New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted

Prize Worthy

April 02, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, David Swanson, Politics

War Whistleblower Manning Deserves Nobel Award

by David Swanson

Whistleblower Bradley Manning has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and he should receive it.

No individual has done more to push back against what Martin Luther King Jr. called “the madness of militarism” than Bradley Manning. The United States is the leading exporter of weapons and itself spends as much preparing for more wars as the rest of the world combined.  Manning is the leading actor in opposition to U.S. warmaking, and therefore militarism around the world.  What he has done has hurt the cause of violence in a number of other nations as well.

And right now, remaining in prison and facing relentless prosecution by the U.S. government, Manning is in need of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Alfred Nobel’s will left funding for a prize to be awarded to “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” (more…)

Taken to Heart

March 27, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Michael True, Politics

War, More War, and Lessons from Vietnam to Iraq

by Michael True

The title of Nick Turse’s brilliant history, Kill Anything That Moves:  The Real American War in Vietnam (Metropolitan, 2013), was a commanding officer’s response to a soldier’s question, “Are we supposed to kill women and children?”

In contrast, an army criminal investigator’s response to a veteran, who revealed that American soldiers were abusing and killing Vietnamese civilians, was: “The United States has never condoned wanton killing or disregard for human life.”

Turse’s readable, indispensable, and, yes, deeply disturbing book may be the most important among thousands of books about the Vietnam war. A major achievement is its explaining how and why “atrocities perpetrated by US soldiers have essentially vanished from public memory.” In authenticity and power, it compares favorably with earlier  accounts, such as Tim O’Brien’s novel, The Things They Carried,” and Bruce Weigl’s poems, Song of Napalm. (more…)

Ever Shocked, Never Awed

March 23, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: David Swanson, Economy, Politics

It’s Not Too Late for Reparations and Prevention

by David Swanson

At 10 years since the launch of Operation Iraqi Liberation (to use the original name with the appropriate acronym, OIL) and over 22 years since Operation Desert Storm, there is little evidence that any significant number of people in the United States have a realistic idea of what our government has done to the people of Iraq, or of how these actions compare to other horrors of world history. A majority of Americans believe the war since 2003 has hurt the United States but benefited Iraq. A plurality of Americans believe, not only that Iraqis should be grateful, but that Iraqis are in fact grateful.

A number of U.S. academics have advanced the dubious claim that war making is declining around the world.  Misinterpreting what has happened in Iraq is central to their argument. (more…)

Soul Poison

March 22, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Politics, Robert C. Koehler

Building Peace Is Building the Future…

by Robert C. Koehler

We’ve lost a war without being able to surrender — and thus divest ourselves of the consciousness that got us into it. We are unable to look honestly at what we did and why, and determine not to do it again.

My friend Catherine Menninger sent me a note the other day that began: “The days are long past when the poison of DU (depleted uranium) was our shared preoccupation. Now an even deeper poison, a soul poison, is seeping into the body politic and beyond. It is touching us all.”

Ten years later, an enormous question looms: How do we get the poison out of our system? I think that’s what atonement means.

In a lengthy report on the Iraq war, David Swanson has placed it “among the world’s worst events,” a profoundly serious allegation that makes it far more than a “mistake.” (more…)

War No More

March 21, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Politics, Randall Amster

Ten Years After the Invasion of Iraq, Are We Any Closer to Peace?

by Randall Amster

No one in power specifically called it “a date which will live in infamy,” but when the U.S. commenced the invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003, it changed the political map of the world in ways we are still trying to disentangle. The basic idea that nations would only wage war for bona fide reasons and with general support from the international community — tattered as those notions already were — was essentially laid to rest with the Iraq war. What is especially troubling is that we didn’t even need the benefit of hindsight to realize the full implications; in real time and without precedent, millions (perhaps even billions) around the world raised principled objections to the impending war before it commenced. Many people knew (and said) that it was illegal, unjust, and immoral, but to no avail. And so it goes…

A decade later, the fictitious rationales of “weapons of mass destruction,” liberating people from an evil dictator, promoting human rights, and “restoring democracy,” are almost laughable and are not seriously asserted as a viable basis for the war. (more…)

War Without End

March 20, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Family, Kathy Kelly, Politics

A Civilized Country Would Heed the Call for Healing

by Kathy Kelly

Ten years ago today, Iraqis braced themselves for the anticipated “Shock and Awe” attacks that the United States was planning to launch against them. The media buildup for the attack assured Iraqis that barbarous assaults were looming. I was living in Baghdad at the time, along with other Voices in the Wilderness activists determined to remain in Iraq, come what may. We didn’t want U.S.-led military and economic war to sever bonds that had grown between ourselves and Iraqis who had befriended us over the past seven years. Since 1996, we had traveled to Iraq numerous times, carrying medicines for children and families there, in open violation of the economic sanctions which directly targeted the most vulnerable people in Iraqi society — the poor, the elderly and the children. (more…)

Lessons from Iraq

March 19, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Economy, Guest Author, Politics

Hard Realities Ten Years After a Preventable War

by Robert F. Dodge

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War. As one of the longest and one of the most costly wars in U.S. history, the true costs in dollars, lives, environmental contamination and opportunity costs may never be fully appreciated.  This “preventive war” waged on our behalf has forever tainted the world view and standing of the U.S. Disregarding international and domestic public opinion and international law before the war, this illegal war was destined to happen regardless of that opinion. Perhaps the most significant outcome of the war is the identification and clarification, a “How To” of what doesn’t work in resolving international conflict. Namely war itself.

Dollar estimates of the combined war costs range from $1.4 trillion to $4 trillion dollars spent and obligated or a bill of between $4,500 and $12,742 for every man, woman and child in the U.S. (more…)