ACTION ALERT: More Troops & Drones Get You the Peace Prize?
December 7, 2009
Debra Sweet / The World Can't Wait
Commentary: When it was first announced that Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, I asked "What about the Nobel prize for war-mongers?" Some people unsubscribed from this newsletter, offended that I was pointing out a contradiction that much of the world sees easily enough. On Saturday, December 12, there will be a demonstration across from White House in Lafayette Park from 11 AM to 4 PM/
(December 6, 2009) When it was first announced that Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, I asked "What about the Nobel prize for war-mongers?" Some people unsubscribed from this newsletter, offended that I was pointing out a contradiction that much of the world sees easily enough.
The surge announcement, according to the White House, was timed as early as they could make it before Obama goes to Oslo Thursday to get the prize. Even they recognize a public-relations problem. I'm for making more of the glaring, insult to people of conscience and to people who desperately need an end to US wars. Cindy Sheehan will be at the protests in Oslo when Obama is awarded the prize; there are also protests in the US.
I wonder what those former subscribers think now, as yesterday, it was reported that the Obama administration is going to use more un-manned drones in Pakistan. If you get a Peace Prize for spreading war in one country, why not invade & occupy more?
And so, the CIA is piling it on. The New York Times, which generally likes Obama's arguments for the surge, reported Friday that the CIA is spreading the use of drone attacks in Pakistan, although it's never been publicly confirmed by the government. They worry:
"More CIA drone attacks have been conducted under President Obama than under President George W. Bush. The political consensus in support of the drone program, its antiseptic, high-tech appeal and its secrecy have obscured just how radical it is. For the first time in history, a civilian intelligence agency is using robots to carry out a military mission, selecting people for killing in a country where the United States is not officially at war."
A letter to the editor Saturday in that paper expresses what must be on the minds of many Obama supporters:
"I believed President Obama's pledge to end the wars, and I campaigned heavily for him because I hated seeing so much death and destruction done in my name as an American citizen. I am now sickened to see him continuing the ridiculous policies of the Bush-Cheney administration and wonder: when will we as a nation say that enough is enough?" -David Moreton, Los Angeles
Last week, thousands, but not tens or hundreds of thousands, or the millions needed protested Obama's war surge in Afghanistan. Across the country, groups of people from Honolulu to Maine to Florida, gathered, mostly on Wednesday, to respond with anger and outrage to 30,000 more troops from the US, and others from NATO, going to destroy one of the poorest countries in the world.
World Can't Wait will need to answer the arguments Barack Obama, in his Bush-like speech, made to justify the escalation. This week, though, our answer was in the streets, starting Tuesday night when we sat in front of the gate at West Point. Elaine Brower in At West Point, Anti-War Protesters Voice Their Dissent and Matthis Chiroux in "We will be your Insurgency" wrote about being arrested there.
From reports of protests in almost 100 cities...
Organizers reported that many people who came out to protest and had voted for Obama were deeply disillusioned, some shocked, at the escalation. There were more people than expected protesting in Chicago, and arrests in Minneapolis and Madison in planned civil resistance actions. World Can't Wait did a dramatic "wedding party" die-in. See video.
The World Can't Wait speaker in San Francisco, asking the crowd to imagine that the news helicopters over the march were US bombers or drones, and led a chant "Barack Obama Has Blood on His Hands! U.S. OUT of Afghanistan!"
40 people responded to the call put out by World Can't Wait-Hawai`i to protest at the Federal Building in Honolulu. Some came with their own signs. Some picked up the bright orange signs brought by World Can't Wait. "Stop the War in Afghanistan," "Stop the Bombing of Pakistan," "Stop Thinking Like an American and Start Thinking About Humanity," "No Wars for Empire" and more.
Some hastily scrawled their personal messages on cardboard. The 8-lane avenue in front of Federal Buildingas jam-packed with commuters. Many honked, waved, or gave us a shaka. A car-load of GI's saw us, began yelling their support, and then pulled up alongside the protesters to give an enthusiastic "thank you" - and they were just one carload among many GI's who waved or shouted their support.
Food for thought:
A Time for Courage & Defiance by Andy Zee, presented a the World Can't Wait national meeting.
Obama, the War President by Ken Theisen
The Afghan Ambush by Michael Winship
Obama Pleases the Neocons by Robert Parry
No, You Can't!
Emergency Anti-Escalation Rally at the White House
Saturday December 12 11-4pm
EndUSwars.org says "We've had enough" and they call on "a resurgent antiwar movement demanding no escalation and an immediate pullout of all US forces from Afghanistan and Iraq, including an immediate halt to Predator drone attacks and CIA operations in the region."
Speakers include: Elaine Brower & Debra Sweet from World Can't Wait, Matthis Chiroux, Chris Hedges, Cynthia McKinney, David Swanson, Dennis Kucinich. Join us!
Free Travis Bishop, Fort Hood War Resister
Final call for letters asking for an early release for Travis Bishop
From James Banum, attorney for Iraq war resister Travis Bishop:
Travis has written a personal letter to the Commanding General which can be read here: page 1 and page 2. Along with that will be evidence of the mistreatment Travis has suffered at the Fort Lewis Brig, and HUNDREDS of letters from around the world (see Amnesty International's statement declaring Travis Bishop a prisoner of conscience).
We have one problem though
we don't have enough letters from Americans!
I know that is a funny thing to say, but I think we need some letters from people right here in the USA asking for Travis to be released early, and preferably some from veterans. We do have some letters from the USA, but not near enough.