PEACE AND JUSTICE ACTIVISTS SHOULD - AT THE VERY LEAST - SEND MESSAGES NOW TO CONGRESS AND TO 2016 CANDIDATES THAT THEY WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE IF THE NEW IRAQ WAR TURNS INTO A QUAGMIRE AND THE DIPLOMATIC PROCESS WITH IRAN BREAKS DOWN.
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.
Governor Jerry Brown long has rejected either a ban or a moratorium on fracking in California like those adopted in New York state and France, where citizen outcry has prevailed. Brown's alternative has been to beef up the state's regulatory apparatus with serious environmental scientists and additional staff, claiming the permitting and monitoring system will be the toughest in America.
PEACE, JUSTICE AND CLIMATE ACTIVISTS SHOULD - AT THE VERY LEAST - SEND MESSAGES NOW TO CONGRESS MEMBERS AND 2016 CANDIDATES FOR SENATE AND PRESIDENT THAT THEY WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE IF THE WAR THEY VOTE FOR YEAR TURNS INTO A QUAGMIRE. AT THE SAME TIME, THE PEACE MOVEMENT SHOULD NOT SIT OUT THE FIGHT OVER A COMPROMISE WAR AUTHORIZATION BUT SEE THEMSELVES AS A HUMAN VOTING BARRIER AGAINST ANOTHER AMERICAN GROUND WAR. PEACE ADVOCATES SHOULD SPEAK OUT FOR DIPLOMACY FIRST, A NARROW AUTHORIZATION IF NECESSARY, AND A BAN ON AMERICAN GROUND TROOPS. THE GOAL SHOULD BE TO SLOW OR STOP THE ESCALATION.
When anti-fracking activists end their protest at Governor Jerry Brown's Oakland home on February 7, where will they turn next?
The governor is not likely (but never say never) to respond by issuing a moratorium on fracking, especially with only 15 state Senate votes in favor. With a 60 percent victory margin in November's election and bold new goals for renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions, he may ignore the protests altogether.
A commemoration and march on the 50th anniversary of the first national protest against the Vietnam War will be held over April 29- May 2 in Washington DC. The SDS-sponsored march on April 17, 1965, was the largest peace march in American history to that point, according to the historian Kirkpatrick Sale. It came during an American Spring of teach-ins on hundreds of campuses, the first draft resistance, and even larger protests that November.
The Republican Congress is expected to take up an authorization bill for the war against ISIS even though the U.S. bombing and ground escalation campaign has been underway for months. The specter of the Islamic State has silenced Congressional criticism and marginalized anti-war voices on the outside. The looming question is whether an open-ended authorization will extend the War on Terror for years to come.
After five weeks of silence, during which time the usual gossip circles fluttered with rumors of his death, former Cuban President Fidel Castro endorsed the December 17 rapprochement with the United States announced jointly by presidents Raul Castro and Barack Obama. His comments reflected the fact that concerns continue to exist on both sides as the process continues.
President Barack Obama once again has made it plain that he intends to close Guantanamo. Those who doubted his previous promises on immigrant rights and Cuba should realize that he is serious about Guantanamo as well.
Most of the remaining 122 Guantanamo detainees, including 47 of 54 already cleared for release, are from Yemen. Obama cannot realistically send them back to that unstable center of civil strife and chaos. He therefore is proceeding to release small handfuls of detainees to places like Uruguay while asking congressional Republicans to lift their ban on sending Guantanamo detainees to high-security US prisons. If those efforts prove fruitless, there now is a new way to achieve his promise:
A new and perhaps apocalyptic phase of the Long War is underway with the Paris attacks coupled with spreading threats across Europe. In a replay of September 11, Europe now will swing further to the anti-immigrant Right politically, to increased police and surveillance crackdowns, and increased rhetoric about a "war of civilizations."
Statement released by Tom Hayden, David Cortright, John McAuliff, Marge Tabankin & Terry Provance, on January 12th, 2015 meeting with Pentagon officials:
We are pleased to report progress in talks with Pentagon officials over avoiding the most serious problems we find in their official narrative of the history of the Vietnam War. At a January 12 meeting at Ft. Myer, Pentagon officials told us they were no longer planning educational materials or curricula containing the Pentagon views of the war. They are taking steps to form an independent review committee of respected historians to address problems with their original narrative, and will accept input from historians we suggest. Further, they arranged a meeting for us and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, which is developing an independent educational project at the Vietnam Memorial Wall. That meeting was fruitful, and we look forward to further discussions to include the importance of the anti-war movement in the Vietnam crisis which shook so many of our country's assumptions and turned millions of our generation against the government. We concurred in the Pentagon's continuing effort to recognize the service and sacrifice of Vietnam era veterans, noting that honoring can never mean distortions of the often-bitter and divisive truths, which our whole generation experienced. Nor does it lessen our continuing concerns about subsequent US wars into the present day.
We will continue these constructive talks as we move forward to our April 30-May 2 conference and commemoration on the 50th anniversary of the first teach-ins and protest against the Vietnam War.