New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


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…)

A Clear Choice

August 12, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Peter G. Cohen, Politics

Time for a Convention to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

by Peter G. Cohen

We now know that nuclear winter, ozone layer destruction, phytoplankton reduction and other effects of a nuclear exchange would massively impact health and life everywhere on Earth. How can we respond to something so overwhelming, so huge, so threatening that there is nowhere to hide except in denial? We’ve been trying that for almost 70 years. The numbers of weapons are down, their accuracy and lethality are up. It is time to try something new.

After the disaster of Fukushima, several nations, including Germany, abandoned nuclear generation because of its dangers. But 13 nations are now constructing new power reactors. The problem is that the refinement of nuclear reactor fuel, if carried further, becomes weapons grade highly enriched uranium. The operation of nuclear plants results in the byproduct of plutonium, which also can be used to make a bomb. (more…)

The Ultimate Wish

August 01, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: David Swanson, Politics

Taking Steps Toward a Nuclear-Free World

by David Swanson

We’ve managed to outgrow or to come within sight of outgrowing cannibalism, slavery, blood feuds, duels, capital punishment, child labor, tar and feathering, the stocks and pillory, wives as chattel, the punishment of homosexuality, and listening to Rush Limbaugh.  To various degrees, these practices — and many others — have been eliminated or reduced and stigmatized.

While the stupidest practice ever created — the mass killing known as war — remains, we’ve seen most of the world ban poison gas, land mines, cluster bombs, biological weapons, depleted uranium, napalm, white phosphorous, and other disgusting weaponry.  But the worst weapon of all remains, and the treaty requiring its reduction and elimination is completely ignored.

We’ve begun learning to avoid long-lasting environmental damage.  We try not to poison our fruit trees or our grass or our rivers.  But when it comes to damage that lasts longer than humanity has existed, we go right on producing it. (more…)

A Silver Lining?

June 03, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Politics, Winslow Myers

Finding a More Constructive Role in War Prevention

by Winslow Myers

If the brutal and tragic agony of Syria today has one small glimmer of hope, it is that the great powers are completely stymied, blocked, paralyzed in their ability to resolve anything by military action. Were this 1914 and had we possessed nuclear weapons, the Syrian situation might have led to a war that ended the world.

But now we can see the old realpolitik tactics, supplying arms to the son-of-a-bitch that we thought of as at least our son-of-a-bitch, which never really worked anyway, completely revealed in all their emptiness. So why is this a silver lining?

Let us not oversell. The complete inability of tribes and religious rivals to resolve their conflicts in Syria hardly bodes a future without war. History has not ended.  Potentially there are terrible conflicts ahead, especially over scarce resources like water and arable land. (more…)

Drone World

April 15, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Politics, Robert C. Koehler

The ‘Fun’ Is Just Beginning…

by Robert C. Koehler

In the not so distant future, America’s skies will be full of . . . drones. What could go wrong?

“Although the prospect of drones flying over U.S. cities is generating cries of spies in the skies,” writes the Los Angeles Times, “groups from California to Florida are fiercely competing to become one of six federally designated sites for testing how the remotely piloted aircraft can safely be incorporated into the nation’s airspace.”

It’s just technology and technology is neutral, or so the forces of mainstream capitalism assure us. Drones are an emerging market, with worldwide sales expected to double in the next decade, to $11 billion, if not much more. And these will be good drones, the kind that look for lost children or leaks in pipelines, the kind that catch criminals. (more…)

Common Lies

March 18, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, David Swanson, Politics

Thoughts on People Who Are Wrong…

by David Swanson

Don’t people who are wrong annoy you?  I recently read a very interesting book called Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error, by Kathryn Schulz.  Of course I read it with an eye toward figuring out how better to correct those other people who are so dangerously and aggravatingly wrong.  And of course the book ended up telling me that I myself am essentially a creature of wrongness.

But if we’re all wrong, I can live with that.  It’s being more wrong than other people that’s intolerable.  However, statistics show that most of us believe we’re more right than average, suggesting a significant if not downright dominant wrongness in our very idea of wrongness. Even worse, we’re clearly not wrong by accident or despite the best of intentions.  We go wrong for the most embarrassing of reasons — albeit reasons that might serve unrelated purposes, or which perhaps did so for distant ancestors of ours. (more…)

Nuclear Hope?

March 14, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Politics, Winslow Myers

There’s No Way Out But Abolition

by Winslow Myers

Schultz, Kissinger, Perry and Nunn, those quintessentially establishment figures, have just posted in the quintessentially establishment Wall Street Journal their fifth editorial since 2007 advocating urgent changes enabling the eventual abolition of nuclear weapons on planet Earth.

Computer modeling tells us that if even a small fraction of the world’s nuclear arsenals are detonated in a war, doesn’t matter where — could be Pakistan-India, Israel-Iran, U.S.-Russia or China or Iran—the amount of soot thrown skyward could curtail agriculture on the planet for a decade — effectively a death sentence for all.

So why do we hesitate? Are these weapons worth the money they are sucking away from our schools and firefighting equipment and bridge repairs? Why are Russian and American nuclear missiles still pointed at each other on high alert?

Working backward from the ultimate bad outcome of a nuclear war, no matter how it started, by a terrorist action or a misinterpretation or an accident or even a deliberate attack by one state on another, as we contemplated nuclear winter and no food, would we still divide the world cleanly into “goods” and “bads,” or would we realize that the fears and tensions engendered by the weapons themselves led to a system over which we did not exercise the preventive controls for which Kissinger, Nunn, Perry, Schultz advocate? (more…)