First United Church in East Vancouver describes itself as “a community at the margins.” The surrounding neighborhood on East Hastings hosts perhaps the largest outdoor assemblage of addicts, pushers, prostitutes, and mentally-disturbed persons in North America. The church itself houses as many as three hundred homeless people a night. First United also is the place of sanctuary for an American war resister, 32-year old Rodney Watson.
- Guantanamo's Death Row
- The Threat of an Imperial Presidency
- Earth Night
- Charges Dropped Against Alex Sanchez
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.
Last week the Bulletin published an analysis of the proposal for a two-year de-escalation of the Afghanistan War made by a group of 50 national security experts: A New Way Forward: Rethinking U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan. The Afghanistan Study Group’s director, Matthew Hoh, who resigned from the State Department over US policies, responded with this letter to be shared with the Bulletin’s readers.
One of the most powerful critics of the Vietnam War was Fred Branfman, who uncovered the secret US bombing campaign against Laos, accused the US of creating six million victims in Indochina, and was involved deeply in the Indochina Peace Campaign which helped end the war in 1975. Fred recently published an extraordinary article on Alternet documenting the mass assassination strategy of the US across the Muslim world.
A moderate Democratic-leaning study group has released a proposal to “fast track a peace process” in Afghanistan and withdraw 32,000 American troops by October 2011 and another 38,000 by late 2012, the period of the next presidential election.
William R. Polk was appointed the Member of the Policy Planning Council responsible for North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia by President Kennedy in 1961. In 1962, he made a 2,000 mile trip throughout Afghanistan wrote the first US national policy paper on the country. After government service he became Professor of History at the University of Chicago, established its Center for Middle Eastern Studies and subsequently became president of the Adlai Stevenson Institute of International Affairs. He is the author of some 15 books, including Understanding Iraq, Understanding Iran and Violent Politics: A History of Insurgency, Terrorism and Guerrilla Warfare. This paper was written at the request of US Ambassador to Afghanistan, General Karl Eikenberry.
Reimagining history is a perilous exercise. Nonetheless, it seems clear that without this war, not only would America's standing in the world be higher, our economy would be stronger. The question today is: Can we learn from this costly mistake?
I support the November ballot initiative because our country’s long drug war is a disaster and there is an alternative that is better for our health, safety and democratic process.
Federal prosecutors have used top leaders of Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), known as the most violent gang in the US and Central America, as secret informants over a decade of murders, drug-trafficking and car-jackings across a dozen US states and several Central American countries. During that time period, prosecutors obtained more than 21 wiretap approvals, plus extensions, to investigate MS-13, failing to tell judges that the gang leaders were already in custody as informants—a possible violation of federal law.
It is quiet in Laurel Canyon where the modern houses are tucked away amidst trees and knolls. But things are whirling in his mind. Jerry Brown glances over at the shotgun in the corner, rises out of bed, and enters the shower. Sitting on the toilet he skims a page of Wittgenstein which had been left out on the sink.
While the Obama administration struggles to keep its pledge to end the Iraq war, a behind-the-scenes plan is developing in which the Baghdad regime “invites” the American military to stay. While media attention focused this week on the last combat brigade rolling out of Iraq, US diplomat Ryan Crocker was saying that if the Iraqis “come to us later on this year requesting that we jointly relook at the post-2011 period, it is going to be in our strategic interest to be responsive.” [NYT, Aug. 19]