War and Peace

Frank Bruni’s review of “Zero Dark Thirty,” Hollywood’s version of Washington’s assassination of bin Laden, is a reminder of the limits of criticism that the mainstream media projects. Unlike the usual nonsense churned out by Hollywood, Bruni considers the film to be a dedication “to the ethical ambiguities and messy compromises of governing — to the muck and stink that sometimes go into the effort of keeping this mighty country of ours intact and safe.” In making this argument, he accepts as an article of faith that the operation was defensive in nature. The available facts strongly suggest otherwise.

Palestinians take part in a rally in the West Bank city of Nablus on February 24, 2011 to protest against a US veto that nixed a UN Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements and calling for unity between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. (Getty Images)

Today, in 2012, it’s disappointing to see that the issues raised by Kofi Annan about the UN Security Council remain as (if not more) persistent and problematic as they were in 2004. A resolution that could put an end or significantly reduce the innocent loss of civilian life remains at the mercy of five governments and their agendas. What does or does not qualify as a humanitarian crisis continues to be for them to judge as opposed to referencing international law, as inevitably enforcing the law would require their unanimous approval. That is to say, a single disapproval weighs more than international law and human rights combined.

On the evening of Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, Social Justice & Peace activists staged a vigil in the historic Mount Vernon Place district of Baltimore City to end the wars. Featured on this video are Max Obuszewski and Sharon Black. The demonstration was sponsored by the Pledge of Resistance Baltimore.

Members of IVAW and CivSol. (Photo by IVAW)

Squeezed in between superstorm Sandy and the election madness, the 2012 joint convention of IVAW and CivSol was a brief oasis of intentionality and solidarity. We gathered in Baltimore, Maryland just a day after the storm. People traveled from across the country. From waterlogged New York City to the sunny San Francisco Bay Area, from Texas to Toronto, veterans, active duty service members, and civilian allies gathered not only to continue the struggle against militarism but also to celebrate our community of activists.

Photo Source: New Clear Vision

I’ve been fond of December 1st ever since I was born on it.  I later found out that it had been on a December 1st that Rosa Parks had sat down and refused to stand up or move to the back of that racist bus in Montgomery.  Later still I found out about a December 1st that had happened still earlier.

Soldier with drone. Photo By: The Christian Science Monitor

Predator drones were used sparingly in both Iraq and Afghanistan during the Bush Administration. With the entrance of the Obama Administration, drone procurement and proliferation have skyrocketed. In the justification and pursuit of this War on Terror, the United States has arguably committed "acts of terror" in authorizing extrajudicial assassinations inside the boundaries of allied countries. The blatant lack of concern for civilian life in areas is the largest concern for human rights groups.

For image, see link: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/24/world/middleeast/pledging-400-million-qatari-emir-makes-historic-visit-to-gaza-strip.html?_r=0

The Arab Spring’s impact on the Middle East along with Israel’s policy to isolate Hamas has backfired against the Israelis. It is evident that countries are accepting the truth that all Palestinian groups must be included in any peace process.

"The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages,” Israel's Interior Minister Eli Yishai reportedly said, referring to Israel's latest savage assault on Gaza that has left more than 160 Palestinians dead compared to six Israelis.

Yishai's statement may be one of the more honest descriptions on record regarding the purpose of the assault. The cruelest words from aggressors are often the clearest expressions of truth. But, sadly it's an under-statement.

Photo By: Jewish Voice for Peace

I am a singer and a rabbi, and I would rather sing to you right now, because you have probably read too many words, heard too much raw speech, about Israel and Gaza. It would be better to sooth and distract. But I feel compelled to find words. Just words.

Biblical verses and fragments of songs jostle for recognition and repetition, but I can’t hear then clearly enough. Instead, I’m trapped in the compulsion to read every report, go to every web site.

Members of IVAW and CivSol. (Photo by IVAW)

On the weekend of November 2, 2012, US veterans and allies from all over the country gathered at the 2640 space in Baltimore for the 2012 convention of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). Co-organizers include the Civilian-Soldier Alliance.


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