SONALI KOLHATKAR – The values of the U.S. public are not the same as those of the wealthy and corporations. It took a UN official—an outsider—to point out the dissonance. Furthermore, evaluations of the U.S. economy by the U.S. media and politicians are based on corporate prosperity while the UN’s evaluation is based on individual prosperity.
STEPHEN ZUNES – By refusing to call for a ceasefire as civilian deaths rise, Biden is alienating young and left-leaning voters.
VIJAY PRASHAD – The many Israeli attacks on Gaza pulverize the minimal infrastructure that remains intact in Gaza and hits the Palestinian civilians very hard. Civilian deaths and casualties are recorded by the Health Ministry in Gaza but disregarded by the Israelis and their Western enablers. As the current bombing intensified, journalist Muhammad Smiry said, “We might not survive this time.” Smiry’s worry is not isolated. Each time Israel sends in its fighter jets and missiles, the death and destruction are of an unimaginable proportion. This time, with a full-scale invasion, the destruction will be at a scale not previously witnessed.
REYNARD LOKI – In September 2022, climate journalist and native Oregonian Emma Pattee wrote in the New York Times that “[c]limate scientists estimate that the frequency of large wildfires could increase by over 30 percent in the next 30 years and over 50 percent in the next 80 years, thanks in large part to drought and extreme heat caused by climate change.” That is a frightening prospect not just for humans but for the countless nonhuman animals with whom we share this planet.
ROBIN SCHER – Water is a finite resource on our planet. We can only rely on what we have, which translates to about 2.5 percent of drinkable fresh water. Of that amount, only 0.4 percent currently exists in lakes, rivers, and moisture in the atmosphere. The strain of this limited supply grows by the day and as this continues, the detrimental impact will continue to be felt in places least equipped to find alternative solutions—in particular, the African continent.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – It’s been a long time since the atomic bombings of August 1945, when people around the planet first realized that world civilization stood on the brink of doom. This apocalyptic ending to the Second World War revealed to all that, with the advent of nuclear weapons, violent conflict among nations had finally reached the stage where it could terminate life on earth. Addressing a CBS radio audience in early 1946, Robert Hutchins, chancellor of the University of Chicago, summed up the new situation with a blunt warning: “War means atomic bombs. And atomic bombs mean suicide.”
DONALD GROSS – The Ukraine-Russia war has raged for more than a hundred days. Now is a critical time to reflect on the case for people of good will to urge their leaders to end the war. The benefits of doing so are manifest.
SHEILA XAIO and MANOLO DE LOS SANTOS – For the Americas, which are on the cusp of transformative times, the age of the Monroe Doctrine is over.
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.
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€
RALPH CHAMI, SENA OZTOSUN, THOMAS COSIMANO, CONNEL FULLENKAMP – A strategy to protect whales can limit greenhouse gases and global warming.
JOHN MIKSAD – Many of us make resolutions at this time of year. These are some of the New Yearâ€™s Resolutions John Miksad would like to see his country make.
AL JAZEERA and NEWS AGENCIES – Rohingya refugees have sued the social media giant Facebook for $150bn over claims the social network is failing to stem hate speech on its platform, exacerbating violence against the vulnerable Myanmar minority.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – Amid all the flag-waving, chants of â€œUSA, USA,â€ and other nationalist hoopla that characterize mainstream politics in the United States, itâ€™s easy to miss the fact that most Americans favor global governance.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – Although there are no guarantees that social movements and enhanced global governance will transform our divided, problem-ridden world, we shouldnâ€™t ignore these movements and institutions, either. Indeed, they should provide us with at least a measure of hope that, someday, human solidarity will prevail, thereby bringing to birth â€œa new world from the ashes of the old.â€
OLIVER LAUGHLAND – The US government has placed further delays on a proposed multibillion dollar plastics plant in southÂ Louisiana, marking a major victory for environmental activists and members of the majority Black community who have campaigned for years against construction.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – Although, beginning in about 2015, nationalist political parties made enormous advances in countries around the world, more recently they have been on the wane.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – Large numbers of people remain unready to take the step necessary to prevent the launching of a war that would turn the world into a charred, smoking, radioactive wasteland. Why?
KENNY STANCIL – Peace advocates rejoiced on Thursday in the wake of President Joe Biden’s announcement that his administration will be ending U.S. support for “offensive operations” in the Saudi-led war on Yemen and appointing a diplomatic envoy to help resolve the devastating conflict that has caused an estimated 233,000 deaths. “This war has to end,” Biden said during an address at the State Department. “And to underscore our commitment, we are ending all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arm sales.”
DONNA PARK – Most Americans who either support or accept the large amount of money spent on the U.S. military probably do so because they think it makes our nation secure. But does it really?
BRIAN ROEWE – A total of 42 faith organizations from 14 countries pledged to divest from fossil fuel companies or avoid such investments in the future. Organizers said it represents the largest joint divestment announcement by faith communities to date.
MIKE FERNER – If we can expand our consciousness and compassion, we can begin to comprehend our governmentâ€™s behavior in the world and come out of this pandemic demanding to be better members of the human family.
ROBERT F. DODGE, MD – This year communities across our nation are struggling to recover from the catastrophic natural disasters over the past year. Yet, paradoxically, as we cope with the rebuilding and financial burden of these natural disasters, our nation marches blindly forward spending precious resources funding the greatest potential manmade disaster, namely nuclear war. The effects of nuclear war would dwarf any natural disaster.
DAVID SWANSON – War is not necessary, not just, not survivable, not glorious. We need to leave the entire institution of war behind us. We need to create a world beyond war.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – People searching for an alternative to the nationalist and military alliance-driven approaches of the past would do well to consider strengthened global governance. Itâ€™s a foreign policy that has enormous potential for addressing current world problems, as well as substantial public support.
MEL GURTOV – Were it not for the source, it would hardly be news to learn that the United States canâ€™t take care of its most needyâ€”that it may be the richest country, but it is also increasingly, appallingly, unequal in how its wealth and opportunities are shared. When the various dimensions of human security are examined, critics have long noted that the US falls short, whether in treatment of children, poverty rates, income gaps between rich and poor, or even life expectancy. All this has been amply documented in annual reports of the United Nations Development Programme.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – Sometimes, amid the heated political debate about what should done by the U.S. government in world affairs, a proposal cuts through the TV babble of the supposed experts with a clear, useful suggestion.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – Is the human race determined to snuff itself out through mass violence? There are many signs that it is.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – In the midst of a nationwide election campaign in which many politicians trumpet their support for the buildup and employment of U.S. military power around the world, the American publicâ€™s disagreement with such measures is quite remarkable. Indeed, many signs point to the fact that most Americans want to avoid new wars, reduce military spending, and support international cooperation.
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.
DAVID SWANSON – On Wednesday in federal court, 10 members of the U.S. Congress sued President Obama in an attempt to end U.S. involvement in a war in Libya.These are the plaintiffs: Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Walter Jones (R-NC), Howard Coble (R-NC), John Duncan (R-TN), Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), John Conyers (D-MI), Ron Paul (R-TX), Michael Capuano (D-MA), Tim Johnson (R-IL), and Dan Burton (R-IN).
KYODO NEWS: U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has decided to visit Hiroshima on August 6 as the Japanese city marks the 65th anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombing, according to a senior U.N. official. The plan, expected to be formalized around July, would make Ban the first U.N. chief to attend an annual commemorative ceremony at the city’s Peace Memorial Park.
RICK ROZOFF: Ten years ago it first became evident to the world that moves were afoot in major Western capitals to circumvent, subvert and ultimately supplant the United Nations, as the U.N. could not always be counted on to act in strict accordance with the dictates of the United States and its NATO allies. At that time in 1999 the NATO alliance was waging what would become a 78-day bombing war against Yugoslavia in flagrant contravention of the United Nations and of international law in general.