The US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is close to ruling on key portions of the Alex Sanchez case involving prosecution conflicts-of-interest and double jeopardy issues. Meanwhile, two-and-one-half years after the initial arrests, the top lawyers for both sides are leaving the case.
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.
Things are progressing here amazingly. We have had a much larger impact on British society and policy then I think we fully realize. In reality it has been nearly as much luck as organizing.
The first principle of solidarity declared by Occupy Wall Street on September 17, 2011 called for “direct and transparent participatory democracy,” recalling the central aim of the 1962 Port Huron Statement, the founding document of Students for a Democratic Society, issued fifty years earlier. All across the world this year, millions of people have demanded direct participation in the decisions affecting their lives.
Statistics from the Historical Statistics of the United States clearly show that the New Deal dramatically lessened joblessness from Roosevelt’s election in 1932 until his second term; then began to climb when FDR retreated to a more conservative path; then finally ended because of war spending in World War 2.
This war never should have occurred. Now that it has, our government is stuck with an ineffectual, corrupt, unbalanced president in Kabul. There is no evidence that the Afghan armed forces, heavily dominated by the old Northern Alliance elements, will be able to secure the place against the insurgencies symbolized by the Taliban. Like Iraq, we have invested in a simmering, continuing civil war.
American hawks are blaming President Obama for a premature withdrawal from Iraq, as if a few thousand American troops could prevent the country’s current sectarian convulsion. The peace movement needs to unite against the framing of this blame game in which Obama “is likely to draw new criticism for failing to negotiate an extension of the American troop presence in Iraq.”
Another war in Iraq may begin, a sectarian war spurred by Shiite revenge and reflecting the geo-political tensions of the region, Shiite versus Sunni, Iran versus Saudi Arabia. While America bears responsibility for stirring the sectarian cauldron, a next war will not be America’s to fight. Despite global pretensions, the mythic days of Laurence of Arabia, when Kipling’s heroes saved the Arabs from themselves, are over.
Julian Assange’s legal team won the right to appeal to Britain’s supreme court over his possible extradition to Sweden last week, while Pfc. Bradley Manning faced a military hearing to determine whether he will be court-martialed after 19 months of severe confinement.
Obama has set 2014 as the timetable for withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan, a date endorsed by NATO forces as well. While far short of peace movement demands, the date already is being blurred and subverted by Obama’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, who said last week that the American troops could stay longer if invited by the Afghan government. (New York Times, December 11, 2011) Coming immediately after President Hamid Karzai’s appeal at the Bonn conference for another ten years of military and economic support, there is potent opposition to Obama at very high levels.