|RESIST! CODE PINK, IRAQ, ISIS, SYRIA, WARS AND MILITARISM |
By Staff, www.PopularResistance.org
September 17th, 2014
John Kerry's condescending rant last week, in response to CodePink's protest, did little more than prove him to be the jerk most of us on the Left knew him to be....
"I understand dissent. I lived it," says the pompous Kerry.
Obviously not; Or he forgot.
Veterans Against War and Winter Soldier
John Kerry was cheered as a hero for the "cause" in 1971, when, as a member of VVAW or the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (joined in early 1970 and left in 1972), he took testimonies from the first Winter Soldier, held by the VVAW, to DC and spoke as an invited witness giving testimony in front of the Senate Committee of Foreign Relations, Fulbright Hearings of 1971..
From those hearings...
From the transcript:
I would like to talk, representing all those veterans, and say that several months ago in Detroit, we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged and many very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command....
They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.
We call this investigation the "Winter Soldier Investigation." The term "Winter Soldier" is a play on words of Thomas Paine in 1776 when he spoke of the Sunshine Patriot and summertime soldiers who deserted at Valley Forge because the going was rough.
We who have come here to Washington have come here because we f eel we have to be winter soldiers now. We could come back to this country; we could be quiet; we could hold our silence; we could not tell what went on in Vietnam, but we feel because of what threatens this country, the fact that the crimes threaten it, not reds, and not redcoats but the crimes which we are committing that threaten it, that we have to speak out.
John Kerry observed the Winter Soldier Hearings, hearing the horror of Vietnam through testimonials of those veterans; hearing first hand accounts of the evils committed under arrogant, war-mongering old men ordering young men and women (for there were plenty of women sent to VietNam), into a foreign land - into another nation's civil war - in order to wreck havoc on the land, maim and murder, destroy villages for "pacification," torture and rape men, women and children, for "freedom", "national security" and to stop "them" from coming "here."
Kerry testified as to the absurdity of that mission. The testimonies from Winter Soldier were read into the record of those hearings.
30 years later, in 2001, Senator John Kerry voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force, SJ Res. 23. Upon signing to law, the Bush Administration used that law to justify attacking Afghanistan, spying on Americans and opening Guantanamo Bay Detention Center.
In October, 2002, Senator John Kerry voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 - the law that declared war on Iraq. Since that time, he has tried to deny his support for those wars but he cannot rewrite history or the Congressional record.
In 2004, Iraq Veterans Against the War was founded. It's members include..."recent veterans and active duty servicemen and women who have served since September 11, 2001 in any branch of U.S. Military Service, National Guard, or Reserve." In 2008, they convened a new Winter Soldier - their testimonies are just as horrific....
John Kerry never bothered to testify in a Congressional hearing against this war - testify to the absurdity of this mission. Instead he tried to deny his support for the war.
In 2014, Secretary John Kerry is now part of the agenda of arrogant, war-mongering old men ordering young men and women into a foreign land - into another nation's civil war - in order to wreck havoc on the land, maim and murder, for "freedom", "national security" and to stop "them" from coming "here" (but mostly for profit and Empire).
CodePink Women of Peace
CodePink - strong women and the men who support strong women - is against War; ALL War.
Pink Action Principles
CODEPINK Mission Statement:
CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end U.S. funded wars and occupations, to challenge militarism globally, and to redirect our resources into health care, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities.
The following are suggested local group agreements for you to discuss, adapt as needed, and agree to at your first meeting.
We will keep the following agreements present in our organizing:
1. Nonviolence: We are committed to peace, which means both when executing our action(s) AND within our internal structure and relationships.
2. Clear Goals: We will define CODEPINK's unique niche in our community (creative protest, cultivating women's voices, etc.) and set attainable goals for local projects that will further CODEPINK's peace mission.
3. Communication, Respect, and Integrity: We avow to not let disagreements, hurt feelings, or disappointments, get in the way of our important peace work, and will instead view these challenges as opportunities to practice peaceful and productive communication with each other. We will keep our criticisms concise, specific, constructive and focused on future improvement.
4. Responsibility and Teamwork: We work as a team, with activists willing to bottom-line, coordinate, and facilitate actions. We won't let all the responsibility repeatedly fall on one person, and we will not allow ourselves to assume all the responsibility for an action—instead we'll delegate tasks, take on organizing roles, and rotate our leadership positions. We agree to be responsible for something only when we're 100% sure we are going to do it.
5. Diversity and Tolerance: We embrace feminist principals of cooperation, problem-solving, critical thinking, compassion, analysis and processing. We will speak up against racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ageism, and other forms of oppression and prejudice. We will work towards a deeper understanding of our own power and privileges, and seek to cultivate a diverse local group with connections to the array of social justice groups in our cities. We highly recommend that every activist read this piece about recognizing privilege, entitled "Unpacking the Invisible Backpack": www.uakron.edu/centers/conflict/docs/whitepriv.pdf
6. Resource Sharing: CODEPINK does not require official affiliation or traditional “membership” to speak, act, or protest with us. Anyone who is acting for peace can be CODEPINK! Our logos, photos, and the downloadable resources on our website are free for local groups to use. Central staff can help send email alerts and provide local contact info for local organizers. The central website offers local webpages to groups. Our ideas and campaigns are freely available to any peace or justice group that wishes to adapt our tactics for their use. Local groups can endorse or cosponsor local events in the name of their local CODEPINK group without seeking permission from the central staff. Local groups are autonomous and are invited to take on national campaigns as appropriate or interested. We are a grassroots movement with a central organizing team.
7. Appreciation and Caring: We will support each other to take risks and take on key roles in organizing actions, and cultivate a spirit of sustainable activism to prevent burnout. Support may include delegating work into small portions, providing childcare or encouraging mothers to bring their children to meetings and actions, taking on realizable projects, providing new activist trainings, and modeling healthy civic engagement and personal time. We will build a culture of appreciation, thanking and valuing all the work that people put into our actions and local group, awarding pink badges of courage, and acknowledging donations, cosponsors, and support.
8. Messaging: We will work to make the messages on our banners, flyers, and public statements clear and potent. We will do everything possible to ensure positive media coverage -- for example, doing press releases, press calls, press liaison at events, talking points for participants, media trainings for group, etc.
9. Global Community: CODEPINK's work to end the war in Iraq is created by over 250 local groups in the US, and over a dozen international groups. The solidarity between CODEPINK sisters in the US and overseas strengthens our work. International pressure and raising awareness globally about US militarization is integral to ending the Iraq war. We will ensure that our campaigns can, when possible, speak to domestic and global tactics for ending the war.
10. Long Term Vision: We are in this for the long haul—we know that the US occupation of Iraq will not end until all the troops come home and successful rebuilding of Iraq has begun, as well as the healing of the returning soldiers and the Iraqi people. In the words of CODEPINK Cofounder Medea Benjamin, “Activism is good for our health and spirits—it keeps us engaged, active, upbeat, and passionate. It's no fun being depressed alone. Ending war may take a long time, and we can use that time to inspire ourselves and each other with positive, creative actions that embody the world we want to see!”
Respect each other
Take a risk—try work that is new for you (if you usually make press calls, try painting a banner).
Be flexible. Be willing to change.
Cultivate sisterhood and teamwork.
Commit to nonviolent communication and action.
Build relationships—within your group, with allies, funders, and opponents.
Don't give up.
Start where people are, not where you want them to be.
Clarify what you want to achieve.
Create beauty and share it.
Remember to check egos at the door of the community.
These are suggested agreements that local groups are invited to adapt or choose to use as they see fit. If you have suggestions for additional or revised agreements, please email your thoughts to locals[at]codepinkalert.org.
As for the current perpetuation of perpetual war, from CodePink's, "Why We Shouldn’t Attack Syria":
THE CHOICE IS NOT WAR OR NOTHING – WE HAVE OTHER OPTIONS
- We can call for a second UN weapons inspection team, to determine who was responsible for the chemical weapons attack.
- We can recommend that whoever is found responsible be brought to justice at the International Criminal Court, understanding that timing of such indictments might require adjustment to take into account ceasefire negotiations in Syria.
- The US (maybe with Russia) can call for a meeting of the signers of the Convention Against Chemical Weapons – to decide collectively how to respond.
- Most important, we must urgently to help end the war in Syria, starting with a ceasefire and arms embargo on all sides. Russia, Iran, and others must stop arming and funding the Syrian regime. Washington, Saudi Arabia and other US allies must stop arming and funding the armed Syrian opposition. Washington may have to threaten the Saudis and Qataris that if they don’t stop, we will cancel all existing weapons contracts with them.MILITARY STRIKES ARE ILLEGAL
- International law, the UN Charter, allows military action only in two cases – immediate self-defense or authorization by the Security Council.
- Syria hasn’t attacked or threatened the U.S., so there’s no self-defense claim. And the Security Council hasn’t authorized force, and likely won’t. The UN Charter deliberately makes it really hard to get all the major powers to agree on going to war.
- U.S. law says only Congress can declare war – President Obama has asked Congress for approval, but claims he has the right to go ahead even if they vote no. That would violate the Constitution – and with or without Congressional approval, a military strike would still violate international law.MILITARY STRIKES ARE IMMORAL
- Military strikes threaten harm to Syrian civilians – the Pentagon admits cruise missiles aren’t always accurate. And the Syrian government is reportedly moving more military offices to populated areas, increasing the likelihood of civilian casualties.
- The Obama administration admits its planned “limited surgical strikes” won’t do anything to bring the horrifying Syrian civil war to an end any quicker.MILITARY STRIKES ARE DANGEROUS
- Military action will increase the levels of violence and instability inside Syria, within the region, and potentially even globally.
- Extremist forces in the region have the most to gain from military strikes, which will use the direct US involvement as a recruitment tool and potential target.
- Syrian civilians could face greater repression by the government in retaliation for US military strikes, as happened in Kosovo in 1999 when many more Kosovars were thrown out of their homes after the US/NATO bombing began.
- Military strikes could fuel escalation of all five wars underway in Syria: the civil war, the regional power war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the global war of words between the US and Russia, the sectarian war between Shi’a and Sunnis, and the war over nuclear policy between the US/Israel and Iran – all now being fought to the last Syrian.WHAT HAPPENS THE DAY AFTER?
- If Syria retaliates against US troops or ships, or US bases in neighboring countries, or Israel, it is almost certain the US response would risk regional escalation and a dramatic expansion of US involvement in Syria’s civil war.Adapted from “Striking Syria: Illegal, Immoral, and Dangerous” by Phyllis Bennis on Aljazeera
CodePink confronts the war-mongering paradigm and will not be silenced by arrogant, war-mongering old men ordering young men and women into foreign lands in order to wreck havoc on the land, maim and murder, for "freedom", "national security" and to stop "them" from coming "here" (but mostly for profit and Empire).
CodePink is not alone in this confrontation. The US has other intelligent and knowledgeable people shouting the same thing to include war veterans and their supporters who know the horror and stupidity of the perpetual warring for profit and for Empire.
MISSION, VALUES, AND VISION
Our MissionWe work to build a service-member and veteran led movement that ends militarism by transforming ourselves, military culture and American society.
Our Values1. We value leadership and act with honesty and integrity to build mutual trust.
Leadership development forms the basis of our organizing model. We build our own personal power through transformation and growth as competent leaders, thereby building the power of our organization and movement. We work together from a place of honesty, communicating openly with sincerity and candor. We operate with integrity, holding ourselves accountable and creating mutual trust—the glue that holds our community together.
2. We value our community, treating everyone with dignity and respect.
We are not simply an organization. We function as a community built by our collective experiences as Global War on Terror veterans. As former and current members of the armed forces, we know the values currently underpinning American military culture dehumanize our so-called enemies, as well as ourselves. Everyone deserves dignity and respect; we recognize the humanity of all people.
3. We value solidarity and seek justice with compassion for all those affected by U.S. wars and militarism.
We share common human interests with all those affected by war and militarism. We understand militarism as a value system that prioritizes aggression, violence, and regimentation throughout many sectors of our society. We know that our own transformation is tied to the transformation of those we impact through war. Compassion guides us as we seek transformative justice and build solidarity with those affected by U.S. military intervention.
Our VisionWe strive for a world free of unjust war—a world without the political and economic conditions allowing militarism to exist, and without structural forces pushing our youth, our poor and those facing incarceration into the military; We strive for a society that prioritizes care for its warriors—where all who serve receive adequate benefits and the highest standard of compassionate care regardless of discharge status; We strive for a society that holds political leaders, profiteers, and war criminals accountable for the consequences of their actions; We strive for a political and military culture that embraces full human rights for service-members, veterans and all people; We strive for a political culture that prioritizes nonviolence, open communication, and democratic decision-making over militarism—a culture committed to building peace and preserving life, solving international conflicts through diplomacy and alternative conflict resolution; We strive for a political culture that acknowledges our nation’s moral responsibilities to the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, and all civilians adversely affected by U.S. military intervention. The United States must fully accept guidance from these affected peoples and provide support they find valuable; Finally, we endeavor for our movement to be an ally to the oppressed—a community connected in solidarity with war torn peoples, working across differences for reconciliation, mutual healing and collective liberation
and on Syria, from August 29, 2013:
IVAW'S STATEMENT AGAINST MILITARY FORCE IN SYRIApublished by IVAW National on 08/29/13 7:14pmposted to: Staff
On August 23rd, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addressed the suspected use of chemical weapons by Bashar al-Assad, and a proposed military response. In his remarks to the nation, Secretary Kerry condemned the use of chemical weapons, calling it a “moral obscenity.” Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) agrees. We believe that US military action in Syria is also obscene. Our vision includes building a movement that is “an ally to the oppressed—a community connected in solidarity with war torn peoples,” including the people of Syria.
We condemn the use of chemical weapons, not only against civilians, but against all peoples in all nations. We know intimately that chemical weapons indiscriminately harm, maim, and kill, while causing long-term health problems and environmental destruction.
As veterans of the Global War On Terror, we are acutely aware that these sorts of indiscriminate and inhumane weapons have comprised our own arsenals throughout history, and that we inherit this legacy. America’s atomic bombs, napalm, and agent orange have killed millions of innocent civilians. For strategic gain, the U.S. actively supported Saddam Hussein while knowing that he was simultaneously using chemical weapons in the Iran-Iraq War. Nevertheless, we were called upon to deploy to Iraq under the false pretense that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.
In Iraq and Afghanistan, we were party to America’s introduction of white phosphorus and depleted uranium and know all too well their disastrous legacy on the people of those countries. We continue to watch our veteran brothers and sisters die of cancer from exposure to these and other substances employed on the battlefield. As veterans, we cannot help but recognize the glaring hypocrisy of America’s leaders as they demand immediate military action against any country that uses chemical weapons.
Our condemnation of chemical weapons is also based on the principle that military violence against civilians by any means is wrong. Whether through Assad’s artillery—or through American bombs, bullets, Tomahawk missiles, and drones—killing civilians for military and strategic gain violates international law and basic human decency.
Many of us are Iraq veterans and know what sacrifices have been made in the name of fighting against illegal weapons, only to find that the justification was a lie. We implore our leaders not to follow the mistakes that led to the Iraq war by violating national and international legal conventions.
But beyond law, the use of military force in Syria would be reckless, dangerous, and morally wrong. It will destabilize the conflict and lead to further civilian casualties. As Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, we have also seen how narrow military actions have devolved into invasions and occupations.
So long as non-military avenues exist, we demand their use before war. According to current opinion-polls, the majority of Americans share our deep opposition to military intervention. As veterans, we know all too well the limitations of military action to bring meaningful resolution, and this is why we now call upon the U.S. and international community to exhaust every available non-military option to ensure that a cease-fire is diplomatically secured in Syria. We firmly believe that the Syrian people have the right to self-determination and that international leaders should work tirelessly to secure a space within which the Syrian people can pursue a lasting reconciliation free of outside interference.
And from John Kerry's former brothers (for the 2 years he was a member), the VVAW:
VVAW: Where We Came From, Who We Are
Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Inc. (VVAW) is a national veterans' organization that was founded in New York City in 1967 after six Vietnam vets marched together in a peace demonstration. It was organized to voice the growing opposition among returning servicemen and women to the still-raging war in Indochina, and grew rapidly to a membership of over 30,000 throughout the United States as well as active duty GIs stationed in Vietnam. Through ongoing actions and grassroots organization, VVAW exposed the ugly truth about US involvement in Southeast Asia and our first-hand experiences helped many other Americans to see the unjust nature of that war.
VVAW quickly took up the struggle for the rights and needs of veterans. In 1970, we started the first rap groups to deal with traumatic after-effects of war, setting the example for readjustment counselling at Vet Centers now. We exposed the shameful neglect of many disabled vets in VA Hospitals and helped draft legislation to improve educational benefits and create job programs. VVAW fought for amnesty for war resisters, including vets with bad discharges. We helped make known the negative health effects of exposure to chemical defoliants and the VA's attempts to cover-up these conditions as well as their continued refusal to provide treatment and compensation for many Agent Orange Victims.
Today our government is still financing and arming undemocratic and repressive regimes around the world. Recently, American troops have been sent into combat in the Middle East and Central America, for many of the same misguided reasons that were used to send us to Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, many veterans are still denied justice -- facing unemployment, discrimination, homelessness, post-traumatic stress disorder and other health problems, while already inadequate services are being cut back or eliminated.
We believe that service to our country and communities did not end when we were discharged. We remain committed to the struggle for peace and for social and economic justice for all people. We will continue to oppose senseless military adventures and to teach the real lessons of the Vietnam War. We will do all we can to prevent another generation from being put through a similar tragedy and we will continue to demand dignity and respect for veterans of all eras. This is real patriotism and we remain true to our mission. JOIN US!
On war and, more recently, the War on a noun ("War On Terror"):
What We Know and When We Know It
By Meg Miner[originally published in THE VETERAN, Spring 2012 (Volume 42, Number 1)]
"They should have known better," said the Vietnam War vet to the Gulf War vet. "I feel bad for what they're going through, but after this long they should have known what they were getting into."
I was calling to request support for IVAW's Operation Recovery. I hate phone banking, but here I was cold-calling a list of VVAW members halfway across the country on behalf of the latest generation reeling from the effects of "defending" American ideology.
"They should have known better." It knocked the wind out of me. He meant that they had volunteered, not been drafted like his generation. Or maybe he meant that after years of anti-war work, this generation should not have been fooled. They must have understood the stakes.
With very little further discussion he did agree to a few ways he would help the group but his words stayed with me. In my mind, the accusation became "I should have known better." My career spanned over a decade before our first war in the Gulf region and only a handful of years afterwards. I voluntarily enlisted in 1979 at age 18. Why hadn't I learned from Vietnam? After enlistment, why hadn't bearing witness to the routine violence of military culture been enough to turn me against it? I was sheltered from the struggle VVAW was going through by the culture you readers of The Veteran were working to change. It took becoming a student, in college and through self-education, not actual combat, for me to start seeing our militarized country clearly.
But that's not the thought that came to mind on phone banking day. Quickly the thought came, "He's right." I've been a VVAW member for a little under a decade. I stood on street corners with like-minded peace advocates in my community even before that, starting out right after the suicide bombers ignited America's fuse in 2001. First daily, then weekly, then monthly, we braced against the insults hurled by other citizens, adults and teens alike, for taking a stand against the prevailing winds of war words. Odds are good that some of these same smart-mouthed teens marched off to our recent wars.
It seems to take a deep sense of self and personal courage to stand up in the face our country's thirst for vengeance. Or maybe it takes the kind of wisdom that comes with hindsight...with the pile of debris that remains when our personal ideological towers fall.
Ribbons tied, care packages sent, tours rotated. How many now-grieving families of the dead and suffering ever thought one thing that countered the flag-waving masses? How many of today's young veterans were like the mocking teens in my community? And how many have come back and started protesting? And now, many are part of IVAW's efforts to secure needed services for their generation of vets. Isn't that what VVAW members did before them?
It's been awhile since the concept of an economic draft was raised, but even when it was being talked about it wasn't a new idea. That's the trick that got me to enlist. A steady paycheck is all it took to buy my loyalty. Oh how times have changed! An indebted college senior I work with recently told me he'd talked to a recruiter. When he graduates he'll be a nurse and he was offered an Air Force commission AND $40,000 to sign on for a four year hitch. What obscene temptations we taxpayers support. Their effectiveness should not be surprising!
I talked to this young man for a long time about what the military might want in return for that 40K, but I don't know him well enough to know what he'll decide. Should he know better? What 20-something doesn't think mortality is the thing that happens to other people? What young American hasn't been brought up with a sense of a birth right to invincibility?
With the blood spilled, treasure gone, minds and lives strewn in the wreckage of this never-ending War on Terror, I wish I would have told my phone call recipient, "We should ALL have known better." DOD receives astronomical budgets and devotes more resources than seem believable on slick multi-media enticements. On the other hand, American communities hold diminishing economic opportunities for our youth who too often come from school systems that languish on thin budgetsÑthat must teach to tests and not to enhance the power of thought. Movies, music, games, news, religion, politics...all support the glories of war and the infallibility of American actions. What person stands a chance against the economical and psychological forces that assault us all daily?
Yes, we should know better, but we never do. The question to face is, can we swallow our own disappointment long enough to help make sure this generation of vets will be there for the inevitable generations to come? I didn't find VVAW right away, but the steady voices of VVAW members in my community during the run up to our invasion of Iraq helped me find confidence in my veteran's voice.
Growing up in America doesn't equip the majority of us to reason through alternatives to the party line. I support IVAW because I'm willing to work with anyone who figures out the Big Lie of our peace-loving nation no matter when or how they get there.
Meg Miner retired from the Air Force in 1995 and became a librarian in 2001.
And on Syria:
The Cowardice of PowerBy Fred Samia
Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time: the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation.
—Martin Luther King Jr.Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Stockholm, Sweden, 1964
As President Obama celebrates the 50th anniversary of the great peace march on Washington with tributes to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, he simultaneously contemplates an attack on the people of Syria which according to international law would be illegal. As a combat veteran of the Vietnam war, a registered independent who voted for Barack Obama, and an American journalist of Syrian ancestry who has lived and worked in the Middle East, I urge our government not to attack or join in any attack on the people of Syria. It will be the people of Syria, already paying a terrible toll in that fratricide, that will suffer under the missiles and bombs. Having witnessed first hand collateral damage in Vietnam and Lebanon, I can attest that such weapons will never be "smart." Rather, they miss their targets with predictable and horrible consequences. I also saw in person and reported on the repression and fear that Hafez Al-Assad, the father of Syria's current president, instilled in that country's citizens.
The waywardness of the technology aside, President Obama also risks trampling whatever moral rectitude the United States has left in its foreign policy bag. He, and especially Secretary of State John Kerry, himself a Vietnam combat veteran, should know that violence can never stop violence. In the words of singer Holly Near, how does "killing people show that killing people is wrong?" And despite Kerry's impassioned statement on the use of chemical weapons the administration has yet to provide any hard evidence as to who is responsible. Kerry astounds when he rejects out of hand the possibility of an act of provocation, no matter how reprehensible the idea. Has he already forgotten Iraq's non-existent weapons of mass destruction? The American ad agency-scripted "stolen incubators" performance by the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador in front of the UN? The Gulf of Tonkin incident? Or the gassing of Kurds in Halabja, Iraq by Saddam Hussein that the US initially blamed on Iran? Also to be considered is al-Qaeda's infiltration of, and influence on, Syrian rebel groups such as the al-Nusra Front, and what they would gain by an American-led attack on Syria.
Killing more innocents, as is sure to happen with any kind of bombardment, is not the way to bring peace and justice to the Syrian people. Neither is letting the fighting continue unabated. The best solution would be an immediate negotiated ceasefire and multilateral peace talks co-brokered by nations of the West and the Middle East. More than anyone, President Obama and Secretary Kerry should know that we do not have the moral superiority to dictate to another country, and that, like Vietnam, like Iraq and Lebanon, Afghanistan, Libya and Tunisia, the only legacy of a military intervention in Syria will be chaos, heartbreak and more hatred of the United States. Acting from a place of power against the weak or defenseless is not courage but cowardice.
The dissent doesn't end there - not with ANSWER, WarIsACrime and just plain intelligent pacificists on the march (sounds like 1962 to me). We get it.
War and other games mad men play
War is only declared by reptilian brained old men - many of whom had never served in the military; others had never actually experienced the blood of their brothers and sisters as well as the entrails of innocents spread across the land - sitting in Washington, DC. These old warhawks order young men and women to fight in foreign lands; to slaughter innocent men, women and children; to fulfill the far from noble "cause" of killing the latest "evil other," for the profit of Wall Street. It has nothing to do with "right" or "wrong," Old war-mongers only want their investments to go up in value, their campaign contributions to sky-rocket and their masters, of Wall Street, to pat their little heads.
If the attack on Iraq and Syria had anything to do with what was "right," we would be spending the $1 million to $1.6 million per missile (Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles, or TLAMs , are made by Raytheon, one of the oldest and biggest members of the MIC) and $100s of thousands in bombs on humanitarian efforts for the people ($10 million++ a day can buy a lot of humanitarian relief - food, clothing, clean water, shelter)- that is the only way to defeat a group like ISIS. It's not about beating heads and bombing buildings; it is all about winning the hearts and minds of the people, standing for them and not waving the Pentagon's collective limp dick.
ISIS or ISIL is just the latest group of extremists that John Kerry, Senator, and the rest of his cohorts in Congress voting "yes" to war in 2001 and 2002, helped create by supporting the Bush Administration's slaughter in Iraq, in 2002. ISIS was born from the US destabilization of Iraq and the hubris under which it was done, the destruction of infrastructure, communities and resources in Iraq; the disregard for the people of Iraq; and the complete refusal to comprehend the extent of the anger, fear and hostility the US left in its wake. The Bush Administration set up a corrupt Shi'a government, sending arms and money that were used to foment bigotry, genocide and abuse of the Sunni minority in Iraq. The Obama Administration continued the arms supply, backing the corrupt al-Maliki government, who used them to attack Sunnis in Fallujah and other locales in Iraq, ISIS was born of that hate, bigotry, inequality, and hostility.
The fact that the majority of people injured in all wars, never lifted a finger against anyone; the fact of those men, women, children injured, slaughtered and left in the rubble is lost in the blood-lust and dick-waving; The fact that all the pompous rhetoric and fear-mongering does nothing but create more hate and fear, appears to be lost on arrogant, war-mongering old men ordering young men and women into foreign lands in order to wreck havoc on the land, maim and murder, for "freedom", "national security" and to stop "them" from coming "here." (but mostly for profit and Empire).
The idea of humanitarian aid never once crosses war-mongers' minds, but bombs and rockets do every time.
So, when Secretary John Kerry tries to bully CodePink, or any other protest into silence, he will always fail...
Truth will never be silenced.