Peacekeeping Is No Job For Ordinary Soldiers

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By Rick Salutin in Rabble. Peacekeeping always seems like a good idea at the time, then it tends to go awry. It did right from the start when Canada’s Lester B. Pearson proposed a UN force to resolve tensions in the Mideast in 1956, after Britain, France and Israel invaded Egypt. Pearson got the Stanley Cup — I mean, the Nobel Peace Prize — for it, and probably became prime minister as a result six years later. Even that didn’t go smoothly. Pearson wanted Canadian troops as part of the force but the Egyptians gagged when they heard names like the Queen’s Own Rifles and Princess Patricia Light Infantry, with a little Union Jack on the then-Canadian flag, the Royal ensign. They’d just been blasted by Royal British bombs.

At The State Capitol, Bells Toll For Peace

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By Roger Ehrlich for The News & Observer – Ninety-nine years ago, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, bells tolled around the world, and people poured into public squares to celebrate the end of what was called The War to End All Wars. For many years, Armistice Day was observed as a day to remember the dead of WWI and rededicate ourselves to never letting war happen again. This week, aided by a grant from the N.C. Humanities Council, a bell has been tolling from the 24-foot-tall Swords to Plowshares Memorial Belltower, a touring memorial that has been erected, for the fourth consecutive year, on the lawn of our State Capitol in Raleigh. The public has been adding inscriptions to the monument to bear witness to how war has affected their lives. These silver plaques, fashioned from recycled cans and glistening in the wind, bear heart-rending inscriptions in many different languages. The Belltower was dedicated on Memorial Day 2014 by the Eisenhower Chapter of Veterans for Peace with former N.C. State University alumni director and Air Force veteran Bob Kennel presiding. Its inspiration was the bronze door on the NCSU Belltower, which bears the inscription “And They Shall Beat Their Swords into Plowshares.” This Old Testament passage, sacred to Jews, Christians, Muslims and others, is a reminder of the original spirit of Armistice Day.

On Armistice Day, Let’s Celebrate Peace

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By Kathy Kelly for Voices for Creative Nonviolence. Wilfred Owen, an English poet who was killed in action exactly one week before the Armistice that finally ended World War I was signed, wrote about the horrors of living in trenches and enduring gas warfare. In “The Parable of the Old Man and the Young,” he revises the Biblical narrative about Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Believing God willed the slaughter, Abraham prepared to bind Isaac and slay him. Owen transforms Abraham into the European powers who were willing to slaughter youthful generations in the trenches of World War I. Only in this telling, Abraham refuses to heed the angel who urges that the son be spared. The old man “slew the son, and half the seed of Europe, one by one.” Thirty million soldiers were killed or wounded and another seven million taken captive during World War I. Some 50 to 100 million perished from a flu epidemic created by the war.

Charo Mina-Rojas Speaks At UN On Women, Peace & Security

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By Working Group on Women, Peace and Security. New York, NY – This statement was made by Ms. Charo Mina-Rojas, a member of the human rights team of the Black Communities’ Process, the Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network, the Black Alliance for Peace, and the Special High Level Body for Ethnic Peoples, on behalf of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security at the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on “Women and peace and security.” The statement highlights the participation of ethnically diverse women in peace negotiations; ensuring the security of human rights defenders, civil society activists and Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities; and inclusive monitoring and implementation of peace processes.

Newsletter - Racism, Propaganda And Wars

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By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. This week, the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, which promoted giving Palestine to the Jewish people, will be celebrated in London. Around the world, there will be protests against it calling for Britain to apologize for the damage it inflicted. Students from the West Bank and Gaza will send letters to the British government describing the negative impacts that the Balfour Declaration, and the Nakba in 1948, continue to have on their lives today. As Dan Freeman-Maloy describes, the Balfour Declaration is also relevant today because of the propaganda co-existing with it that justified white supremacy, racism and empire. British imperialists believed that democracy only applied to “civilized and conquering peoples,” and that “Africans, Asians, Indigenous peoples the world over – all were … ‘subject races,’ unfit for self-government.”

S. Koreans Opposed To War On North Korea Banned From Entering US

Sign in photo reads, “”We condemn the U.S. for denying entry” | Photo: Ban Trump’s Crazy Action (BTC) delegation

By Staff of Zoom In Korea. Fourteen members of the Fellowship of South Korean Youth — calling themselves the “Ban Trump’s Crazy Action” (BTC) delegation — were stopped at Incheon airport on October 25 and prevented from boarding their planes to the United States, where they had planned to protest Trump’s war threats in Korea. The group, which had planned to visit New York, Washington DC, and Los Angeles to demand an end to U.S. sanctions and war threats against North Korea, was turned away despite having acquired proper documentation to visit the United States. The members of the delegation were told by the United Airline staff that there were problems with their visas. When the delegation asked for an explanation, they were told, “You need to find out why from the U.S. Embassy in Seoul.”

Newsletter - Mobilize For System Change

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By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. Decades of neo-liberal economic policies in the United States and debt, which is required by the bottom 90% to survive, have fanned political unrest and the call for revolution, rather than reform. Just as Obama and the Democrat’s populist façade disintegrated under a growing wealth divide, worsening climate change and militarization of our communities and woke many self-described progressives up to the need for systemic changes, the Trump presidency could have similar effects on conservatives. Voters who thought they were ending the status quo, “draining the swamp,” by voting for Trump may find that loss of health care, trade deals that drive a race to the bottom and tax cuts for the wealthy move them to be open to solutions they may have once rejected.

Palestinian And Israeli Women Walking Hand In Hand For Peace

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By Loubna Khalkhali for Mvslim – More than 5000 Israeli and Palestinian women, dressed in white, have arrived in Jerusalem after a two-week march through the West Bank and Israel on October 8th. The women are calling for politicians to find a solution to end the decades-old Middle East conflict. “We must reach a political agreement, we must change the paradigm that we have been taught for seven decades now, where we have been told that only war will bring peace,” said Women Wage Peace activist Vivian Silver. “We don’t believe that anymore. It’s been proven that it’s not true.” The group Women Wage Peace, an organisation established after the 50-day Gaza war of 2014, organized the march. During that war more than 2100 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed. Israel put the number of its dead at 67 soldiers and six civilians. “Among us are women from right-wing parties, left-wing parties, Jews and Arabs, women from cities and rural areas. Together we have decided to prevent the next war,” said Marilyn Smadja, one of the founders of Women Wage Peace.

Veterans Send Letter Calling For Peace Negotiations

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By Veterans for Peace. Dear President Trump and Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, You have both made your point.The world has seen that neither of you will back down before the threats of the other. For the sake of the world’s people, it is now time for good faith negotiations. President Trump, you have engaged in reckless rhetoric and threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea with “fire and fury like world has never seen.” We can tell you right now that you do not speak for millions of veterans in this country.

You Can’t Have A Progressive Movement Without Peace

A peace mural is painted near the road leading to Planadas, Colombia, where a peasant uprising in 1964 led to the birth of the FARC. | Photo: AFP

By David Swanson for Let’s Try Democracy – Here’s my five-minute case for why you can’t have an effective progressive movement in the United States that doesn’t include working for peace. War and militarism and bases and ships and missiles and sanctions and nuclear threats and hostility make up the filter through which much of the other 96% of humanity experiences this 4%. The U.S. Congress chooses how to spend a great deal of money each year, and chooses to put 54% of it into war and preparations for war. The wars demonstrably increase rather than reduce or eliminate anti-U.S. sentiment and violence. They endanger us rather than protect us. The wars are a top cause of death and injury in the world, and a top cause of famines and disease epidemics and refugee crises that cause massive additional suffering. But war kills most by diverting resources. Small fractions of U.S. military spending could end starvation, provide clean water, end diseases, even end the use of fossil fuels worldwide. Military spending also reduces jobs in comparison to other spending or not taxing working people in the first place. The U.S. military consumes more petroleum than most entire countries and has a bigger budget than most governments and about the size of all other militaries combined.

Activists Blockade Nuclear Base, Plead To De-escalate Crisis With North Korea

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By Leonard Eiger for Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action. Washington State – Activists blockaded the West Coast nuclear submarine base that would likely carry out a nuclear strike against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) should President Donald Trump give the order. Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, just 20 miles from Seattle, is home to the largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the US. More than 1,300 nuclear warheads are deployed on Trident D-5 missiles on the eight ballistic missile submarines based at Bangor or stored at Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific (SWFPAC) at the Bangor base. Activists with Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action held a vigil and nonviolent direct action at the Bangor base on August 14…

South Korea’s Peace Movement Refuses To Give Up

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By Jon Letman for TruthOut. In August, 1945, as Japan smoldered in the ruins of war, the question of what would become of the Korean peninsula after 35 years of Japanese occupation and a Soviet army advancing southward spurred the hasty selection of an artificial division along the 38th parallel drawn by two American officials as a border between US and Soviet “zones of occupation.” That line, never intended to be permanent, hardened like stubborn mud before the newly liberated Korea ever had the chance to form an independent, unified and democratic nation. Today 38°N still marks a potentially catastrophic flashpoint between North and South Korea. Candle light protests have been held outside the Seongju County office nightly since the deployment of the THAAD antimissile defense system was announce in July 2016. (Photo: Jon Letman) Candle light protests have been held outside the Seongju County office nightly since the deployment of the THAAD antimissile defense system was announce in July 2016. (Photo: Jon Letman) The DMZ — demilitarized zone — despite its name, is one of the most militarized places on the planet. This hyper-militarization, in fact, extends south across the peninsula and today, 64 years after an armistice halted (but never formally ended) the Korean war, South Korea remains peppered with scores of US military installations — at least 80 by the Pentagon’s own count.

Activists Challenge US Nukes In Germany

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By John LaForge for CounterPunch. Buchel, Germany – The fairy tale that nuclear weapons provide state security is a fiction believed by millions. On July 17, five of us proved that state guarantees of “highly secure” nuclear weapon facilities are just as fictitious. After nightfall, an international group of five peace activists, me included, got deep inside the Büchel Air Base here, and for the first time in a 21-year long series of protests against its deployment of US nuclear bombs, we occupied the top of one of the large bunkers potentially used for storing nuclear weapons. The US still deploys up to 20 B61 gravity bombs at the air base and German pilots train to use them in war from their Tornado jet fighter bombers.

North And South Korea Want A Peace Treaty: The US Must Join Them

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By Christine Ahn for Truthout – Two years ago, I crossed the world’s most fortified border from North to South Korea with 30 women peacemakers from 15 countries, calling for a peace treaty to end the six-decade Korean War. On July 13, I was denied entry into South Korea from the United States as retribution for my peace activism, including the 2015 women’s peace march. As I checked in for my Asiana Airlines flight to Shanghai at San Francisco International Airport, the ticket agent at the counter informed me that I would not be boarding the plane headed first to Seoul Incheon International. The supervisor handed me back my passport and informed me that she had just gotten off the phone with a South Korean government official who had told her I was “denied entry” into the country. “This must be a mistake,” I said. “Is South Korea really going to ban me because I organized a women’s peace walk across the demilitarized zone?” I asked, appealing to her conscience. If there was indeed a travel ban, I thought, it must have been put in place by the disgraced President Park. But she wouldn’t make eye contact with me. She walked away and said there was nothing to be done. I would need to apply for a visa and book a new flight to Shanghai.

North Korea Does Not Threaten World Peace, The US Does

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By William Boardman for Reader Supported News. President Donald Trump is 71 and Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un is 27, but if they ever met, would there be a grown-up in the room? One of them knows full well that North Korea is not a threat to world peace and is not even a serious threat to South Korea. The one who knows that is not Donald Trump. Or if he does know it, he’s choosing to inflate the North Korean “threat” even more than some of his predecessors. But wait, didn’t North Korea just fire a missile in the general direction of the United States? Yes indeed, and like every other North Korean missile (except the ones that blew up on launch), it hit smack dab in the Sea of Japan, unpleasantly for aquatic life but a danger to no one else. This is, after all, exactly what the US does periodically to the Pacific Ocean from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base, generally causing yawns around the world.