Lawrence Wittner: U.S. politicians and pundits are fond of saying that America’s wars have defended America’s freedom. But the historical record doesn’t bear out this contention. In fact, over the past century, U.S. wars have triggered major encroachments upon civil liberties.
Lawrence Wittner: Americans talk fondly of equality, but, to paraphrase a statement in George Orwell’s satire about another allegedly classless society, in this country some people are more equal than others.
Lawrence Wittner: When most U.S. government discretionary spending goes for war and preparations for war, it should come as no surprise that the United States emerges No. 1 among nations in its capacity for violence and falls far behind other nations in providing for the well-being of its people.
Lawrence Wittner: Ironically, American “leadership” of military operations in the Islamic world has not only done much to spark the creation of ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other extremist groups, but has destabilized and inflamed the entire region.
Lawrence Wittner: The idea that the responsibility for dealing with global problems lies with the world community rather than with individual nations is not a popular one among the governments of the major military powers.
Lawrence Wittner: Not surprisingly, the soaring income and numbers of administrators have led to their consuming an increasing share of the campus budget, thereby reducing the percentage spent on teaching and research.
Lawrence Wittner: Taxpayers, particularly, might be concerned about the unprecedented expense of this new submarine fleet. According to most estimates, building the 12 SSBN(X) submarines will cost about $100 billion.
Lawrence Wittner: The United States is a very wealthy nation, but when it spends 55 percent of its annual budget on the military, as it now does, it is almost inevitable that its education, health care, housing, parks and recreational facilities, and infrastructure will suffer.
Lawrence Wittner: As the incomes of the 25 best-paid public university presidents soared, the livelihoods of their faculty deteriorated. This deterioration resulted largely from the fact that tenured and tenure-track faculty were replaced with adjuncts and contingents.
Lawrence Wittner: The lengthy and costly Vietnam War led to a humiliating defeat for the United States — not because the U.S. government lacked enormous military advantages, but because, ultimately, the determination of the Vietnamese to gain control of their own country proved more powerful than U.S. weaponry.
Lawrence Wittner: Today, some 17,300 nuclear weapons remain in the arsenals of nine nations, and their use would not only dramatically exacerbate climate disruption, but would create almost unbelievable horrors caused by their enormous blast, immense firestorms, and radioactive contamination.
Lawrence Wittner: Veterans for Peace hope to take the ship back to sea in 2014 on its new mission: “educating future generations on the importance of the ocean environment, the risks of nuclear technology, and the need for world peace.”
Underpaid Adjunct Professors: Underpaid adjunct faculty now comprise an estimated 74 percent of America’s college teachers.