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Showing posts from January, 2009

Afghanistan: Calling a Time Out

Washington Post
By George McGovern
Thursday, January 22, 2009;

As you settle into the Oval Office, Mr. President, may I offer a suggestion? Please do not try to put Afghanistan aright with the U.S. military. To send our troops out of Iraq and into Afghanistan would be a near-perfect example of going from the frying pan into the fire. There is reason to believe some of our top military commanders privately share this view. And so does a broad and growing swath of your party and your supporters.

True, the United States is the world's greatest power -- but so was the British Empire a century ago when it tried to pacify the warlords and tribes of Afghanistan, only to be forced out after excruciating losses. For that matter, the Soviet Union was also a superpower when it poured some 100,000 troops into Afghanistan in 1979. They limped home, broken and defeated, a decade later, having helped pave the way for the collapse of the Soviet Union.

It is logical to conclude that our massive militar…

William Thomas Dies

William Thomas, dedicated peace and anti-nuke activist, passed away Friday morning at home. He was co-pilot of the 24-hour seven-day a week vigil at the White House for 27 years. He is survived by his wife Ellen and vigil co-pilot Concepcion. I remember Thomas from my high school years years early in on his vigil. Millions of people from hundred of countries visited Thomas as he kept vigiling, warning them of the dangers of nuclear holocaust and the ravages of war. He will be greatly missed by the peace and justice movement.

An excerpt from an article in The Washington Post by David Montgomery, published a couple years ago:

WASHINGTON — William Thomas first introduced fanny to brick on the White House sidewalk on June 3, 1981. His sign said, "Wanted: Wisdom and Honesty." He's been there ever since, still squatting, still wanting.

A few months after he began, he was joined by Concepcion Picciotto, who has remained similarly steadfast.

War is not over, but the peace protesters…

Witness Against Torture praises Obama's initial steps toward justice during its 100 Days Campaign, demands rapid implementation

WASHINGTON -- Witness Against Torture (www.witnesstorture.org), an organization formed from a march to Guantanamo in 2005 to protest the prison there, applauds President Barack Obama's executive orders to shut down Guantanamo and the CIA "black sites," and to end the "enhanced interrogation techniques" used by the CIA at Guantanamo and other prisons.

"President Obama has taken important first steps to undo much of what was the worst Bush administration policies," said Matthew Daloisio, one of those who marched to Guantanamo.
According to the Guantanamo order, "The detention facilities at Guantanamo for individuals covered by this order shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than one year from the date of this order."

Witness Against Torture joins other human rights groups in insisting that the facility can be closed much sooner than one year. "While pleased with these developments, we are disappointed that Guantanamo will st…

A ‘terrible disease of the mind’

By Zaid Nabulsi

I lost my gloves one day in a coffee shop in Geneva, and I tell you, it’s difficult to ride a motorcycle without them when it’s really cold. So as I was paying for a new pair with a credit card, the salesman - who I knew was from Israel - asked me what my family name means. I told him that it relates to the city of Nablus where my family is originally from. Suddenly, the most bewildered look got plastered on his face.

“Where is Nablus?” he asked, “I’ve never heard of it”. Then he pretended to remember. “Ah, Shkheim you mean?”

With my insistence not to learn these ugly sounding names that the Zionists have dug up from oblivion to erase our identity, that name certainly didn’t ring a bell.

Now it was my turn. Although I knew where he was from, I asked: “And you’re… from?”

As he smiled, I replicated the look on his face moments ago. “Israel? Where is that?”

Then after a brief pause: “Ah, the land of Canaan you mean. Palestine.”

You see, if you want to get biblical, there was ne…

I was arrested while mourning those killed with our tax dollars

On Tuesday, January 6, about 80 anti-war protestors came to Capitol Hill to remind elected representatives of the death and destruction they continue to fund. Laurie Arbeiter and her colleagues in the Activist Response Team (ART) organized another performance of the March of the Dead on the first day of the 111th Congress, followed by dramatic banner drops and arrests for nonviolent civil resistance later that day.

The protestors did not gain much media attention, although plenty of cameras were on the scene. It appears at the end of the day their producers and editors only had time for Mr. Burris, the man appointed by a defamed governor to take the president-elect’s seat in the senate. However, Bill Moyers picked up on it and commented on it during his TV show. The rest of the media did not have time for the names of the dead slain by our military, or our proxies the Israelis.

I marched in this somber procession of remembrance that rainy day, and I took part in the nonviolent civil res…

More Groups Than Thought Monitored in Police Spying

New Documents Reveal Md. Program's Reach
By Lisa Rein and Josh White
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, January 4, 2009; A01

The Maryland State Police surveillance of advocacy groups was far more extensive than previously acknowledged, with records showing that troopers monitored -- and labeled as terrorists -- activists devoted to such wide-ranging causes as promoting human rights and establishing bike lanes.

Intelligence officers created a voluminous file on Norfolk-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, calling the group a "security threat" because of concerns that members would disrupt the circus. Angry consumers fighting a 72 percent electricity rate increase in 2006 were targeted. The DC Anti-War Network, which opposes the Iraq war, was designated a white supremacist group, without explanation.

One of the possible "crimes" in the file police opened on Amnesty International, a world-renowned human rights group: "civil rights."

According t…