By Medea Benjamin for The Guardian – Most Americans would probably be astounded to realize that the president who has been painted by Washington pundits as a reluctant warrior has actually been a hawk. The Iran nuclear deal, a herculean achievement, and the opening of diplomatic relations with Cuba unfortunately stand alone as President Obama’s successful uses of diplomacy over hostility. While candidate Obama came to office pledging to end George W Bush’s wars, he leaves office having been at war longer than any president in US history. He is also the only president to serve two complete terms with the nation at war.
By Vanessa Beeley for 21st Century Wire. At the end of July 2016 the US Peace Council delegation entered Syria to meet with members of the elected Syrian government and opposition party members living inside Syria as opposed to those who have lived outside Syria since the beginning of the US allied war against Syria that was being fomented long before 2011. Upon their return the delegates reported on what they had seen and heard with powerful honesty and integrity. They emphasized the need to lift the economic sanctions being imposed upon the “Syrian Government” by the US and EU NATO member states. These sanctions were seen to be collectively punishing the Syrian people first and foremost across all sectors including the crucial health and education sectors. They also focused on the cessation of the illegal US military intervention both direct and by proxy terrorist forces that are marauding across Syria and massacring the Syrian people in their tens of thousands at the behest of the US, NATO members, the Gulf States and of course Israel.
From a variety of sources on the death of Daniel Berrigan: We are bereft. We are so sad. We are aching and wrung out. Our bodies are tired as Dan’s was—after a hip fracture, repeated infections, prolonged frailty. And we are so grateful: for the excellent and conscientious care Dan received at Murray Weigel, for his long life and considerable gifts, for his grace in each of our lives, for his courage and witness and prodigious vocabulary. Dan taught us that every person is a miracle, every person has a story, every person is worthy of respect.
By Shut Down Creech. Anti-drone protesters executed waves of multiple non-violent peaceful actions at Creech Air Force Base throughout the morning last Friday, April 1, with the intent of interrupting the drone killing activities that take place there. Creech AFB, in southern Nevada, is the primary Command Center for the CIA’s and President Obama’s Drone Assassination program. At the most heavily used eastern gate, a total of 13 people were arrested in 4 separate actions. After military personnel re-opened the main base gate in the later morning after the 1st action there, three more waves of blockades occurred. The 3rd and 4th waves breeched a barricade near the gate and continued to block the road, ultimately stalling gate operations for nearly an hour totally, counting all actions at that gate. Another 4 were arrested at a 2nd gate. The first incident at the eastern gate occurred at approximately 7:00 AM when a group of six children and eight adults all dressed as angels, performed a mock drone attack on a funeral.
By Joy First for the National Coalition for Creative Nonviolence. On February 23rd, two peace activists with Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Brian Terrell and Kathy Kelly, were arrested when they attempted to deliver a loaf of bread and a letter to drone operators at Volk Field, an Air National Guard Base in Wisconsin, which trains pilots to operate Shadow Drones over other countries. Voices activists have lived alongside ordinary people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Gaza. People who can’t flee from drone surveillance and attacks have good reason to fear people from the U.S., but instead they have broken bread with Kelly and Terrell and have welcomed opportunities for deepened mutual understanding. Kelly and Terrell carried the loaf of bread to signify the worth of relying on words rather than weapons.
By Chris Hedges for Truth Dig – Terror, intimidation and violence are the glue that holds empire together. Aerial bombardment, drone and missile attacks, artillery and mortar strikes, targeted assassinations, massacres, the detention of tens of thousands, death squad killings, torture, wholesale surveillance, extraordinary renditions, curfews, propaganda, a loss of civil liberties and pliant political puppets are the grist of our wars and proxy wars. Countries we seek to dominate, from Indonesia and Guatemala to Iraq and Afghanistan, are intimately familiar with these brutal mechanisms of control. But the reality of empire rarely reaches the American public.
By David Swanson in Lets Try Democracy. It is well documented that the United States dropped on China and North Korea insects and feathers carrying anthrax, cholera, encephalitis, and bubonic plague. This was supposed to be a secret at the time, and the Chinese response of mass vaccinations and insect eradication probably contributed to the project’s general failure (hundreds were killed, but not millions). But members of the U.S. military taken prisoner by the Chinese confessed to what they had been a part of, and confessed publicly when they got back to the United States. Some of them had felt guilty to begin with. Some had been shocked at China’s decent treatment of prisoners after U.S. depictions of the Chinese as savages.
By Glen Milner of Global Zero Center for Nonviolent Action. Seattle, WA – Local activists will stage a water-based nonviolent protest against the glorification of weapons of war at the Seattle Seafair festival. Peace activists will meet the U.S. Navy fleet in Elliott Bay. Other peace activists will meet on land on Pier 62/63 on the Seattle waterfront at the same time for a nonviolent demonstration against weapons of war. For the fourteenth year, peace activists will address the public display of warships and warplanes in our community. Why would we demonstrate for peace at a Seattle maritime festival? Because the celebration of warships in our harbor helps bring about the normalcy of modern war.
By Jon Queally for Common Dreams. Though outnumbered by police by approximately two-to-one, thousands of people took to the streets of the Alpine resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany on Saturday to express their opposition to the hegemonic and neoliberal policies of the G7 nations as they gathered in a nearby luxury hotel ahead their annual summit which begins Sunday. Speaking out against the destructive policies of the world’s leading industrialized nations—which includes the U.S., U.K., Canada, France, Japan, Italy, and Germany—organized groups and individuals who participated in the protest carried signs and banners decrying inaction on climate change, the pending TransAtlantic Trade in Partnership (TTIP) agreement, ongoing wars and militarization, and the overarching assault on global democracy that has seen the power of corporations rise alongside nearly unprecedented levels of economic inequality.
Since the inception of the drone program, the CIA has killed at least eight U.S. citizens with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). On Thursday, President Obama announced that the agency recently used drones to kill two al-Qaeda hostages including a kidnapped American. . . . After the attack, surveillance video recorded six bodies being pulled from the debris instead of four. Two of the bodies belonged to kidnapped aid workers, Dr. Warren Weinstein and Giovanni Lo Porto. Abducted in 2011, Dr. Weinstein had lived in Maryland before moving to Pakistan to become director for a consulting firm working with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Lo Porto, an Italian national, was taken hostage in 2012 while attempting to perform humanitarian work in Pakistan. Included amongst the rubble was the body of another American. Alleged al-Qaeda deputy leader, Ahmed Farouq also died in the strike. According to U.S. officials, Farouq was born in the United States and moved to Pakistan as a child.