Posts Tagged war

Not a “Good War” — A Disaster in Afghanistan

Thousands of people have been killed by the US in AfghanistanThe U.S. War on Afghanistan — I refuse to call it the “Afghanistan war” because Afghans didn’t start it — is now 12 years old.  Longer than the official American war on Vietnam; it’s gone on half a generation, or more.

In 2001, on October 6 (a Sunday) George Bush announced the attack on Afghanistan.  Some perceived the action as revenge for 9/11, though that was just a pretext for an action Rumsfeld, Cheney and other neo-cons had planned for years.  On the morning on 9/11, Rumsfeld said it was time to “go massive.”  “Sweep it all up. Things related and not.”

US destruction went massive, leaving one of the poorest countries in the world, already torn up by an occupation by the Soviet Union, with a brutal civil war between war lords, still impoverished, threatened by continued U.S. domination, Islamic fundamentalism, and the same warlords having been enriched by U.S. billions.

Join our conference call discussion Thursday:

People born after 1990 don’t really remember a time when there wasn’t a US war on Afghanistan. Many people think the war is “over” or “ending” thanks to Obama.

Will it be over in 2014?  What does “over” mean, and have any of the promises the US made come true for the people of Afghanistan?

We’ll talk reality, history, share what people think, and what plans we are making to stop this crime of our government. Register for dial-in info.

We’ve culled the comprehensive section on worldcantwait.net about Afghanistan.  These articles paint a picture that no NATO or U.S. general can successfully cover over with words about “winning hearts and minds.”

Kathy Kelly, Afghanistan: The Ghost and the Machine

Glenn Greenwald, Another Afghan Family Extinguished by a NATO Airstrike

Kevin Gosztola, Reflecting on the Afghanistan War Logs Released by WikiLeaks

Larry Everest, Made in America: The Gardez Massacre

Gareth Porter, U.S. Night Raids Killed Over 1,500 Afghan Civilians in Ten Months

Dennis Loo, Afghanistan: When is “Withdrawal” an “Enduring Presence”?

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American President Embraces American Empire

Wrapped in some benign sounding words about prosperity, peace, and “shifting from a perpetual war footing,” the core of Barack Obama’s message to the United Nations yesterday made clear that if the U.N. doesn’t pass a resolution the U.S. wants against Syria, he still could execute a strike.

Here’s the take-home:

The United States of America is prepared to use all elements of our power, including military force, to secure our core interests in the region. We will confront external aggression against our allies and partners, as we did in the Gulf War.

We will ensure the free flow of energy from the region to the world. Although America is steadily reducing our own dependence on imported oil, the world still depends on the region’s energy supply and a severe disruption could destabilize the entire global economy.

Jeremy Scahill reacted somewhat as I did on hearing it yesterday:

You have this democratic president who won the Nobel Peace Prize who then goes and stands in front of the United Nations and basically stakes out a neo-con vision of American foreign policy and owns it and kind of wraps it in this cloak of democratic legitimacy. I think when we look back at Obama’s legacy, this is going to have been a very significant period in U.S. history where the ideals of very sort of radical right wing forces were solidified and continued under Mr. Constitutional Law Professor, Nobel Peace Prize Winner. It is really kind of devastating what is going on right now and I think if you take the long view of it or you step back and look at it and don’t just see the trees but look at the forest, President Obama has been a forceful, fierce defending of empire and I think that is going to be the enduring legacy of his presidency is that he was an empire president.

Scahill’s film Dirty Wars comes out on DVD October 15.

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Listen Up: The Crisis In and About Syria is Not Over

Bay Area Protest

The report from the United Nations seems to indicate a large amount of deadly gas was aimed at Syrian civilians on August 21.  The U.S. has already concluded the gas came from the Assad government, and not the rebels.  If that is true, by what authority does the U.S. claim the right to bomb Syrian civilians in the name of stopping chemical weapons?  Or keep arming rebels in Syria or the military in Egypt?

Larry Everest says this crisis is not really about chemical weapons, but about global aims of the U.S. in the region in Syria: Diplomacy… and Ongoing Danger of a U.S. Attack

The tyrannical, murderous regime of a small, oppressed country is being forced under threat of bombardment to partially disarm by reactionary powers with far, far, far greater arsenals of death and destruction—including nuclear weapons that are qualitatively more savage and dangerous than chemical weapons—precisely in order to preserve their monopoly over these weapons of cataclysmic death and destruction…The Obama team may be calculating that because it lacks any good or easy options in Syria, striking this deal can be to its advantage, including because by appearing to “give peace a chance” it can build greater support for a possible military assault later if that is deemed necessary.

Everest does not say that any one course has already been determined, is inevitable, or without grave risk for the U.S. war planners.  It’s very worth watching Everest speak last week, just before Obama’s speech and the announcement of “negotiations.”

Dennis Loo, in a 2 part series, looks at what scenarios the U.S. may be considering re Syria and Iran in Syria: Jubilation is Unwarranted:

Obama has not suddenly found his Nobel Peace Prize persona and people should not jettison their hard won disillusionment for what he has done since being elected president in 2008.

This is the same Obama who proposed bombing Syria irrespective of Congress, irrespective of international law, the Nuremberg Tribunal, and the UN Charter..

Negotiations and “peace” agreements are all part of the arsenal of weapons that Empires use to get what they want. And what the U.S. Empire wants is not really the disarming of Assad’s chemical weapons but the removal of Assad from office. As reactionary as Assad is (very), he has become an obstacle to (especially) U.S. and Israel’s plans for the region.

In part 2, Dennis quotes Zbigniew Brezezinsky (who was National Security Adviser to President Jimmy Carter and “author of the U.S. policy of backing the Afghan mujahedeen against the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan from 1979-1989. This policy gave birth to al-Qaeda whose revenge for having the rug pulled out from under them after the U.S. got what it wanted with the Russian withdrawal is most spectacularly known as 9/11.”):

I think the problem with Syria is its potentially destabilizing and contagious effect—namely, the vulnerability of Jordan, of Lebanon, the possibility that Iraq will really become part of a larger Sunni-Shiite sectarian conflict, and that there could be a grand collision between us and the Iranians. I think the stakes are larger and the situation is far less predictable and certainly not very susceptible to effective containment just to Syria by American power.

It’s imperative we step back from assumptions that this crisis is about chemical weapons, just about Syria or regime change there, or… that it’s over.

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“The U.S. military does not do pinpricks” is NOT “We stopped a strike on Syria”

It is a good thing that thousands of people protested and many more voiced their opposition to a U.S. strike on Syria.  But it’s not good that some are relaxing, much less celebrating, in the delusional idea that somehow diplomacy has “worked” to prevent the Obama administration from going forward with this attack.  It would be very bad if people recede into passivity and acceptance, thinking that the danger of war is lessened, when it could well be higher, as Obama works the world for support.

anti-war protest

Protesting US war on Syria, NYC

Wednesday’s New York Times headline, accurate in this case, said “Obama Delays Syria Strike to Focus on Russian Plan,” while reporting that Obama argued harder than ever for a strike to punish Syria, and didn’t give any timetable for how long he would wait to act, or go back to Congress.  This is not “no war” from Obama.  It’s “let us work on this harder.”

Larry Everest, speaking Monday pre-empted Obama’s assertion that “the world’s a better place” because for “nearly seven decades the United States has been the anchor of global security by going into the historical precedent of the plan Bush & Cheney pursued in 2002/03, playing at diplomacy, while ever tightening the vice on Iraq; promising a 90 day war that would end with cheering Iraqis.  It is that disaster which is making a lot of people in this country at least hesitate to say “yes” to Obama.

World Can’t Wait gathered voices of conscience Bob Bossie, Ted Jennings, Kathy Kelly and Mario Venegas to speak out Wednesday morning in Chicago.  I appreciate Kathy’s comment that “anyone who goes along with the idea of a ‘surgical strike’ needs a second opinion.”  Ted & Mario spoke of their support for Obama on some matters, but absolute opposition to aggression against Syria.  The speakers, with experience all over the world on U.S. diplomacy and duplicity accurately assessed that the danger of a US attack is not over.

It would be one thing if the speech was anything but a war-mongering attempt to justify what Obama has planned.  But what a bunch of lies!  Revolution in More Lies for War from the Liar-in-Chief described “libraries full of books, decades of documentaries, and the testimony of hundreds of millions of victims of what the U.S. has brought to the world would hardly begin to reveal the extent to which these are all LIES.”  After citing some of those decades of U.S. actions, it continued

Speaking to a world population that is much more aware than are people in the U.S. of the legacy of U.S. violent crimes around the world, and speaking to (and embracing) the “hawks” in the ruling class and good ole boys watching on TV, Obama put on his stern face, looked into the cameras, and made this ominous declaration and threat:

“Let me make something clear: The United States military doesn’t do pinpricks.”

U.S. diplomacy rests on violence and threats of violence, and is aimed at the same ends as violence of enforcing exploitation and oppression, fending off rivals, and keeping people enslaved. If Tony Soprano establishes the freedom to set up and run drug dealing, prostitution, and extortion in a district by threatening to strangle someone (a threat that only means something because everyone knows he actually strangles people), how is that something to celebrate?

Hearing this should make us all more determined to stop this illegitimate strike on Syria, covered by diplomacy, or not.

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No Matter if Congress Says It’s Legal: Attacking Syria is Immoral, Unjust, Illegitimate

Protesting a US Attack on Syria, NYC

Protesting a US Attack on Syria, NYC

While protesting in Times Square Saturday, we listened amid the noise to Obama’s speech of mostly stick, and a little carrot. Some of the protesters took his “largesse” at offering Congress the chance to endorse his plan to attack Syria (the carrot) as a concession by Obama. They say we should seize the moment and “let Congress know” how many people are against this strike and potential regional war.

Congress knows, as they read the public opinion polls too, and there could be an actual political fight in Congress over Obama’s plan, leading to a political damage for his agenda.  But, as John Kerry, the former anti-war veteran turned Secretary of ruling class warmongering said,

“We don’t contemplate that the Congress is going to vote no,” Kerry said, but he stressed the president had the right to take action “no matter what Congress does.”

That was the stick of Obama’s message, backed up by his assertion that as Commander in Chief, his military is ready today, tomorrow, or in the near future to strike.

It is true Obama is having difficulty selling the plan of Tomahawk missile strikes narrowly targeted at the Assad regime’s air power, as war-planners, other governments and political observers alike are questioning the inherent unpredictability and dangers Obama’s plan poses.  But is his move toward Congress actually motivated by his respect for the “constitutional democracy” which is how he described the United States?

Larry Everest says in Lies to Justify an Immoral War:

What is going on here IS an exercise in democracy—but it is an exercise in capitalist-imperialist democracy, which is in essence the dictatorship of the imperialist ruling class. The Obama team felt it had the freedom, but also the NECESSITY, given the widespread public cynicism about yet another case of “slam dunk” evidence, yet another U.S. military adventure, and unresolved concerns in the ruling class over where an attack on Syria would lead, to give this speech and launch this process he calls for, along with a need to make a case to an international audience and push allies into line and deal with a complex international alignment of forces.

Dennis Loo describes Obama’s approach in O-bomb-a Syria as an exercise for public consumption:

When governments such as the U.S. decide to go to war, by the time that they announce publicly that they are seriously considering whether or not to launch the missiles and send the ships, etc., they have already behind closed doors decided to commence hostilities. Modern warfare requires months of painstaking, protracted, and laborious military planning and placing equipment and personnel in place. These logistical matters dictate that no government planning to launch aggressive war as the U.S. is doing is doing so only now because all of a sudden they have “discovered” that chemical weapons have been used. They have been placing assets in place for weeks and months ahead of time and drawing up attack plans for similarly long periods of time.

The public show of debating, discussing, and rattling the sabers are a PR exercise designed specifically to win over the public to supporting what the rulers have behind closed doors already determined is in their best interests to do.

I appreciated Glenn Greenwald’s wry take in Obama, Congress and Syria, too, although he doesn’t have the same critique of democracy:

It’s a potent sign of how low the American political bar is set that gratitude is expressed because a US president says he will ask Congress to vote before he starts bombing another country that is not attacking or threatening the US. That the US will not become involved in foreign wars of choice without the consent of the American people through their representatives Congress is a central mandate of the US Constitution, not some enlightened, progressive innovation of the 21st century.

David Swanson goes to an essential, systemic problem, in Caveman Credibility and its Costs, that whatever Congress does, it can’t establish legitimacy for US military action through a mere vote.

If Congress were to say yes, the war would remain illegal under both the U.N. Charter and the Kellogg-Briand Pact.  And if Congress were to say no, President Obama has indicated that he might just launch the war anyway.

If you look at the resolution that Obama has proposed that Congress pass, it doesn’t grant permission for a specific limited missile strike on a particular country at a particular time, but for limitless warfare, as long as some connection can be made to weapons of mass destruction in the Syrian conflict.  The White House has made clear that it believes this will add exactly nothing to its powers, as it already possesses open-ended authorizations for war in the never-repealed Afghanistan and Iraq authorizations, which themselves added exactly nothing to White House war powers, because the president is given total war power through the Constitution in invisible ink that only the White House can see.

The dangers here are obvious in the Obama strike, most especially to those under fire directly.  I don’t agree with putting all our efforts — much less hopes — in Congress.  The main factor in what the US empire is forced to do — whether it’s the talk shop of Congress, or the Commander in Chief — starts with what people living in this country think, and then do, in response to these outrageous war moves.

World Can’t Wait is posting key articles on the U.S. intervention against Syria. We call on everyone to join in mass protest.

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Talking about Bradley Manning – Whistleblower and Hero

I’ll be speaking at the rally for Bradley this Saturday June 1, two days before his trial begins. Join me at Ft. Meade, or find a solidarity rally near you.

On Wide Lens

Host Jolie Diane interviews Debra Sweet of World Can’t Wait and Jeff Patterson of Courage to Resist about the actions and detention of Bradley Manning.

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The Price for Protesting War at U.S. Military Academy

Richie Marini, Alison Beth Levy, Elaine Brower, Matthis Chiroux, Gideon Oliver and Tarak Kauff after sentencing for 2009 anti-war protest

Richie Marini, Alison Beth Levy, Elaine Brower, Matthis Chiroux, Gideon Oliver and Tarak Kauff after sentencing for 2009 anti-war protest

Six anti-war activists and leaders, aged 30 through 75 were sentenced on March 19 to eight hours “community service,” and $125 court costs for a disorderly conduct conviction arising from a protest 300 people made December 1, 2009, when Obama announced, inside the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, a huge expansion of US troops to Afghanistan.

Elaine Brower, Matthis Chiroux, Tarak Kauff, Alison Beth Levy, and Richie Marini agreed to serve the time, washing Highland Falls, NY, ambulances and police cars, and pay the fee.  Beverly Rice asked that she be able to send funds instead to the National Lawyers Guild, and when that was denied, she took jail time, on the basis of conscience.  Her sentence was ten days at the Orange County jail, where she was taken immediately.  The sheriff says Bev, 75, will be released early.

The case had gone on for more than 3 years.  After one of two disorderly conduct convictions was overturned on a pro se appeal, a new judge delayed sentencing because court records were “lost” in Hurricane Irene.  He then forced the defendants to appear two more times with an attorney before sentencing.  The courtroom in Highland Falls was packed with mostly young people charged with traffic and other violations, at least one in an Army uniform.  Everyone listened quietly as most of the defendants made pre-sentence statements to the judge.

Elaine Brower said she had been outside the gate at West Point to “petition my government” to stop the war.  “My son did ten years in the Marine Corps, two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.  He has done horrible things” as part of the U.S. war on those countries. She said “I am seeing that injustice in the eyes of my son who is emotionally wounded.”

Elaine went on to say that “we have no recourse” to get the government’s attention except our legally permitted right to assemble.  “They keep sending young men and women to kill.  We protested at West Point when Bush was president, and we had to be there when Obama expanded the war on Afghanistan.  And we’ll be here when the next president invades a sovereign nation.  Humanity and the planet come first.  Crimes are crimes, no matter who does them.”

Richie Marini’s statement included:

The United States has an incredibly violent history as we stand here today on land acquired through Genocidal means and can claim title to the only country to ever use an atomic weapon of mass destruction against another. The United States government continues down this trajectory of violence today with it’s use of torture, extraordinary rendition and drones that murder innocent civilians every day. It commits these violent acts to sustain itself by creating new markets, obtaining resources and enslaving people into it’s system in order to prevent itself from collapsing at the expense of innocent lives abroad…

Despite the penalties imposed upon me here today I will continue to work effortlessly to organize the citizens of Highland Falls and elsewhere to put stop the crimes of this government. As an Humanitarian, this is the greatest service that I can do for the citizens of Highland Falls, the United States, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere… Read more

Beverly Rice being transported to jail, 3+ years after anti-war protest at West Point

Beverly Rice being transported to jail, 3+ years after anti-war protest at West Point

Bev Rice said she would not apologize for the protest:

A total of 2177 American soldiers have been killed during the eleven years we have been fighting in Afghanistan.

1230 have been killed since we were arrested three years ago? How many more have been wounded? How many more have been sent home suffering emotional and mental illnesses? Consider, 22 veterans commit suicide each day! Consider also the sorrowful loss for the family and friends of our dead and wounded soldiers. I consider these each and every day.

I am proud to have been involved in the protest, and to have participated in the defense of the West Point Six.  We need more people willing to speak the truth, and put themselves on the line to stop the crimes of our government.

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The “American” War Isn’t Over for the Iraqi People

Iraqi school destroyedYes, I know it wasn’t all of the  countries of the Americas which made war on Iraq.  It was the United States of America, as Barack Obama is so fond of saying, dragging along with it the coalition of the bribed and coerced.  Just as it was for the Vietnamese people an American war, while we called it the Vietnam War, this one is known in Iraq as the American War.  We have to accept that.

It was the U.S. government that heaped crippling economic sanctions, and lots of missile strikes, on Iraq, through the 90′s, leading to the deaths of an estimated 500,000 children.  Using the 9/11 attack as an opportunity, George W. Bush, “Dick” Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and the rest of the regime concocted their “yellow-cake uranium” and “secular Saddam Hussein befriending al Qaeda” stories, with the aim of rolling through Iraq toward Iran, strengthening U.S. control of the strategic Middle East.

The 2003 war, says Larry Everest, author of Oil Power & Empire: Iraq and the U.S. Global Agenda

was not waged to eliminate “terrorism,” destroy weapons of mass destruction, or liberate the Iraqi people.  Instead, it was an unjust war of aggression, conquest and greater empire.

We know this, but sometimes we forget that this war destroyed the infrastructure, cultural history and morale of an advanced, literate society with a long history, in the name of removing a despotic ruler the U.S. at one time supported heavily.

The American war on Iraq was our war to stop — had people living in this country responded as we should have, with sustained protest, making the prosecution of the war, and the legitimacy of the Bush regime itself, a fundamental question for tens of millions. Indeed, the mass protests denied Bush the coalition he wanted, and weakened the U.S. efforts globally so much that the war went very badly for the U.S. But at what a price for the people of Iraq!

Michael Otterman’s book Erasing Iraq: The Human Cost of Carnage, written with Robert Hill and Paul Wilson, is one of the few to look at what the U.S. did to Iraq. Otterman was interviewed in the Washington Report on the Middle East Affairs:

A study published in October 2006 by the prestigious medical journal Lancet provides the most reliable estimate to date. Their methodology, Otterman explained, “was the same the U.S. government uses to count the dead in conflict areas, including Kosovo.” The study’s findings were that approximately 655,000 excess Iraqi deaths had occurred, including both militants and civilians.

But much violence has occurred since then, Otterman noted, and by extrapolating the data through to the present, a rough estimate of one million deaths can be made.

Injured Iraqi children“When you combine this figure with the more than five million displaced since 2003,” he said, “you begin to get a sense of the deep, permanent level of destruction the United States has unleashed.”

Describing the level of trauma as “truly incalculable,” Otterman asked: “How do you quantify this human toll? The answer: Simply by reading and accessing the narratives of Iraqis that have lived through this very real sociocide. In Erasing Iraq, we quote dozens of refugees in Syria, Jordan, and Sweden, plus a slew of Iraqi bloggers who lived through the carnage in real time. These narratives exist in sharp contrast to the bland, misleading, or propagandistic accounts of war featured heavily in the mainstream news outlets. Only by engaging directly with Iraqi narratives can outsiders get a true sense of the human costs of war in Iraq.

See The Fallujah Project, which writes:

The U.S. occupation has had horrible effects on the Iraqi population, but Fallujah has suffered more than any other Iraqi city. Fallujah is to the Occupation of Iraq, what My Lai was to the Vietnam War, and what Hiroshima and Nagasaki were to World War II.

In the video below, which World Can’t Wait posted to YouTube in 2006, and which has been viewed more than 700,000 times since then, a scene much like that captured in the notorious Collateral Murder is seen from the gunsights of a US F-16, as a crowd of people in Fallujah is gunned down:

As we mark 10 years since the “shock and awe” beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, a massive assemblage of war crimes carried out in our name, let’s fully look at what was done.

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Thoughts from YOU on Stopping War Against Iran

I received a large number of thoughtful responses to the message sent this past Tuesday, so I’m reprinting some now to enlarge the discussion (minus names):

From Cambridge, MA:

1.      Our Pledge of Resistance didn’t work for Iraq.  I  sincerely and sadly conclude that a great deal more has to go  wrong in this country in order to make people so unhappy that they will risk their lives and possessions in the cause of major reform here in the U.S., including our government’s  commitment to endless war.

Remember our responses to the invasion of Iraq or any of the other “errors” of the Bush Administration, now being (in effect) ratified by President Obama.  Compare our responses to those of protestors in the “Arab Spring.”  Look at those being  killed in Syria nearly every day.

The U.S. may have too many safety valves to keep it from blowing up.  We  have town meetings and peaceful demonstrations to vent our political displeasure; we have many, but not  sufficient, safety nets for the poor; we  have plenty of reformers working to correct wrongs in plenty of fields of endeavor. And we have the  corporate media and  the politicians who have been bought by  corporations to tell us that everything is all right and to explain away any problems we discover.

Maybe the U.S. is too diverse and too large to ever have an effective and major reform movement or revolution.  My own priorities are very different from those of Texans, Floridians, and the good people of the Mid West.

Can we all agree?  Shouldn’t we first find out what we do agree on, then protest in an attempt to change it?  The OWS protestors have  done a great service for us.  They have opened up the discourse and given a  voice to many who haven’t had a voice until now.  They have united the idealistic and given us hope.

But they have also opened a space to compare our OWS responses with those protestors in the “Arab Spring.”  And I, for now, am skeptical  of the possibility for meaningful change.

I pray that I am wrong.

From Afghanistan:

Dear Debra,

I found only one thing ‘speaks’ to imaginations of western citizen who do not seem to be able to activate those imaginations themselves:

Turn the tables, tell the story of the US being submitted to such outrage, having it’s nuclear warehouses ‘bunker-busted’, its oil exports blocked, its crucial imports blocked, in short having its population, including women and children going into severe suffering, exactly as had happened in Iraq before the actual war.

Help them to imagine what it would mean in their daily lives, if for instance China would impose such ‘sanctions’ on them …

Iranians are no more idiots than we are ourselves and are perfectly capable of logical reasoning.

One of the oldest cultures known to mankind and still going strong. They could teach us many a lesson, in many a field, including being a peaceful nation.

If all Americans had to be judged -and attacked- on the basis of the behaviour of their presidents, the country would have been ransacked, bombed and the population decimated since a long time.

After all, the outrages of the US government may seem less than those of the Iranian one because they are familiar, but may the one who truly is without sin, throw the first stone.

- Iran so far has not dropped any nuclear bomb on anyone, and would be a complete idiot if it did so on Israel, because its fall-out would be disastrous for itself.
Both litterally through self-contamination if the winds would not cooperate and world-wide politically, including attacks by Arab neigbours of Israel who would automatically also be victims (Saudi Arabia reportedly already suggested quite some time ago to the US to attack Iran), as you cannot contain a nuclear bomb’s outreach with Hesco’s. In other words, such an attack would be utter and complete suicide.
The US have.  In a far more distant country, so with less risk for self-contamination and no risk whatsoever of rnuclear etaliation.  Not to mention life-endangering tests in Nevada and who knows where else.

- There is no proof that Iran has or is even seriously trying to get nuclear weapons. Remember the Iraq hoax?

As I’m typing this, another volley of those bloody army helicopters (always in couples) flies over the neighbourhood, having all my window panes rattling, that’s how low they fly …

From New Mexico:

Dear Debra,

The craziness of the Republican candidates for saying they would support any kind of illegal terrorist action against Iran, efficiently bypasses any sensible measures for ending the war in the Middle East. I was not surprised that Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and the other guy that’s not Ron Paul agreed on illegal means of sabotaging any improvements in Iran’s energy problems.

Experts have concurred that Iran is not increasing their nuclear capabilities to attack  the West, still the paranoia of these political jerks will tell us anything to get us to support their desire to attack Iran. One needs to realize that Iran supplies oil to numerous countries including Russia, China and Japan to name three, and Vladimir Putin has already warned the U.S. to keep their bloody hands off Iran.

There never seems to be any end to sanctions against Iran, since the U.S. is still angry with Iran for taking the hostages from the embassy in 1979. Not only did Iran feel completely helpless when the Shah, a puppet ruler supporting U.S. interests, broke the country’s back with his cruel reign of terror.  The Ayatollah Khommenie came next to push Iran further back in time, but anything was better than the Shah!

China has remained quiet so far but I can see them allying against the U.S. should they keep up this bullying of oil rich nations in the Middle East.  Any lie they can come up with seems to be the applied to create more negative propaganda for future wars.  These would be raged against Yemen, Somalia, Syria and Pakistan (all at once if they could pull it off). In the midst of an economic collapse, tax payers are to shoulder the costs of all these planned wars.  What the hell are we to do, continue fueling their nonsensical war machine?

The government still wants to imprison and torture its own citizens for not supporting more illegal wars. Obama passed the NADAA on 31 December 2011 to make the world a ‘battleground’ and put more people in FEMA camps. That’s the National Assisted Defense (&) Detention Act, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) completely botched Katrina in New Orleans in 2005.  We are in worlds of trouble now!

Sincerely,

From California:

*Get petitions going, maybe both from WorldCantWait and other
centers, against any war, assassinations, support of anti-Iran
terrorist organizations, against Iran.   The petition

http://www.juancole.com/2012/01/\

petition-against-the-murder-of-iranian-scientists.html
is a good example, but has much too limited a number of
signers.   10,000 academics would make a real impression.

Another petition containing 100,000′s of thousands of
people from the WEB would make an impression.

*Conduct a pole of what the real attitudes of Americans
are as regards Iran, by a recognized poling company, e.g., Zogby.
Funds could be sought from philanthropists or your
lists of people.   How much would this cost.   Would
Zogby himself give a good deal?
Follow up with information correcting erroneous
propaganda.   Involve Bill Moyer, and various
other personalities.

*Make the connection with OWS, the aims of the 1%,
and impending Iran War.   The 99% are the cannon fodder,
and pay for the war, to boot.  [Bush pushed the Iraq war
for the 1%, also for Israel and Neocons [all related].  The
99% were lulled into sleep by the housing/financials bubble.
A free war!  And in the end,  the people bailed out  the banks.]

*Simple anti-War demonstrations are good.  Focus solely
on the Iran issue.

*Wonder what the differences are of  WorldCantWait  and
MoveOn?

*Sorry if you have gone over the above ideas many times.

Thanks,

From D:

Hi:
There are already a lot of people who are against this war. We have to
remind those going to war that we the people can see exactly what they are
doing and we say NO. Also make it clear that we are not taking sides. Iran
also has problems that need to be addressed and that have to be solved. We
are at a cross roads where nobody will gain from this war if nuclear weapons
are to be involved thus necessitating the continued lying about the peaceful
use of uranium. There is no one on this planet that can safely deal with
mining uranium and handling nuclear waste. If the war posturing continues so
does the slow contamination of our planet through nuclear waste released by
nuclear reactors and nuclear accidents. The seriousness of this is being
ignored as nuclear weapons and who has them is a power tool. Those using it
have deluded themselves into thinking that what they are doing is OK. The
whole peaceful atom myth is a huge terrible lie that is harming people all
over the Globe as we speak. What has happened in Fukushima is being covered
up. Somehow we must continue to let people know the truth about the dangers
of using uranium and the myth of the peaceful atom. The countries using
uranium now are causing huge harm and must stop using uranium. The use of
procuring nuclear weapons as a just reason to go to war must be revealed for
what it is a big lie. I am Canadian and writing a blitz of letters to the
leaders of nuclear countries letting them know we know the truth about the
nuclear game. If there is a war with Iran they will never get away with
saying it is just this time. The people of the world will rise up together.
As well if they continue they will end up making themselves sick.
Controlling the world through money and oil is one thing – the contamination
is quite severe but nuclear contamination there is no coming back from that.
This is a difficult situation that we find ourselves in but we the people
have to let the powers be know that we will accept nothing less than the
truth and world peace!
Its time to write to the Council on Foreign Relations and the U.N. To let
them know we can see that they are pushing the war. We see through the War
on Terror but against we are not taking sides we are calling for Peace. All
nuclear energy countries let them know we will not accept nuclear energy and
nuclear weapons as a just reason to go to war and the powers that be will
now not have any peace because they will have to go to overt dictatorships
to hold their power. The people will rise up and not endorse anyone who says
this war is just. It is going to take all the people who love our planet
Earth and desire peace in every country and every part of the war to say NO
in one voice. A peace petition to every part of the World would be
wonderful. I don’t know how to set up a world wide partition but that would
be powerful. The time is now. There has to be a way to also get people not
on the Internet to participate. Perhaps get volunteers from every town and
city to get real signatures and mail in letters.

From Chicago:

Dear Debra,

I think if you want to challenge the American people to mobilize to stop imperial wars, one thing which should be done  — which a group of my friends and myself discussed over this past weekend — is to present the American people with the total cost of perpetual imperial war at every level of their daily lives, and to demonstrate to them that they are paying an extremely high price for imperial wars, and just how this state of perpetual warfare is taking a heavy toll on them in ways they don’t even realize.

Americans are vaguely aware of the economic cost of perpetual imperial wars, but the other costs of perpetual war — on the social, psychological, moral, cultural and spiritual levels — remain hidden from them, and when these costs of war remain hidden from the people, they will continue to silently sanction imperial wars, especially when a particular religious institution wants these imperial wars to prove that their belief is “superior” to all others.

So, presenting the hidden costs of perpetual war on our society, spirituality, culture, morality and our overall psychological health and well-being in a powerful, tangible, undeniable way to the American people will be necessary if you’re going to out and challenge Americans to stop perpetual imperial wars.

Sincerely,

From Chicago:

Hi Debra,

I think you should use whatever media and social activist groups are at hand to spread the word and encourage people to contact their congresspeople, senators and the President immediately before people are killed and retaliation by Iran is made possible.

Points which I think would be good to emphasize in order to influence people to act are…

“Pre-emptive” invasion is WRONG – it is immoral, illegal & insane
No matter how you look at it – it makes the US the bad guy!
WHY SHOULD WE MAKE WAR ON INNOCENT PEOPLE TO ENRICH SOCIOPATHS?

It is high time we took a path to peace and freedom at home and
overseas. We cannot dictate or force another country to step
away from nuclear weaponry until we do! Also, in these times
war wreaks long-term environmental damage on its victims which
eventually affect everyone worldwide.

Iran has powerful allies and their is more risk of retaliation
than with Iraq and Afghanistan. WE HAVE MORE TO FEAR IF WE
INVADE THAN IF WE DON’T.

We CANNOT afford another aggressive mistake – haven’t we learned
from Iraq & Afghanistan that we cannot win and will only
further weaken our country by impoverishing the people more.

Congress needs to focus on taking care of business at home and
quit meddling in the affairs of far distant countries.
Congress must listen to WE, the people instead of making
arbitrary & thoughtless blunders which serve only a few.

What about the BUDGET, the BUDGET, the BUDGET!!! Congress,
especially Republicans have been crying there is no $$ for
infrastructure and social programs – so how is there $$ for
another war especially when the very rich and corporations do
not pay taxes!!

Making war in Iran would be the greatest outrage committed by
the American government yet!!! I, for one am so tied of being
ruled by hateful megalomaniacs.

Thanks for all you do!

Another:

War is not the answer.  It always loses.  So we must discourage all talk of war, and actions which escalate tensions that lead to war. For Christians this means “Love thine enemies, do good to those who despise you…”  For non-Christians it means to treasure and protect the lives of fellow human beings.

From Colorado:

Dear Debra,

The people in the USA who hate war will stand up to protest any war.  But the many who seem to love war, who feel so much more “American” when the country is sending young people to kill and to die….those people will only be challenged to NOT want war with Iran if we can convince them that any more wars will only Hurt their Wallets and pocket books.  If we can show them with financial statistics how war is making them have less money, possessions, power, etc. then maybe they will stop waving their American Flags and beating their chests and calling for war – while they sit in their very rich homes far from the killing fields!!

Of course, this will not convince those folks who financially profit greatly from war (so we need to convince them by some other method, not sure how).

Thank you for all you do for all of us,

From California:

Debra thanks for asking for input.  Bottom line is that the US must withdraw military funding for Israel.  Its not enough for Obama to not want to go to war with Netanyahu.  If Israel attacks Iran with or without Obama’s approval, it is a US funded war, hence a US war.  It is not only wrong.  It will be a war crime and constitute crimes against humanity.  It seems to me that all other arguments are superfluous.  If we fund it, its ours.  Look forward to your report back from the meeting.  
Hope all is well for you.  Will you be in California anytime soon?

From Washington state:

One message needs to get out:  YOU CANNOT MAKE PEACE BY WAGING WAR.  No matter how we differ from others, no matter how eggregious their actions may seem to be, WAR IS A LIE and it will NEVER solve even one problem.  That is the simple truth.  If sufficient people were to realize how important it is for the US to ACT ON THOSE WORDS, we could solve many problems in our country and in the world.

From West Virginia:

Tell them the biggest victims of both sanctions and war against Iran are the very young, the very old, the sick and the infirm. Tell them the winners of both sanctions and war are the ruling Mullahs, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, the military and the weapons makers. Tell them Iran is more than five times as big as Iraq and 100 times more powerful. Tell them we will be there for 50 years. And finally, tell them the instant we attack Iran the price of gasoline will more than triple, shortly after that the price of food will triple.

From Maine:

Wow! doesn’t this seem like deja vu from 10 years ago!   Since the
ruling class wants to dehumanize Iran, ti is on us to humanize them.
Like the article mentions, it is not to sanitize the oppressive
Iranian regime, but recognize the humanity of the people of Iran.
suggestions:

Promote cultural exchanges ASAP, let Iranian students address OWS
gatherings to show solidarity with our struggle, as the Egyptians did,
Films by and about Iranian society would help. Media access for
politically aware Iranian activists. Maybe a joint music festival.
Maybe a joint delegation of US citizens and Iranians going to Congress
to let them see faces of real people who are not anti-American, but
only anti-war policies that threaten all of us. Some in Congress are
beyond hope, of course, but we don’t need them all. We need to
pre-empt the war, which we were not able to do in 2002, despite huge
numbers. Then of course there is the Israeli factor. I guess the
logical thing would be to convince influential Jewish people here that
an aggressive war against Iran would be counter-productive for
Israel’s security. A tough sell, but doable. Rabbi Michael Lerner is a
good place to start.

PS meanwhile, all hands on deck vs NDAA.  In Maine, the two Rep.
Senators voted for, while the two Dem representatives voted against.
If allowed to stand, it flushed Bill of Rights down the toilet.

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Video from Freedom Plaza / Stop the Machine

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