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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.

      Thursday
      Apr212016

      BARBARA LEE RECOGNIZES VIETNAM PEACE MOVEMENT IN HOUSE RESOLUTION

      Rep. Barbara Lee has introduced a House Resolution (H.Res.695) recognizing the Vietnam anti-war movement as, “one of the largest and most prolonged efforts to achieve peace and justice in recent generations and was critical to bringing an end to the war.” Rep. John Conyers became a co-sponsor as an effort begins to seek endorsements from other congressional representatives. 

      The Lee resolution is a direct result of last year’s May 1-2 commemoration of the movement at a conference in Washington DC. 

      The peace resolution will draw the ire of Republicans and reluctance of some Democrats. The Vietnam peace movement is the only Sixties movement that has been marginalized instead of memorialized. Yet it was a life-changing experience for many during the war, including thousands of soldiers and veterans, and the US government has tried to stamp out what they call “the Vietnam Syndrome.”

      The Lee Resolution is an organizing tool for anyone wanting to respond to the Pentagon’s recent false narrative of history on its website. If grass-roots organizers visit, engage and petition their congressional offices, there is a strong chance for reinvigorating the continuing debate over Vietnam. 

      Next site of the debate: April 26-28th in Austin, Texas, the Vietnam War Summit presented by the LBJ Presidential Library, with a keynotes by Henry Kissinger and John Kerry, and panel with Tom Hayden, Marilyn Young, and David Maraniss titled, "The War At Home".

      Also join me May 7 at Skylight Books in LA for my conversation with  this year’s Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction, author Viet Thanh Nguyen while we discuss his new book NOTHING EVER DIES: VIETNAM AND THE MEMORY OF WAR.

      2D SESSION H. RES. ll Recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, 

      114TH CONGRESS

      IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

      Ms. LEE submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the

      Committee on

      RESOLUTION

       Recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War,

      Whereas the Vietnam War began on 1964 and ended in 1975;

      Whereas more than 58,000 United States citizens were killed, approximately 10,786 were wounded, and 75,000 veterans left seriously disabled;

      Whereas it is estimated that more than 1,500,000 people from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia died as a result of the War, and many more were wounded or displaced;

      Whereas thousands of people continue to suffer from the lethal effects of exposure to Agent Orange and unexploded ordnance;

      Whereas the movement to end the Vietnam War was one of the largest and most prolonged efforts to achieve peace and justice in recent generations and was critical to bringing an end to the War;

      Whereas the movement to end the Vietnam War was broad and included students, professors, workers, draft resisters, United States service members and veterans, musicians and artists, candidates for Congress and the presidency, and mobilized a majority in opposition to the Vietnam war

      Whereas the movement generated the largest protests, moratorium actions, and mobilizations in United States history, including a strike of 4,000,000 students from across the Nation following the United States invasion of Cambodia in 1970, multiple acts of protest and resistance on military bases and ships around the world, and the rise of Vietnam Veterans Against the War;

      Whereas United States expenditures on the Vietnam War impacted domestic resources, including for President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty;

      Whereas the 1970 blue-ribbon Scranton Report on campus unrest in the United States recognized the growing opposition to the Vietnam War by stating that, ‘‘The crisis on American campuses has no parallel in the history of this nation. This crisis has roots in divisions of American society as deep as any since the Civil War. If this trend continues, if this crisis of understanding endures, the very survival of the nation will be threatened’’;

      Whereas Vietnam peace memorials have been erected at Kent State University in Ohio, the steps of Sproul Hall at the University of California, and the peace memorial adjacent to the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California;

      And Whereas peace and reconciliation research programs were widely incorporated in high school and university classrooms after the Vietnam War era: Now, therefore, be it

      Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

      (1) Commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War;

      (2) Recognizes that the movement to end the Vietnam War was one of the largest and most prolonged efforts to achieve peace and justice in recent generations and was critical to bringing an end to the War;

      (3) Acknowledges the role of those who participated in public protests, teach-ins, and opposition to the War, and the many people who supported political candidates of both parties who sought to end the War;

      (4) Applauds the establishment of educational programs at colleges and universities across the United States that are focused on conflict transformation and peace building; and

      (5) Urges continued efforts during this 50th anniversary period to reflect on the lessons learned from the Vietnam War and to recommit to sustained diplomacy that prevents conflict.

      Monday
      Apr182016

      I have long avoided the vipers who infect our internet, the latest being those trying to defame and intimidate anyone who questions Bernie's campaign. I don’t mean the large numbers of Bernie supporters who are working hard and constructively, but it getting so bad that Bernie himself has had to apologize for Paul Song’s attack on “corporate Democratic whores". The story is spreading into the national news and hurting Bernie’s campaign. See the LA Times' piece from April 15, for example.
      To balance the situation a bit, here are only some of the messages I've received over the past 2 days.
      This is a terrific piece Tom.  Very thoughtful, balanced, well informed, wide-ranging on issues that matter.  Your discussion of the Port Huron history and "part of the way with LBJ" is fascinating and directly relevant -- your efforts at that time not to demonize liberals, as is too often the case when the left attacks itself or its allies for not being on the same tactical page.  Your central.point about uniting rather than factionalizing is exactly right, and anyone who forgets that -- refusing to vote for the Democratic Party winner -- should be ashamed of themselves given the intoletable alternative on the other side in the general, whether it's trump, cruz, ryan, or any other.on the Republican list of nuts.
      I was disappointed in how superficial Bernie's discussion of climate change was in last night's Brooklyn debate.  He seemed not to have any understanding of how important the Clean Power Plan is or the Paris Agreement, and how hard that progress has been to achieve.  Maybe that's just politics, but it makes him seem uninformed, and I worry he's less substantive than I had thought.  He's always voted the right way on the environment, so I'm not too worried. And he is dead right on the economic issues. But his gun stance makes no sense, even if long ago he  opposed assault weapons.
      Anyway, thanks fot the excellent piece.  I'm going to send it around.
      All the best,
      Joel
      -

      I agree completely with your piece on Bernie and Hillary. I support Bernie, but some of his ideas would be hard to implement given Republican intransigence in Congress. Hillary may be the only answer. Ted

      -

      Thought-provoking and compelling as always, Tom.  I'm sure going to have to look at things hard between now and June. 

      Best, Tom 

      -

      Thoughtful, informed, wise, and brave. You will be attacked, but that's nothing new for you. Thank you very for this contribution.

      Sincerely, Jim

      -

      Tom:  This is a great piece that I think will have an important impact.  Thanks so much for your clear thinking and consistent values.  Vivian Rothstein

      -

      Thanks Tom.  I agree and hope your words carry their usual weight with your many readers.  All the best. Ruth

      -

      Thank you thank you thank you!!

      We live in Topanga, and have met you several times...in fact you were at our home after the fund raiser we produced for IRC at the Theatricum a few years ago...up on Observation Drive overlooking the state park...I believe that Ron Kovic was at that gathering as well.

      It's been difficult to have a dialogue with the Bernie supporters in the Canyon...they just become angry, say I want the "status quo" and that they will "never" vote for Secretary Clinton.  These are also individuals who've never read her books or understand her personal/political history. 

      I'm hopeful that your thoughtful and informative treatise might persuade some persons to rethink what seems to be a kind of political rigidity, and work toward getting a Democrat elected, even if it isn't Senator Sanders... Hillary is, after all is said and done, the most viable candidate... and yes, "back in the day" I, like many of my friends, voted for McGovern....now we're more pragmatic...

      I will post your message on my FB and send it to other friends as well...

      With best wishes, and gratitude for your lifetime of hard work..

      Susan & John 

      -

      Tom

      Your article in The Nation (which I just received from you) is a wonderful piece and very important for many people to see.  I have sent it to family members and friends, especially those living in California and NY.  I have struggled with both Bernie and Hillary and have come out where you are.  Your analysis and your clear statement about your life's work are a very powerful statement.  Thanks.

      I noticed in the article that you stated you had a significant stroke.  How are you doing?

      Hope al is well.  And again, thanks for your great piece.

      Al

      -

      Dear Tom (I hope this gets to you), 

      I read your article in The Nation about you switching from Sanders to Clinton, and the reasons behind it. I couldn’t agree more.

      I consider myself as liberal/progressive as anyone – having spent a year in jail in the 60s for my opposition to the Vietnam War, and continuing to support a more just and rational society though political participation in the Democratic Party.

      But, unlike many on the left, I feel I recognize the limitations of our political process that is built into the system. I’ve exchanged emails with Noam Chomsky about this, during the Ralph Nader runs – a hopeless and destructive effort that only resulted in electing Bush (twice).

      I’ve tried to encourage those who feel the two political parties to be the same to wake up and look at the real results of policies and the effects on the majority of Americans. As Chomsky says in his film, Manufacturing Consent, the two parties represent a small but powerful slice of the possible political spectrum – with the common goal of perpetuating their grip on power. BUT, there is a difference that is quite real, that has a real impact on the poor, disenfranchised, and powerless.

      Chomsky encouraged his followers to vote for Gore (and then Kerry) instead of Nader, in states where it was close. It’s fine to make a point with your vote, but it shouldn’t be a suicide mission. From my point of view Nader, and now Bernie, would not make a good president, for all the reasons you list – they would have to work with Republicans and moderate Democrats in Congress to actually get anything done. A hopeless expectation, in my opinion.

      I wish Bernie’s supporters would take all their energy and actually get involved with the Democratic Party, at the local, county, and state levels. Only then can there be real change within the party. It won’t happen by an outsider kicking in the door. For years I was a board member of our local Dem Party organization – President and VP during the 2008 and 2012 elections.

      The Tea Party actually showed the way to do it. They didn’t like the Republican Party, so they got involved at all levels and took it to a new (and horrific) direction. I saw up close here in San Diego County how they had organized to run for school boards, judgeships, county supervisors, and got some of the worst elected to the House (Duncan Hunter, Darrell Issa, etc.), even though Dems outnumber Reps here. They are just more determined and disciplined.

      I feel like the message has to be: Liberals – grow up and get involved; don’t just complain every 4 years. Do the real work of democracy from within the Party.

      Thank you for all your efforts for the various causes.

      Best,

      Jon

      -

      Thank you Tom for sharing your insights and analysis.  I personally feel pulled in both directions, intellectually and emotionally.  I can only say that I hope we can unify the democratic forces needed to defeat the Republicans following the convention.  I will have no problem supporting the Democratic nominee.

      Again and always, thank you so much for your lifetime of dedication, thoughtful analysis, strategic proposals, organizing and persistent hard work to creating a more democratic and just world.

      Sincerely and respectfully,

      Dan

      -

      Thank you, Tom.

      This is the most articulate, thoughtful piece I've seen so far from someone on "the left" outlining their decision making process. 

      Much appreciated,

      Diane

      -

      Thank you, Tom.

      Well thought out, all the way through.

      Garry

      -

      Thanks for sending me your periodic postings which I always enjoy, but thanks especially for your most recent mailing in which you carefully and succinctly explain your shift in support from Bernie to Hillary. 

      You’ve really helped to clarify my stance in regard to each of them, and while I continue to have deep respect for Bernie’s positions, perspectives and proposed policies (how’s that for alliteration?) I am deeply appreciative of your words that have helped me to reconsider and shift my support from Bernie to Hillary.

      Even as I write this I feel a sense of betrayal to Bernie who has long been a hero of mine since long before the current electoral cycle. Yet your points are compelling, so much so that I find that I can no longer  go with Bernie, for many of the reasons that you stated. I also see that there are, ironically some similarities between Bernie and Trump, not in their values or the content of their positions, but in their failure (much moreso on Trump’s part than Bernie’s) to provide adequate, realistic, and practical details in regard to the enactment of their proposed changes that they claim to have the means to make. Your essay illuminates many of the concerns that I have had but haven’t clearly recognized within myself, until I read your words.

      Thank you for the thought and time that you put into sending out this very important message. I intend to pass on to my friends who I think will similarly benefit to your enlightening words.

      And thanks also for the good work that tho continue to do. We need it now more than ever!

      In peace,

      Charlie

      -

      Tom,

      Eloquent, powerful, beautiful as always. I'll share widely as possible your perfect statement at this crucial moment.

      Alan

      Well thought out.

      Your guidance, I find, is indispensable for my own direction.

      Roger

      Much as I hate to admit it, Tom is right as usual. Very worth reading. - Jerry

      -

      Tom -- Can't quite believe I'm saying this, but good for you.  To take this stand at this time takes guts and it's clear it didn't come easily. 

      Thanks for being the grown-up in the room!

      -

      I feel the same way, Tom.  Point by point.  Extremely well expressed, as always. Celeste

      -

      Thank you so much.  I have supported the Sanders campaign financially, but have also decided to vote for Clinton.  Your thoughtful piece anchors my decision. Carolyn

      -

      Thank you. Great piece. Am sharing widely.

      Monday
      Mar282016

      Bernie’s Long Shot Campaign Strategy

      Bernie’s Continental Army (what else to call it?) is readying to throw itself into a vital string of primaries from Wisconsin (April 5) to the Wyoming caucus (April 9) all the way to New York (April 19) and finally California (June 7). They tend to win "whiter" primaries and caucuses where grass-roots organizers dominate. If Bernie splits those big and diverse states with Hillary, she will still add important delegates to her total of 280 pledged delegates and 440 additional super-delegates. That gives her a 300+ delegate edge on the quest for 2,382. 

      Click to read more ...

      Thursday
      Mar102016

      Sanders' Michigan Win Affirms Fair Trade Movement

      Tom Hayden with both Democratic Presidential Candidates. (Photo: 2016, PJRC)Bernie's win in Michigan was no "surprise". His surge was testimony to his campaign spirit. It also was based on a Michigan rejection of the false promises of Clinton-era corporate and financial globalization policies like NAFTA and the TPP. Five million US manufacturing jobs were lost between 1997 and 2014. The US lost 850,000 jobs to Mexico alone during 1993-2013 according to the Economic Policy Institute.

      Click to read more ...

      Tuesday
      Feb232016

      Why Republicans Won’t Give Up Without a Fight on Obama’s Supreme Court Nominee

      Originally Published by The Nation on Febuary 23rd, 2016.

      --

      The Republicans are implacable in doing anything to stop Obama. That is the unfortunate starting point for any discussion of the Supreme Court opening. They see Armageddon for the 40-year conservative dominance of the Court. It’s not an opening based on the death of one justice; it’s also the death of an era and the coming of a multicultural, multiracial, and multilingual America where the entrenched white power structure is losing command and control. It’s an America where navala ships are named after John Lewis, and that America cannot be abided by one-third of our voters, mostly living in the former Confederacy and the Western Frontier. The mounting violence in the country is due to the unnecessary perception that the whole white race is doomed. (Hey, we are 38 percent of the Obama vote nationwide, so get a life!)

      Click to read more ...

      Thursday
      Jan212016

      "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.

      Click to read more ...

      Tuesday
      Jan192016

      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.

      Click to read more ...

      Wednesday
      Jan132016

      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.

       

      Tuesday
      Jan122016

      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.  

      Click to read more ...

      Tuesday
      Jan052016

      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.