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Monday, 01 July 2013 00:00

Snowden's Choice -- and Ours

nsa-earphones 1

WarTimes' Washington's Wars and Occupations:
Month in Review #98 • June , 2013

Nathan Paulsen situates the NSA revelations in the long and sordid history of U.S. government surveillance and likewise puts the Supreme Court's gutting of the Voting Rights Act in context, closing with the challenge this poses to those who abhor injustice.     

When Edward Snowden took responsibility for media leaks that revealed National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programs, I was viscerally moved. A rare moment of pride in my U.S. citizenship tingled down my spine. In exercising his freedom of speech to blow the whistle on government spying, Snowden acted in the best of our democratic traditions. Awed by the courage of a man willing to impoverish himself and risk years in prison for the common good, I felt challenged by his example.

Not that I have half the daring of Mr. Snowden.

But I do experience, I think, a similar disgust.

It is not the sort of disgust one might encounter when tasting a particularly unpleasant food. Or, say, coming across a maggot-filled squirrel on the side of the road. It's not a distaste for small discomforts, but a repugnance reserved for the great injustice in our world.

Published in War and Militarism


WarTimes' Washington's Wars and Occupations:
Month in Review #97 • May , 2013


Carlos Martinez cuts through the fog of rhetoric about Washington defense of freedom across the globe and explains why famed Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano's message to the U.S. is "Please don't save me!"

At a recent reading of his new book, Children of the Days: A Calendar of Human History, Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano berated Washington for disguising its imperial ambitions with the idealistic language of humanitarianism. Galeano poignantly exclaimed that everything the U.S. claims it wants to save, it inevitably destroys. With his usual biting wit, he announced," I would really please beg them, 'Please, don't save me. I don't want to saved.' "

A survey of Washington's latest interventions in Latin America, the Middle East, and beyond indicates that our government's penchant for saving countries by destroying them remains as present as ever. Indeed, today's Obama administration has artfully adopted and evolved this tradition of imperialism with a smiley face. Big wars with large-scale deployment of U.S. troops are at least temporarily off the agenda, much to the relief of millions across the globe. But other forms of destruction and killing in the name of saving people show little sign of abating. Drone killings continue in the name of fighting terrorism. Washington still plays the leading role as global weapons supplier and dealer in the name of securing peace. And new chapters are being written in the old book of intervention in the affairs of Latin American countries.

Published in War and Militarism
Wednesday, 01 May 2013 00:00


featured-images 35Washington's Wars and Occupations:
Month in Review #96 • April, 2013

In a month filled with the killing of innocents from Boston to West, Texas and from Baghdad to Yemen, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, Sarah Lazare calls attention to what we all have to learn from the Palestinian people's resistance to brutality and dispossession. 

April was such a cruel month this year. I grieve for those killed and maimed in the Boston Marathon bombing, for those who died in West, Texas and Bangladesh due to corporations placing profits over safety. I ache for those facing U.S. drone attacks in Yemen; deadly bombings and clashes in Iraq, blasts in Afghanistan. I am appalled as the 'sequester' cuts start to take a human toll while billions continue to flow to the U.S. military.

Published in War and Militarism
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 00:45


Sasha Wright lays bare the underlying dynamics of the U.S.-supported French intervention in Mali, spotlighting the role of AFRICOM and Western-imposed "structural adjustment" policies. She follows up by assessing the results of Israel's "let's debate-everything-except-settlements-and-occupation" elections.

This month in his inauguration speech President Obama declared that “a decade of war is now ending,” and “enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.” But the only wars Obama is ending (and even those not 100%) are the big ones, involving large-scale deployment of ground troops, substantial U.S. casualties, and direct naked occupations.

Published in War and Militarism

Washington's Wars and Occupations:
Washington's Wars and Occupations:Month in Review #92/December 31, 2012

(En español)

Elvis Méndez examines the connections between this country's toxic allegiance to militarism, the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut and the frenzy surrounding the fiscal cliff.

Another month, another spectacle: this month’s political theater is The Fiscal Cliff. The authors are the same Washington "wise men" who were responsible for the Super Committee, the "Gang of Six" and a litany of other proposals for imposing austerity measures on the U.S. public under the guise of deficit reduction and pragmatic fiscal policy. As of this writing the precise final script is still being negotiated behind closed doors. But no version has a happy ending for the 99%.

The specifics pushed by different factions of the U.S political class vary. But one thread remains constant: blind allegiance to war spending. The U.S. is - and has been for over 30 years - guided by a policy of military Keynesianism. Children abroad in occupied territories or regions under drone assault, and children at home (including - but not only - those murdered in Newtown) suffer the consequences of a system that prioritizes weapons manufacturing and remote killing machines over the physical and mental well-being of the next generation.

Published in War and Militarism
Tuesday, 27 November 2012 22:09

Who Will We Sacrifice? | WarTimes

On the eve of the election, Shenaaz Janmohamed highlights the way the world is changing and how resistance across the globe challenges the culture of avoidance and U.S. policies of persistent war.

Muslim pilgrims climb Mount Mercy on the Plain of Arafat, in October 2012. (Image courtesy of AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

The last Friday of October was Eid al-Adha, the Islamic holiday marking the end of the hajj or pilgrimage season. This holiday is about considering the act of sacrifice in our daily lives. Goat and lamb are typically slaughtered and the food secured by this practice is shared collectively in community and offered to poor families. I attended an Eid celebration in Oakland, California and the khutbah, or sermon, invited us to think of the animals that we sacrifice as representing the qualities which need slaughtering in our society. The Imam invited us to think of killing off the tendencies that are not accountable to community. 

Published in War and Militarism

This piece was originally posted on WarTimes on September 30, 2012

Washington's Wars and Occupations:
Month in Review #89

By Nathan Paulsen

This month’s Review is a little different from the usual War Times offering. In it, War Times crew member Nathan Paulsen shares his personal struggles with the isolation and despair that sometimes creep into the lives of people working for peace and justice. In this context, he touches on events in Afghanistan, Libya, Iran, and Iraq – and in his own life.

Published in War and Militarism

How does using the framework of militarism help understand war in its different forms? At a time when economic crisis has eclipsed issues of war, how does "militarism" mobilize the movement for peace and justice? This is a War Times-sponsored event that took place in San Francisco on August 4, 2012.

With Rebecca Gordon of War Times
Sarah Lazare of Civilian-Soldier Alliance:
Rachel Herzing of Critical Resistance:
Moderated by Attieno Davis of War Times.

Published in War and Militarism
Friday, 10 August 2012 17:16

What a Field Day for the Heat | WarTimes

HeatWashington's Wars and Occupations:  Month in Review #87/July 31, 2012 (Reposted from WarTimes)                                

This month it's not just temperatures that are hot. Tensions are boiling from Syria, Israel/Palestine and Mexico to Anaheim, California. Carlos Martinez surveys the landscape.

The hottest year in U.S. history is blistering the Midwest with the worst drought in half a century. Violence is flaring from Syria to the "Magic City” of Anaheim, California.  Mexico’s “Yo Soy 132” Movement is bringing a different kind of heat into politics while the LIBOR scandal spotlights the everyday criminality of the big banks and their government enablers. A new Associated Press report predicts that the 2011 Census will show U.S. poverty figures increasing to their highest level in 50 years.

It's a long, hot summer - and not likely to cool off any time soon.   

Published in War and Militarism

to kick wars outWashington's Wars and Occupations:
Month in Review #85 • May 31, 2012

By Greg Hom

Taking inspiration from the IVAW activists who led the big anti-NATO protests in Chicago, Greg Hom assesses the continuing challenges facing antiwar activists regarding Afghanistan, Iran, Egypt, Syria and Mali.

Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans, hand-in-hand with Afghans for Peace, made history this month when they led a march of thousands against NATO and returned their Global War on Terror medals to NATO's generals. Just the boost needed for the hard work ahead in the face of challenging developments from the Middle East/West Asia to too-often-ignored Africa. Adding a complicating twist, this is an election year in the U.S. It’s a lot, but it’s a crazy and big world.

Published in War and Militarism
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