Issues Fall 2004 Newsletter
President's column

There are two ways to resolve disputes between nations. One is through diplomacy and application of the rules of international law. The other is through the threat or actual use of military force. Which holds out greater hope for the future well being of the human family? What sort of world would we have if all nations adopted the approach of the current Bush administration: that when a nation's leaders proclaim, even without proof, that a significant threat to the nation exists, established international constraints against the unilateral use of force become invalid, that the UN's responsibility to deal with threats to the peace become irrelevant, that one's own nation may arbitrarily assume the roles of policeman, judge, and jury, in dealing with another sovereign nation? Who would feel safer in such an anarchic world?

The history of civilization, to a large degree, is the history of expanding the role of law and limiting the role of force in human affairs, first, within small bands of hunters and gatherers, then within tribes and small city-states, and finally among nations. The territorial realms within which law was permitted to operate were continually expanded. International law began to be codified only in the 17th century. It took two devastating World Wars, however, to put in place international organizations tasked with the maintenance of world peace. The first of these, the League of Nations, was a dismal failure. The second, the United Nations, despite its many imperfections, was successful to a limited degree, but gradually gaining in experience and capability. While it could not do its job adequately without the unanimous concurrence of the five permanent members of the Security Council, it had at least established the principle that unprovoked aggression was morally and legally unacceptable. But the current Bush doctrine of waging preemptive war would, if allowed to stand, set back the clock on the development of world rule of law by a century or more. We must not let that happen. Might must not make right. It is our duty as world citizens and as lovers of peace and justice to oppose those who put reliance on force above respect for the rule of law and thereby help resume the forward march of human history.

Joe Schwartzberg, Minnesota Chapter President
Statement made at anti-war vigil, Lake Street-Marshall Ave. Bridge
Minneapolis-St. Paul, October 13, 2004

Dr. Schwartzberg's new monograph, REVITALIZING THE UNITED NATIONS: REFORM THROUGH WEIGHTED VOTING, is now available in print for $20 from Joe Schwartzberg, 5492 Bald Eagle Blvd E. White Bear Lake MN 55110, or can be downloaded from

President & CEO, Citizens for Global Solutions

November 3rd did not dawn the way we hoped or expected. The initial election returns - including a fairly decisive win for President Bush - do not seem to bode well for progressive issues in general and global issues in particular. The challenges we now face are genuine, but not overwhelming.

I won't kid you - the next four years will not be easy. A majority of Americans have decided to travel a path different from the one we seek. But a majority is not a mandate. Those who made this choice did so for what they believe are valid reasons, not because they are ignorant, evil, reckless or irrational. We must not demonize those who disagree with us - to do so is to ensure that our message is never heard by those who most need to hear it and to condemn ourselves to irrelevance. Instead, we must convince all Americans that a positive vision based on global cooperation can and will trump a philosophy based entirely on fear. The President's approach may have won support in the short run, but it is not an organizing principle around which he can build a permanent majority.

Not all the news is bad. According to our preliminary analysis, of the 189 global leaders endorsed by Global Solutions PAC, 169 have won, including 12 of 14 in the Senate. The big winners include some of our strongest supporters - Senators Barbara Boxer, Chris Dodd, Russ Feingold, and newly-elected Senators Barack Obama and Ken Salazar. One of our most effective opponents - Rep. George Nethercutt - failed utterly in his desperate attempt to unseat another global leader, Senator Patty Murray. Seven of our eight featured global leaders - whose campaigns we asked our members to support directly - won. And Global Solutions PAC raised over $85,000, a 41 percent jump over what was raised in 2002.

So we have build a solid foundation, and demonstrated that our approach can and will work. But if we are to succeed, we will have to become passionate advocates and not merely passive defenders. We will have to engage our critics rather than ignore them. We will have to stand up for what we believe in, and not shy away from opportunities to challenge our opponents' misleading assertions. We will have to present a compelling case that the United States must reject unilateralism and re-engage the world as a partner, participant and leader.

We did not win the battle. But by no means have we lost the war. Our opponents' margin of victory is not insurmountable, no matter how it may appear in the bleak light of today's returns. We have only just begin to educate the American people about the need for global solutions. We will succeed. It is only a matter of time before we build a globalist majority in Congress and elect a globalist president to the White House.

So enough about yesterday. Today our work begins anew.


"My disbelief of [November 2] has turned into confusion [November 3].

The pundits tell us that the election was decided on moral issues. Nuclear disarmament and environmental protection are moral issues. Nuclear weapons are indiscriminate killers, harming kids and other noncombatants as well as soldiers. Contaminants from nuclear weapons production and testing, even at federally allowable levels, affect the unborn child, possibly to the point of deformity, disease or death.

I am fed up with the hypocrisy of the so-called moral majority who don't utter a peep about the effect on fetuses of tritium and mercury in drinking water from nuclear sites and coal plants, or the country's increasing reliance on nuclear weapons (and thus the world's), or the government's head-in-the-sand approach to families getting drowned and sickened and made homeless by global warming.

Why aren't these issues as important to the right as abortion and gay people marrying?"

Lisa Ledwidge, CGS Board

"If you thought Bush I was bad, Bush II will be much, much worse without re-election constraints and delusions of a "mandate." Read "It Can't Happen Here" by Sinclair Lewis for a preview of what is already happening."

Will Shapira

"I think this election was stolen, like the last one, but more thoroughly and brazenly. I also think my dear liberal and 'progressive' friends will be wimpy enough to let them get away with it. The Republican President of Diebold promises the incumbent Bush that he will 'deliver Ohio' and there's nary a word about it in the major media. Brother Jeb delivers Florida by Jim Crow tactics and more computer vote rigging, but the Democrats snore in Congress. Nicaragua has fairer and more honest elections than America these days, which is a sad day for the theoretical home of democracy. So I challenge those who believe in 'peace through law with justice' to prove that those concepts matter."

Michael Andregg

"There is much to be sad about in reflecting on the meaning of the most recent presidential election. Apart from the outcome itself, what troubles me most is what the results say about the inability of so much of the American public to sort out fact from propaganda, to think critically about international relations, and to empathize with populations in cultures different from our own and appreciate their perspective on the world. The corporate media, which ought to - and probably do - know better, are largely to blame for this state of affairs; but the reluctance of many of our legislators to oppose the curricular demands of right wing ideologues is also a part of the problem. So, quite apart from party politics, we have a tremendous educational challenge ahead of us."

Joe Schwartzberg

Earth to Mars

Printed in the International Herald Tribune, January 29, 2004

Los Angeles, California. President George W. Bush took a shot at establishing a legacy beyond a permanent war on terror when he delivered his space vision speech at the headquarters of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration [in January, 2004]. Arrayed behind him were several pieces of NASA artwork depicting future moments in space exploration.

The one most directly behind his back showed a futuristic landing craft, a rocky red surface, a blue-gray sky and an astronaut holding a pole with an American flag.

Although such a landing is probably at least a quarter-century away, according to the Bush administration's own timetable, apparently it has already been decided to plant in the soil of Planet Mars not a flag representing all the inhabitants of Planet Earth, but a flag of the United States.

Perhaps the most obvious level on which this might turn out to be an unwise artistic choice is financial. President Bush advocated going back to the moon, establishing a permanent presence there, and only then venturing onward to Mars. The only possible way to pay for all that will be to allow this new space initiative to unfold as a global collaboration rather than an international competition.

It's difficult to see what motive either a citizen or a government of another country might have to invest their toil and treasure in such an undertaking after seeing that piece of art.

Why participate, if the decision has already been made that the very first astronaut will be representing only some rather than all of us?

There's also an issue larger than simply sharing the expenses. If there's anything that should be done on behalf of all the Earth, it is the first time a single human sets foot on a planet other than Earth. A 21st-century space program could generate a profound sense of human solidarity, a non-negotiable ethic of shared destiny, an intuition that we are all in the same boat on Spaceship Earth. It could cultivate what the great developmental psychologist Erik Erikson called an "all-human solidarity," and what Voltaire called a "part of humanity."

The irony to the president's backdrop is that almost every astronaut seems to perceive such larger horizons. "The first day or so we all pointed to our countries," said the Saudi Arabian astronaut Sultan Bin Salman al-Saud, himself from a region as polarized as any in the world.

"The third or fourth day we were pointing to our continents. By the fifth day we were aware of only one Earth." Another international astronaut, Kalpana Chawla, born in India but raised to the heavens as an American, looked down from Columbia's last voyage, but then decided to look up. "When you look out at the stars and galaxies," she said, "you feel like you come not from any particular place, but from the solar system."

Even Neil Armstrong experienced a transnational epiphany. Interviewed in 1979 for Apollo 11's 10th anniversary, he was asked how he felt as he saluted the American flag. "We didn't have a strong nationalistic feeling at that time," he said. "We felt more that it was a venture of all mankind."

The 27 fortunate souls who have ventured outward to lunar orbit have all gazed upon a single, borderless, breathtaking planet suspended among the blazing stars. They were perhaps the first humans to have the opportunity to grasp that the whole Earth was more than the sum of its parts, that it was something singularly deserving of our loyalty, our allegiance, our planetary patriotism.

So let us envision a slightly different scene than the one arrayed behind the president. The first passenger-bearing spacecraft has just set down on the Martian plain, near a gully in the long shadow of Olympus Mons. Five billion souls sit spellbound, glued to television screens, the single greatest moment of shared human experience. The door opens, and the chosen one emerges into the Martian sunlight. Perhaps he or she is today a sophomore at a high school in Kansas, or Mississippi, or Ethiopia. He or she takes three cautious steps down the ladder, and then plants a boot squarely on the surface of Planet Mars. And the visit declares, "We come in peace, we come to explore, and we come to endure. And so today, here in the soil of Planet Mars, I plant the flag of Planet Earth."

It would be a precious gesture, one that would make all Earthlings feel part of the venture. If an artist's rendition of that moment had been displayed behind the president, it might have done more to bring our world together, in a stroke, than all the things Bush has done in three short years to drive it apart.

By Tad Daley
The writer serves as senior policy advisor to the presidential campaign of Dennis Kucinich
Citizens for Global Solutions

Citizens for Global Solutions-Minnesota Chapter
5145 16th Ave. South
Minneapolis, MN 55417
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