Newsweek oped: Honor 9/11 Victims With Actions for Peace

The September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows organization was inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.’s quote: “Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.” Only through actions for peace can we save future generations from tragedy.

As we remember the loss of nearly 3,000 people from 20 years ago on Sept. 11, 2001, we also mourn 13 U.S. soldiers killed in a terrorist attack last month in Afghanistan. The soldiers were evacuating civilians from Kabul after the Taliban takeover.

Twenty years of war did not bring Afghanistan stability and peace. The war cost thousands of lives of both soldiers and civilians. The September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows were right to call for “nonviolent and reasoned responses to the terrorist attacks.” More people should have listened.

See my story at Newsweek Magazine

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Orlando Sentinel oped: Biden, Putin Can Save Open Skies Treaty

It is fitting that the upcoming summit meeting between President Joe Biden and Russian president Vladimir Putin takes place in Geneva, for it was there in 1955 when President Dwight Eisenhower made a daring proposal to the Russian leaders of the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

A month before Eisenhower headed to Geneva, the United States actually held a training exercise for nuclear war called Operation Alert. Hope for peace with Russia amid a nuclear arms race was desperately needed.

See my full commentary in the Orlando Sentinel:

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Albany Times Union oped: Biden, Putin Must Act on Nuclear Disarmament

It was President Dwight Eisenhower who said, “I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it.”

The citizens of America and Russia want peace, including disarming the two largest nuclear weapons arsenals in the world. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin must remember this June 16 when they meet at the summit in Geneva and beyond.

See my full commentary in the Albany Times Union

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Newsweek Oped: G7 Must Also Fight Famine

The G7 Summit must confront the growing risk of famine in many countries (White House photo)

The G7 summit this weekend in the United Kingdom must not only tackle a global pandemic, but also famine. Both crises impact the other. Severe food shortages are threatening many nations and the G7 must take action to help.

President Joe Biden will need to show leadership at the summit, which includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom.

The United Nations is warning that more than 34 million people are one step away from starvation. And millions more are on the brink. Yemen, South Sudan, Burkina Faso, the Sahel region of Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar and Ethiopia are some of the regions suffering extreme hunger.

See my full commentary at Newsweek Magazine

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75 Years of CARE and American Compassion

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It was 75 years ago this May when the first CARE packages of food began arriving in Europe to feed the hungry. This new charity, know then Co-operative for American Remittances to Europe (CARE), represented the very best of America.

At first using Army surplus rations in Germany, CARE started giving boxes of food to the hungry in Europe. Just a year after World War II, Europeans were suffering because of severe food shortages. The destruction from the war and also harsh weather had left Europe in ruins and unable to produce enough food.

Through CARE, American citizens could donate and help European families through difficult post war years. Every CARE package was food and hope for a continent on the doorstep of famine.

General Lucius Clay, who headed the American forces in Germany, pleaded for CARE packages for the hungry. Clay wrote, “When a CARE package arrived the consumer knew it was aid from America and that even the bitterness of war had not destroyed our compassion for suffering.”

In America newspapers had ads showing how to buy a CARE package to send overseas to a hungry family in Europe. Or you might head to a store and buy one. You could select a general family package or even one geared specifically to infants to fight child malnutrition.
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In Cincinnati, Ohio Siegfried Deutsch bought 35 CARE packages. For Deutsch these packages had extra meaning because he was from Austria, where CARE packages were sent to relieve food shortages.  The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that one of Deutsch’s CARE packages went to a mother and her young daughter in Vienna, Austria.

Also in Cincinnati a WWI veteran, Victor Heintz, walked into a store and bought a CARE package to send to France. Heintz had fought in France during WWI. Now he was still able to help France through CARE food packages.

President Truman addressed the nation while donating CARE packages himself. During the holidays of 1947 Americans set aside an empty plate at dinner representing a “silent guest,” one of Europe’s hungry. Families would then donate to feed that “silent guest” and this led to  CARE packages of food being sent to Europe. President Eisenhower had CARE packages sent to Europe his first Christmas in office through Operation Reindeer (Santa Claus).

While CARE originally helped feed Europe, it has since expanded operations to Africa, Asia and other areas in need with a wide range of humanitarian programs.  One of CARE’s biggest programs during the Eisenhower and Kennedy years was bringing school meals to hungry children throughout the world.

Now 75 years after its start, CARE is on the front lines of the biggest hunger crisis since the WWII era. Famine is threatening multiple nations including Yemen, South Sudan, Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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CARE, along with a group of charities, calls for world leaders to dedicate at least one day’s worth of military spending toward food aid.  There should be more resources to fight hunger. There should be less resources for heavy armaments and more for programs like infant feeding and the McGovern-Dole global school meals program.

We need more CARE and compassion toward those who are suffering in hunger today around the globe. CARE and its partner charities on the front lines are working every day to bring relief to those in need. We should do everything possible to support them during this time of a global pandemic and severe hunger crisis.

The 75 years of CARE will be celebrated in a special event Tuesday, May 11th featuring President Biden and former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. For more information visit CARE.

William Lambers is an author who partnered with the UN World Food Program on the book Ending World Hunger, His writings have been published by the Washington Post, History News Network, Newsweek and many other news outlets.

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Newsweek oped: Afghanistan’s Stability Depends on Food

President Joe Biden‘s plan to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan must be accompanied by a massive increase in food aid. If Afghanistan is to gain stability and peace, we have to help stop the hunger crisis happening there.

The U.N. World Food Program (WFP) stated nearly 17 million Afghans are living with severe hunger. That amounts to almost half the population struggling to find food.

see my full commentary at Newsweek

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History News Network oped: Eisenhower’s Election Day Crisis Reminds Us What Presidents Must Do

Dwight Eisenhower was worried on Election Day in 1956, but not about winning the presidency for the second time. “I don’t give a darn about the election,” he said that day.

Eisenhower was busy trying to avoid World War III. An invasion of Egypt launched days earlier by Israel, France and Great Britain threatened to spiral into a much wider conflict. The fighting had erupted over control of the Suez Canal, a valuable shipping waterway in Egypt connecting the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

Britain and France had owned the canal, but Egypt had seized and nationalized it that summer to help pay for a dam building project. The Suez crisis would turn violent at the end of October when Israel, France and Britain used military force to resolve the issue. Eisenhower was furious.

See my full commentary at The History News Network.

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Bakersfield Californian oped: Eisenhower’s Election Day crisis reminds us what presidents must do

Dwight Eisenhower was worried on Election Day in 1956, but not about winning the presidency for the second time. “I don’t give a darn about the election,” he said that day.

Eisenhower was busy trying to avoid World War III. An invasion of Egypt launched days earlier by Israel, France and Great Britain threatened to spiral into a much wider conflict. The fighting had erupted over control of the Suez Canal, a valuable shipping waterway in Egypt connecting the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

Britain and France had owned the canal, but Egypt had seized and nationalized it that summer to help pay for a dam building project. The Suez crisis would turn violent at the end of October when Israel, France and Britain used military force to resolve the issue. Eisenhower was furious.

see my full commentary in the Bakersfield Californian

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Middletown Press oped: Biden’s Message of Unity Our Best Hope

October 23, 2020 Middletown Press

Joe Biden’s message of unity is important for our country in bringing Democrats and Republicans together. Both parties may not agree on everything, but we need to find common ground and approach differences with civility. As Biden said in a recent speech at Gettysburg, ‘We need to revive a spirit of bipartisanship in this country, a spirit of being able to work with one another.”

How do we stop a pandemic, end poverty, achieve social justice, and build peace if our leaders are not working together?  We need a leader who can unite and get results for the American people, especially when they need it most. Joe Biden has a chance to restore the type of unity we need, and he has long worked across party lines.

In fact, when Senator Biden voted in favor of the START I nuclear arms treaty back in 1992, he was supporting an initiative that Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush had pursued. That landmark treaty got us off to a good start in reducing U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons and paved the way for follow up agreements that also generated bipartisan support. Those included the New START Treaty which President Obama, with Biden as VP, achieved further limiting nuclear arms with Russia.

Biden, as a senator, supported these nuclear peace initiatives with Russia put forward by Reagan, the first president Bush and later his son George W. Bush.  Biden says that diplomacy “was how we managed a dangerous rivalry, kept it from spinning out of control, and prevented thermonuclear war.   Republican and Democratic presidents alike have understood that nothing is more fundamental to our security.”

When President John F. Kennedy achieved the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty with the Soviet Union in 1963, he got the support of former president Dwight Eisenhower and members of his administration. The fact that they were in different parties made no difference.

When famine threatened to destroy the post-World War II reconstruction, President Harry Truman worked with former president Herbert Hoover to save hundreds of millions from starvation. Truman was a Democrat and Hoover was a Republican. That didn’t matter. What mattered was the task at hand.  Would we see that type of bipartisanship today?

We need cooperation on so many social justice issues. And we cannot let any differences transform into hatred and disdain for opposite views.

Biden was an admirer of the bipartisan cooperation of George McGovern (D) and Bob Dole (R) in the Senate. Those two leaders may have been in opposite parties, but they found common ground which led to legislation feeding the hungry. Biden would try to bring that bipartisanship to Washington once again as president.

Biden says “I will govern as an American president. I will work with Democrats and Republicans and I will work as hard for those who don’t support me as for those who do. That’s the job of a president. It’s a duty of care for everyone.”

Our country needs unity as we fight the Coronavirus and a growing economic and hunger crisis.  To have peace and unity in America and around the world requires a president who believes in those principles. Joe Biden is our best chance in this election.

William Lambers is the author of Ending World Hunger and The Road to Peace. His writings have been published by the USA Today, History News Network, Baltimore Sun and many other news outlets.  

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Worcester Telegram & Gazette oped: John F. Kennedy’s Campaign Inspiration is Joe Biden’s Too

Joe Biden is right when he says this election is “about your family” and the hardships that many are facing during this pandemic. Trump may have shrugged off Biden’s remarks during their last debate, but the truth is a lot of families are struggling in hunger.

Feeding America says “an additional 17 million people could be food insecure in 2020 as a result of this crisis, bringing the total up to 54 million people.”

Biden wants to expand the SNAP food stamp program to give impoverished families more purchasing power at grocery stores. Foodbanks are desperate for this support because they are overwhelmed with demand following layoffs due to coronavirus-related closings. Nutrition programs are to be increased for low-income families under the Biden plan.

See my full commentary in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette

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