Straight Outta Beirut: My Visit to an ISIS Bombsite

Guest Post by Jane Stillwater, Peace and justice activist, world traveler, grandmother and occasional actress who blogs at   Jane is a great traveling companion, practical, determined and possessed of a dark sense of humor.  We traveled together to Syria in 2014.  Earlier this month Jane attended the “Global Campaign to Return to Palestine” Conference in Beirut.

“Why on earth are you going to Beirut?” asked my neighbor.

     “I’ve been invited to attend The Global Campaign to Return to Palestine’s annual conference being held there,” I replied.  This is going to be a really big deal — but only if I find a replacement babysitter for my ten-month-old granddaughter Sofia while I’m gone.  Done!
     On the plane flight over, I watched “Straight Outta Compton” — and all that police brutality onscreen got me right into the mood to talk about all that police brutality in real life that Israeli neo-colonialists inflict on poor Palestinians daily as they too are thrown to the ground, humiliated and jailed for no reason, just like Dr. Dre and Easy E.  But I digress.
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Mourning in America

Guest Post by Hank Stone of Rochester Peace Action and Education and Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace.. I read an article entitled: “Why mass shootings don’t convince gun owners to support gun control.” The writer observes that each new mass shooting looks to gun control folks like a reason to regulate guns.  But the same event looks to gun rights […]

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Welcome the Refugees; End the Wars

This year, Peace Action New York State has been focused on building strong student chapters. They have been doing a great job.   Judy Bello has had several opportunities to meet these young people who just might be the next generation of dedicated activists.     In September Judy was invited to speak by the Western New York Peace Center at Canisius College in Buffalo. The subject was the war in Syria, a tough one for most Americans to wrap their minds around.   Later she was invited by Peace Action, New York State (PANYS) to give some background on the recent flood of refugees fleeing into Europe, first at Hobart William Smith in Geneva and just this week at SUNY Geneseo.

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Propaganda Report, 12/15

President Obama . . .

Speaking of a ‘theater’ of war – this language was common in the 50s and 60s when I was growing up.   Apparently Drones have not only made the language obsolete, but they have erased the history of ‘theater’ or, more specifically ‘battlefield’ based warfare.    I participated in Debate: US Drone Action Plan, on ‘The Debate‘ a show on PressTV over the weekend.   My opponent, Michael Lane, the founder of American Institute for Foreign Policy, took the stance that there never really was a battlefield, so the constraints of international law are purely abstract.   It would be odd if this entity referenced in western law going back hundreds of years never existed.

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Testimony From the Heart

A guest post by Roland Micklem, initially published in the Scrap Paper #407.

The year was 1942. We had been at war with Japan and Germany for a few months, and every red-blooded American male was itching for a piece of the action.

I was a puny, underage 14 year-old, my first year in high school, but like all of my classmates and teachers, I was literally bubbling over with zeal for the Allied cause. Songs like You’re a Sap, Mister Jap and In Th’ Fuhrer’s Face were making the rounds, and our school—and indeed the entire nation—was awash in waves of patriotic furor.

Against this backdrop of such unabated Americanism, the school authorities engaged a speaker to address an assembly of the student body. The speaker was a woman who had spent many years in Japan, and she was there to tell us about the Japanese people.

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Victory Parade in Homs

When I visited Syria a year and a half ago, the Syrian city of Homs was largely under government control.  A few days ago the government began evacuating the last of the militants from their enclave in Homs under a truce agreement brokered by the United Nations and Red Cross.   The victory parade of the Syrian Arab Army was in […]

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Missing Persons and the GWoT

Many innocent people have been ‘disappeared’ in the course of the United States Global War of Terror.    Many innocent men have been swept from the Streets of Pakistan and Afghanistan, Iraq and other places associated with U.S. wars.   Here is Amina Masood Janjua telling her story.   Her story is powerful because, before her husband’s abduction, her family was like most of ours, a middle class family with a comfortable life.   Her husband was a business man who traveled, he was a Pakistani Muslim like so many others, almost everyone in that country, and he did not support any fanatical religious organizations or causes.   He was just a guy.

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Massacres in Paris, San Bernardino and the World

Paris caused a devastated western society to gasp in horror.   Nearly 150 dead, the second massacre in Paris this year.  Mainstream newspapers and social media published photos of victims on the internet.  It is true, as the Quran implies, that every life in it’s unique perfection is the equal of all lives.   But there is something to be said for noting, at the very least, every life stolen by unjust wars and terrorism.   In that light, let us consider the following

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Mass Killers in the U.S. and Terrorism

On December 2nd, there was another ‘mass killing’ in San Bernardino last week that left 14 people dead and 12 injured.   I was at the laundromat watching the stand-of on the highway that ended a high speed chase and eventually, the lives of the shooters.  I had joined another customer watching avidly in front of the TV.   There has been a lot of fear and fear mongering across the country, and a lot of rather academic discussion about what to call this event.    The shooters were Muslim, but of course we don’t want to blame Islam for their crimes off the jump.   Apparently the man had a falling out with some fellow workers earlier in the day then returned to the party to commit mayhem.   But then a huge stash of weapons and explosives were found in SUV they had been driving, and a bigger stash of ammo and explosives in their home.   So then, well, it must be ‘Terrorism’ after all.

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A Holiday Benefit

A Holiday Benefit for The Afghan Peace Volunteers’ Quilt Project

After 13 years of U.S./NATO intervention in Afghanistan, and US$1.172 trillion dollars spent on the Afghan war from 2001 to October of 2012, the basic needs of ordinary Afghans constantly caught in the crossfire are still poorly met.

In the following winter of 2013, the Afghan Peace Volunteers ( APVs ) organized the making and distribution of duvets to poor families in Kabul, including those in refugee camps.

Thanks to international peace-builders who had raised funds from among ordinary Americans, the APVs were able to distribute more than 2000 duvets that year. The Afghan ladies who sewed the duvets were paid a living wage per duvet. – quote from APV website

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