Palestinians take part in a rally in the West Bank city of Nablus on February 24, 2011 to protest against a US veto that nixed a UN Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements and calling for unity between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. (Getty Images)

Today, in 2012, it’s disappointing to see that the issues raised by Kofi Annan about the UN Security Council remain as (if not more) persistent and problematic as they were in 2004. A resolution that could put an end or significantly reduce the innocent loss of civilian life remains at the mercy of five governments and their agendas. What does or does not qualify as a humanitarian crisis continues to be for them to judge as opposed to referencing international law, as inevitably enforcing the law would require their unanimous approval. That is to say, a single disapproval weighs more than international law and human rights combined.

Photo Source: New Clear Vision

I’ve been fond of December 1st ever since I was born on it.  I later found out that it had been on a December 1st that Rosa Parks had sat down and refused to stand up or move to the back of that racist bus in Montgomery.  Later still I found out about a December 1st that had happened still earlier.

Soldier with drone. Photo By: The Christian Science Monitor

Predator drones were used sparingly in both Iraq and Afghanistan during the Bush Administration. With the entrance of the Obama Administration, drone procurement and proliferation have skyrocketed. In the justification and pursuit of this War on Terror, the United States has arguably committed "acts of terror" in authorizing extrajudicial assassinations inside the boundaries of allied countries. The blatant lack of concern for civilian life in areas is the largest concern for human rights groups.

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The Arab Spring’s impact on the Middle East along with Israel’s policy to isolate Hamas has backfired against the Israelis. It is evident that countries are accepting the truth that all Palestinian groups must be included in any peace process.

"The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages,” Israel's Interior Minister Eli Yishai reportedly said, referring to Israel's latest savage assault on Gaza that has left more than 160 Palestinians dead compared to six Israelis.

Yishai's statement may be one of the more honest descriptions on record regarding the purpose of the assault. The cruelest words from aggressors are often the clearest expressions of truth. But, sadly it's an under-statement.

Photo By: Jewish Voice for Peace

I am a singer and a rabbi, and I would rather sing to you right now, because you have probably read too many words, heard too much raw speech, about Israel and Gaza. It would be better to sooth and distract. But I feel compelled to find words. Just words.

Biblical verses and fragments of songs jostle for recognition and repetition, but I can’t hear then clearly enough. Instead, I’m trapped in the compulsion to read every report, go to every web site.

"Imperiled Life" By: Javier Sethness-Castro. Image By: AK Press

As parts of the Northeast remain in recovery from last week's Hurricane Sandy, many necessary conversations are emerging about the links between this hurricane and climate change. Prior to the hurricane, the mainstream media largely ignored the topic of climate change. We hope that the conversations continue. And we release this audio as a contribution to the crucial dialog.

Supporter of the peace caravan led by Mexican poet Sicilia holds a banner during a rally (Courtesy Reuters).

A caravan calling itself The Movement for Peace With Justice and Dignity rolled through the US last month, pushing for a handful of policy changes that would reduce drug-war violence in Mexico.  The most controversial demand was probably the decriminalization of drugs, though this is steadily getting grassroots traction in the US.  The other policy changes—better regulating arms trade, money laundering, and military aid—are not radical at all.

Site of a US drone attack in the capital city of Mogadishu (Source: Press TV)

Fiction can function as a mirror by helping us see things in ourselves that natural perspective obscures. The mirror effect can take place on a social level too. A good example is the classic HBO drama, The Wire. As anyone familiar with the drama should expect, whatever it may reflect about U.S. society and institutions is bound to be grim.

For over 20 years the people of the tiny, central Mexican state of Tlaxcala have been resisting a toxic mix of free trade, political corruption, and its byproduct of environmental crises. This short documentary shares the voices and testimonies of members of CNUC, the National Urban and Peasant Council, who have been tirelessly building community-based health, education, and infrastructure projects, while defending family farms, forcing government accountability, and deepening leadership among the poor, from below and to the left.


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