By Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. Kabul, Afghanistan – In light of the 14th anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan and the recent US bombing of a Doctors Without Borders charity hospital in the northern city of Kunduz that has killed at least 19 people and injured dozens of others, the Afghan Peace Volunteers are releasing a video each day for five days to show people in the US that they are human and we should not be bombing them. On their website, Our Journey to Smile, the Afghan Peace Volunteers write: After 14 long years of assuming that the war in Afghanistan is necessary, each day for the *next five short days, we offer you five tiny video snippets which invite you to see Afghans differently. To the Afghan Peace Volunteers in Kabul, acquiring new insights is essential, if we are all to survive the growing, multidirectional violence, from the Taliban on the ground or from U.S./NATO airstrikes.
By Ana Conner and Tara Tabassi in Truth Out – Urban Shield, the world’s largest SWAT training and war-weapons expo, was held in September in California’s Bay Area, beginning on the 14th anniversary of 9/11. Hosted each year since 2007 in the Bay Area’s Alameda County (last year in Oakland, this year in Pleasanton) with exercises all across the Bay, it is attended by hundreds of local, federal and international law enforcement agencies and weapons manufacturers. Since his tenure began in 2007, Alameda County’s sheriff, Gregory J. Ahern, has been waging war on Black and Brown communities across the Bay Area. Urban Shield solidifies Ahern’s war, and makes it a profitable one. As the Bay Area Urban Shield’s core organizer, he has received over $100,000 in contributions for his electoral campaign from Urban Shield vendors, such as 511 Tactical, Adamson Police Products and Corizon Health.
By PressTV – Hundreds of anti-war protesters have staged a rally against the US military presence in Germany, voicing opposition to Washington’s use of killer drones around the world. Carrying signs addressed to the US army, which read “go home” and “stop war,” the demonstrators gathered outside the US Ramstein Air Base in Germany’s southwestern state of Rhineland-Palatinate on Saturday. Slamming the US drone strikes in certain countries, the protesters called for an end to the alleged use of the air base as a satellite relay station in the drone program. “No to the killer terror drones,” read another sign carried by the protesters. Earlier this year, German media reported that Ramstein has been serving as the command center of the US drone strikes across Africa and the Middle East and that the German government is aware of the attacks.
By Ed Kinane in Truthout – “Are We Winning the Drone War?” This headline from a recent syndicated column falsely frames the issue. Let’s take it apart. This formulation implicitly restricts its concern for “winners” to the US. But other lives – combatant and non-combatant – also matter. And what sort of war is it talking about, anyway? There was a time when war was declared and mutually visible, sometimes symmetrical, forces clashed. Does robotic “drone war” – with its cowardly cold-bloodedness, with its contempt for sovereignty and law, with its hegemonic aspiration – bear any resemblance? One current model of “winning” is the Israeli mow-the-grass attack on Gaza. Israel has repeatedly used drones to maim, kill and terrorize Gaza’s besieged inhabitants, demolish their homes, and disable their infrastructure.
By Counterpunch News Service – We are gravely concerned at the possibility of a parliamentary decision to bomb Syria. David Cameron is planning such a vote in the House of Commons in the near future. He is doing so in the face of much evidence that such an action would exacerbate the situation it is supposed to solve. Already we have seen the killing of civilians and the exacerbation of a refugee crisis which is largely the product of wars in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan. The US and its allies have dropped 20,000 bombs on Iraq and Syria in the past year, with little effect. We fear that this latest extension of war will only worsen the threat of terrorism, as have the previous wars involving the British government.
Abby Martin interviews Chris Hedges on American myths, war and revolt. Hedges explains the ‘folly of Empire,’ the dangers posed by right-wing extremism and the urgent need for a new system. Chris Hedges is a former New York Times journalist and winner of the Pulitzer Prize. He is the author of several books including his most recent, “Wages of Rebellion: the Moral Imperative of Revolt.” He publishes a weekly column on Truthdig.com and is the host of Days of Revolt, airing every Monday night on teleSUR english.
By Maria Luisa for School of the Americas Watch. Fort Benning, GA – Join us this November 20-22, on the 25th anniversary of our movement, to connect with activists and organizers from across the Americas. Our continental movement will converge in Georgia to call for the closure of the School of the Americas and the closure of Stewart Detention Center, one of the largest private for-profit immigrant prisons in the country. It is incumbent upon us to continue making the connections between SOA violence and the root causes of migration. Join us as we continue to denounce the failed U.S. policies, which have left a brutal legacy of impunity and Human Rights violations throughout the hemisphere.
By Patrick Martin for World Socialist Web Site. United States – The address by Pope Francis to a joint session of Congress Thursday morning was another milestone in the decay of democratic principles in the United States. Never has the separation of church and state, laid down in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, been so flagrantly trampled upon. (See “The Pope in America”) The event was carried out with all the pomp and circumstance of a presidential State of the Union address, complete with Supreme Court justices in their robes and Pentagon brass in their uniforms, as well as the Obama cabinet, with House Speaker John Boehner and Vice President Joseph Biden seated on the platform behind the Pope side by side.
By Joy First of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance. Washington, DC – The voices of the people are not being heard as we are increasingly denied access to our government officials. For many, we have wanted to believe that we live in some kind of representative democracy where we can express our views to those we elect and it will make a difference, but that is not the case. A study published in the academic journal Perspectives on Politics found the majority of the American public has a “minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy” compared to the wealthy. Our first-hand experience confirmed the results of this study when we were locked out of Representative Paul Ryan’s office and then the White House in an action organized by the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR) as part of the week of actions of Campaign Nonviolence.
By Ayumi Temlock and Rachel Clark of Overseas NY. New York, NY – On September 19, 2015, the upper house of Japan’s Diet passed controversial security legislation, despite widespread opposition. A key feature of the new legislation is an end to a long-standing ban on the right to exercise collective self-defense, or defending the United States and/or allies that come under attack, in cases where Japan faces a “threat to its survival”. Many ordinary citizens in Japan as well as hundreds of legal experts – including former Supreme Court justices, previous directors-general of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau, many constitutional scholars and the Japan Federation of Bar Associations – called on the Abe administration to withdraw the security legislation, saying that it is unconstitutional.
By Alice Slater in Common Dreams – The stirring condemnation of nuclear weapons by Pope Francis today at the United Nations and his call for their prohibition and complete elimination in compliance with promises made in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), signed by the U.S. in 1970, 45 years ago, should give new momentum to the current campaign to start negotiations on a ban treaty. This initiative endorsed by 117 non-nuclear weapons states to sign the Humanitarian Pledge being circulated initially by Austria, to “fill the legal gap” for nuclear disarmament and ban the bomb just as the world has banned chemical and biological weapons would create a new legal norm, which was not established in the NPT which provided that the five nuclear weapons states (US, Russia, UK, France, China) would make “good faith” efforts for nuclear disarmament, but didn’t prohibit their possession, in return for a promise from all the other nations not to acquire nuclear weapons.
By Upstate Drone Action Coalition – The United Nations General Assembly has declared today, September 21, 2015, an International World Day of Peace. As we stand here at the main gate of Hancock Air Base, its “hunter/killer” MQ9 Reaper drone arrogantly patrols Afghan skies 24/7 — killing innocent children there and likely elsewhere. We U.S. citizens and taxpayers look on with horror at the millions of refugees fleeing airborne terror and are shamed by our unconsented complicity. Too many drone victims are precious and beloved children. We bring their images and their silenced voices to Hancock today. As members of the Upstate Drone Action Coalition, we come to this War Base – home of the Reaper and the 174th Attack Wing of the NY National Guard – seeking to prevent the murder of these innocents, both on this day and for all days. We are here to uphold law, both domestic and international.
By Chris Nineham in Stop War – WE HAVE the biggest opportunity since the start of the Iraq war to make a real change in foreign policy. The aggressive, interventionist policy that has done so much damage is now at the heart of a great contest in British society. Jeremy Corbyn is facing a massive onslaught from all sections of the establishment. No one can envy him this experience, and the prime question is how we defend him from these attacks and build support for the policies that got him elected as Labour party leader with such a huge majority. When the right wing is this hysterical, the establishment this panicked, andthe media this vitriolic, you know there is just a chance something good might be in reach.
By David Swanson – I lack patience. I admit it. There’s my confession. I couldn’t sit through the Pope’s slow and plodding and polite speech to Congress, waiting for him to say something against the primary thing that body does and spends our money on. But finally he got there: “Being at the service of dialogue and peace,” he said, “also means being truly determined to minimize and, in the long term, to end the many armed conflicts throughout our world. Here we have to ask ourselves: Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.”