That’s the world that we should strive for — where people go hungry not because they lack enough food, but because they are doing so voluntarily in the cause of peace and justice.
I was on Wisconsin public radio last week, being interviewed on the state of U.S. foreign policy. All the callers were in perfect harmony. We all agreed that the last eight years have been a disaster for the United States, that we must move away from militarism and toward diplomacy, that we must, well, you get the drift. I commented to the host that the country would be in better shape if Wisconsin were in charge.
Although Iraq is the defining foreign policy issue so far in the presidential race, China will no doubt be smuggled into the election through this rather stark contrast between the Republicans and Democrats over trade.
As we approach the 2008 elections, let’s go big tent and put together a star-studded group to tour the swing states. Let’s also send these new Second Thoughters to college campuses in a political version of Scared Straight.
In our special Memorial Day edition, World Beat is publishing an obituary for Diplomacy, which died prematurely last week after an extended illness.
Throwing scientists and money at this problem, however, is not enough. The better analogy is the military industrial complex. In response to the Red Scare of the Soviet Union, the United States fundamentally reoriented the United States toward a permanent war economy – to the detriment of America and the world. Now, to deal with the Green Scare, the United States must similarly change the production process and the government’s relationship to it. We need to create a permanent climate change economy. And that requires a climate industrial complex.
When it invaded Iraq in 2003, the United States touched a hot stove. Politicians seem to have less capacity to learn than babies. Many of those involved in this ill-fated operation had some connection, however remote, to the Vietnam War, the last seriously hot stove that the United States touched. And yet, the U.S. leaders that fought in Vietnam as well as the ones who ran in the opposite direction all stood around the burning hot stove that was Iraq and bear-hugged it.
The National Library in Sarejevo still stands in ruins, 16 years after Serbian military forces shelled the building and destroyed over 90% of its priceless contents.
The Slovene government and many Slovene nationalists would like the issue of the erased to quietly disappear. But a new communications campaign — sponsored pro bono by a major Slovenian PR firm and with the help of some well-placed Slovenians such as Ljubljana’s mayor — is putting the stories of the Erased all over Ljubljana.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is Australia’s new, fair dinkum leader. Fair dinkum is Ozzie slang for the genuine article, the real McCoy.