Archive for the 'Peace' Category

Nuclear Weapons

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

This being the 70th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Japan, the issue of nuclear weapons is in the news.  Since the bombing was only a few months before I was born, I have lived my life in the shadow of nuclear war.  Below are images of the destruction:

atomic bomb1

Nagasaki

atomic bomb2

Hiroshima

The  Japanese people and their government have had a policy of refusing to wage war since these horrific events.  May they continue in that resolution and continue, as they are doing, to work for the end of nuclear arms.

 

FINALLY, THE TRUTH ABOUT THE INVASION OF IRAQ

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Paul Krugman, never one to mince words, wrote a brilliantly direct editorial in response to the current budding campaign of Jeb Bush to be president in the wake of his father and brother.  Krugman writes:

“The fraudulence of the case for war was actually obvious even at the time: the ever-shifting arguments for an unchanging goal were a dead giveaway. So were the word games — the talk about W.M.D that conflated chemical weapons (which many people did think Saddam had) with nukes, the constant insinuations that Iraq was somehow behind 9/11.

“And at this point we have plenty of evidence to confirm everything the war’s opponents were saying. We now know, for example, that on 9/11 itself — literally before the dust had settled — Donald Rumsfeld, the secretary of defense, was already plotting war against a regime that had nothing to do with the terrorist attack. “Judge whether good enough [to] hit S.H. [Saddam Hussein] …sweep it all up things related and not”; so read notes taken by Mr. Rumsfeld’s aide.”

Troops in Iraq

US troops in Iraq

You can read the entire article here .

Alas, as always, the US media are not willing to tell the truth or challenge authority.  So long as such attitudes prevail, it will continue to be difficult for the people in this country to stand up to its militarization and continual invasions.

Some of us opposed that war at the time, but it should now be clear that we must resist US wars and aggression, limit the military budgets, stop supporting the arms manufacturers and dealers, and become a peaceful, not a warlike nation.  One can only hope and work toward that end.

More On Bradley Manning

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Marjorie Cohn, law professor and former president of the National Lawyers Guild, has this to say about Bradley Manning’s actions:

“Manning is charged with crimes for sending hundreds of thousands of classified files, documents and videos, including the ‘Collateral Murder’ video, the ‘Iraq War Logs,’ the ‘Afghan War Logs’ and State Department cables to Wikileaks. Many of the things he transmitted contain evidence of war crimes.

“The ‘Collateral Murder’ video depicts a US Apache attack helicopter killing 12 civilians and wounding two children on the ground in Baghdad in 2007. The helicopter then fired on and killed the people trying to rescue the wounded. Finally, a US tank drove over one of the bodies, cutting the man in half. These acts constitute three separate war crimes.

“Manning fulfilled his legal duty to report war crimes. He complied with his legal duty to obey lawful orders but also his legal duty to disobey unlawful orders.

“Section 499 of the Army Field Manual states, ‘Every violation of the law of war is a war crime.’ The law of war is contained in the Geneva Conventions.

“Article 85 of the First Protocol to the Geneva Conventions describes making the civilian population or individual civilians the object of attack as a grave breach. The firing on and killing of civilians shown in the ‘Collateral Murder'” video violated this provision of Geneva.

Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions requires that the wounded be collected and cared for. Article 17 of the First Protocol states that the civilian population ‘shall be permitted, even on their own initiative, to collect and care for the wounded.’ That article also says, ‘No one shall be harmed . . . for such humanitarian acts.’ The firing on rescuers portrayed in the ‘Collateral Murder’ video violates these provisions of Geneva.

“Finally, Section 27-10 of the Army Field Manual states that ‘maltreatment of dead bodies’ is a war crime. When the Army jeep drove over the dead body, it violated this provision.

“Enshrined in the US Army Subject Schedule No. 27-1 is ‘the obligation to report all violations of the law of war.’ At his guilty plea hearing, Manning explained that he had gone to his chain of command and asked them to investigate the ‘Collateral Murder’ video and other ‘war porn,’ but his superiors refused. ‘I was disturbed by the response to injured children,’ Manning stated. He was also bothered by the soldiers depicted in the video who ‘seemed to not value human life by referring to [their targets] as “dead bastards.”‘

“The Uniform Code of Military Justice sets forth the duty of a service member to obey lawful orders. But that duty includes the concomitant duty to disobey unlawful orders. An order not to reveal classified information that contains evidence of war crimes would be an unlawful order. Manning had a legal duty to reveal the commission of war crimes.”

The full text of the article can be found here.

Photo Essay from Lucille at Protest for Bradley Manning

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Lucille

Lucille Standing Up for Bradley and for All of Us

IVAW

The Iraq Veterans Against the War Were Well Represented

VientNam_vets

Viet Nam Veterans Were Also Out in Force

right_to_know_vfp

Veterans For Peace Know Why We Need to Stop Wars

makeout-notwar

This Veteran Has A Great Idea

youth

I am very encouraged by the Younger Generations Standing Up for Bradley and for Peace and Justice

codepink

Code Pink Can Always be Counted On

drones

This Woman Has Another Good Idea

occupier

Those from the Occupy Movement Still Working for Us All

Mexican_flag

Ssomeone From Mexico Supporting Bradley

Did you see this on the major corporate news media?  Thank you, Lucille, for sharing these photographs of this important action.

WAR IS TORTURE

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Normon Solomon wrote this after the bomb explosion at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013:

“Every news report about the children killed and injured at the finish line in Boston, every account of the horrific loss of limbs, makes me think of a little girl named Guljumma. She was seven years old when I met her at an Afghan refugee camp one day in the summer of 2009.

“At the time, I wrote: ‘Guljumma talked about what happened one morning last year when she was sleeping at home in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand Valley. At about 5 a.m., bombs exploded. Some people in her family died. She lost an arm.’

“In the refugee camp on the outskirts of Kabul, where several hundred families were living in squalid conditions, the U.S. government was providing no help. The last time Guljumma and her father had meaningful contact with the U.S. government was when it bombed them.

“War thrives on abstractions, but Guljumma was no abstraction. She was no more or less of an abstraction than the children whose lives have been forever wrecked by the bombing at the Boston finish line.

“But the same U.S. news media that are conveying the preciousness of children so terribly harmed in Boston are scarcely interested in children like Guljumma.”

I am interested in the children like Guljumma.  I am interested in seeing that not another child, woman, nor man dies from US bombs.  Not the least of the reasons I demand the end to all US wars is because of the children who are maimed, killed, and bereft of their loved ones and those who care for them.

To those who find the kind of bomb deployed at the Boston marathon diabolical, which it is, I also want to recall that the US uses bombs like that on innocent people in several places in the world.

Solomon mentions a report by Paul Watson of the LA Times who quoted Dr.Grbic of Yugoslavia during cluster bombing there : “I have been an orthopedist for 15 years now, working in a crisis region where we often have injuries, but neither I nor my colleagues have ever seen such horrific wounds as those caused by cluster bombs.” He added: “They are wounds that lead to disabilities to a great extent. The limbs are so crushed that the only remaining option is amputation. It’s awful, awful.”

These are almost exactly the words we read now from the surgeons in Boston who are treating the people injured there.

The US has dropped cluster bombs in Afghanistan and fired cluster munitions in Iraq.

Solomon continues:

“Today, the U.S. State Department remains opposed to outlawing those weapons, declaring on its official website: ‘Cluster munitions have demonstrated military utility. Their elimination from U.S. stockpiles would put the lives of its soldiers and those of its coalition partners at risk.’

“The State Department position statement adds: ‘Moreover, cluster munitions can often result in much less collateral damage than unitary weapons, such as a larger bomb or larger artillery shell would cause, if used for the same mission.’ Perhaps the bomber(s) who stuffed nails and ball bearings into pressure cookers for use in Boston had a similarly twisted rationale.

“But don’t expect explorations of such matters from the USA’s daily papers or commercial networks — or from the likes of NPR’s ‘Morning Edition’ and ‘All Things Considered,’ or the PBS ‘NewsHour.’ When the subject is killing and maiming, such news outlets take as a given the presumptive moral high ground of the U.S. government.”

You can read the full article here.

No War No Torture: No More Corporate Empire

 

Non-Aligned Movement Summit

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Fifty-one years after its founding in Belgrade, the nations of the Non-Aligned Movement are meeting in Tehran.  You can read more about this here.

Logo of the Summit: Dove with colors of the nations

The members of the Movement represent 55 % of the population of the planet from 120 nations and represents two-thirds of the United Nations body.  Some have called this group the “real United Nations.”  United by its commitment to world peace and security, its five principles are:

•    Mutual respect for each others’ territorial integrity and sovereignty
•    Mutual non-aggression
•    Mutual non-interference in domestic affairs
•    Equality and mutual benefit
•    Peaceful co-existence

At its summit in 1979, Fidel Castro said the movement stood for “national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security of non-aligned countries.”  These countries are just as much at risk from imperialism and foreign aggression now as when they were founded, and they must be vigilant to maintain their sovereignty in the face of corporatist aggression as well as that of countries like the US which are ruled by corporations and reflect corporate interests not those of the US people.

May I remind any reader who blanched at the quotation by Fidel Castro that Cuba during Castro’s term has not invaded nor bombed any country, does not murder people anywhere on the planet with drones, is, in short, peaceful.  Its health care is excellent and it offers health care support to other countries as well; its people have made huge strides since the ouster of the US backed Batista regime.  The US has a very recent history of rigged elections and a president who was not elected by the people, so it is not really on steady ground in criticizing any other country’s government for not being “democratically elected”.  It also has the largest prison population on the planet and is growing more and more vicious in suppressing criticism of its policies and persecuting journalists who criticize it.  I know that much of what the US public is told by the corporate media about Cuba is not true; Cuba is indeed, however, a big threat to US corporate capitalists.  What might the people of the US demand if they knew what has really been done there?

As for me, I am glad to see Tehran, which is surrounded by US military bases, threatened with attack all the time, host the NAM summit.  Representatives of 55% of the population of the planet are there to work for peace and justice for all people.

As the world economy, preyed on by the vultures of Wall Street who go unregulated even after the depredations that led to the crisis of 2008 which is yet devastating many people in the US and the world, heads for a terrible financial catastrophe in the next year, as the slaughter of innocent people and destruction of the world’s treasures goes on unabated, I am glad that the NAM is meeting in Tehran.  How can we, people of the US who don’t support its lethal policies, join with the 55% of the population represented at the NAM summit?

I for one am going to see if I can find, as I did for Ecuador, websites of some of these countries and let them know that I support them in their efforts to create a peaceful and cooperative world.