This act of protest is significant not only for Italy, where an enormous popular reaction is emerging in the face of a far-right government and a defeated, divided, and discredited centre-left government, but also for Europe, where the European Commission and governments have failed in their role as mediators in the Russia-Ukraine war and have submitted to NATO, with the ambition to assume a military leadership role alongside the USA. The demonstration in Rome had a diverse social composition around the idea that the key point is to insist on what the powerful, Putin and NATO in the first place, do not want, that is, a ceasefire and negotiations. Negotiations that, as a document signed by many prestigious former diplomats, would start from a negotiating table and lead to a ceasefire, that provides for troop withdrawal, and an end to sanctions, a peace and security conference for the area, letting the populations of the Donbass decide on their own future.
At the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis it was generally permissible in the United States to say you supported negotiations for peace and disarmament — I mean without declaring your hatred for China or liberals or black people. Had it not been so, we might not be here to talk about it. But it was not so at the time of World War I. At that time, you could get locked in prison for peace talk. Had there been nuclear weapons at the time, we might not be here to talk about it. It’s useful, after over a century of continuing to use war as the preferred means of ending war, to remember momentarily what The Great War was — that it was a whole new level of imbecilic horror, that it was a huge leap forward in the ability to kill, employed not only against — among others — “white” people, but also employed mostly from the ground — not yet from such a distance that those doing it could avoid seeing it.
What’s wrong, so profoundly wrong with war that compelled Isaiah to implore for peace (without debate over just and unjust war) almost 3,000 years ago? War breeds a plague of ills and evils. Most immediate is the acute tragedy for those directly killed, soldiers and civilians alike, with civilian deaths often being in excess of soldiers’ deaths in recent wars due to urban, aerial and guerrilla warfare. For US veterans who have returned from war with “soldier’s heart” (Civil War), “shell shock” (1st World War), “PTSD” and “moral injury” (Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan), Veterans for Peace captures poignantly the lifelong agony of fighting and killing in war. “Many of us continue to suffer physical and spiritual wounds from multiple wars; we can tell hard truths. War is not the answer – it is mass murder and mayhem.
I am writing you as a proud member of Veterans For Peace and its former president. We have been following the war in Ukraine closely, since well before the Russian invasion on February 24 of this year. We were alarmed when you and President Obama supported the regime-change coup in Ukraine in 2014, which was openly cheered on by the State Department’s Victoria Nuland, and spearheaded by self-described Nazis. We watched in horror as those same self-described Nazis set fire to an Odessa union building full of Ukrainians who were protesting a new law outlawing the Russian language as an official language of Ukraine. 50 people were burned alive or shot and beaten to death. This in a country with a long history with Russia and millions of Russian speakers.
On August 24 the British prime minister Boris Johnson visited Kiev: In comments made next to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the Mariyinsky Palace, Johnson said Ukraine “can and will win this war.” Johnson's visit was the start signal for the long announced Ukrainian 'counteroffensive' towards Kherson. In early April Johnson had called on and visited Kiev to stop well developed peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine: “Russian and Ukrainian negotiators appeared to have tentatively agreed on the outlines of a negotiated interim settlement,” wrote Fiona Hill and Angela Stent. “Russia would withdraw to its position on February 23, when it controlled part of the Donbas region and all of Crimea, and in exchange, Ukraine would promise not to seek NATO membership and instead receive security guarantees from a number of countries.
Philadelphia is awash in guns: More people were shot there in 2022, hundreds fatally, than in larger cities including New York and Los Angeles. In this “country’s poorest big city,” most shootings take place in neighborhoods shattered by multiple forms of racial discrimination and endemic poverty. The market in legal gun sales is also booming in Philadelphia, the culture of fear driving citizens to carry guns for safety. Further complicating solutions is the disagreement between the progressive district attorney and the chief of police over models of crime enforcement in the city On the other side of our country, a miraculous alternative to the seeming nihilism of West and North Philadelphia neighborhoods breeds hope.
The fragility of Europe’s energy supply has once again been on display in recent months. Gas shipments through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which runs from Russia to Germany, were reduced to 40% of capacity in June, a cut that Moscow said was due to delays in the servicing of a turbine by the German firm Siemens. Shortly thereafter, on 11 July, the pipeline was taken offline for ten days for annual routine maintenance. Despite receiving assurances from Moscow that the supply would resume as scheduled, European leaders expressed fears that the shutdown would continue indefinitely in retaliation for sanctions imposed on Russia following the invasion of Ukraine. On 21 July, the flow of Russian gas into Europe resumed.
In short, the U.S. imperialism and its allies had already turned the world into a lawless wild west. Since the September 11, 2001 attack on New York, the U.S., at the instigation of its military industrial complex, had put its war machine into high gear, attacking one country after another and bringing death and destruction to many countries of the world, especially to those in Latin America and the Middle East. This period has witnessed the eastward expansion of U.S. and NATO military bases into 13 European countries and even a westward expansion of NATO into Latin America by making Colombia a global partner of NATO, and, according to New York Time, the presence of U.S. military personnel in 173 countries of the world.
The world wants to see an end to the conflict in Ukraine. The NATO countries, however, want to prolong the conflict by increasing arms shipments to Ukraine and by declaring that they want to “weaken Russia.” The United States had already allocated $13.6 billion to arm Ukraine. Biden has just requested $33 billion more. By comparison, it would require $45 billion per year to end world hunger by 2030. Even if negotiations take place and the war ends, an actual peaceful solution will not likely be possible. Nothing leads us to believe that geopolitical tensions will decrease, since behind the conflict around Ukraine is an attempt by the West to halt the development of China, to break its links with Russia, and to end China’s strategic partnerships with the Global South.
Two important reports were released last month, neither getting the kind of attention they deserve. On 4 April, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group III report was published, evoking a strong reaction from the United Nations’ Secretary General António Guterres. The report, he said, ‘is a litany of broken climate promises. It is a file of shame, cataloguing the empty pledges that put us firmly on track towards an unlivable world’. At COP26, the developed countries pledged to spend a modest $100 billion for the Adaptation Fund to assist developing countries adapt to climate change. Meanwhile, on 25 April, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) issued its annual report, finding that the world military spending surpassed $2 trillion in 2021, the first time it has exceeded the $2 trillion mark.
War is an ugly part of the human experience. Everything about it is hideous. War is most obviously the act of invasion and the brutality that goes along with its operations. No war is precise; every war hurts civilians. Each act of bombardment sends a neurological shudder through a society. World War II demonstrated this ugliness in the Holocaust and in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. From Hiroshima and the Holocaust rose two mighty movements, one for peace and against the perils of further nuclear attacks, and the other for an end to the divisions of humanity and for a nonalignment from these divisions. The Stockholm Appeal of 1950, signed by 300 million people, called for an absolute ban on nuclear weapons.
Washington - Earlier this month, Congress launched the bicameral, bipartisan Abraham Accords Caucus to support normalization between Israel and Arab states. Backed by pro-Israel groups, this new political development can be interpreted as a way for the Israel lobby to regain its power over a U.S. Congress that is increasingly critical of Israel. Described as a “cheerleading squad” in the Jewish Insider by its co-chair, Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), the caucus’s stated goals include expanding the Abraham Accords agreements and fostering regional peace. The group’s other co-chairs are Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), David Trone (D-MD), Ann Wagner (R-MO), and Brad Schneider (D-IL).
Being a leader in the movement to end apartheid in South Africa was probably the greatest achievement of the man's life work, and it should come as a surprise to no one that this is the focus of his many obituaries, along with the Nobel he was awarded in 1984. After Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, he was remembered by the establishment in much the same way, as a leader of the movement against apartheid in the US. The fact that he had become one of the most well-known and well-loved voices of the antiwar movement in the United States and around the world at the time of his death has largely been written out of the history books, a very inconvenient truth.
In a major development in the Korean peace process, South Korea, North Korea, China and the United States have agreed to declare an end to the Korean War. The announcement was made by South Korean president Moon Jae-in on Monday, December 13, who said the four parties to the Korean War agreed “in-principle” to formally declare its end, 71 years after it broke out in 1950. Speaking from Canberra, Australia, during his four-day visit to the country, president Moon Jae-in also pointed out that US hostility towards North Korea was among the reasons why peace talks were held back. North Korea has demanded an end to the “hostile policy” of the US, including sweeping sanctions and a virtual US-led blockade, as a precondition for the continuation of talks.
The 2021 US Peace Prize has been awarded to World BEYOND War “for exceptional global advocacy and creative peace education to end war and dismantle the war machine.” Michael Knox, Chair of the US Peace Memorial Foundation, thanked World BEYOND War and its members “for years of outstanding and prolific antiwar actions and extensive peace educational projects involving many people and organizations. We appreciate your leadership and the significant impact your members and programs have had throughout the world.”