President Barack Obama has replaced his senior Latin American advisor, Dan Restrepo, because of embarrassing heat the president took over his drug war and Cuba policies at the mid-April Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia.
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.
In March 1962, a 22-year-old student journalist and activist named Tom Hayden sat down in his Manhattan apartment to begin work on an "agenda for a generation," a manifesto that would distil the fears and hopes and values of the student movement then rising on American campuses. Three months later, members of the newly formed Students for a Democratic Society, the leading organization of the New Left movement, came together to debate and edit Hayden's draft at a five-day retreat near Port Huron, northeast of Detroit.
Top Democratic consultants James Carville and Stanley Greenberg have issued a must-read, well researched, and entertaining manifesto, It's The Middle Class, Stupid!, summarizing their oft-stated argument that the Democratic Party must embrace middle class populism to win. Another major Democratic advisor, George Lakoff, with co-author Elisabeth Wehling, make a similar case in terms of message framing in The Little Blue Book. Preserving the shrinking of the middle class, while enhancing its prospects and guaranteeing access for the next generation, is their mantra.
The face of a growing movement against the US drug war will appear in California August 12-13 as the Mexican poet Javier Sicilia begins a long procession across the United States to the steps of the White House.
The map for the rapidly improvised march, the Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity, starts in San Diego and Los Angeles, then will pass through key border cities such as Las Cruces and El Paso, heading east toward New Orleans and then up to Washington DC, expecting to arrive between September 10-12.
El Salvador's gang truce still is holding after four months, gaining support from Organization of American States (OAS) officials and positive improvements for the country's bond market. A national delegation of gang interventionists returns from El Salvador this week with recommendations for social and economic assistance.
Despite trillions of dollars and thousands of lives lost, it now appears that Al Qaeda is far from defeated and even on the rise in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somali and Mali. The American counterterrorism strategy, symbolized by the 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden, and while inflicting serious damage on the network, has failed to prevent its spread and regeneration. Counter-insurgency, the rival Pentagon strategy of providing security for local populations, is already being shelved after a brief period of enthusiasm among defense intellectuals and journalists.
Mitt Romney has a solid lead on economic issues after millions of Democratic dollars and thousands of Democratic ads, according to the Gallup-USA Today poll conducted July 19-22.
Leftist PRD candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) is now challenging the July 1st election results through legal channels, demanding the election be fully annulled due to vote buying and illegal campaign expenditures by the PRI and its candidate Enrique Pena Nieto.
Barack Obama was the first president elected on a platform of withdrawing American troops from an ongoing war. Now, though political pundits and the reporters rarely mention it, Obama's re-election depends on winning back the peace vote in November. This week the wars will received a brief "cameo" role, according to the Los Angeles Times, because Mitt Romney is taking his campaign to London, Israel and Poland. The Hollywood analogy is apt: it is as if the trillion-dollar wars can be cut and pasted from a choreographed script.