Peace in Our Times

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Peace in Our Times
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Peace in Our Times Volume 4 Number 3 Summer 2018 Donations Accepted A Veterans For Peace publication exposing the root causes and enormous costs of war By Ahmed Abu Artema The Great March of Return established itself as a new way for the Palestinian people to re-energize our cause and gen erate political pressure against the oc cupation in innovative ways without the devastating cost of military struggle; a way to put Palestinian rights back on the global agenda and reclaim the image of a people justly struggling for freedom and rights in the face of brutal and violent rac ist oppression. Mistakes have also been made in this peaceful approach and even jeopardized its future. The Great March of Return must go on. There is simply no alternative to peaceful popular resistance. But we also need to take a step back and think about how we can reduce its cost in lives and injuries to ture and grow this new form of resistance. its victory will be the fruit of countless ef has been revealed as the main perpetrator clear: to raise the cost of the Great March of Return until we ourselves abandon this path.An Organizer of the Great March of Return Says:Protests in Gaza Must Go OnBy Kathy KellyThis past Friday in Afghanistans young Pashto boys to sing Afghanistans national anthem as a welcome to Pashto Kabul. The walkers are calling on war ring parties in Afghanistan to end the war. Most of the men making the journey must tend to their torn and blistered feet. But their mission grows stronger as they markable readiness to embrace the cour peace walk participants. It seems likely end 40 years of war. The 17-year U.S. war in Afghanistan exceeds the lifetimes of the youngsters in Ghazni who greeted the peace walkers. Ghani declared a weeklong halt to attacks against the Taliban. Spokespersons rep A Mile in Their ShoesIn Praise of Afghans Walking for Peacecontinued on page 19 As U.S. intensies airstrikes in Afghanistan, Pashtun men stage a 400-mile walk calling for peace. continued on page 14 Rather than extending a hand of friendship to people in other lands and, in the case of Afghanistan, paying reparations for the terrible to seek security through dominance and military Palestinians practice parkour on Gaza-Israel border. Photo: Asharq Al-Awsat.


2 Peace in Our TimesPeace in Our Times is published quarterly by Veterans For Peace. Bundles of Fred Nagel A Note from the Editors Letters to the EditorU.S. Empire: Soft Power and Respect?Paul Krugman believes that the Amer ican empire was a remarkably benign empire; but that it was held together by soft power and respect rather than force pire was force or violence that emasculated In dian tribes; it was military force that com pelled Mexico to cede over half of its ter ritory. We attacked Spain to make Cuba a satellite. We intervened militarily nu population. We helped wipe out new dem Vietnam war and bear responsibility for the hundreds of thousands victims in the support upper classes abroad. Its hard to reconcile these facts with Mr. Krugmans man rights and the rule of law. As for up the hundreds of treaties signed with In in other countries. There have been worse Roger Carasso Time to Relinquish the MythsI am going to have an aneurysm if I hear one more person say in reference to the forced separation of children from their parents that this is not the America I The fact is such horrendous crimes against people have been the rule in Amer ican history. The forced separation of families in slavery was not just common it was considered sound business practice aration of Native American children from their families in order to kill the Indian in them continued into my lifetime. can issue. Such crimes didnt begin with Trump and they certainly wont end with enough. These crimes will only end when we stop repeating the false myths and factual fallacies of American history and begin to Old Friends ReunitedMy beloved friend and compaero and I were reunited at the Texas State Capitol tion to the Trump regimes illegal war ac tivities against the Syrian people. Adrian Boutureira and I had not seen each other headquarters of the revolutionary Za patistas had named Realidad viding accompaniment and protection for Mexican Army Infantry. I have been wished to know and love. Where is the antiwar movement? I often hear from my comrades. Why is there no antiwar perspective in the [envi I want to be clear. I am not an antiwar sues activist. I am an activist who wants to overturn planet. You could say that Im a revolu tionary. Whatever. And because I want to bring down ergy into whatever wedge is pushing into destroying the home of the dugong in Oki its standing up with anyone else who every other living being on this planet. Im tired of discussions about how we can revive the antiwar movement. Im tired of people bemoaning the lack of people on the streets protesting the end less wars in other countries. Its all connected. And its going to take all of it to save this world from the vicious greed that drives our economy and de stroys everything in its path. manding money for human needs instead back against the culture of violence and ingful jobs for everyone and enriching education is antiwar work. Whatever helps to break apart this suf And thats where I want to put my lit tle bit of energy and talent and love in the short time I have on this plane. Ellen Davidson Adrian Boutureira and Doug Zachary. We Cant Do It Alone


3 Moral Injury 247You are walking around in circles, morbidly depressed and withdrawn. Nothing makes any sense anymore. But, it never made any sense long before You ever went to war. It was simply your turn to nd out the absolute truth, and nally realize why countless veterans throughout history wound up in suicide cemeteries. You never knew about betrayal, because those who went before you were never allowed to speak. The public just wants heroes. They do not want to know the veterans mindeld. The magnitude of your illness is equal to the depth of your silence. Mike Hastie, Army Medic, Viet Nam By Ed Pilkington radicals known as the Move Nine who leased from prison. from Cambridge Springs prison in Penn defendants were arrested and sentenced siege of the groups communal home on She emerged from the correctional in month after her arrest. Africa told The Guardian her sons home in a small town on the out skirts of Philadelphia where she will now live. from his mother at less than a week old and has never spent time with her outside with being reunited after almost four decades. Today I had breakfast with my mother much we havent done together. is a major breakthrough in the strug gle against the on going incarceration of large numbers of individuals involved in the black liberation movement of the women belonging to Move or the former some cases almost half a century after their arrests. Sims Africas release also involves one of the most hotly contested crimi nal justice cases in Philadelphia history. The nine were prosecuted together fol lowing a police siege of their headquar ters in Powelton Village at the orders of Philadelphias notoriously hardline mayor Rizzo. self as a revolutionary movement com mitted to a healthy life free from op something of a cross between black lib erationists and early environmental activ ists. Its members all take Africa as their other as family. in SWAT teams and armed with machine group relating to complaints about condi tions in its premises. Two water cannon and smoke bombs were unleashed. The Move residents took refuge in a basement. Sims Africa was eight months pregnant and was carrying her two-year-old daugh high-powered water and smoke was every in front of my face and I was choking. I had to feel my way up the stairs to get out of the basement with my baby in my arms. Shooting broke out and Ramp was killed by a single bullet. Prosecutors al tal shot and charged Sims Africa and the other eight with collective responsibility for his death. suggesting that the shot may have come from the opposite direction to the base within the property. None were in opera tive condition. out an even more controversial and deadly action against the remaining members of Move. A police helicopter dropped an in cendiary bomb on to the roof of its then That incident continues to have the dis tinction of being the only aerial bombing by police carried out on U.S. soil. was presented that she or the three other women charged alongside her had bran siege. Nor was there any attempt on the part of the prosecution to prove that they killed Ramp. Sims Africa has had an unblemished disciplinary record in prison for the past her work as a mentor to other prisoners and as a dog handler who trains puppies that assist people with physical and cogni tive disabilities. The dossier includes tes timony from the correctional expert Mar concluded it was remarkable. be a rule-abiding individual with the abil if she is released. I see a record of grow assumption of personal responsibility. I threat to the community. commended the parole board for recog nizing that she is of exceptional charac ter and well-deserving of parole. This is a all the Move Nine out of prison. The release of Sims Africa comes less than two months before the 40th anniver sary of the siege. Commemorative events The release of Sims Africa is bitter Also bittersweet is the fact that Sims Africa went up for parole at exactly Nine womenJanine Phillips Africa and denied parole and will have to wait until Thomson said the disparity in the pa role boards decision was very surpris inal trial prosecution had written letters supporting parole for all three. The pa role board gave what the lawyer said were saying they displayed lack of remorse. September. The other Move Nine prison The Guardian the remaining prisoners were constantly in her mind and that she planned to de vote much of her time campaigning for their release. said. I was torn up inside because of course I want to come home but I want them to come with me. I was in shock when it didnt happen that way. Asked if the two Move women with whom she had shared a cell in Cambridge Springs would be a threat to society if re would not be a danger as Im not. Nobody from the Move movement has been released from prison and ever com are peaceful people. Ed Pilkington is the chief reporter for Beyond the Mother Country. Black Liberationist Debbie Sims Africa Speaks Out After 40 Years in Prison Debbie Africa sits with her lawyer, Brad Thomson (left), and her son Michael Davis Africa Jr.


4 Americans, and their democracy and freedom these past 17 years; the By Maj. Danny Sjursen and four months in active military ser my time being a high-class muscle-man gangster for capitalism.Major General New York City. My mother was a wait vant who also painted houses and deliv ered Chinese food in Brooklyn. I come from a world where it seems youre either a fell deep into the drug and alcohol game; it thing special. I thought it was my destiny. friends partied during the summer be U.S. Military Academy at West Point. ated Time wars. American soldiers almost never a tour peacekeeping in Kosovo or some cool photo ops and interesting stories. Two months after beginning basic that the wars would end before I could recognize that kid anymore. The intervening 17 years have been a and Iraqand on my countrys other most disturbing is discovering the gap be we actually were. been a tremendous chasm between the and the reality of the American militarys Afghanistan seemed the most defen a cheeky phrase from our current com basic modernity to Kabul and Kandahar. ror quickly morphed into armed nationbuilding. The U.S. military backed venal rupt central government run by the Kar zai clique and a slew of drug lords. By tling illiterate farm boys calling them for scraps of worthless dirt wed evacuate soon enough. And were still there. mass destruction and had colluded with quish the ISIS menace. caged animal unable to menace his neigh in the streets. We locked up who we was birthed and matured in our prison camps. It exploded across northern and kensteins monster of our ill-advised in vasion. Iran backed the Shia militias that to protectrebels whod otherwise be and the U.S. military could do much good with little exertion. NATO allies took it a step further. The andwithout any real plan for the day Obama candidly called it a shit show. skillsand an arsenal of weapons would start dying in that last locale. Were Assad. No ground troops or airstrikes would be necessary. The Saudis and other Gulf States were on our team. The reb and install a democratic government al lied to the West. theyd be bombed into oblivion and rise like an Islamist Phoenix from the ashes. Our arms would end up in the hands of powered in Iraqwould jump the border and wage a transnational jihad. The United protect vulnerable civilians. Thered be no until they werent. Wed do what it took to Now we militarily occupy one-third of Unbridgeable Gap: Who We Were and Who We Thought We Were Maj. Danny Sjursen, left, with his Afghan National Army partner, far right. Photo courtesy Danny Sjursen. a society, unearthed sectarian tensions, and continued on page 11 birthed and matured in our prison camps.


5 Three of those letters come from a young Letter One: Questions First Special Forces I dont know how to start this letter be I just refer to you as my grandfather. I was told about this letter project today in ately wanted to write to you. I dont really know why. I know you wont answer me. Maybe its because I feel like when I put these words down on paper you might be Im writing to you and thinking about but mostly I have a lot of questions. havent been forgotten. I grew up know Ive been told about all of the brave and think that someday memories and stories would be the only way that your children and grandchildren would know you? I think you would be proud of your fam ily for carrying on your story. I know that they are proud of you. Im proud of you. what life wouldve been like if you hadnt died in Cambodia. Would you have come games? Would you have sat me on your lap and read me stories? Would you look like the picture thats been on my wall since I can remember? Would you smell like aftershave or soap? What would your voice sound like when you told me that you loved me? I wonder if you thought that it was worth lieve in your mission and purpose for be your last moments? I wonder what your your mom and dad? Your wife? Your four small children? Your unborn baby? I know it wasnt your intention to end up on a wall. I dont think it was any ones intention. My mom always says that theres a reason for everything. I think reasons for. Letter Two: Lies and Stories if I was going to write a letter this year. I thought maybe I had said all I needed to they are. that I love history. Ive taken six or seven topic of the Vietnam War has been intro duced. Were fed information and forced professor starts talking about the reasons why we went to Vietnam. For a brief mo reasons might be something I havent heard before. I feel a pang of hope in my you died. Why thousands and thousands feeling in my gut is quickly eclipsed by a deeper feeling of frustration and con fusion because the reason is always the help but see it for what it is. Propaganda. our government to rally the people behind a meaningless cause. And I cant help but feel like you died for nothing. Because what does any of it matter if you arent here? Isnt that a horrible thought to have? hear or believe that their loved ones sacri est way to enrage any American. At the something in our culture that holds war and violence as religion. That morphs the truths of war into epics that ensure future generations will perpetuate the actions in tagonist in their own heroic tale. The lies and stories that turn the people of the United States against the people in the an entire group of people into an evil other. We cant see that U.S. soldiers are just as capable and guilty of committing evil acts as the enemy we so despise. Our actions are turn a blind eye to the horrors and fear felt rally again behind those that call for war. sion and feats of humanity that play out among the unlikeliest of people in the most desperate of circumstances? These stories of love and compassion are the ones that withstand time and are retold to countless audiences. It has been said that Isnt that a strength that surpasses brute force? What would the world be like if our eyes were opened to the similarities be tween our enemies and ourselves? Those out for us to feel this compassion. Why dont we listen to them? Why cant we heed their calls for peace? I want you to know that I think Ive member asking my mother once why she married my dad. She told me that she knew he would be a great father. That he would love and dote on their children. She needed to give us the thing that was taken without knowing the love of their moth ing their loved ones to war every day? If I give them pause. A feeling that might shift family. I know this love could transform us if we found it and let ourselves feel it. I hope someday my children will know a world that readily gives this love. That the strength it takes to see ourselves re ability to hate. That they can look back on This is one of many that we have of my grandfather in Cambodia. I was told that the man holding the snake with him was Bill Edge, the man he saved from a punji pit. According to his letters, he and his friends caught the snake and ate it for dinner. Pictures of my grandparents together are extremely limited, and even though its blurry, I love how happy they were in this photo, and that the Maine coast is in the background. This is my favorite picture of my grandfather because its the clearest photo of his face. My mother had it framed on her bureau.Memories of a Grandfather Never Knowncontinued on page 7


6 for 10,000 years and hundred.By Pat Elder Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo anchored at plant and aquatic life. The golden hills were alive with vegetation and wildlife. The historical record suggests that Ca pristine beauty of the place. The shore These people could teach us so much! They knew they were part of the land and The waterway leading to the safety of that fateful day is less than half a Spanish the raging sea from the relative calm of strand of rock and sand is now home to the Naval Center for Combat and Opera been poisoned by three generations of U.S. naval activities. The soil is contami nated with dangerously high levels of ar and lead. The cleanup of the contamination at NCCOSC has already cost taxpayers put under long-term monitoring or other restrictions. Cabrillo sailed into the safety of San Chollas Creek where it empties into San polluted places on the planet. The deadly contamination at Point mental disaster caused by the Navy at the that have already cost the American pub uninformed public. The contaminants in the water and soil today are threatening to all varieties of plant and animal life. The data on these Trump Administration has submitted a many of the agencys web pages detailing environmental destruction at the hands of military and corporate polluters are disappearing. The screams of the Kumeyaay can be heard in the winds as they rip across the poisoned sea and land. Same deal on the other side of the con moved into the Chesapeake region of the tion the same kind of calamity for the In taken one century to destroy huge swaths of the Potomac River basin. tomac River from the Chesapeake Bay with a frying pan during their exploration from its source in the mountains of West Virginia to its mouth at the Chesapeake Bay. The journey down this mighty wa created by the Pentagons reckless disre gard for the fragile ecosystem of the Po tomac River watershed. The U.S. Navys Allegany Ballistics source of contamination in the Potomac River. The onsite disposal of explosive metals and solvent wastes contaminates soil and groundwater with hazardous chemicals. for the nations biological warfare pro buried here. The groundwater is laced pected of causing tumors in laboratory animals. Just 40 miles down the river from Fort neighborhood and the campus of Ameri can University. This area was used by the Army during World War I to test lewis cal bombs to see how quickly the animals died. The area was densely covered with buried the remaining stockpiles of mu nitions after testing. One hundred years in groundwater and houses are still being demolished because of the contamination. ton Navy Yard is located on the Anacos Potomac. Branch of the Potomac at present-day Washington and was well received by Piscataway Tribe in present-day Ana costia. Smiths map marks the area as Washington Navy Yard. the most contaminated patches of real es tate on the continent. The Navy Yard was a former foundry for the manufacture of The U.S. Military: Worlds Biggest Polluter Point Loma Naval Base and fuel storage facilities Cabrillo wouldnt recognize Chollas Creek and the San Diego Bay today. At the VA PharmacyThe vet was anxious and talking to himself in the waiting room. You dont know what he experienced in war. You dont know what he did. You dont know who he saw die. You dont know what guilt he carries. You dont know how much rage he has behind betrayal. You dont know what he lost when he came home. Alcohol gave him wings to y, then it took away his sky. He had a backpack on that looked worn out. Worn out, thats a good observation. He was up and down, eyes darting around the room. When he got his meds at the pickup window, he was gone. Home died a long time ago. Mike Hastie Army Medic, Viet Nam continued on next page


7 adjacent to the river is severly contami nated. history of dumping and burning hazard ous waste products. Groundwater samples drinking water advisory level of 1 micro along the Potomac River in King George terway. Salt from the sea mixes in the wa ter where crabs and oysters have found a home for millions of years. Their habitat is threatened. Reckless disposal of chemical Maryland. which empties directly into the river. The burial of munitions contaminated with heavy metals and polyaromatic hydrocar bons have poisoned the earth along the and various pesticides mix with lead con depleted uranium used to make a type of nuclear weapon favored by Army com manders and known as a bunker buster. The sands of the Potomac beaches south lost by Piscataway hunters over thousands unexploded ordnance and potential for fragmenting metal. toxic poisons in the waters of the Potomac tary activities. Few in power give a damn. The Pentagons destruction of the Po rather than the exception at military bases militarys disregard for the environment. These pollutants are threatening to all va being dismantled. Just sayin. Pat Elder is the director of the Na tional Coalition to Protect Student Pri the steering committee of the National nating committee of World Beyond War, Peace in Our Times Staff ExpandsThe editors of Peace in Our Times are pleased to announce that we have hired three are afraid to cover.Breaking Cat NewsBy Georgia DunnChemical contamination discovered in water supply at North Carolina military base.Military Pollution continued from previous page ily knowing that war is a concept that no longer exists. I think that world would be beautiful. Letter Three: Duty to Tell the Stories say. Ive been thinking a lot about my let one-year anniversary of Nannys death. I realized how much of her life was you. Remembering you for her children and grandchildren. Telling and retelling every story so many times that they all blurred has been shaped so much by those memo them. But every story is told from one per spective; hers was one of a proud widow recalling her late husbands bravery and come to terms with the fact that American involvement in Vietnam was not an altru istic and noble cause. That you may not have always been the hero your family re mortality of her children became increas ingly apparent to me. It got me wondering which one of her grandchildren would tell your stories. What I cant seem to shake is the resounding whisper in the back of my mind that keeps telling me we should move on. Your fate has molded and de uncles lives. Should we keep passing that burden on to future generations? I almost didnt write a letter this year. It would slip my mind for weeks and even months at a me. It wasnt until this afternoon that I re alized I knew the answer to my question. Its my duty as someone who has lost a children or my childrens children will never have to know the annihilation and despair that is war. I couldnt walk away ing you is a part of me that cant be for your stories from own perspective; that of a granddaughter who lost the chance of American hoping for peace. Grandfather continued from page 5


8 Does the Burns/ Novick Vietnam Documentary Deserve an Emmy? beginning and throughout, a By Doug Rawlings Award-winning documentary. time when doubt began to worm its way into American troops. This doubt is the breeding ground for what we now call moral injury. The American soldier in Vietnam begins to realize we trudged into that muck and mire as reluctant cynics. ful glorious victory over the demonic communistsbut in our slow awakening to the truth. So what? teurs to work in the aforementioned concept of moral in jury. As that term begins to be thrown around in popular recognizing ones complicity in what most religions call You realize that there is no excuse for your unwilling ness or inability to stop human degradation as it unfolds And now you must accept the consequences of that de bilitating malaise that has worked its way into your head. told us to follow their orders. But that excuse wears thin ows on their narrative. As I watched the faces of the soldiers caught up in the ror of it all in his memoir when he writes about the staggering realization that everything is permit son does not come back from that world unscathed. it is evident to me that we are not watching a true doc ness of the teller. Who dares to question the grieving mother or disillusioned sister or duty-bound soldier? We are not being invited into a logical discussion of facts herewe are being asked to bear witness. As a veteran of that war who has tried to bring to light cord that students will turn to in their studies. It is a cornucopia of anecdotes that gives us a glimpse of that war that Im sure the Pentagon and the Koch broth misguided. The war was never begun in good faith. It Three million soldiers from this country sent to Viet on the altar of greed and power along with millions of Vietnamese dead. And for what? of Vietnam was deliberate and calculatedas were poli cies and strategies that bordered on genocide and were de signed to force millions of people to abandon their homes. thousands of Vietnam veterans came to realize the soulthat brings their words into the narrative would be a ma jor step forward. This one is far from that. This is not history we are watching. We are watching worthy documentary. U.S. forces shown in Vietnam in 1962. Photo: Horst Faas Doug Rawlings in Vietnam


9 By Stan Levin They are here, by the hundreds, by the thousands, the dispossessed among us. People having little in the way of the niceties of a comfortable existence That equates with the concept of Home. Many wear all the clothing they own, on their backs, day and night. Some push their collection of meager possessions around in a shopping cart they have found Or stolen, ahead of them in their endless wanderings To nowhere in particular. Their days are twenty-ve hours. Some arrived here hours ago, and some have occupied and survived the street for years even a decade Incredibly, even more. They make do with no bed other than a piece of cardboard or ragged blanket isolating themselves from the concrete of the sidewalk or the tarmac of the street. Increasingly, tent communities are springing up, Marginally better living. No tub to bathe or shower in. No toilet for nighttime relief No sink No fridge No couch No car No washing machine. Imagine that! Wheelchairs aplenty Teeth not so much Some panhandle for a living, Others collect recyclables to sell, Almost all make use of available charitable offerings. They are down in their luck, but, make no mistake, They are not stupid. They are all genders, all races, the very old and frail, and the very young children. Many are veterans of war, and show their scars. For what? (But that is a story for another day) Some are out on parole. Some cannot nd work, lacking sale-able skills. Some are educated, some are not. Some are healthy Most are not. They suffer, in common Numerous physical, emotional and social ills. They are burdened by a disproportional percentage of people struggling with PTSD, alcohol and drug addictions, paranoia, schizophrenia, dementia, depression, mental instability, or incapacitation by common or uncommon disease. Victims of abuse, violence and rape abound on the street. These unfortunate brothers and sisters are broke, hungry, cold, fearful, abandoned. They often smell bad of human chemical compounds. They are devastatingly vulnerable and fragile even those appearing strong. (Be reminded it is not our place to pass judgment on them, not at all productive beyond letting us off the hook, nor is it any of our business how people have managed to get themselves into such a sorry x.) They are human beings, having worth, no less than the rest of us, In some ways superior in their caring and sharing and looking out for each other. Like so many species of forest animals, they are being inexorably Squeezed out of their habitat Into the shadows. Creating more room to construct more pricey high-rise digs. Accommodating, in the main, the immeasurably more fortunate among us, Many of whom would rather the homeless would just disappear out of their sight, Because they and their very presence are disgusting and scary. Many newbies, (I speculate), are themselves new arrivals to the city, resourceful, buying up the neighborhood, Providing obscene prots for builders, marketers and investors, Adding pressure to the existing nite resources and to an already reeling environment. (But that, too, is a story for another day, not to be belabored here.) Sidewalk occupants present an embarrassment to this segments tribal sensitivities, Of this I harbor little doubt. There is considerably more to know of the homeless dilemma And much for the so inclined to empathize with, and show charity towards. And for those willing To shoulder the burden of dealing with the problem. But, in summary, this is who the street people are. And we San Diego Veterans For Peace are trying to lend a hand, Doing whatever we might to alleviate the group suffering To bring an end to what we perceive as an Unacceptable Abominable Affront To humanity. I submit Homelessness in San Diego must be ended. Peace. Stan Levin is a veteran of the Korean War and a member of Veterans For Peace San Diego chapter. For more information on San Diego Veterans for Peace sleeping bag distribution program to our homeless residents, see Stan Levin and Gil Field of VFP San Diego distribute sleeping bags to the homeless last December. Homeless encampment in San Diego. Photo: Michael McConnell A homeless woman walks down 17th Street in downtown San Diego. Photo: Adriana Heldiz Bearing Witness to Homelessness in San Diego


10 By Sam Husseini by its founder Ted Turner: The news is the star. That has long since ceased to be a re The view of the world that they depict is what the viewer needs to understand not the world itself. Anthony Bourdain didnt join CNN his own personality was certainly a ma the lens was largely on the places Bour work was more mini-doc than anything else typically found on CNN. at least indicate class distinctions in his Starting with (on the nels and Bourdain often presented the realities of right?as a way to show both the com monality of humanity and the creativity of various cultures. Bourdains programs were in sharp contrast to corporate medias typically quently shown as synonymous with their tirelessly repeated. Bourdain was a tele vision man who actually allowed the world to crash into peoples living rooms: Fresh visuals from places most U.S. view ers would never visit. the faadeget people past the veneer of Though his work sometimes devolved something to U.S. cable that is a rarity: a sense of the reality of the World Out There. Bourdain couldnt necessarily be con sidered reliably left or progressive; he oc adopting a look at the foibles of both relished mocking farmers markets and the NATO line. Sometimes I wished he would come down more harshly on the powers that beshowing the side that came through when he declared that see ing the devastation of Cambodia made Perhaps Bourdains most striking pro write: Iran was mind-blowing. My crew has strangers everywhere. We had heard that that coming. Upon accepting the voices of cour age and conscience media award from Bourdain remarked that it should take lit tle courage or conscience to do what he did: I was enormously grateful for the re sponse from Palestinians in particular for doing what seemed to me an ordinary depiction of a people is that these images come as a shock to so many. Bourdains deathand the improbabil like this showshould be a wake-up call wanting to use the internet in creative ways: Theres a hunger among regular people in the United States for the unvar and major media are serving up precious little to feed it. Anthony Bourdain: The Last Gasp of CNNs Original VisionAnthony Bourdain and Gaza-based journalist Laila El-Haddad.


11 ther is from Laurie Arbeiter, an incred ibly passionate and dedicated long-time of the founders of the We Will Not Be Si shirts, people are noticed coming and go boldened on signs from the collection, concerns. Today tshirts and signs from By Laurie Arbeiter I am sharing what I read at his funeral. My father taught me many things about life. My father taught me to appreciate sim ple things in life and that lifes pleasures could be simple and should never be taken though it was a gift of great wealth. When a used car lot due to the forces of pov erty and the instability of not having a This was a fact of his life I learned at an the condition from which he had to sur struggle against economic insecurity and to earn enough money to provide for his family and so that he would never be a burden on anyone. My father taught me about economic inequality and the stress it causes for people that have to endure it that we were here to share the wealth. My father taught me about love and hate. ful smile and who had a joy for lifeshe loved and so admired my father. They found joy and romance together when they let themselves be free. My parents taught me loyalty through the good and the bad times. provided for all of us and for my mater get her citizenship after decades of be fortitude and he knew how much we all received from her unconditional good deserve to live free for the time we are here. My father taught me to question. To say what you mean and to mean what you say. ways strive to be honest. To take respon sibility for everything you set out to do. hard. To do the very best. burden another with irrational and unjust hate and inequality. That racism is deeply taught me that racism and all oppression is actually rooted in the self-hate and lack willingness to do good unto others and to speak out against injustice. he will rest in the great peace that he de servedhis words taught me until the make a better tomorrow but you cannot just dream about it you have to work at it work hard at it. deserve it everyone should get it So much of his life he wore a lot of armor protecting a great big and vulnerable heart opened to express the love he felt all along and wanted so much to receive himself. I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is be will be forced to deal with pain. we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. My father and I were both fortunate to admiration and a deep love between us. for teaching me. In Tribute to Abe Arbeiter Abe Arbeiter in the hospital with Laurie, who is wearing an iconic t-shirt from the We Will Not Be Silent project. Abe Arbeiter. to their hates so stubbornly is because they from a major war. There we remain. rebels were an Iranian front. We had to ror bombing campaign. Otherwise Iran denied the civilian populace access to hu take a back seat. stooges; that was an exaggeration. The of an investigative journalist and Yemen tion blockade has ushered in famine and the worlds worst cholera epidemic. And war. We have that in our power. With be ashamed. We still back the Saudis. In so many of the above cases the culiar regional powers: on behalf of or to the advantage of Saudi Arabia or Iran. In military has been nothing more than the and arms dealers. ests or make the world a safer place. And so did America. strategist and former history instructor Ghostriders Myth of the Surge.Unbridgeable continued from page 4


12 rounded by his family, listening presented here. ture surrounding me. As a threecarpenters installing rafters on a as the horse proceeded to the next stop on his own. When it cart was now a heavily built sleigh with runners. sotted with aviation and the Boy Scouts. My gang and I built and the Boy Scouts gave me the opportunity to go overnight grownup while still adolescent. my age were eager to get in and didnt come back. Ive written a Study War No More Being in the right place looks on the faces of the German generals of the 11th SS Panzer but without grinning; there were hundreds of armed German SS there. That memory is a treasure. that one of my poems about vet national poetry contest last year. I studied musical composition and married. We had two beauti young family eventually moved for vets to form a new organiza honored to have been a member ever since. We continue to work often been arrested for our work. Id studied psychotherapy at the Adler Institute in New York and center in Woodstock called the scrabbling for money to keep it open. It became an essential part of Family [a social services a studio up here on Mead Moun design and build all sort of useful Becoming a councilman on happy achievement. That inse cure young boy transformed into a voice for our town. waits for me. Can you imagine being greeted someplace by un shake my hand at the same time? I have to live with them again? the place described by Bernard It sounds lively and worthwhile. By Doug Rawlings Its that time of year again bridging late spring and early summer when up here the black ies contend with the mosquitos for my blood in the garden dirt And then come the dragonies who dont know me from Adam but they somehow nd me in my time of need swinging by to let me breathe a bit easier. So, Jay, I asked in the backseat of Ellens car in the middle of our usual veterans bitch session was there any time you guys stopped your pissing and moaning? Yeah, he said. When we freed that concentration camp. Veterans For Peace Loses Two Giants Clockwise from top right: Jay Wenk as a young man; Joel Kovel (left) and Jay march on the White House Dec. 16, 2010; Joel with his daughter Molly and grandson Desmond at his Woodstock home in 2011; Joel in 2016; Tarak Kauff (left) with Joel and Jay in Woodstock October 2012; Jay on Memorial Day in Woodstock 2012; Jay getting arrested at the White House March 17, 2011; Jay in uniform. Color photos by Ellen Davidson.My Obit, by Jay Wenk


13 By Quincy Saul I was involved in Students for along the way caught wind of his dismissal from a tenured fac ulty position at Bard College for daring to write a book with the seemingly simple argument that racist states dont have a right to exist. Such sentiments are not al Joel was cast out; not only from his job but from polite society and the lecture circuit. All the terie of radical artists and organ izers who coalesced around his study groups held at St. Marys us that he was not only a gener but really a giantwith a dozen seminal books on themes as di every continent. We gradually and as time went on decided to join forces in founding an organ with the modest goal of advanc ing ecosocialism as a worldview and as a movement capable of of fering real answers to the crises caused by capitalism. It was Joels book on capital ism and ecology that clinched the issue for me. It grounds its analysis of capital and capital worst industrial accident in his by the Union Carbide Corpora tion. Yet reviews of this book often elide what I believe is the promising seed for an episte mological breakthrough. Joels book goes far beyond the simple and suicidal. What resonated most with me was his insistence on what he called the intrinsic els ecosocialist theory takes its place alongside the Marxist cate gories of use value and exchange was the missing keystone to an arch connecting the revolution ary ideologies of the industri alized world with the cosmo visions of indigenous peoples. Without this critical intervention sible for me to imagine a lasting Marxist solution to our ecologi opposed to merely pragmatic or may be able to imagine reweav patistas called for in their Sixth nous peoples with the workers of tinction and the National Security egates representing social and en vironmental justice movements ist International. Its founders and adherents have committed to a tive strategy and plan of action for was led by Maroons (Africans who escaped from slavery and mixed with the indigenous peo ples and formed independent set but its open to everyone. We have made the decision and the collective commitment to International: To reverse the de structive process of capitalism; to return to our origins and recu perate the ancestral spirituality end war right now we are not livingwe are merely surviving. We confront a contradiction: re We are radicals; we shall re turn to our roots and our original ways; we shall see the past not only as a point of departure but also as a point of arrival. and it teaches decolonization and anti-imperialism. tional is a covenant to reweave the sacred hoop of the worlds between indigenous cosmovi sions and the revolutionary ide ologies of the industrialized world. A Route of Struggle connects the dots in a program of decolonization which prom ises to re-weave Pangaea. for more information. Veterans For Peace Loses Two Giants Joel Kovel: Friend, Comrade, Visionary EcosocialistFor Mother Earth: The First Ecosocialist International continued on page 22


14 By Miko Peled the same age as they. The previous day boys who fell during the protracted war between Iran and Iraq. And while giving ones life in the service of ones country is that feeling at all. So all I could say as I they are about the same age as my own that they will not be martyrs but return home safe as soon as their service was over. The Revolutionary Guard base in Yazd the night before that I was to deliver a my camera and phone behind because we were entering a military base. Then they told me that I would be speaking in front of cadets of the famed Iranian Rev panied by a translator and several report and we were greeted and led to a seat with their legs crossed and another hundred or so people in civilian clothes were seated along the walls of the large hall. Though I would have expected young clearly the cream of the crop of Iranian my mind not to hold back and go all out: Though I am introduced as an Ameri am actually not from the United States. I I pause for minute to see what will hap according to the Israeli and American was as silent as ever a hall with hundreds of people might be. I continued: I am here today because I reject Zion ism and the State of Israel that was estab expense of Palestinian lives. Change like that I had undergone usu ally comes as a result of a tragic experi spective and my worldview had changed when three young Palestinians executed a suicide mission in Jerusalem and killed It is in situations like this that ones faith in humanity is restored. Regardless less of how many times one reads that the and here it did not fail. be no Israel. They were wondering what I thought of his comment. to a local high school for another talk. I was unsure what I would say to high knowledge they might have on Pales tine. Once again we walk into the prayer and chairs and a mic set up at the front. knew about it. front row raised his hand and gave a brief An Israeli Addresses Iranian Students and Revolutionary Guard to the war? Given the desperate circumstances I saw during them to provide food and water for their families. Kabul assure me their family members who joined military groups dont want to cause bloodshed and they dont want to be killed. They simply dont have other viable options. erage of a recent joint survey undertaken by the Central Statistics Organization and an international NGO. theyre forging ahead in establishing worker cooperatives. making cooperative. Theyve also devised a one-year plan for seamstresses to form a tailoring cooperative and ex plored possibilities for a carpentry cooperative. worker cooperatives will pledge part of their earnings Volunteers. tribe in an area that is now a border between Pakistan against British occupation. The khidmatgyarsSer vants of Godrefused to cooperate with the British and instead practiced self-reliance. They created their own constructive projects and persisted even when British re pression became increasingly brutal. Michael Nagler writes: After perpetrating a terrible stead to experiment with Gandhis methods of nonviolent key element in the eventual liberation from British rule. Badshah Kahns preferred method of transportation A likeness of Badshah Khan decorates the entrance to the APV center in Kabul. Stenciled underneath is his vice to God and humankind. dominant religion has become militarism. Rather than extending a hand of friendship to people in other lands continues to seek security through dominance and mil peace walkers display a better means of securing peace: ship and precarity others face. and among every group that has ever caused bloodshed and ruin in Afghanistan. One of several murals created by Kabuls ArtLords painters to welcome the Helmand-to-Kabul peace walkers. Photo: Kathy Kelly/VCNCAfghan Peace Walkers continued from page 1 continued on page 17


15 By Meredith Tax The invasionconducted by a NATO army with the participation of Islamist militiashighlights the urgent need for solidarity with this beleaguered socialist to determine our own possibilities for a more democratic future. constant attack and a Turkish and IraqiKurdish economic blockade that has cut people of Rojava are trying to build a new kind of feminist democratic politics. Ro organization to a world where for decades the only two choices have seemed to be neoliberalism and violently hateful forms of nationalist fundamentalism. Rojava is not run by a state nor does it aspire to become one. In the writings of its jailed ideological leader Abdullah Oc tion of elected neighborhood committees called communes. Womens liberation is central to both their ideology and prac tice; every organization and administra tive bureau from the smallest commune to the committee that administers the whole region must have at least 40 percent tion on the importance of gender equal ity is mandatory in every institution. And all these organizations have parallel allfemale counterparts. The economy being planned will be ecologically sustainable still very small because of the blockade and the constant state of war. ens organizations and joint leadership of the campaign to liberate Raqqa was led by a Kurdish woman seconded to the Syr Kurdish-Arab army that is part of the U.S. coalition against ISIS. The Kurds had no the United States come to their aid if they were attacked by Turkey. Then Turkey at come a safe haven for hundreds of thou sands of war refugees from other parts of had no air cover and could not hold out vanced Turkish army and allied militias. Afrin fell on March 14. Fearing a blood leave Afrin and head for Kobane. But the territory in between is controlled by the many pass and thousands are still trapped out food or medical attention. Those who tried to return to Afrin are being turned away by the Turkish army. government rebels from Ghouta and other where Turkey-sponsored militias give them homes and businesses stolen from the Kurds. Thus Assad gets rid of reb of some of the Kurds close to his border and the human rights of civilians on both sides are trampled. Civilians who did not leave Afrin have been subjected to even worse fates: kid sharia law enforced by ISIS-style burquanounced his plan to ethnically cleanse an area that has been Kurdish for centuries and replace the inhabitants of Afrin with more ethnically desirable refugees from other parts of Syria. Some of his paid mi ish sources say that known members of ISIS have been incorporated into Turkeys things the invaders did was knock down the Yazidis. In response to the inattention being yours truly published an open letter in the and saying: Turkey must be isolated eco until it withdraws its troops and its proxy militias from Kurdish Syria. In the long until Turkey is willing to reopen negotia tions with its own Kurds and grant all its dom of expression and the right to form political parties and win elections without reprisals. We are calling on the U.S. government to: impose economic and political sanc tions on Turkeys leadership; embargo sales and delivery of weapons from NATO countries to Turkey; insist upon Rojavas representation in Syrian peace negotiations; counterintuitive to call on the U.S. gov ernment to support a socialist-feminist States has given the Rojava Kurds mili tary support (if only to use them for its gressives today must put behind those narrow and static versions of anti-impe and see that we live in a globalized world the same two countries can both contend matter how much the United States would like to. Global politics today are shaped by an ers all over the world who want to go back into a theocratic Neverneverland inhab sus the forces of what Ocalan calls capi gressives have been searching for some something new. Something we are still version of this in praxis; they call it dem ocratic confederalism and see women as central to its development. Their experi ment and the lessons we can learn from it are desperately important to all of us for the future. But we cannot learn from this fending Rojava is part of defending our own ability to imagine something new. Originally published by The Indypen dent, ganizer, is the author of A Road Unfore seen: Women Fight the Islamic State and a cofounder of the Emergency Committee Rojava, a SocialistFeminist Bastion in Syria, Is Under Siege medical supplies, and electricity, the four million feminist democratic politics. Women of the Shingal Resistance Unit rest on a hillside in Rojava. Photo: Joey Lawrence. thinking and self-organization hateful forms of nationalist fundamentalism.


16 By Dana VisalliI spent the month of March in the Palestinian city of for this reason I brought a cheap dissecting microscope with me. My plan was to leave it as a gift upon my de from a delivery company informing me that the micro Israeli settlers and soldiers that live in enclaves in the But the hotel had a policy to not even touch a package not to the United States with me. lis afraid of a microscope? What is the history of events that have put so much fear and trepidation into Israeli citizens? I had an analogous experience while hiking in ute drive was completed the Palestinian driver had given me a childrens book he himself had written and invited me to his home for a meal. I spent two hours hiking up concrete bunker and a soldier pointing a machine gun at diers were completely shocked to see a human being out her opinion any Palestinians who found me would kill had given me a gift and invited me home for dinner. So to be their homeland. The actual history of the area of race or ethnicity. Genetic studies have shown that Medi that it unites its adherents as being a chosen people by the ruling god or gods of any given belief system. This is true for Judaism as for any religion. A famous teacher tween a Jewish soul and souls of non-Jews is greater and When Zionist Jews decided to establish a Jewish home land in Palestine (a seminal date for this being the First their own exceptionalism reduced the existing popula tion of Muslims and Christians in Palestine to a subhu It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didnt exist. In fact about one million people lived in Palestine at way for Palestine to become a Jewish state was to drive be clear that there is no room in the country for both There is no room here for compromises. A common misconception about the formative years of Israel is that violence erupted between Arabs and Is was to drive the nonexistent Palestinians from their land. The massacres were consciously executed to ter rorize the Palestinian people. known massacre because of the barbarity involved and A Microscopes Journey Through Israel Deir Yassin after the 1948 massacre: Zionists raped, tortured, and killed over 100 men, women, and children. Dana Visalli (at right) dines with friends in Hebron.continued on next page


17 their lives. The Red Cross representative who found the bodies at were still entering houses with guns and knives when blood-covered dagger and saw another stab an old couple in their doorway. The representative wrote that the scene reminded him of SS troops he had seen in Athens. atrocities committed by Zionist forces. Many young ported. Old women were also molested. whose elite unit participated in part of the operation. The Accept my congratulations on this splendid act of conquest. Convey my regards to all the commanders and soldiers. We shake your hands. We are all proud of the attack. We stand to attention in memory of the slain. We lovingly shake the hands of the wounded. Tell the soldiers: you have made history in Israel with your at tack and your conquest. Continue thus until victory. As understood have been calculated to help the British win Suez Canal to its crown jewel colony of India (where it that drives most big government decisions (which really should make people question the existence of big gov to persuade the United States to enter the war on the side of Britain in return for the gift of Palestine as home gineered the defeat of Germany in that war (a fact not the Suez Canal was vital to controlling the oppressed In dian people and keeping them working for British prof its shipping route though the canal. It is also the case that Arthur Balfour (the Foreign Secretary of Britain during have been in the name of the Prince of Peace. It has been said that God loves irony. derstand the behavior of the Israelis I encountered on my trip to Palestine. Because they terrorized the Palestin and the dwellings and made them their own; because for 70 years now they have continued to usurp Palestinian drive them out of Palestine; because all of this nefari ous behavior is based on power and dominance and my thology and liesthe Israelis have to constantly watch the world to be a Jew is in Israel. is for the Israelis to abandon the pseudo-religious my thology of being somehow superior to the rest of human based on human decency and perhaps even a measure of sisters. lecture: and war. telling them my story and the story of Palestine. After I true that the Jews came to Palestine and bought land there and then the Palestinians came and took it away. who came and took the land and the homes from the Pal estinians. What did I think of the combination of religion and politics? I think they should be kept as far apart as Is a Hitler Needed to Free Palestine? stood up and said that he thought Palestine could only around the room were visibly uncomfortable by the in was an opportunity. I know enough to recognize that I reminded the boy of the statement made by the Su exists in Palestine today and seeing it replaced by a state beautiful face looking at us from all the social-media ful to handle. So where is the connection between the by Israel ad nauseum is used to divert the worlds atten in Gaza will continue uninterrupted because of a con The Generals Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Iranian high school students. Photo: Miko Peled.Miko Peled continued from page 14 Microscope continued from previous page no such thing as a Palestinian


18 Photojournalist Loses a Leg Covering Gazas Great Return March By Karama Fadel Basketball is my favorite sport and sometimes I like to play football with my friends in our neighborhood. I able to play sports again! lost his left leg after being hit with an explosive bullet from an Israeli sniper while he was covering the Great ing it as they called for enforcement of paragraph 11 of ians to return to their ancestral homeland. all political parties and sectors of civil society. Among them were Yousef and two of his fellow journalists; the recalls. We were very careful not to go close to the se no longer stand. I didnt feel much pain when I was shot in my left leg; the Israeli used a silencer weapon and my friends didnt ing down my camera. Yousef was rushed by ambulance to the closest hospi choice but to amputate his left leg. Two Palestinian-rights to try to save his right leg. (The Adalah and Al-Mezan human rights organizations also appealed for an exit per bearing on future transfers of patients from Gaza to the West Bank. sity and now is in his freshman year. I am so proud of be a famous photographer. I still have two hands to hold my camera with. shot with live bullets; 14 have lost legs and four had arms amputated. Yousef was among nine journalists who were shot; oneYasser Murtajadied of his wounds. Originally published at Gaza In My SightsIn memory of Razan al-Najjar and the others slaughtered at the Gaza fence. On the ledge, atop the fence, the soldiers waited snipers to be precise. Below the fence, the desperate rallied at the edge of their cage unarmed and wanting to go home The snipers had their orders, shoot to kill and maim. spare not the medics, the reporters,the children. We dont want reports. Silence the crime. Time to take aim. These soldiers are the armys best the snipers. He had her in his sights. He could even see that she was a pretty one clearly a medic trying to save one already shot. Maybe by his buddy three snipers away. What did he think, after the kill, this gifted marksman. Was he thinking about his supper that night and what was on the menu. Or was he thinking of his weekend pass. Should he see his parents or have a weekend on thebeach. Did he think about the lovely one he took out (such is the euphemism for assassination) Did he think of her parents, and her never going to the beach again. Is he laughing. Did he sleep well, did he see her pretty face in his dreams and wake up sweating with the panic of a nightmare. A crime of course but not to Uncle Sam who would have no part of any condemnation. And so we sink lower. Richard Greve Richard Greve is a member of Santa Feans for Justice in Palestine. Palestinian paramedic Razan al-Najjar tends to an injured colleague during clashes in the Gaza Strip near the border with Israel; she was killed by an Israeli sniper June 1. Photo: AFP/Said Khatib. Yousef al-Kurnz, a 20-year-old Gazan photojournalist, lost his left leg after being hit with an explosive bullet from an Israeli sniper while he was covering the Great Return March. Photo: Abeer Abu al-Naja. Yousef al-Kurnz. the demonstration, says dream to be a famous


19 failures to date and to narrow the space available to the occupation to attack and kill our people. What do we want from the Great March of Return? Our struggle against the occupation is ultimately one of symbols and images; a battle to be waged in the global than any direct physical engagement with occupation low the occupation to continue. And this can be done without spilling another drop of Palestinian blood. The next phase of the Great March of Return must see and theater; children planting trees; university profes sors holding free classes in tents at the base camps; girls in our national dress; people painting; school and fam ily trips; playgrounds and childrens games; novelists and writers sharing our story with the world; musicians bringing our music to the worldall of this taking place in the return camps. imagined. But what will they achieve? They will show we are the victims of a racist occupation regime. devotes tremendous energy to create the opposite im as long as it can justify itself in the eyes of the world. That is why it cannot tolerate our peaceful march and that is why it has done everything in its power to make our march look violent. The occupier cannot simply kill us for no reason; he needs to be able to justify his kill time and energy creating these images that explain to the world why hes killing us. Peaceful resistance is a winning strategy because it destroys the propaganda foundation on which the occu pation stands. It strengthens our moral legitimacy and our ability to develop a strong global advocacy for our just and human cause. It requires wise judgement and mizing harm to our people. plan for the future. Now is the time for the victory of peaceful Palestinian resistance. Cormier and Peter Cohen. tema is a Palestinian refugee. An independent Gazathe book Organized Chaos one of the original founders and organizers of the Great March of Return. ited Iejima Island near the main islands northwestern coast where he met Shoko Ahagonthe founder of the Ahagon had waged a decades-long campaign to reclaim parently Nelson was so impressed by the elderly Oki ther King Jr. Meetings with Ahagon and other Okinawan peace campaigners cemented in Nelson a strong sense of out ipated in demonstrations against the bases and railed against the authorities violent treatment of peaceful protesters. took Nelson on a hike into the hills of Gifu Prefecture to pick wild mushrooms; the veteran suddenly grew fearful no-go zone. mentally drained. hard for him to constantly return to combat in the jun gles. agnosed him with multiple myelomaa form of bone marrow cancerthat Nelson believed had been sparked by exposure to Agent Orange in the jungles of Vietnam. it became clear that VA processing would take too long. son in his hospital bed. But the cancer was already too far advanced and on he had felt at peace in JapanKousenbou Temple in Although their collection couldnt help Nelsons condi ensure that the former Marines legacy would survive. In keeping with his belief that education was key for tablished the Allen Nelson Fund to assist impoverished students in Vietnam. parent families. Nelsons message also survives with those who knew him the best. keep opposing the destruction of the constitution and build peace alongside us. problems.Marines Message continued from page 24 Great March of Return continued from page 1 strategy because it destroys the the occupation stands. It demands continuous dedication minimizing harm to our people.A Palestinian girl during clashes with Israeli security forces at tents protest where Palestinians demand the right to return to their homeland, in east of Gaza City on April 20, 2018. Photo: Atia Darwish/APA images.


20 By Marjorie CohnA powerful economic incentive continues to drive stock values of all major defense contractorsincluding clearization with a Nuclear Posture Review that steers the United States toward developing leaner and meaner nukes and lowers the threshold for using them. The United States has allocated $1.7 trillion to stream nuclear disarmament. wealth Financial Network has argued. That makes war tial growth stories recently has been North Korea. What tional weapons also cut against the promise of peace on that South Korea is one of the largest importers of con ventional weapons from the United States. If North and South Korea achieve a lasting and stable peace regime expert George Ferguson. If North Korea turns from a there are still enough trouble spots that require strong at prime defense contractors. United States Lags Behind on Denuclearization ratifying countries never under any circumstances to de sess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explo threat to use nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices. Fifty countries must ratify the treaty for it to enter into ted the treaty negotiations and the voting. North Ko voted for the treaty. Korean-American organizations and allies signed a only eliminating North Koreas nuclear weapons but peninsula. This is not North Koreas obligation alone. past introduced and deployed close to one thousand tactical nuclear weapons in the southern half of the nuclear-free peninsula. Prospects for Denuclearization The jury is out on whether the statement signed by Trump and Kim after months of hurling incendiary nu clear threats at each other will prevent future nuclear threats and pave the way for global denuclearization. mentous agreement between South Korea and North declared before the 80 million Korean people and the whole world that there will be no more war on the Ko rean Peninsula and thus a new era of peace has begun. to work towards complete denuclearization of the Ko rean Peninsula. and before Trump anointed John Bolton as national se would not deter North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons. relinquished his nuclear weapons and was then viciously murderednearly derailed the summit. Bolton cynically hoped the summit would provide a way to foreshorten the amount of time that were going to waste in negotia tions that will never produce the result we want. up in this way to please the John Bolton neocon wing as War II for all countries of the world in the U.N. Charter. thing his predecessorsparticularly his nemesis Barack landing in the United States after the summit. Five min War with North Korea. President Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most dangerous problem. No longersleep well tonight. thatin a sideways fashionTrump was correct when he tweeted there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea: which has been frantically building a nuclear capabil ity to act as a deterrent against U.S. aggression. If the Korea will have no motive to threaten the United States with retaliation. The United States never faced any nuclear threat until we forced the Soviet Union to aggression. meet with the leader of North Korea. Trump showed Kim made a major commitment to peace. We should ap with Irans leaders as well. South Korean missiles: If a lasting peace is achieved in the Korean Peninsula, the market for U.S. weapons could dry up. North Korea Agreed to Denuclearize, But When Will the United States? a nuclear capability to act as a deterrent continued on next page


21By Gerry Condon Veterans For Peace is absolutely delighted that peace is breaking out on the Korean Peninsula. We congratulate courageously. The joint statement from the historic summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un is a hope ful departure from hostile relations between the United ing nuclear war. The world can breathe much easier today. President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un agreed on four basic points: dance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity; peace regime on the Korean Peninsula; nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula; and The joint communiqu also states that President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the dent Trump surprised many by announcing a suspension expensive and provocative. This much needed step rea and around the world. rean Peninsula is being met with widespread skepti Trump from withdrawing U.S. troops from South Korea. This is perhaps just a taste of what is in store. North Korea had unilaterally provided all the security who complain that President Trump has given much but gained nothing. Skeptics who claim the agreement is lacking in sub stance do not appear to want peace at all. Are they more work remains to be done. These negotiations will take rean Peninsula will take years. The U.S. peace movement has played an admirable role in building support for a peace agreement with North Ko ans For Peace helped to write and distribute the Peoples tens of thousands of people in the United States. Women women. Well-informed voices for peace have succeeded in breaking through into the mainstream media. We share in this victory. We pause to celebrate. But we know our work is cut out for us. If this historic opportunity Veterans have a special role to play. We must remind our friends and neighbors of the millions who died in the Korean War70 percent of them civilians. The Korean people have been waiting a long time for peace. We will continue to call for the withdrawal of our sons and daugh sign a peace treaty formally ending the Korean War. United States is intervening overtly and covertly in many have nothing to do with the legitimate security needs of the people of the United States; they are fought by poor ing for peace on the Korean Peninsula is quite startling. We must also push for the United States to be at peace must demand the withdrawal of U.S. occupation forces and the closure of U.S. military outposts around the world. We must push for the de-nuclearization of the en The Korean people are showing us that peace really is possible. If the people of the United States and Korea per for world peace. We can start by talking with our neigh litical representatives. Tell them that we want peace. Peace The joint agreement signed by the two leaders in Sin step in a process of rapprochement between two countries at the post-summit press conference that the United States would suspend its very provocative war games. Trump also announced a freeze on any new U.S. sanc tions against North Korea and indicated that the United States could lift the current harsh sanctions even before accomplishing total denuclearization. Kim promised to halt nuclear testing and destroy a testing site for ballistic missile engines. that will eliminate the unimaginable threat of nuclear war. edition of her book, Progress for Peace in Korea Veterans For Peace members at the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Memorial Day. Photo: Ellen Davidson.Denuclearization continued from previous page


22 By Douglas LummisThe reasons for abandoning construc tion of the new U.S. Marine Corps Air are many. It tramples on the Okinawan peoples antiwar sensibilities; it places an unequal burden on Okinawa compared to mainland Japan and is therefore discrimi natory; it will cause more accidents and crimes victimizing Okinawans; it will den in Oura Bay (much of which is to be species considered sacred by Okinawans; it can only be done by overriding the peo ples will with massive riot police force. If increasingly discussed at the protest site and in the newspapers. The reasons for entertaining this doubt to bear the weight of the airstrip-length block of concrete they plan to set down there. Among the protesters are several planations. Much of Okinawas bedrock that would make poor foundation for an airport. To people who argue that surely the governments engineers know how side engineers point out that Kansai In is slowly sinking; every day trucks bring buildings are kept level with jacks. A fur ther problem: Okinawas bedrock is laced with limestone caves. If there are any place to put an airport. Recently one of our engineers obtained had not shared with the media. While much of the testing is done by bringing up port describes the results of the Standard out using a rig somewhat like a small pile driver. An iron tube is lowered to the sea bottom; it is attached to a rigid pole long enough to extend above sea level. An iron the number of blows required to drive the tube down six inches is recorded. This several places under the airstrip site the weight didnt need the hammer: when it reached what looked like the sea bottom it just kept on going to the six-inch mark and beyond. The sea bottom there was given an N-value of 0. To give the protesters neer suggested they imagine a sea bottom on sea bottoms from mainland Japan of fered a correction: not tofu: mayonnaise. buzzword at the protest site. We are told that in some places this mayonnaise with a small Veterans For Peace delega ing engineers. I told him I had heard two naise sea bottom would make construc possible but would require new permits is true. When the sea bottom is unsta But the construction permit under which he is unlikely to grant. This is one reason the government of conversative Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is anxious to defeat Governor Onaga Takeshi in the election tary Base Problem Council that (assum operation would delay construction for another two to three years. There is more. Seismologists have found two active earthquake faults di rectly under the construction site. That might be a gamble worth taking if it were a matter simply of providing aircraft is a former nuclear weapons ammunition upgraded so as again to be used to store nuclear weapons for the new airbase. Try to imagine a project more insane than putting a nuclear weapons storage site on top of an active earthquake fault. In the Okinawa protest movement these issues are much discussed. Its not just a matter of engineering science. Okinawans tend to talk about their land as a sentient being. Many have the feeling that not only jecting the construction of the new base. Many remember how the anti-U.S. base movement in the Philippines was sup Clark and Subic Bay bases. So with apol in slime. of time, fault halt professor at Tsuda College in Tokyo, and the cities and countryside. I dug deeper and learned that ecosocial ism was not merely an abstract conjecture dreamed up by Joel Kovel and Michael living movement with ancestral roots and South. Joel Kovel was no armchair theo rist. Since that time we have worked in these ecosocialist movements of the Third and Fourth Worlds with those of us be awakening our dreams through conver and a radio show. This work culminated last year in Venezuela with the foundation lowed by a U.S. tour organized by its ad its seeds. Joel passed away from this world on the Beginning of the World for Truthout, Telesur, Counterpunch, and On a Firm Foundation of MayonnaiseJoel Kovel continued from page 12 Construction of the new U.S. Marine airstrip in Oura Bay involves dumping millions of tons of rock onto an ocean oor that may be unable to support it.. Photo: Tarak Kauff.


23 By Tarak Kauff on the altar of war by the Japanese. delegation with longtime activists Bruce nawan people to rid their island of the dominating U.S. military presence that has lasted nearly three-quarters of a century. launch air strikes against North Korea dur with the crime and violence that all U.S. olent acts such as rape and murder. a majority of whom want all U.S. bases cent of Okinawann land; U.S. military per Agent Orange that was buried in rusting claimed by the U.S. and Japanese govern again at a front line risk in any war. But the key issue for the last 14 years has been the proposed transfer of Futenma the world due to its placement in a densely noko. The new base is being built in the pristine waters of Oura Bay and will de stroy the natural habitat of many endan and allies from mainland Japan and around the world have been blocking the construc tion gates at U.S. Marine Camp Schwab stopping the construction process. Camp Schwab gates with hundreds of protesters resolutely blocking the gates and the long line of construction trucks even before they arrive at the gates. imported from the mainland. Many of them are heavily muscled and many are rumored to be experts in martial arts. It is not easy work for the Japanese police to criplined and are not intentionally abu is. There are exceptions: A woman had three ribs and a collarbone broken while wasnt too long ago that they were a fascist some of the powerful words and emotions expressed by the peopleand it seems that can be seen in many of the police faces. rehensible duty they are ordered to perform. Witnessing the Okinawans struggle to rid themselves of the U.S. and Japa nese military yoke choking their land and their inalienable right to self-determina their island but beyond that represents the greatest global threat to continued life on this planet. As a veteran who was once and support others who are resisting. The Okinawans accept us with open leader in the Okinawa VFP chapter (VFP sometimes very serious way as I know he takes the liberty as a dear friend and com re-enforce what we say. nonviolent resistance peace does not seem even joyful time. Remembering the words through nonviolent means is neither ab surd nor unattainable. Those of us who believe in this method can be voices of rea One of our days started with a short ride on a glass bottom boat to see some of the corral that will be destroyed along with tons of rocks and gravel being brought in by the trucks. And what for? To accom runways into this pristine bay for war lice to clear the space so the trucks could in about an hour. The protesters were also discussing new strategies to counter this Its like a chess game. up the road in the direction they would be coming and waited. When the trucks blocking what soon became a long line of trucks as far as the eye could see. We managed to hold the trucks up for maybe an additional hour before the Japa nese police got there and removed us. We were careful not to get arrested for a num because the organizers did not want any more arrests. A Buddhist monk translated. I cant re member everything I said but I tried to speak from my heart and pointed out that by the U.S. and Japanese governments and the U.S. military to enforce the will of and wars. I said we are inspired by the U.S. occupation of their island. The crowd seemed to approve enthusiastically of ev ery statement. I also apologized from my heart to these wonderful people for all the had caused them. I promised that Veterans For Peace would always stand in solidarity with them and that we would return again and again to join them in the struggle. Peace in Our Times and the coordinator Okinawan Anti-Base Activists Are in for the Long Haul Doug Lummis and Dud Hendrick block the construction gate at Camp Schwab. Photo: Tarak Kauff. Tarak Kauff: I dont think this man liked what he had to do. Never saw him manhandle anyone. Photo: Tarak Kauff.


24 By Jon Mitchell was under U.S. control and functioned as its springboard for the war in Vietnam. recruits spent their days practising guer called drunken U.S. Marines beating taxi drivers and bar workers unconscious: leave our violence on military bases. We bring our violence into towns with us. The next time Nelson visited Okinawa U.S. military presence on the island was unjust and the bases should be closed immediately. What had happened in those interven ing years to transform Nelsons stance so profoundly has been explored in numer largely unknown in his home country. father was absent and his mother raised Nelson and his four sisters in poverty; of ten there was not enough money for food and Nelson shared shoes with his sisters. drawn to one of the few places that guar anteed a steady income to undereducated black males: the U.S. military. Marines. Following his training in the have prepared him. Nelson killed Viet namese soldiers and saw his comrades explosion and he participated in at least one execution of a prisoner. What especially seared Nelsons mem vilian dead into pilessometimes with surviving children clinging to their moth ers corpses. the U.S. Marines. After returning to civil to peace time: the military had taught him less and it was only after years of counsel ing that he could begin to accept what he had experienced in combat. part in demonstrations against overseas U.S. intervention and he led campaigns to oppose military recruitment in schools. news that three U.S. service membersin The news shocked Allen both as a for mer Marine and a father. What also sur prised him was the fact that U.S. bases theyd all been closed after the end of friend and long-time supporter of Nelson. talks about his service in the military. time to learn about how Americans expe rienced the Vietnam War and what went became a lifelong friend. Allen told us all the ways hed been taught to killand we were very surprised. Nelsons accounts of how Vietnamese civilians bore the brunt of combat also struck a chord with Okinawans whose is land had lost more than a quarter of its residents during World War II. ceived that word of his eloquence soon spread to mainland Japan. Upon his return to come back and give lectures throughout its during which he racked up more than temples and community centers. Nelsons visits punctuated a tumultuous time in Japanese politics with many simi to start construction of a new U.S. base at protests on land and sea. The government also tried to foist a more assertive inter Forcesparticularly in the Iraq War where tion. As with Prime Minister Shinzo Abes current ploy to reinterpret the role of the by many critics as attempts to undermine nounces the use of military force. Nelson was an ardent supporter of Arti becoming embroiled in misguided U.S.he told the audience of Japanese high school students: the world says that their land was bombed by Japanese bombers or their towns and villages were burned by Japanese troops; no one says that their children were killed or hurt by Japanese soldiers. In this sense people but also millions of other people. children often asked questions that adults in the jungle? they understand war from the bottom up; mind. But we cant understand the horror In order to cap such painful discussions plished guitaristoften ended his talks with a spiritual song such as Amazing Grace. These talks gradually made Nelson a was invited to give lecturesas well as in a special place in his heart. According poverty and history of Tokyo-backed discrimination mirrored his own experi ences as an AfricanAmerican. Marines Message Lives on in Okinawa and Vietnam Nelson recalled. continued on page 19 Former U.S. Marine Allen Nelson.