New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted
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Time Has Come

December 17, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: David Swanson, Politics

Let’s Begin Ending War Again

by David Swanson

Recently I noticed a post on a social media site honoring Rosa Parks for her refusal to move out of her seat on a segregated bus.  Someone commented underneath, that in fact another individual deserved credit for having done the same thing first.  What happened next was entirely predictable. Post after post by various people brought out the names of all kinds of forerunners of Parks, pushing the date of the first brave resister to segregated buses back further and further — many decades — into the past.

What we understand as the civil rights movement was successfully started after a great many failed attempts — by organizations as well as individuals.  The same goes for the suffragette movement or the labor movement or the abolition of slavery.  Even the Occupy movement was the umpteenth time a lot of activists had attempted such a thing, and chances are that eventually the Occupy movement will be seen as one in a long line of failed predecessors to something more successful. (more…)

To End All War…

October 29, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: David Swanson, Kathy Kelly, Politics

Steps Toward Making Abolition a Reality

by David Swanson and David Hartsough, with input from George Lakey, Jan Passion, Mike Ferner, Colleen Kelly, Ruth Benn, Leah Bolger, Nathan Schneider, Hakim, Paul Chappell, Colin Archer, Kathy Kelly, et al.

If unnecessary suffering on an enormous scale is to be avoided, we must abolish war. Some 180 million people died in wars in the 20th century and, while we have not yet repeated a war on the scale of World War II, wars are not going away. Their enormous destruction continues, measured in terms of deaths, injuries, trauma, millions of people having to flee their homes, financial cost, environmental destruction, economic drain, and erosion of civil and political rights.

If humanity is going to survive, we must abolish war. Every war brings with it both massive destruction and the risk of uncontrolled escalation. We are facing a world of greater weapons proliferation, resource shortages, environmental pressures, and the largest human population the earth has seen. In such a turbulent world, we must abolish the organized violence by governments known as war, because its continuation risks our extinction.

If we abolish war, humanity can not only survive and better address the climate crisis and other dangers, but will find it far easier to prosper. The reallocation of resources away from war promises a world whose advantages are beyond easy imagination. (more…)

An Ecological Jewel

September 25, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Guest Author, Politics

Oliver Stone Visits Jeju Island

by K. J. Noh

In 1986, a young American director burst out on the screens with a raw, charged, kinetic film.  Depicting a country on the verge of popular revolution, it documents the rightwing terror and massacres that are instigated, aided and abetted by the US government. Beginning as the chronicle of a gonzo journalist on his last moral legs, the film starts out disjointed, chaotic, hyper-kinetic; the March with bannerunmoored, fragmented consciousness of a hedonic drifter. As the events unfurl towards greater and greater violence, the clarity and steadiness of the camera increase, its moral vision clearer and fiercer, carrying the viewer through a journey of political awakening even as the story hurtles inexorably towards heartbreak, tragedy, and loss.

The name of the director was Oliver Stone. The film was Salvador.   Opened to dismissal, derision and poor distribution, it nonetheless garnered two Oscar nominations and is now lauded as one of the most important films of the period, acknowledged to have influenced the political debate, if not the policy, around Central America at the time.  (more…)

Building Real Peace

September 23, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Politics, Robert C. Koehler

Next Steps for ‘the Other Superpower’

by Robert C. Koehler

“Imagine if we sent 5,000 well-trained nonviolent peacekeepers from throughout the world to protect civilians and work with local civil society in building the peace.”

Indeed, imagine if we knew that doing this was an option.

Mel Duncan, co-founder of an organization called Nonviolent Peaceforce, was talking about Syria, the country we almost bombed and maybe still will. In lieu of tossing godlike lightning bolts at Bashar al-Assad, “The CIA has begun delivering weapons to rebels in Syria, ending months of delay in lethal aid that had been promised by the Obama administration,” the Washington Post reported last week.

“The shipments began streaming into the country over the past two weeks, along with separate deliveries by the State Department of vehicles and other gear — a flow of material that marks a major escalation of the U.S. role in Syria’s civil war.”

So our war with Syria is only partially averted, apparently. It plunges back into something covert, minimally publicized, silently lethal, silently insane: our normal relationship with so much of the world. (more…)

My Fellow Americans

September 12, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Pat LaMarche, Politics

Buy President Obama a History Book

by Pat LaMarche

“My fellow Americans, for nearly seven decades, the United States has been the anchor of global security. This has meant doing more than forging international agreements — it has meant enforcing them. The burdens of leadership are often heavy, but the world is a better place because we have borne them.”

Of the thousands of words the president said in Tuesday night’s televised speech to the nation on Syria, these 75 words are the most important. No man with such a fundamental misunderstanding of modern American history should be deciding the fate of a new group of civilians.

In this one paragraph the president rolled the clock back to 1943, claiming in that particular lifetime of U.S. actions on global security, our killings have been more righteous and had better outcomes than the anticipated actions of others. And with this distorted view of the consequences, President Obama hopes once again to use bombs to set things right.

Even if we shave two years off his timetable and move him past the long debated use of nuclear weapons — on not one but two civilian targets in Japan — the United States cannot claim to have made the world a better place. (more…)

It’s Up to Us…

September 06, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Politics, Robert C. Koehler

Stopping a War Before It Starts

by Robert C. Koehler

Who’s up for stopping a war?

This is the time, as the next war strains to be born, amid the same old lies as last time, amid the same urgency and pseudo-debate and pretensions of seriousness:

The government of Syria has crossed a “red line.” It has used poison gas, killing hundreds of innocent people and committing a heinous war crime. And suddenly, clear as a bell, we have good vs. evil. Our only course of action, President Obama and his spokespersons tell us, is to “carry out a punitive strike against the Syrian government.”

This is the abstraction of warspeak, which summons a deeply satisfying mythology of righteous vengeance while making the action sound so clear and logical. (more…)

Peace Over Violence

September 05, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Guest Author, Politics

Statement on Avoiding Military Intervention in Syria

by WILPF International

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) welcomes the decision by the British Parliament to refuse the nowarinsyriaendorsement of military action against Syria. Parliament upheld the principle that the use of chemical weapons can never be justified, but reasserted the importance of international law and the UN Charter in dictating any response by the international community. However, media reports indicate that the US government is still intent on a military strike against Syria, even without UK support.

It has been WILPF’s position since the first reports of use of gas that the use of chemical weapons is a serious violation of international law, regardless of which party to the conflict perpetrated the attack. But the use of chemical weapons, however abhorrent and illegal, should not be used as a pretext for military intervention. Other options are available and must be pursued. (more…)


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