BERNIE SANDERS – Failure to act in response to the climate emergency will doom future generations to a very uncertain future. For the sake of our common humanity we cannot allow that to happen.
CLYDE HUGHES – A Russian artist who admitted to passive acts to protest Moscow’s war against Ukraine was sentenced to seven years in prison on Thursday after being found guilty of “knowingly spreading false information about the Russian army.”
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.
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.
MEL GURTOV – Tensions between the Russian defense ministry and the head of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, had been running high for months, mainly because of differences over war strategy and Prigozhin’s accusations of insufficient battlefield support. Last week those tensions reached the boiling point. And now Putin is stuck, a position that the US and NATO can choose either to exploit or, hopefully, to press for peace.
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.
DENNIS KUCINICH – President Kennedy held firm for a peaceful outcome in the Cuban Missile Crisis. As a result, Russia removed its missiles from Cuba. The U.S. removed its then-secret nuclear missile base from Turkey and made a commitment not to invade Cuba. Some believe that to fight is to show strength. America’s doctrine of ‘Peace through Strength’ is an invitation to war. Transformed, ‘Strength through Peace’ emphasizes restraint and inner fortitude, which Kennedy demonstrated at a moment of peril. We need another President Kennedy, with the grace, the inner strength and the intelligence to guide us from our contemporary dangerous encounter with potential nuclear catastrophe … to peace. America and the world are more at risk than ever from the threat of nuclear annihilation brought about through mentalities of greed and hubris.
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.
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.
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.
WINSLOW MYERS – “Stupid” is the most harsh and humiliating adjective that can be flung at a person, let alone a nation-state. What’s the usual response to being called stupid? Nothing positive. We just go into reaction and resistance. I’m sorry, but there is no other word to describe the obstinate refusal of the nuclear powers to cooperate to dismantle their nuclear arsenals even as the climate emergency sweeps across the world.
JEFFREY D. SACHS – The overwrought fear of China and Russia is sold to a Western public through manipulation of the facts.
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.
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.
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.
MEL GURTOV – During World War II, US sailors were warned: Loose lips sink ships. A similar warning should have gone out to all US officials in recent days—and the President should have been the first to acknowledge that the warning included him. Because thanks to loose lips in Washington, the US is contributing to Vladimir Putin’s propaganda, and possibly still worse, to a direct confrontation with Moscow.
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?
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.
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
JOHN VIDAL – Just as with the 1970s oil shocks, the problem today is not where to find energy but how to use it better, Amory Lovins says. The answer is what he calls â€œintegrative, or whole-system, design,â€ a way to employ orthodox engineering to achieve radically more energy-efficient results by changing the design logic. Design, retrofitting, and efficiency, these are the answers to the climate crisis.
ERIKA SHELBY – Pointing fingers wonâ€™t helpâ€”an attitude shift is what the world needs now.
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€
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
RAY MCGOVERN – As senior U.S. and Russian negotiators begin talks early next week in Geneva, the makings of a first-step-in-the-right-direction deal are already at hand. And for this we can thank Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin for serious, attentive, one-to-one conversations in the past several weeks.
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.
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.
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.
MARIA J. STEPHAN, CANDACE RONDEAUX and ERICA CHENOWETH – With elections four months away, and the rule of law under steady attack, people power could prove decisive in ensuring a constitutional transfer of power without violence.
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.
CHRIS HEDGES – There is zero chance Trump will be removed from office in a trial in the Senate. The Democratic Party elites have admitted as much. They carried out, they argue, their civic and constitutional duty. But here again they lie. They picked out what was convenient to impeach Trump and left untouched the rotten system they helped create. The divisions among Americans will only widen. The hatreds will only grow. And tyranny will wrap its deadly tentacles around our throats.
DMITRI TRENIN – Russian influence is coming to a region near you.
GEORGE BEEBE – Today, that old dread of disaster has all but disappeared, as have the systems that helped preclude it. But the actual threat of nuclear catastrophe is much greater than we realize. U.S. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle need to start addressing the danger.
STEPHEN F. COHEN – Is U.S. national security being trumped by loathing for Trump? We need to know fully the origins of Russiagate, arguably the worst presidential scandal in American history, and if Ukrainian authorities can contribute to that understanding, they should be encouraged to do so. As Iâ€™ve argued repeatedly, fervent anti-Trumpers must decide whether they loathe him more than they care about American and international security.
STEPHEN F. COHEN – War With Russia?, like the biography of a living person, is a book without an end. The title is a warningâ€”akin to what the late Gore Vidal termed â€œa journalistic alert-systemâ€â€”not a prediction. Hence the question mark. I cannot foresee the future. The bookâ€™s overarching theme is informed by past and current facts, not by any political agenda, ideological commitment, or magical prescience. This article is adapted from the concluding section of Stephen F. Cohenâ€™s War With Russia? From Putin and Ukraine to Trump and Russiagate, just published, in paperback and e-book, by Skyhorse Publishing.
PAUL STREET – Given the current state and rate of environmental destruction, the continuing advance in the destructive power of nuclear weapons systems, and the likelihood of pandemics in a warmer and more globalized world, there are good reasons to wonder if a human civilization with historians will exist a century from today. We may well be standing near the â€œend of history,â€ and not the glorious bourgeois-democratic one that Francis Fukuyama imagined with the end of the Cold War.
GILBERT DOCTOROW, UTE FINCKH-KRAMER, LUDGER VOLMER, ROLF EKEUS and NOAM CHOMSKY – A transatlantic appeal for a new policy of dÃ©tente with Russia has been launched. The declarationâ€™s authors invite the general public to join leading political figures and social activists who have publicly rallied to support the call.
JONATHAN MARSHALL – If Donald Trump wants to make a decisive and constructive mark on U.S. foreign policy early in his presidency, thereâ€™s no better place to start than by helping to end the brutal war in Ukraine that has claimed some 10,000 lives.