Jonathan Schell

Jonathan Schell

Jonathan Schell was the peace and disarmament correspondent for the Nation magazine and a Senior Lecturer at Yale University. Among many other works, he was the author of The Real War, The Fate of the Earth, and The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People.  He died on March 25, 2014.

 

Articles by this author

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Thursday, January 20, 2005
What Is Wrong with Torture
The war in Iraq has given birth to an issue that may one day be seen as more important than the war, the question of torture. Just as H.J. Res. 114, by which Congress authorized the war, was the key vote for that conflict, so now the vote whether to confirm White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General will very likely be the key vote in regard to torture. At the recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the nomination, the senators seemed almost as interested in flattering one another as in examining the nominee.
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Friday, January 07, 2005
Letter From Ground Zero: Something Strange
As I followed the initial coverage of the tsunami in the Indian Ocean, I was reminded of a time in the early 1980s when I spent some months researching the effects of a nuclear war-- the thermal pulses from the detonations, the bursts of radiation, the blast waves spreading out from ground zero, the immediate local fallout and the delayed stratospheric fallout. Of course, my research was into a merely possible event--humanity's only actual experience of nuclear blasts having been the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki--whereas the news from the Indian Ocean was actual.
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Thursday, November 18, 2004
What Happened to Hearts?
For some time now, American political discussion has seemed to revolve around little stock phrases, such as "defining moment" (at the time of the first Gulf War), "the end of history" (at the end of the Cold War), "the economy, stupid" (in the early Clinton years), "shock and awe" (as the second Gulf War began). Sometimes there's a revival of one or another. One of these is "winning hearts and minds." It became popular during the Vietnam War and is enjoying a vogue in the context of the war in Iraq.
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Friday, October 22, 2004
Invitation to a Degraded World
Ever since September 11, 2001, and the "war on terror" it occasioned, the very quality of public events -- their grain, their tenor, their style, if you like -- has seemed to undergo a certain deterioration, as if from that day forward history was being authored by a third-rate writer rather than a master, or was being compelled, even as it visited increasing suffering on real people, to follow the plot of a bad comic book.
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Thursday, September 23, 2004
Why We Must Leave Iraq
Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, once a supporter of the war in Iraq, has been rethinking his position. The day after Senator John Kerry's speech at NYU attacking the President's war policies, Cohen wrote, "I still don't think the United States can just pull out of Iraq. But I do think the option is worth discussing." Well, let's discuss it. The United States should just pull out of Iraq.
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Friday, August 20, 2004
Jonathan Schell on the Empire that Fell as it Rose
Had anyone in Washington bothered to read Jonathan Schell's prophetic -- or perhaps I should just say, historically on the mark -- book The Unconquerable World , Iraq could not have happened and all the dreams of the neocons, hatched in the claustrophobic confines of right-wing think tanks and the corridors of power in Washington, would have evaporated into thin air.
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Monday, August 02, 2004
Healing the Law
The Supreme Court of the United States has had two historic encounters with George W. Bush. The first was its decision to stop the recount of the presidential vote in Florida in December 2000 and, in effect, to put Bush in the White House. The second was the series of decisions rendered in June in the cases regarding the detainees in Guant�namo and the two American citizens being held as "enemy combatants."
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Friday, July 30, 2004
The Kerry Mandate: Strong and Wrong
"During the Vietnam War, many young men, including the current President, the Vice President and me, could have gone to Vietnam and didn't. John Kerry came from a privileged background. He could have avoided going, too. But instead he said, 'Send me.' "When they sent those Swift Boats up the river in Vietnam... John Kerry said, 'Send me.'
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Monday, June 14, 2004
It's Time to Politicize the War in Iraq
Many people (mostly Republicans) say (mostly to Democrats) that it's wrong to "politicize" the war in Iraq. But politicizing the war is exactly what should now occur. To be exact, those who oppose the war should politicize it as much as the Bush Administration has already done. Politics is not just the activity of politicians; it is a democratic people's chief means of making basic decisions about its future.
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Thursday, May 06, 2004
How to Get Out of Iraq
In the debate over the Iraq war, a new-minted fragment of conventional wisdom has fixed itself in the minds of mainstream politicians and commentators. Whether or not it was right to go to war, we are told on all sides, the United States must now succeed in achieving its aims.
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