Ten years ago this month the United Sates embarked on one of the worst foreign policy decisions in the nation’s history. Fooling itself into believing that U.S. soldiers would be welcomed as liberators, the Bush Administration ordered the invasion of Iraq. March 19th began a more intensified subjugation and destruction of Iraq that really began with Operation Desert Storm in January 1991 when I was part of that invading force.
Today due to the resistance of the Iraqi people and domestic pressure created by the peace movement here in the U.S., officially U.S. forces have left Iraq and the Iraqi people are picking up the pieces of a destroyed national infrastructure and fragmented society. The two decades of Iraq Wars from 1991 to when the last U.S. troops left in 2011 must not be swept aside like a bad dream to be forgotten. Our nation has an obligation to the people of Iraq and to U.S. service members sent to fight, bleed and die there. I congratulate the peace movement for its successful efforts to bring our troops home and end the violence caused by U.S. military operations and or the presence of our forces, but there is still much work to do to help the people of Iraq and U.S. troops and the communities to which they have returned heal.
As always the peace and anti-war community is busy with over flowing plates of work to do. There have been important developments in the Bradley Manning case. He needs our support as much as anyone. March is Women’s History month and as we celebrate the triumphs and continuing struggles of women here at home, the challenges women face around the world in the U.S. war machine and in the aftermath of U.S. wars must be part of the dialogue.
We are beginning preparations for the April 15th Global Day of Action on Military Spending to end the madness of international squandering of material resources and people’s lives and we must support our allies in the struggle for a clean and sustainable environment so that we can have safe food and clean air and water.
Thank you for your devotion to peace and justice. We will continue in the struggle because it honors those who brought us this far, it is the right thing to do, and we know that together we are making a difference for the better.
Power to the peaceful
Michael T. McPhearson
Iraq War Anniversary
Our only hope is in a cultural and political revolution – Yanar Mohammed, Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq President
International Women’s Day celebration this year coincides with the tenth anniversary of the tragic attack of the US war-machine on millions of unsuspecting Iraqi civilians, causing one of the biggest human crises of modern times, under the pretext of liberating Iraq and the women and men of Iraq. Read More
10 Years Later, Preemption Still Doesn’t Work
Coleen Rowley- Exactly a decade ago, when Bush-Cheney’s war machine was hell-bent on invading Iraq and few Washington power figures were brave enough to get in the way, I made this appeal to FBI Director Robert Mueller. The Cassandra business of warning about catastrophes that come true is certainly a thankless proposition. But it’s hardly the time to stop trying when ten years later, the consequences of instituting the “preemptive war” doctrine have become even more painfully obvious and bankrupting. Read More
For Iraqi women, America’s promise of democracy is anything but liberation
A decade on from the US-led invasion of Iraq, the destruction caused by foreign occupation and the subsequent regime has had a massive impact on Iraqis’ daily life – the most disturbing example of which is violence against women. At the same time, the sectarian regime’s policy on religious garb is forcing women to retire their hard-earned rights across the spectrum: employment, freedom of movement, civil marriage, welfare benefits, and the right to education and health services. Read More
Ten Years of War: Stories from the Frontlines in SF
March 19th is the 10th Anniversary of the commencement of the War in Iraq: A war that ended quietly in December 2011 and was quickly and deeply forgotten by many. It’s consequences, though, are far-reaching and very present. As we reach the watermark of a decade since the war began it seems a fitting time to have a frank discussion of what the war has wrought for those who have participated in it. Read More
On International Women’s Day, NOW Denounces Anti-Woman Austerity Policies
On International Women’s Day, the National Organization for Women calls upon leaders in the United States to firmly reject the austerity model that has been economically devastating to our sisters in Europe. Call it what you like — austerity, sequester, deficit reduction, balancing the budget. I call it a stealth attack on women. Read More
Update from the Bradley Manning Support Network
Our office is in the process of obtaining approval to release the statement PFC Manning read to the Court in support of his providence inquiry on 28 February 2013. As with every Defense filing, the statement will be reviewed and redacted prior to publication. Read More
Veterans For Peace Applauds Bradley Manning!
Bradley Manning has shown us once again that he is a hero. On Thursday, February 28, he made a profound and historic statement to a military court and to the world. Reading from prepared notes for over an hour, Bradley detailed how he released classified military and government documents to Wikileaks, and he explained why he did so. Read More
GDAMS – Global Day of Action on Military Spending
We are organizing a Global Day of Action on Military Spending each year in April to coincide with the release of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) annual figures on world military expenditures. It is also Tax Day in the US. In 2013, GDAMS will take place on Monday, April 15. Read More
JAPAN: Vigil highlights Japan’s historic vow to renounce war
On Friday, February 22, Pax Christi USA and the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker held a vigil outside the White House, while President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met inside for lunch. The Japanese prime minister is from a political party calling for the repeal of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution which renounces war and prevents Japan from becoming a nuclear power. Read More
Nonviolence scholar Gene Sharp nominated for 2013 Nobel Peace Prize
PHILADELPHIA (February 25, 2013) – Gene Sharp, whose decades of research and analyses of the effectiveness of nonviolence has been used worldwide to create or support fledgling democracies, has been nominated for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). Read More
Resist AFRICOM is a campaign comprised of concerned U.S. and Africa-based organizations and individuals opposed to the new U.S. military command for Africa (AFRICOM).
With the establishment of AFRICOM, the Pentagon attempts to increase access to Africa’s oil and to wage a new front in the Global War on Terror without regard for the needs or desires of African people. Enabled by oil companies and private military contractors, AFRICOM serves as the latest frontier in military expansionism, violating the human rights and civil liberties of Africans who have voiced a strong “no” to U.S. military presence. Read More
Iran War Weekly
After eight months of low-profile inactivity, the Iranian nuclear issue sprang to life this week in widely separate venues: Washington and Kazakhstan. In Kazakhstan’s capital Almaty, Iran’s nuclear negotiators met with the “P5+1” (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany). Read More
Prosperity Not Austerity Tour
While our communities suffer and so many desperately need jobs, 58% of the U.S. government’s discretionary budget goes to the Pentagon. Most of this huge budget is both unnecessary and wasteful. Saturday, March 23, Marylanders will hit the road to demand that Congress prioritize human needs over war. Supporters from DC and VA will join us at the end at a Capitol rally — co-sponsored by CODEPINK, United for Peace & Justice, Progressive Democrats of America, DC Labor Council, Peace Action, MoveOn DC, Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore and Institute for Policy Studies’ Genuine Progress Project. Read More
No Fracking, No Pipelines
Something is happening in the Delaware River watershed, something important and inspiring.
Yesterday over 100 people from dozens of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware groups joined together in one of the most empowering actions I’ve been part of in a long time. Read More
Tell President Obama: Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline
Essentially game over” for the climate. That’s what climate scientist James Hansen calls the proposed Keystone XL pipeline — which would carry oil out of Canada’s vast tar sands oil fields to Texas, where it will be refined, then burned across the globe, dealing a catastrophic blow to our chance of returning earth to a stable climate. Read More
Pull the Pork and More
from the Pentagon Budget!
The Jobs Not Wars Campaign is calling for a change in our nation’s priorities. We can only meet the needs of the American people and our communities by cutting the bloated out-of-control Pentagon budget and by making the super-rich and giant corporations pay their fair share.
We will strengthen our security more by investing in jobs and caring for people than by lining the pockets of weapons makers, their executives and lobbyists.
Does the budget exist to serve the people or the profit interests of the arms industry?
The time to act is now !
Call your representative and senators
Wednesday, February 27th !
Unless Congress and the President reach an agreement on March 1st, across-the-board mandatory cuts will take place that will devastate social programs on which so many of the unemployed, poor, elderly, children and disabled depend.
- There’s an alternative. It’s called The Balancing Act – H.R. 505 – introduced by the Congressional Progressive Caucus. It avoids cuts to essential social programs, calls on the most privileged to pay their share and reduces Pentagon spending to fund job creation and rebuild the economy.
• Tell your representative and senators that you want them to support The Balancing Act (HR 505) and oppose both sequestration and austerity measures.
• Tell them to stand with the majority who support substantial cuts to the Pentagon budget to fund job creation, secure social safety net programs, rebuild public infrastructure, protect the environment, and make the super-rich and corporations pay their fair share of taxes.
HERE ARE OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO
- On Wednesday, February 27th, actions will take place around the country calling on Congress to “Pull the Pork“
After you make your call, join an action near you.
- Find a local event at www.pullthepork.org.
- If you have not yet signed the Jobs-Not-Wars petition, take a moment to do that HERE
Thank You for All You Do to Help Build a Better America for All.
United for Peace & Justice
Click Here to Donate!
Donations to United for Peace and Justice are tax exempt to the extent permitted by law. The Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) is UFPJ’s 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor. If you would like to make a donation by check, please make it payable to “FOR” and write “UFPJ” in the memo line. Mail to: P.O. Box 607, Times Square Station, New York, NY 10108.
Tonight President Obama will give his annual State of the Union address in an effort to assure the country we are on the right track. Obama’s message will be in contrast to Republicans, who will have two cracks at a response, from Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky representing the reactionary Republicans, the Tea-Party.
But neither President Obama nor the Republicans will tell the full story about how huge Pentagon and war outlays are choking our economy. With military expenditures consuming 57% of discretionary spending, there is no other area of the budget that deserves more scrutiny and trimming. Yet a thirst to control access to the world’s resources and dominate international relations will not allow clear thinking and stewardship towards what is best for the American people. The U.S. nearly spends more on its military than the rest of the world combined, outpacing number two China by six to one and continues to expand its military presence around the world building dozens of new military and CIA bases in the Middle East and Africa. A foreign policy that causes a nation to borrow huge sums from its rival is flawed by design and destined to fail.
Sadly, neither President Obama nor the Republicans will talk about the devastating impact U.S. drone warfare has on communities and the families caught in the crossfire of U.S. military operations. Somehow it is lost on the President and so many Republicans that when a child dies from U.S. bombs and bullets overseas it is just as tragic as the loss we suffered in Newtown -– it is American gun violence gone global. It seems to matter little that Pakistanis, Afghans and others facing U.S. military action love their children just as much as we do.
The answer to our nation’s problems will not be adequately addressed by either party because war making is central to their vision of the future. They cannot or choose not to see that war is a manifestation of hate and hate cannot be defeated by more hate. With humanity facing unprecedented challenges it is time the global community work together. Climate change, nuclear proliferation (highlighted today by North Korea’s bomb test), poverty and war will overwhelm us if we do not take a global stand against them.
If you have not already done so, click here to sign the Jobs Not Wars Petition. Tomorrow, February 13, call your Representative and Senator to push them to fund initiatives that create jobs, to end U.S. policy of endless wars and to cut Pentagon spending. UFPJ, USLAW and other organizations promoting the petition will be in Washington, DC tomorrow to present the signatures thus far to Congressional leaders. Do not let up! We must force the President and Congress to move our nation from war to peace, from aggression to diplomacy.
Support UFPJ in our efforts to build a global peace and justice movement.
On February 15, 2003 the world said No to War and Yes to Peace in the largest global demonstration in world history. New York Times writer Patrick Tyler wrote, “…the huge anti-war demonstrations around the world this weekend are reminders that there may still be two superpowers on the planet: the United States and world public opinion.” Today through Twitter, Facebook and other means average people around the world are more connected than ever before. We have the means at our disposal to force our government through world public pressure to do what is good and just for all of us. We have the tools and knowledge to connect the global 99%.
The answers to the world’s challenges are not clear, but it begins with the sentiment Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is trying to communicate in these words, “We have inherited a big house, a great ‘world house’ in which we have to live together – black and white, Easterners and Westerners, Gentiles and Jews, Catholics and Protestants, Moslem and Hindu, a family unduly separated in ideas, culture, and interests who, because we can never again live without each other, must learn, somehow, in this one big world, to live with each other.”
We can do it, we must do it and we will do it.
Power to the peaceful.
Please visit our February 15th 2003 Facebook page for images and comments about that powerful day. Join in to talk about the day and the future of global peace.
– Michael T. McPhearson
In 2013 the peace and justice community has a full plate. The UFPJ membership is a reflection of the multi-issue agenda we face as we work to turn our nation from war to peaceful co-existence in the global community. Of all the issues we struggle with every day, the one that has captured the attention of most everyone around the country is the anemic economy and what to do to fix it. The Jobs Not Wars Petition Campaign is an important part of the answer to this crisis. We in the peace community understand that war is stealing resources and starving our nation. The petition is close to reaching the goal of 50,000 signatures and we ask you to reach out to your friends and family to ask them to sign on. We are taking the signatures to Congress before their President’s Day weekend break in the middle of February.
In his inauguration speech President Obama made many great pronouncements that would lead us to believe his agenda for the next four years will be more progressive, moving his policies closer to what we would like to see.
His statement that, “A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun.” would be wonderful if it were true. Yes technically a recovery has begun, but we know millions continue to be out of work with many having given up looking for jobs because there are none to be found. We know that there are continued threats of budget cuts which will lead to more layoffs and more unemployment. We know that Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare and a host of services to assist working and poor people are under attack by both major parties.
We also know that the war in Afghanistan may technically come to an end, but what of drone warfare and air campaigns in Pakistan and Afghanistan? What about covert operations around the world including in Iran? What about the support of war and oppression in areas of conflict such as Gaza? Speeches are nice but we demand real action. We demand real change and we demand real peace and justice.
Of all the words in his speech perhaps this phrase holds the most truth, “You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course.”
He got that right. It’s up to us to set a course of peace and justice. Let’s do it in 2013.
This week marks the first anniversary of the “end” of the Iraq War. This anniversary is not at all on the top of peoples’ minds, buried as it was in the hubbub of the holidays and now totally eclipsed by this other unspeakable, violent horror in Newtown, Connecticut.
Although we all would love to forget the war and call it over, it is not. It remains a heavy weight dragging on all of us, out of sight but significant. The Iraq War is not in the past tense in Iraq. Millions of Iraqis are still displaced, around the world, and within Iraq, still unable to pick up the lives they once inhabited and move on. Iraqi civil society remains in a shambles. The people of Iraq are universally coping with personal loss, with physical and emotional trauma, and with deprivation.
The war is not in the past tense for the U.S. service members and veterans who fought there and who will carry the burdens of war with them for quite some time. Veteran suicide is at an all-time high, and at the same time veterans are waiting unprecedented lengths of time for their VA ratings so they can begin their care.
The war is far from over for all of us, the American people, as we continue to pay for it. We pay for it literally with our tax dollars. We pay for it again by the instability created in our communities, by the fact that there is no money for services, even education, or essential infrastructure.
At United for Peace and Justice we encourage you to get out into your community this week and remind your Congressmen and women and your folks that the WAR IS NOT OVER until the most affected begin to heal. The healing will begin when we honestly dig in to solve the issues.
We encourage you to make the connections between the violence that destroyed so many lives in Iraq and within the ranks of the US military, and the violence that erupted in Connecticut and ruined the lives of those twenty-seven innocent civilians and the people who loved them.
But as Congress debates cuts, People Demand Jobs Not Wars.
With last week’s overwhelmingly sad and tragic news of gun violence in Newtown, CT, leaving 27 people dead, including 20 young children, we are reminded of the importance of joining together to make America and our world a safer place for all. We applaud the president’s commitment to do something to reduce the level of violence in our society and look forward to his proposals.
Violence, whether it is violence at home, hazing or bullying, or war abroad, is too often our answer. We need to find alternative solutions that de-escalate violence in our world. Violence simply begets more violence. That is true for how we relate to one another here, and it is true for how our country relates to the rest of the world.
War is destructive and costly. War kills and wounds people. War is destructive to our environment – leaving behind depleted uranium and other toxic substances that kill people, cause birth defects, contaminate water … and the list goes on and on.
The U.S. Military is the world’s largest consumer of fossil fuels – a major factor in climate change. Unaddressed, climate change will continue to create conditions that generate global conflict, such as famine, scarce resources and climate refugees. It will also continue to wreak havoc here at home with droughts and extreme weather. Confronting climate change allows us to move to a green economy, which will in turn result in real sustainable jobs.
Click Here to Sign the Petition urging the President and Congress to abandon austerity solutions to the deficit and instead end the war, cut military spending, tax the super-rich, and redirect resources to restore and protect the social safety net, create jobs, deal with climate change and meet other urgent social needs.
War and outrageous Pentagon spending has a detrimental affect on our whole economy. We all lose, when we chose to spend 57% of our discretionary funds on War and the preparation for war.
Regarding the so-called “fiscal cliff,” Nancy Pelosi stated Friday, “we understand that it has to be about cuts.” According to The Hill, “Pelosi stressed the importance of getting a balanced plan that would combine new revenues with spending cuts, and she reiterated her position that she’ll accept reforms to entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security but not cuts to benefits under those programs.” Who’s to say that one person’s reform is not another person’s cut?
Where’s the talk about cuts to military spending, in other words, cuts that can have a real effect on the deficit? Let’s flood Pelosi’s office with calls and letters demanding significant reductions to military spending.
San Francisco phone: (415) 556-4862
Washingtion, DC phone: (202) 225-4965
Letters by U.S. mail (two-week delay for security scanning):
Representative Nancy Pelosi
Washington, DC Office
235 Cannon HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Representative Nancy Pelosi
San Francisco Office
90 7th Street, Suite 2-800
San Francisco, CA 94103
“We call upon President Obama and the U.S. Congress to actively, and visibly, support the Helsinki Conference for a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction.
This is a logical, comprehensive approach to solving the nuclear crisis in the Middle East, which can eliminate the threat of another catastrophic in the region.”
We are seeking as many organizational and individual signers as possible in order to “deliver” and publicize the letter during the first week of December. Please help us spread the world by sending this request to your lists!
Click here for more information.
Support the Pastors for Peace Cuba Caravan and help them “Occupy Our Foreign Policy!”
Challenging the U.S. blockade of Cuba by delivering over 100 tons of humanitarian aid to Cuba each year.
Meet the Caravan in Oakland
Saturday, July 7, 2012
from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
In front of the Rising Loafer Cafe & Bakery located on Frank H. Ogawa Plaza just off 12th Street BART (14th Street exit on the Plaza)
Click for map
Cuban drumming (and singing) by Women Drummers International
Musical performance by Occupella
Speakers from the Pastors for Peace Cuba Caravan
Dr. Rose, U.S. Graduate of the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana
Plus other Caravanistas en route to Cuba!
For more information about the event: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the Caravan: www.ifconews.org/CubaCaravan
U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW) is holding a reception fundraiser at the Westin St. Francis Hotel on Union Square, San Francisco, on the eve of the California Federation of Labor’s Biennial Convention, Monday, July 23, 2012 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
At this event, we will honor Michael Eisenscher, National Coordinator of USLAW. Michael has spent a half century fighting for workers, for peace and for social justice. He has worked tirelessly for USLAW since its inception without recognition and with scant compensation. Without his dedication, USLAW would not exist.
Guest Speaker: Tom Ammiano, the strongest progressive voice for labor in the CA State Assembly
Click here to register/RSVP and then you will be taken to a secure payment page to make a contribution with a credit card and will find instructions for paying by check. Suggested minimum donation is $25. RSVP now.
If unable to attend, you can make a donation. Click here to DONATE.
Mail checks to USLAW, 1718 M Street, NW #153, Washington, DC 20036 with “July 23 Fundraiser” in memo line.
U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW) is a national network of unions, labor councils, state labor federations, allied organizations, worker centers and labor antiwar committees founded in January 2003 to oppose the invasion of Iraq. It is a co-founder of the New Priorities Network, which seeks to end the wars, cut military spending and invest in our communities to create jobs and meet other urgent social needs. USLAW has close to 200 affiliates that together represent millions of members.
On May 18-20 in Chicago, on the eve of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit, join the global grassroots peace and justice movement at the Counter-Summit for Peace and Economic Justice.
Meet the delegations from NATO countries. Hear about what Afghan organizers are doing in the US, Canada and UK to organize in the Afghan community for peace. Exchange with Afghanistan war veterans on their struggles to over come the effects of wars. Learn how peace activists in Europe are organizing to get US nuclear weapons out of bases in their countries, and why we need to work together to prevent a new US – Russian nuclear arms race.
28 workshops will explore: NATO’s new role as a global military and economic alliance; organizing a grassroots movement to move the money from the Pentagon to fund jobs and human needs; preventing a war in Iran and ending the war in Afghanistan and wars for all time; campaigning to close US bases around the world; skills-building and training for organizing at the intersection of anti-militarism and economic justice and more.
4 Plenaries with speakers who will examine the interconnections among economic and racial justice, workers rights and peace, militarism at home and abroad.
Speakers include: Sarita Gupta – Jobs with Justice, Suraia Sahar – founding member of Afghans for Peace, Tom Hayden – Peace and Justice Resource Center, Tania Unzueta – Immigrant Youth Justice League, John Nichols – The Nation, Kathy Kelly – Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Vijay Prashad – author of Arab Spring, Libyan Winter, and Tobias Pflüger, former member of the European Parliament. And others to be confirmed.
Register online. Find hotel and hostel information here.
Check the NATO-Free Future website for new articles which explore the issues and challenges we face in working towards a NATO-free future.
On May 20 march with the Afghanistan veterans to the NATO Summit to return their medals to the NATO Generals.
Speakers, organizers, researchers and historians are available to come to your city or town for your own local Counter-summit before the May 18-19 Counter-summit in Chicago.
Power to the Peaceful! A new global grassroots peace and justice movement is rising.