We will never know the world that could have been had President John F. Kennedy’s assassination never taken place, but an inkling of how things could have been different can be found in the final months of his life. In his new book, To Move the World: JFK’s Quest for Peace, Jeffrey Sachs unearths JFK’s final political campaign—to establish a secure and lasting peace with the Soviet Union. How far did JFK’s efforts go? What sort of progress was made on ending the Cold War, not through the collapse of the Soviet Union, but rather through mutual cooperation and understanding? To answer these questions and more, Jeffrey Sachs joins The Chris Hedges Report.
A heartbreaking graphic is going around right now showing the almost microscopic changes that have occurred to the frontline of the war in Ukraine this year despite nonstop death and destruction of unfathomable horror the entire time. The graphic comes from a New York Times article titled “Who’s Gaining Ground in Ukraine? This Year, No One,” which eventually gets around to acknowledging that Russia has actually gained more ground than Ukraine in 2023 despite Kiev’s much-hyped counteroffensive, which began in June. “When both sides’ gains are added up, Russia now controls nearly 200 square miles more territory in Ukraine compared with the start of the year,” the Times reports.
For the fourth time in ten years, the government is about to shut down ( prior to the 2013 shutdown, the last shutdown was in 1996). This shutdown, if it isn’t averted through last-minute maneuvering, would mean that roughly four million government employees — including police officers and the military — would have their paychecks delayed, be furloughed, or otherwise impacted. The chaotic process of trying to keep the government open reveals, again, the deeply undemocratic nature of the U.S. regime. That a small sector of the far-right, elected by a tiny segment of the U.S. population, can hold necessary social programs hostage and demand new cuts in order to prevent an incredibly disruptive government shutdown is a sign that the U.S. government doesn’t represent the masses.
As it did last year, the 2023 United Nations General Assembly has been debating what role the United Nations and its members should play in the crisis in Ukraine. The United States and its allies still insist that the UN Charter requires countries to take Ukraine’s side in the conflict, “for as long as it takes” to restore Ukraine’s pre-2014 internationally recognized borders. They claim to be enforcing Article 2:4 of the UN Charter that states “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”
On September 10, elections to regional and municipal assemblies were held across the Russian Federation. For the first time, they were held under Russian law in the two Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk which formally became part of the Russian Federation in February 2022. Elections also took place in the two ‘new territories’, as they are called in Russia, of the Russian-controlled parts of Zaporizhzhya and Kherson regions (that is, the areas of those two regions lying south and east of the Dnieper River). The governing regime in Ukraine as well as the Western countries allied with it condemned and refused to recognize the elections in the Donbass republics and new territories
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has primarily been a demonstration of a world that has turned its back on Palestine and is determined to allow the wholesale killing of Palestinians to go on uninterrupted. Sadly, there was no one to represent the Palestinian people. Tragically, Mahmoud Abbas, a man who stands at the head of an organization that enables the ongoing suffering of the Palestinian people, was introduced as the “President of the State of Palestine.” Abbas’ performance was a farce. He resorted to language that was outdated and irrelevant. His remarks constituted little more than begging for an international “peace conference” and the implementation of the Two State Solution.
Many in our Backbone community know Jacob Johns, climate activist, artist, dad. Jacob was shot on Friday by someone wearing a red MAGA hat, while at a prayerful rally, celebrating the postponing of resurrecting a conquistador monument in New Mexico. After being airlifted to the hospital, he had emergency surgery last night to assess the damage; his spleen, liver and diaphragm were damaged, and his spleen had to be removed. He has another surgery scheduled for tomorrow. He is intubated, heavily sedated and will be in the ICU for a few days. He will likely be in the hospital for 1-2 weeks. His mother, brother, and daughter fly in tomorrow. All of his vitals are good, which is extremely good news!
There have been nine coups in the past three years in former French colonies in Africa– Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, Tunisia and recently Gabon. Some in Francophone Africa have realized something that Haitians once knew over 200 years ago under the leadership of Jean Jacques Dessalines: The meddling in the affairs of an independent nation will not be tolerated simply because the dominion of that nation is under the control of non-white people. This is especially true of people from the global south who have been plundered by the parasitic elites of Europe and their Western progeny since the age of Columbus.
Since early August, Panamanian trade unions, Indigenous groups, and people’s movements have been taking to the streets in different parts of the country in rejection of a concession contract signed in March between the government of President Laurentino Cortizo and Minera Panamá S.A., a subsidiary of the Canadian multinational mining company First Quantum Minerals Limited. The contract allows the mining company to continue operations at one of Central America’s largest open-pit copper mines, Cobre Panamá, for 20 years, with the possibility of extending the period for another 20 years. It also authorizes the company to build a power plant, a process plant, and an international port—providing services that would be charged, but from which the state would not benefit.
Writers are finally back to work in Hollywood after the WGA and studios reached a deal, which has left many in the industry asking, “What took so long?” Chris Keyser and David A. Goodman, the co-chairs of WGA’s negotiating committee, pin the blame on the stall tactics that the studios used alongside the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, one that was rendered ineffective by the solidarity built between the WGA and other unions throughout the summer. “The AMPTP was created in the 80s during the Reagan era, a very anti-labor time. Now, labor is reasserting itself over the last few years, and the AMPTP can’t use old tactics anymore of stalling and trying to squeeze the unions,” Keyser told TheWrap.
Unbeknownst to most protesters who gathered at the White House on the occasion of Native American political prisoner Leonard Peltier’s 79th birthday, Peltier wasn’t able to celebrate, much less receive reports on how the well-attended event was progressing. That’s because Peltier, who is now spending his 48th year in captivity, was sitting on his bunk, across from his cellie, “locked down” in a cramped and concrete maximum-security cell designed for one man. The Bureau of Prison’s “lockdown” phenomenon has spread to other federal facilities, but nowhere is as pronounced and as repressive as at USP Coleman I, part of the nation’s biggest federal prison complex, FCC Coleman, which consists of four prisons of various security levels.
In July, Gov. Tina Kotek signed Oregon Senate Bill 85, which places a moratorium on factory farms’ ability to use unlimited amounts of groundwater. While some advocates consider the bill to be a diluted compromise, it has potential to significantly limit the destructive activities of CAFOs in a state where a healthy remnant of the family farming economy still thrives. On a national level, it represents the first major state legislative victory against factory farming in the U.S. in years. SB 85 is the product of a years-long organizing effort, whose ultimate goal is to pass a full moratorium on new factory farms in Oregon.
At its fifteenth summit in August 2023, the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) group adopted the Johannesburg II Declaration, which, amongst other issues, raised the question of reforming the United Nations, particularly its security council. To make the UN Security Council (UNSC) ‘more democratic, representative, effective, and efficient, and to increase the representation of developing countries’, BRICS urged the expansion of the council’s membership to include countries from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The declaration specifically noted that three countries – Brazil, India, and South Africa – should be included if the UNSC’s permanent members are expanded.
We must defend the right to offend. The most important aspect of the right to offend is the one that confronts those in power with the truths that they most eagerly wish to conceal. Without this right, the powerful become untouchable. My husband, Julian Assange, pictured below right, has been imprisoned in HMP Belmarsh in Thamesmead since 2019 because, as the publisher of WikiLeaks, he exposed the abuses of the war on terror which the United States wanted to remain concealed. The US has brought charges against Julian that carry 175 years in prison. As Home Secretary, Priti Patel failed to block Julian’s extradition.
The Black Alliance for Peace Baltimore Citywide Alliance strongly opposes the proposal for a new $330 million joint training facility for Baltimore’s police and fire departments on West Baltimore’s Coppin State University campus. The contradictions of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) fostering growing relationships with the state are sharpened with this proposal on a campus with access to the Department of Defense 1033 program budgets, which transfers military equipment to civilian law enforcement agencies. Any potential existence of a joint training facility for a police department currently under a consent decree, that names violations of civil liberties, not only serves to create and sustain tensions negatively impacting the overall campus climate but the surrounding predominantly Black, working-class communities of West Baltimore.