Newsletter - This Juneteenth, End "US Way Of War"

1nowis

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. We just returned from the weekend-long United National Anti-War Coalition (UNAC) conference in Richmond, VA. This is the fourth UNAC conference since its founding in 2010 to create a vibrant and active anti-war movement in the United States that opposes all wars. The theme this year was stopping the wars at home and abroad in recognition that we can’t end one without ending the others, that they have common roots and that it will take a large, broad-based and diverse movement of movements to succeed. Speakers at the conference ranged from people who are fighting for domestic issues – such as a $15/hour minimum wage and an end to racist police brutality and ICE raids – to people who traveled from or represented countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, Korea, the Philippines, the Congo, Iran, Syria, Colombia and Venezuela, which are some of the many countries under attack by US imperialism.

Women March Around The World To Demand Nuclear Disarmament

1icanw

By the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. The Women’s March to Ban the Bomb took place as around 130 governments resumed negotiations in the United Nations on a ground breaking new treaty that will ban nuclear weapons. When adopted, such a treaty will make it illegal for any signatory country to possess nuclear weapons and will impose economic, legal, political, and social barriers to nuclear weapon possession. It will further stigmatize nuclear weapons and help compel their elimination. “The sufferings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have continued through generations. It is time for the governments to listen to the voices of women calling for elimination of nuclear weapons, and this is why you will find us on the streets today” stated Kozue Akibayashi, the President of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), which is hosting the march.

Ban Nuclear Weapons? We Need To Ban U.S. Arrogance

1banarrogance

By Diana Johnstone for CounterPunch. The nuclear war peril is manmade, and some of the men who made it can even be named, such as James Byrnes, Harry Truman and General Lester Groves. The United States government consciously and deliberately created this danger to human life on earth. Faced with the United States’ demonstrated capacity and moral readiness to wipe out whole cities with their devices, other countries built their own deadly devices as deterrents. Those deterrents have never been used, which lulls the public into believing the danger is past. But the United States, the only power already guilty of nuclear manslaughter, continues to perfect its nuclear arsenal and to proclaim its “right” to launch a “first strike” whenever it chooses. The United States naturally calls for boycotting the nuclear arms ban conference.

Afghanistan: From Soviet Occupation To American ‘Liberation’

1afghan1

By Nauman Sadiq. The borders between Iraq and Syria are poorly guarded and highly porous. The Obama Administration’s policy of nurturing militants against the Assad regime in Syria for the first three years of the Syrian civil war from 2011 to 2014 was bound to backfire sooner or later. More to the point, however, when President Obama decided to withdraw American troops from the unjust war in Iraq, at the same time, he pledged that he would commit additional American troops and resources into the purportedly “just war” in Afghanistan. And consequently, the number of US troops in Afghanistan jumped from 30,000 during the Bush Administration to more than 100,000 during the supposedly “pacifist” Obama Administration. And now, the “steady hands” of the American deep state, the Secretary of Defense James Mattis and the National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, have advised the Trump Administration to further escalate the conflict in Afghanistan by deploying 3,000 to 5,000 additional troops to a contingent of 8,500 US troops already stationed in Afghanistan as “trainers and advisors.”

Thousands Take To The Streets To Protest Philando Castile Verdict

Castille protest of jury verdice 6-17-17

By Jessica Goldstein for Think Progress. Within hours of the verdict, thousands of protestors came together at the state Capitol, starting a march toward St. Paul Cathedral. The crowd, as the Associated Press reported, was “mixed-race” and “includ[ed] many people with children.” Their signs read “Unite for Philando” and “Corrupt systems only corrupt.” A group of protestors peeled off from the pack and headed to Interstate 94 in St. Paul; the freeway was shutdown in both directions. A police standoff with protestors lasted over an hour and a half, at which point “the group dwindled and appeared to largely clear the interstate without police using force.” According to CNN, Minnesota State Patrol reported 18 arrests following I-94 demonstrations when protestors did not comply with orders to disperse. St. Paul police put the number of peaceful protestors in the streets and at the Capitol at about 2,000.

Turning The Moral Injury Of War Into Moral Outrage For Change

UNAC

By Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. In the current news, the US has used the Mother Of All Bombs in Afghanistan, bombings in Raquaa are killing hundreds of civilians and have left more than 160,000 homeless, the US is joining in the mass killings and destruction in Yemen, moving long-distance artillery weapons that can shoot 300 miles into Syria, increasing troops in Afghanistan, uniting Saudi Arabia with Israel in a build-up to war against Iran. On the home front is mostly silence. A population too numb to never ending war barely reacts. This is a symptom of our moral injury. Our job is to get the people face up to the moral injury of war, our rapid approach to spiritual doom, and do all we can to stop the US war machine. That is why we are here. That is why we will be at the World Without War conference in DC in September. That is why we must find ways to re-ignite the antiwar movement. Our job is to turn moral injury into moral outrage and transform the United States into an exceptional humanitarian nation that is a member of the community of nations that lifts people up, rather than creates chaos and insecurity around the world.

LGBTQ Activists Blockade DC Capital Pride Parade

LGBTQ protest DC 6-10-17 by John Zangas

By John Zangas for DC Media Group. Drawing spirit from the LGBTQ resistance roots of the Stonewall protests of the late 1960s, an ad-hoc group of activists under the banner of No Justice No Pride, staged a series of spectacular blockades of the 42nd D.C. Capital Pride parade Saturday afternoon. There were three separate blockades representing major concerns of the three groups that they say have resulted in marginalization by Capital Pride organizers and sponsors. Black Lives Matter LGBTQ persons protested the police sponsorship of Pride and LGBTQ war resistors protested the corporate military sponsors of Pride, while indigenous and immigrant LGBTQ persons protested bank sponsors for their oppressive prison, pipeline and anti-immigration funding.

After US Bombs Syrian Government, Media Ask Few Questions

1fox

By Ben Norton for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. The United States has bombed Syrian government–allied forces three times in just eight months. Major media outlets have overwhelmingly failed to ask critical questions about these incidents, preferring instead to echo the Pentagon. For years, media have consistently downplayed the extent of US military intervention in Syria, and repeatedly propagated the long-debunked myth that Washington never pursued regime change there in the first place. The distorted reporting on these US attacks reflects this longer trend. On May 18, the US military launched an air raid against forces allied with the Syrian government, killing several soldiers.

Israel: Conscientious Objector Imprisoned Again

ANDY CAMPBELL
Anti-fascist protestors and others storm the streets north of City Hall.

By Atalya Ben-Abba for War Resisters League. Hello, I am Atalya Ben-Abba, 19 years old, Jerusalemite. On Feb. 6, 2017 I will declare conscientious objection to serve in the Israeli army, and will be sent to military prison for an unknown amount of time. I’m going with full knowledge and intention to take upon myself the consequences of this act, because I believe that in order to bring safety to all of the people living here we need to change entirely government policy and end the occupation. I grew up in Musrara neighborhood in Jerusalem. When I was little my mom and I would often walk around the Old City, which is close to our home. I enjoyed these tours, everything was so different and exciting, different sweets, dishes and a different language. And then, when I was about six years old the janitor of my school was killed in a terrorist attack. Then I understood we live in war, and that all of us – Jews and Arabs – live in fear.

Veterans& Peace Groups Push For Reduced Military Spending

Veterans spoke of a need to end decades long wars in the Middle East. Photo: John Zangas

By John Zangas for DC Media Group – Veterans rallied this weekend at the Lincoln Memorial calling for a new global peace initiative. Veterans For Peace (VFP), CODEPINK Women For Peace, and Iraq Veterans For Peace, were among a dozen anti-war groups calling on the Trump Administration to invest funding in diplomacy and peace instead of increasing the military budget by $54 billion dollars. Veteran speakers urged the Trump Administration to begin closing U.S. bases on foreign soil, to redirect a portion of the military budget to education, healthcare and infrastructure, and to ban nuclear weapons. Veterans spoke at the Lincoln Memorial of the impact of wars while nearby organizers set up a Swords to Plowshares bell tower for the public to leave messages. The three day rally was joined by hundreds of combat Veterans and followed by a peace walk on Tuesday past the MLK Memorial to the White House. They paused to read a Martin Luther King Jr., speech from 1967 about ending the Vietnam war, before proceeding to the White House. The rally was organized amidst growing global tensions as drumbeats of conflict reverberate across the Middle East and in Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa.

Newsletter - The People's Memorial Day

1nowar1

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. War culture runs deep in the United States. You can see the glorification of war consistently once you are aware of it – it is expressed in entertainment, the war memorials that are in every town, and the deference we are expected to show to people in the military, e.g. special treatment at airports. This war culture equates patriotism with worship of the military. And it is on broad display every Memorial Day. Now that we are sixteen years into the “war on terror”, even though a war against a tactic is nonsense – especially given that terrorism grows as the US bombs more countries and kills more civilians – this Memorial Day is a good time to question who benefits from war and who pays the price. Highly decorated Marine, Smedley Butler, answered these questions this way: “War is a racket. It always has been.”

U.S. To Deploy 3rd Carrier Group Off North Korea

Three Aircraft Carriers Off Coast of North Korea

By Kenji Minemura for Asahi. The U.S. Navy has decided to deploy the USS Nimitz as a third carrier-led strike force to the western Pacific to increase pressure on North Korea to rein in its arms programs. Nimitz, one of the world’s largest warships, will join the USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan there, sources close to the U.S. military said May 26. It is rare for the U.S. Navy to deploy three aircraft carriers to the same region at the same time. This latest decision means that three of the U.S. Navy’s 11 aircraft carriers will be deployed in the western Pacific. The Trump administration deployed the strike force to put pressure on Pyongyang to refrain from more nuclear and missile tests amid mounting concern that it will soon acquire the capability to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

Block NATO 2017: 140 Arrests

Block NATO 2017 from Facebook Agir pour la Paix

By Staff for Blockade NATO 2017. One hundred and fifty nonviolent activists, amongst whom are activists from Agir pour la Paix, are currently disturbing the access to the NATO Summit through direct non violent actions. The summit is taking place in Brussels’ brand new headquarters. Their aim is to make themselves visible to the delegations on their way to the summit. Through their radical, direct and nonviolent actions, they want to get across with conviction that NATO is actually a war machine, and that far from ensuring peace and security in the world, it only reinforces its instability through the threat of the use of nuclear arms.

Trump’s First One Hundred Days Of War Crimes

1trump1

By Charles Pierson for Counter Punch. President Donald J. Trump closed out his first hundred days in office on April 29. Not marked by any notable achievements, Trump’s first hundred days did yield an impressive and ever-lengthening list of scandals. And war crimes. During his short time in office, Trump has racked up an impressive list of war crimes. Congratulations, Mr. President! Where to begin? Nine days after Trump’s Inauguration, US Navy SEALs together with elite troops from the United Arab Emirates descended on the village of Yaklaa in the Yemeni governorate of Bayda. At the time, the White House said that the mission’s objective was to enter a compound controlled by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and gather intelligence by grabbing computers and cell phones. It was not until a week later that US military officials stated that the prime objective of the raid was to capture or kill AQAP emir Qassim al-Rimi.

Military Veterans March on D.C. May 30, Memorial Day

1vfp

By Nick Motten for Veterans for Peace. WASHINGTON D.C. – In response to President Trump’s “outrageous” $54 billion defense-spending increase, military veterans are being called to the nation’s capital May 30/Memorial Day to demand “Peace at Home and Peace Abroad.” And they’re using television commercials in D.C. to spread the call for peace. “Wherever you are, your presence is respectfully and urgently requested in Washington, DC, on May 30 at the Lincoln Memorial. At this historic site—95 years after its inauguration on May 30, 1922—at 11 a.m., nationally and internationally known speakers and musicians will convey our adamant determination to achieve Peace at Home and Peace Abroad,” is the message of Veterans for Peace and other vet groups.