Archive for November, 2008

End US Crimes Against Humanity Now

November 29, 2008

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See this in its original post on TruthDig by clicking on the image.

You can also read a review of a book written by an American poet, David Smith-Ferri who has been in Iraq, seeing the children and their parents, siblings, grandparents, neighbors.  The review says in part:

After visiting a bomb shelter that became a tomb for over 400 Iraqis after two “very smart” American missiles slipped into the ventilation shaft and incinerated everyone inside, Smith-Ferri is slammed with an inter-culture shock of such bare-faced enormity that it kindles a sudden dark enlightenment:

My eyes were never meant to see this,
to flare like torch, sudden with knowledge,
like windows, to open on this illuminative dawn,
but like tinder in its box (named American, middle class)
to remain cold, untouched,
and far from flintstone truth.

To read the full review, click here.

Jack sent this link to remarks on the Guardian by an Iranian sociologist who took political refuge in England about what life is like in Iraq.  Trying to help Americans to realize what they have done he writes this about the climate in which the recently negotiated agreement was made:

The pacts went through amid chaotic scenes, by 144 against 35 votes. 19 walked out before the vote and more than 70 didn’t show up. The pacts were nodded through after days of murky behind-the-scenes bargaining between the corrupt leaders of the pro-US sectarian factions within the government.

To understand how freely these pacts have been negotiated and approved one has to imagine Iraqi tanks, led by prime minister Maliki, occupying the lawns at the White House and surrounding Congress while dictating Iraqi terms to Bush and co. The scene outside would include the total destruction of America’s infrastructure, over 10 million Americans killed within five years, one million prisoners, 50 million refugees within and outside the US, mainly in Mexico and Canada, the assassination of thousands of the US’s best scientists, doctors and academics, and the collapse of the health, education and clean water services. After the Iraqi government sows sectarian and ethnic divisions in the country, which al-Qaida terrorists further exploit, giant concrete walls are built to create partitioned ghettos for Irish Cathoics, Protestants, Mormons, born-again Christians, Jews, Muslims, Mexicans, supporters the KKK, and of course communists, for their own protection of course.

Read that complete text here.

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NO MORE WAR FOR EMPIRE

November 14, 2008

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On Veterans Day, November 11, 2008, the World Can’t Wait held an event to put forward information to US citizens about the implications of the position of the president elect on the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan and the volatile situation in the Middle East in general.  The speakers represented widely divergent stands on domestic politics, but were in striking agreement on the main issue: Obama’s position on Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran is not different from Bush’s; thus, change on these matters in not in our future.

This is a long and detailed account of the event.  It is filled with the kinds of details that are omitted from corporate media accounts of current affairs.  I urge you to read it all and to respond with comments and to suggest other sources of information on this topic.
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The first speaker was Scott Ritter, former marine intelligence officer and chief UN arms inspector in Iraq from 1991-98.  He directed his first remarks to the issue of our veterans saying that the VA’s figure of 23% of recent veterans afflicted with PTSD stands in contrast to another study that puts the number at over 60%.  Ritter says that war, which in his mind may sometimes but only very rarely be necessary, leaves 100% of the people who fight scarred and wounded forever.  He deplored the current unnecessary wars devastating not only innocent countries but our own young people who are serving.

He also remarked that over 90% of the fatalities of the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and more recently Pakistan and Syria, are innocent civilians.

On the subject of the president elect, he said several times that Obama does not have sufficient status to institute things in the area of the Middle East, even if he had independent views.   Ritter did not specify who the “powers that be” in these matters are, the persons whose views and plans will prevail.  The infamous “military industrial complex?”  Certainly, I am aware of unseen, nefarious hands at work in our country.  I would have liked to know if Ritter can identify who or what is operating in these matters.

He says that Obama is as ignorant of Iraq and the Middle East as Bush and will inherit a mess.   Obama committed during the campaign to keeping a military presence in Iraq, though few Americans realize that.  What complicates the situation more is the “mess” Ritter refers to: the nearly certain failure of the US in the last months of the Bush regime to reach an agreement with Iraq about withdrawal of troops.  Legally, the US will then be in a very bad position.  Will it go back to the UN and will that body be more likely to view US aggression more favorably now than in 2003?

Ritter proposed a very interesting metaphor to replace what he calls the “Pottery Barn” idea.   He suggested that anyone with legitimate business in a Pottery Barn store who happens to knock over a vase can pay for it and feel virtuous in righting the situation, going on about their business free from guilt.

Ritter thinks the analogy is not appropriate for Iraq.  Rather, he suggests the “Bull in the china shop” image.  First, no bull has legitimate business in a china shop.  Even the slightest movement of the bull causes massive damage.  If one pays for the breakage at any moment, the next there is more.  The solution in this case is to get the bull out of the china shop.

When asked how the US can possibly get out with the oil subject to being taken by Russia or China, or some other catastrophe, Ritter said he was tired of the hubris of the US.  What gives us the right to make decisions for other countries?  He had lived in Iraq for seven years and knows the Iraqis to be intelligent people quite competent to manage their own affairs.

If Obama does not leave Iraq immediately, he will be in a deeper and deeper morass there, exactly as Bush has been.

As for a “good” war in Afghanistan and expanding it to Pakistan, Ritter says there is no good war anywhere, ever; and, very rarely justifiable ones.  Obama’s claim to get Bin Laden and rout out the “terrorists” and “win” is based on fantasy.  Ritter says Obama holds this position because as leader of the country he cannot be seen to “lose,” to be “defeated.”  Fighting a “good” war, bombing Pakistan where the “bad guys” live or hide makes him and the US appear to be strong, at least to US eyes.  In my mind this posturing is related to flight decks and mission accomplished signs.  Ritter pointed out that it will mean more civilian deaths, more billions squandered, more US military deaths, and no good served.   Again, this policy looks just like the Bush regime’s.

Finally, on Iran, according to Ritter, Obama says exactly what Bush has said.  In a speech since his election, Obama has said that Iran’s desire for nuclear weapons is a “threat to the world” and that Iran supports “terrorists.”  Ritter says such statements are “false, irresponsible, dangerous, and will not lead to negotiations” with Iran and others in the region and around the world.  Ritter referenced El Baradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose inspectors have certified that Iran not only does not have nuclear capacity, nor is it working toward nuclear arms.  You can click here to read about the work of El Baradei on this blog.

As for supporting terrorists, calling legitimately elected political parties in the area terrorists is incorrect and will not allow the kind of negotiations that could help the area and the world.  Furthermore, such an intractable hard line against Iran could lead Obama into war with that country.  Bush lied about WMD in Iraq as a reason for invading that country and has been building a similar case against Iran.  Obama is already lying about nuclear weapons in Iran, too.  Just like Bush.

It is also ironic that Obama, as Bush does, fulminates against Iran which cannot so much as turn on a light bulb with nuclear energy, and recklessly advocates invasion of Pakistan which has, right now, nuclear weapons.  Getting Pakistan involved is an invitation for disaster.  Bush preempted Obama by invading that country before he leaves office, but Obama promises to continue.

Obama’s positions, determined no doubt by the same powerful interests that have driven the Bush regime, are exactly like them in every area.

Where is the change?

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The next speaker was Larry Everest, author of Oil, Power and Empire: Iraq and the U.S. Agenda, a journalist with thirty years experience in the Middle East.

Everest began by asking us to think about the day before the election when a wedding party in Afghanistan was attacked by US bombs blowing bodies to pieces, destroying lives of children, women, and men.  This celebration of life was interrupted by US agents of death and destruction.  This is only one of many weddings destroyed by the US.  These dead are among the more than one million people who have died directly at the hands of the US in Iraq and Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Syria.

Everest said that in all the Obama talk about change, it appears that wars for empire are not going to change.

He posits that the Bush regime had a plan upon arriving in the White House for a major intervention in the region.  They wanted to entirely remake that part of the world, deposing legitimate governments and establishing US hegemony over the oil and resources there and fencing in Russia and China.  Afghanistan had long been targeted as a starting place before the events of September 11, 2001.  Obama promises to continue that plan

Although on many topics, especially about how to respond to the current constitutional crisis in the US, Everest and Ritter would disagree, in the matter of the wars and occupations, they agree exactly.  Obama’s position is Bush’s.

Everest says that the choice to have a permanent military presence in Iraq will mean no peace there and is driven by a desire for empire and the oil.  Obama’s position on Iran is, like Bush’s, informed by the power elite’s desire for hegemony.

Everest, like Ritter, sees no change.

He added in a sort of aside that it is ironic to him that a black man should be taking on the mantle of the repressive elite in this country.  He spoke of a parallel with Colin Powell, the first black head of the Joint Chiefs, the first black Secretary of State.  Who, Everest asked, could they have sent to the UN to pitch for the invasion of Iraq?  Cheney?  Rumsfeld?  Bush himself?  No, the one who was presentable was Powell, who has since said that his appearance there is a “blot upon my record.”   Who better now to be the front man for the military industrial complex’s wars of aggression than an articulate and personable black man.  I wonder if the day will come when Obama says his doing what he had to do about these illegal invasions and occupations in order to be President will be a similar stain on his record.

Jeremy Scahill, who wrote Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, was supposed to speak as well.  Since I have not heard Obama say that he will fire the mercenaries immediately, which is the only just and moral thing to do, I was eager to hear what Scahill has to say about them.  He was, however, detained on the West Coast, and sent his regrets to the organizers.

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Elaine Brower, mother of a soldier in Iraq right now, peace activist who devotes full time and boundless energy to stopping the wars, spoke briefly.  She said that as a life long Democrat, she has been puzzled by the failure of the Democratic Party to move forward, especially since the 2006 elections.  The night of the presidential elections, she said she had a moment of feeling proud that Americans had elected a black man, but that the moment was very short lived due to his positions.  She was on the street at the first protest of the war after the election the next day and is continuing her work.

I post all this detail because none of the corporate media covered this event.  Indeed, it is in their interest and that of the elite who own them that these experts not be heard, that their evidence not be presented.  Though Ritter and Everest are known and respected in many parts of the world, only a few in the US know them.  Part of my own activism involves trying to get information out.  I urge anyone who reads this to pass it on to others who might benefit.

A person from the audience asked the panelists what we should do now, in practical terms, to stop the aggression.  This, of course, is my primary question, too.  I will report what I understood each one to say.

Ritter says we should be “better Americans,” specifically putting pressure on the Congress to act.  I found that response ironic.  In that audience, probably without Ritter’s knowledge, are persons I know who have gone to jail for peacefully but firmly trying to pressure members of Congress to act responsibly.  There were persons in that audience who, at great expense of time and money, have been tireless in attendance on members of Congress in Washington, in the halls of Congress, in hearing rooms, in offices.  There are photographs of them and reports of their activities on this blog.  Many of us there have spent the last six or eight years working to get this government to respond.  I wanted to ask him if he has ever telephoned every member of the Senate before an important vote, every member of committees of both houses when important legislation was pending, written hundreds of letters.

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Sharon, fearless worker for peace and justice.

I have done the telephoning and the writing and can assure you that there is no response.  A most eloquent recent example was the outpouring of dissent expressed by US citizens about the Wall Street bailout.  Mike Whitney reported one analyst saying that Americans calling their officials were 50% “no” and 50% “hell, no.”  Both houses of Congress passed that bailout without review in committee, without discussion, just as they did the Patriot Act seven years ago.

When I was twenty-five years old, I wrote to my senator, Mr. Albert Gore, Sr. about a matter.  He replied personally and told me that a member of his staff would be working on the matter and keeping me informed.  I received several letters from that person as well.  Such a response today is unimaginable.

So, while I, too, like Scott Ritter, want to see us live up to our Constitution, I did not come away from his remarks with any clear ideas of what to do that will work.

Everest believes that the US system is broken beyond repair and that we need a revolution.  He does not believe a capitalist economic system can ever be democratic.  He is a member of an American communist party that seeks a new order.

Like Larry Everest, I can see that the US system is broken, but I did not hear from him a clear way to fix it and will not look for solutions from his party.

I left that event feeling that my own assessment of Obama, based on careful study, was validated by persons who have access to pertinent information.  I do not, however, see any direction for what to do next.  I will continue to stand on the street and cry “No torture, no war.”  I will continue to oppose US aggression and militarism, actions by any regime that violate US and international laws, and unjust economic and financial actions.

I must continue to seek ways to help build a better world.

Granny Peace Brigade Asks Us To Say No to US Militarization

November 11, 2008

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They often show up in hats adorned with artificial flowers and sing anti war lyrics to well know tunes.  To the tune of Side by Side:

We are a gaggle of grannies
Urging you off of your fannies;
We’re telling you now
We’re ANGRY and how!
NO MORE WAR!

or to the tune of There is Nothing Like a Dame:

We have bases in Hawaii, and bases all around,
In old Peru and Timbuktu, wherever there is ground.
In one hundred thirty countries, and in every case,
What do they give us, ANOTHER base

Chorus:
There is nothing like a base.
NOTHING IN THIS WORLD
And we have them every place
We will soon have them up in space.

Seven hundred thirty-seven, foreign bases plus.
We dominate these countries, they fear and don’t want us.
Let the U.S. people know, our bases we must yield.
We only want our bases on a baseball field!

They may look and sound comical, but these women, some of them appearing on the street in wheelchairs, see nothing funny about US aggression.

I hold in my mind a vivid image from the Saturday after the 2006 elections when David and I went to Philadelphia to attend a meeting of peace groups at Constitution Park.  On the lawn outside were the Grannies on a low stage with a group of young IVAW veterans behind them.  These women had a court appearance the following Monday because they had been arrested for trying to stop military recruitment of other young people to kill and die in the US illegal and immoral wars of aggression and occupations.

On Sunday, 9 November 2008, the NY chapter were hosting the last of their three teach-ins about US global militarization, focusing this time on Latin America.  The Granny who introduced the event, Nydya Leaf, told us that the NY chapter became especially interested in this aspect of US militarization when some of the members attended the XIVth world conference of the Women’s International Democratic Federation in Caracas in 2007.  This organization is over 50 years old but little known in the US.  The Grannies present there witnessed the demand of some of the Japanese delegates that action be taken to close the military bases in Japan that have been there since the end of WWII.  Immediately, these delegates were seconded by similar demands for closure of US bases in their countries from delegates from Germany, Italy, Korea, and elsewhere.

I met at Camp Casey women who are active in Italy in the movement to close US bases there.  You can read posts on this blog about that here.

Speaking at this teach-in were Maria Fernanda Espinosa, the former Foreign Minister of Ecuador, currently their Ambassador to the UN; Professor Greg Grandin of NYU, author of Workshop: Latin America, The United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism, and contributor to the Nation, Harper’s, and the Times; and Camp Casey’s Commander Ann Wright, retired colonel US Army and former member of the US Foreign Service who retired in protest of the US invasion of Iraq, now dedicated to full time activism to stop these illegal wars.

Granny Leaf finished her introduction by saying that Noam Chomsky calls Latin America the most exciting place in the world, a statement supported by much of what followed.

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Ambassador Espinosa agreed with Chomsky.  She read to us from the new Constitution of Ecuador which stipulates that it be a country of peace and forbids military bases and “security” accords.  It was Sra. Espinosa in her function as Foreign Minister who told the US that the agreement for its base at Manta would expire in 2009 and not be renewed.

I was thrilled to hear that they know in Ecuador that peace is not just the absence of war, that it demands justice, inclusiveness, equality, and true democracy.  She says that the new constitution, which is being translated into other languages at the request of countries wishing to study it carefully, expresses the aspirations of the people of Ecuador.

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Professor Greg Grandin continued with more information about the “explosion of democracy” as he puts it in Latin America.  He says that the US notion of Latin America as its “back door” needs to be changed to the”canary in the coal mine.”  The Times categories of “good leftists” and “bad” ones in the region is not at all the way the people there see themselves.  They know that the region gives examples of a variety of approaches to democratic governments that are designed to serve the interests of all the people and not just those of a few and of the US and multinational corporations which have traditionally held sway.

Grandin further said that the US response to this explosion of true democracy has been heavy handed and repressive.  The Colombia Plan in that country and the Merida Plan in Mexico, which Obama approves, are examples of ways the Us is seeking to gain control of a region rapidly getting out of its control.

The way to move forward, according to Grandin, is not just to talk about cooperation but to repudiate the doctrine of preemptive war and to show respect for the sovereignty of other nations.  Will Obama do that?  Will he listen to these democrats and learn from them?
Ambassador Espinosa mentioned that there is discussion now at the UN about the concepts of preemptive war and the “responsibility to protect.”  Ecuador is opposed to both of them.  The latter, she said, is too often used as a guise for taking over weak nations and exploiting their resources instead of protecting.  Her country wants to see absolute sovereignty of all nations respected.

The last speaker was Colonel Ann Wright.

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Colonel Wright reminded us that the largest polluter in the US is the Pentagon, which is given special dispensations.  The pollution goes forward apace at its bases in other countries as well, another reason people all over the world want them closed.

Wright reminded us that Obama promises 100,000 more troops.  She encouraged the Grannies, whose focus is counter recruitment, to step up their activities as Obama tries to enlist more of our young people.

The US, said Wright, has not historically supported the democratic revolutions of Latin American.  She said that the recent ones have shaken the US military and corporate establishments.  These powerful institutions will be hard at work in the Obama administration.  She urged us to be vigilant and active until 1) the wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan are stopped; 2) Guantanamo and all the other secret prisons around the globe are closed and torture stopped; 3) Plans Merida and Colombia are dismantled; 4) the new “Prosperity and Security Partnership” with Canada and Mexico, which are aimed at giving the US more say in the affairs of those countries is stopped.

Wright also urged us to be on guard against military slogans that cloak aggression.  “Peace time engagement,” “War on drugs,” “War on terror,” “Disaster assistance,” are all words masking militarism and aggression.

The Grannies sang their songs as the audience stretched before QandA.  At the end, they urged us to use the post cards handed to everyone attending to write to elected officials telling them to close the bases and end the occupations and wars.

I left grateful to these great patriots and committed to continuing my own activism against US aggression.

 

First Anti War Protest After Election

November 6, 2008

The first protest of the war since Obama is president-elect took place in New York on Broadway at Federal Plaza on Wednesday, November 5, 2008, the day after the election, at five o’clock in the evening.

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Federal Plaza on Broadway in New York

Since Obama declares that he will increase military spending, retain a military presence in Iraq, and escalate the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, those of us who want to see peace and justice for the citizens of these occupied countries and for ourselves as well, showed up to protest now.  These occupations are years old and were expanded by the Bush regime in October with no outcry from Obama.  We do not want to wait for Obama to be installed to start letting him and the world know that the illegal occupations and attacks are not acceptable, at least to some Americans.

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IVAW member, Matthis Chiroux, who refused to deploy to Iraq and now works to stop the atrocities there.

Among the protesters were IVAW member Matthis Chiroux,  whose story we told on this blog earlier this year and author Larry Everest who will be speaking next Tuesday, November 11, at 7pm at the World Can’t Wait event at Judson Church.

In a conversation about why we protest in which I mentioned that I do not want to have to say to my grandchildren that I stood by and did nothing while my country committed war crimes, Chiroux said to me that he refused deployment to Iraq because he thought about what he would say to any children he might have.  He did not want to have to tell them that he knew the occupation was criminal but he participated in it anyway.  Here is a link to the DemocracyNow interview of Matthis by Amy Goodman, which also took place on November 5.

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Larry Everest, author of Oil, Power and Empire: Iraq and the U.S. Global Agenda who spoke at Camp Casey in 2006 and, to the right, Debra Sweet, head of The World Can’t Wait which organized this protest, the first of Obama’s regime.

Everest, a journalist who has covered the middle east for twenty years, said he was glad to see us out on the street, not having in his words, “drunk the Obama Coolaide.”  He mentioned that some of Obama’s advisors and likely members of his government are linked to the neo conservatives*, the very people who gave us the invasion of Iraq to begin with.  That and Obama’s close connection to the corporatocracy mean that he will not likely relinguish the military aggression begun under the current regime.  It is more likely that we can rely on him to do exactly what he has promised he will in these matters.  It behooves those of us who do not want to be responsible for the murder of millions and the destruction of whole areas of innocent countries to resist.

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So often protest is not warm and dry.

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The indefatigable and ever cheerful Bob Parsons distributing flyers for the event at which Larry Everest and others will speak on Tuesday, November 11 at Judson Church at 7pm.

As you can see from the pictures, we stood in the rain, but our spirits were not dampened.  The federal police arrived to let us know they were photographing us as part of their “report.”  It reminded me that Obama voted for FISA even after being nominated and that the spying and surveillance are likely to continue unabated under his regime.  They also let us know we would be tolerated only a short time.Not needing to outstay their tolerance on this first protest under the new regime-elect, we ultimately marched down Broadway to City Hall chanting:

No more torture, no more war, no matter who you voted for.

and

No more torture, no more war; this is what we’re fighting for. 

I was delighted to be holding one end of the banner that led the parade.  Chiroux and I talked later about how much we like noisy protest and how we were glad to finish up with this little march.

There is now one walkway between the Broadway side of City Hall and the Brooklyn Bridge open, so we turned into it and continued over to that side of the plaza where we finished and dispersed.

*NB
About Dennis Ross, a top Obama advisor, Michael Flynn wrote on November 3, 2008:

“Ross’ close association with neoconservatives has deepened over the years, becoming especially pronounced in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He supported the invasion of Iraq and, during the run-up to the 2008 presidential elections, repeatedly teamed up with writers from groups like the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) to craft hard-line policies toward Iran.”

and further:

“Among the report’s proposals are undertaking a major military buildup in the Gulf; pressuring Russia to halt weapons assistance; and, if the U.S. agrees to hold direct talks with Tehran without insisting that the country first cease enrichment activities, setting a predetermined compliance deadline and be prepared to apply increasingly harsh repercussions if these are not met, leading ultimately to U.S. military strikes.

“Calling the report a ‘roadmap to war,’ Inter Press Service’s Jim Lobe writes, ‘In other words, if Tehran is not eventually prepared to permanently abandon its enrichment of uranium on its own soil – a position that is certain to be rejected by Iran ab initio – war becomes inevitable, and all intermediate steps, even including direct talks if the new president chooses to pursue them, will amount to going through the motions. … What is a top Obama adviser [Dennis Ross] doing signing on to it?'”

Is This What Real Change Looks Like?

November 5, 2008

I cannot join in the jubilation at the election of Obama.  To paraphrase Atticus Finch, I could be overjoyed at the election of a black man but not at the expense of polite fiction and human life. 

The corporate owned media who selected the candidates did a skillful job of putting forward the interests of their owners.  A choice between McCain and either a woman or a black man was ingenious.  Either would have looked like a great “progressive” victory.  Obama’s election is heralded as a great victory.  The Times, mouthpiece of the corporate owners of this country, says it is a “sea change.”  Others claim “morning in America.” 

I hate being unable to join in the general jubilee, but I cannot turn a blind eye to the facts. 

Obama, to the delight of the corporations who fund him and who have made billions of dollars during the Bush regime, has not announced plans to end the illegal occupation of Iraq nor to bring our personnel home.  His plans are to increase defense spending, leave troops in Iraq indefinitely, and expand the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In addition, after being nominated, Obama voted for spying on US citizens and for immunity for the companies who engage in that illegal activity.  He takes a lot of money from the telecom industry.  He also agreed to the rush job Wall Street bailout, passed as the Patriot Act had been, without review in committee and without debate.  He signed on to the biggest transfer of wealth from ordinary tax payers to corporations in history.

And, as for the Patriot Act, instead of fighting to see that attack on Constitutional Rights expire, he voted to extend it.

No, this is not a time for rejoicing and celebrating for me. 

Rather, it is a time for continuing action.   It is, naturally it would be, raining today at two thirty in the afternoon, but whether it stops by five o’clock or not, I shall join with others at Federal Plaza here in New York to call for an end to the occupations and to torture. 

What are you doing to end the slaughter of innocent children, women, and men that is more and more invisible to us who are paying for it?  What are you doing to assure that our rights are restored, and justice and peace are put forward?  

Do You Want Peace? Join With Others Who Do, too.

November 3, 2008

Neither of the corporate candidates likely to win the US presenditial election tomorrow will end the wars of aggression in Iraq, and now Syria, as well as Afghanistan, and Pakistan  in which the US is engaged.  Those of us who want peace have much more work to do.  Chris Hedges, who covered the Iran-Contra war and the Balkan wars, wrote eloquently on this today.

iraqis_protestUS.jpg   Iraqis protest US occuptaion in October

syrian_civiliandeaths.jpg Sirians mourn death of civilians killed by US bombs on 26 October

Peace actions are scheduled the day after the election, Wednesday, November 5, in both New York and San Francisco at 5pm local time, at 26 Federal Plaza in New York and Powell and Market Streets in San Francisco.

There will also be a Veterans Day event in New York on November 11 organized by the World Can’t Wait.

Tuesday November 11 (Veterans’ Day), 7:00 pm
Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, NYC

Speakers: Scott Ritter, Larry Everest, Jeremy Scahill, Elaine Brower

TO BUY TICKETS on line click here to get to the site:

Those who prefer to pay via check or cash can call 866-973-4463 to arrange in-person purchase/pick-up of tickets.

Regular Tickets ($10 each)

I cannot forget that my tax money pays for violent death of innocent civilians and destruction of cities, towns, large swaths of the earth.

I will not rest until this illegal orgy of war, torture, and death waged by the US is stopped, Constitutional rights are restored to its own citizens, and the US rejoins the community of law abiding nations.

US Media Do Not Cover Deaths Due to US Occupation and Other Major Stories

November 3, 2008

The Inter Press Service reports:

“When news of pop stars and their marriages and divorces takes precedence over stories about the Iraq War or privacy concerns in an age of increasing security measures, U.S. citizens are faced, as described by the director of Project Censored, ‘with a truth emergency’.

“To address this emergency, Project Censored, a non-profit media project within the Sonoma State University Foundation, each year compiles 25 stories which they say have been neglected by the mainstream media.

“The number one story this year gave a staggering answer to a question that has been glossed over in the mainstream press — just how many Iraqi lives have been lost because of the U.S. occupation? The answer is one million, and it exceeds the death toll of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, points out the Censored entry.

“But that figure, calculated by British the polling group Opinion Research Business (ORB), was reported in just three independent media outlets — AlterNet, Inter Press Service (IPS), and After Downing Street.

“Schwartz, in Censored, refers to a February 2007 Associated Press poll in which U.S. citizens were asked how many Iraqis died because of the U.S. occupation. The most common answers placed casualties at below 10,000.”

No wonder most Americans are not concerned about the occupations.  They have no idea what they are and what death, destruction, and suffering are being inflicted on innocent people every day.  The article concludes with this:

“While mass media closely followed such stories as Angelina Jolie’s pregnancy and Alec Baldwin’s marital problems, reports regarding the aftermath of the Iraq War and privacy concerns were hidden.

“News of abuse and death in juvenile detention centres, unprecedented rates of arrests for marijuana possession in the U.S., corporate profiteering from No Child Left Behind, and the American Psychiatric Association’s sanctioning and aiding in torture methods lay buried underneath images of Paris Hilton’s new escapades. And those are just the top 25.”

Click here to read the complete article about corporate vigilantes who can shoot to kill with impunity, corporate profiteering from No Child Left Behind, and on and on.