I've written articles this year in the Los Angeles Times and the Nation, as well as an entire book, Listen Yankee! on the Cuban-US rapprochement, but my favorite reporting is about baseball and coexistence. Not only because I'm an old ballplayer who's visited Cuba several times, but because baseball is the best framework for achieving real results in the immediate future. The sport is a shared passion in both our countries; baseball diplomacy already is bringing real results and the solidifying a long-term rapprochement subject to pressure on other fronts. Only a 50 percent increase in authorized American travel to Cuba this year will have equal or greater effect now that more than 100 commercial flights by a US airline are being negotiated.
The Peace Exchange Bulletin
Published by Tom Hayden, The Peace Exchange Bulletin is a reader-supported journal, critically following the Pentagon's Long War in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, as well as the failed U.S. wars on drugs and gangs, and U.S. military responses to nationalism and poverty around the world.
So many of our readers have donated to our IndieGogo campaign this holiday season and we want to thank them!
Friend of Tom Hayden's Climate Campaign
Emily Louise Walker
It was October 1967 that I was invited to Cambodia to take brief custody of three American soldiers being released in a gesture from the National Liberation Front (Vietcong). At the time I was an innocent 28 years old, the age of Bowe Bergdahl when he was released in a prisoner swap last year after five years of grueling captivity. I had a flashback to those times when Army General Robert Abrams ordered that Bergdahl be court-marshaled as a deserter despite far more lenient misdemeanor recommendations from the army lawyer who held a preliminary hearing in September. That officer concluded that there should be "no jail sentence at the end of this process" for Bergdahl. (See LA Times, Dec. 15, 2015.)
We can only wait as the clock passes midnight, the moment when the Paris summit is scheduled to end. In politics that means the screws tighten, hard bargaining begins, tempers escalate, and the pressure increases for either "any deal" or a "better deal." The crunch is on. If I had to guess, the talks will be put over into the weekend.
The latest good news is the Vatican's call for setting a 1.5-degree rise in global temperature for this century, significantly below the unreal current consensus of 2 degrees Celsius, which would open the gates to an irreversible loss of lives and ecosystems. The Vatican is joined by the Philippines and a score of vulnerable nations.
Talking points for Democrats and Activists
by Tom Hayden
"I know, therefore, that we live on borrowed Time." Ending the War in Iraq, 2007, p. 208
1. We Need to understand, name, blame, and frame the Long War Doctrine.
The Long War Doctrine--advanced by Pentagon planners and neo-conservatives almost ten years ago--projects up to 80 years of US military intervention to "win" the battle with radical jihadists. The implications are almost unthinkable to most Americans, or at least they have been until now.
Eighty years means 20 presidential terms, twice as many congressional sessions, and bloodletting beyond description, with costs that exceed decades’ worth of GDP—not to mention our political capacity. Can it possibly be winnable or affordable, and based on unified public opinion? Will it bankrupt our budget for health care, social security, education, and climate/environmental protection? Politically, few Republicans or military officials have wanted to open this discussion up to the American people—yet it's a crucial dimension we need to insert into public debate right now.[i]
We want to take this fight to the California State Legislature, the White House and beyond. California’s climate policies have become a real leverage point for National and International policy. Everything that starts in California is copied globally and around the capitol of our own country.
But we need your help!
We must raise at least $50,000 for 2016 and $150,000 in three years to implement our plan – building an effective team to keep battling to completion the maximum goals of the Gov. Brown era in CA and the next administration in Washington.
Giving what you can will help us get there!
There is a mystique on the Liberal-Left about the legacy of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, voiced most eloquently in Bernie Sanders’ recent speech about what it means to be a democratic socialist. Many progressives including myself think of the New Deal as central to our heritage, and FDR’s proposed Economic Bill of Rights as a platform for the future.
Often ignored, however, is the paramount fact that FDR was a war president. After Pearl Harbor, he fought the Germans, Japanese and Italians every day until the surrenders. I remember sitting on my mother’s lap while she listened to his fireside chats, and how she told me he was keeping us safe. Four hundred nineteen thousand Americans of my Marine father’s generation died during that mission to keep kids like me safe.
Lincoln was a war president too, leaving 620,000 dead in the cause of ending slavery and launching Reconstruction. These are realities well worth pondering today as we edge into a war with ISIS. The choices may come down to these in 2016:
- The election of an American war president who preserves and enhances Obamacare, Social Security, labor and civil rights, and public education;
- Election of a right-wing war president who terminates the New Deal and civil rights legacies as “unaffordable.”
Speech broadcast this Saturday, Nov. 14, to the TEDxHavana conference on the Cuba-United States normalization process. Over two thousand are attending.
HOLA, HELLO A TODOS LOS COMPANEROS Y COMPANERAS EN HAVANA!
THANK YOU TO ANDRES LEVIN OF TED FOR INVITING ME AND ARRANGING THIS LONG DISTANCE ADDRESS.
QUE VIVA FIDEL AND PRESIDENT RAUL CASTRO. Y AS A NORTE AMERICANO I WANT TO THANK PRESIDENT OBAMA FOR HIS COURAGEOUS DECISION TO OPEN A NEW RELATIONSHIP ACROSS THE AMERICAS. QUE VIVA. THAT IS WHY FOR THIS OCCASION I HAVE THE FLAG OF TH 26TH JULY MOVEMENTNEXT TO AN EARLY AMERICAN FLAG FROM OUR REVOLUTIONARY TIMES LONG AGO.
Bernie Sanders' stature and strength continues to grow. He is the folk hero of the primary season. His message is repeated consistently to millions of people. He's neck and neck with Hillary in early primaries. The money is rolling in, and the volunteers have become a genuine mass movement. A sense of humor has emerged from under the early strains. Most important to many left-progressives is the rational discussion of democratic socialism for the first time in 90 years, since we last had an elected bloc of socialist mayors agitating for what became the New Deal.
Paul Ryan will try to be the leading voice of the Republican Party in its attempt to defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016.
His demands on his Republican colleagues are relatively soft, not sharp. He spells out his agenda in a passage insisting on his right to be home with family. “I may not be on the road as often as previous speakers, but I pledge to make up for it with more time communicating our vision, our message.”
With his ideological roots in Ayn Rand and classic conservative philosophers, Ryan thinks of himself as an intellectual dedicated to a counter-revolution against the New Deal and every strand of modern progressive thought. He is a product of rigorous Catholic education. He has largely succeeded in achieving respect from the media and political class, partly because he separates himself from irrational extremism of the ‘Freedom Caucus’. His ability to negotiate a budget deal last year with Democratic Sen. Patty Murray reinforced his reputation for relative sanity.