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    Listen Yankee! Why Cuba Matters

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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.


      "Somebody's Got to Tell It!"- Jack Newfield, 2002

      On the Inevitability of Risk

      Support the spirit and future of the Bernie generation. That's imperative no matter which candidate you vote for in the primary. His progress has been amazing since the early moment when I welcomed him at a kickoff rally in LA. The Sanders campaign will have a deep lasting impact on social movements, younger progressive Democrats, local elections and presidential politics far into the future. Hopefully it will turn the "progressive wing of the Democratic Party" into a real force ahead.

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      Thank You Bernie

      I was very happy last night to see Bernie’s evolution of his position on the immunity given gun manufacturers. His new position is good for him, good for the Democratic Party, and a great boost for gun safety advocates.

      I sent the private letter below in early November, two months before last night's debate in South Carolina. I did not oppose his campaign or attack him. My concept of conflict resolution favors the improvement of a candidate's position, not the usual tactic of attacking a candidate until they change position and then triumphantly accusing them of flip-flopping to take advantage. There's a big difference between evolving and flip-flopping. So Bernie should be thanked for his good judgment. This is good for our party and the country.

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      Vermont Divestment In Sight, More to Come

      Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin can advance the cause of fossil fuel divestment by his proposal to divest from oil and Exxon. California’s pace setting divestment law which passed the Legislature this year, was restricted to ending California’s long dependency on coal. At the time of passage, advocates began to focus on other states and big cities where the divest/invest approach will have popular and electoral support. The hope is for a domino effect this year. Enviro groups based in networks and chapters have a real opportunity to move forward. The first step is to form a coalition based in the right areas, target a city, state, university or church,  find an elected official to submit a draft to legislative counsels, and expect an argument which can be won with hard work. 
      I was involved in the fights to divest from South African apartheid and Big Tobacco decades ago. Goals which were considered “impossible” were achieved in those cases. 
      Are we reaching the tipping point? Who will be next to step up? New York? Massachusetts? Washington state? We now know the process is unfolding through our efforts. Next in sight— slashing black carbon, methane, and F-gases as fastest path to preventing catastrophe ahead.



      Tom Hayden for California DNC Member

      Tom Hayden at a climate rally in Pershing Square, Los Angeles, California to celebrate the achievements of the Paris Climate Talks (National Nurses United, December 2015)Dear Democratic Friends,    
      I have decided to run for an open seat on the Democratic National Committee and would be honored to receive your endorsement and feedback. 
      Why am I doing this? 
      First, the crisis of 2016 in politics. I see great opportunities in the rise of social movements for living wages, climate justice, marriage equality, diplomacy towards Cuba and Iran, and the continued election of great progressives like Mayor De Blasio in New York City, Senator Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, and real progressives from San Francisco to Seattle.
      However we cannot afford to lose another close election. The Republicans now dominate the US Supreme Court, Congress, and constantly obstruct the White House.  Losing the presidency this year to the Republicans will doom the progressive agenda for another generation. Public employees and their unions are under court and political attack in many states. Budgets for public schools, universities, and Obamacare are threatened by privatization, while affirmative action is under siege. Planned Parenthood faces permanent attack and threats of violence. The wanton shooting of unarmed black men is a plague returning from the past to impose a nightmare on our present and future. Immigration reform and the cause of the Dreamers are threatened by wholesale deportation and no way forward. Jobs with decent wages are disappearing, not recovering. Where the minimum wage is rising, it's only because labor and community coalitions are fighting for $15 an hour. The big banks and corporations, with their monopoly of secret money, are trying to end democracy in America. The threats of terrorism and the likelihood of an expanding war are shadows over today and tomorrow.  

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      New Greenwald Film "Making a Killing: Guns, Greed & The NRA" Might Change the Political Debate

      The film, scheduled to be released in March, depicts the National Rifle Association, as a profit-making mega-business operating with complete immunity, and it’s complete with wrenching real-life stories of families affected. President Obama issued his executive order yesterday, while gun control measures are gaining ground in many states and cities. With 80-90 percent majorities blowing in the wind, the President, and Democratic Presidential Nominees Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have an advantage in the debate. The Greenwald film could be seen by thousands, even millions, of Democratic voters, raising their intensity to historic levels. It will be a powerful tool at house parties everywhere.

      Beisbol at Center of Cuban-US Rapprochement 

      I've written articles this year in the Los Angeles Times and the Nation, as well as an entire book, Listen Yankee! on the Cuban-US rapprochement, but my favorite reporting is about baseball and coexistence. Not only because I'm an old ballplayer who's visited Cuba several times, but because baseball is the best framework for achieving real results in the immediate future. The sport is a shared passion in both our countries; baseball diplomacy already is bringing real results and the solidifying a long-term rapprochement subject to pressure on other fronts. Only a 50 percent increase in authorized American travel to Cuba this year will have equal or greater effect now that more than 100 commercial flights by a US airline are being negotiated.

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      Thank You to Our Donors!

      So many of our readers have donated to our IndieGogo campaign this holiday season and we want to thank them!

      Friend of Tom Hayden's Climate Campaign

      Norman Stockwell

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      Defending Bowe Bergdahl

      It was October 1967 that I was invited to Cambodia to take brief custody of three American soldiers being released in a gesture from the National Liberation Front (Vietcong). At the time I was an innocent 28 years old, the age of Bowe Bergdahl when he was released in a prisoner swap last year after five years of grueling captivity. I had a flashback to those times when Army General Robert Abrams ordered that Bergdahl be court-marshaled as a deserter despite far more lenient misdemeanor recommendations from the army lawyer who held a preliminary hearing in September. That officer concluded that there should be "no jail sentence at the end of this process" for Bergdahl. (See LA Times, Dec. 15, 2015.)

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      Paris in the Dark Before Dawn

      We can only wait as the clock passes midnight, the moment when the Paris summit is scheduled to end. In politics that means the screws tighten, hard bargaining begins, tempers escalate, and the pressure increases for either "any deal" or a "better deal." The crunch is on. If I had to guess, the talks will be put over into the weekend.

      The latest good news is the Vatican's call for setting a 1.5-degree rise in global temperature for this century, significantly below the unreal current consensus of 2 degrees Celsius, which would open the gates to an irreversible loss of lives and ecosystems. The Vatican is joined by the Philippines and a score of vulnerable nations.

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      We Live on Borrowed Time

      Tom Hayden on his 76th birthday with his two Norman Rockwell War Bond printsTalking points for Democrats and Activists

       by Tom Hayden

      "I know, therefore, that we live on borrowed Time." Ending the War in Iraq, 2007, p. 208

      1. We Need to understand, name, blame, and frame the Long War Doctrine.

      The Long War Doctrine--advanced by Pentagon planners and neo-conservatives almost ten years ago--projects up to 80 years of US military intervention to "win" the battle with radical jihadists. The implications are almost unthinkable to most Americans, or at least they have been until now.

      Eighty years means 20 presidential terms, twice as many congressional sessions, and bloodletting beyond description, with costs that exceed decades’ worth of GDP—not to mention our political capacity. Can it possibly be winnable or affordable, and based on unified public opinion? Will it bankrupt our budget for health care, social security, education, and climate/environmental protection? Politically, few Republicans or military officials have wanted to open this discussion up to the American people—yet it's a crucial dimension we need to insert into public debate right now.[i] 

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