Friday, August 19, 2011

State of the war state side

Today Stephen Lendman offers "RIP: America's Anti-War Movement" (Indybay):

According to United for Peace and Justice's (UFPJ) Michael McPhearson, it's partly partisan politics. Many anti-war protesters were Democrats. "Once Obama got into office, they kind of demobilized themselves," and America's major media provided no momentum to reinvigorate them.
"Because he's a Democrat," said McPhearson, "they don't want to oppose him in the same way as they opposed Bush. The politics of it allows him more breathing room when it comes to the wars."
Of course, UFPJ also has been less anti-war active under Obama than Bush, not quiescent, but much less resonant than through 2008.
UFPJ "calls for an immediate withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan with a negotiated just settlement involving international parties, including regional neighbors" when condemnation is essential.
Moreover, it says nothing about war and occupation of Iraq, not enough about Afghanistan, the lawlessness of all US wars, why they're waged, other illegal wars against Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, support for Israeli belligerence against Palestinians, as well as denouncing them all as Washington-sponsored imperial aggression.
Failure to do so betrays the trust of its member groups and followers. All US wars are illegal. America is responsible for daily crimes of war and against humanity in every theater. Exposing and denouncing them is the first crucial step to arousing public anger enough to stop them.

I'm so sick of the liars of United for Peace & Justice. The day after the 2008 election, they posted their litte 'everything is beautiful, go home' post and then they want to whine about the state of the movement today as if they had no part in it. For almost three years now, they have remained silent and done nothing. Not only have that not staged a convincing protest, they've failed to support the genuine efforts of people like Cindy Sheehan. They couldn't be bothered offering even just 'online support' to any of Cindy's actions.

They are the biggest frauds and fakes around. They're pariah in Democratic circles because they are such liars and no one wants to be around them when the truth-bombs explode -- REPEATING, closets are for wardrobes, step out of the political closet all damn ready -- and radicals look at them with disdain because you have to be a real bottom feeder Communist or Socialist to suck up to any Democratic politician, let alone one who is nothing but a corporatist War Hawk.

But that's what they did. Little Leslie Pacifica Board, Don't You Dare Ask Me About My Personal Political Beliefs Cagan and all the rest. The pathetics, the pretends, the fakes. They were nothing but an anti-Bush campaign machine. They're the sad little desperate to be popular girls who put out in a bid to fit in only to discover all that got them was a nasty reputation, a bad lay and a social disease or two.

On the financial costs of war, Walter Pincus (Washington Post) offers a history refresher:

Lawmakers might not want to levy a war tax to pay for the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, but their predecessors have always been willing to do so.

One tactic: Tax the rich.

Earlier this week, the Fine Print column noted that the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are the first American wars since the War of 1812 to not have been financed, at least in part, by a special tax. Since then, several readers have pointed out that the congressionally approved tax to pay for the Spanish-American War was considered a “luxury tax” on the wealthy.

In fact, it was a one-cent tax on any long-distance telephone call costing more than 15 cents, but it got its name because at the time phones were owned primarily by the well-to-do.

In a column on the financial costs of war, Linda Greene (Bloomington Alternative) writes about an October event:

Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Sheehan, who was killed in action in the Iraq war on April 4, 2004. Since then, she has become an activist for peace and human rights.

Sheehan travels and speaks widely and has returned recently from France and Japan. The author of five books, she is currently writing her sixth, on Hugo Chavez, Venezuela and the Bolivarian revolution. She is also the host of her own radio show, Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox.

For Sheehan, war is also an environmental issue. “The U.S. military is both the largest polluter in the world and the largest consumer of fossil fuel,” she says. “The current U.S. military missions not only pollute the world using conventional weaponry, but the war machine's increasing use of weapons and equipment enhanced with depleted uranium is also contaminating the planet and further compromising the delicate balance of life.”

This will be Sheehan’s first visit to Bloomington.

The talk, sponsored by the Bloomington Peace Action Coalition, the Bloomington branch of the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom, the 9/11 Working Group of Bloomington, and the Just Peace Task Force and Green Sanctuary Task Force on Global Climate Change of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington, commemorates the 10th anniversary of the start of the Afghanistan war, Oct. 7.

Meanwhile Kimberly Hefling (AP) continues to expose systematic problems facing veterans today. Zooming in on wounded Staff Sgt Nicholas Lanier, Hefling illustrates how the 'stream-lined,' more responsive process is not. Lanier, like many wounded service members, may end up waiting two years for the discharge and the classification that allows him to know how much of his disability the government will be recognizing. Without that knowledge, it is impossible to plan for the future or to have some sense of ease about your post-service life.

We'll close with this from Debra Sweet's "Protest Convergence of War Criminals on NYC, September 2011" (World Can't Wait):

With the 10th anniversary of 9/11, NYC will be the destination of choice for major US war criminals, including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and John Yoo.
These are the people who brought us torture, indefinite detention, and trillion-dollar wars that have claimed countless Afghani, Iraqi and US lives. They should be indicted and prosecuted for their crimes, not honored as speakers and special guests at symposia, memorials and fancy dinners. The brutality of the “war on terror”and the US wars of aggression are condemned both by the court of global public opinion and by international law, including the Geneva Conventions and the Convention against Torture.
People of conscience must insist on accountability for the actions of U.S. officials.
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