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War and Militarism

War and Militarism

Bringing a race, class, and gender perspective to issues of war and peace, with War Times.

Monday, 03 February 2014 22:08 Published in War and Militarism


Rebecca Tumposky reports on the high stakes battle in Washington over the Iran negotiations as the P5+1-Iran interim agreement takes effect, stressing that further diplomatic progress is crucial for de-escalating conflict throughout the Middle East and dealing a blow to the Israel Lobby's constant promotion of war, occupation and Islamophobia. 

Diplomacy between the P5+1 powers (the U.S., Russia, China, United Kingdom, France and Germany) and Iran yielded tangible results in the first weeks of 2014 as the interim agreement signed last year went into effect January 20. The accord mandates a six-month freeze and partial rollback of portions of Iran's nuclear program in exchange for a small easing of economic sanctions. International inspectors are now in Iran monitoring the nuclear side of the agreement, and Iran has begun taking steps to recover $4.2 billion in oil revenues frozen in foreign accounts and resume trade in petrochemicals, gold and other precious metals.

The deal took effect despite an AIPAC-driven campaign for legislation (the Kirk-Menendez sanctions bill) that would sabotage negotiations and set Washington on a course toward war. Trying to get the bill through Congress before the pro-diplomacy camp could alert a war-weary U.S. public to what was at stake, AIPAC was able to enlist 59 Senators as co-sponsors of its poison-pill measure. But before this number could expand to a veto-proof 67 Senators in support, strong defense of diplomacy from the administration ("if some Senators want another Middle East war, they should say so") and a significant pressure campaign mounted by grassroots activists blunted the Israel Lobby/Neocon momentum. In the wake of President Obama's strong defense of Iran diplomacy in the State of the Union speech, some initial Democratic backers of the bill seem to have taken a step back, and the Kirk-Menendez Bill seems unlikely to come up for a Senate vote any time soon.

But the fight is far from over. The hawks are simply biding their time, waiting for a moment when negotiations with Iran hit a rough patch or events elsewhere in the Middle East give them an opportunity to again press their war-and-regime-change agenda. They know the stakes: how the U.S.-Iran relationship develops in the next year has a huge impact on the entire next phase of Middle East politics. Failure of negotiations would at a minimum close off any chance of de-escalating the fighting in Syria; heighten sectarian conflict in Lebanon, Iraq and beyond; and embolden Israel in its continuing colonization of Palestine; maximally it will produce a catastrophic regional war. Successful diplomacy, on the other hand, opens the door to de-escalation of sectarian conflict, establishment of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East (which would require Israel to give up its nuclear arsenal) and strengthen the forces in the U.S. advocating diplomacy rather than military action in addressing conflicts all across the globe.   


With the interim agreement, the P5+1 powers accepted an arrangement permitting limited uranium enrichment in Iran under enhanced inspections in exchange for lifting some sanctions.  It is the first formal agreement between the U.S. and Iran in 34 years.  New Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has made it clear his government is eager to reduce political tensions with the West and bring an end to the draconian U.S.-led sanctions, though not at the expense of Iran’s sovereignty and its right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes. For its part, the Obama administration wants to extricate the U.S. from the large-scale military involvement in the Middle East and re-deploy resources to Asia.  With the U.S. weakened by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that were supposed to usher in a new era of unparalleled global domination, and in economic difficulties and with a public majority sick of foreign wars, most of the foreign policy establishment is against risking another debacle.  

That's the basis for what is now a serious attempt by Washington and Tehran to reach an agreement both can live with.

But the calculations of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are different. He and his right-wing allies fear that a U.S.-Iran understanding will erode Israel's position as overwhelmingly dominant power in the Middle East and its current oversize influence on U.S. politics. Those fears are the real reason for Netanyahu & Company's all-out crusade against a P5+1-Iran agreement. But that's not a winning public relations formula, so fear-mongering about Iran supposedly building a nuclear weapon is the propaganda point of choice.

Netanyahu therefore demands that in any final deal Iran dismantle its entire nuclear program, including its peaceful enrichment capabilities. This demand is dutifully included in the Kirk-Mendez bill, which for good measure also commits the U.S. to "stand with Israel" if that nation launches a military attack on Iran. (For a full explanation of the provisions in Kirk-Menendez, see this information sheet from the National Iranian American Council.)

It took a determined response from several quarters to beat back Kirk-Menendez' initial momentum. The fight opened up important divisions among political figures who normally follow the Israel Lobby line 100%. Senator Diane Feinstein calling it a march toward war bill and her unprecedented statement, that “we can't let Israel determine when and where the U.S. goes to war," represented a huge blow to AIPAC. (No accident that Feinstein is Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and is heavily influenced by the views of top U.S. Intelligence officials.)  It also put AIPAC – and its advocacy of views at odds with those of a majority of both the public and the U.S. security establishment – in the spotlight as never before. 

Even with the war hawks beaten back for now, a rough road lies ahead. It will not be easy for the Obama and Rouhani teams to hammer out a compromise and both leaders face strong opposition from their respective hard-liners. One positive factor is the differences within the P5+1 camp: Russia and China, and possibly Germany and Britain, are much more willing than the U.S. and France to acknowledge Iran's right to peaceful enrichment. This puts pressure on Washington in favor of an agreement: if Washington caves to Israeli demands, the P5+1 coalition, along with its sanctions regimes, could fall apart, with Russia and China defecting, refusing to abide by U.S. actions, and pulling some of Europe with them.

On the popular pressure side, a wide range of progressive and grassroots organizations are putting this battle high on their action agenda. The National Iranian American Council, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Win Without War, CREDO,, Daily Kos and even pro-Israel groups such as Americans for Peace Now and J Street have joined together to oppose further sanctions on Iran.


The Geneva II peace talks between the U.S. and Western-backed National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, also known as the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), and the Assad regime ended, unfortunately but not surprisingly, without any meaningful diplomatic developments. The Syrian government declined to authorize humanitarian aid to the city of Homs or to promise to allow women and children to leave, a hoped-for top-priority initial aim.

Many of the opposition forces, including the Saudi-backed Islamic front and the Al Qaeda-linked groups, did not participate. And the Kurds, who have set up a mini-state of their own, were not invited. The SNC and the Assad regime government were fundamentally divided over the aims of the conference, with the Assad regime arguing that the goal was to find a solution to foreign-backed "terrorism", and the SNC insisting the regime commit to a process that would create a transitional governing authority with representation from all sides.

At U.S. insistence – over Russian objections - Iran was excluded from the Geneva talks. Washington's position puts commitment to regime change above the importance of de-escalating the fighting in Syria and addressing its humanitarian catastrophe. For any serious de-escalation to occur, all parties involved directly or indirectly in the armed conflict, whatever side they back, must have a seat at the table. Just as no solution can be found until the Saudis stop funneling money and arms to the rebel factions they support, only when Assad's backers – Russia and Iran – push the regime to stop its horrific violence can matters take a positive turn.

There have been occasional signs that Iran is not happy with Assad's brutality. But as long as powerful forces in the U.S. and Saudi Arabia treat Syria as a stepping stone toward regime change in Tehran, Iran will defend Assad. Decisive signals from Washington that the U.S. is prepared for true peaceful co-existence with Iran are therefore crucial to de-escalating the Syrian crisis – and by doing so, reducing the sectarian conflict spilling over from Syria into Lebanon and Iraq. Here too U.S. domestic politics and the role of the Israel Lobby come into play: to the extent pressure from that quarter is beaten back, the administration has more flexibility to find a face-saving way to include Iran and work toward de-escalation.


In the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Netanyahu has again moved the goalposts. He now claims exclusive control over the Jordan River Valley and insists that he will evacuate "not a single settlement."  He insists that negotiations focus on Israel's alleged security needs and recognition from the Palestinians as a "Jewish state." The Israeli negotiators keep the real core issues of Jerusalem, the Palestinian right of return, and borders on the back burner.  

Even further to the right than Netanyahu, Israel's defense minister, Moshe "Boogy" Ya'alon, shows open contempt for any kind of negotiations at all. He accused Secretary of State John Kerry of "misplaced obsession and messianic fervor" in his efforts to push for a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians – producing a rare pushback from Washington with U.S. officials demanding an apology from the Israelis, and getting a half-hearted one.

Of course Kerry has been anything but messianic about Israeli de-escalation. To the contrary, what has leaked about the 'framework' he is now promising to unveil indicates that it adopts 95% of the Israeli demands, with the Palestinians offered large chunks of money for supposed "economic development" in exchange for signing away their national and human rights. There is no longer even a pretense of Kerry putting pressure on Israel, perhaps because the Obama administration is expending all the political capital it has for the Middle East defending diplomacy with Iran.

It still appears that the positions of Netanyahu and the PA are too far apart for even a framework to be agreed upon between the two sides. And even a 95% pro-Israel framework may not be enough for Israel's far right. But Kerry has been lining up regional and international actors behind a push for an agreement, in a way that Clinton and others before did not, and PA leader Abbas has indicated he is prepared to make numerous concessions. It is thus not impossible that the US and Israel may be able to impose a horrible framework that Abbas will sign off on, making the fight for Palestinian rights even more difficult than it already is.


With the Iran negotiations, the Syrian catastrophe and the Israel-Palestine talks all "in play" it is a complicated and critical moment. The pro-diplomacy, antiwar camp can savor the victory of staving off AIPAC in the first round of battle over Kirk-Menendez, but there is no room to relax. Rather, it is a time to take advantage of AIPAC's exposure in this last round and intensify our engagement with the public about the real agenda of the war hawks. The stakes remain immense and the choices stark: war or peace with Iran; de-escalation or escalation of the sectarian dimension of the conflicts which are producing a humanitarian disaster in much of the Middle East; strengthening or weakening the Israel Lobby, making progress or regressing in the ongoing effort to expose Israel as a source of war, nuclear threats, racism and occupation rather than "the only democracy in the Middle East."  

Pete Seeger wrote on his banjo “this machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender.”  Let's follow in his footsteps by surrounding the big fools that want to push the world further into the big muddy with voices loud enough to beat them back.

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the entire War Times project

Monday, 01 July 2013 00:00 Published in War and Militarism

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.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013 16:12 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.

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

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.

Thursday, 18 April 2013 02:10 Published in War and Militarism

To my dear comrades,

Though using the gender-biased terminology of 1624, John Donne's Meditation 17 seems to me as if it could have been written in the first hour after Monday's carnage in Boston:

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

For those of us who have crossed the Boston Marathon finish line, those last few blocks on Boylston Street are unforgettable, emotionally as well as physically. To see the pictures and videos of maimed instead of merely exhausted bodies there is an especially searing experience. Saying that the bombing instantaneously turned a r-NEW-YORK-LOVES-BOSTON-large570moment of large-scale human triumph into horror has already become a cliché. But it is true nonetheless. Reading about the lives of the dead and wounded is heartbreaking. Seeing the heroism of so many people who immediately ran toward instead of away from the explosions – including Boston Athletic Association volunteers and peace activists – is an inspiring reminder of human beings' capacity to put the needs of others before their own.

Friday, 05 April 2013 16:57 Published in War and Militarism

Washington's Wars and Occupations:
Month in Review #95 • March 31, 2013 

Michael Reagan connects the war in Iraq, elite impunity, the police murder of Kimani Gray, the Steubenville rape case, and the "sequester" assault on the poor, to the "madness from the top" that structures U.S. society.   

It's March and despite what you read on the sports pages the real madness in the country isn't on the basketball court. It's on the streets of New York where police murder another Black teenager. It's in Steubenville, Ohio, where a teenage girl is raped by high school athletes and a culture of misogyny blames the victim. It's in the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, which passed without a single perpetrator of that lie-based bloodletting facing any consequences whatsoever. And it's in “sequestration,” a special kind of “structural violence” that targets the most vulnerable among us. This kind of madness, madness from the top, rooted in the violence and self-interest of the powerful, is enough to drive many of the rest of us mad in a different sense. We're mad with the kind of anger and outrage that leads to resistance.

Thursday, 07 March 2013 20:00 Published in War and Militarism

korea-war-gamesWith all eyes on North Korea since its third nuclear test, remarkably little has been said about how we arrived at this crisis point. Inadequately contextualized as North Korea’s response to fortified UN sanctions, the latest nuclear test bespeaks the failure of U.S. diplomacy toward its historic enemy.

The commonplace U.S. media framing of North Korea as the region’s foremost security threat obscures the disingenuous nature of U.S. President Barack Obama’s policy in the region, specifically the identity between what his advisers dub “strategic patience,” on the one hand, and his forward-deployed military posture and alliance with regional hawks on the other. Examining Obama’s aggressive North Korea policy and its consequences is crucial to understanding why demonstrations of military might—of politics by other means, to borrow from Carl von Clausewitz—are the only avenues of communication North Korea appears to have with the United States at this juncture.

Monday, 04 March 2013 17:14 Published in War and Militarism

Washington's Wars and Occupations:
Month in Review #94/February 28, 2013

Rebecca Tumposky cuts through this month's hypocrisy in Washington concerning drones, Afghanistan, the Israel Lobby and Chuck Hagel allegedly being a threat to U.S. "national security." She also suggests that peace advocates can learn a lot from the Forward on Climate# #NoKXL actions that brought tens of thousands into the streets February 17.  

Even counting the Oscar ceremony there was more posturing and acting in Washington than in Hollywood this month.As March 1 "sequestration" cuts that will impose hardship on millions loomed, Congress members preened for the cameras and gave priority to the partisan blame game over mention of poor people. In hearings considering Chuck Hagel's nomination for Defense Secretary, Republican hawks acted as if Hagel’s saying the Iraq War was a mistake or that he was a senator from Nebraska rather than Israel made the man a friend of terrorism. President Obama spoke of a withdrawal from Afghanistan that isn't really a withdrawal and urged action on climate while acting as if the Keystone XL pipeline was not a grave threat to the planet. And the leaked memos on "justified’ targeted killing" meant that even Academy Award level costume design couldn't hide the "war is peace," "murder is self-defense" logic of Washington's drone warfare policy.

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

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.

Sunday, 13 January 2013 22:34 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.

Wednesday, 05 December 2012 20:56 Published in War and Militarism

Analyzing Israel's latest assault on Gaza against the background of a rapidly changing region, Clare Bayard highlights the parallels between the Israeli and U.S. national narratives which give the racist "clash of civilizations" framework so much resonance in U.S. political discourse.

In the heart of the rapidly changing and unstable Middle East, Israel launched the biggest offensive against Gaza since 2008's Operation Cast Lead this month. The assault killed hundreds and alienated millions, and the global backlash led to more countries than ever defying Israeli and U.S. pressure in the U.N. vote to make Palestine a "non-member state" November 29.

What happens in Palestine/Israel affects the world:

"The Middle East lies on the world's largest "shatterbelt"... the region of contact between the world's great sea and land powers... shatterbelts are not just flashpoints for great power conflict. Critically, and unlike in other areas, small states located inside them can significantly affect the course of conflict simply by changing sides, shifting the balance of power across a tipping point. " -Roxane Farmanfarmaian in Redrawing the Middle East Map

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

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. 

Thursday, 11 October 2012 17:57 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.

Thursday, 27 September 2012 18:15 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.


Sunday, 09 September 2012 03:00 Published in War and Militarism

Washington's Wars and Occupations: Month in Review #88

By Rebecca Gordon / War Times

This month has seen it all. War Times web editor Rebecca Gordon reports on a near-lynching in Jerusalem and anti-Sudanese demonstrations elsewhere in Israel; a bizarre nativist eruption on the floor of the Republican National Convention; and hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees overwhelming Turkey, along with the spillover of the Syrian civil war into Lebanon. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu seems determined to drag his country, along with the U.S., into a war with Iran.

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

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.   

Wednesday, 04 July 2012 03:58 Published in War and Militarism

July 4, 2012, Buenos Aires

It has been nearly two weeks since the parliament of Paraguay orchestrated an institutional coup that removed President Fernando Lugo from power and installed vice president Fernando Franco in his place, a mere 9 months before the next presidential elections.

Monday, 18 June 2012 15:46 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.

Friday, 11 May 2012 17:55 Published in War and Militarism

WizOfOz USWashington's Wars and Occupations:

Month in Review #84/April 30, 2012

By Francesca Fiorentini

Francesca Fiorentini pulls back the curtain on the empire's maneuvers this month in Iran, Afghanistan and Syria.

This Spring, it's on. Outpourings like the 99% Spring, May Day actions throughout the country, ongoing Occupy projects, and the work against the NATO summit later this month, mean the movement for economic justice and real democracy in the U.S. can't be pepper-sprayed away.

But as attention moves to critical domestic issues, the repression of the Arab Spring and wars of occupation rage on with much too little public debate. Which is how Washington prefers things. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! Because despite the collected face of the military wizard, you might see that the men at the controls haven't a clue. Yet if we are to understand where our tax dollars really went in April, why the country is supposedly broke ¬ and why after a decade of "war on terrorism" the world is less safe than ever, we must pull back the curtain on a military policy that teeters between terrible and disastrous.

Friday, 20 April 2012 04:55 Published in War and Militarism

hoodie-hijabWashington's Wars and Occupations: Month in Review #83 • March 31, 2012

By Rebecca Tumposky

Rebecca Tumposky foregrounds the racist dynamics shaping events this last month from AfghanistanIraq, Syria, & the Israel-Palestine conflict to the streets of Sanford, Florida & El Cajon, California.

Sixteen Afghan civilians are massacred in their beds by a U.S. soldier.  Trayvon Martin is murdered by self-appointed 'neighborhood watchman.' Shaima Al Awadi, an Iraqi immigrant and mother of five, is found brutally killed in her home in El Cajon, California. The KONY video, with its ‘Western-white-military-force-will-save-the-day' message, goes viral.

Saturday, 07 April 2012 03:06 Published in War and Militarism

As the global and U.S. political landscape shifts, a new round of strategic discussion is taking place in many sectors of the antiwar movement. Below are the key assessment points and questions used by War Times to kick off our collective's effort to (1) take stock of the current volatile moment and (2) look for effective paths forward. The third part of this discussion paper is a short essay on antimilitarist strategies by War Timer Lynn Koh that expresses some of what we felt were the most useful ideas coming out of our deliberations. We are sharing this material in hopes of pushing forward a much-needed dialogue not only among activists who are focused mainly on antiwar and international solidarity efforts, but also with grassroots organizers whose work is mainly in other movements but who see the importance of making opposition to war, empire and militarism an integral part of a revitalized U.S. progressive movement. –Max Elbaum, Francesca Fiorentini, Rebecca Gordon, Hany Khalil and Lynn Koh for War Times

Friday, 01 July 2011 00:00 Published in War and Militarism

By Bob Wing and Hany Khalil

Veteran analyst Bob Wing and Egyptian-American activist Hany Khalil recently met with a dozen key revolutionaries and spoke with numerous people on Cairo’s streets, in the cafes and taxis, and in their homes. This article serves as a dissection of the new living democracy in Egypt, including eyewitness and grassroots reports of the  established political organizations, revolutionary start-ups, and their complex, and sometimes messy, interactions.  A window into what it means to build democracy from the ground up, this article is both exciting and sobering.

Sunday, 01 May 2011 00:00 Published in War and Militarism

bobwingBob Wing is a longtime activist and the founding editor of ColorLines magazine and War Times/Tiempo de Guerras newspaper. He now lives in Durham, NC.

Friday, 01 April 2011 00:00 Published in War and Militarism

pookie patagonia ravatar large 0This piece - written by Rebecca Gordon, and the War Times/Tiempo de Guerras editors - is reprinted from WarTimes/Tiempo de Guerras (March 2011).  Rebecca Gordon is a member of the War Times/Tiempo de Guerras organizing committee. She has been a political activist for more years than she cares to remember, working on issues of feminism, war and peace, economic and racial justice, and specifically torture in the post-9/11 United States. She's also the author of Letters From Nicaragua, a record of six months spent in the war zones during the contra war.

Monday, 30 November 2009 21:46 Published in War and Militarism

3 0 nouraface3Interviewed by Joseph Phelan and Sushma Sheth

What is new about the current political context, especially as part of the Obama era?

Since January 20, 2009, we have experienced what feels like an unprecedented shift and have [probably] assumed that it is a function of a refreshing Obama Administration. However, the major shift that we feel is the absence of a revolutionary Bush Administration. Bush’s tenure as President marked the most revolutionary era because for the first time in modern history, our head of state supplanted secular language, otherwise mandated by the Establishment Clause, with religious language in discussing matters of foreign and domestic policy.

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