Global US Militarism

Asian media weighs in on the US government shutdown

by Gary Hicks

It just wouldn't complete the picture of the US government shutdown without including some commentary from media sources representing fully more than one-third of the world's population.

CHINA DIGITAL TIMES October 2, 2013 U.S. Shutdown: The View from China  

As the U.S. government enters the second day in shutdown mode, citizens and media around the world (and in the U.S.) responded with...

Assata Shakur

Washington’s Most Wanted Terrorist List: Why Assata? Why Now?

by Felicia Gustin

The FBI’s announcement that it was adding Assata Shakur to its Most Wanted Terrorist List and doubling the bounty for her to $2 million is cause for alarm for the peace and justice movement as a whole. Though Assata has been living in exile in Cuba since 1984, the ramifications of Washington’s recent move are far-reaching and dangerous. Here are some of my thoughts as to the whys in no particular order:

1. ...

"Vaya con Dios, Hugo Chavez, Mi Amigo" by Greg Palast

by Felicia Gustin

He staved off attempted coups, survived a kidnapping and attempted assasinations, and endured an intense barrage of U.S. propaganda against him. But today, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez lost his battle with cancer and passed away at the age of 58.

Investigative reporter Greg Palast covered Venezuela for BBC Television Newsnight and Harper’s Magazine and met with Chavez on several occasions. To counter the anti-...

Ebola virus particles

Resisting the Fear Machine

by Rebecca Gordon

Like many people around the world, four-star Marine General John Kelley is really worried about Ebola.

But he’s not worried about the more than 4,000 people who have died of the disease in western Africa. And he’s only tangentially worried about people dying in this country. What is the real threat Ebola presents to the United States, according to Kelly? Increased immigration.

On October 9, 2014, Time.com reported that for...

Three Reasons Why Venezuela Matters

by Felicia Gustin

A lot of people seem confused about what’s happening in Venezuela. We see thousands of protestors facing off with police and soldiers and think popular uprising against government repression, right? After all, that’s how it’s being portrayed in both corporate media and much of social media.

But let’s take a moment for some fact checking. No question that violence has been rocking Venezuela in recent days. Hundreds of thousands of pro...

AFP/Kaster

Hard Road to the Promised Land

by Francesca Fiorentini

“I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.”

–Martin Luther King Jr., speaking at a Memphis garbage workers strike the night before he was assassinated

In part two of this special two-part Month in Review marking this column's 100th installment, Francesca Fiorentini...

Boston and Beyond: For Whom the Bell Tolls

by Max Elbaum

To My Dear Peace Movement Comrades, 

(letter from WT co-founder & marathon runner Max Elbaum)

Though using the gender-biased terminology of 1624, John Donne's Meditation 17 seems to me as if it could have been written in the first hour after Monday's carnage in Boston:

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe...

3 Reasons Why U.S. Strikes on Iraq (Again) Are a Terrible Idea

by Felicia Gustin

The U.S. war machine is on the move. Oh, the tragic irony – the George H.W. Bush warship moves into the Persian Gulf, poised to take military action as the situation in Iraq deteriorates.

Calls for U.S. intervention grow louder. On one side we have the voices from the right, those who favor militarism and war over diplomacy (and who got us into this mess in the first place). Then there are those individuals, some liberals and...

Bertolt Brecht: applied poetry

by Gary Hicks Written in the late 1930s by the German playwright and poet, in response to the latest developments of that time...in nazi war ordnance...the poem immediately below is a striking response to the bedazzlement many of us experience, in response to Pentagon gadgetry, like the ones described immediately following Brecht's poem 

Dein Tank ist ein starker Wagen.
Er bricht einen Wald nieder und zermalmt hundert Menschen.
Aber er hat...

Image courtey of ipetitions.com

AFRICOM Sowing Seeds of Terrorist Reaction

by Greg Hom

In Greg's blog posts, he comments on recent reporting on, or in-depth analysis of, the "Middle East" you may be interested in.

Post 9/11, when Afghanistan became “one of the countries that even Americans know where it is”, there was then the question if Afghanistan was in the “Middle East” or not. Americans were used to “terrorism” and “Muslim” being associated with the Arab countries of the Middle East, but Afghanistan is kind of in...

Stop War Games, Start Peace Talks

Statement Opposing U.S.-South Korea Joint Military Exercises Key Resolve Foal Eagle

March 4, 2013

The Korean War, known in the United States as “The Forgotten War,” has never ended.  Every year, the United States stages a series of massive joint war games with its ally, South Korea (ROK).  These coordinated exercises are both virtual and real.  Among other things, they practice live fire drills and simulate the...

Stand With Yemen: Enough War!

Since March 26, Yemenis have endured a U.S./Saudi air war and siege, in a conflict that has so far killed at least 1,500 people and displaced 300,000 civilians. We are asking people to send a message of solidarity to Yemen - ON THURSDAY, MAY 14TH - as part of the independent, Yemeni-led campaign Kefaya War ("Enough" War in Arabic). To learn more about the campaign go here or here...

U.S. Out! The Asia Pacific Pivot and Trans-Pacific Partnership

by Christine Ahn

In a security conference held in Munich, Germany, Henry Kissinger said on a panel that “Asia is more in a position of 19th-century Europe, where military conflict is not ruled out,” given deteriorating tensions between China and Japan. Yet lurking behind its over 300 military bases and installments throughout the Asia Pacific is the U.S. military, which is poised to expand its presence even more with the Asia Pacific Pivot, the Obama foreign...

Anti-War Veterans and Allies in Solidarity with Prison Hunger Strikers in CA

by Sarah Lazare

California prisoners announced the suspension of their most recent hunger strike September 5th, yet the fight to end solitary confinement and other forms of torture, inhumanity, and injustice continues. Meanwhile, the bonds of solidarity built during this struggle with people and organizations around the U.S. and world persist--from Chicago to Palestine.

In this powerful statement of solidarity, Bay Area members of Iraq Veterans...

Naming Names and Thoughts on Why "They" Might "Hate" Us

by Felicia Gustin

“We can be going about our lives - good and decent people. And this is the nature of terrorism. We don’t do anything to provoke them. They simply hate us for who we are and our way of life.”  — Nicolle Wallace, political commentator speaking on the Katie Couric Show, April 17, 2013

The Boston Marathon bombing was a horrific event that has touched people’s lives well beyond that city. The families of...

ACT ON IRAQ – AND REMEMBER THE ASIA PIVOT

by Gary Hicks

Gary Hicks calls for urgent action to prevent U.S. re-intervention in Iraq while stressing the need to keep the long view and global picture in mind.

Re-energizing the U.S. peace movement requires both responding to immediate crises and pursuing a long-haul strategy.  

Today's crisis: Iraq is in immediate headline-grabbing danger of U.S. military intervention.

The long haul: Washington has made it a strategic, defense-...

Tea Party Digs In As U.S. Global Power Declines

by John Trinkl

Washington's Wars and Occupations:
Month in Review #102/October 31,
2013

John Trinkl gauges the impact of the government shutdown and the blowback against NSA spying on Washington's international clout, while highlighting the dangers that the racist Tea Party agenda holds for progressives and the 99%.

The U.S. ship of state took some serious blows during the month of October.

...

Aliou, native of Guinea Bissau.

Globalization Reaches the Alpujarras… Again

by Rebecca Gordon

“Honéstamente, me encantaría volver,” Aliou told us. “Honestly, I would love to go home.” Aliou is from Guinea Bissau, a small Portuguese-speaking country in West Africa. For the last two weeks, he’s been living in a migrant workers’ camp outside the little town of Bérchules. It’s  one of a string of white villages nestled like clutches of eggs in the Alpujarras, an area in the foothills of Spain’s Sierra Nevada.

My partner and I met...

10 Years After the Invasion of Iraq: Hard to Remember, Harder to Forget

by Francesca Fiorentini

It has been 10 years since the invasion and occupation of Iraq, a war that by now most know was a war for oil. Though difficult to look back on this decade, it is the ease at which we forget that condems suffering veterans to the shadows, Iraqis to a country in shambles, and leaves the American people vulnerable to future seductions of war-making.

I remember everything so well: where I was when bombs...

Civil War in Syria: Some Valuable Resources

by Lynn Koh

The War Times collective, like the rest of the peace movement, unequivocally opposes military intervention against Syria.  Below is a list of articles, interviews, and essays to help folks understand the crisis.

Opposing airstrikes against Syria:  a range of voices and reasons.

Phyllis Bennis and David Wildman say an airstrike against Syria would be illegal, reckless, and 'would make the dire situation in Syria...

Levantamientos en Venezuela y Ucrania: un desafío para la izquierda de EE.UU.

by Jan Adams

Tracucción por Ruth Warner-Carrillo

Este mes, escritora de Tiempo de Guerras  Jan Adams abarca dos áreas del mundo donde Estados Unidos intenta torpemente controlar el resultado de dos levantamientos muy distintos: Venezuela y Ucrania. Ella propone que los progresistas y activistas a favor de la paz en este país tienen un desafío real en cada uno de estos casos: asegurar que los aventureros imperiales aquí no empeoren la vida de la...

Military ethics questioned

by Jan Adams

Two years ago I wrote a review of Joshua E.S. Phillips' painful yet empathetic account of some horrible crimes and their aftermath committed by U.S. soldiers in our misbegotten wars of the 00s: None of Us Were Like This Before. Those us of us who were paying attention knew these abuses were going on, but nonetheless this remains a story that still needs telling.

By way of Thomas Ricks, here's another agonized take on how the US...

Movements in Hong Kong (part 1)

by Lynn Koh

In December 2012, I was part of a small group of organizers that met with activists in Hong Kong and South China.  For the next few weeks, I will be posting reflections on the trip.

HONG KONG

During the 1997 handover of Hong Kong, my mom cried.  It was the feeling, she later explained to me, that a mother has when her child finally returns home.  I found it to be a curious sentiment, since my mother's family...

Lurching Towards War With North Korea: A Post-Mortem on Strategic Patience

Christine Hong and Hyun Lee

President Obama announced the United States' the new strategic "tilt towards Asia" during his visit to Australia last August. But things have been tilting precariously on the Korean peninsula for much longer. In this valuable piece, which first appeared on Foreign Policy in Focus, the authors examine the reality behind a stance the U.S. calls "strategic patience," but which looks a lot more like strategic...

What Kind of Ancestors Will We Be?

by Felicia Gustin

I think about the children in Gaza, the children coming across the Mexico - U.S. border, the children without water in Detroit, the children living with violence in Oakland.

I think about what kind of future our children face and what is our responsibility, as adults, to all children, to rid this planet of war and militarism, hatred and inequity. To save this planet.

I think about this poem by Guatemalan revolutionary Otto Rene...

Cockburn on the Arab Spring

Patrick Cockburn is one of the most discerning observers of the politics of the Middle East.  As a journalist for the Financial Times and the Independent, Cockburn, has spent decades observing and analyzing the daily politics of empire and resistance.  Here he assesses the Arab Spring - now three years old - and if harsh, his analysis deserves our attention.  "The uprisings of the Arab Spring," he writes "have so far produced anarchy in...

Teachable Moments: From the Manning Verdict to the March on Washington

by Felicia Gustin

Last night I dreamt that Chelsea was my daughter. Chelsea who was Bradley who was just sentenced to 35 years in prison. It was one of those wandering about, helpless, lost, not knowing what to do dreams. Kind of like how I had been feeling about the whole situation while awake.

Chelsea is just 3 years older than my actual daughter. As a parent, life is filled with teachable moments. As a parent and social justice activist, those...

Artist: Latuff

The Dirty Dozen: Twelve Year Anniversary of Guantanamo Detention Center Sparks Hunger Strikes and Protests

by Felicia Gustin

Indefinite detention without charges or trial. It goes against all our notions of legal rights and due process. Yet, our government is into its 12th year of operations at the Guantanamo Bay prison where 166 men are still being held, 86 of whom have been cleared for release but remain in detention, including 56 from Yemen. According to Al Jazeera, this spurred protests today outside the U.S. embassy in Sanaa to demand the prisoners' release...

Counting the Bodies

Michael Reagan

On Saturday a car bomb in Baghdad exploded in a crowded commercial street.  KamalMahmoud, a school teacher, witnessed the blast.  He told the New York Times, “I felt the heat of the blast on my face and the bodies of two women thrown in the middle of the street covered in blood, one of them without legs.” It’s not clear if the women survived.  Fourteen people were killed. 

Political violence has increased this...

Earth Day Means Let’s Undermine Empire

by Clare Bayard

By Clare Bayard

The month of April contains Earth Day, in that way that we often designate a month to contain concepts of year-round importance (see: Black History Month).  Earth Day is not unconnected to the predations of empires. Empire-building has always required disrupting people’s relationships with their land and ability to self-sustain. A few of April’s developments in struggles for land, survival, and democracy follow.

...

Obama's argument is deeply flawed...op-ed from China Daily USA

by Gary Hicks Chen Weihua, the author, is the Editor of China Daily USA. We can take it for granted that his op ed piece, below, is representative of the consensual views of the present Chinese leadership, via its Foreign Ministry. Aside from official opinion, it's a short, sweet, to-point summation of what much of the diplomatic world, especially East and South, feel about the current state and actions of US foreign policy, following on the speech given at...

Oppression is Global, Sisterhood is Not

By Christina Nesheiwat

The sentiment that sisterhood is global, though seemingly well intentioned, continues to perpetuate cycles of oppression on a global scale. The current media storm surrounding the Ukrainian women’s group Femen and its Tunisian supporter Amina Tyler is only one example of racism and neo-colonialism under the guise of “sisterhood.” Femen has chapters all over Europe and North America, and claims...

When warriors come home

by Jan Adams

My partner teaches college students about the intersection of ethics with service in the community. Every once in awhile she has newly discharged vets in her class; they often discuss war (she has experience of one). One Iraq vet with whom she developed a friendship urged her to understand:

"If anyone comes back from Iraq or Afghanistan and tells you they are undamaged, don't believe them."

I think Karl Marlantes would agree.

...

Bury My Heart in Gaza

by Rami El-Amine

BURY MY HEART IN GAZA

We thrash, curse for air
As our strangler declares, look
How violent the Arab

– Haiku for the Headlocked, by Zein El-Amine

Rami El-Amine makes the case that Israel’s war on Gaza is not about the kidnapping of Israeli teenagers, rockets, or tunnels. It’s about Israel...

Four Reasons Why Torture (Still) Matters

by Rebecca Gordon

1. It’s still happening.

Shortly after his first inauguration in 2009, President Obama issued an executive order forbidding torture and closing the CIA’s so-called “black sites.” But the order didn’t end “extraordinary rendition” – the practice of sending prisoners to other countries to be tortured. (This is actually illegal under the U.N. Convention against...

No 'Slam Dunk' in Syria For Obama Administration

by Greg Hom

The Associated Press decided to not join the rest of the media in being excited about seeing American bombs explode in Syria. Rather, they decided to show that the Obama administration claims that Assad was responsible for a recent gas attack are being refuted by other U.S. officials.

As the article says: “U.S. officials used the phrase "not a slam dunk" to describe the...

BRICS leaders

BRICS and Africa, 1960-2013: The struggle to get out from under

by Gary Hicks

This past week the heads of state of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS, for short) met in Durban, South Africa. These four sub-continental nations constitute a conscious bloc of middle-developing countries that share an interest in working with one other, in order not to become individually beholden to the traditional European-led World Bank and International Monetary Fund. That shared...

Image created by Heidi Andrea Rhodes

Towards a Real End to War in the 21st Century

by Sarah Lazare

Despite the Memorial Day “celebrations,” claims that the Afghanistan War is coming to an end, and talk of “humanitarian” military deployments to Nigeria, the naked violence of the U.S. role in the world showed through the verbal fog this month. President Obama tried to argue that an indefinite military presence is "how war ends in the 21st century." We argue instead that building movements for rehumanization and solidarity, against U.S....