The Occupy Wall Street movement is barely born and the mainstream media is already in the delivery room, asking questions about demands and plans, pontificating on whether it’s “good for Obama,” or an “alternative to the Tea Party,” etcetera ad infinitum.
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.
The Occupy Wall Street protests begin in Los Angeles today. The Mayor and City Council should acknowledge the justice of their cause. The LAPD should treat them with courtesy. The financial powers should consider that their day of reckoning.
Each generation should see The Battle of Algiers and see it over again, as a chilling preview to the Long War. In the film as well as real life, a chart of “terrorist cell leaders” is posted on a French blackboard and, one by one, each is assassinated until there are no more. The Casbah is declared pacified, and the French military forces leave. Two years later, an Algerian uprising in the streets succeeds in liberating Algeria from colonial rule.
We, the undersigned, urge President Obama to keep his June 20, 2009 promise that “we have no intention of sending United States troops into Pakistan.”
Slowly but surely, the United States is creeping more deeply into a disastrous war in Pakistan. The peace movement and its political and media allies need to be ready. There is a growing community of activists and journalists already protesting and paying attention to the aerial drone wars over Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya. But the debate about drones cannot be isolated from the context of their use in the Long War as a substitute for American ground troops and in response to peace pressure from the American public.
Updated on Friday, September 30, 2011 at 1:13PM by Tom Hayden
New York police already are harassing, arresting, and pepper-spraying non-violent peace and justice protesters as they begin to occupy public squares in Washington and around the country. Thousands are expected to be arrested.
American combat in Iraq and Afghanistan is ending. Not that flare-ups, implosions and dramas aren’t ahead. Not that blood won’t be spilled. Not that drones won’t attack from the skies of Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and beyond. Not that secret ops won’t happen, or American advisers won’t be embedded in obscure places. But the will, the force, and the momentum sustaining American combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are in definite decline as President Obama orders the pullout of 33,000 troops from Afghanistan and ponders whether to leave a minimal force of 3-4,000 in Iraq.
The mainstream media has defaulted by its failure to report Afghanistan as basically a civil war in which the US and NATO are intervening powers, cloaking their operations under the cover of the United Nations Assistance Program.
President Obama is framing the deficit debate around two core initiatives, winding down the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire. Both approaches are within Obama’s executive power to carry out, independent of the Tea Party, corporate Democrats or Congress factions.
In lobbying to block the Obama administration from supporting UN recognition of a Palestinian state, AIPAC and the so-called Israel Lobby may have sidelined the US as the world moves forward anyway. It is too early to predict, but the Arab bloc, Turkey, most Latin American governments and several major European states are poised to endorse the Palestinian bid.