08/27/2010 - 4:20pm
Posted by Melissa Kaplan
As campaign season moves full speed ahead with Labor Day weekend approaching, Global Solutions PAC continues to endorse additional candidates for the Senate and House of Representatives. We are pleased to announce our endorsement of the following candidates, both incumbents and challengers, who share our global vision and have championed our issues in Congress.
House of Representatives
For a complete list of CGS endorsements in 2010, visit http://www.globalsolutions.org/politics/elections_and_candidates/races/2010?action=endorsed.
Congratulations to all our newly endorsed candidates—we hope to see all of you in Congress next year!
08/26/2010 - 11:39am
Posted by Jessica Lippman
Happy Birthday 19th Amendment!
Ratifying the CEDAW treaty would continue America's proud bipartisan tradition of promoting and protecting human rights, and it would strengthen the United States as a global leader in standing up for women and girls in countries around the world.
08/25/2010 - 2:07pm
Posted by Jessica Lippman
Established in the United Nations Charter, way back in that post-war year of 1946, the Division for the Advancement of Women firmly rooted the drive towards gender equality in the international agenda. Sixty-four years later, gender equality and the empowerment of women remain on the forefront of the UN agenda, as shown by the recent creation of the new agency: UN Women. This historic, and unanimous, step that was taken by the UN General Assembly on July 2nd of this year stood proof as both a testament to the agenda of advancing gender equality, and also to the necessity of reform throughout the organizations multi-faceted body.
The work of UN Women will be guided by prior principles of promoting gender equality worldwide, as described in two prior landmark international conventions – the Beijing Platform for Action and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, or CEDAW. The agency will support inter-governmental bodies, civil society groups, and nonprofit organizations in their formulation of policy and global norms. Additionally, the agency will assist in the implementation of these standards and norms when help is requested by Member States. In the words of Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro, “UN Women will give women and girls the strong, unified voice they deserve on the world stage. I look forward to seeing this new entity up and running so that we — women and men — can move forward together in our endeavour to achieve the goals of equality, development and peace for all women and girls, everywhere.”
08/23/2010 - 5:31pm
Posted by Meg McDermott
Stephen Rademaker’s recent piece in the Washington Post is the latest in a series of offensives against the New START treaty with Russia. He falsely plants the blame for the delayed ratification schedule on the Democrats, although it is the Republicans who have spent the past few months scrambling to hold the treaty hostage to political maneuvering. On the plus side, he implicitly concedes that the debate on the content of the treaty is essentially over – he has no beef with the text or implications of New START. At a loss for substantive things to critique, he turns to an otherwise tedious and boring topic: Senate processes.
Rademaker says that critics of the treaty have been unfairly excluded from the process, but the evidence is to the contrary. Claiming that Senate leaders haven’t given Republicans time to formally file their complaints with the treaty is a criticism of last resort. There have been 20 hearings, three classified briefings and almost 800 questions asked on the record. There have been countless meetings between concerned Senators (primarily Republicans) Secretary Clinton, Vice President Biden, and various members of the negotiating team.
The negotiating record on missile defense was shared with the Senators who asked for it, even though Senator Kerry pointed out that the precedent for this practice is minimal and should be repeated only with caution. That sentiment goes as far back as George Washington, who firmly opposed sharing a treaty’s negotiating record.
Senator Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, specifically delayed the vote from August until September to give Senators who weren’t sure how they felt about new START more time to come to a decision. After announcing the delay, he said: "If we forced a vote today, I would have won. But I would have angered some people and made them feel they weren't being included," Kerry said. "I think it's important to build a broader consensus." Kerry has already solicited input from Senators on the resolution of ratification, which is exactly what Rademaker insisted must be done.
Rademaker’s article makes a serious omission in its discussion of the negotiations between the administration and Republican senators who want the most bang for their “yes” vote. The issue of funding for nuclear modernization has taken center stage in the informal negotiations, with Senator Kyl and others demanding billions in nuclear pork in exchange for a yes vote on New START. Even though the administration already proposed almost historic funding for modernizing the nuclear weapons complex, Republicans are trying to squeeze out more dollars.
But few Senators have been openly critical about the treaty, and most of them have not made any specific demands. The majority of Republicans are hiding in the shadows on the issue, and Senators Corker and Kyl are doing their dirty work.
Complaining that Senators have not been given the opportunity to express their reservations on the treaty is ironic, given that Rademaker’s intent is to support ongoing efforts of Republican obstructionism in the Senate. Opponents of the treaty – like Rademaker – are clearly struggling to escape the resounding support in favor of New START. The list of respected foreign policy and arms control experts from both sides of the aisle who support New START seems never ending. They all say that the treaty is necessary to our national security. Why shouldn’t we believe them?
The delay in ratification only increases the time that will pass before we can get our hands on information about Russia’s nuclear program. Instead of relying on complaints from obstructionists about mundane Senate procedures, we need Senators to do the right thing and put national security over partisan games.
08/19/2010 - 10:16am
Posted by mgimbel
While the Tea Party owes its origins to domestic concerns, a unified foreign policy has failed to emerge. Tea Partiers often find themselves holding directly opposing views--especially with regard to America’s military presence in the world. However, as Peter Baker’s Foreign Policy article points out, “[i]f there's one thing Tea Party activists can agree on foreign-policy-wise, it's their aversion to international organizations.
Possibly due to this rare seeing of eye to eye, Tea Party candidates have come out swinging against international organizations like the United Nations. Candidates like Dan Maes of Colorado, Sharon Angles of Nevada, and Rand Paul of Kentucky have each vocalized the call to get the U.S. out of the U.N.
“In the run up to mid term elections, Tea Party candidates have called for the withdrawal of the United States from the U.N., cited U.N. plots to rescind Americans right to bear arms, and decried so-called socialistic programs that promote bicycle rental programs in the heartland in an effort to curtail American freedoms.
Until the Tea Party can formulate a unified foreign policy, we can look forward to them continuing to resort to their lowest common denominator: fear of the big bad U.N.
08/16/2010 - 5:19pm
Posted by Don Kraus
As published in the Huffington Post
Here's something you don't hear every day--a Secretary of Defense talking about reducing military spending. Yet Secretary Robert Gates has recently discussed the possibility of eliminating some weapons systems, command structures and other items which are no longer necessary for national security.
08/12/2010 - 10:42am
Posted by Don Kraus
As published in the Huffington Post:
Thinking about sitting out the November elections because President Obama and Congress have let you down? Think again. The 2010 mid-term could prove to be the most pivotal election of our lifetime.
"to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand."
I was on a flight to The Hague that evening. My fellow passengers shared great expectations: the U.S. would reengage globally in a responsible and multilateral way. Obama would close Guantanamo, pull us out of Iraq, seriously address climate change, and begin to eliminate nuclear weapons. We would shift from being the world's "super power" to the world's "super partner."
"The international order we seek is one that can resolve the challenges of our times ... stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and securing nuclear materials; combating a changing climate and sustaining global growth; helping countries feed themselves and care for their sick; resolving and preventing conflict, while also healing its wounds."
The President's desire for an "international order" is a signal to both support his administration's efforts and to push the envelope of what can be achieved. But will we have the opportunity to do so? Or will the belief of uber-nationalists prevail, like those of the Eagle Forum's Phyllis Schlafly, who in her rant against the New START treaty said, "We live in a dangerous world in which bad guys respect strength and weapons, and disdain weakness and disarmament."
08/06/2010 - 10:31am
Posted by mgimbel
Dan Maes, the leading GOP candidate for governor of Denver, came out against his rival Mayor John Hickenlooper over a bike sharing program. Maes spoke about the B-Cycle program, which places 400 rental bikes around the city to make commutes healthier and more environmentally friendly. Maes claims “if you do your homework and research, you realize ICLEI is part of a greater strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty."
ICLEI is an international association of local governments committed to sustainable development. Denver became a partner with ICLEI before Hickenlooper was Mayor. Why is it then that Maes seems to think there is a deeper motive?
According to a Fox News poll, one third of Americans believe in UFOs. There has always been a conspiratorial fringe popping up in the pages of tabloids and conspiracy websites. These outbursts, which we used to tolerate as petty amusement, have somehow found its way into our political discourse. UN troops taking over Denver on bike is a bit harder to swallow than an ET invasion.
Citizens for Global Solutions CEO Don Kraus writes,
He cites Tea Party Candidate and former NFL star, Clint Didier who stated,
As Kraus goes on to say, “America cannot close its borders, nor can it afford to ignore the international community. Childlike temper tantrums will not make the world go away.”
Neither will paranoid delusions.
Until the city of Denver adopts UFO’s as a form of transportation, Denverites should be able to ride their bicycles without listening to fear mongering about supranational takeover. Eco-friendly cities are nothing to be afraid of. Aliens on bikes? Well that’s different.
08/05/2010 - 4:51pm
Posted by Douglass Butler
Two members of Maroon 5, a widely popular American rock band, recently taped a PSA in support of new-START and the film Countdown to Zero. They are part of a growing number of musicians who have spoken out in support of the new-START treaty. You can watch the video below. The video is somewhat NSFW and includes questionable content, but it's ok to drop the f-bomb if it is supporting a nuclear weapons free world.
You can find more Musicians supporting new-START HERE.
To take action now visit the new-START treaty page on Facebook.
08/05/2010 - 3:47pm
Posted by Douglass Butler
By: Jeff Brooks
In 1779, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to Patrick Henry to discuss the proper treatment of the British and Hessian prisoners-of-war captured at the Battle of Saratoga. In this letter, Jefferson writes a remarkable sentence: “It is for the benefit of mankind to mitigate the horrors of war as much as possible.” As only he could, Jefferson summed up in a few simple but eloquent words an Enlightenment concept that should today be held up as a sacred principle.
Today, two international treaties stand forth as shining examples of the principle of mitigating the horrors of war: the Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on Cluster Munitions. The former bans the manufacture, use or stockpiling of antipersonnel landmines, and the second does the same for cluster bombs. Both of these hideous weapons, which are of dubious military value, have been responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians over the years, including large numbers of children. Many thousands of others have been permanently maimed by them, and their indiscriminant use prevents many refugees from returning to their homes, stifling recovery efforts in many former warzones around the world.
The international community has stepped up to the plate to deal with the twin problems of landmines and cluster bombs. 156 nations have signed and ratified the Mine Ban Treaty. The Convention on Cluster Munitions has been signed 108 nations, of which 38 have completed the ratification process. But conspicuously absent from both lists is the United States of America.
Both agreements have already had a significant positive impact across the world. Worldwide, the production of antipersonnel landmines has plunged and stockpiles amounting to more than 42 million mines have been destroyed. Vast areas previously infested with landmines have been successfully cleared, allowing war refugees to return to their homes.
The Convention on Cluster Munitions has come into force much more recently, but we can expect it to have a very similar effect. Already, many nations that until recently were producing and exporting large quantities of cluster bombs have signed and ratified the treaty, boldly putting the moral imperative of mitigating the horrors of war ahead of the profits they would otherwise have earned from the sale of these weapons. Advocacy organizations have also been motivated to promote divestment in companies which manufacture cluster bombs or their components.
The United States should sign and ratify both of these international agreements. Doing so would not only contribute greatly to the progress already being made, but would encourage other nations not yet party to the agreements to join them as well. Perhaps most importantly, it would send a message to the world that the United States shares the common global goal of mitigating the suffering of war as much as possible, which Jefferson articulated so well.
Jeff Brooks is a teacher and political activist living in Austin, Texas. He is an active member of Citizens for Global Solutions and serves on the Global Solutions Political Action Commitee.
418 7th Street SE, Washington, DC 20003-2796
Phone: (202) 546-3950 Fax: (202) 546-3749