Robert Bergdahl addresses the people of Pakistan. His son, U.S. Army PFC Bowe Bergdahl, was captured by the Taliban in Paktika Province, Afghanistan on June 30, 2009.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 5th 2011
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Kevin B. Zeese
KBZeese at Gmail.com, 518-543-6920
Americans from Across the Political Spectrum Call for End to U.S. Militarism
Washington, DC: Putting aside political differences on other issues, Americans from across the political spectrum have sent a letter to the president and congress urging an end to U.S. militarism. The letter, spearheaded by Come Home America, cites a combination of events that present a “historic opportunity to redirect U.S. foreign policy down the pathways of peace, liberty, justice, respect for community, obedience to the rule of law and fiscal responsibility.” The full letter with all signers can be seen at www.ComeHomeAmerica.US.
The letter was signed by advisers to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton; by former presidential candidates of the Libertarian, Socialist and Green Parties as well as independent, Ralph Nader and by representatives of think tanks including the Institute for Policy Studies, The Independent Institute, The Future of Freedom Foundation, Hoover Institution, Ludwig von Mises Institute and Just Foreign Policy, and a wide range of publications including The American Conservative, Antiwar.com, Black Agenda Report, Black Commentator, FireDogLake.com, Liberty for All, Liberty for America, OpEdNews.com, The Progressive, Progressive Review, Raw Story, OpEdNews.com and Reason.
Among the signers are:
Doug Bandow, Former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan
Robert Dickson Crane, Richard Nixon’s principal foreign policy adviser, 1963-68, Deputy Director for Planning, National Security Council, 1969
Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistleblower
Michael Kinnamon, General Secretary, National Council of Churches
Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor, Tikkun Magazine, Chair, The Network of Spiritual Progressives
Tom Maertens, Former Director, National Security Council under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush
Daniel McCarthy, Editor, American Conservative
Coleen Rowley, Former FBI Agent and one of TIME’s 2002 Persons of the Year
Ann Wright, US Army Colonel (ret.) and former US diplomat
The letter emphasizes how U.S. militarism undermines the rule of law, weakens the economy, makes Americans less safe and brings widespread and pointless suffering around the world. The letter concludes, citing our founding president:
“George Washington urged Americans to ‘cultivate peace and harmony with all’ and to ‘avoid overgrown military establishments,” which are “hostile to republican liberty.’ It is time for Americans to reject fear and militarism and embrace the highest, noblest aspirations of our heritage. It is time to come home, America.”
The first [British anti-Iraq-war] march in which I took part must have numbered something like a million. …this huge crowd, which was being really very crudely manhandled by the police at the edges. We stopped. We were all wedged together and looking into Downing Street, where the Prime Ministerâ€™s residency is. And nobody seemed to speak, but a kind of feral roar of popular will rose. And I tried to imagine what it must have been like for [Tony] B liar sitting inside that building and hearing that sound…. –British Novelist John le CarrÃ© on the Iraq War, Corporate Power, the Exploitation of Africa and His New Novel, “Our Kind of Traitor,” Democracy NOW!, Thursday, November 25, 2010 .
Can YOUR card do this?
AMY GOODMAN: Let me ask you how war fits into this. I mean, you co-wrote the book with Linda Bilmes, The Three Trillion Dollar War. How does war fit into our problems with the economy?
JOSEPH STIGLITZ: Well, war fits in because you’re creating a liability, you’re spending money. And when we went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, we already had a deficit. And so, these wars were the first wars in America’s history financed totally on the credit card. So, you’re creating a liability, but you’re not creating an asset. So that’s the kind of spending that does weaken the economy, because it’s one-sided. … The numbers now are much more like four to six trillion.
AMY GOODMAN: And yet, across this country, as the debates for various congressional and Senate seats[go], war is almost never raised [as an issue]. –Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz: Foreclosure Moratorium, Government Stimulus Needed to Revive US Economy
PRECEDENT? According to a "Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting" two week study, during the lead-up to the Iraq war, a period of particularly intense debate (Jan. 30 to Feb 12, 2003), U.S. mainstream media, ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS Evening News, conducted 393 interviews about the pending war. Only three of those interviews were with peace leaders.
Dear Friends of Antiwar.com:
A donor left this message in my Facebook Account,
Here’s an idea. We ask all our friends to switch their Facebook and Myspace profile images to the Anti-War.com logo on some upcoming anti-war day. Let’s say Thanksgiving day, so we can be thankful there aren’t even more wars.
At the same time, on the same day, we ask everyone to switch their profile status to just “Stop the wars.”
And, of course, if anyone asks, “which wars” the answer is “all of them.”
I know I’m thankful for all you champions of peace. Please email me at email@example.com for images and logos.
Hat tip to Antiwar.com reader George Donnelly.
I’m writing this in response to an article in last week’s Haaretz entitled ‘Palestinians’ doomsday weapon, non-violence, fails test’. It’s a better article than the title might lead one to believe and accepts an important underlying premise: that non-violence from the Gaza Strip would be a serious blow to the Israeli government. However, the article does make a couple of significant errors which I hope to correct now:
- The article wrongly suggests that the increased rocket fire out of Gaza last week was in response to the non-violent protest at the border. In fact Israel’s General Yadlin has pointed out that rather it was a direct result of assassinations of several key Hamas military experts
- The theme of the article is that we have no clue what the Israeli military strategy to counter non-violence is, and that they probably don’t even have one
It is this later claim that I wish to discuss, because it is this later claim which misinterprets the entire strategy of non-violence and leads to the article’s false conclusion that non-violence has simply failed of its own accord.
Rather, we know precisely what strategy the Israeli military employs in response to non-violence, because it is the only strategy available to it. Indeed it is the only strategy militaries ever employ in response to non-violence, and we saw it clearly this weekend.
Seeing the path of non-violence to its necessary conclusion is not easy for precisely this reason: that every act of non-violence defiance is met with an act of increasingly disproportionate violence in the hopes of realizing a violent response and vindicating the claim that the posture of non-violence is an insincere one.
Today, Israeli ground forces begin their pullout from the Gaza Strip. The mainstream press treats this as a response to international condemnation for the large civilian death toll. Hamas sees it as vindication of their violent resistance and claims ‘victory’. But both of these are mistaken. Israeli troops are leaving the Gaza strip because they achieved their goal: they provoked a response.
It takes a very special brand of determination to see non-violence through in the face of attacks on soccer-playing children and troops marching through suburbs killing civilians. Yet it is precisely this determination which must follow, if those deaths are not to be in vain.
The people of the Gaza Strip must hold firm in their resolve for non-violence. They must make it clear to the Israeli military that they will not be swayed, nor will they respond violently. They must leave the Israeli government with only two choices: acquiescence or committing genocide. And despite what Israel’s Deputy Defense Minister or anyone else may say, they must remain confident that Israel cannot choose the latter.
This weekend may have been a setback for non-violence, but it is nothing resembling failure. Non-violence remains not just an option for the Palestinians in the face of occupation, but at the end of the day, the only one.