Should NATO Be Handling World Security?

nato protests

Lawrence Wittner: If the leaders of NATO nations were really serious about providing children with a world in which they could play in peace among the birds and flowers, they would work to strengthen the United Nations and stop devoting vast resources to dubious wars.

May Day: From the Haymarket Massacre to the Occupy Movement

may day

Lawrence Wittner: It seems likely that the struggle for economic justice will heighten in coming years, with May Day continuing to serve as a potent symbol of worker discontent.

The Shame of Nations: New War Spending Record Set

military spending

Lawrence Wittner: World military spending reached a record $1,738 billion in 2011 — an increase of $138 billion over the previous year. The United States accounted for 41 percent of that, or $711 billion.

What Will the Democratic Left Do in 2012?

gene mccarthy

Lawrence Wittner: Contrasting the administration’s all-out effort to save Wall Street with its indifference to Main Street, many progressives wonder if they have gained anything worthwhile with Obama’s election.

Is Mitt Romney Ready for the World?

mitt romney

Lawrence Wittner: Mitt Romney seems likely to become the Republican candidate and the next president, so we should carefully examine his first major foreign and military policy address

Kansas City, Here It Comes: A New Nuclear Weapons Plant!

nuclear weapons protest

Should the U.S. government be building more nuclear weapons?  Residents of Kansas City, Missouri, don’t appear to think so, for they are engaged in a bitter fight against the construction of a new nuclear weapons plant in their community. The massive plant, 1.5 million square feet in size, is designed to replace an earlier version, [...]

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How to Save $250 Billion: Axe “Missile Defense”

hostage-wide

Lawrence Wittner: By scrapping plans for nuclear weapons “modernization” and for national missile defense—programs that are both useless and provocative—the United States would save $271 billion (well over a quarter of a trillion dollars) in the next ten years.

Militarist Madness

military might

Lawrence Wittner: Despite the vast rivers of blood and treasure poured into wars over the centuries, the nations of the world continue to enhance their military might.

The Peace Movement Today

codepink_interns-wide

Lawrence Wittner: Despite the President’s rhetorical support for nuclear abolition, it looks like the United States and other nations are on a very slow track to ridding the world of the nuclear menace.

It’s Still the Same Old Story—from Guns to Nukes

gun culture

Lawrence Wittner: Are we safer with more firepower or less? Despite the propaganda of the gunslingers, the arms manufacturers, and the military enthusiasts, it does seem that the world would be a lot safer with fewer guns and fewer nuclear weapons.

The “Golden Rule” Will Sail Again

golden rule

Lawrence Wittner: And so it appears that the “Golden Rule” will resume the long journey it began more than half a century ago. Rebuilt by U.S. military veterans, it will “renew Bigelow’s and Veterans for Peace’s mission — to abolish war and promote peaceful diplomacy.”

Will Senate Republicans Produce Another International Disaster?

start-treaty

Lawrence Wittner: As the U.S. Senate prepares to vote this December on ratification of the New START Treaty, Republican legislators appear on the verge of producing an international disaster.

Public Mobilization for a Nuclear-Free World

atomic bomb

Lawrence S. Wittner: One of the ironies of the current international situation is that, although some government leaders now talk of building a nuclear weapons-free world, there has been limited public mobilization around that goal—at least compared to the action-packed 1980s.

America’s Runaway Military Spending

Lawrence Wittner: When it comes to military appropriations, the U.S. government already spends about seven times as much as China, thirteen times as much as Russia, and seventy-three times as much as Iran.

BP’s Other Gifts to America—and to the World

mohammad_mossadegh

Lawrence Wittner: At this point, we might well wonder if it was such a good idea to overthrow a democratic, secular nationalist like Mossadeq to preserve the profits of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now renamed BP). Indeed, given the sordid record of BP and other giant oil companies, we might wonder why we tolerate them at all.

What’s Next for the Nuclear Disarmament Movement?

Lawrence Wittner: Reflecting on the contrast between the Obama administration’s nuclear abolition rhetoric and its record, Kevin Martin, executive director of America’s largest peace organization, Peace Action, concluded that supporters of a nuclear-free world needed to wake up to the reality that the administration’s nuclear disarmament activities were going to be quite limited without very substantial movement pressure.

Rand Paul Could Use a Lesson from My Father on Discrimination

rand paul tea party

Lawrence Wittner: In one way, Rand Paul is quite right. Anti-discrimination laws do turn the tables on businessmen, who find that they can no longer mistreat employees and customers on the basis of race, religion, national origins, or gender. And isn’t that ban on discriminatory behavior a good idea?

Replacing International Oppression with International Aid

President John F. Kennedy urging University of Michigan students to support and join the Peace Corp in 1960.

Lawrence Wittner: So why should humanitarian aid be extraordinary? Why not make it routine? Long before the earthquake, Haitians were the poorest people in the hemisphere, suffering from widespread hunger, disease, and illiteracy. Could not the United States — the richest nation in the world with a public whose major anxieties (to judge from the vast attention given to weight loss) seem to result from over-eating — manage to share a bit of its affluence by regularly providing food aid to starving Haitians?

Nuclear Terrorism: How It Can Be Prevented

Nuclear Terrorism

Lawrence S. Wittner: The ongoing danger of nuclear terrorism provides yet another reason to rid the world of fissile material and its final, terrible product, nuclear weapons. Let’s not forget that.

In War, Winners Can Be Losers

WWI

Of course, a case can be made that it is better for a nation to win a war than to lose it. But perhaps it is time to learn from the world’s tragic, blood-stained history that there is a third alternative: using our intelligence and creativity to resolve conflicts without war.

Thinking Outside the Box: What Obama Could Have Said

Karzai

nstead of resorting to outdated thinking, what if Obama had drawn upon modern instruments of international and interpersonal relations? What if he had adopted a program of change in the way the United States relates to the world?

Who’s Afraid of World Government?

Atlas

But let’s give Glenn Beck and his ilk their due. If there were a more effective global organization, that world body would be able to reach across national boundaries to cope with global warming, defend human rights, prosecute war criminals and terrorists, regulate multinational corporations, provide famine relief, enforce arms control and disarmament, and prevent military aggression.

Moving Toward a Nuke-Free World

Mikhail-Gorbachev

Today, when the call for a nuclear-free world has been revived by the nuclear powers, skeptics might wonder if it is merely another propaganda ploy. Are the warriors and would-be warriors ready to forgo their nuclear toys? Probably not.

The Weakness of National Military Strength

Grenade

The most obvious weakness of national military preparedness is that it often fails to protect nations from the war and destruction it is supposed to prevent.

When “Public Options” Serve the Public—and When They Don’t

Democracy

But where an active citizenry avails itself of its democratic rights to provide for the general welfare, public options work just fine. Let’s use and cherish them.

The Ongoing Danger of Nuclear War

world-in-nuclear-balance

This August, when hundreds of Hiroshima Day vigils and related antinuclear activities occur around the United States, many Americans will wonder at their relevance. After all, the nuclear danger that characterized the Cold War is now far behind us, isn’t it? Unfortunately, it is not.

A Nation of Tax-Evaders

boligandollarchicken

The furor over the non-payment of taxes by Tom Daschle and a few other recent nominees for public office should not obscure the deeper truth that the United States has become a nation of tax-evaders. On the simplest level, this tax evasion is exemplified by the fact that vast numbers of people, including some who [...]

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