“Our primary long range interest in Geneva, however, is general and complete disarmament, designed to take place by stages, permitting parallel political developments to build the new institutions of peace which would take the place of arms. . . . While we proceed to safeguard our national interests, let us also safeguard human interests. And the elimination of war and arms is clearly in the interest of both.”
That was President John F. Kennedy speaking to the 1963 graduating class of American University —announcing that the human race was ready to move beyond war. This was the speech in which he revealed that talks on a Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty with the Soviet Union had begun, and that the U.S. was unilaterally suspending atmospheric nuclear testing.
Worldwide rallies cry for peace and gather in solidarity. Western media ignores these peaceful gatherings and if they report, they focus on a few who act out (negatively). They don’t show you the thousands of videos taken by real people around the world chanting for peace and freedom. Search YouTube today and you will find the streets around the world filled with people, standing up against tyranny, oppression, and NWO control. They are begging Americans to wake up too!!
Perhaps the eeriest thing about Osama bin Laden’s death is how little it means.
Yeah, I know: “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” The raid on the devil’s compound outside Abbottabad, Pakistan this week apparently kick-started our patriotic fervor, which had been languishing over the course of a pretty bad decade of military quagmire and economic collapse. Killing Osama — turning him, as the New York Times put it, into “a tall, bearded man with a bloodied face and a bullet in his head” — brought back a rush of national purpose and glory.
Please see information about purchasing my new book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound, following this week’s column.
By Robert C. Koehler
The crowds keep swelling, as though awareness, determination – humanity itself – were rising up from the earth. Einstein observed that we can never solve problems at the same level of thinking that created them. I hear the resonance of a new moral intelligence asserting itself, on the streets of the Middle East, in the United States and around the world.
“You can kill a man,” said Medgar Evers, “but you can’t kill an idea.”
But, oh, they try, they try. Hundreds were killed and wounded across the Middle East in recent weeks. “In the southern city of Aden,” AP reports, “Yemeni security forces opened fire on thousands of demonstrators after Friday’s Muslim prayers, wounding at least 19 people.”
I’ve written columns through harrowing circumstances, but this is the first time I’ve had a blizzard in the middle of one. My best to alll of you Midwesterners who took the hit last night and today, and my solidarity with all of you on the East Coast who are used to two feet of snow in one dump. It’s beautiful out there right now and a big adventure to get anywhere. When Chicago does shut down, I appreciate how rare such occasions are. I also appreciate my connectiion to a viable, surprisingly caring community. Meanwhile, my book is still for sale, with info following this week’s column.
By Robert C. Koehler
“I only remember a couple of more gunshots and then everything got quiet. Just as it all started it all just stopped. It felt like an eternity before the police got to our door and tried to open it up and they couldn’t open up the door. They had to ask for help from inside because there were bodies in the way.”
So . . . this, unavoidably, is how we have to think about peace — with horrific instances of its obvious absence. It’s not the only place to start, but somehow it seems right to start here, maybe in order not to stop here.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated April 4, 1968, shortly after he started speaking out against the global elite and the injustice they inflict on all of humanity though orchestrated wars and economic oppression. He believed that “a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
While King may not physically be with us today, we are fortunate that he left us with powerful principles and tools for defeating tyranny. King, Gandhi and many others have set the precedent for our liberation, proving that courage, love, persistence, and some simple tools are ultimately victorious.
When the Iraqi army fell before invading US and British troops in 2003, the latter’s mission seemed to be accomplished. But nearly eight years after the start of a war intended to shock and awe a whole population into submission, the Iraqi people continue to stand tall. They have confronted and rejected foreign occupations, held their own against sectarianism, and challenged random militancy and senseless acts of terrorism.
For most of us, the Iraqi people’s resolve cannot be witnessed, but rather deduced. Eight years of military strikes, raids, imprisonments, torture, humiliation and unimaginable suffering were still not enough to force the Iraqis into accepting injustice as a status quo.
War on terror? Nope, it’s a war on dissent, as the feds raid anti-war groups’ offices and homes and open a grand jury witch hunt. And, since the FS went to press, the government has delivered subpoenas to nine additional Midwest activists – bringing the total to 23. For more information, click here.
A dozen years ago, before 9/11, before Bush Jr. or the war on terror, Bill Clinton, then in the midst of impeachment hearings, bombed Iraq over a four-day period. Shortly before this act of national distraction, I read an article in the Chicago Tribune discussing, with the knowing, amoral inanity of the mainstream media, the international implications of the pending action.
For me, the article was immortalized by the following pull-quote from an anonymous Jordanian official, which crystallized the cynicism of geopolitics and the way nation-states function: “Look, nobody here likes Saddam, but people will not be happy when they see Iraqi babies dying on TV.”
Bob’s taking Thanksgiving week off. This column originally ran four years ago, and is one of my favorites. ~Ed.
Originally published Sept. 20, 2006
“In one corner of the little room a couple of mops, with stiff, clotted, foul-smelling heads stand near a rusty bucket. . . . In the room a child is sitting. It could be a boy or a girl. It looks about six, but actually is nearly ten. It is feeble-minded. Perhaps it was born defective, or perhaps it has become imbecile through fear, malnutrition, and neglect. It picks its nose and occasionally fumbles vaguely with its toes or genitals, as it sits hunched in the corner farthest from the bucket and the two mops. It is afraid of the mops.”
– Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas”
In the gap between a boy’s passionate fantasies and the smell of dead bodies in a mass grave marches . . . America’s Army.
“He wonders if God is punishing him because before he joined the Army he thought of war as something fun and exciting.”
We couldn’t wage our current wars without the all-volunteer military whose recruitment goals get fed every year by idealistic young people, who continue, despite all counter-evidence bursting off the front pages, to buy into the romance and excitement of war and armed do-goodism that the recruiters, with the help of a vast “militainment” industry, peddle like so many Joe Camels.
Conversations with Fidel Castro: The Dangers of a Nuclear War
By Fidel Castro Ruz and Michel Chossudovsky Global Research
From October 12 to 15, 2010, I had extensive and detailed discussions with Fidel Castro in Havana, pertaining to the dangers of nuclear war, the global economic crisis and the nature of the New World Order. These meetings resulted in a wide-ranging and fruitful interview.
The first part of this interview published by Global Research and Cuba Debate focuses on the dangers of nuclear war.
The World is at a dangerous crossroads. We have reached a critical turning point in our history.
“Everything feels obscene,” a friend said seven years ago, when we carpet-bombed Baghdad, launching the invasion. It still does, but in a dull, chronic, “used to it” way — outrage mixed, these last few years, with “hope,” smearing the war effort with a thick, national ambivalence.
Is it still going on? Well, yeah, with a grinding pointlessness that’s not worth talking about or even debating anymore. The smorgasbord of justifications has been permanently shut down: the 9/11 tie-in, the WMD, “another Munich,” democracy for the Middle East. No one’s hawking Freedom Fries anymore. The war in Iraq simply continues because a war in motion, especially when it’s not really a war, when there isn’t an enemy with whom to negotiate, is incapable of just, you know, stopping. When we don’t really have a mission, completing it is difficult indeed.
SOA Watch is extremely concerned about the drastic increase of U.S. militarization in Latin America. The bases agreement operates from the same failed military mindset that has given rise to the School of the Americas (SOA/ WHINSEC). The purpose of the bases and the purpose of the SOA/ WHINSEC are the same: to ensure U.S. control over the region through military means.
“I ran away from my foster mother, became homeless, lived on the street for three years. Because I was handicapped I couldn’t get into an apartment building to get out of the snow. Your skin feels like it’s on fire when you’re that cold. I’d stand in the doorway, where bright lights shine on the manikins, and psych myself into believing I could feel the heat coming off the light bulb.”
We get, in all, twelve minutes of Daisy. The above words are a condensation of one of those minutes. The other eleven are just as intense, just as shocking — but spiritually soaring, as this wheelchair-bound woman — she contracted polio after swimming in a polluted lake — talks matter-of-factly about a life that seems like it should be broken beyond repair. She talks about her abusive father, the beatings, the flowers on the bedspread (her only toys), her “bright light” spiritual vision in an iron lung. Her words made me cry, not because of the horror, but because she was so happy, so full of a transcendent gratitude for nothing less than life itself.
Last week I picked up a book that I’d read awhile ago, Mutant Message from Forever, published in 1998 and it opened to page 248. It’s about the Australian aboriginal people, written by Marlo Morgan and dedicated to Burnum Burnum, Elder of Wurundjeri Tribe.
I’m still grappling with this wisdom; see what you think:
He was a Nigerian man, a foreign-born nationalist, a terrorist, or one who at least attempted to threatened the tranquility of a plane. Most people see this individual as someone unlike “me.” The word is we must do all we can to protect ourselves. Surely, this incident reminds us that we must require stronger security measures. Today, with the news of another “menace” in our midst people, once again, presume society as we know it is not a safe place. Continue reading →
We must begin by acknowledging the hard truth: We will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes. There will be times when nations — acting individually or in concert — will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.
~ Barack Obama (President of the United States. Peace Prize Acceptance Speech. December 10, 2009)
For years, Americans saw live, and in person, or on television screens, Presidential aspirant Barack Obama. Several mused; the man is calm in a crisis. “No drama Obama” was the phrase most often associated with the candidate. Those closely and personally connected to the potential President corroborated what was for most only an observation. The election did not change Barack Obama. His calm demeanor remained intact. Yet, many perceived a difference, not in his response to a predicament, but in the President’s rhetoric. Empathy evolved into escalation. This was perhaps most evident on two occasions, when Mister Obama delivered his Address on the War in Afghanistan, and then again when the Commander-In Chief offered his Remarks in acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize. After these events, the pensive pondered; what was there all along, Cerebral Discord, the Two Faces of Barack Obama. Continue reading →
Father Roy Bourgeois, MM, and School of the Americas Watch (SOA Watch) have been nominated for one of the most prestigious awards in the world – the Nobel Peace Prize – for their sustained faithful nonviolent witness against the disappearances, torture, and murder of hundreds of thousands of civilians (peasants, community and union organizers, clerics, missionaries, educators, and health workers) by foreign military personnel trained by the U.S. military at U.S. taxpayer expense at the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia.