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      The Peace Exchange Bulletin

      Published by Tom Hayden, The Peace Exchange Bulletin is a reader-supported journal, critically following the Pentagon's Long War in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, as well as the failed U.S. wars on drugs and gangs, and U.S. military responses to nationalism and poverty around the world.

      Wednesday
      Apr162014

      Is This the Moment to Normalize US Relations With Cuba?

      Until last week, New Jersey Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was relatively untouchable among Democrats, while holding virtual veto power over US Cuba policy and being a military hawk on US policies towards Syria, Iran and Venezuela.

      Not any more.

      Click to read more ...

      Tuesday
      Apr012014

      Republican Anti-Immigrant Rights Strategy

      Reliable DC sources say the Republicans plan to stop immigration reform this year, figuring that gerrymandering will keep them safe, and then pass a bill by 2016 for protection during the national presidential election to protect the GOP candidate and party. House Republicans will do everything possible to keep any path to citizenship out of the bill. Democrats and advocates may be divided over whether to accept a half-measure which will protect against deportations while delaying the right to vote.

      Thursday
      Mar272014

      Where will the Progressive Democrats Stand?

      Let's at least agree that "Happy Days Are Here Again" cannot be the Democratic theme song between now and 2016. We are beyond the brink, in the danger zone, in many ways.

      There are some who say I am "negative" for predicting Democratic defeats in 2014. But my role is not to be a cheerleader but a reality checker. Too many people burn out if we raise their expectations while we know they will crash in November. The best Democrats can do in the House of Representatives is narrow the margin. As for the Senate, we're in danger of losing that chamber, which would give Republicans, and their ideological vanguard, monopoly power over all branches of government. Unless the Republicans implode, the best the Democrats can hope for is a 51 or 52 Senate majority, and that's crucial even that majority includes conservatives. That's how much the Supreme Court means. 

      Click to read more ...

      Thursday
      Mar202014

      Iraq War Resister in DTES Pays Heavy Price for Government Mistakes

      By Derrick O'Keefe. Originally published by the Vancouver Observer, on March 20, 2014.

      Rodney Watson Jr. is an Iraq War veteran and war resister, originally from Kansas City, who has been living in sanctuary at Vancouver’s First United Church for the past four-and-a half-years in order to avoid deportation by the Canadian government.

      Located at the corner of Hastings and Gore, the Church that has taken in Rodney Watson also functions as an emergency shelter in the heart of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood. Rodney has a small living space on the upper floor.

      Click to read more ...

      Tuesday
      Mar182014

      Environmentalists Unified on Fracking Moratorium in California

      California senators Holly Mitchell (D-SD26) and Mark Leno (D-SD11) have introduced legislation supporting a moratorium on fracking after previous efforts foundered on splits in the Legislature and opposition by Governor Jerry Brown.

      SB 1132 would bring California into alignment with New York state, where a huge community-based movement finally succeeded in creating a de facto moratorium in 2008, which was extended by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2011, pending an exhaustive study which will not be completed until after the New York governor's re-election campaign this November.

      Click to read more ...

      Monday
      Mar172014

      The Cold War That Threatens Democracy

      While the first Cold War was fought against communism, a successor Cold War is steadily unfolding against democratic electoral outcomes unfavorable to America's perceived interests. Russian President Vladimir Putin's illegal occupation of Crimea has for now revived raging Western memories of Joseph Stalin's top-down incorporation of the former Eastern Europe. Lost in the new anti-Russian narrative, however, is the growing US pattern of ignoring democratic electoral outcomes where they are inconvenient, in the name of "promoting democracy." Ultimately this process of "democracy through intervention" reinforces bureaucratic authoritarian trends in both East and West. The thrust of this US foreign policy mirrors conservatives’ efforts at home to limit and divide the ascending multicultural American political majority.

      Click to read more ...

      Friday
      Mar142014

      FMLN Wins Close Battle in El Salvador

      Salvador Sanchez Ceren, a famed guerilla commander during El Salvador's civil war, has been officially confirmed as the presidential winner by the slender margin of 50.1-49.8 over the candidate of the right-wing ARENA party.

      It was a historic victory for Sanchez Ceren, who survived fierce sectarian strife, led a historic military offensive, pushed for a compromise peace settlement, and distinguished himself on education and social issues as the country's vice-president under outgoing Salvadoran president Mauricio Funes.

      Click to read more ...

      Thursday
      Mar132014

      US-Venezuela Crisis Escalating 

      Secretary of State John Kerry offered support for US sanctions against Venezuela in Congressional testimony yesterday, playing into the hands of right wing Cuban Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), who introduced sanctions legislation on the same day. Just last week the House of Representatives gave near unanimous support for a resolution condemning Venezuela offered by the right-wing Cuban representative from Miami, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

      Click to read more ...

      Thursday
      Mar132014

      Oakland Call for "Participatory Democracy" 

      Mayoral candidate Dan Siegel has vowed to build a participatory democracy in Oakland, joining progressive populist trend in municipal elections from New York City to Seattle. He announced his campaign on January 9 with a rally reminiscent of the Rainbow Coalition era. The race will be watched closely by those wondering whether Oakland's long tradition of radical movements can be advanced through a Mayor promising to battle and bargain with entrenched interests from outside developers to a police department stained by a brutal reputation. If successful, the Siegel campaign may represent a model for achieving gains for under-represented people in areas with progressive majorities. Siegel's core pledge is to raise the city's minimum wage $12.25/hour.

      Like New York, Siegel's insurgent campaign comes in the aftermath of the powerful rise and steady decline of the Occupy movement. In New York, Democrats already are divided between a mayor with a voter mandate to tax the rich for pre-K education and a governor advertising that his state is "open for investment" through tax breaks for the rich. The deepening divide among Democrats is between the Populist-Progressive tradition and that of neo-liberalism introduced in the Clinton era. For Siegel's campaign speech, listen here.

      Wednesday
      Mar052014

      Fracking Critics Gain Traction in L.A.

      Propelled by passionate grass-roots environmentalists, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed an anti-fracking moratorium on February 28, finally landing the issue in the center of California politics. 

      Unlike New York or Pennsylvania, where active fracking has triggered a widespread protest, the issue in California is more a potential threat than an in-your-backyard reality. The exception is Kern County, the long center of California's drilling operations. Massive fracking operations are predicted, however, across the vast Monterey Shale region, which encompasses the Central Valley and reaches parts of the Los Angeles basin and Santa Barbara. Some experts project the Monterey Shale formation to contain fifteen billion barrels of oil.

      Click to read more ...