Category Archives: Weapons Sales

Peace is a Cliché: When the West cannot Control the World Unopposed it Means War

The West likes to think of itself as a truly “peace-loving part of the world”. But is it? You hear it everywhere, from Europe to North America, then to Australia, and back to Europe: “Peace, peace, peace!”

It has become a cliché, a catchphrase, a recipe to get funding and sympathy and support. You say peace and you really cannot go wrong. It means that you are a compassionate and reasonable human being.

After addressing East African left wing opposition at Venezuelan embassy

Every year, there are “peace conferences” taking place everywhere where peace is worshipped, and even demanded. I recently attended one, as a keynote speaker, on the west coast of Denmark.

If a heavy-duty war correspondent like myself attends them, he or she gets shocked. What is usually discussed are superficial, feel-good topics.

At best, ‘how bad capitalism is’, and how ‘everything is about oil’. Nothing about the genocidal culture of the West. Nothing about continuous, centuries-long plunders and benefits that virtually all Westerners have been getting from it.

At worst, it is all about how bad the world is – “all people are the same” cliché. And, also, there are increasingly, bizarre, uninformed outbursts against China and Russia which are often labeled by Western neo-cons as “threat” and “rival powers”.

Participants of these gatherings agree “Peace is Good”, and “War is Bad”. This is followed by standing ovations and patting each other on the back. Few heartfelt tears are dropped.

However, reasons behind these displays are rarely questioned. After all, who would be asking for war? Who’d crave for violence, terrible injuries and death? Who’d want to see leveled, charred cities and abandoned, crying infants? It all appears to be very simple, and very logical.

A three year old Iraqi child with cancer, Mohammed, in Kos, Greece

But then, why do we not hear too often that “peace speech” pouring from the devastated and still de facto colonized African or the Middle Eastern countries? Aren’t they suffering the most? Shouldn’t they be dreaming about the peace? Or are all of us, perhaps, missing the main point?

My friend, a great Indian writer and thinker, Arundhati Roy wrote, in 2001, reacting to the Western “War on Terror”:

When he announced the air strikes, President George Bush said, “We’re a peaceful nation.” America’s favourite ambassador, Tony Blair, (who also holds the portfolio of Prime Minister of the UK), echoed him: “We’re a peaceful people.” So now we know. Pigs are horses. Girls are boys. War is Peace.

When it comes from the lips of the Westerners, is ‘peace’ really peace, is ‘war’ really a war?

Are people in that ‘free and democratic West’, still allowed to ask such questions? Or is the war and peace perception just a part of the dogma that is not allowed to be questioned and is ‘protected’ by both the Western culture and its laws?

Afghan kid from slums

I’m not in the West, and I don’t want to be. Therefore, I’m not sure what they are allowed to say or to question there. But we, those lucky people who are ‘outside’ and therefore not fully conditioned, controlled and indoctrinated, will definitely not stop asking these questions anytime soon; or to be precise, never!

*****

Recently, through Whatsapp, I received a simple chain of messages from my East African friends and Comrades – mostly young left-wing, revolutionary opposition leaders, thinkers and activists:

Free Africa is a socialist Africa! We are ready for war! The young Africans are on fire! Death to the imperialist forces! Viva Bolivarian revolution! South-South Cooperation! Today we take the battle to the streets! Africa Must Unite!

Such statements would sound almost ‘violent’ and therefore could be even be classified as ‘illegal’, if pronounced openly in the West. Someone could end up in Guantanamo for this, or in a ‘secret CIA prison’. A few weeks ago, I directly addressed these young people – leaders of the left-wing East African opposition – at the Venezuelan Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. Yes, they were boiling, they were outraged, determined and ready.

For those who are not too familiar with the continent, Kenya has been, for years and decades, an outpost of the British, US and even Israeli imperialism in East Africa. It was playing the same role that West Germany used to play during the Cold War – a window shopping paradise, stuffed with luxury goods and services.

In the past, Kenya was supposed to dwarf the socialist experiment of Tanzania under the leadership of Nyerere.

Kibera Slum in Nairobi with over 1 million inhabitants

Today, some 60 percent of Kenyans live in slums; some of the toughest in Africa. Some of these ‘settlements’, like Mathare and Kibera are housing at least one million people, in the most despicable, terrible conditions. Four years ago, when I was making my documentary film, in these slums, for South American network TeleSUR, I wrote:

…Officially, there is peace in Kenya. For decades, Kenya functioned as a client state of the West, implementing a savage market regime, hosting foreign military bases. Billions of dollars were made here. But almost nowhere on earth is the misery more brutal than here.

Two years earlier, while filming my “Tumaini” near Kisumu city and the Uganda border, I saw entire hamlets standing empty like ghosts. The people had vanished, died – from AIDS and hunger. But it was still called peace.

US med experiments in Haiti

Peace it was when the US military medics were operating under the open sky, on desperately poor and sick Haitians, in the notorious slum of Cité Soleil. I saw and photographed a woman, laid on a makeshift table, having her tumor removed using only local anesthetics. I asked the North American doctors, why is it like this? I knew there was a top-notch military facility two minutes away.

“This is as close as we get to real combat situation”, one doctor replied, frankly. “For us, this is great training.”

After the surgery was over, the woman got up, and supported by her frightened husband, walked away towards the bus stop.”

Yes, all this is, officially, peace.

*****

In Beirut, Lebanon, I recently participated in discussion about “Ecology of War”, a scientific and philosophical concept created by several AUB Medical Center doctors from the Middle East. Doctor Ghassan ‘Gus’ Abu-Sitta, the head of the Plastic Surgery Department at the AUB Medical Center in Lebanon, explained:

The misery is war. The destruction of the strong state leads to conflict. A great number of people on our Planet actually live in some conflict or war, without even realizing it: in slums, in thoroughly collapsed states, or in refugee camps.

During my work, in almost all devastated corners of the world, I saw much worse things than what I described above. Perhaps I saw too much – all that ‘peace’ which has been tearing limbs from the victims, all those burning huts and howling women, or children dying from diseases and hunger before they reach their teens.

I wrote about war and peace at length, in my 840-page book Exposing Lies Of The Empire”.

When you do what I do, you become like a doctor: you can only stand all those horrors and suffering, because you are here to help, to expose reality, and to shame the world. You have no right to decompose, to collapse, to fall and to cry.

But what you cannot stand is hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is ‘bulletproof’. It cannot be illuminated by correct arguments, by logic and by examples. Hypocrisy in the West is often ignorant, but mostly it is just self-serving.

So, what is real peace for the people in Europe and North America? The answer is simple: It is a state of things in which as few Western people as possible are killed or injured. A state of things in which the flow of resources from the poor, plundered and colonized countries is pouring, uninterrupted, predominantly to Europe and North America.

The price for such peace? How many African, Latin American or Asian people die as a result of such arrangement of the world, is thoroughly irrelevant.

Peru – Lima:  Is it really peace?

Peace is when the business interests of the West are not endangered, even if tens of millions of non-white human beings would vanish in the process.

Peace is when the West can, unopposed, control the world, politically, economically, ideologically and ‘culturally’.

“War” is when there is rebellion. War is when the people of plundered countries say “No!”. War is when they suddenly refuse to be raped, robbed, indoctrinated and murdered.

When such a scenario takes place the West’s immediate reaction ‘to restore peace’ is to overthrow the government in the country which is trying to take care of its people. To bomb schools and hospitals, to destroy supply of fresh water and electricity and to throw millions into total misery and agony.

As the West may soon do to North Korea (DPRK), to Cuba, Venezuela, Iran – some of the countries that are being, for now, ‘only’ tormented by sanctions and, foreign -sponsored, deadly “opposition”. In the Western lexicon, “peace” is synonymous to “submission”. To a total, unconditional submission. Anything else is war or could potentially lead to war.

For the oppressed, devastated countries, including those in Africa, to call for resistance, would be, at least in the Western lexicon, synonymous with the “call for violence”, therefore illegal. As ‘illegal’ as the calls were for resistance in the countries occupied by German Nazi forces during the WWII. It would be, therefore, logical to call the Western approach and state of mind, “fundamentalist”, and thoroughly aggressive.

{Originally, in a slightly shorter version, published by RT ]

• Photos by Andre Vltchek

Peace is a Cliché: When the West cannot Control the World Unopposed it Means War

The West likes to think of itself as a truly “peace-loving part of the world”. But is it? You hear it everywhere, from Europe to North America, then to Australia, and back to Europe: “Peace, peace, peace!”

It has become a cliché, a catchphrase, a recipe to get funding and sympathy and support. You say peace and you really cannot go wrong. It means that you are a compassionate and reasonable human being.

After addressing East African left wing opposition at Venezuelan embassy

Every year, there are “peace conferences” taking place everywhere where peace is worshipped, and even demanded. I recently attended one, as a keynote speaker, on the west coast of Denmark.

If a heavy-duty war correspondent like myself attends them, he or she gets shocked. What is usually discussed are superficial, feel-good topics.

At best, ‘how bad capitalism is’, and how ‘everything is about oil’. Nothing about the genocidal culture of the West. Nothing about continuous, centuries-long plunders and benefits that virtually all Westerners have been getting from it.

At worst, it is all about how bad the world is – “all people are the same” cliché. And, also, there are increasingly, bizarre, uninformed outbursts against China and Russia which are often labeled by Western neo-cons as “threat” and “rival powers”.

Participants of these gatherings agree “Peace is Good”, and “War is Bad”. This is followed by standing ovations and patting each other on the back. Few heartfelt tears are dropped.

However, reasons behind these displays are rarely questioned. After all, who would be asking for war? Who’d crave for violence, terrible injuries and death? Who’d want to see leveled, charred cities and abandoned, crying infants? It all appears to be very simple, and very logical.

A three year old Iraqi child with cancer, Mohammed, in Kos, Greece

But then, why do we not hear too often that “peace speech” pouring from the devastated and still de facto colonized African or the Middle Eastern countries? Aren’t they suffering the most? Shouldn’t they be dreaming about the peace? Or are all of us, perhaps, missing the main point?

My friend, a great Indian writer and thinker, Arundhati Roy wrote, in 2001, reacting to the Western “War on Terror”:

When he announced the air strikes, President George Bush said, “We’re a peaceful nation.” America’s favourite ambassador, Tony Blair, (who also holds the portfolio of Prime Minister of the UK), echoed him: “We’re a peaceful people.” So now we know. Pigs are horses. Girls are boys. War is Peace.

When it comes from the lips of the Westerners, is ‘peace’ really peace, is ‘war’ really a war?

Are people in that ‘free and democratic West’, still allowed to ask such questions? Or is the war and peace perception just a part of the dogma that is not allowed to be questioned and is ‘protected’ by both the Western culture and its laws?

Afghan kid from slums

I’m not in the West, and I don’t want to be. Therefore, I’m not sure what they are allowed to say or to question there. But we, those lucky people who are ‘outside’ and therefore not fully conditioned, controlled and indoctrinated, will definitely not stop asking these questions anytime soon; or to be precise, never!

*****

Recently, through Whatsapp, I received a simple chain of messages from my East African friends and Comrades – mostly young left-wing, revolutionary opposition leaders, thinkers and activists:

Free Africa is a socialist Africa! We are ready for war! The young Africans are on fire! Death to the imperialist forces! Viva Bolivarian revolution! South-South Cooperation! Today we take the battle to the streets! Africa Must Unite!

Such statements would sound almost ‘violent’ and therefore could be even be classified as ‘illegal’, if pronounced openly in the West. Someone could end up in Guantanamo for this, or in a ‘secret CIA prison’. A few weeks ago, I directly addressed these young people – leaders of the left-wing East African opposition – at the Venezuelan Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. Yes, they were boiling, they were outraged, determined and ready.

For those who are not too familiar with the continent, Kenya has been, for years and decades, an outpost of the British, US and even Israeli imperialism in East Africa. It was playing the same role that West Germany used to play during the Cold War – a window shopping paradise, stuffed with luxury goods and services.

In the past, Kenya was supposed to dwarf the socialist experiment of Tanzania under the leadership of Nyerere.

Kibera Slum in Nairobi with over 1 million inhabitants

Today, some 60 percent of Kenyans live in slums; some of the toughest in Africa. Some of these ‘settlements’, like Mathare and Kibera are housing at least one million people, in the most despicable, terrible conditions. Four years ago, when I was making my documentary film, in these slums, for South American network TeleSUR, I wrote:

…Officially, there is peace in Kenya. For decades, Kenya functioned as a client state of the West, implementing a savage market regime, hosting foreign military bases. Billions of dollars were made here. But almost nowhere on earth is the misery more brutal than here.

Two years earlier, while filming my “Tumaini” near Kisumu city and the Uganda border, I saw entire hamlets standing empty like ghosts. The people had vanished, died – from AIDS and hunger. But it was still called peace.

US med experiments in Haiti

Peace it was when the US military medics were operating under the open sky, on desperately poor and sick Haitians, in the notorious slum of Cité Soleil. I saw and photographed a woman, laid on a makeshift table, having her tumor removed using only local anesthetics. I asked the North American doctors, why is it like this? I knew there was a top-notch military facility two minutes away.

“This is as close as we get to real combat situation”, one doctor replied, frankly. “For us, this is great training.”

After the surgery was over, the woman got up, and supported by her frightened husband, walked away towards the bus stop.”

Yes, all this is, officially, peace.

*****

In Beirut, Lebanon, I recently participated in discussion about “Ecology of War”, a scientific and philosophical concept created by several AUB Medical Center doctors from the Middle East. Doctor Ghassan ‘Gus’ Abu-Sitta, the head of the Plastic Surgery Department at the AUB Medical Center in Lebanon, explained:

The misery is war. The destruction of the strong state leads to conflict. A great number of people on our Planet actually live in some conflict or war, without even realizing it: in slums, in thoroughly collapsed states, or in refugee camps.

During my work, in almost all devastated corners of the world, I saw much worse things than what I described above. Perhaps I saw too much – all that ‘peace’ which has been tearing limbs from the victims, all those burning huts and howling women, or children dying from diseases and hunger before they reach their teens.

I wrote about war and peace at length, in my 840-page book Exposing Lies Of The Empire”.

When you do what I do, you become like a doctor: you can only stand all those horrors and suffering, because you are here to help, to expose reality, and to shame the world. You have no right to decompose, to collapse, to fall and to cry.

But what you cannot stand is hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is ‘bulletproof’. It cannot be illuminated by correct arguments, by logic and by examples. Hypocrisy in the West is often ignorant, but mostly it is just self-serving.

So, what is real peace for the people in Europe and North America? The answer is simple: It is a state of things in which as few Western people as possible are killed or injured. A state of things in which the flow of resources from the poor, plundered and colonized countries is pouring, uninterrupted, predominantly to Europe and North America.

The price for such peace? How many African, Latin American or Asian people die as a result of such arrangement of the world, is thoroughly irrelevant.

Peru – Lima:  Is it really peace?

Peace is when the business interests of the West are not endangered, even if tens of millions of non-white human beings would vanish in the process.

Peace is when the West can, unopposed, control the world, politically, economically, ideologically and ‘culturally’.

“War” is when there is rebellion. War is when the people of plundered countries say “No!”. War is when they suddenly refuse to be raped, robbed, indoctrinated and murdered.

When such a scenario takes place the West’s immediate reaction ‘to restore peace’ is to overthrow the government in the country which is trying to take care of its people. To bomb schools and hospitals, to destroy supply of fresh water and electricity and to throw millions into total misery and agony.

As the West may soon do to North Korea (DPRK), to Cuba, Venezuela, Iran – some of the countries that are being, for now, ‘only’ tormented by sanctions and, foreign -sponsored, deadly “opposition”. In the Western lexicon, “peace” is synonymous to “submission”. To a total, unconditional submission. Anything else is war or could potentially lead to war.

For the oppressed, devastated countries, including those in Africa, to call for resistance, would be, at least in the Western lexicon, synonymous with the “call for violence”, therefore illegal. As ‘illegal’ as the calls were for resistance in the countries occupied by German Nazi forces during the WWII. It would be, therefore, logical to call the Western approach and state of mind, “fundamentalist”, and thoroughly aggressive.

{Originally, in a slightly shorter version, published by RT ]

• Photos by Andre Vltchek

Canada, the Korean Dispute and Foreign Policy Mythology

Repeat after me: Canada is seldom a force for good in the world, Canada is seldom a force for good in the world.

Thomas Walkom’s “Canada should board Korean peace train” is yet another example of how the progressive end of the dominant media has been seduced by Canadian foreign policy mythology.

The leftist Toronto Star columnist offers an astute analysis of what’s driving rapprochement on the Korean Peninsula. He points out that the two Koreas are moving the process forward and that Pyongyang believes “complete denuclearization” of the Peninsula includes the US forces in the region aiming nuclear weapons at it.

But, Walkom’s column is cloaked in naivety about Canada’s role in the geopolitical hotspot. He ignores the international summit Ottawa and Washington organized in January to promote sanctions on North Korea. In a highly belligerent move, the countries invited to the conference in Vancouver were those that fought against North Korea in the early 1950s conflict. “We went over there and fought the war and eventually burned down every town in North Korea,” General Curtis LeMay, head of US air command during the fighting, explained three decades later. “Over a period of three years or so, we killed off … twenty percent of the population of Korea as direct casualties of war, or from starvation and exposure.”

(During another dreadful chapter in Korean history Canada supplied war materials to the Japanese army that occupied Korea before World War II.)

Continuing its aggressive diplomatic posture, Chrystia Freeland brought up North Korea at the Munich Security Conference in Germany in February and the next month Canada’s foreign minister agreed with her Japanese counterpart to send a “strong message” to Pyongyang at the upcoming Group of Seven meetings. In a subsequent get together, Freeland and Japanese officials pledged to maintain “maximum pressure” on North Korea. After “welcoming South Korea’s critical role in maintaining diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea” in March, Freeland responded gingerly to Seoul and Pyongyang’s joint announcement last month to seek a formal end to the Korean War and rid the Peninsula of nuclear weapons. “We all need to be careful and not assume anything,” said Freeland.

Walkom also ignores the Canadian Forces currently seeking to blockade North Korea. Three weeks ago Ottawa announced it was a sending a CP-140 Aurora surveillance aircraft and 40 military personnel to a US base in Japan to join British, Australian and US forces monitoring efforts to evade UN sanctions. Earlier in the year a Vancouver Island based submarine was sent across the pond partly to bolster the campaign to isolate North Korea.

Canadians are also part of the UN military mission in Korea. The first non-US general to hold the post since the command was created in 1950, Canadian Lieutenant General Wayne Eyre was recently appointed deputy commander of the UN force stationed there.

(To be fair, Walkom hints at Ottawa’s belligerence, noting that Canada is “still technically at war with North Korea” and is among countries that “traditionally take their cue from the U.S.”)

In my forthcoming book Left, Right — Marching to the Beat of Imperial Canada I discuss how leftist intellectuals concede a great deal to the foreign policy establishment’s outlook. Laziness is a simple, though not unimportant, reason why these writers mythologize Canadian foreign policy. Buried amidst a mass of state and corporate generated apologetics, critical information about Canada’s role in the world takes more effort to uncover. And the extra work is often bad for one’s career.

A thorough investigation uncovers information tough to square with the narrow spectrum of opinion permitted in the dominant media. It’s nearly impossible to survive if you say Canadian foreign policy has always been self-serving/elite-driven or that no government has come close to reflecting their self-professed ideals on the international stage. Almost everyone with a substantial platform to comment sees little problem with Canadian power, finding it expedient to assume/imply Canada’s international aims are noble.

Rather than a story titled “Canada should board Korean peace train”, Walkom should have written about how “Canada must step off the belligerence bus”. His conscious or unconscious naivety regarding Canada’s role in Korea is part of a mainstream left trend that partly explains why Canadians overwhelmingly believe this country is a benevolent international actor despite a long history of supporting empire and advancing Canadian corporate interests abroad.

Scourging Yemen

On May 10, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia informed the UN Security Council and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that Saudi Air Defenses intercepted two Houthi ballistic missiles launched from inside Yemeni territory targeting densely populated civilian areas in Riyadh, the Saudi capital. No one was killed, but an earlier attack, on March 26, 2018, killed one Egyptian worker in Riyadh and an April 28 attack killed a Saudi man.

Unlike the unnumbered victims of the Saudis’ own ongoing bombardment of Yemen, these two precious, irreplaceable lives are easy to document and count. Death tolls have become notoriously difficult to count accurately in Yemen. Three years of U.S.-supported blockades and bombardments have plunged the country into immiseration and chaos.

In their May 10th request, the Saudis asked the UN to implement “all relevant Security Council resolutions in order to prevent the smuggling of additional weapons to the Houthis, and to hold violators of the arms embargo accountable.” The letter accuses Iran of furnishing the Houthi militias with stockpiles of ballistic missiles, UAVs and sea mines. The Saudis’ letter omits mention of massive U.S. weapons exports to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Security Council resolutions invoked by the Saudis name the Houthis as a warring party in Yemen and call for an embargo, so the Houthis can’t acquire more weapons. But these Resolutions don’t name the Saudis as a warring party in Yemen, even though Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has, since March 2015, orchestrated Saudi involvement in the war, using billions of dollars of weapons sold to the Saudis and the UAE by the U.S. and the UK.

The Saudis have an undeniable right to call on the UN to work toward preventing the Houthis from acquiring ballistic weapons that could be fired into Saudi Arabia, but the air, sea and water blockade now imposed on Yemen brutally and lethally punishes children who have no capacity whatsoever to affect Houthi policies. What’s more, the U.S. military, through midair refueling of Saudi and Emirati warplanes, is directly involved in devastating barrages of airstrikes while the UN Security Council essentially pays no heed.

As Yemeni civilians’ lives become increasingly desperate, they become increasingly isolated, their suffering made invisible by a near-total lack of Western media interest or attention. No commercial flights are allowed into the Sana’a airport, so media teams and human rights documentarians can’t enter the areas of Yemen most afflicted by airstrikes. The World Food Program (WFP) organizes a weekly flight into Sana’a, but the WFP must vet passengers with the Saudi government. Nevertheless, groups working in Yemen, including Amnesty International, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Save the Children, Oxfam, and various UN agencies do their best to report about consequences of the Saudi-Emirati led coalition’s blockade and airstrikes.

On May 18th, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) issued a report about airstrikes against the Saada governorate which notes that “in the past three years, the coalition has carried out 16,749 air raids in Yemen; i.e., an average of 15 a day. Almost a third of the raids have hit non-military sites.”

Earlier in May, MSF responded to a series of Saudi-Emirati coalition led airstrikes on May 7th which struck a busy street in the heart of Sana’a, killing six people and injuring at least 72.

“Civilians, including children, were killed and maimed because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said João Martins, MSF head of mission in Yemen. “No-one should live in fear of being bombed while going about their daily life; yet again we are seeing civilian victims of airstrikes fighting for their lives in hospitals.”

Lacking access to food, clean water, medicine and fuel, over 400,000 Yemeni children are, according to Save the Children, at imminent risk of starvation. “Most of them will never see a health clinic or receive treatment,” says Kevin Watkins, the organization’s UK Director. “Many of those who survive will be affected by stunting and poor health for the rest of their lives.” Watkins says the Saudi-UAE led coalition is using economic strangulation as a weapon of war, “targeting jobs, infrastructure, food markets and the provision of basic services.”

On March 22, 2018, Amnesty International called for an end to the flow of arms to the Saudi-led coalition attacking Yemen. “There is extensive evidence that irresponsible arms flows to the Saudi Arabia-led coalition have resulted in enormous harm to Yemeni civilians,” their statement says. “But this has not deterred the USA, the UK and other states, including France, Spain and Italy, from continuing transfers of billions of dollars’ worth of such arms.”

The UN Charter begins with a commitment to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. The UN Security Council has miserably failed the Yemeni people by allowing the scourge of war to worsen, year by year. By approving biased resolutions that neglect to even name the most well-funded and sophisticated warring parties in Yemen — Saudi Arabia; the United Arab Emirates; the United States — the Security Council promotes the intensification of brutal, apocalyptic war and enables western war profiteers to benefit from billions of dollars in weapon sales. Weapon manufacturers such as Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Boeing then pressure governments to continue selling weapons to two of their top customers, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Earnest, honest and practical steps to stop the war are urgently needed. The U.N. must abandon its biased role in the Yemen conflict, so it can broker a peace in which the Houthi minority can retain some dignity and representation in majority-Sunni Yemen, which even before the Houthi uprising lacked any legitimate elected leader. The Houthis must be given an option to lay down arms without landing in any of the clandestine prisons operated by the UAE in Yemen, reported to be little more than torture camps. Even more urgent, the violence and economic strangulation by foreign invaders must cease.

At the very least, citizens in countries supplying weapons to the Saudi-Emirati coalition must demand their legislators forbid all future sales. The time for determined action is running out in the U.S. as the State Department is already taking preliminary steps toward a massive, multibillion-dollar sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The package is said to include tens of thousands of precision-guided munitions from Raytheon.

Yemeni civilians, especially children, pose no threat whatsoever to the U.S. Yet, U.S. support for airstrikes, blockades and the chaos inevitably caused by prolonged war threatens Yemeni civilians, especially vulnerable children. They have committed no crime but are being punished with death.

Cartoon: S. Reynolds CC BY-SA 4.0

Inside the War Industry

Let’s do away immediately with the euphemisms “defense industry” and “Department of Defense,” and call them pejoratively but correctly what they really are, the “war industry” (and related spy business) and the “Department of War.” The latter, in case you didn’t know, had that official name until 1949. Can you just imagine some PR consultant having been hired who asked the Grand Poohbahs “do you think the fast food industry would ever sell dead cow burgers?”

Going inside the war industry to take a look at it, the intent of this article, must be like trying to find all the stars and black holes in the universe. Try as I might, I could not pin down just how many there are of merchants of death (i.e., weapons and ammunitions makers), makers of various and sundry war and spy supplies, and the multitudinous contractors with their hired hands on foreign soil doing all sorts of clandestine and open dirty work, all of which are done in our name and out of our pockets.

But simply knowing the war “galaxy” is too big to count is telling us enough. Moreover, the government can’t even count it, or itself, for that matter. While it is infamous for its sloppy, lackadaisical bookkeeping, I seriously doubt that even five-star accounting firms not on the take could keep the books with any degree of certainty. Let’s just sum it up by saying that the US has the largest military budget and force than most nations have even if strung together.

The adage, “if the only tool available is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail” can be revised I think to describe the war industry and its patron, the government; vis a vis, ‘if any nation can be turned into an enemy then the only tool available is the war industry.” It may be a stretch, but it makes sense to me because I have always contended that the US from its inception has created foreign enemies to justify its exploitative, external regime changing through wars declared and undeclared.1

So, it was at the start. The American Revolution need never have occurred. There were viable alternatives.2 But the new plutocrats from war addicted England would have none of it. And they gave the assignment to George, the other George, not the rich, royal one the new upstarts were dead set on unseating.

Poor George had to rely on a ragtag army and ragtag sources of supplies, the most critical of which was the musket. Some muskets were supplied by local gunsmiths, some by European manufacturers, and some from dead British soldiers. Contrast poor George’s arsenal with that of his 45th successor!

Looking inside the war industry is not a pursuit of idle curiosity. There can be nothing idle about the work of serious peace and social justice activists. There is no leeway for any ignorance about the enemy of peace and justice. The enemy must be thoroughly known from inside out, what it is, how it operates, and, most importantly, exactly what its lifeline is that gives it sustenance and unbridled growth. At the end of this article we shall see how knowing more about the industry’s largest war corporation yields some insight into how that corporation could benefit the world by changing what it does for a living.

The Industry’s Owners

The more powerful members of the industry are publicly traded corporations owned by their owner/investors and directed by the owners’ representatives who sit on the corporations’ boards of directors. About all they really do is sit because most are sycophants of the corporations’ CEOs. Moreover, the shareholders are not about to mutiny and switch their money to other stocks. Why would they jump ship? A writer for Forbes magazine gives five reasons why other sectors are not as good an investment as is the defense industry sector: its stocks weather economic storms better; it dominates the market “selling Uncle Sam a billion dollars in goods and services every day, seven days a week;” it is “politically protected” (that’s an understatement); it’s oblivious to any “waning demand;” and its future prospects are more publicly known through news of any impending dips in the defense budget and thus give cautious investors pause to reconsider.”3

How the War Industry Works

In a nutshell the war industry works by yoking Uncle Sam. The war industry, not the American people at large, tells the government what its annual war/security budget should be, what its war/security purchases should be, for what purposes, and how much they should cost, and what minimal legislation and oversight would be acceptable. The industry exercises this stranglehold in several ways.

(a) The Industry Puts its Pawns and Patrons into Office. The industry donates millions of dollars in campaign contributions. The main purpose is always to ensure that members of Congressional committees important to the industry get re-elected.

(b) The Industry Strategically Locates its Facilities. The industry’s lifelines and profit bonanzas come from contracts awarded by influential and courted members of Congress. Locating facilities in their Congressional districts and States helps ensure that contracts will be steered to them. Few things make a member of Congress more anxious than the prospect of a facility moving out or a member more pleased by a facility moving in. If I’m not mistaken, there are one or more war contractor facilities in every state of the union.

(c) The Industry Swarms Capitol Hill with their Touts. In one year alone, millions of dollars were spent to send about 1,000 touts (i.e., lobbyists) up Capitol Hill to cash in on all those campaign financing bribes from the sector by telling their elected officials to keep boosting the federal budget for the sector, what and how to legislate and regulate the sector’s business, and to peddle its products and supplies.4 Trade associations are clusters of touts concentrating on a particular war business and thus represent not one but all of the corporations in that business. These associations include the Aerospace Industries Association, Armed Forces Communications Electronics Association, Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems, Intelligence and National Security Alliance, International National Defense Industrial Association (INSA), and the Submarine Industrial Base Council.

You might find it humorous and just desserts to learn that two days after publishing a paper on cyber security one of those organizations peddling security discovered its website had been hacked.5 I seriously doubt the organization lost its security clearance.  If the hacker were found, the organization should have hired the person as its new Top Spy.

(d) The Revolving Door. Now you see them in industry. Then you see them in government as influential political appointees, before, of course, they return later to industry. What better way to keep the government in tow than to infiltrate it with people from the top ranks of industry? As just a latest example of these peripatetic shufflers, former Lockheed Martin executive John Rood is now the Trump administration’s undersecretary of defense and will be responsible for, you guessed it, overseeing business dealings with Lockheed Martin and the like. And it’s no guess who such appointees will favor when disputes arise.

(e) Politicians are given Junket Trips and Other Perks. Congressional members vital to the war industry are plied with junkets to sunny places in the winter, honored with awards, and in other ways to cater to their egos, palates and pleasures. For example, the Aerospace Industries Association in 2011 handed one of its top awards, the Wings of Liberty, to Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), one of the co-chairmen of the special deficit-cutting committee. The award was given to her, not coincidentally, “on the same day the congressional super committee held its first public business meeting,” presumably to influence her vote on any budget cut that would hurt that Association’s industrial interests.6

(f) Politicians are wooed at Trade Shows. Whenever there is a new, expensive prototype developed that can be hyped and sold the industry puts on a glitzy trade show and invites its patrons, the politicians. I can’t imagine any not obligated to the industry would decline. Here’s a true story about a drone trade show. It illustrates quite well I think the flow of money and favors between government and the industry.

If the two were not tied together at the groin and all parts above and below, you would expect the show to be held at a private facility, like say, a big arena rented by the “Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). But this is a true story, not fiction. Instead, the event, publicly masked as a “science fair,” was held in the large foyer of the Rayburn House Office building adjacent to Capitol Hill. The host was the U.S. House Unmanned Systems Caucus (USUMSC), a bunch of politicians who care more about robots than people, except, of course, themselves and their kind of people. I’m not sure which name came first, but I would guess that AUVSI did and then convinced “the industry’s man on Capitol Hill” —to start an Unmanned Systems Caucus—.” And as fast as a knee jerk its members have since been “showered —with cash.” At the trade show hawkers “in suits, polo shirts or military garb” from a host of companies were showing “the hottest new drones, robots and mini blimps.” Well, they weren’t the real thing obviously, just toy replicas.

The author of this story, John Amick, director of Brave New World Foundation’s “War Costs” project, concluded the story with this witty remark, “The toy du jour for this [marriage] is the drone. New technology, same game.”7 And the game is endless. A trade show for each new toy. The story John told was just his “drone edition.”

(g) The Industry’s Members sit on the War Policy Board. Officially named the Defense Policy Board, its members advise the Department of War on, well, on matters of war. When the Center for Public Integrity several years ago reviewed the backgrounds of the Board’s 30 members the Center found that at least nine have ties to companies that have won more than $76 billion in defense contracts in just a two-year period, and also that four members are registered lobbyists, one of whom represents two of the three largest defense contractors.8 The Board sits just outside the revolving door so to speak. Although the Board officially “serves in the public’s interest,” unofficially and obviously the Board serves its own kind and handsomely so. Makes sense, doesn’t it, even as despicable as it is? War is a big business and alongside its astronomical profits are rivers of blood and lands of misery and destruction, nothing more, nothing less.

The Industry’s Leviathan

Lockheed Martin

Let’s take a brief spin around the war galaxy’s largest star, Lockheed Martin. It is the most expensive, the most powerful, the most profitable, and the largest, defense contractor in the world. It has cost the taxpayers around a quarter of a trillion dollars in just 10 years; its annual arms sales are over $35 billion; its total profit around $3 billion; well over 100,000 people are dependent directly for livelihood on this behemoth employer.9

Like all the others in the industry Lockheed Martin knows how to buy and manipulate the federal government. As already mentioned, it places through the revolving door key people in influential government positions; its political campaign contributions over the years total more than $25 million; and its lobbying expenditures over the years total more than $172 million.

Buying and plying politicians help explain why this defense contractor continues to do business with Uncle Sam even while being high on a list of instances of misconduct by defense contractors (the list covers cases of contract fraud and environmental, ethics, and labor violations).10 If you and I had even a small fraction of those violations you know where we would be living.

Meet the “Herk”

“Herk” is my nickname for the C-130 Hercules, a mid-sized transport airplane first designed and built in the 1950s (it’s so big it could also be nicknamed the “Hulk”). The author of the article about it tells us to “consider this a parable to help us see past the alarmist talking points issued by defense contractor lobbyists, the public relations teams they hire, and the think tanks they fund. It may help us see just how effective defense contractors are in growing their businesses, whatever the mood of the moment.”11

The mood in the late 1970s for Herk and its maker was anxiety over the future of its sales. The Pentagon had decided that it didn’t need any more Herks and stopped asking Congress for any more of them. This decision had followed two earlier setbacks for the defense contractor. One, the Air Force awarded a lucrative contract to a competitor, but Congress gave the loser, Lockheed Martin, a bailout of about $1 billion in loan guarantees and other financial relief. The other was having been caught using some of the bailout money to bribe foreign officials to buy Herks.

It was a needless worry. The contractor knew reflexively what to do next. It ignored the Pentagon and by giving more campaign money to key Congressional members up for reelection and then bombarding them with lobbyists got Congress to earmark money for more Herks. Not content to settle for just that sweet deal, the contractor next collaborated with advocacy groups of local Air Force Reserves and Air National Guard to lobby governors and Congress to keep bases scheduled for closing open for the surplus Herks, to argue for even more Herks, and to keep the older ones from being mothballed.

The story of Herk is a never ending one. The contractor recently sold a bundle of the planes to the Royal Saudi Air Force, and the Pentagon apparently now has a hankering for a more modernized version of Herk. This is indeed a plane that continues to enrich the contractor and rob the taxpayer.

And the F35

I don’t want to finish this vignette without mentioning Herk’s sibling, the F35, reportedly the most expensive military weapons program in US history. Not at all atypical performance in the industry, the contractor’s projected cost of $226 billion for 2900 planes and a fly date of 2012 has since become $400 billion for 500 fewer planes with a fly date delayed to 2017. The Pentagon’s plan to terminate part of the shoddy program was thwarted by the contractor marching up Capitol Hill to lobby the House Armed Services Committee.12

We may never see the end of the F35 boondoggle. It has become the premium cash cow for its maker.

In Closing

There is no need to look into any of the rest of the war galaxy. Its members are basically indistinguishable at a distance from one another. What they have in common is far more than what differentiates them.  They are all merchants of death or complicit accessories. They all wallow at the bottomless government trough. They all, along with government, the patron saint, are enemies of humanity and peace. Their threat to the long-term survivability of our species can’t be underestimated nor must their current depletion of resources needed to uplift the common good today be overlooked.

Swords into Plowshares?

Looking inside the war industry is easy to do. Changing it to a “peace” industry clearly quite another. My dozens of proposals for what to do collect dust as do those of others. But, in closing, I want to resurrect one of them I cited in one of my books, the civilianization of the war industry. I learned of the idea from Ellen Hodgins Brown, lawyer, prolific book and article writer, and founder and chair of the Public Banking Institute. Her idea is to “civilianize” the war industry.13 Turning swords into ploughshares, of course, is an old idea and one that has worked temporarily in the past as when at the end of WWII a large portion of America’s GDP was converted from military to civilian outputs. Ms. Brown gives as examples of civilianization turning bases into industrial parks, schools, airports, hospitals, and recreation facilities; and converting factories that churn out war machines into factories producing consumer and capital goods such as machine tools, electric locomotives, farm machinery, oil field equipment, and construction machinery for modernizing infrastructure. She cites evidence of how a well-designed military conversion program can create more jobs, not less than the military can create. Moreover, successful conversion would avoid throwing millions of trained people out of work.

Another reason I highlighted Lockheed Martin is because it is a very diversified corporation. Besides being a merchant of death, it sorts the mail but is not the USPS; cuts Social Security checks but is not the SSA; counts the census but is not the Bureau of the Census; monitors air traffic; but is not the FAA; runs space flights but is not NASA; and helps spy on Americans but is not NSA.14 Lockheed Martin, in other words, knows how to do a lot of things. It would seem ripe for civilianization. Give its owners and top management perp walks before the court of public opinion if not also before the International Criminal Court and rehabilitate the underlings with good, socially responsible civilianized jobs.

  1. See pp. 166-168 of my book, America’s Oldest Professions: Warring and Spying, Create Space Independent Publishing Platform, 2015.
  2. Ibid., pp. 33-34.
  3. Thompson, L. Five Reasons the Defense Industry Is Still A Better Investment Than Other Sectors. Forbes, September 10, 2012.
  4. Brumback. Ibid. p. 124.
  5. Lake, E. Top Spy Website Hacked. The Daily Beast”, September 16, 2011.
  6. Dayen, D. Defense Industry Gives Top Super Committee Democrat An Award, September 14, 2011.
  7. Amick, J. When the Defense Industry and Congress are Indistinguishable: Drone Edition.  September 14, 2012.
  8. Verloy, A. & Politi, D. “Advisors of Influence: Nine members of the Defense Policy Board Have Ties to Defense Contractors”, The Center for Public Integrity, May 19, 2014.
  9. See,  Hartung, W., “Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military- Industrial Complex”, Nation Books, 2010; Wikipedia; and Weigley, S. “10 companies Profiting the Most from War”, 24/7 Wall St., March 10, 2013.
  10. Project on Government Oversight, Federal Contractor Data Base. December 26, 2013.
  11. Goulka, J. Lockheed Martin’s Herculean Lobbying Efforts”, Mother Jones, March 11, 2013.
  12. Van Dorn, M. “Lockheed Martin No Stranger To Ethically Questionable Lobbying”, Truthful Lobbying, June 24, 2013.
  13. Brown, EH. “The Military as a Jobs Program: There are More Efficient Ways to Stimulate an Economy“, Dissident Voice, June 23, 2011.
  14. See lockheedmartin.com; also, Hartung, W.D. “Is Lockheed Martin Shadowing You? How a Giant Weapons Maker Became the New Big Brother”, TomDispatch.com, January 11, 2011.

“The Global Elite is Insane” Revisited

In 2014 I wrote an article titled “The Global Elite is Insane.” I want to elaborate what I explained in the earlier article so that people have a clearer sense of what we are up against in our struggle to create a world of peace, justice and ecological sustainability.

Of course, as I explained previously, it is not just the global elite that is insane. All those individuals – politicians, business people, academics, corporate media editors and journalists, judges and lawyers, bureaucrats…. – who serve the elite, including by not exposing and resisting it, are also insane. And it is important to understand this if we are to develop and implement effective strategies to resist elite violence, exploitation and destruction but also avert the now-imminent human extinction driven by their insane desire for endless personal privilege, corporate profit and political control whatever the cost to Earth’s biosphere and lifeforms (human and non-human alike).

But first, who constitutes the global elite? Essentially, it is those extremely wealthy individuals – notably including the Rothschild family, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Amancio Ortega, Mark Zuckerberg, Carlos Slim, the Walton family and the Koch brothers – as well as the world’s other billionaires and millionaires.

Testament to their secretly and long-accumulated wealth and power, a 2012 investigation concluded that rich individuals and their families have as much as $32 trillion of hidden financial assets – which excludes non-financial assets such as real estate, gold, yachts and race horses – in offshore tax havens.

If this sum was devoted to programs of social uplift then starvation, poverty, homelessness and other privations would vanish immediately and environmental restoration projects as well as research, development and implementation of visionary sustainability initiatives would flourish instantly. The idea of an ‘underdeveloped’ or ‘developing’ national economy would vanish from the literature on Africa, Asia and Central/South America.

In addition to these individuals, however, the global elite includes the major multinational corporations, particularly including the following – although, it should be noted, this list simplifies the picture considerably by ignoring the conglomerate nature of many of these corporations and not including many of the (more difficult to identify) private corporations that should be listed in any comprehensive presentation:

* the major weapons manufacturers (such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, BAE Systems, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics)

* the major banks (including Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, HSBC Holdings, JPMorgan Chase, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Bank of America) and their ‘industry groups’ like the International Monetary Conference

* the major investment companies (including BlackRock, Capital Group Companies, FMR, AXA, and JP Morgan Chase)

* the major financial services companies (including Berkshire Hathaway, AXA, Allianz and BNP Paribas)

* the major energy corporations including coal companies (such as Coal India, Adani Enterprises, China Shenhua Energy, China Coal Energy, Mechel, Exxaro Resources, Public Power, Glencore and Peabody Energy) as well as the oil and gas corporations (such as Saudi Aramco, Gazprom, Rosneft, PetroChina, ExxonMobil, Lukoil, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Petrobras, Chevron, Novatek, Total S.A. and Eni)

* the major media corporations (including Alphabet [Google owner], Comcast, Disney, AT&T, News Corporation, Time Warner, Fox, Facebook, Bertelsmann and Baidu)

* the major marketing and public relations corporations (including Edelman, W2O Group, APCO Worldwide, Deksia, BrandTuitive, Fearless Media, and Citizen Group)

* the major agrochemical (pesticides, seeds, fertilizers) giants (including Bayer, Syngenta, Dow, Monsanto and DuPont)

* the major pharmaceutical corporations (including Johnson & Johnson, Roche, Pfizer, Novartis, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline)

* the major biotechnology (genetic mutilation) corporations (again including Johnson & Johnson, Roche, Pfizer and Novartis)

* the major mining corporations (including Glencore Xtrata, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Vale, Anglo American, China Shenhua Energy, Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold, and Barrick Gold)

* the major nuclear power corporations (including Areva, Rosatom, General Electric/Hitachi, Kepco, Mitsubishi, Babcock & Wilcox, BNFL, Duke Energy, McDermott International, Southern, NextEra Energy, American Electric Power, and Westinghouse)

* the major food multinationals (including Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland Company [ADM], Nestlé, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Mars, Associated British Foods and Mondelez)

* the major water corporations (including Veolia, Suez Environnement, ITT Corporation, United Utilities, Severn Trent, Thames Water, American Water Works).

Of course, the global elite also includes elite fora where various combinations of elite individuals from the corporate, political, media and academic worlds gather to plan their continuing violence against, and exploitation of, the Earth and its inhabitants. This is intended to consolidate and extend their control over populations, markets and resources to maximize their privilege, profit and power at the expense of the rest of us and life generally. Among intergovernmental organizations, it includes the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

A quick perusal of the agenda of such elite gatherings – including the World Economic Forum, the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission – reveals a comprehensive lack of interest, despite rhetoric and the occasional token mention, of pressing issues ranging from the threat of nuclear war and the climate catastrophe to the many ongoing wars, deepening exploitation within the global economy, extensive range of environmental threats and the refugee crisis, each of which they generated and now continue to deliberately exacerbate. See, for example, the agenda of the recent WEF meeting in Davos.

Primary servants of the global elite include political leaders in major industrialized countries (who legislate to progressively expand elite power, profit and privilege, such as Donald Trump’s recent tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of social programs), the judges and lawyers (who defend elite power using the elite-designed and manipulated legal system: ever heard of a wealthy individual convicted in court and given any serious punishment or of any major corporation genuinely held to legal account for its exploitation of indigenous peoples or destruction of the natural environment?), as well as corporate media editors and journalists, entertainment industry personnel, academics, industry organizations (such as the European Round Table of Industrialists) that represent the interests of major corporations, so-called ‘think tanks’ (such as the Council on Foreign Relations and the Brookings Institution) and ‘philanthropic trusts’ (such as the Rockefeller, Carnegie and Ford foundations) all of which justify, ignore or divert attention from elite violence and exploitation.

Importantly too, primary servants of the global elite include those who work within elite-directed agencies, notably including those in the so-called ‘intelligence community’ (such as the US CIA, British MI6, Russian SVR RF, Chinese Ministry for State Security and Israeli Mossad), who perform elite functions in relation to spying, surveillance and secret assassinations (particularly of grassroots activists), ostensibly under the direction of national governments. But it also includes many lower-level servants such as those who work as political lobbyists or in the bureaucracy as well as the education, police and prison systems.

So why do I claim that the elite and those who serve them are insane?

Any dictionary will offer a simple definition of ‘sanity’ along the lines of ‘soundness of judgment or reason’ and ‘the ability to think and speak in a reasonable way and to behave normally’.

But if we use this definition of sanity then, obviously, ‘sanity’ must be interpreted to mean that it is ‘sound judgment, reasonable and normal’ to further perpetrate the violence and exploitation that are overwhelmingly characteristic of our world. After all, most people powerlessly accept this incredibly violent state of affairs and, if they discuss it, do so in terms of its merits, politically, economically, morally or otherwise. Few people argue, simply, that violence is just insane.

So I would like to propose a more rigorous definition of sanity: Sanity is the capacity to consider a set of circumstances, to carefully analyze the evidence pertaining to those circumstances, to identify the cause of any conflict or problem, and to respond appropriately, both emotionally and intellectually, to that conflict or problem with the intention of resolving it, preferably at a higher level of need satisfaction for all parties (including those of the Earth and all of its living creatures).

Clearly, my proposed definition of sanity is designed to imply that any conceptions we have of ‘sound judgment’, ‘reasonable’ and ‘normal’ mean that they are qualities we associate with individuals who possess the desirable capacity to improve the overall state of human affairs, whether an interpersonal relationship or geopolitically. This means, as an absolute minimum, the capacity to reduce violence or exploitation in one context or another.

You might, of course, accuse me of writing a definition of ‘sanity’ that serves my agenda to dramatically improve world order in the direction of peace, justice and sustainability. And you are right! But whose interest does it serve to have sanity defined as behavior that involves ‘sound judgment’ and is considered ‘reasonable and normal’ in the context of perpetuating extraordinary violence?

Alternatively, you might argue that my definition of insanity is too broad. Surely, you might say, we can account for many of the behaviors outlined above in terms of different belief systems, ideologies and religions. Doesn’t a person who believes in killing people to win wars (or for other reasons) just have a worldview different from those who believe that people should resolve conflict nonviolently? Doesn’t a capitalist just have a worldview different from those who believe that people should share resources equally? Doesn’t a person who believes in the unlimited accumulation of wealth just have a worldview different from those who believe in ecological sustainability?

But there is a more fundamental issue here. As I explained in my original article, cited at the beginning of this one: Do you really believe that someone who is capable of perpetrating extraordinary violence, inequity and biosphere-threatening behavior – and thus clearly incapable of experiencing and expressing the love, compassion, empathy and sympathy that would drive a nonviolent approach to the world – is sane? Given that emotional qualities such as love, compassion, empathy and sympathy are an evolutionary gift to those not seriously damaged during childhood, what happened to those individuals who do not possess them?

Or, to explain it based on my longer definition of sanity highlighted above: Casual observation of the state of our world, including the primary threat of near-term human extinction through climate catastrophe or nuclear war clearly reveals that none of the elite is paying considered attention to the perilous state of our world, analyzing the evidence in relation to it, identifying the cause(s) driving it or responding powerfully to end it. Why is this?

In essence, it is because one manifestation of their insanity drives them to deny reality to make huge profits from weapons production used to kill people, the burning of climate-destroying fossil fuels, environmental destruction (through, for example, mining and rainforest logging), commercial farming based on the poisoning and genetic mutilation of foods, the mass production and sale of poisoned, processed and nutritionally-depleted foods, the consumption of health-destroying and dependency-creating drugs, and control over the sale of water, once considered a human right. Moreover, insanity makes the elite do everything in its power to maintain this highly profitable state of affairs.

Moreover, of course, there is no evidence of committed elite engagement in efforts to end the many local wars (from which they make huge profits), end corporate exploitation of human beings (which kills, through starvation alone, 100,000 people every day but from which they make huge profits) and nonhuman beings (which drives 200 species of life to extinction daily but from which they make huge profits) or end local environmental destruction in a myriad ways (from which they make huge profits).

So, in summary, given our ongoing rush to extinction, it is clear that those who exacerbate this threat through failure to consider and act with awareness (as well as encourage aware action by others) fail to satisfy the definition of sanity that I offered above. In short: Gambling on the future of humanity is not sane.

As an aside, it should be noted: Often enough too, the elite can rely on a largely insane population to mindlessly consume the latest consumer product, no matter how unnecessary, or they can rely on their marketing and advertising agents to persuade those of us who show the slightest reluctance to buy the latest inanity.

So with an insane global elite and its many insane servants as well as a largely insane consumer population, what can those of us who have the sanity to respond powerfully to the many threats to our survival do?

Well, if you want a child who is emotionally and intellectually engaged with the world and therefore capable of responding powerfully to their circumstances (which includes being able to resist the lure of serving the elite and being suckered by its marketing), then terrorizing the child into obedience is not the way to go about it. So, you might like to consider making ‘My Promise to Children.’

If you are sane enough to investigate the evidence and to act intelligently and powerfully in response to it, I encourage you to do so. One option you have if you find the evidence in relation to one or more of the threats mentioned above compelling, is to join those participating in ‘The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth.’

If you are self-aware enough to know that you are inclined to avoid ‘difficult issues’ and to take the action that these require, then perhaps you could tackle this problem at its source by ‘Putting Feelings First.’ Unfortunately, as mentioned above, few of us had a childhood that nurtured our sanity.

If you want to mobilize people to campaign effectively on the climate, war, rainforest destruction or any other elite-driven violence that threatens our future, consider developing a comprehensive nonviolent strategy to do so.

And if you want to participate in the worldwide effort to end the insanity we call violence in all of its manifestations, you are welcome to consider signing the online pledge of ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World.’

Elite insanity, if not stopped, will drive us out of existence. If you believe that the elite and their servants will ‘see the light’ before it is too late, I invite you to seek out the evidence to justify your belief. I have found none.

I also see no evidence that individual members of the elite will do the emotional healing necessary to be able to act sanely in response to the extinction-threatening crisis it has generated.

So it is up to those of us who can think and act sanely to stop the rush to extinction before it is too late.

Are you one of those people?

Marching for the Democrats: Another Farce on Washington?

They called in [Roy] Wilkins; they called in [A. Philip] Randolph; they called in these national Negro leaders that you respect and told them, ‘Call it off.’ Kennedy said, ‘Look, you all are letting this thing go too far.’ And Old Tom said, ‘Boss, I can’t stop it, because I didn’t start it.’… And that old shrewd fox, he said, ‘If you all aren’t in it, I’ll put you in it. I’ll put you at the head of it.’…

Malcolm X on the 1963 “Farce on Washington”)

Liberals and Democrat party connected organizations and networks have been quite adept at getting out in front of movements to pre-empt their radical potential and steer them back into the safe arms of liberal conformism. Before resistance to the election of Donald Trump could be developed into a radical rejection of the neoliberal order, the new alignment of ruling class forces that coalesced around the candidacy of Hilary Clinton launched a pre-emptive strike against Trump with the two-fold objective of preventing him from governing and ensuring that opposition to Trump did not take on an anti-system character.

A similar thing happened after the 2006 massive marches of undocumented migrant workers that had a militant anti-capitalist component. It was quickly marginalized and transformed into something called “immigrant rights” with the highest demand being a demand to become legalized settlers. Then, on the 50th anniversary of the historic 1963 March on Washington when Black people were still experiencing the devastating and disproportionate impact of the capitalist crisis of 2007-08, members of the Black Mis-leadership class warmly welcomed the first Black president to join in the day’s festivities ensuring that the gathering would be devoid of any meaningful politics.

Unfortunately, for the young people who sincerely want to understand and confront gun violence, the opportunism of the democrats made these students and their pain easy targets to advance the agenda of the democrat party that sees this issue as one that will advance their electoral agenda.

While the democrat party and liberals pretend to respect and celebrate the young people, they know that the narrow focus on largely irrelevant gun control reforms like more background checks, banning certain ammunition clips, and sale of assault weapons will do nothing to confront what Dr. King referred to as the deep malady at the heart of U.S. culture that makes it so fundamentally violent.

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, points out in lavish detail on the subject in her new book Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment.  She reminds the reader of the central role of violence and the reason why the second amendment was seen by the ruling elite of the U.S. settler state as a fundamental right, second only to freedom of speech. She argues that the gun control and the normalization of violence was essential to how white nationalism, racialized dominance, and social control through systematic violence operated in the U.S. It was the method in which white settlers appropriated Native land and controlled their massive enslaved population.

So the young people will need to understand that this normalization of violence is reflected in the social institutions, values, and ethical framework of their society. The violent, white male shooters that are now turning their guns on the society at large are not an aberration but a logical, almost inevitable consequence of a culture in which people are degraded and de-humanized as instruments for others pleasure and exploitation, made into things, through what Dr. King called the process of “thingingfication.”

A respectful engagement with these young people is one in which you struggle with their understanding of the terms of their culture, its history and reality. We must be honest with them and help them to understand the role of violence not only as a cultural product but as the main instrument that created their nation.  That violence is systemic to the system and history of their settler-colonial nation and for the maintenance of the U.S. empire.

Judging from some of the statements, many of these young people are close to making the right connections. That it is the “thingingfication” of the racialized “other” that more people cannot see the moral contradiction between the concern for gun violence in the U.S. and their continued support for U.S. militarism abroad.

Radical politicization means that they and the public at large come to terms with the fact that the arms industry and the proliferation of arms/weapons is not just a problem domestically but that it is a billion-dollar industry in which representatives from both parties are implicated. And if the NRA is a terrorist organization, what does that make the arms industries and the U.S. state?

However, as long as those young people are ensnared by the morally challenged liberal democrats, their ideological development will be arrested, and a few will emerge as “new leaders” given salaries, awards for being in the struggle for two weeks and will become weapons used to block authentic radicalization among their constituency.  That is how hegemony works.

Fredrick Jameson reminds us of the lesson that these young people will have to learn that they will not learn from their liberal benefactors: “The lesson is this, and it is a lesson about systems: one cannot change anything without changing everything.”

So, it was a good week for both bourgeois parties. The democrats didn’t get called out for their collaboration with Trump and the republicans on the budget. The Trump folks have more ammunition to use to mobilize their supporters in opposition to what they will frame as efforts to violate the constitution and take away their guns and give more power to a repressive government. Even the intelligence agencies benefited from the week’s events with attention being shifted away from the FBI scandal that is threatening to blow the cover off of official criminal activity to undermine the electoral process, not by the Russians, but unelected forces in the U.S. state.

But for those of us from the colonized Black and Brown zones of non-being, we can never allow ourselves to be distracted by the diversionary and accommodationist politics of the latest carefully crafted spectacle, especially one that proports to be advancing a superior moral politics.

We must always remind ourselves that some can march with the confidence that “their” government might be trusted with regulating weapons and protecting their lives but that the protection of our fundamental human rights rest with our ability to defend our collective rights, and no one else.

Through our painful lived experiences, we understand and must live by the insight provided by our dear brother, James Baldwin, who counseled us that we must be vigilant when our oppressors speak of morality and the sanctity of life:

The “civilized” have created the wretched, quite coldly and deliberately, and do not intend to change the status quo; are responsible for their slaughter and enslavement; rain down bombs on defenseless children whenever and wherever they decide that their “vital interests” are menaced, and think nothing of torturing a man to death; these people are not to be taken seriously when they speak of the “sanctity” of human life, or the conscience of civilized world.

Distraction can be deadly, let’s us get and stay woke!

Don’t Believe the Media Hype About Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Salman

Saudi Arabia’s 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, heir to the Saudi throne after eliminating his rivals, is on a two-week whirlwind visit to the United States starting March 19. He plans to cement his ties to the Trump administration, shore up support for his war in Yemen while whipping up more opposition to Iran, and make lucrative business deals. From political meetings with Donald Trump and Congress to cultural events at DC’s Kennedy Center, a talk at MIT, gatherings with tech leaders in Silicon Valley and oil executives in Houston, the prince will be selling dolled-up versions of both his repressive kingdom and his favorite product from the House of Saud: himself. But don’t get sucked into the media hype, seeded by well-paid PR firms, that the prince is a reformer who is bringing substantive change to the kingdom.

MbS, as he is known from his initials, is really a brutal bully responsible for bombing and starving Yemenis. He’s also gunning for a war with Iran, blaming Iran for the Middle East turmoil. Meanwhile, he recklessly imposed a blockade of Qatar that has divided the Gulf States and tried to force a bizarre showdown with Hezbollah in Lebanon by holding Prime Minister Hariri hostage Recent reports reveal that he has even been holding his own mother under house arrest, hidden from her husband King Salman, for fear she would stand in the way of her son’s ruthless power grab.

Yes, it is true that MbS is making some positive reforms. Women will soon be able to drive and the morality police are not as repressive. Movie theatres are opening, and more cultural events are allowed (although they must all pass government muster and most are gender-segregated). But these reforms are minor in the larger picture of a kingdom that brooks no dissent internally and is committing war crimes abroad. According to Human Rights Watch:

Mohammed bin Salman’s well-funded image as a reformist falls flat in the face of Yemen’s humanitarian catastrophe and scores of activists and political dissidents languishing in Saudi prisons on spurious charges. Baby steps on women’s rights reforms don’t paper over Saudi Arabia’s systemic abuses.

The prince’s most destructive policy is his war on Yemen (bin Salman is head of both the military and the economy). Started in March 2015 in what the prince thought would be a quick and dirty campaign to defeat the Houthi rebels, the relentless Saudi bombing campaign and restrictions on humanitarian aid have turned Yemen into the world’s greatest humanitarian disaster. The US participation in this Yemen war includes selling the Saudis billions of dollars in weapons (Saudi Arabia is the number one purchaser of US weapons) and providing in-air refueling of their bomber planes. Bin Salman’s visit is coming at precisely the time when the Senate is embroiled in a debate over Resolution 54, a bipartisan resolution that would end the unauthorized US military participation in the Yemen conflict. The prince will certainly use his visit to shore up support for the war, painting it as a fight against the Iran-backed Houthis rather than Saudi interference in Yemen’s internal affairs.

To consolidate his power at home before the death of his father, King Salman, MbS has just pulled off a heist that would make bank robber Butch Cassidy green with envy. He rounded up hundreds of his rival elites and held them hostage in the gilded Ritz-Carlton Hotel until they turned over billions of dollars, real estate and shares of their companies to his control. According to a New York Times exposé, some detainees were subjected to such physical abuse that 17 were hospitalized and one died in custody, with a neck that appeared twisted, a badly swollen body and other signs of abuse.

The whole affair was framed as a fight against corruption, but all transactions were conducted in secret and outside the law. Those who  have been released are banned from travel and are afraid to denounce bin Salman for fear of further reprisals. Meanwhile, the prince who is portrayed as a Saudi Robin Hood taking from the elite to spread to the poor bought a $500 million yacht from a Russian vodka financier, a $300 million French chateau described as “the world’s most expensive home,” and a $450 million Leonardo da Vinci painting purchased at a Christie’s auction — the most expensive painting ever sold.

So don’t be fooled. Beneath the veneer of reform is a young man who believes that his bloodline gives him the right to become the next absolute monarch in a family that has ruled the nation with an iron fist since its founding in 1932. The Saudi kingdom is still governed by an intolerant version of Islam, Wahhabism, and spreads that ideology around the world. The government still represses the Shia minority and non-Muslims, and remains a country where atheism is a capital offense and all churches are banned. Free speech and free association are forbidden. There are no national elections and political parties are banned, as are unions and most civic organizations. Criticizing the Saudi regime can lead to flogging, harsh jail sentences or beheading.

While Saudi Arabia will soon lose the distinction of being the only country in the world where women can’t drive, the regime continues to be the world’s most misogynist, gender-segregated country. The guardianship system gives men authority over the most important decisions in women’s lives, and women are forced to be covered in black from head to toe when they are out in public.

A repressive kingdom ruled, de facto, by a cunning, 32-year-old strongman who has made hundreds of internal enemies among the elite and conducts foreign policy in a more impetuous manner than Donald Trump is a recipe for disaster. The United States should not be arming and abetting this regime and investors dazzled by the prince’s charm offensive and gobs of money should take a second look. If Saudi Arabia is indeed to move into the 21st century, it must stop being governed by royalty.

Are Yemeni Kids, Like Palestinian Kids, Children of a Lesser God?

It seems the UK trains killers and supplies weapons with no regard for the humanitarian consequences.

The toxic situation (by which I mean the continuing mega-slaughter of innocents) surrounding the Saudi crown prince’s royal welcome to London will have reminded many of the Vietnam-era chant of peace activists in response to the lies and blunders and excuses at that time: “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?”

This was borrowed and amended in 2006 to “Peretz, Halutz, hey hey hey! How many kids did you kill today?” by Israeli peace activists demonstrating outside the home of IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz.  Peretz was the Israeli Defence Minister.

On the night of July 23, 2002 Halutz ordered a one-ton bomb to be dropped on an apartment building in a densely populated residential area of Gaza as part of Israel’s assassination or ‘targeted killings’ programme. It was the home of senior Hamas commander Salah Shahade and his wife and family. They and 7 members of the family next door and a dozen more civilians were killed, mostly children. Eight other houses were destroyed and up to 150 people injured. As a result 27 Israeli pilots signed a letter of protest refusing to fly assassination missions over Gaza and the West Bank.

Prime minister Ariel Sharon called the operation to execute Shahade, his wife and kids and neighbours, and many more non-combatants, a success. But human rights organizations said that dropping a one-ton bomb in the middle of the night on a tight-packed civilian neighborhood was a war crime. Gush Shalom, for example, wanted to turn the pilot over to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

In an interview with Haaretz, Halutz was reported as saying to his pilots:

You aren’t the ones who choose the targets, and you were not the ones who chose the target in this particular case. You are not responsible for the contents of the target. Your execution was perfect…. There is no problem here that concerns you. You did exactly what you were instructed to do….

It’s the old story: they were only doing what they were told, following orders. Bright enough to fly a complex military jet that delivers death in abundance but too dim to tell right from wrong.

Asked whether the operation was morally wrong in view of the civilian casualties Halutz replied that the planning included moral consideration and a mistake or accident didn’t make it wrong. Asked how he felt when he dropped a bomb, he said: “I feel a light bump to the plane as a result of the bomb’s release. A second later it’s gone, and that’s all. That is what I feel.”

According to B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights, in the period since September 2000 Israelis have killed 2,017 Palestinian children and Palestinians have killed 135 Israeli children. That’s a slaughter rate of nearly 15 to 1, thanks to psychopaths like Halutz.

If the mental attitude of the Saudi pilots bombing Yemen, and their British ‘advisers’, is anything like that of Israel’s pilots and their commanders, it’s no surprise that Yemen civilians are being massacred.

We’re told that British military experts are providing targeting training to Saudi forces for cruise missile attacks. They also deliver field artillery and weapons-locating radar courses. But this ‘targeting training’ hasn’t prevented the bombing of schools, hospitals and weddings, and the appalling civilian casualties that go with it, leading to claims that UK training doesn’t focus enough on compliance with international humanitarian law.

Al-Jazeera reports that a United Nations panel examined 10 air attacks in 2017 that killed 157 people, and found the targets included a migrant boat, a night market, five residential buildings, a motel, a vehicle and government forces. “This is a report to the UN Security Council that has not been made public… It’s very hard hitting and very critical of all of the parties in the war in Yemen.”

The panel asked the Saudi-led coalition for the rationale behind these attacks but got no answer. As they were carried out by precision-guided munitions it seems they were indeed the intended targets. “Even if, in some cases, the Saudi-led coalition had targeted legitimate military objectives, the panel finds it highly unlikely that International Humanitarian Law principles of proportionality and precautions in attack were met.”

Added to this is the supply of £billions-worth of UK weaponry. The UK Government claims its support to the Saudi-led campaign is necessary to combat terrorism and insists it is not involved in targeting decisions or military operations. In which case, why get involved at all? Complicity in what has come to be regarded as a war crimes programme was inevitable from the start. Besides, killing innocents does not make us safer. As for Mrs May’s repeated claim that Saudi intelligence has saved hundreds of British lives, I’d like to see proof. Otherwise I simply don’t believe it given that Saudi Arabia generates or backs much of the international terror we see today.

Impending Brexit – deliberately mismanaged, it would appear, to open up an economic black hole – provides the excuse for stepping up trade and co-operation with some of the world’s most repulsive regimes. Such is the mounting disgust of the British public that I won’t be surprised to hear another new version of the peace chant: “Salman, May: hey, hey, hey! How many kids did you kill today?”

Mass Mobilization Against Trump Military Parade

President Trump ordered the Pentagon to start planning a military parade on Veteran’s Day this November. Trump wants to outdo the military parade he attended in France on Bastille Day. Estimates are it could cost up to $50 million. The last military parade was after the Gulf War in 1991.

A coalition of groups is organizing to oppose the parade, click here to learn more.

Military parade in dangerous times

This display of military power and glorification of war comes when the risks of nuclear conflict and wars are rising. It comes when massive tax cuts have been given to the rich while spending on domestic needs are threatened and a recession is looming.

A military parade is a manifestation of many problems – threats of war and ongoing imperialism, the fading US empire trying to hang on to global hegemony, militarization of our communities and an economy and government that serve the elites’ interests while the rest of the population struggles.

The military parade will try to intimidate other nations by displaying the US’ weapons, but it will actually demonstrate an insecure fading empire trying to show it still has power. In his state of the union this week, President Putin announced Russia’s new weapons system that seem to make US defenses and weaponry obsolete. If true, this increases the risks of damage to the US if it attacks Russia or its allies.

The Pentagon knows the US is losing its position as the major global power, but rather than accept reality, it is being more aggressive, seeking war and regime change in North Korea, Iran and Venezuela. The new National Defense Strategy and Nuclear Posture Review focus on Russia and China as rivals and create a new arms race. State Department officials have been ordered to sell more weapons.

It is time to de-escalate, not escalate. The US has killed more than 20 million people in 37 countries since the end of World War II. But, both Democrats and Republicans in Congress voted nearly unanimously to increase military spending by $40 billion more than requested. It is President Trump who ordered the parade, but US militarism is a product of both major political parties. The military parade will show the United States is marching in the wrong direction.

Uniting against militarism and austerity

When President Trump first mentioned a possible military parade, a number of groups started organizing responses. ANSWER Coalition put out a call for people to come to DC to protest, Roots Action launched a petition opposing the parade, and veteran’s groups started organizing an indigenous-led peace march calling for a return to celebrating Armistice Day. This November is the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I.

When it became more likely that the parade would happen, we heard from people in the United States and around the world asking if protests would be held against it.

Last week, Popular Resistance hosted a conference call to bring anti-war, peace and justice groups together to coordinate actions. There was great enthusiasm, energy and unity among the groups. We agreed to collaborate on actions around Veteran’s Day weekend to organize hundreds of thousands of people to come to Washington, DC to oppose the parade (or whatever city the parade is in if it is moved) and to call for solidarity actions around the world.

We hope the parade will be cancelled. If it is, we will still gather to demand:

  1. Stop the glorification and normalization of war.
  2. Return Veteran’s Day to Armistice Day, a day to celebrate peace.
  3. End US wars and acts of aggression, including regime change.
  4. Cut military spending, invest in human needs and protection of the planet.
  5. Stop the militarization of schools and communities.
  6. Stop repression against dissent.

Since the call, more groups have started signing on to the effort. Your organization can sign on here.

A website was created, No Trump Military Parade. The growing list of organizations that have signed on is included and you can sign on as an individual. As the organizing advances, the website will include specific information on planned events and a map of solidarity actions in the United States and around the world, as well as flyers and other materials for outreach.

Time to end the culture of violence

Elliott Swain argues that militarism at home and abroad are deeply connected. A school shooting by a white man trained to kill by the NRA and Pentagon-supported Jr ROTC program and a school bombing by the US military in Syria have intertwined roots. We must address both or we will fail in ending our culture of violence.

In her new book, Loaded, A Disarming History of the Second Amendment, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz describes the deep roots of the culture of violence and gun laws in the United States. She writes, we have “a history of inherently violent settler-colonialism and chattel slavery” that was made possible by militias.

The violence of settler-colonialism continues today. Margaret Kimberley of Black Agenda Report writes, “All the sound and fury about gun control is useless because this society demands that the slave patrol never disband. There are even arguments made to expand it.” She ties violence in the US to white supremacy and racism.

Chris Hedges explains guns are equated with political power, “Mass culture and most historians do not acknowledge the patterns of violence that have played out over and over since the founding of the nation. This historical amnesia blinds us to the endemic violence that defines our culture and is encoded in our national myth.”

We can take steps to start decolonizing the United States. We discussed that this week on Clearing the FOG with Sherri Mitchell, who describes in depth what can be done in her new book, “Sacred Instructions.”

Militarization infects our communities in many ways. How can we blame people who turn to violence as a solution when that is the knee-jerk response of our nation? If we have a conflict with another country, usually because we want their resources, we make threats, impose sanctions or attack. If a community rises up with legitimate anger against oppressive systems, we send in militarized police and the national guard.

Children are taught from a young age that members of the military are heroes. They are desensitized to violence through video games that target non-whites, television and movies, and are trained to kill through programs like Jr ROTC in their schools. These are all designed to feed them into the insatiable military machine.

This includes economic violence

The statistics on deaths in the United States are staggering. Eric London lays it out:

Since 2000, there have been 270,000 murders in the US, 600,000 drug overdoses (200,000 involving opioids), 650,000 suicides (130,000 by veterans), and 85,000 workplace deaths. An estimated 700,000 people have died prematurely during this period due to lack of health care. Police killed over 12,000 people from 2000 to 2014, and up to 27,000 immigrants have died attempting to cross the US-Mexico border since 1998. The government has executed roughly 850 prisoners since 2000. Over 2.2 million adults are currently incarcerated in jails and prisons, with another 4.7 million on probation or parole.

That equals over 2.3 million deaths in the last 17 years, over 140,000 avoidable deaths each year. At the root of these deaths is economic violence that devastates communities in the US and other countries.

Economic violence perpetrated in the US feeds the war machine. Military spending now consumes 57% of federal discretionary spending, leaving only 43% to meet basic needs such as education, housing, transportation and energy.

Harel B. writes that our national security spending is close to $1 trillion a year. He estimates that an actual defense budget, rather than an Empire budget, would cost $100 billion annually. Imagine what could be done with an extra $900 billion in the US where 40% of the people live on the edge of poverty and the social safety net is shrinking.

Imagine the high standard of living we could all attain if social needs were given a blank check, instead of the military. We don’t have to imagine it, other wealthy countries are already living with high quality healthcare systems, excellent public schools and free higher education.

Next Steps

Organizing to oppose the military parade is an opportunity to unite people against war, militarism and violence. It is an opportunity to unite USians with people around the world who oppose US violence. A military parade will be a major error as it will show the United States to be an insecure nation at a time when people realize US empire is fading. Rather than the US recognizing it needs to join the community of nations in a multi-polar world, it will show the US trying to hang on to global dominance.

A critical step is to grow the anti-war movement in the US. There are many upcoming opportunities:

  • April 14 and 15, people across the nation will protest the wars at home and abroad.
  • July 11 and 12 there will be international actions to demonstrate the desire for peace during the NATO summit.
  • October 20 and 21 is a Women’s March on the Pentagon.

And, of course, we urge you to join the mass mobilization to stop President Trump’s military parade and show the world that people in the US are ready to end wars. Visit No Trump Military Parade, sign on, and share it with people and organizations who oppose war.