Tunnels for Safety and Tunnels for Death

It’s one thing to burrow beneath the ground, digging to construct a tunnel for refuge, a passage of goods, or to store weapons during a time of war. It’s quite another to use one hand, as a small child, to try and dig your way out of the rubble that has collapsed upon you.

Professor Mustafa Abu Sway, a professor based in Jerusalem, spoke sadly of the reality in Gaza where, he said, “one child dies every ten minutes.”

“It was not the death of a child,” he said, ”but the survival of one, that made me really very, very sad.” He was speaking of a video which had emerged showing a child buried alive under rubble attempting to free herself with one hand.

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Norman Solomon’s War Made Invisible Refutes Collusion With War-Makers

Following a string of US "forever wars," a profusion of well-written, often riveting novels, memoirs, and analyses have been published. Talented authors have aimed to promote understanding about the human cost of war.

In the same period, mainstream media sources have continually developed ways to make war appear normal – something necessary, justifiable, or in some cases, "humane."

Norm Solomon’s War Made Invisible erects an edifice of evidence showing deliberate, consistent, coordinated and well-funded efforts to squelch movements opposing the vicious consequences of war.

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Blood Does Not Wash Away Blood

The extraordinary March 10, 2023 announcement that China’s top diplomat, Mr. Wang Yi, helped broker a rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran suggests that major powers can benefit from believing that, as Albert Camus once put it, "words are more powerful than munitions."

This concept was also acknowledged by General Mark Milley, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff who said on January 20th, 2023, that he believes Russia’s war in Ukraine will conclude with negotiations rather than on the battlefield. In November of 2022, asked about prospects for diplomacy in Ukraine, Milley noted that the early refusal to negotiate in World War One compounded human suffering and led to millions more casualties.

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Decry the Merchants of Death

Days after a U.S. warplane bombed a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, killing forty-two people, twenty-four of them patients, the international president of MSF, Dr. Joanne Liu walked through the wreckage and prepared to deliver condolences to family members of those who had been killed. A brief video, taped in October, 2015, captures her nearly unutterable sadness as she speaks about a family who, the day before the bombing, had been prepared to bring their daughter home. Doctors had helped the young girl recover, but because war was raging outside the hospital, administrators recommended that the family come the next day. "She’s safer here," they said.

The child was among those killed by the US attacks, which recurred at fifteen minute intervals, for an hour and a half, even though MSF had already issued desperate pleas begging the United States and NATO forces to stop bombing the hospital.

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Art Against Drones

At the High Line, a popular tourist attraction in New York City, visitors to the west side of Lower Manhattan ascend above street level to what was once an elevated freight train line and is now a tranquil and architecturally intriguing promenade. Here walkers enjoy a park-like openness where they can experience urban beauty, art, and the wonder of comradeship.

In late May, a Predator drone replica, appearing suddenly above the High Line promenade at 30th Street, might seem to scrutinize people below. The “gaze” of the sleek, white sculpture by Sam Durant, called “Untitled (drone),” in the shape of the U.S. military’s Predator killer drone, will sweep unpredictably over the people below, rotating atop its twenty-five-foot-high steel pole, its direction guided by the wind.

Unlike the real Predator, it won’t carry two Hellfire missiles and a surveillance camera. The drone’s death-delivering features are omitted from Durant’s sculpture. Nevertheless, he hopes it will generate discussion.

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Reversal: Boeing Needs To Stop Building Weapons

Today, the seventy-fifth anniversary of the atomic attack on Hiroshima, should be a day for quiet introspection. I recall a summer morning following the U.S. 2003 "Shock and Awe" invasion of Iraq when the segment of the Chicago River flowing past the headquarters of the world’s second largest defense contractor, Boeing, turned the rich, red color of blood.At the water’s edge, Chicago activists, long accustomed to the river being dyed green on St. Patrick’s Day turned the river red to symbolize the bloodshed caused by Boeing products. On the bridge outside of Boeing’s entrance, activists held placards urging Boeing to stop making weapons.

This summer, orders for Boeing’s commercial jets have cratered during the pandemic, but the company’s revenue from weapon-making contracts remains steady. David Calhoun, Boeing’s CEO, recently expressed confidence the US government will support defense industries no matter who occupies the Oval Office. Both presidential candidates appear "globally oriented," he said, "and interested in the defense of our country."

Investors should ask how Boeing’s contract to deliver 1,000 SLAM- ER weapons (Standoff Land Attack Missiles-Expanded Response) to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia "defends" the United States.

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