TED SNIDER – US President Joe Biden’s speech before the General Assembly on September 19 spent surprisingly little time on Russia and the war in Ukraine and, in many ways, hit many of the right notes with its praise of “Sovereignty, territorial integrity, human rights . . . the core tenets of the U.N. Charter, the pillars of peaceful relations among nations. . ..” But America’s past performance on these very issues weaken the persuasiveness and sincerity of the appeal.
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.
JOHN P. RUEHL – The struggles of Russian weapons manufacturers have added to historic shifts in the global arms market.
DEREK ROYDEN – The way sanctions have all too often been used for the past 30 years against weaker nations has been cruel and ineffective, mainly hurting ordinary people who have little control over those that rule them. Sanctions that work are a scalpel, not a broadaxe.
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL – The price for failing to hold the perpetrators of the Iraq War debacle accountable is that their worldview still dominates America’s national security establishment.
KATE YODER – Doing business today is harder for oil companies. Big Oil is becoming stigmatized as awareness grows that its environmentally-friendly messaging, full of beautiful landscapes and far-off promises to erase (some) of its emissions, doesn’t match its actions. This poses a hiring challenge for oil companies, with much of their current workforce getting closer to retirement. For years now, consulting firms have been warning the industry that it faces a “talent” gap and surveying young people to figure out how they might be convinced to take the open positions.
LYLLA YOUINES – “There are different types of sustainable mining, and one of those is the actual process of choosing where,” said Blaine Miller-McFeeley, a senior legislative representative at Earthjustice. “That is just as important as choosing how.”
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.
DAVID SWANSON – But right now there’s not a single U.S. Congress Member seriously sticking their neck out for peace, much less a caucus or a party. Lesser evil voting will always have the strength of logic it has, but none of the choices on any of the ballots includes human survival — which merely means that — just as throughout history — we need to do more than voting. What we can’t do is allow our madness to become meanness, or our awareness to become fatalism, or our frustration to become a shifting of responsibility. This is all of our responsibility, whether we like it or not. But if we do our very best, working in community, with a vision of a peaceful and nuclear free world before us, I think we just might find the experience likable. If we can form pro-peace communities everywhere like the one we’ve been part of this morning, we can make peace.
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.
DEREK ROYDEN – The usual suspects in Western media, think tanks and among the political class argue not for negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian leaders to bring the conflict to an end but further escalation,
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.
SONALI KOLHATKAR – Billionaires and the politicians who enable their wealth gathered for several days at a luxury resort in Switzerland to offer their puzzled concerns about why they keep getting richer at everyone else’s expense.
KYLE ANZALONE and WILL PORTER – Russia has offered to relax its blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, but only in exchange for sanctions relief from the West, amid fears that the war raging in Eastern Europe is driving a major international food crisis.
MARCO FERNANDES – Humanity faces urgent challenges, such as inequality, hunger, the climate crisis, and the threat of new pandemics. To overcome them, regional alliances in the Global South must be able to institute a new multipolarity in global politics. But the usual suspects may have other plans for humanity.
BOAVENTURA DE SOUSA SANTOS – When armed conflicts take place in Africa or in the Middle East, Europe’s leaders are the first to call for a cessation of hostilities and to declare the urgent need for peace negotiations. Why is it then that when a war occurs in Europe, the drums of war beat incessantly, and not a single leader calls for them to be silenced and for the voice of peace to be heard?
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?
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.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – Why, why, why, as our ecosystem collapses, as millions of refugees flee the horrors of war and poverty, as the pandemic continues, as World War III and the possibility of nuclear Armageddon rears its evil head, as the planet trembles, does ever-expanding, global militarism remain our primary national purpose?
ELLIOT NEGIN – For more than two decades, Koch-controlled foundations spent more than $160 million to stymie government action on climate change
KATHY KELLY – Jan Egeland, the secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, said,Â â€œThe people of Yemen need the same level of support and solidarity that weâ€™ve seen for the people of Ukraine. The crisis in Europe will dramatically impact Yemenisâ€™ access to food and fuel, making an already dire situation even worse.â€
WOMENCALL4PEACE – We are women from the United States and Russia who are deeply concerned about the risk of possible war between our two countries, who together possess over 90% of the worldâ€™s nuclear weapons. We are mothers, daughters, grandmothers, and we are sisters, one to another. We stand together and we call for peace. Stand with us.
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.
LINDA PENTZ GUNTER – As Craig Hooper so chillingly warned us in his December 28, 2021Â articleÂ forÂ Forbes, a Russian invasion of Ukraine, â€œcould put nuclear reactors on the front line of military conflict.â€ The result, he said, depending on the tactics deployed by the Russians, could be equivalent to â€œnuclear warfare without bombs.â€ Itâ€™s yet one more reminder of just how much an already perilous situation can become orders of magnitude worse, once you introduce the risk of major radioactive releases into the equation.
JAMES W. CARDEN – In his latest book, The Stupidity of War: American Foreign Policy and the Case for Complacency, American political scientist John Mueller demonstrates that since the end of World War II, American policymakers have developed a kind of addiction to threat inflation by â€œroutinely elevating the problematic to the direâ€¦ focused on problems, or monsters, that essentially didnâ€™t exist.â€ And with regard to the American foreign policy establishmentâ€™s current twin obsessions, Russia and China, Mueller, ever the iconoclast, counsels complacency.
JOHN FEFFER – Despite the enormous economic and political gaps that separate people around the world, we have to somehow join hands across vast differences to leapfrog over the fossil-fuel economy. United we transform or united we fall.
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?
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.
By Vladimir Kozin On 2 June 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed Decree No. 355 on the Fundamentals of the State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Area of Nuclear Deterrence.Â The adopted document, which has the status of a…
MOHAMMED ALI – A meeting of the leaders of Russia, China, the United States, France and the United Kingdom, the permanent members of the UN Security Council, which was proposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, can be helpful and even necessary in light of the changing international situation.
GEORGE BEEBE – As our debacles in Vietnam and Iraq demonstrate, expert consensus is not always a recipe for success. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that American policy toward Ukraine has also been steeped in illusions.
By Norman Solomon Throughout the day before the summit in Helsinki, the lead story on theÂ New York TimesÂ home page stayed the same: â€œJust by Meeting With Trump, Putin Comes Out Ahead.â€ TheÂ SundayÂ headline was in harmony with the tone of U.S.…
VETERAN INTELLIGENCE PROFESSIONALS FOR SANITY – More than two dozen ex-U.S. intelligence officials urge President Trump to rethink his claims blaming the Syrian government for the chemical deaths in Idlib and to pull back from his dangerous escalation of tensions with Russia.
PHYLLIS BENNIS and DAVID WILDMAN – The threat of a reckless, dangerous, and illegal US or US-led assault on Syria is looking closer than ever. . . . The US government has been divided over the Syria crisis since it began. . . . But the situation is changing rapidly, and the Obama administration appears to be moving closer to direct military intervention. That would make the dire situation in Syria inestimably worse.
LORI WALLACH – On Sept. 6, as President Barack Obama promised jobs and transparency in his Democratic National Convention acceptance speech, his top trade officials were cloistered in conditions of extreme secrecy at the Lansdowne resort in Leesburg, Va., negotiating a massive â€œtradeâ€ agreement that will promote more U.S. job offshoring and ban Buy American procurement preferences.
MARK CLAYTON – The United States is posting rapid growth in the waste of natural gas in new oil fields where the fuel is either burned or vented into the atmosphere. Experts say the process damages the environment and fails to maximize the return to investors.
FIONA HARVEY – Scientists and environmental groups warned that urgent action was still needed to rescue the world from climate change, despite the deal sealed on Sunday morning in Durban after two weeks of talks. Andy Atkins, executive director of Friends of the Earth, said: “This empty shell of a plan leaves the planet hurtling towards catastrophic climate change.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – With U.S. Senate ratification of the New START treaty on December 22, supporters of nuclear disarmament won an important victory. Signed by President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev last April, the treaty commits the two nations to cut the number of their deployed strategic (i.e. long-range) nuclear warheads to 1,550 each â€” a reduction of 30 percent in the number of these weapons of mass destruction. By providing for both a cutback in nuclear weapons and an elaborate inspection system to enforce it, New START is the most important nuclear disarmament treaty for a generation.