Monday, March 24, 2014

Time for a 21st Century US Foreign Policy

Published on Monday, March 24, 2014 by Common Dreams

Time for a 21st Century US Foreign Policy


With 16,000 of the world’s 17,000 nuclear bombs in the US and Russia, the US should certainly not be fanning the fires for a new cold war after the distressing events in Crimea and the Ukraine.  

Rather, we should acknowledge our broken promise to Gorbachev that we wouldn’t expand NATO if Russia didn’t object to a reunified Germany’s entry into NATO when the wall came down, and promise not to invite the Ukraine or Georgia to become members of our old Cold War military alliance.  

We should be disbanding NATO and working for reform of the UN system so that it can fulfill its peacekeeping mission without archaic reliance on regional military competitive alliances.   Further, we should remove our missiles from Poland, Romania and Turkey and negotiate the space weapons ban which China and Russia repeatedly proposed, and which only the US blocked for several years in the UN’s committee on Disarmament in Geneva which requires consensus.  

We should also reinstate the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty which Bush walked out of in 2001 and take up Russia’s offer to negotiate a treaty to ban cyberwarfare, which it proposed after the US boasted about its virus attack on Iran’s enrichment facilities and which the US rejected out of hand.  

We need to stop being the world’s bully, as described last week by Jack Matlock, Reagan and Bush’s Ambassador to Russia who has examined our provocative actions towards Russia which resulted in these terrible events in Crimea.

It’s ironic that Obama is now in the Hague at his third “Nuclear Security Summit” to talk about locking down and securing loose bomb-making materials, without any discussion about how to honor our Non-Proliferation Treaty promise to eliminate our massive nuclear arsenal, for which we are planning to spend $640 billion over the next ten years for two new bomb factories, and new lethal delivery systems—missiles, planes, submarines.

The sad history of our bad faith relationships with Gorbachev and Putin and our aggressive military provocations, including today’s announcement that NATO will be doing military war games in Poland, will do nothing to make our world a safer, more peaceful place.

The US needs more creative 21st century thinking on how to relate to the rest of the world.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

My friend Nelly's poem in response to the chaos in Ukraine:

Neras, 3/6/2014
The word, democracy,
(Not a new concept by any means)
Is in the pipeline, though the
Conduit is no peace pipe.
Instead, flatulent gasses
Of controlling interests

Poison the air, destroy the forests,
Pollute the waters, all neatly labeled
“Freedom and Progress” wrapped
In blankets contaminated with
Modern plagues
Damp still, with innocent tears

The simple folk, everyday dreamers,
Turned GMO fodder,
In the digestive track
Of the world
To recombine the poison gasses

Friday, March 7, 2014

My letter to the editor of the NY TIMES
March 7, 2014

Re: Natural Gas as a Diplomatic Tool

Does the Times really believe that America should be “heralding the rise of a new era of energy diplomacy” by beefing up our oil and gas sales to Europe and boasting about our huge potential to export carbon-laden filthy fuel to Russia’s fossil fuel customers as a way to curb Putin? Is this a rational solution to the disturbing events in Ukraine? Pour more carbon into the environment and watch the earth’s ecosystems collapse! Pick your poison—nuclear war or catastrophic climate change!! The follow up editorial to this tone deaf reporting, “Natural Gas as a Diplomatic Tool”, is even more cynical, arguing for speeding up export applications and easing restrictions, knowing it would take years and costs billions of dollars. Advising that “American officials should use natural gas exports as one component of diplomacy” is like selling smallpox laden blankets to the indigenous people of America. It’s a death sentence for our planet and the billions should be spent instead on a Manhattan Project for solar, wind, geothermal and hydro energy which can power the whole planet by 2050 and undercut so many of the geopolitical resource-driven motives for war.