place during a time when the United States has the most powerful military ever in history and when we have no significant military enemies. The U.S. spends more on the military than the next 14 countries combined and vastly more than any possible enemies: roughly 5 times more than China, 10 times more than Russia, and 95 times more than Iran.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – Itâ€™s often said that nuclear weapons have protected nations from military attack. But is there any solid evidence to bolster this contention? Without such evidence, the argument that nuclear weapons prevented something that never occurred is simply a counter-factual abstraction that cannot be proved.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – In Oregon, the Nuclear Freeze movement was led by Citizen Action for Lasting Security, one of the organizations that later merged into Oregon PeaceWorks. As we end one year and begin a new one, it is encouraging to look back at historian Lawrence Wittnerâ€™s chronicle of that exciting movement. – Editor
Thirty years ago, Randall Forsberg, a young defense and disarmament researcher, launched the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign. Designed to stop the drift toward nuclear war through a U.S.-Soviet agreement to stop the testing, production, and deployment of nuclear weapons, the freeze campaign escalated into a mass movement that swept across the United States. It attracted the support of nearly all peace groups, as well as that of mainstream religious, professional, and labor organizations.