Militarism

Submitted by tnjp on March 28, 2014 - 6:15pm.

Watch the hearing - Right to Heal Initiative for a People's Hearing on the Lasting Impacts of the Iraq War, Phil Donahue moderating Speakers: Yanar Mohammed is president and co-founder of the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq (OWFI). Falah Alwan is President of the Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq (FWCUI), one of Iraq’s largest labor unions. Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Submitted by tnjp on August 22, 2013 - 6:39pm.

"...I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society. I will gladly pay that price if it means we could have country that is truly conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all women and men are created equal."

The decisions that I made in 2010 were made out of a concern for my country and the world that we live in. Since the tragic events of 9/11, our country has been at war. We've been at war with an enemy that chooses not to meet us on any traditional battlefield, and due to this fact we've had to alter our methods of combating the risks posed to us and our way of life.

I initially agreed with these methods and chose to volunteer to help defend my country. It was not until I was in Iraq and reading secret military reports on a daily basis that I started to question the morality of what we were doing. It was at this time I realized in our efforts to meet this risk posed to us by the enemy, we have forgotten our humanity. We consciously elected to devalue human life both in Iraq and Afghanistan. When we engaged those that we perceived were the enemy, we sometimes killed innocent civilians. Whenever we killed innocent civilians, instead of accepting responsibility for our conduct, we elected to hide behind the veil of national security and classified information in order to avoid any public accountability.

In our zeal to kill the enemy, we internally debated the definition of torture. We held individuals at Guantanamo for years without due process. We inexplicably turned a blind eye to torture and executions by the Iraqi government. And we stomached countless other acts in the name of our war on terror...

Submitted by tnjp on June 11, 2013 - 12:38pm.

With War Crimes Argument Banned, Manning's Military Trial Is Judicial Lynching
Monday, 10 June 2013 09:30 By Chris Hedges, Truthdig | Op-Ed

The military trial of Bradley Manning is a judicial lynching. The government has effectively muzzled the defense team. The Army private first class is not permitted to argue that he had a moral and legal obligation under international law to make public the war crimes he uncovered. The documents that detail the crimes, torture and killing Manning revealed, because they are classified, have been barred from discussion in court, effectively removing the fundamental issue of war crimes from the trial. Manning is forbidden by the court to challenge the government’s unverified assertion that he harmed national security. Lead defense attorney David E. Coombs said during pretrial proceedings that the judge’s refusal to permit information on the lack of actual damage from the leaks would “eliminate a viable defense, and cut defense off at the knees.” And this is what has happened.

Submitted by tnjp on May 25, 2013 - 2:39pm.

You Gotta Love Medea Benjamin

If you're an advocate for Peace and Justice you just gotta love Medea Benjamin. She consistently speaks out when the rest of us only wish we could. As co-founder of CodePink she's been at it for over a decade, repeatedly speaking truth to power at the risk of losing personal freedom and physical harm. She may be diminutive in size but posses a gargantuan spirit.

Her latest exploit? Speaking out against President Obama's policies during his counter-terrorism policy speech at the National Defense University. As Obama said himself - "The voice of that woman is worth paying attention to..."

Witness it yourself in the below videos, reports, and interviews...

President Obama Heckled By Code Pink Leader Madea Benjamin. Guantanamo Gitmo Speech

Medea Benjamin v. President Obama: CodePink Founder Disrupts Speech, Criticizing Drone, Gitmo Policy

Submitted by tnjp on May 23, 2013 - 4:21pm.

Scahill spoke at The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy NY on May 22, 2013 on the eve of President Obama's address on drone policy, just after Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. wrote a letter to members of Congress acknowledging the deaths of four Americans, including Anwar al-Awlaki, in counterterrorism strikes "outside of areas of active hostilities." Though these strikes had long been the subject of press reports about the administration's use of drones, the letter marks the first time the classified operations have been publicly acknowledged.

Submitted by tnjp on May 18, 2013 - 2:28pm.


Friday, May 17, 2013 "Astoundingly Disturbing":
Obama Administration Claims Power to Wage Endless War Across the Globe
A Pentagon official predicted Thursday the war against al-Qaeda and its affiliates could last up to 20 more years. The comment came during a Senate hearing revisiting the Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, enacted by Congress days after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. At the hearing, Pentagon officials claimed the AUMF gives the president power to wage endless war anywhere in the world, including in Syria, Yemen and the Congo. "This is the most astounding and most astoundingly disturbing hearing that I’ve been to since I’ve been here," said Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine. "You guys have essentially rewritten the Constitution here today.

Thursday, May 16, 2013 by Common Dreams
Pentagon 'Rewrites Constitution' Affirming Endless War
Senate hearing on the Authorization for Use of Military Force confirms congressional war powers rendered 'null and void'
- Lauren McCauley, staff writer
The United States is truly engaged in an endless war.

In a hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Forces Thursday morning entitled Oversight: The Law of Armed Conflict, the Use of Military Force, and the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, Pentagon officials argued that the wide-ranging counter-terrorism laws implemented after 9/11 will continue to be the law of the land until "hostilities with al-Qaeda," or any individuals potentially associated with the group, come to an end....

Submitted by tnjp on May 3, 2013 - 1:21pm.

Boston Truth Revealed In Pictures

Pictures from Across the web showing the truth of the Boston Bombing.

http://imgur.com/a/Nx8EU

For further info check out the videos below...

Submitted by tnjp on April 26, 2013 - 6:07pm.

Boston: This is what a police state looks like
By Steve Gillis on April 23, 2013

Boston — Using war jargon associated with Iraq and Afghanistan, authorities have repeatedly described the blasts that killed three people and injured 176 at the crowded Boston Marathon on “Patriots Day,” April 15, as “IED bombings,” for improvised explosive devices. Many of the injured suffered horrific amputations and shrapnel wounds.

Since then, a common sentiment shared among people here has been, “This must be what it looks like every day in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Over the next four days, people in the greater Boston area experienced a police state operation that many also described as a preview of martial law.

Media: false reports and glorifying military

Thousands of heavily armed and mechanized National Guard troops, military police, FBI SWAT teams and federal agents of every stripe — from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to the Drug Enforcement Administration — mobilized to assist the Boston police lockdown of the downtown area. At the same time, the media began a nearly uninterrupted 24/7 coverage of the “manhunt.”

TV newscasters breathlessly glorified a “courageous civilian” for allegedly tackling a “fleeing Saudi national” whose hands were “suspiciously burned” at the bombing scene. Boston police set up an armed guard at his hospital room and federal SWAT teams raided an apartment building in Revere known to house hundreds of international students, displaying bags of “seized evidence” to the cameras.

A CNN reporter repeatedly shared his scoop with the world, straight from “sources at the highest level of law enforcement,” that authorities were focusing on a “dark skinned, Black male seen with a package in surveillance video” at the scene shortly before the blasts....

Submitted by tnjp on April 21, 2013 - 5:58pm.

Illegality of War Acknowledged in Congressional Record

By davidswanson - Posted on 20 April 2013

Printer Friendly Display

RECOGNIZING THE KELLOGG-BRIAND PACT -- HON. KEITH ELLISON (Extensions of Remarks - April 18, 2013)

GPO's PDF[Page: E491]

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HON. KEITH ELLISON

OF MINNESOTA

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Thursday, April 18, 2013

  • Mr. ELLISON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the Kellogg-Briand Pact.

  • One of the busiest streets in Minnesota's state capital of St. Paul is Kellogg Boulevard. This street runs along the Mississippi River and was named after the only person from Minnesota to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize. Frank B. Kellogg was a Department of Justice prosecutor who was elected President of the American Bar Association and then served as a U.S. Republican Senator from Minnesota, followed by an appointment as U.S. Secretary of State for President Calvin Coolidge from 1925 to 1929.

  • Kellogg was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1929 for his work in co-authoring the Kellogg-Briand Pact that made war illegal, renounced the use of war, and committed nations to the peaceful settlement of disputes. The Kellogg-Briand Pact--also called the Pact of Paris, or the General Treaty for the Renunciation of War--was signed on August 27, 1928 by the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Japan, and several other countries.

  • The Pact prohibited the use of war as ``an instrument of national policy'' except in matters of self-defense. President Coolidge signed the Pact on January 27, 1929 and the U.S. Senate passed it by a vote of 85 to 1. On July 24, 1929 President Herbert Hoover declared the Pact in force. The Kellogg-Briand Pact provided the legal basis for prosecuting Nazi officials at Nuremburg and is still U.S. and international law, with 84 state signatories.

  • Mr. Speaker, some of my own constituents are currently planning a commemoration of the Kellogg-Briand Pact to mark its 85th anniversary and to recognize Frank B. Kellogg. The Minneapolis-St. Paul chapter of Veterans for Peace is taking part in a peace essay competition organized by the West Suburban Faith-based Peace Coalition. The competition asks the question, ``How can we obey the law against war?'' The best essays will be sent to members of Congress. I urge this body to welcome these essays and give them due attention. Everyone must do their part to help eliminate war and promote the cause of peace.

Submitted by tnjp on April 12, 2013 - 3:41pm.


April 11, 2013 by Common Dreams
Two Obamas, Two Classes of Children
by Ralph Nader
An Associated Press photograph brought the horror of little children lying dead outside of their home to an American Audience. At least 10 Afghan children and some of their mothers were struck down by an airstrike on their extended family household by order of President Barack Obama. He probably decided on what his aides describe as the routine weekly “Terror Tuesday” at the White House. On that day, Mr. Obama typically receives the advice about which “militants” should live or die thousands of miles away from drones or aircraft. Even if households far from war zones are often destroyed in clear violation of the laws of war, the president is not deterred.

These Obama airstrikes are launched knowing that very often there is “collateral damage,” that is a form of “so sorry terrorism.” How can the president explain the vaporization of a dozen pre-teen Afghan boys collecting firewood for their families on a hillside? The local spotter-informants must have been disoriented by all those $100 bills in rewards. Imagine a direct strike killing and injuring scores of people in a funeral procession following a previous fatal strike that was the occasion of this processional mourning. Remember the December 2009 Obama strike on an alleged al-Qaida training camp in Yemen, using tomahawk missiles and – get this – cluster bombs, that killed 14 women and 21 children. Again and again “so sorry terrorism” ravages family households far from the battlefields...

Submitted by tnjp on April 10, 2013 - 7:50pm.

Baghdad Burning Ten Years On...

... I'll meet you 'round the bend my friend, where hearts can heal and souls can mend...
Tuesday, April 09, 2013

April 9, 2013 marks ten years since the fall of Baghdad. Ten years since the invasion. Since the lives of millions of Iraqis changed forever. It’s difficult to believe. It feels like only yesterday I was sharing day to day activities with the world. I feel obliged today to put my thoughts down on the blog once again, probably for the last time.

In 2003, we were counting our lives in days and weeks. Would we make it to next month? Would we make it through the summer? Some of us did and many of us didn't.

Back in 2003, one year seemed like a lifetime ahead. The idiots said, “Things will improve immediately.” The optimists were giving our occupiers a year, or two… The realists said, “Things won’t improve for at least five years.” And the pessimists? The pessimists said, “It will take ten years. It will take a decade.”

Looking back at the last ten years, what have our occupiers and their Iraqi governments given us in ten years? What have our puppets achieved in this last decade? What have we learned?

We learned a lot.

We learned that while life is not fair, death is even less fair- it takes the good people. Even in death you can be unlucky. Lucky ones die a ‘normal’ death… A familiar death of cancer, or a heart-attack, or stroke. Unlucky ones have to be collected in bits and pieces. Their families trying to bury what can be salvaged and scraped off of streets that have seen so much blood, it is a wonder they are not red....

Submitted by tnjp on April 7, 2013 - 7:36pm.

A Pledge to Iraq Veteran Tomas Young
By John Bruhns

I never met Tomas Young. However, I strongly identify with his story as he and I joined the military for the same reason -- to fight those responsible for 9/11 . However, I was far luckier than Tomas Young as I never had to endure the crippling, and ultimately fatal wounds, he received in Sadr City in 2004. There is no real way for me to put myself in such a situation as it would be surreal to anyone who will never face such hardships. Tomas Young has now reached a point where his pain is too unbearable to continue living. Before he goes, we should all show him a bit of recognition. It is crucial that we let him know that his voice was heard and his message will echo on for long after he is gone.

From what I have read, Tomas Young is a patriotic man who loves the United States. His outrage with the 9/11 attacks motivated him to join the military to pursue the real culprits.

After all, it was our generation's Pearl Harbor. After the attacks, many brave Americans were standing in military recruiting lines ready and eager to seek retribution for their fellow citizens who died on that fateful day. Tomas Young was one of them.

I enlisted for active duty in the U.S. Army in an effort to deploy to Afghanistan and fight those who actually attacked us on 9/11. Like Tomas Young, I found my patriotism used for an unrelated and unnecessary military conflict -- the Iraq War.

In a recent letter written to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, Iraq veteran Young clarifies the misuse of his patriotism.

Young writes:

"I would not be writing this letter if I had been wounded fighting in Afghanistan against those forces that carried out the attacks of 9/11. Had I been wounded there I would still be miserable because of my physical deterioration and imminent death, but I would at least have the comfort of knowing that my injuries were a consequence of my own decision to defend the country I love."

When I returned home from Iraq, I spoke out strongly against the war. I was able to do so without any handicaps or bodily limitations. Tomas Young fought the same fight while being confined to a wheelchair. Even with his extreme physical limitations, Tomas Young was able to convey the true, harsh realities of the Iraq war to the American people.

The power of his message came from his experience, vision, and, sadly, his crippling and now mortal injuries. His testimony is unimpeachable, as he gave his body to a needless agenda-driven war that left most of us concluding 10 years later that the Iraq war was a mistake...

Submitted by tnjp on March 30, 2013 - 2:59pm.

The war danger in Korea
Pentagon’s false propaganda conceals truth about crisis
March 29, 2013

By Brian Becker, ANSWER Coalition national coordinator

The American war propaganda machine does a thorough job in misleading the public about the high-stakes struggle the Pentagon is waging against North Korea.

On March 28, the Obama administration ordered and the Pentagon executed a mock bombing attack on North Korea by U.S. B-2 stealth bombers equipped to drop nuclear bombs—the most advanced nuclear-capable plane in the U.S. Air Force. In recent months, the U.S. has also used nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to simulate the bombing of North Korea.

The B-2s, each of which costs taxpayers more than $3 billion, dropped inert bombs near North Korea.

It is not necessary to speculate how the United States would react if North Korea sent nuclear-capable bombers close to U.S. territory and dropped inert bombs as part of a “war game.” By itself, this B-2 mock bombing of North Korea cost approximately $5.5 million, according to Foreign Policy magazine. The B-2 flights by some estimates cost $135,000 per hour—almost double that of any other military airplane, according to a report from the Center for Public Integrity...

Submitted by tnjp on March 20, 2013 - 11:25pm.

10 Years Later and I’m Still Protesting War
Posted on Mar 19, 2013
By Col. Ann Wright

Ten years ago, I resigned my post in opposition to President George W. Bush’s war on Iraq. I had worked in the U.S. government for most of my life, first in the Army and Army Reserves, retiring as a colonel, and then as a diplomat. I served in U.S. embassies in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone and Micronesia. I helped reopen the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, in December 2001.

Yet after serving in eight presidential administrations, beginning under Lyndon Johnson during the war on Vietnam, I ended my career in the U.S. government in opposition to another conflict—the war on Iraq.

A decade after I stepped down as the deputy ambassador in the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia, the war in Iraq is over for Americans, but continues for Iraqis. The whirlwind of sectarian violence brought on by the U.S. invasion and occupation continues to blow there.

The war on Afghanistan is now in its 13th year and as the anniversary of my resignation day approaches, I find myself outside the gates of Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, protesting war and, in particular, President Obama’s killer drone programs in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

Although Obama’s kill list, the CIA drone attacks in the undeclared war on Pakistan and the assassination of three American citizens by drone in Yemen receive most of the media and congressional attention, the incredibly large number of drone strikes in Afghanistan has gotten scant coverage—and that is why I am at Creech...

Submitted by tnjp on March 20, 2013 - 12:52pm.

The Last Letter: A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney from a Dying Veteran

To: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney

From: Tomas Young

“I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of [those who bear those wounds. I am one of those.] I am one of the gravely injured. I [am] paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.

“I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost parents, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have [done, witnessed, endured] in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.

Exclusive: Tomas Young Reads in Full His Letter to Bush & Cheney, "A Message From a Dying Veteran" | Democracy Now!

“Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, [and your privilege and power] cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage...

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