New Clear Vision

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Archive for the ‘Michael True’

What Works

April 03, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Michael True, Politics

Notes on the Invention of Peacemaking

by Michael True

As human beings, we have been persistent and sophisticated in developing means of killing one another, most recently with weapons of mass destruction, such as nuclear weapons and drones that have victimized hundreds of innocent civilians, including women and children, in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen.

Strategies for war-making date from about 2,500 years ago, with the publication of Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War,” which has been updated, reprinted, and translated hundreds of times in many languages.

In contrast, we are only beginning to develop strategies for peacemaking and to commit ourselves to learning the skills that it requires.

In “The Invention of Peace” (2001), Sir Michael Howard, a major English military historian, points out that the concept of peace in international and public affairs dates from the publication of Immanuel Kant’s 1795 treatise, “Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch,” only just over two centuries ago. (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…)

Overcoming the Military Deficit

April 28, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Current Events, Economy, Michael True, Politics

From the Poverty of War to the Prosperity of Peace

by Michael True

“If voting made any difference, it would be illegal,” according to the late Philip Berrigan. This satirical comment seems especially relevant during our present military and economic crises.

President Obama proposes reasonable remedies, but fails to follow through on them, while Republicans issue counter proposals that are bound to make things worse.

“If it was not clear before, it is obvious now,” according to a New York Times editorial (April 19), that the Republican party “is fully engaged in a project to dismantle the foundations of the New Deal and the Great Society, and to liberate business and the rich from the inconveniences of oversight and taxes.”

Why do we refuse to recognize the economic consequences of our failed policies, or to halt the Bush/Obama war on Afghanistan? According to a U.S. Army lieutenant, “no one benefits from this war…. Only the CEOs and executive officers of war-profiteering corporations find satisfactory returns on their investments.” (more…)

A New Year’s Meditation on War … and Peace

January 04, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Michael True, Politics

America’s Perpetual War, and How to Stop It

by Michael True

“The same war continues,” Denise Levertov wrote in her poem, “Life at War.” Her lament is even more appropriate for 2011 than it was when she wrote the poem forty-five years ago.

Columnists and academics, including international relations professor Andrew Bacevich of Boston University, are finally acknowledging facts familiar to anyone “awake” regarding failed US policies, wasted lives and wasted resources during this period. Willfully ignoring such facts, as Bacevich wrote, “is to become complicit in the destruction of what most Americans profess to hold dear.”

At the beginning of the new year, consequences of “life at war” stare us in the face: the victimization of military and civilian populations and a huge national debt, including an annual military budget that is larger than all military budgets in the world combined and includes $5 billion that remains unaccounted for in Iraq, as well as aid to Pakistan that has wound up in the hands of the Taliban. (more…)

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