Corbyn v Corker: UK wants representation, US royalty

Five years ago, the British Parliament said no to an attack on Syria that its prime minister wanted to join the U.S. president in launching. That action, combined with public pressure, was instrumental in getting the U.S. Congress to make clear that it would say no as well, were it absolutely forced to — you know — admit it existed and do anything at all. And that was key to preventing the attack.

So, when Britain’s prime minister this week joined the U.S. president in launching a war despite read more

Syria All Wrong and Backwards

In the park today I saw a teenager watching two little kids, one of whom apparently stole a piece of candy from the other. The teenager rushed up to the two of them, reprimanded one of them, and stole both of their bicycles. I felt like it was my turn to step in at that point, and I confronted the bicycle thief. “Excuse me,” I said, “what makes you think you can commit a larger crime just because you witnessed a smaller one? Who do you think you are?” He stared at me for a while, and replied: read more

A Poor People’s Campaign Against War

Movements that are serious about human survival, economic justice, environmental protection, the creation of a good society, or all of the above, address the problem of militarism. Movements that claim to be comprehensive yet run screaming from any mention of the problem of war are not serious.

Toward the not-serious end of the spectrum sit most activist efforts devoted to political parties in a corrupt political system. The Women’s March, the Climate March (which we had to work very hard to read more

“Why, This Isn’t Cuba”

Back in the 1890s those who believed conquering a continent was killing enough (without taking over Hawaii, the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, etc.) included Speaker of the House Thomas Reed. He clipped an article out of a newspaper about a lynching in South Carolina. He clipped a headline about “Another Outrage in Cuba.” He pasted the two together (fake news!) and gave them to a Congressman from South Carolina who was pushing for a war on Cuba. The Congressman eagerly read the article, then read more

Why the Google Protest of War Work Is Wonderful

The fact that 3,100 Google employees signed a letter opposing Google doing work for the U.S. military is wonderful for what it reveals.

It does not reveal that a major company exists that has not long been a contractor for the U.S. military. Google, whether its employees know it or not, has — like every other major U.S. company, as far as I know — long been a contractor for the U.S. military.

It does not reveal that any significant number of people exist who can name every current U.S. war or read more

Talk Nation Radio: Keeping the F-35 Out of Burlington

Our guest, James Marc Leas, is a Vermont attorney and a past co-chair of the National Lawyers Guild Free Palestine Subcommittee. He has been a leader of a campaign to block the stationing of F-35 jets in Burlington, Vermont, and of the formation of a Vermont chapter of World Beyond War. Jimmy Leas, welcome read more

Don’t Deport Non-Veterans Either, Unless It’s Donald Trump

We’re hearing a lot about U.S. veterans being deported, just as we hear about healthcare and retirement and homelessness and countless other topics as impacting veterans in particular. The implication, and often the explicit assertion, is that we should especially care about injustice when it hurts veterans, because they’ve especially earned the right to be treated decently, by participating in the greatest mass-murdering crime sprees of recent decades — the wars that most of us (and may read more

Thinking Beyond Exceptionalism

Excepted from Curing Exceptionalism: What’s wrong with how we think about the United States? What can we do about it? (April, 2018).

Try this experiment: Imagine that space aliens really come to earth and really have, as I think is very unlikely, developed the ability to travel to earth while simultaneously remaining so primitive as to violently attack the places they visit. In contrast to the space aliens, could you identify as an earthling to such an extent as to diminish your other senses of identity? “Earthlings — F— Yeah!” “We’re Number 1!” “Greatest Earthlings on Earth!” And can you hold that thought, read more

Talk Nation Radio: Mitchell Plitnick on John Bolton

Mitchell Plitnick is former vice president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. He is the former director of the U.S. Office of B’Tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, and was previously the director of education and policy for Jewish Voice for Peace. read more