The disturbing report last week of a record 164 suicides among active-duty Army soldiers in 2011 actually understates the rising number of American troops taking their own lives. Considering all military services, the fatalities are higher than the Army number, and total 2,356 since the so-called War on Terrorism began, through November 2, 2011. By comparison, 1,183 Americans have died in the Afghanistan conflict through February 15, 2012.
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.
Only the US and Somalia have refused to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This means the US is one of only two countries in the world that allow juveniles to be sentenced to “life-without-parole (JLWOP). This country currently has more than 2500 inmates serving “natural death” for crimes they committed before they were 16. The US Supreme Court will take up the issue in their spring session and Amnesty International has launched a major campaign on the issue.
North Carolina is not only the site of the Democratic Party’s 2012 convention, but a crucial swing state in the November election. As this report indicates, a powerful populist movement led by African-Americans seems to be taking root in the state. For more information contact Bob Zellner.
House members led by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) are circulating a moderate letter commending the Obama administration for announcing an end to the US combat role in Afghanistan in 2013, one year ahead of the previous timetable. Many of the signers supported an accelerated withdrawal in a resolution last year, which attracted 204 House votes.
Because private corporate power had so many public consequences, the Port Huron Statement (PHS) argued for an economic democracy in which the “major resources and means of production should be open to democratic participation and subject to democratic regulation.” And workplace democracy experiments. The ethical issues was that work should involve incentives worthier than money or survival, educative, not stultifying, creative, not mechanical, self-directed, not manipulated…because this experience has crucial influence on our habits, perceptions and individual ethics.”
"Clearly when all else fails, when hope is no longer sufficient…then the last resort is to escape this dance with want and misery and aim for the promised land."
With the departure of the last American soldier from Iraq, a bloody and expensive adventure ends—not with a bang, but with a whimper. As the Iraq War passes into history, Raed Jarrar, Tom Hayden, Nadia Keilani, and Johan Galtung comment on the lessons learned from this nine-year event, and debate whether the war and occupation are really over.
The student movement on a mass scale against the Vietnam War was the first and only in American history. It was also fundamental to a “student-led democracy movement” because it opposed at least two undemocratic structures: first, 18 years olds could not vote, and second, they could be conscripted (drafted for war). The same movement also brought about the War Powers Act, a 1973 Congressional measure to make the executive branch more accountable.
President Obama is accelerating the withdrawal of American troops from combat roles in Afghanistan, emphasizing during the presidential campaign that he will put an end to the quagmire. The decision was predicted in a PJRC analysis last month.
Israel now estimates that Iran’s nuclear program is nine months away from “being able to withstand an Israeli attack,” which happens to be the same timeline as the U.S. presidential election. Meanwhile, a well-connected U.S. Pentagon adviser believes that Israel might give the White House only an hour or two warning before attacking Iran, “just enough to maintain good relations between the countries but not quite enough to allow Washington to prevent the attack.”