Imran Khan, the legendary cricket star and vocal opponent of US military policies in Pakistan, is considering a campaign for president on a peace platform, according to Peace and Justice Resource Center sources. Pakistan must schedule its next general election by not later than February 2013.
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.
Prosecutors and DEA agents are escalating toughening marijuana prosecutions and militarizing the overall “war on drugs” just as prospects have never been greater for phasing out the costly 40-year campaign.
Democratic insiders worried about 2012 are discussing a Grand Switch, making Hillary Clinton the vice presidential nominee and Joe Biden the Secretary of State. Nothing is decided, but the talk cannot stay secret for long.
The predicted police violence rapidly is coming true. First, on October 18, US Marine Sgt. Shamar Thomas, back from two tours in Iraq, intervened to reproach the NYPD for wanton attacks on peaceful protesters in Manhattan. Nine days later, a 24-year old Iraq war veteran, Scott Olson, was felled with a skull fracture on the streets of Oakland after being struck by a projectile fired by police into a crowd.
The neo-conservatives were the vanguard who advocated, lobbied for and won the authorization forcibly replace Saddam Hussein with Shiite Iraqis linked to Iran. Having installed those forces in power in Baghdad, the same neo-conservatives now blame President Obama for losing the country to the Iranians.
On October 21, when President Obama announced that all American troops would be withdrawing from Iraq, I learned that I needed surgery on a blocked carotid artery, and soon. Ten years earlier, between the 9/11 attacks and the US invasion of Iraq, I was having quintuple bypass surgery. The Cedars-Sinai doctors even delayed the operation in case Los Angeles was struck that day.
While monitoring possible deception during the Iraq pullout, it is important for the peace movement to engage in the effort to end the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Experience shows that a vibrant anti-war movement is a necessary element in ending these wars. Here are some steps.
While 2012 predictions are premature, the danger ahead lies once again in the Electoral College. Al Gore was elected president by a popular majority in 2000, only to lose the electoral vote to Bush. Similarly, President Obama seems likely to win a majority of votes but is in peril because of the undemocratic Electoral College system.
In a stunning and largely unexpected victory for the American peace movement and Iraqi opponents of the US occupation, the Associated Press reported October 16 that virtually all US troops will withdraw from Iraq as scheduled by this December 31. Assuming the report is true, the US pullout will allow President Obama to keep an important promise, and the Iraqi government to defend its sovereign power.