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Archive for the ‘Peace’ Category

NO MORE HURTING PEOPLE PEACE - MARTIN RICHARD

“No more hurting people – Peace”
In memory of Martin Richard, eight years old, who was killed in a Boston explosion on April 15, 2013. This is an actual quote from a poster he made last year.

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The Corporate State Wins Again

Posted on Apr 25, 2011

truthdig

By Chris Hedges

When did our democracy die? When did it irrevocably transform itself into a lifeless farce and absurd political theater? When did the press, labor, universities and the Democratic Party—which once made piecemeal and incremental reform possible—wither and atrophy? When did reform through electoral politics become a form of magical thinking? When did the dead hand of the corporate state become unassailable?
The body politic was mortally wounded during the long, slow strangulation of ideas and priorities during the Red Scare and the Cold War. Its bastard child, the war on terror, inherited the iconography and language of permanent war and fear. The battle against internal and external enemies became the excuse to funnel trillions in taxpayer funds and government resources to the war industry, curtail civil liberties and abandon social welfare. Skeptics, critics and dissenters were ridiculed and ignored. The FBI, Homeland Security and the CIA enforced ideological conformity. Debate over the expansion of empire became taboo. Secrecy, the anointing of specialized elites to run our affairs and the steady intrusion of the state into the private lives of citizens conditioned us to totalitarian practices. Sheldon Wolin points out in “Democracy Incorporated” that this configuration of corporate power, which he calls “inverted totalitarianism,” is not like “Mein Kampf” or “The Communist Manifesto,” the result of a premeditated plot. It grew, Wolin writes, from “a set of effects produced by actions or practices undertaken in ignorance of their lasting consequences.” 
Corporate capitalism—because it was trumpeted throughout the Cold War as a bulwark against communism—expanded with fewer and fewer government regulations and legal impediments. Capitalism was seen as an unalloyed good. It was not required to be socially responsible. Any impediment to its growth, whether in the form of trust-busting, union activity or regulation, was condemned as a step toward socialism and capitulation. Every corporation is a despotic fiefdom, a mini-dictatorship. And by the end Wal-Mart, Exxon Mobil and Goldman Sachs had grafted their totalitarian structures onto the state.
The Cold War also bequeathed to us the species of the neoliberal. The neoliberal enthusiastically embraces “national security” as the highest good.  The neoliberal—composed of the gullible and cynical careerists—parrots back the mantra of endless war and corporate capitalism as an inevitable form of human progress. Globalization, the neoliberal assures us, is the route to a worldwide utopia. Empire and war are vehicles for lofty human values. Greg Mortenson, the disgraced author of “Three Cups of Tea,” tapped into this formula. The deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocents in Iraq or Afghanistan are ignored or dismissed as the cost of progress. We are bringing democracy to Iraq, liberating the women of Afghanistan, defying the evil clerics in Iran, ridding the world of terrorists and protecting Israel. Those who oppose us do not have legitimate grievances. They need to be educated. It is a fantasy. But to name our own evil is to be banished. 
We continue to talk about personalities—Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama—although the heads of state or elected officials in Congress have become largely irrelevant. Lobbyists write the bills. Lobbyists get them passed. Lobbyists make sure you get the money to be elected. And lobbyists employ you when you get out of office. Those who hold actual power are the tiny elite who manage the corporations. Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson, in their book “Winner-Take-All Politics,” point out that the share of national income of the top 0.1 percent of Americans since 1974 has grown from 2.7 to 12.3 percent. One in six American workers may be without a job. Some 40 million Americans may live in poverty, with tens of millions more living in a category called “near poverty.” Six million people may be forced from their homes because of foreclosures and bank repossessions. But while the masses suffer, Goldman Sachs, one of the financial firms most responsible for the evaporation of $17 trillion in wages, savings and wealth of small investors and shareholders, is giddily handing out $17.5 billion in compensation to its managers, including $12.6 million to its CEO, Lloyd Blankfein.

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Israeli war hero accused of suppressing testimony that could reveal what really happened to Gaza activist

By Ben Lynfield, The Independent/UK, May 7, 2010

The peace activist Rachel Corrie died on 16 March 2003
AP
The peace activist Rachel Corrie died on 16 March 2003

Seven years after the American activist Rachel Corrie was killed by an Israeli army bulldozer in Gaza, evidence has emerged which appears to implicate Israel’s Gaza commander at the time, in an attempt to obstruct the official investigation into her death.

The alleged intervention of Major-General Doron Almog, then head of Israel’s southern command, is documented in testimony taken by Israeli military police a day after Ms Corrie was killed on March 16, 2003. The hand written affidavit, seen by The Independent, was submitted as evidence during a civil law suit being pursued by the Corrie family against the state of Israel.

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By Missy Beattie, Counterpunch, Feb. 26 – 28, 2010

A little more than a year after her son Casey was murdered in Iraq by the US Military Industrial Complex, Cindy Sheehan took a stand in Crawford to challenge the cowering George Bush who hid behind security at his ranch. The Peace Mom sat in a ditch under the searing Texas sun and asked the question heard round the world, “For what noble cause?” I remember this well. My nephew Chase was also murdered by war that same weekend.

George Bush never answered Sheehan. If he’d had the balls, he’d have faced Sheehan and said, “For power, empower, Empire.”

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The US public largely opposes America’s foreign wars and economic meddling. They need a voice in US foreign policy

Mark Weisbrot | The Guradian/UK, Aug 27, 2009

Americans are famous for not paying much attention to the rest of the world, and it is often said that foreign wars are the way that we learn geography. But most often it is not the people who have little direct experience outside their own country that are the problem, but rather the experts.

The latest polling data is making this clear once again, as a majority of Americans now oppose the war in Afghanistan, but the Obama administration is escalating the war, and his military commanders may ask for even more troops than the increase to 68,000 that the adminstration is planning by the end of this year.

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By Cindy Sheehan, Information Clearing House, Aug 21, 2009

“Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love…” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1958

“There comes a time when silence is betrayal…” Dr. King, 1967

I remember back in the good ol’ days of 2005 and 2006 when being against the wars was not only politically correct, but it was very popular. I remember receiving dozens of awards, uncountable accolades and was even nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Those were the halcyon days of the anti-war movement before the Democrats took over the government (off of the backs of the anti-war movement) and it became anathema to be against the wars and I became unpopular on all sides. I guess at that point, I could have gone with the flow and pretended to support the violence so I could remain popular, but I think I have to fiercely hold on to my core values whether I am “liked” or not.

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BY THE TIME WE GOT HOME FROM WOODSTOCK
THERE WAS A DRAFT NOTICE IN THE MAILBOX

HOW THE BOOMERS STOPPED THE VIETNAM WAR OR DIED TRYING

In Answer To An Ignorant Late-Boomer

It never ceases to amaze us how some people can just drift through life without ever realizing what is happening around them. It’s astonishing to hear the absurd notions of birthers and deathers, but they are not the first nor will they be the last to attempt to cobble together their own reality, with no factual input whatsoever. We usually associate this sort of ideation and behavior with the lunatic fringe of the American right wing. But here we have an example of similar historical distortion and delusional thinking from a supposed Leftist. His “rant” is relatively fact-free, and we have corrected his historical distortions, below:

SUZIE-Q
“The “Woodstock Generation” 40 Years on”
He often wonders, but he never thinks, or researches.

‘ I often wonder what Lady Emma might have thought about the so-called “sixties revolution”. There certainly was a lot to dance to, that’s for sure. But in the final analysis, I imagine she might have been just a bit disappointed with the Woodstock Generation. To be honest with you, I have always been a bit cynical on the subject of the Baby Boomers. The dirty little secret that no one (as far as I know) has yet dared to write about is that the youth revolt of the 1960s was born of out of the fact that the sons-of-privilege believed that the Vietnam War should have been fought by everyone and anyone but themselves ‘

First of all, the initial motivation for the “youth revolt” or “The Movement,” as we called ourselves, was not the Vietnam War but concern for others and for the planet itself: Banning the A-bomb, Civil Rights and conservation/ anti-pollution/ healthy foods, all going back to the 1940’s & ’50’s. The Vietnam War did not become a huge issue until well after the first large contingent of Marines landed there in August of 1965. U.S. casualties did not hit shocking levels until 1967, and they were not exactly trumpeted by the Johnson Administration at the time. The two great images from the war that shocked us all were not seen until 1968 and 1972. The fact is, most people of every age group in the 1960’s were simply unaware of what was going on in Vietnam, or even where it was, up until the disastrous Tet Offensive of 1969: You can blame the corporate media for that. They simply weren’t giving the war much play up until then. And most people tuned it out because, up until then, not that many people had family or friends that went to Vietnam. That began to change by 1969, after the third full year of full-scale war for large American ground combat units. That was the point also when images of the devastation the United States was wreaking upon the Vietnamese people themselves became the issue, not saving our own “privileged” asses, as the “video artist” puts it, above.

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