Author Archives: Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J S Davies

The high stakes of the U.S.-Russia confrontation over Ukraine

A report in Covert Action Magazine from the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic in Eastern Ukraine describes grave fears of a new offensive by Ukrainian government forces, after increased shelling, a drone strike by a Turkish-built drone and an attack on Staromaryevka, a village inside the buffer zone established by the 2014-15 Minsk Accords. Continue reading

COP 26: Can a singing, dancing rebellion save the world?

COP Twenty-six! That is how many times the UN has assembled world leaders to try to tackle the climate crisis. But the United States is producing more oil and natural gas than ever; the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere and global temperatures are both still rising; and we are already experiencing the extreme weather and climate chaos that scientists have warned us about for forty years, and which will only get worse and worse without serious climate action. Continue reading

Our future vs. neoliberalism

In country after country around the world, people are rising up to challenge entrenched, failing neoliberal political and economic systems, with mixed but sometimes promising results. Continue reading

Why does Congress fight over childcare but not F-35s?

President Biden and the Democratic Congress are facing a crisis as the popular domestic agenda they ran on in the 2020 election is held hostage by two corporate Democratic senators, fossil-fuel consigliere Joe Manchin and payday-lender favorite Kyrsten Sinema. Continue reading

U.S. militarism’s toxic impact on climate policy

President Biden addressed the UN General on September 21 with a warning that the climate crisis is fast approaching a “point of no return,” and a promise that the United States would rally the world to action. “We will lead not just with the example of our power but, God willing, with the power of our example,” he said. Continue reading

How can America wake up from its post-9/11 nightmare?

Looking back on it now, the 1990s were an age of innocence for America. The Cold War was over and our leaders promised us a “peace dividend.” There was no TSA to make us take off our shoes at airports (how many bombs have they found in those billions of shoes?). The government could not tap a U.S. phone or read private emails without a warrant from a judge. And the national debt was only $5 trillion—compared with over $28 trillion today. Continue reading

Afghan crisis must end America’s empire of war, corruption and poverty

Americans have been shocked by videos of thousands of Afghans risking their lives to flee the Taliban’s return to power in their country—and then by an Islamic State suicide bombing and ensuing massacre by U.S. forces that together killed at least 170 people, including 13 U.S. troops. Continue reading

Will Americans who were right on Afghanistan still be ignored?

America’s corporate media are ringing with recriminations over the humiliating U.S. military defeat in Afghanistan. But very little of the criticism goes to the root of the problem, which was the original decision to militarily invade and occupy Afghanistan in the first place. Continue reading

Biden must call off the B-52s bombing Afghan cities

Nine provincial capitals in Afghanistan have fallen to the Taliban in six days—Zaranj, Sheberghan, Sar-e-Pul, Kunduz, Taloqan, Aybak, Farah, Pul-e-Khumri and Faizabad—while fighting continues in four more—Lashkargah, Kandahar, Herat & Mazar-i-Sharif. U.S. military officials now believe Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, could fall in one to three months. Continue reading

America’s Afghan war is over, so what about Iraq—and Iran?

At Bagram air-base, Afghan scrap merchants are already picking through the graveyard of U.S. military equipment that was until recently the headquarters of America’s 20-year occupation of their country. Afghan officials say the last U.S. forces slipped away from Bagram in the dead of night, without notice or coordination. Continue reading

How Biden helped hardliner Raisi win Iran election

It was common knowledge that a U.S. failure to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal (known as the JCPOA) before Iran’s June presidential election would help conservative hardliners to win the election. Indeed, on Saturday, June 19, the conservative Ebrahim Raisi was elected as the new president of Iran. Continue reading

Why democracies in G7 & NATO should reject U.S. leadership

The world has been treated to successive spectacles of national leaders gathering at a G7 Summit in Cornwall and a NATO Summit in Brussels. Continue reading

The emperor’s new rules

The world is reeling in horror at the latest Israeli massacre of hundreds of men, women and children in Gaza. Much of the world is also shocked by the role of the United States in this crisis, as it keeps providing Israel with weapons to kill Palestinian civilians, in violation of U.S. and international law, and has repeatedly blocked action by the UN Security Council to impose a ceasefire or hold Israel accountable for its war crimes. Continue reading

How the United States helps to kill Palestinians

The U.S. corporate media usually report on Israeli military assaults in occupied Palestine as if the United States is an innocent neutral party to the conflict. In fact, large majorities of Americans have told pollsters for decades that they want the United States to be neutral in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Continue reading

Biden’s appeasement of hawks and neocons is crippling his diplomacy

President Biden took office promising a new era of American international leadership and diplomacy. But with a few exceptions, he has so far allowed self-serving foreign allies, hawkish U.S. interest groups and his own imperial delusions to undermine diplomacy and stoke the fires of war. Continue reading

U.S. joins past empires in Afghanistan graveyard

President Biden announced a removal of all U.S. troops by September 11, but he failed to include some important details.

An Afghan taxi-driver in Vancouver told one of us a decade ago that this day would come. “We defeated the Persian Empire in the eighteenth century, the British in the nineteenth, the Soviets in the twentieth. Now, with NATO, we’re fighting twenty-eight countries, but we’ll defeat them, too,” said the taxi-driver, surely not a member of the Taliban, but quietly proud of his country’s empire-killing credentials. Continue reading

What planet Is NATO living on?

The February meeting of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Defense Ministers, the first since President Biden took power, revealed an antiquated, 75-year-old alliance that, despite its military failures in Afghanistan and Libya, is now turning its military madness toward two more formidable, nuclear-armed enemies: Russia and China. Continue reading

Is Biden committing diplomatic suicide over the Iran nuclear agreement?

As Congress still struggles to pass a COVID relief bill, the rest of the world is nervously reserving judgment on America’s new president and his foreign policy, after successive U.S. administrations have delivered unexpected and damaging shocks to the world and the international system. Continue reading

The decline and fall of the American empire

In 2004, journalist Ron Susskind quoted a Bush White House advisor, reportedly Karl Rove, as boasting, “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.” He dismissed Susskind’s assumption that public policy must be rooted in “the reality-based community.” “We’re history’s actors,” the advisor told him, “…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.” Continue reading

Will Biden end America’s global war on children?

Most people regard Trump’s treatment of immigrant children as among his most shocking crimes as president. Images of hundreds of children stolen from their families and imprisoned in chain-link cages are an unforgettable disgrace that President Biden must move quickly to remedy with humane immigration policies and a program to quickly find the children’s families and reunite them, wherever they may be. Continue reading

Will Biden’s America stop creating terrorists?

Joe Biden will take command of the White House at a time when the American public is more concerned about battling coronavirus than fighting overseas wars. But America’s wars rage on regardless, and the militarized counterterrorism policy Biden has supported in the past—based on airstrikes, special operations and the use of proxy forces—is precisely what keeps these conflicts raging. Continue reading

Why Jeh Johnson would be a better defense secretary than Michèle Flournoy

President-elect Biden’s choice for secretary of defense has turned out to be one of the most controversial and difficult of his cabinet appointments. The early front-runner, Michèle Flournoy, was originally seen as a shoo-in and was touted as a great breakthrough for women, but her hawkish views have provoked serious concerns. Biden now appears to be also considering two Black Americans promoted by the Congressional Black Caucus: Jeh Johnson and retired General Lloyd Austin. Continue reading

Ten foreign policy fiascos Biden can fix on day one

Donald Trump loves executive orders as a tool of dictatorial power, avoiding the need to work through Congress. But that works both ways, making it relatively easy for President Biden to reverse many of Trump’s most disastrous decisions. Here are ten things Biden can do as soon as he takes office. Each one can set the stage for broader progressive foreign policy initiatives, which we have also outlined. Continue reading

Will the Biden team be warmongers or peacemakers?

Congratulations to Joe Biden on his election as America’s next president! People all over this pandemic-infested, war-torn and poverty-stricken world were shocked by the brutality and racism of the Trump administration, and are anxiously wondering whether Biden’s presidency will open the door to the kind of international cooperation that we need to confront the serious problems facing humanity in this century. Continue reading

Ending regime change in Bolivia and the world

Less than a year after the United States and the U.S.-backed Organization of American States (OAS) supported a violent military coup to overthrow the government of Bolivia, the Bolivian people have reelected the Movement for Socialism (MAS) and restored it to power. Continue reading

How Biden flubbed town hall foreign policy question

Toward the end of Joe Biden’s October 15 town hall session, a Trump supporter asked Biden the only foreign policy question of the night. “So peace is breaking out all over the world,” the questioner claimed. “Our troops are coming home. Serbia is talking to Kosovo. And the Arabs and Israelis are talking peace, which I believe is a modern-day miracle, what’s going on. Does President Trump’s foreign policy deserve some credit?” Continue reading

Two years after Khashoggi’s murder, why is America still an accomplice to MBS’s crimes?

Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was brutally murdered on October 2, 2018, by agents of Saudi Arabia’s despotic government, and the CIA concluded they killed him on direct orders from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). Eight Saudi men have been convicted of Khashoggi’s murder by a Saudi court in what the Washington Post characterized as sham trials with no transparency. The higher ups who ordered the murder, including MBS, continue to escape responsibility. Continue reading

Will Michele Flournoy be the Angel of Death for the American empire?

If the Democrats manage to push Joe Biden over the finish line in November’s election, he will find himself presiding over a decadent, declining empire. He will either continue the policies that have led the American empire to decadence and decline, or seize the moment to move our nation into a new phase: a transition to a peaceful and sustainable post-imperial future. Continue reading

U.S. Cold War China Policy will isolate the U.S, not China

Tensions between the United States and China are rising as the U.S. election nears, with tit-for-tat consulate closures, new U.S. sanctions and no less than three U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups prowling the seas around China. But it is the United States that has initiated each new escalation in U.S.-China relations. China’s responses have been careful and proportionate, with Chinese officials such as Foreign Minister Wang Yi publicly asking the U.S. to step back from its brinkmanship to find common ground for diplomacy. Continue reading

King Joe and the Round Table: Biden’s America in a multipolar world

In an article in Foreign Affairs in March, titled “Why America Must Lead Again,” Joe Biden claimed that “the world doesn’t organize itself,” and promised to “put the U.S. back at the head of the table” among the nations of the world. But the premise that the world can only organize itself under the direction of the United States and Biden’s ambition to restore the U.S. to such a dominant position at this moment in history are out of touch with global reality. Continue reading

Trump’s record on foreign policy: Lost wars, new conflicts and broken promises

On June 13, President Donald Trump told the graduating class at West Point, “We are ending the era of endless wars.” That is what Trump has promised since 2016, but the “endless” wars have not ended. Trump has dropped more bombs and missiles than George W. Bush or Barack Obama did in their first terms, and there are still roughly as many US bases and troops overseas as when he was elected. Continue reading

Defund the police, defund the military

On June 1, President Trump threatened to deploy active-duty U.S. military forces against peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters in cities across America. Trump and state governors eventually deployed at least 17,000 National Guard troops across the country. In the nation’s capital, Trump deployed nine Blackhawk assault helicopters, thousands of National Guard troops from six states and at least 1,600 Military Police and active-duty combat troops from the 82nd Airborne Division, with written orders to pack bayonets. Continue reading