Aleppo Update on the Syrian Ceasefire

News from a friend in Aleppo:

Following the ceasefire, my associate wrote from his home in Aleppo  to update his friends in the west on the circumstances there.

Hopes for Syrian Cease Fire Dim as Turkey Shells Kurds
Hopes for Syrian Cease Fire Dim as Turkey Shells Kurds

-: Aleppo city is much more calmer since the beginning of the agreement, except for some violations that took place the first hours of the agreement, and yesterday at 21:50, when 2 mortars shelled on the government held area, followed by ambulance sirens around 22:00. In general, so far, Aleppo city is much calmer than before. No shells, no jets in the sky, no clashes. 80% better than before.

– Situation in Aleppo province didn’t change much, according to news. The terrorists attacked the liberated villages of Nobbol & az-Zahraa with rockets, but there were no casualties. In other areas of the province, fighting is still on going: SAA  (The Syrian Arab Army) vs. Nusra & Da’esh; Kurds vs. Turks from the borders; Kurds vs. Terrorists; terrorists vs. other terrorists… Violations of the ceasefire are from the terrorist groups and Turkey.

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Activism is the Rent I Pay

Guest Post by George Payne Gandhi Earth Keepers International The great poet and novelist Alice Walker once said that “activism is the rent we pay for living on the planet.” Speaking as a white American male, who is able minded, non-handicapped, heterosexual, English speaking, Christian raised, university educated, and endowed with birthright citizenship, I know exactly what Walker means. My position on this planet is […]

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A Military Academy for Rochester?

Guest Post by Doug Noble of Metrojustice Peace Action and Education

AN OPEN LETTER ON THE PROPOSED MILITARY ACADEMY

For those of you who will be deciding on the proposed Military Academy in the RCSD (Rochester City School District), please be aware that your deliberations take place within a national mindset that glorifies everything military, deserving or not. The military’s own multi-billion-dollar advertising campaigns, such as the one paying millions to the NFL to publicly glorify soldiers at football games, fuel this mindset.

So the US military can still claim to be the finest fighting force in the world, despite its latest string of ignominious failures from Iraq to Afghanistan to Syria. And the military remains an exemplar of discipline and character, despite a sordid record of civilian atrocities, hospital bombings, drone massacres, pervasive rape, and other unchecked violence and misbehavior.

And the military still exemplifies leadership, despite recent accounts by former generals that chronicle a culture of mediocrity, cover-up and ineptitude throughout the higher levels of military command. An extensive review of the Defense Department’s own worldwide DoDEA (Department of Defense Education Actions) school system cited an overall lack of confidence in its bureaucratic management style and an absence of strong leadership. As for cost-effectiveness in training, a $500 million Pentagon program designed to train 5,000 Syrian rebels ended up after a year training only “four or five.”

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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 jpstillwater.blogspot.com.   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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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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MEK at the UN: Bizarre Cult Organizes in the U.S. Against Iran

This is a guest post by a friend in New York.  Caleb reports on a very real scene that has been going on with the support of Congressional Neocons and other members of the U.S,. power structure since the 80s.  Every year they come out of hiding with their allies to harass the Iranian Delegation to the United Nations General Assembly.   They wear the colors of an innocent movement for peace and justice but read below to understand the disturbing truth.

Caleb Maupin: You would think that individuals claiming to be “Islamic Marxists” — former members of an illegal Zionist terrorist organization — and Republican elected officials would generally not associate with each other. However, once a year for the last decade or so, they all gather together in front of the United Nations during its General Assembly to display their insanity to the world by calling for greater hostility between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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