MOSCOW (AP) — A veteran activist who investigated the deaths and disappearances of Russian soldiers in Ukraine has been jailed, an advocacy group said Saturday. Ten Russian troops were captured in August in eastern Ukraine amid fighting between pro-Moscow separatists and Ukrainian troops after weeks of Moscow denying involvement in the Ukrainian conflict. Authorities insisted the captured soldiers got lost while patrolling the border, and the deaths were accidental and happened in Russia. The Soldiers’ Mothers of St. Petersburg, a highly respected non-governmental organization with a long history of working to defend the rights of soldiers, said Saturday that its colleague in southern Russia who was investigating the deaths and disappearances was detained on Friday.
As a young American student I am appalled by the war-mongers who continue to drop bombs, and use killer drones in over seven countries over a six year period. I will not stand by as my government continues to fuel the military-industrial complex that endangers the lives of so many. As a result, I am involved with a group of young activists with CODEPINK that launched a Youth Manifesto declaring that there is No Future in War. I urge my peers to take action against the individuals that use the drone industry to fill their pockets and demand that there is greater transparency on the real motives United States engages in military interventions. We deserve better. The world deserves better. And together we can reclaim our future.
On August 9, 1983, three people dressed as U.S. soldiers saluted their way onto a U.S. military base and climbed a pine tree. The base contained a school training elite Salvadoran and other foreign troops to serve dictatorships back home, with a record of nightmarish brutality following graduation. That night, once the base’s lights went out, the students of this school heard, coming down from on high, the voice of Archbishop Oscar Romero. “I want to make a special appeal to soldiers, national guardsmen, and policemen: each of you is one of us. The peasants you kill are your own brothers and sisters. When you hear a man telling you to kill, remember God’s words, ‘thou shalt not kill.’ No soldier is obliged to obey a law contrary to the law of God. In the name of God, in the name of our tormented people, I beseech you, I implore you; in the name of God I command you to stop the repression.”
Tufts University political scientist Michael J. Glennon, whose new book, National Security and Double Government (Oxford University Press), describes a powerful bureaucratic network that’s really pulling the strings on key aspects of U.S. foreign policy. The American public believes “that when they vote for a president or member of Congress or succeed in bringing a case before the courts, that policy is going to change,” Glennon told the Boston Globe in an interview published Sunday. “Now, there are many counter-examples in which these branches do affect policy… But the larger picture is still true—policy by and large in the national security realm is made by the concealed institutions.” Glennon argues that because managers of the military, intelligence, diplomatic, and law enforcement agencies operate largely outside the institutions meant to check or constrain them—the executive branch, the courts, Congress—national security policy changes very little from one administration to the next.
This month of October presents us with 13 years of permanent war for profit or, as the warmongers call it, the “war against terror”. This “operation” is killing and maiming millions of people especially in the oil rich Middle East. Simultaneously these Juggernaut nations “of the willing” are choking Mother Earth to death—polluting the air we breathe, the water we drink, the soil that spawns our food, and eradicating millions of species. Most people are clearly aware that the main cause of climate change, which is destroying the planet, is human motivated. And many are acting against this. But most environmental organizations and activists ignore the wars that kill people while they pollute the planet. People in the east and south are usually the major victims of the wars started or backed by the west, and they want no part of this violence. Most people in the west, however, are not upset enough about this warring to act against it, although when asked most acknowledge that they wish for peace.
The Maine Walk for Peace & A Sustainable Future is underway and winding its way along the glorious autumn roads of central Maine. It began Saturday, Oct. 11, in Rangeley, and the group will pass through Phillips, Farmington, Livermore Falls, Lewiston, Gray, Portland, and Saco before the scheduled arrival in North Berwick on Monday, Oct. 20. It is the goal of the walk, sponsored by Maine Veterans for Peace, to connect various communities that have become reliant on military production for jobs. “We hope to accelerate a statewide discussion about the need to diversify Maine’s growing dependence on military production,” explained lead organizer, Bruce Gagnon, at the introductory meeting. The walk will conclude with a demonstration at the Pratt-Whitney plant in North Berwick, which has a $2 billion contract to build F-35 fighter engines.
For many years after the Vietnam War, we enjoyed the “Vietnam syndrome,” in which US presidents hesitated to launch substantial military attacks on other countries. They feared intense opposition akin to the powerful movement that helped bring an end to the war in Vietnam. But in 1991, at the end of the Gulf War, George H.W. Bush declared, “By God, we’ve kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all!” With George W. Bush’s wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, and Barack Obama’s drone wars in seven Muslim-majority countries and his escalating wars in Iraq and Syria, we have apparently moved beyond the Vietnam syndrome. By planting disinformation in the public realm, the government has built support for its recent wars, as it did with Vietnam.
The United States will keep custody of a Marine suspected in the murder of a transgender Filipino he met in a bar, the head of the Philippine military said on Tuesday, and U.S. officials said a number of U.S. warships would remain in the country. “Under the Visiting Forces Agreement, the custody of the erring soldier stays with the Americans,” General Gregorio Catapang said after a meeting with Admiral Samuel Locklear, head of the U.S. Pacific Command. Chuck Little, a spokesman for U.S. Marines in the Pacific, said Locklear had told all U.S. warships remotely related to the incident to stay pending an investigation into the killing of Jeffrey Laude, 26, who was found strangled on Saturday in Olongapo City.
Hundreds of villagers in the Afghan province of Paktia staged protests on Monday following a NATO bombing on Sunday, which witnesses say struck civilians—killing seven of them, including a child, and wounding one. The protesters brought seven dead bodies from the Udkey area of Gardez city to the capital of the province, according to Abdul Wali Sahi, deputy governor of the province. “The local villagers claim that they were collecting firewood on a mountainside when they were hit by the airstrike. As you can see, there are children among the dead bodies,” Sahi told media outlets. “The Afghan nation is tired of such killings. We are going to seriously investigate this incident, and we strongly condemn such a killing, and whoever committed this crime must be held accountable for their action.”
The clamor about “isolationism” misconstrued a real and significant trend in public opinion – one that reaches further back than the past few years. The U.S. majority continues to support an active U.S. role in world affairs, but it prefers cooperative, non-military approaches. Recent dissent from official policy has focused on undue military activism as well as the notion that America should assume a uniquely assertive global role. The U.S. public will support wars for a variety reasons, but it tends to view war in defensive terms and as an instrument of last resort. Sustaining support requires that the perceived costs of war match the perceived security benefit.
In an ominous sign that the war in Ukraine is set to further escalate, US state department official Victoria Nuland arrived in Kiev where she met with senior members of the Western-backed regime. In recent days the ceasefire brokered on September 5 has come under intense pressure as Kiev military forces have stepped up their barrage of the eastern city of Donetsk, with several civilian casualties reported almost on a daily basis. The Kiev President Petro Poroshenko has flipped to a strident war rhetoric. In a televised appearance this week, the former industry tycoon had swapped his tie and suit for military uniform, and was warning that forces under his command were ready to use “modern fighting techniques.” Poroshenko said that “Ukraine has transferred its economy to a military footing and will provide everything possible for the Ukrainian army to be stronger.” This while his bankrupt country owes Russia $5.3 billion in unpaid gas bills.
On his show “Redacted Tonight” on RT America comedian Lee Camp showed precisely how the media manufactures America’s consent for war. The percentage of Americans supporting bombing soared after the corporate media began their onslaught of fear. Camp also gives some creative ideas on what these impressive powers of influence could be used for OTHER than bombing and destruction. He recommends they be put towards slowing our ravenous consumerism or getting people to consider what really matters in life. If the media’s 24/7 cycle were used for positive ideas instead of fear and anxiety, we would quite possibly live in a very different world. (Lee Camp is the host of “Redacted Tonight,” which airs every Friday at 8pm ET.)
The militarized “solutions” taught at the School of the Americas (SOA/ WHINSEC) are also being applied to communities within the US. We need to end the racist system of state violence and militarization at home and abroad. Our Struggles Stand Together: Converge on Ferguson, Fort Benning and the Stewart Detention Center Mass mobilizations in which thousands take to the streets have always been an important part of social change movements. We need to strengthen our organizing and build lasting coalitions with others who are resisting across the Americas. Support our friends in Ferguson and St. Louis! Mobilize your community to converge on Fort Benning, Georgia fromNovember 21-23, 2014, where we will connect the dots between militarization in Latin America and the US. Join the Caravan to the Vigil to Shut Down the Stewart Detention Center, where communities in resistence will come togetheron Saturday, November 22. Stewart is the largest corporate detention center in the US….
The mood at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial this year was bittersweet. There was palpable relief that we were free to express ourselves without police intimidation and that we could choose when to leave under our own terms. But there was also greater sadness than years before because a week after the President began bombing Iraq again and then Syria, Jacob George took his life. Some suspect the trauma of watching another US war begin, knowing that more soldiers and innocent civilians would die or be forever traumatized and seeing the Masters of War succeed in manipulating the public to support war was too much to bear.