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Author: Common Dreams

Congress accuses Saudi Arabia of helping underwrite Putin’s war in Ukraine with oil profits from supply cut

The Democratic chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee pledged on October 10 to block all future U.S. weapons sales to Saudi Arabia as backlash over OPEC’s decision to cut oil production and push up gas prices continues to grow on Capitol Hill. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who has veto power over foreign arms sales, said in a statement that OPEC’s plan to slash production by two million barrels a day in a bid to prop up oil prices amounts to a “decision to help underwrite Putin’s war.” Russia, an OPEC ally, stands to benefit from higher oil prices...

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Forced Labor: New report says millions of vulnerable people worldwide remain trapped in modern slavery

Nearly 50 million people were trapped in forced labor or forced marriage on any given day in 2021, according to a new report published on September 12, the latest reminder that “the scourge of modern slavery has by no means been relegated to history.” The International Labour Organization (ILO), Walk Free, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) found that the number of people around the globe living in slavery — defined as a situation of “exploitation that a person cannot refuse or cannot leave because of threats, violence, coercion, deception, or abuse of power” — increased by 9.3...

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Leading from behind: Why Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is now more than a proxy war for the United States

Although Washington insists that it is not interested in a direct military conflict with Moscow, the latter claims that the United States is, in fact, directly involved. On September 8, Secretary of State Antony Blinken appeared in Kyiv on an unannounced visit. He carried with him pledges of yet another military and financial package of nearly $3 billion, mostly to Ukraine but also other Eastern European countries. According to a report published by The New York Times last May, U.S. financial support to Ukraine has exceeded $54 billion. Devex’s Funding Platform states that “a relatively small percentage of that...

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National Security: What the U.S. Military can learn from Putin’s disastrous invasion of Ukraine

In Washington, wide agreement exists that the Russian army’s performance in the Kremlin’s ongoing Ukraine “special military operation” ranks somewhere between lousy and truly abysmal. The question is: Why? The answer in American policy circles, both civilian and military, appears all but self-evident. Vladimir Putin’s Russia has stubbornly insisted on ignoring the principles, practices, and methods identified as necessary for success in war and perfected in this century by the armed forces of the United States. Put simply, by refusing to do things the American way, the Russians are failing badly against a far weaker foe. Granted, American analysts...

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Wishful Thinking: Why the fallacy of making peace with Russia necessitates feeding the wolf of war

Close your eyes and try to envision the two wolves. Imagine yourself as a terrified child. I think that helps bring the myth to life … this myth, said to be Cherokee, of humanity’s two choices. The wolves are engaged in a vicious fight. The wise grandfather explains to the child that the two wolves are inside all of us. One of the wolves is an arrogant narcissist—a jerk, an egocentric idiot. You know, evil. The other is the embodiment of joy and empathy, kindness and love. The trembling child asks in alarm: “Which one wins?” And Grandfather lays...

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Rejecting rights and freedoms: Ron Johnson declares opposition to Federal same-sex marriage legislation

Republican Senator Ron Johnson, facing a tough reelection contest in November, said during a recent meeting with constituents that he opposes a bill to codify same-sex marriage rights into federal law as the Senate Democratic leadership plans to hold a vote in the coming weeks, warning the protections are under threat from the Supreme Court’s conservative majority. Speaking at a Common Sense Citizens of Washington County meeting last week, Johnson said his comment in July signaling that he saw “no reason to oppose” the Respect for Marriage Act was issued just to get reporters to stop pressing him. “I...

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