Category: Peace

I’m a Pacifist But Maybe It’s Time for Kim Jong Un to be Ousted Forcibly

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un as a petty infant tyrantOne of my favorite cartoonists and op-ed writers, David Horsey, opines in his column today:

“It would be a true advance of civilization if the world community were to come together and get rid of this throwback to humanity’s darker times.”

Even though I’m a pacifist and a firm believer in national sovereign rights, I really have a difficult time disagreeing with Horsey on this one. Kim is a hereditary leader who acts exactly like the child princes of old, as Horsey points out so brilliantly. He has enslaved an entire nation that is, in Horsey’s inimitable words, “His country is a geopolitical pipsqueak and an economic charity case.” I cannot think of one single bad result of removing him from power — forcibly if necessary — if China went along with the plan. And how can they not?

An effective economic blockade might sink his regime in weeks. If economic sanctions don’t work, then force may have to be used. But in the 21st century it is really unthinkable that the world’s nations would allow this one petty tyrant to disrupt global geopolitics just to weasel more concessions from a world frightened of his non-power.

 

Are the Media, Complicit in Iraq Debacle, Patsies for Obama’s Team on Iran?

lamestreammediaAlong with Michael Calderone at HuffPo, I too am worried that the complacency of America’s mainstream media may play a key role in the run-up to yet another Mideast war by America, this time on Iran.

Ten years ago, a blindly subservient media corps — enamored of their privilege and worried about losing access — mouthed the Bush Party Line and lulled Americans into a false sense of complacency as we needlessly and foolishly entered on our biggest foreign policy blunder since Vietnam.

Today, many of the same national “leaders” are still in place, both in government and in the media, and the idiot sounds they are making with respect to Iran’s “nuclear program” are just as full of false bravado and certitude as they were a decade ago.

obamagrimaceMeanwhile, the Nobel Peace Prize winning President Obama (I bet the committee wish they had that one back) is not as vocal but nearly as bellicose as his predecessor. Witness his observations today that the United States is pledging its “undying” support for Israel. He didn’t say but also means “unquestioning” support. The Israelis are at least as much to blame for the ongoing hostility in the Middle East as the other nations with which it is engaged there, but you’d never know it from U.S. media reports or State Department memos. Their “remarkable story of redemption” as Obama put it, apparently entitles them to be as pre-emptively warlike in the name of self-defense as…well…the United States in its new age of Imperialism.

The pro-peace movement needs to be on its toes this time around. The Iraq War was the first one in world history that was preceded by millions and millions of protesters all over the world. King George ignored the multitudes and we can now see to what end. This time around, peace-loving people must start sooner, speak more loudly, and issue a drumbeat that is at least as loud and insistent as that of the warmongers in U.S. policy circles.

Failing that, we are destined for another long, costly, deadly, meaningless war in the Middle East, all ultimately in the name of defending American oil companies’ interests. Nothing is worth that, not in an age of global climate change. Nothing.

Rebecca Costa Sees Suicide Trends as Real Problem in Gun Violence

Rebecca Costa, in her column on USA Today, makes anMan-in-Despair intriguing point about an as-yet-undiscussed contributing cause to the spate of mass killings that have led to the current raging debate on gun control.

In a column titled “Losing the Will to Live,! Ms. Costa discusses suicidal inclination as a possible contributing cause. She points out that, for the most part, the perpetrators of these atrocities do not try to hide their crimes or their involvement. They don’t try to escape. They either kill themselves outright or commit “suicide by police.”

She suggests that when a human loses the will to live, then a great deal of the moral suasion that keeps us from committing unthinkable crimes gets destroyed or submerged. This frees the individual to act out his or her depression, rage, loneliness or other emotional pain in a socially unacceptable way.

It’s a good read. I recommend it.

NRA’s Answer to Newtown Massacre: More Guns in Schools

Can it really be true that the National Rifle Association is so tone-deaf to the world around it that seriously proposes placing armed guards in all our schools as a solution to campus gun violence?

Really?

I did not have great expectations that the NRA statement today would contain even a hint of peace and civility. Those concepts are foreign not to the rank and file membership, but to the national leaders and spokespeople of this anachronistic movement.

Frankly, I’m not even sure why I’m shocked. The proposal to put guns to work in our nation’s schools–a plan that smacks loudly of old-time Soviet style dictatorship–can only be based on ignorance and desperation.  NRA  leadership must be so fearful that the American public will, at long last, rise up against the long-outmoded notion that every American citizen is entitled to carry a concealed weapon for “self-defense” that it is now stooping to outlandishly ridiculous, infeasible, and ultimately worthless policy proposals.

There are so many things wrong with this position that I could devote the rest of my days to blogging just about this proposal, and probably never run out of ideas. Just to cite one, how many security guards do you suppose it would take to police a modern, inner-city high school with 2000 or 3000 students? Placing armed guards in schools would create another layer of paramilitary operations in the way of law enforcement.

Clearly, nobody in national office – at least nobody responsible – is going to rally to the support of this morbidly wrong policy proposal. It’s a sad commentary that any organization would bring forth such an idea in any semblance of seriousness.

United States sending worthless Patriot missiles to Turkey

Turkey-Syria border where Patriot missiles will be deployed by U.S. NATO know

Turkey-Syria border where Patriot missiles will be deployed by U.S., NATO

It’s hard to believe that the United States would make a strategic blunder as big as the one announced by the Pentagon today. At a time when the Syrian violence is about to culminate in victory by the opposition, we decide to end our hands-off approach to the conflict and send a bunch of useless Patriot missiles and 400 troops into Turkey.

Yes, these are the same missiles that had such a dismal record in the first Gulf War, where only one confirmed kill resulted from more than 700 launches.

Why in the world President Obama and his military commanders would see this as a helpful,  let alone intelligent, move at this stage of the hostilities is beyond me. Once upon a time, I would simply have given them credit for knowing more than I do, but that all ended in the 1960s when we “trusted” Washington to tell us the truth about Vietnam.

For a man who is supposedly a Democrat and a Nobel Peace Prize holder to boot, Obama is sometimes more hawkish than his ill-behaved  predecessor.