Eternal Peace Vigil Against Iraq War
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Submitted by tnjp on May 25, 2013 - 2:39pm.
You Gotta Love Medea Benjamin
If you're an advocate for Peace and Justice you just gotta love Medea Benjamin. She consistently speaks out when the rest of us only wish we could. As co-founder of CodePink she's been at it for over a decade, repeatedly speaking truth to power at the risk of losing personal freedom and physical harm. She may be diminutive in size but posses a gargantuan spirit.
Her latest exploit? Speaking out against President Obama's policies during his counter-terrorism policy speech at the National Defense University. As Obama said himself - "The voice of that woman is worth paying attention to..."
Witness it yourself in the below videos, reports, and interviews...
Submitted by tnjp on May 18, 2013 - 2:28pm.
Thursday, May 16, 2013 by Common Dreams
In a hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Forces Thursday morning entitled Oversight: The Law of Armed Conflict, the Use of Military Force, and the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, Pentagon officials argued that the wide-ranging counter-terrorism laws implemented after 9/11 will continue to be the law of the land until "hostilities with al-Qaeda," or any individuals potentially associated with the group, come to an end....
Submitted by tnjp on May 3, 2013 - 4:44pm.
The government doesn't even claim that Bradley passed information directly to "the enemy" or that he had any intent to do so. But they are nonetheless making the absurd claim that merely informing the public about classified government activities makes someone a traitor because it "indirectly informs the enemy."
The WikiLeaks founder talks Bush and Bradley Manning.
George W. Bush's new presidential library at Southern Methodist University in Texas has opened with great fanfare, including the attendance of Presidents Obama and former Presidents Carter, Bush Sr. and Clinton. George Bush has said that the library is "a place to lay out facts." What facts would you like to see displayed at his library?
A good place to start would be laying out the number of deaths caused by the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. At Wikileaks, we documented that from 2004-2009, the US had records of over 100,000 individual deaths of Iraqis due to violence unleashed by that invasion, roughly 80% of them civilians. These are the recorded deaths, but many more died. And in Afghanistan, the US recorded about 20,000 deaths from 2004-2010. These would be good facts to include in the presidential library.
And perhaps the library could document how people around the world protested against the invasion of Iraq, including the historic February 15, 2003 mobilization of millions of people around the globe.
Many people worked hard during the Bush years to protest the wars, but the Bush administration refused to listen. It was very demoralizing for people to think that their efforts were for naught.
They should not be demoralized. I believe that the opposition to the Iraq war was very important, and that it actually altered the behavior of US forces during the initial invasion of Iraq. Compare it to the 1991 Gulf War, when massive numbers of Iraqis, both soldiers and civilians, were killed. In the 2003 invasion there was a lot more concern about casualties. The protests rattled their cage....
Submitted by tnjp on April 26, 2013 - 6:07pm.
Boston: This is what a police state looks like
Boston — Using war jargon associated with Iraq and Afghanistan, authorities have repeatedly described the blasts that killed three people and injured 176 at the crowded Boston Marathon on “Patriots Day,” April 15, as “IED bombings,” for improvised explosive devices. Many of the injured suffered horrific amputations and shrapnel wounds.
Since then, a common sentiment shared among people here has been, “This must be what it looks like every day in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Over the next four days, people in the greater Boston area experienced a police state operation that many also described as a preview of martial law.
Thousands of heavily armed and mechanized National Guard troops, military police, FBI SWAT teams and federal agents of every stripe — from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to the Drug Enforcement Administration — mobilized to assist the Boston police lockdown of the downtown area. At the same time, the media began a nearly uninterrupted 24/7 coverage of the “manhunt.”
TV newscasters breathlessly glorified a “courageous civilian” for allegedly tackling a “fleeing Saudi national” whose hands were “suspiciously burned” at the bombing scene. Boston police set up an armed guard at his hospital room and federal SWAT teams raided an apartment building in Revere known to house hundreds of international students, displaying bags of “seized evidence” to the cameras.
A CNN reporter repeatedly shared his scoop with the world, straight from “sources at the highest level of law enforcement,” that authorities were focusing on a “dark skinned, Black male seen with a package in surveillance video” at the scene shortly before the blasts....
Submitted by tnjp on April 25, 2013 - 6:02pm.
Al-Muslimi had spent a year in the United States, and had returned to his country to share his positive experiences in the U.S.–that is, until the United States attacked his village:
Submitted by tnjp on April 21, 2013 - 5:58pm.
By davidswanson - Posted on 20 April 2013
RECOGNIZING THE KELLOGG-BRIAND PACT -- HON. KEITH ELLISON (Extensions of Remarks - April 18, 2013)
HON. KEITH ELLISON
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Submitted by tnjp on April 18, 2013 - 11:33pm.
Peace Activist Carlos Arredondo Hailed as Hero for Aid to Boston Marathon Bombing Victims -
Submitted by tnjp on April 12, 2013 - 3:41pm.
These Obama airstrikes are launched knowing that very often there is “collateral damage,” that is a form of “so sorry terrorism.” How can the president explain the vaporization of a dozen pre-teen Afghan boys collecting firewood for their families on a hillside? The local spotter-informants must have been disoriented by all those $100 bills in rewards. Imagine a direct strike killing and injuring scores of people in a funeral procession following a previous fatal strike that was the occasion of this processional mourning. Remember the December 2009 Obama strike on an alleged al-Qaida training camp in Yemen, using tomahawk missiles and – get this – cluster bombs, that killed 14 women and 21 children. Again and again “so sorry terrorism” ravages family households far from the battlefields...
Activism | Dick Cheney | George Bush | Healthcare | Iraq | Militarism | Peace & Justice | Politics | Veterans | Wars of Aggression
Submitted by tnjp on April 7, 2013 - 7:36pm.
A Pledge to Iraq Veteran Tomas Young
I never met Tomas Young. However, I strongly identify with his story as he and I joined the military for the same reason -- to fight those responsible for 9/11 . However, I was far luckier than Tomas Young as I never had to endure the crippling, and ultimately fatal wounds, he received in Sadr City in 2004. There is no real way for me to put myself in such a situation as it would be surreal to anyone who will never face such hardships. Tomas Young has now reached a point where his pain is too unbearable to continue living. Before he goes, we should all show him a bit of recognition. It is crucial that we let him know that his voice was heard and his message will echo on for long after he is gone.
From what I have read, Tomas Young is a patriotic man who loves the United States. His outrage with the 9/11 attacks motivated him to join the military to pursue the real culprits.
After all, it was our generation's Pearl Harbor. After the attacks, many brave Americans were standing in military recruiting lines ready and eager to seek retribution for their fellow citizens who died on that fateful day. Tomas Young was one of them.
I enlisted for active duty in the U.S. Army in an effort to deploy to Afghanistan and fight those who actually attacked us on 9/11. Like Tomas Young, I found my patriotism used for an unrelated and unnecessary military conflict -- the Iraq War.
In a recent letter written to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, Iraq veteran Young clarifies the misuse of his patriotism.
"I would not be writing this letter if I had been wounded fighting in Afghanistan against those forces that carried out the attacks of 9/11. Had I been wounded there I would still be miserable because of my physical deterioration and imminent death, but I would at least have the comfort of knowing that my injuries were a consequence of my own decision to defend the country I love."
When I returned home from Iraq, I spoke out strongly against the war. I was able to do so without any handicaps or bodily limitations. Tomas Young fought the same fight while being confined to a wheelchair. Even with his extreme physical limitations, Tomas Young was able to convey the true, harsh realities of the Iraq war to the American people.
The power of his message came from his experience, vision, and, sadly, his crippling and now mortal injuries. His testimony is unimpeachable, as he gave his body to a needless agenda-driven war that left most of us concluding 10 years later that the Iraq war was a mistake...
Submitted by tnjp on March 30, 2013 - 2:59pm.
The war danger in Korea
By Brian Becker, ANSWER Coalition national coordinator
The American war propaganda machine does a thorough job in misleading the public about the high-stakes struggle the Pentagon is waging against North Korea.
On March 28, the Obama administration ordered and the Pentagon executed a mock bombing attack on North Korea by U.S. B-2 stealth bombers equipped to drop nuclear bombs—the most advanced nuclear-capable plane in the U.S. Air Force. In recent months, the U.S. has also used nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to simulate the bombing of North Korea.
The B-2s, each of which costs taxpayers more than $3 billion, dropped inert bombs near North Korea.
It is not necessary to speculate how the United States would react if North Korea sent nuclear-capable bombers close to U.S. territory and dropped inert bombs as part of a “war game.” By itself, this B-2 mock bombing of North Korea cost approximately $5.5 million, according to Foreign Policy magazine. The B-2 flights by some estimates cost $135,000 per hour—almost double that of any other military airplane, according to a report from the Center for Public Integrity...
Activism | Afghanistan | Dick Cheney | Drones | George Bush | Iraq | Militarism | Obama | Pakistan | Peace & Justice | Politics | Veterans | Wars of Aggression | Women
Submitted by tnjp on March 20, 2013 - 11:25pm.
10 Years Later and I’m Still Protesting War
Ten years ago, I resigned my post in opposition to President George W. Bush’s war on Iraq. I had worked in the U.S. government for most of my life, first in the Army and Army Reserves, retiring as a colonel, and then as a diplomat. I served in U.S. embassies in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone and Micronesia. I helped reopen the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, in December 2001.
Yet after serving in eight presidential administrations, beginning under Lyndon Johnson during the war on Vietnam, I ended my career in the U.S. government in opposition to another conflict—the war on Iraq.
A decade after I stepped down as the deputy ambassador in the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia, the war in Iraq is over for Americans, but continues for Iraqis. The whirlwind of sectarian violence brought on by the U.S. invasion and occupation continues to blow there.
The war on Afghanistan is now in its 13th year and as the anniversary of my resignation day approaches, I find myself outside the gates of Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, protesting war and, in particular, President Obama’s killer drone programs in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
Although Obama’s kill list, the CIA drone attacks in the undeclared war on Pakistan and the assassination of three American citizens by drone in Yemen receive most of the media and congressional attention, the incredibly large number of drone strikes in Afghanistan has gotten scant coverage—and that is why I am at Creech...
Submitted by tnjp on March 20, 2013 - 12:52pm.
To: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
From: Tomas Young
“I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of [those who bear those wounds. I am one of those.] I am one of the gravely injured. I [am] paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.
“I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost parents, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have [done, witnessed, endured] in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.
“Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, [and your privilege and power] cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage...
Civil Liberties | Dick Cheney | Fascism USA | George Bush | Iraq | Militarism | Obama | Politics | Wars of Aggression
Submitted by tnjp on March 17, 2013 - 8:18pm.
This week marks ten years since Bush/Cheney lied America into invading and occupying Iraq. No one from the Bush mis-administration has been indicted for war crimes or any other criminal acts, Gitmo is still open, and the Patriot Act(among other Acts) still enslaves us.
Activism | Drones | Militarism | National Protests | Obama | Politics | Torture | Veterans | Wars of Aggression
Submitted by tnjp on March 16, 2013 - 10:12pm.
Take Action - Sign the letter to Sec. Hagel
Dear Secretary Hagel,
Congratulations on your confirmation to the office of Secretary of Defense. As you take the reins of this new position, Veterans For Peace would like to express to you some ideas about what we would like to see from this office. Veterans For Peace (VFP) has been around since 1985 and was formed by a Viet Nam veteran with the intention of creating a bridge between the peace movement and veterans. VFP members believe that our collective experience as veterans allows us to speak about the true costs and consequences of war and militarism with a voice of credibility and true standing. We feel a responsibility to speak out against war and militarism, particularly when it is manifested in illegal and immoral wars of choice and aggression. We appreciate very much that President Obama has chosen you--someone who has seen first-hand the horrors of combat--to fill the position of Secretary of Defense. Like the members of VFP, your voice will carry an extraordinary credibility, because you understand war in a way that a civilian cannot. It will not be easy to dismiss your words when you caution against military force, or speak in favor of abiding by the Geneva Conventions. We hope that you will become a force for reshaping the Department of Defense, by consideration of the following:
1. Refuse to put troops into harm’s way as part of an illegal, immoral war of aggression. The 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF), signed as a knee-jerk reaction to 9/11 has been used, first by the Bush administration, and now by the Obama administration, as a blank check for perpetual war. As the Secretary of Defense, you should refuse to deploy any combat troops until Congress provides a legally binding authorization to do so. As a combat veteran, you truly understand that no one should be asked to kill or be killed for a war of choice, particularly one that has not even been legally authorized. Demand adherence to the War Powers Act.
2. Take responsibility for the deaths, damage and harm done by the U.S. The “Collateral Murder” video leaked to Wikileaks showed the world just one instance of war crimes conducted by U.S. forces. For the United States to have any moral credibility whatsoever, we must take responsibility for our actions.
3. State unequivocally that the U.S. will abide by the Geneva Conventions and will not torture, or participate in the extraordinary rendition of prisoners.
4. Stop the illegal use of combat drones that are responsible the extrajudicial assassinations of thousands of civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
5. Call for the closure of all U.S. military bases in foreign countries. The U.S. currently has military troops stationed in more than 150 countries around the world. Bringing all U.S. troops from Afghanistan and around the world back to the U.S. will send a strong message to the international community that the U.S. is not interested in hegemony, or in being the world’s policeman.
6. Call for the dismantlement of all nuclear weapons, and immediately take nuclear weapons off of naval vessels. There can never be a justified use of a nuclear weapon and if the U.S. is going to demand that other countries refrain from obtaining nuclear weapons capabilities, then it needs to lead the way in disarmament.
7. Stop the use of Depleted Uranium weapons. “DU” weapons violate the Geneva Conventions. Once exploded, DU particulates enter ground water, travel on air currents, and are inhaled by innocent civilians. DU weapons are responsible for a huge spike in deformities, birth defects and other ailments in Iraq where they were widely used.
8. End foreign military sales to countries who violate international laws and basic human rights, and who have child soldiers.
9. Push to become a signatory to the Land Mine treaty. The international community recognizes land mines and cluster bombs as weapons that kill a high number of civilians, often long after the “official” conflict is over.
10. Slash the Pentagon budget. The U.S. spends more on the military and war than the rest of the world combined.
Activism | Afghanistan | Fascism USA | Human Rights | Iraq | Militarism | Police State | Politics | Wars of Aggression | Wikileaks
Submitted by tnjp on March 15, 2013 - 8:51pm.
Freedom of the Press Foundation Publishes Leaked Audio of Bradley Manning’s Statement
Today, Freedom of the Press Foundation is publishing the full, previously unreleased audio recording of Private First Class Bradley Manning’s speech to the military court in Ft. Meade about his motivations for leaking over 700,000 government documents to WikiLeaks. In addition, we have published highlights from Manning’s statement to the court.
While unofficial transcripts of this statement are available, this marks the first time the American public has heard the actual voice of Manning.
He explains to the military court in his own cadence and words how and why he gave the Apache helicopter video, Afghanistan and Iraq Wars Logs, and the State Department Diplomatic Cables to WikiLeaks. Manning explains his motives, noting how he believed the documents showed deep wrongdoing by the government and how he hoped that the release would "spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan." In conjunction with the statement, Private First Class Manning also pleaded guilty to 10 of the 22 charges against him.
Freedom of the Press Foundation is dedicated to supporting journalism that combats overreaching government secrecy. We have been disturbed that Manning’s pre-trial hearings have been hampered by the kind of extreme government secrecy that his releases to WikiLeaks were intended to protest. While reporters are allowed in the courtroom, no audio or visual recordings are permitted by the judge, no transcripts of the proceedings or any motions by the prosecution have been released, and lengthy court orders read on the stand by the judge have not been published for public review...
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