The United States has been escalating conflict with North Korea recently. Of concern is that President Trump announced today that he plans to meet with all 100 senators on Wednesday, April 26, without their staffers, at the White House. We must send a strong message to the senators that we will not tolerate a US attack on North Korea. The time to do that is now. Use the Capitol Switchboard at 202 224 3121 to call your senators today and tell them that we want peace with North Korea. Negotiate with President Kim Jong-un. Stop US military exercises on the North Korean border. Join us at the White House on Wednesday at 2 pm. See this Facebook page for details. If you can’t come to DC, then hold an action locally.
By Kathy Kelly for The Progressive. Three former United Nations officials with many decades of experience as diplomats recently wrote a blunt appraisal of the U.S. role in undermining peace efforts and promoting wars. The authors call out President Donald Trump for “embracing a toxic form of messianic nationalism,” with exclusionary policies “illustrative of a regressive and Islamophobic outlook.” The massive bomb Trump dropped on Afghanistan in April was more bad news. Yet in Kabul, the work of peace continues. Afghan Peace Volunteers have been welcoming delegates from my group, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, from the United States and England, one or two at a time, over the past several months. On a visit last month, I was able to travel by bus to a small village where relatives were celebrating the marriage of Abid and Zahro.
By Randy Furst for the Star Tribune. In the early 1950s, during the onset of the Korean War, he and his brothers Joel, Paul and Sid refused to register for the draft and were convicted in federal court and sent to prison. Someone registered them, according to his daughter, so when they got out of prison, they received a military call-up notice. They refused to show up for induction, were convicted again and sent to prison a second time. “He used to say to me, ‘One person doing something is better than a thousand people doing nothing,’ ” she recalled. “He never gave up on trying to educate and raise people’s consciousness.”
By Lawrence S. Wittner for the LA Progressive. The response to the possibility of nuclear was is remarkably subdued. People read about the situation in newspapers or watch it on the television news, while comedians joke about the madness of it all. Oh, yes, peace and disarmament organizations condemn the escalating military confrontation and outline reasonable diplomatic alternatives. But such organizations are unable to mobilize the vast numbers of people around the world necessary to shake some sense into these overwrought government officials. The situation was very different in the 1980s, when organizations like the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign (in the United States), the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (in Britain), and similar groups around the world were able to engage millions of people in protest against the nuclear recklessness of the U.S. and Soviet governments―protest that played a key role in curbing the nuclear arms race and preventing nuclear war. So why is there so little public protest today?
By The Saker. I don’t think that anybody seriously believes that Assad or anybody else in the Syrian government really ordered a chemical weapons attack on anybody. To believe that it would require you to find the following sequence logical: first, Assad pretty much wins the war against Daesh which is in full retreat. Then, the US declares that overthrowing Assad is not a priority anymore (up to here this is all factual and true). Then, Assad decides to use weapons he does not have. He decides to bomb a location with no military value, but with lots of kids and cameras. Then, when the Russians demand a full investigation, the Americans strike as fast as they can before this idea gets any support. And now the Americans are probing a possible Russian role in this so-called attack. Frankly, if you believe any of that, you should immediately stop reading and go back to watching TV.
By Greg Johnson for Counter-Currents. Donald Trump’s dizzying about-face on Syria has won the temporary applause of his enemies, but he has forever lost the respect of his most ardent supporters on the Alt Right, the people who actually believe in and defend his nationalist-populist message, including his America First foreign policy. I thought Trump’s willingness to fight a two-front war against the Democrats and his own party was sufficient proof that he was sincere about his America First foreign policy. But he ditched it at its first real test. I no longer trust Donald Trump. But it is worse than that. I no longer like or respect Trump either. Trump didn’t just betray us. He betrayed us over something utterly stupid. We’ve seen this all before.
By Ray McGovern. Syracuse: On Good Friday, April 14, 2017, nine nonviolent civil resisters of Upstate Drone Action were arrested at the main entrance of Hancock Air National Guard Base witnessing against extrajudicial drone killings perpetrated from the base. Three people hung on large drone crosses representing victims of US drone strikes in seven majority Muslim countries. Eleven others held smaller drone crosses headed by the phrase, DRONES CRUCIFY, each followed by one of these: Children, Families, Love, Peace, Community, the US Constitution, UN Charter, Rule of Law, US Treaties, Due Process, or Diplomacy.
By Lizzie Dearden for The Independent. Donald Trump may have “backed himself into a corner” by threatening North Korea with military action over its weapons tests, experts have warned. Kim Jong-un watched what appeared to be new inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) roll through Pyongyang as part of a huge show of force on Saturday, just two days after the US President vowed to “properly deal” with his government. There was no sign of a sixth nuclear test on the symbolic Day of the Sun, which marks his grandfather’s birthday, but analysts believe a major new launch could be imminent. China is among the countries urging both North Korea and the US to de-escalate the situation as an American strike group headed by a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier heads towards the region.
By AFP/Reuters. With the US Navy deployed near the Korean Peninsula, and experts speculating that Pyongyang was preparing another nuclear test, Beijing said that the tensions were getting close to the breaking point. China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi “One has the feeling that a conflict could break out at any moment,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said after meeting his French colleague Jean-Marc Ayrault on Friday. However, history has shown that the use of force is not a solution, Wang added. “On the Korean Peninsula issue, it is not those who use harsher words or raise bigger fists who would win” he said. “Once the war breaks out, everybody will end up as a loser, and there will be no winners.” “Therefore, we urge all parties to refrain from provocations and threats […] so as to avoid getting the situation there out of hand, and into an irreversible dead end,” he told reporters in Beijing.
By Brian Becker of ANSWER Coalition for Liberation News. Trump’s military action against Syria muted his ruling class critics and he won the praise of the Democratic Party leadership and the mainstream media. Trump is on a roll and the next target is North Korea. The Democratic Party “resistance” to Trump has been replaced by obsequiousness. Congress barely whimpered that Trump didn’t even bother to ask for authorization for new war. The Chinese leadership is obviously stunned. In fact, China is now convinced that a new US military strike in Asia may be imminent unless the DPRK backs down from further expected weapons tests perhaps as early as this coming Saturday – the birthday anniversary of Kim Il Sung, the founding leader of the DPRK. It must be remembered that the DPRK has consistently offered to suspend nuclear weapons tests in return for the United States cancelling its massive, annual military exercises that simulate the destruction of the North. Both the Obama administration and the Trump administration immediately rejected this offer.
By Staff for National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee. From now through the last day to file federal income taxes on Tuesday, April 18, hundreds of people across the United States are taking public action to call for a change in federal budget priorities away from military spending and toward human and environmental needs. Individually and in groups, many of these concerned activists will divest from war by refusing to pay some or all of their federal income taxes. “Survival demands better ideas, not better weapons,” say members of the Raytheon Peacemakers, who will hold an urgent peace vigil on Tax Day, April 18, at the gates of Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona. Raytheon stock prices climbed after their missiles struck targets in Syria on April 6. Jack Cohen-Joppa of the Peacemakers says, “Our federal and local taxes have supported the expansion of this plant to produce weapons that are Tucson’s largest export. Tucson needs good paying jobs, but we should not ‘develop’ our own community by destroying others around the world.”
By National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee. From now through the last day to file federal income taxes on Tuesday, April 18, hundreds of people across the United States are taking public action to call for a change in federal budget priorities away from military spending and toward human and environmental needs. Individually and in groups, many of these concerned activists will divest from war by refusing to pay some or all of their federal income taxes. “Survival demands better ideas, not better weapons,” say members of the Raytheon Peacemakers, who will hold an urgent peace vigil on Tax Day, April 18, at the gates of Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona. Raytheon stock prices climbed after their missiles struck targets in Syria on April 6. Jack Cohen-Joppa of the Peacemakers says, “Our federal and local taxes have supported the expansion of this plant to produce weapons that are Tucson’s largest export. Tucson needs good paying jobs, but we should not ‘develop’ our own community by destroying others around the world.”
By Fightback News. Jacksonville, FL – The Jacksonville community quickly rallied to the defense of their beloved community leaders and activists. On April 8, over 200 people, including leaders in the labor movement, Black community, and progressive groups assembled to demand that all the charges against the Jacksonville 5 be dropped. Supporters chanted “Drop the charges” and the mother of Connell Crooms gave a tearful testament to Connell’s character. Community leaders called for a full independent investigation into the police misconduct on April 7, and an investigation into the police spying program on progressive activists in Jacksonville. Just weeks earlier, Jacksonville’s Florida Times Union reported that the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) had been spying on protesters, amongst them, Dave Schneider, Connell Crooms and Christina Kittle.
By Chris Hedges for Truthdig. War opens a Pandora’s box of evils that once unleashed are beyond anyone’s control. The invasion of Afghanistan set out to defeat al-Qaida, and nearly 16 years later, we are embroiled in a losing fight with the Taliban. We believed we could invade Iraq and create a Western-style democracy and weaken Iran’s power in the region. The fragmentation of Iraq among warring factions has left Iran the dominant Muslim nation in the Middle East and Iraq destroyed as a unified nation. We set out to topple President Bashar Assad in Syria but then began to bomb the Islamic insurgents trying to overthrow him. We spread the “war on terror” to Yemen, Libya and Syria in a desperate effort to crush regional resistance. Instead, we created new failed states and lawless enclaves where vacuums were filled by the jihadist forces we sought to defeat. We have wasted a staggering $4.79 trillion on death, destruction and folly as our nation is increasingly impoverished and climate change threatens us with extinction. The arms manufacturers, who have a vested interest in perpetuating these debacles, will work to make a few trillion more before this act of collective imperial suicide comes to a humiliating end.