Tuesday, November 25, 2014

CODEPINK: HAGEL'S DEPARTURE SHOULD OPEN DEBATE ON OBAMA'S WARS



Outgoing "Defense" Secretary Chuck Hagel: Feeling Pouty Coz His War-Mongering Days Are Over

Here's a great new article from my good friends at CODEPINK...

 Hagel’s Departure Should Open Debate on Obama’s Wars
Medea Benjamin

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was supposed to steer the Pentagon away from a decade of war, including bringing US troops home from Afghanistan and paving the way for a reduction in the Pentagon budget. Instead, the Obama administration has opted for remaining in Afghanistan, continuing the disastrous drone wars in Pakistan and Yemen, and dragging our nation into another round of military involvement in Iraq, as well as Syria. The ISIL crises has also been used as a justification for not cutting the Pentagon budget, as required by sequestration.

The issue facing this nation is not who replaces Hagel, but what policy decisions we want to Pentagon to implement.

  1. Troops out of Afghanistan: The public has long soured on US military involvement in Afghanistan. President Obama’s recent executive decision to keep the troops there to confront the Taliban is taking us down the wrong path. After 13 years of occupation, it’s time for the Afghan people to control their own nation.

  1. No US military intervention in Iraq/Syria:  The Obama administration’s move to engage militarily in Iraq and Syria is also the wrong–– and dangerous–– path. US intervention, including over 6600 bombings to date, has already become a recruiting tool for ISIS and has strengthened Syrian resident Assad. And with over 3,000 US troops in Iraq in dangerous missions, President Obama’s promise of “no troops on the ground” is indeed hollow. ISIL must be confronted through political solutions, such as renewed talks between Assad and the Free Syrian Army, more pressure in Saudi Arabia to stop funding extremism, greater efforts by Turkey to stop the flow of recruits and weapons into Syria, and negotiated cooperation from Iran and Russia.

  1. Stop the drone wars: President Obama’s reliance on drone warfare in Pakistan has turned large portions of the population against the United States. It is the Pakistani government, not the US, that must counter the Taliban. In Yemen, the administration’s drone war has put the US in the midst of what has become a bloody sectarian conflict. And US drone strikes have served to increase the number of Yemenis joining Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to seek revenge.

  1. Cut and audit Pentagon spending: With other issues clamoring for attention and funds -- from healthcare and schools to infrastructure and green energy-- we need to stop the massively bloated Pentagon budget. The Pentagon can’t account for billions of dollars each year, literally, and is unable to pass an audit. It’s time to demand that the Pentagon rein in its rampant waste, cut its oversized budget, and become accountable to the taxpayers by passing an audit.

The talk about resetting President Obama’s security team is misplaced; we should be focusing instead on resetting his bellicose policies. Secretary Chuck Hagel’s resignation should be a time for the nation to step back and reexamine its violent approach to extremism, which has led to an expansion of terrorist groups, and inflated military spending. Let’s put more emphasis on the State Department and political solutions instead of continuing failed wars and starting new ones. We owe it to the youth of our nation who have never lived without war.

Medea Benjamin is the co-founder of the peace group CODEPINK and the human rights group Global Exchange. She is the author of Drone Warfare: Killing By Remote Control.





Tuesday, November 18, 2014

PLEASE CALL NOW -- CLOSE VOTE ON KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE


CLICK HERE for full info on this extremely important Senate vote.

QUOTE OF THE DAY -- ALBERT EINSTEIN





Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.
            -- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)


Monday, November 17, 2014

URGENT ALERT! XL PIPELINE VOTE TUESDAY!





 If you care about global warming, pick up your phone and call your senators!

On Friday, the House of Representative passed a bill in support of pollution, Big Oil, and eco death. A bill that will hammer the environmental review process and give the green light to the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. 

Tomorrow, the Senate gets the bill and it's vital that your senators hear from you TODAY.

Please call your senators right now and tell them to vote NO on the Keystone XL pipeline. CLICK HERE for the number to call and for supporting information.

Phone calls are the  most effective way to get action from the politicians. Let's jam the freakin' switchboard!

You can also sign this petition.
 

If this pipeline goes through it is another blow to the planet. And despite what you've been told, could result in higher prices at the gas pump. It will also encourage polluters to follow suit and extract more of the dirtiest fossil fuel in the world.

The vote looks like it could be very close so -- for the future of the planet, for your kids, for the air we breathe -- please call your senators now. And share the links above on social media.

Thank you,
Adrian

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"THE WAR TO END ALL WARS"





Veterans' Day, Armistice Day, Remembrance Day.

Today is known by all the above names. One hundred years ago, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the guns of World War I finally went silent. Before they did, over 16 million people -- military and civilian -- had died. It was the greatest mass slaughter in the history of the world up to that time. Of course, we managed to far surpass it with the "sequel," World War II.

So today we remember. But what do we remember and how do we remember it? These are important questions, because respect and glorification are too often blurred together. Do we remember to also be ever aware that war is the answer to nothing? Apparently not.

When you remember those who died in WWI and all the other wars, remember all who died: the civilians, the innocents, the old and infirm, the women and children. Ask yourself, "What if I'd been there and seen my city destroyed, my family killed?"

Yes, there is a place for defensive war. But so often we are lied to about what it is our respective countries are fighting for. Always, really. We're not privy to that information; to the truth. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't ask questions; shouldn't speak up; shouldn't be enraged on behalf of the dead and those who will die in future conflicts.

World War I was also called the Great War and, ironically, the War to End All Wars. It did nothing of the sort. Why is that? Just what does it take for the majority of us, the masses, to stand up to the madness of our politicians and war-profit barons and say "No!"?

Reflecting on that is perhaps the best way we can spend today, and truly honor those who have died in war. We must learn not to hate each other because we've been duped, we must learn to hate war. 

Otherwise, eventually, there will be a World War III. And afterwards, there probably won't be anyone left to remember it.

Please sign this petition to say "NO TO WAR!"


THE FRUITS OF WAR...







Peace,
Adrian



Monday, November 10, 2014

QUOTE OF THE DAY -- NED KELLY




"If my lips teach the public that men are made mad by bad treatment, and if the police are taught that they may exasperate to madness men they persecute and ill treat, my life will not be entirely thrown away."

-- Ned Kelly (1855-1880) - Australian bushranger and would-be revolutionary, addressing the court at his murder trial. He was sentenced to death and hanged.





Take care,
Adrian

 


 

Monday, November 3, 2014

THE CARING PERSON'S GUIDE TO VOTING TOMORROW



Green Party 2012 Presidential Candidate Jill Stein knows that the courage of your convictions can lead to arrest in the United (police) States

Another election day tomorrow, and there are some important choices.

Although I believe our electoral system is a sham, there are nooks and crannies, bits and pieces that present themselves that do need our attention. Here's what I think...

1. Vote Green. Green Party Candidates are running for various offices in 23 states and the District of Columbia. In my opinion, the Green Party is the most genuine party of those available to us and offer a meaningful alternative to the big-money Dem/Repub duopoly. Please note: Despite its name, the Green Party is not only dedicated to green issues. If you go to their "What We Believe" page, you'll see that they push for basic rights and social justice for us all -- things the big parties don't give a damn about.

2. Look at the questions on the ballot for your state. For example, in Massachusetts there are four questions you can vote on. They are all worthy of scrutiny and three are quite vital. Google your state's questions, read what you can about them, and vote your conscience.

One day, I hope and believe, we will handle our affairs locally and network with other regions. We don't need a centralized state apparatus -- in fact it does much more harm than good and costs a fortune to feed. It's top-down government that robs us. As we take small steps to dissolving the state, we should seek out the most meaningful and genuinely democratic things we can do and vote for within the current, broken system.

So get out there tomorrow, and fight the good fight at the ballot box.

Take care,
Adrian