November 2010, Week 1


Options: Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mon, 1 Nov 2010 22:49:59 -0400
text/plain (326 lines)
Three Peace Events Announcements

Peace Concert; Peace Rally; Britain: Stop the War Events


Peace Is Theme Of Vets Week Concert

Singers, musicians, and songwriters of the Bay Area
will perform songs of peace at a benefit "Veterans Week
Peace Concert" on Saturday, November 13, from 7 to 10
p.m., in Berkeley.

The place: the Connie Barbour Room at the Berkeley
Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists (BFUU), Bonita
Avenue and Cedar Street.

Among the performers (whose pictures are at
http://warandlaw.org) will be:

* Annie and the Vets (Anne E. and Phil Pflager and
George Johnson), an ensemble of Veterans for Peace
"promoting peace through music."

* Vic Sadot, singer-songwriter.

* Julie Smolin, versatile violinist and singer.

* Daniel Zwickel ben Avram, singer, guitarist, and

Sponsored by BFUU's Social Justice Committee, the
concert will aid both BFUU and the War and Law League
(WALL). At least a $10 donation is suggested. If you're
short of funds, come anyway. Refreshments will be

Donors who sign with WALL will get the new pamphlet
"OUR LONGEST WAR: U.S. vs. the people of Afghanistan --
and now Pakistan."

Travel directions are at bfuu.org, (510) 841-4824. For
more information, you may contact Jeannette at
(415)738-8298 or [log in to unmask]

The nation has officially observed Veterans Day,
November 11, since 1954. Earlier it was Armistice Day,
marking the end of World War I in 1918.


Let's Rally to Restore Peace

Monday 01 November 2010

by: Marjorie Cohn, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

photo (Photo: Ava Lowery; Edited: Jared Rodriguez / t r
u t h o u t)

In their Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, Jon
Stewart and Stephen Colbert effectively demonstrated
how the media hypes fear. They brought out Kareem Abdul
Jabbar to show that not all Muslims are terrorists. A
couple of musical numbers dealt with the wars we are
fighting. But neither Stewart nor Colbert mentioned
Iraq or Afghanistan and how they are allowed to
continue by the hyping of fear.

Like his predecessor, President Obama also hypes fear -
by connecting his war in Afghanistan to keeping us
safe, even though CIA Director Leon Panetta recently
admitted that only 50 to 100 al-Qaeda fighters are
there. Hoping to put the unpopular Iraq war behind him,
Obama declared combat operations over, although 50,000
US troops and some 100,000 mercenaries remain.

Tragically, both wars have largely disappeared from the
national discourse. On October 22, WikiLeaks released
nearly 400,000 previously classified US military
documents about the Iraq war. They contain startling
evidence of more than 1,300 incidents of torture, rape,
abuse and murder by Iraqi security forces while the US
government looked the other way. During this time, the
Bush administration issued a "fragmentary order" called
"Frago 242" not to investigate detainee abuse unless
coalition troops were directly involved. US authorities
failed to investigate hundreds of reports of torture,
rape, abuse and murder by Iraqi soldiers and police.
Manfred Nowak, the United Nation's Special Rapporteur
on Torture, called on Obama to order a complete
investigation of US forces' involvement in human rights

Many reports of abuse are supported by medical
evidence. Prisoners were shackled, blindfolded and hung
by their wrists and ankles. Some were whipped with
cables, chains, wire and pistols. Some were burned with
acid and cigarettes. Electric shocks were applied to
genitals, fingernails were ripped off and fingers cut
off. Some were sodomized with hoses and bottles. Six
died from their torture.

And there are reports of widespread killing of
civilians by US and other coalition forces. But after a
couple of days of reporting about the largest incident
of whistle blowing in our history, news of the
WikiLeaks revelations has disappeared from the news

Both torture and the targeting of civilians are war
crimes. And, in spite of the reports of torture, Obama
completed the handover of 9,250 detainees to the Iraqi
government in July 2010. In so doing, he has violated
the Convention Against Torture, which forbids a party
from expelling, returning or extraditing a person to a
country where there are substantial grounds to believe
he will be in danger of being subjected to torture.
This is called nonrefoulement. The United States has
ratified the Torture Convention, making it part of US
law under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution.

The newly released documents show that between 2004 and
2009, at least 109,032 Iraqis died, including 66,081
civilians. More than 80 percent of those killed in
incidents related to convoys or at checkpoints
throughout Iraq were civilians. Pregnant women were
shot dead, priests were kidnapped and murdered and
Iraqi prison guards used electric drills to get
prisoners to confess.

A US helicopter crew was granted approval to attack two
Iraqis on the ground even though the pilots reported
that the men were trying to surrender. Under the 1907
Hague Regulations, it is prohibited "to kill or wound
an enemy who, having laid down his arms, or having no
longer means of defence, has surrendered at

Last year, 239 American soldiers took their own lives
and 1,713 soldiers survived suicide attempts; 146
soldiers died from high-risk activities, including 74
drug overdoses. One-third of returning troops report
mental health problems, and 18.5 percent of all
returning service members have post-traumatic stress
disorder or depression, according to a study by the
Rand Corporation.

Stewart spent a whole show last week interviewing Obama
about everything from health care to the economy. But
neither man mentioned the wars, even though the
billions spent on them could go a long way toward
fixing the economy and paying for health care.

It is time to put the wars back on the national agenda.
Iraq Veterans Against the War issued a statement
saying, "We grieve for the Iraqi and Afghan lives that
were lost and destroyed in these wars. We also grieve
for our brothers and sisters in arms, who have been
lost to battle or suicide ... We demand a real end to
both wars, including immediate withdrawal of the 50,000
"non-combat" troops who remain in Iraq. The Iraq War
Logs underscore the urgent need for peace, healing, and
reparations for all who have been harmed by these wars.
The first step is to bring our brothers and sisters

We cannot rely on Obama to end the wars. It's up to us
to put sustained pressure on him to do it.


STOP THE WAR COALITION Newsletter No.1176 01 November
2010 Email [log in to unmask] Tel: 020 7801 2768
Web: http://stopwar.org.uk 
Twitter: http://twitter.com/STWuk



There are three weeks till the TIME TO GO demonstration
in London on Saturday 20 November.

The demonstration is timed to coincide with the Lisbon
NATO conference at which Afghanistan will be the main
talking point. For all the talk of diplomacy and troop
drawdown, there are more NATO troops in the country
than at any time since 2001.

This year has seen the highest number of casualties
amongst Afghan civilians and NATO troops since the
invasion, and there is widespread recognition that the
war is a disaster.

The 20 November demonstration, which has been called by
Stop the War, CND and the British Muslim Initiative,
will be led by members of military families who oppose
the war and want to see their loved ones return

They will be joined by Joe Glenton, the soldier who
went to prison for refusing to return to Afghanistan to
fight a war he believed to be unjustified.

College and school students from across the country
will be out in force, raising the slogan "Fund
Education Not War" and protesting against a war that
has now lasted as long as World I and World War II

Coaches are being organised to bring protesters from
outside London. The list of towns organising coaches,
and details of how to book a place, will be updated
here: http://bit.ly/cDXKmN


We do not want anyone after the demonstration to be
able to say they were not on the demonstration because
they did not know about it. This is why we are asking
all our supporters not just to come on the
demonstration but actively to help publicise it as
widely as possible. Everyone can contribute:

* EMAIL: Email all your contacts with details of the
demonstration and encourage them to join us; *
LEAFLETING: Order leaflets, window posters and stickers
from the national office (020 7801 2768) and use them
to spread the word among your friends, family, work
colleagues, fellow students etc; * FACEBOOK, TWITTER,
BLOGS: If you use social media networks, these can be
one of the most effective ways of publicising the
demonstration very widely; * LOCAL STOP THE WAR GROUPS:
If there is a local group in your area, they will very
much welcome you joining their activities promoting the
demonstration. Call the national office for contact


Campaigning for the November 20 demonstration will be
particularly intense in London over the next three
weeks, with systematic leafleting of tube stations,
mosques, shopping centres, work places, colleges,
schools etc. Public meetings, cavalcades and street
theatre events are planned by London Stop the War

If you live in London, any time you can spare to help
mobilise for the demonstration will be very much
appreciated. Contact the Stop the War national office
for details of activities in your area: call 020 7801
2768 or email [log in to unmask]


On Friday 19 November - the eve of the national TIME TO
GO demonstration -- Joan Humphries, who lost her
grandson in Afghanistan, will lead a group of military
families who are campaigning to get the troops out of
Afghanistan to deliver a letter to David Cameron in
Downing Street.

They will be joined by former soldier Joe Glenton, who
will hand into Cameron all his military medals.


Stop the War's national Conference last Saturday
brought together 300 anti war delegates from across the

The atmosphere was lively and purposeful throughout a
day of debates, which included contributions from Tony
Benn, the Guardian's Seumas Milne, Kate Hudson from CND
and Mohammed Sawalha from the British Muslim

A strategy document was adopted which committed Stop
the War to continuing its campaigns over Afghanistan,
Iraq, Palestine, Iran and against the growing racism
against Muslims.

There was a high proportion of new and young activists
at the conference, with particularly impressive
contributions from college and school students, who
reported a growing anger against the war in the context
of the government's draconian cuts in public

The conference took particular satisfaction in the fact
that the war criminal Tony Blair can no longer show his
face in public for fear of the outrage it will provoke.
But, as George Galloway pointed out, it is Blair's face
behind bars that the anti-war movement is ultimately
working towards.

The final session was brought to its feet a number of
times by the speeches of Tony Benn, George Galloway,
ex-soldier Joe Glenton and Joan Humphries from Military
Families Against the War, and the delegates left the
conference is determined mood to do everything possible
to make the 20 November demonstration truly
representative of the anti-war majority in this


Portside aims to provide material of interest
to people on the left that will help them to
interpret the world and to change it.

Submit via email: [log in to unmask]
Submit via the Web: portside.org/submit
Frequently asked questions: portside.org/faq
Subscribe: portside.org/subscribe
Unsubscribe: portside.org/unsubscribe
Account assistance: portside.org/contact
Search the archives: portside.org/archive