Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What Does Mike Huckabee Have To Do With the Apocalypse?

(696 words)
by Valerie Saturen

Recent polls show the previously little-known Mike Huckabee now running almost neck-and-neck with GOP front-runner Rudolph Giuliani. Huckabee, who now leads the polls in the key battleground state of Iowa, owes his rising star to a surge of support from evangelicals. Evangelicals, comprising about 25% of Americans, have formed the core Republican voting bloc since the 1970s. While most Americans are aware of the "family values" domestic concerns of this group, fewer understand its foreign policy agenda, which is tied to the powerful, yet little-understood phenomenon of Christian Zionism. Rooted in a literal interpretation of biblical "End Times" prophecy, this ideology carries profound implications for our role in the Middle East, and it is a crucial factor in the 2008 Republican race.
Christian Zionism stems from the belief that the catastrophic events depicted in the biblical Book of Revelation are humanity's literal destiny, and that two-thirds of the Earth's population will perish while the "saved" are "raptured up" to heaven. For Christian Zionists, this catastrophe is a necessary precedent to the Second Coming. This belief is a core part of evangelicalism, gaining unprecedented popularity after September 11 and increased Mideast violence within recent years. Aided by a surge in sales of books such as the best-selling Left Behind series, which portrays Revelation as a modern-day battle between good and evil, the view of Mideast violence as an apocalyptic "sign of the times" is rapidly gaining ground. It is significant that Huckabee recently received an endorsement from Left Behind author Tim LaHaye.
... (for your exclusive consideration of the full text, contact us)

Valerie Saturen is a freelance writer with an M.A. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Arizona. Her thesis addressed Christian Zionism and U.S. Foreign Policy.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


(596 words)

By Larry and Lenna Mae Gara

On December 8, 1941, when President Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan, Montana Republican Jeannette Rankin cast the single negative vote.

“I want to stand by my country,” she said, “but I cannot vote for war."

Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress, was also there in 1917 when she joined forty-nine others in the House and six senators to cast “no” votes against declaring war on Germany. The lifelong pacifist was vilified and hanged in effigy, but years later, President Kennedy included her in his book, Profiles in Courage. Jeannette Rankin was part of a pacifist tradition in American history extending from its beginnings, when Pennsylvania was founded as a haven for Quakers. ... (for exclusive consideration of the full text contact us).

Larry Gara, Emeritus Professor of History at Wilmington College, is the author or editor of six books and numerous scholarly articles. Lenna Mae Gara is a homemaker, writer and editor. They have lived in Wilmington since 1962.

Our Unknown Air War Over Iraq

(590 words)

by Ed Kinane

A key element of the drawdown plans, not mentioned in the President’s public statements, is that the departing American troops will be replaced by American airpower.….The American air war inside Iraq is perhaps the most significant – and underreported – aspect of the fight against the insurgency.

Seymour M. Hersh, “Up in the Air,” Nov. 29, 2005, New Yorker

There’s an air war over Iraq. It’s invisible (here). It’s deadly (there).

The Iraq air war may be the longest such war in history. In one way or another it has been undermining Iraq’s sovereignty, destroying its infrastructure, and killing and maiming its people for over 16 years. And there’s no end in sight.

Despite global pressure to withdraw, Bush Inc. – and indeed the broader US power structure – has no intention of giving up Iraq. The potential oil bonanza is too huge. And Iran – with its oil bonanza – is next door.

That air war is intensifying. The US dropped five times as many bombs in Iraq during the first six months of 2007 as it did in the first half of 2006. As US troops withdraw, the air attacks will multiply.

Terror from the Sky

... (for your exclusive consideration of the full text of this piece contact us).

In March 2003 Kinane was working in Baghdad with the human rights group, Voices in the Wilderness, when the US invaded Iraq. Reach him at

Monday, December 17, 2007

Celebrating A Victory for Freedom

(875 words)
William Loren Katz

This Christmas Eve, the freedom-loving Bush administration has a chance to mark the anniversary of a great victory for formerly oppressed people on U.S. soil. The President is unlikely, however, to notice or heed the meaning of this particular milestone, whose cast of characters and historical lessons he would undoubtedly regard as all wrong.
December 24th, 1837 marks the 170th anniversary of the U.S. government's first significant military defeat in its first foreign incursion. The place was Florida, then a Spanish colony. The foe was a united force of Africans, on the run from the south's slave plantations, and Seminoles, whose self-determination was endangered. The runaway Africans had been establishing prosperous, self-governing communities in the peninsula since 1738. During the American Revolution they merged with Seminole Indians into a multicultural nation that cultivated crops according to techniques learned in Senegambia and Sierra Leone. Out of this came an alliance that shaped effective diplomatic and military responses to invaders and slavecatchers.
... (to consider the full text contact us. You'll have first serial rights if you decide to use it. Just let us know when you will publish it. If you haven't responded after a day, we assume you decided not to use it)
William Loren Katz is the author of BLACK INDIANS: A HIDDEN HERITAGE [Atheneum Publishers] from which this article is adapted. His website is:

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Tragifarce Month 12, Year Five

(375 words)
by David L. Meth

We are told that the surge is working in Iraq. (Until the next surge of suicide attacks and mass murder.) On behalf of the administration, Connecticut Fourth District Republican Congressman Christopher Shays says: "We are starting to establish credibility."

With whom? With the warring tribes in Iraq? With the Iraqi government that we installed in the "election"? With the American citizens and the rest of the world?

Shays then goes on to say that the Iraqis "have decided we were not there for their oil."


(to examine the full text of this concise op-ed contact us. You will have first serial rights if you decide to run it.)

David L. Meth ( is a playwright from Westport, CT who cannot wait for the final curtain on the Bush reign--truly a transnational tragedy.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Letter from India

1,120 words
by Michael True
Driving along the shaded streets of New Delhi, I approached the center of the city with a sense of anticipation. And why not? Although I had arrived there from Boston and elsewhere in India several times before, this time our destination was the Presidential House (Rastrapati Bhavan). Turning into the Rajpath, our driver moved slowly through the traffic and crowds surrounding India Gate, then toward the palace: a 37-acre complex of gardens, fountains, Victorian archways, long corridors, and meeting rooms, designed by the British architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens, in 1929.

We came to a stop at the bottom of the wide steps approaching the massive front entrance. It was a scene recognizable to anyone familiar with Richard Attenborough’s great film Gandhi, 1983, after Gandhi’'s successful nonviolent protest against the British tax on salt in 1930, the Mahatma (Ben Kingsley) walked purposefully up those front steps for a meeting with the British viceroy. The event symbolized a major victory in the long effort to end British rule, with independence 17 years later.

From the parking lot, my friend and I entered a side entrance, through various security posts, to a handsome waiting room, where other guests awaited a meeting with Mrs. Patil, the first woman president of India. After tea and delicious treats, Professor Naresh Dadhich and I were escorted to the president'’s receiving room, where she greeted us cordially. ...
(for your exclusive consideration of this piece contact us. No other publication can access this commentary for 24 hours once you request the full text for your examination).

Michael True is professor emeritus of English, Assumption College, and a world sojourner for peace. He is the author of several books on the literature and power of nonviolence.

The Revolution will not be televised

(550 words)
by David Hazen
The media is focused on the drama and fear of power struggles. The revolution of which I speak is not a power struggle, it has no single leader, and it’s occurring in small group conversations. The ship of fear and control is slowly being abandoned. We are about to witness a cultural leap into fearlessness, and the media will soon lose its influence.

We are no longer victims. We have been empowered to take responsibility for our role in shaping the culture in which we live. We have been gifted with the opportunity to subvert the domination system with the power of imagination. When we imagine ourselves being fearless in genuine relationships with other people, when we escape from the fantasies about how dangerous other people might be --how they need to be controlled, dominated, or even eliminated --there is no struggle, there is only surrender to a wonderful sense of belonging.

When we share our vision of peace in detail with others, we change history so that peace is no longer impossible, it becomes inevitable. In 1982 Milton Friedman said “Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable.” It is like building a birdhouse. When the space is ready, the dove of peace arrives.

... (for your 24-hour exclusive consideration of the full text of this commentary, contact us. If you choose to run this piece you will have first serial rights at no charge to you).

David Hazen ( is Oregon State Coordinator for The Peace Alliance Campaign for a Department of Peace.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Water Boarding: Hiding the Evidence of a Sordid History

790 words
by William Loren Katz
A few days after
New York Times reported [front page December 7,, 2007] that in 2005 the CIA destroyed at least two videotapes that documented its use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods, the Washington Post revealed the CIA in 2002 informed Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and other top legislators about waterboarding. Some politicians urged the CIA on -- and all kept the secret. Waterboarding, official denial that it constitutes torture, and concealment of its use, share a long history.
President George Bush has admitted the United States used “waterboarding” while denying that it's a form of torture, and has repeatedly stated, “America does not torture.” In an October 2006 radio interview on Fargo, North Dakota's WDAY, Vice President Dick Cheney told radio host Scott Hennen that waterboarding is “a very important tool that we've had,” insisted “We need to continue that,” and called it no more than “dunking” some one under water. He also added that the United States does not torture.
For five centuries, waterboarding has been a used as torture in several variations. The method that gives the torture its name involves strapping the captive to a board and repeatedly pushing his head into a tub of water until his lungs fill and he nearly drowns. ...(for exclusive 24-hour consideration of this full text and 24-hour first option for free first serial rights, contact us).

*William Loren Katz is the author of forty U.S. history books, has been affiliated with New York University since 1973, and his website is WILLIAMLKATZ.COM This essay draws from his book, "The Cruel Years: American Voices at the Dawn of the 20th Century" [Beacon Press, 2003] an even more heavily from Stuart Creighton Miller, "Benevolent Assimilation" [Yale University Press, 1982].

Monday, December 10, 2007

What Must Be Done?

520 words

by Michael True

Once again, a scheme lying us into war, this time against Iran, has been exposed. It’s the most recent evidence of duplicity and cruelty that has characterized the worst administration in my seventy-four years; and many other Americans are rightly outraged by its behavior.

The shenanigans of the Bush/Cheney administration have been compounded by the Republican Party, voting overwhelmingly for policies that have undermined democratic governance and America’s reputation among civilized people of the world. As several men and women in England said to me, during a recent discussion of U.S. foreign policy: “We’re mostly liberal and anti-American here.”

Although I understand foreigners criticizing our government, I was genuinely shocked by traditional allies openly expressing their disdain. In spite of our economic and military domination of much of the globe, the U.S. could usually count on the good will of most people—the English, as well as the Chinese. Today, colleagues in both countries remain in disbelief that Americans re-elected George Bush in 2004.

...(full your 24-hour exclusive consideration of first serial rights, contact us to examine full text)

* * *

Michael True, author of People Power: Fifty Peacemakers and Their Communities, 2007, lives in Worcester.

Friday, December 7, 2007


(790 words)
by Jane Franklin

As millions of us shuffle shoeless through airport security lines, few remember that the age of civilian airline terrorism began 31 years ago, on October 6, 1976, when two bombs exploded aboard a civilian passenger plane, killing all 73 people aboard. Cubana Airlines Flight 455 had just taken off from Barbados headed for Havana. Thanks to rapid work by police in Barbados and Trinidad, two bombers were arrested within 24 hours, and their capture led directly to the arrests in Venezuela of Cuban-born terrorists Luis Posada and Orlando Bosch, charged with masterminding the bombing.

Posada escaped while awaiting trial and continued his career of terrorism that began when he came to the United States from Havana after the Cuban revolution. At that time, Posada joined thousands of Cubans being trained by the CIA to bring down the government of Cuba. As he bragged to New York Times journalists in 1998, “`The CIA taught us everything--everything….They taught us explosives, how to kill, bomb, trained us in acts of sabotage.’” After his escape from Venezuela, he operated from Central America with the impunity of a CIA asset. Posada knew he would always have the support of the CIA and plenty of money from the Cuban American National Foundation, the wealthy and influential group based in Florida and New Jersey.

In 2005, he entered Florida illegally and made the mistake of holding a press conference in Miami. This forced the FBI to arrest him, and he was held for trial. But what was he to be tried for? Not for overseeing the explosions that killed the passengers and crew aboard that civilian airliner. Not for orchestrating the fatal 1997 bombing campaign aimed at tourists in Havana hotels and restaurants about which he openly boasted. Not for his many attempts to assassinate the head of a foreign government, Fidel Castro. No, Posada was facing trial on seven minor charges of immigration fraud. ... (for exclusive consideration of this piece contact us)

Jane Franklin is the author of Cuba and the United States: A Chronological History (Ocean Press).

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Bush continues to spin the NIE report

(784 words)
by Goudarz Eghtedari
The U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report regarding Iran’s Nuclear Intentions and capabilities was released on Monday. It states that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and has not pursued it since then. As we know now, that is about the same time frame during which Iran offered a great bargain to the Bush Administration via the Swiss Embassy in Tehran. According to Flynt Leverett, the Senior Director for Middle East Affairs at the National Security Council (2002-3), and Richard Armitage, the Deputy Secretary of State (2001-2005), that proposal was ignored and rejected under pressure from the Vice President’s office.

The NIE report on Iran was held back for more than a year in an effort to force the intelligence community to remove dissenting judgments on the Iranian nuclear program. ...
(for your exclusive consideration of this commentary piece--it has only appeared online, not in print--contact us)
Dr. Goudarz Eghtedari is active with the American Iranian Friendship Council ( ) and produces "Voices of the Middle East" ( ) for KBOO Community Radio in Portland, Oregon.

U.S. Officials and Waterboarding in U.S. history

(1600 words)

by William Loren Katz

High U.S. officials past and present (including Alberto Gonzales) claim not to know--and Judge Michael Mukasey, the President's new attorney general, prefers to equivocate on the issue--but water boarding has long been a form of torture that causes excruciating pain and can lead to death. It forces water into a prisoner's lungs, usually over and over again. Anyone who ever tried to breathe under water for even a few seconds knows this terrifying experience as torture.
The Spanish Inquisition in the late 1400s used water torture to uncover and punish heretics, and then in the early 1500s Spain's clerics carried it overseas to root out heresy in the New World. It reappeared during colonial New England's witch hysteria. To determine if they were witches women accused of sorcery were “dunked” and held under water.
In World War II Japan and Germany routinely used water boarding on prisoners. In Viet Nam U.S. forces held bound Viet Cong captives and “sympathizers” upside down in barrels of water. Water boarding also has been associated with the Khmer Rouge.
Extensive documentation of its use by the United States Army forces can be found in the official records ...

(for exclusive consideration of this piece, please contact us).

William Loren Katz is the author of 40 U.S. history books, has been affiliated with New York University since 1973, and his website is WILLIAMLKATZ.COM This essay is based on research for his latest book, "The Cruel Years: American Voices at the Dawn of the 20th Century" [Beacon Press, 2003] and also draws heavily on Stuart Creighton Miller, "Benevolent Assimilation" [Yale University Press, 1982].

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Hang up on war

(522 words)

by Tom H Hastings

Darrell Anderson, a young Iraq War veteran, called someone at a local Portland, Oregon college to check out a program advertised to help veterans. Darrell was wounded by an insurgent bomb, has a Purple Heart, and refused a direct order to shoot at a vehicle approaching his checkpoint—a car with an unarmed mother and her three little children, as it turns out. Darrell was so disgusted and dismayed by his government’s war on Iraq that, after one tour, he refused another direct order—to return.

Darrell went to Canada for more than a year instead, ultimately coming back to face the music, but the pipes were silent. The Army decided to go low profile and give him a quiet out, no prosecution, no court case. Recruitment numbers are hard enough to attain—they didn’t want the publicity that comes with a soldier’s condemnation of a military occupation.

We continue to hear that we need to stay the course, finish the job, and generally continue to feed the elite war profiteers who have gulped our national treasure to the tune of $10 billion each month for years, all so Iraq can be amongst the poorest, most corrupt, and least law-abiding nations on Earth. One more season will finish the fifth year of U.S. occupation...

Tom H Hastings ( is director of PeaceVoice and a founder of Whitefeather Peace Community in Portland, Oregon.

(For your exclusive consideration of this piece:

Monday, November 26, 2007

Making it Real

by David Hazen
(519 words)

This commentary is unpublished.

The cascading crises of global warming, peak oil and suicidal terrorism are making it obvious that we are all on one lifeboat together. In the midst of this crisis, we cast about for pieces of floatation, and there are many within reach when we look beneath the surface chaos.

How we think about, how we frame, what we are doing is so much more important than what we are doing. The issue before us is not personal survival, it is how we think about our survival, our strategies of survival, and the real meaning of our survival. Global warming is not just inconvenient weather patterns, it's a mass extinction event, and our interdependence has marked homo sapiens as an endangered species....

....When we reframe global warming or peak oil as our opportunity to cooperate in expanding our access to resources that have been until now unavailable to us, we open a vision of new possibilities, and so it is with building the peace. Terrorism is our opportunity to access communication skills that have been previously unused. Real strength, real self-esteem, comes from relating to people instead of dominating them....

(for exclusive consideration of the full text, email:

David Hazen is Oregon State Coordinator of the Peace Alliance Campaign for a Department of Peace.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Hiroshima’s Consecrated Legends

by Russell Vandenbroucke
(696 words)

This commentary is unpublished.

The recent death (Nov. 1) of Brig. Gen. Paul Tibbets, pilot of the Enola Gay, who dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima has prompted another round of comments on American decisions near the end of World War II. Despite the passage of 62 years, heated opinions are repeated as fact and myths become immortalized as truths. Beyond distorting the historical record, wishful thinking about it leads us to repeat past mistakes in new ways against new enemies.

Among the inaccuracies are these:

1) Japan was ready to fight to the end.
Facts: In an intercepted cable of July 12, 1945, Emperor Hirohito revealed his decision to intervene to end the war. In Truman’s journal he characterized the message as “telegram from Jap Emperor asking for peace.” Tokyo was prepared to surrender unconditionally if the monarchy would be retained, the very position the Allies accepted after Hiroshima...

(for exclusive consideration of the full text, email:

Russell Vandenbroucke, Professor and Chair of Theatre Arts at the University of Louisville, is the author of Atomic Bombers, a play broadcast on public radio to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Hiroshima.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Iraq and the Fall of Communism

by Steve Lane
(912 words)

The war in Iraq is comparable in many ways to the war in Vietnam, the one we thought we had learned our lesson from. Both were or are unwinnable fights against men and women who were not our enemy until we willed it so, and which caused endless suffering both to America and to the country that we invaded. There's a wider comparison, however.

The Vietnam war was part of the Cold War, where Communism was the enemy. The Iraq war is part of the war on terrorism, where this month radical Islam is the enemy. In both cases the US was or is fighting real soldiers in the service of an ideology. It's too early to see how the Iraq war will play out, but there is a lot to learn about Iraq from the Vietnam War. We won the war against Communism, no question about that. Our success ought to make us look at how we won, to see if we can do it again, this time against radical Islam.

There were about 25 Communist nations at the end of the Cold War. All but four of them imploded - their rulers decided for one reason or another to give it up, to abandon Communism. Most of my friends are unable to name the four current Communist nations when asked, so I'll do so now. They are Vietnam, North Korea, Cuba and China. What do they have in common, other than lip service to Marx and Lenin?

The US invaded Vietnam, North Korea and Cuba to end Communism there...

(for exclusive consideration of the full text, email:

Sunday, October 28, 2007


by David Hazen
(529 words)

The cost of interpersonal violence in the USA added to the cost of US military involvement in violent conflict amounts to at least $1.1 trillion per year. If one percent of that were spent on prevention strategies and the benefits re-invested in continuing improvements to human security, how many years would it take to create a "peace dividend" of $1.1 trillion?

The 2005 Human Security Report: War and Peace in the 21st Century, published by Oxford University Press, shows that most forms of political violence have declined significantly since the end of the Cold War––and finds that the best explanation for this decline is the huge upsurge of conflict prevention, resolution and peace-building activities that were spearheaded by the United Nations in the aftermath of the Cold War.

Traditional security policy emphasizes military muscle. The proponents of human security have focused on preventive diplomacy, conflict management, post–conflict peace-building, building state capacity, and promoting equitable economic development.

There are strong similarities between the supportive strategies for promoting peace on the international scene to the strategies for prevention of interpersonal violence. Both are heavily dependent on communication and education, as well as on inclusion into economic markets ...

(for exclusive consideration of the full text, email:

David Hazen, MA in systematic design-planning, lives in Eugene, and is the Oregon State Coordinator for the campaign to establish a U.S. Department of Peace.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Our History Teaches: Lessons from Vietnam and the American Revolution

Thomas J. Humphrey
(810 words)

Nearly forty years ago, historian John Shy compared the Vietnam War with the American Revolution and concluded that an invading superpower would have a hard time conquering people fighting to protect their homeland. Unfortunately, what happened in both of those wars seems to be playing out again in Iraq, and the result appears too obvious.

The superpowers that fought the Revolutionary War and the Vietnam War—Britain and the United States—failed for several reasons. Although Britain and the United States were far better prepared to fight a long, protracted war than their insurgent opponents, they were unprepared to fight rebels who fought in the open as little as possible. Nor were they prepared to fight an enemy who disappeared into the countryside or that melted into the local populations.

Neither country was prepared to fight enemies who were hard to see, harder to fight, and hardest to catch. In short, neither Britain nor the United States were prepared to fight the kind of wars they ended up fighting. In both Vietnam and the North American British colonies, insurgents fought a guerilla-style war in their homeland and avoided capture by blending in with local non-combatants, making it difficult to distinguish friend from foe and giving insurgents an advantage in the battle for the hearts and minds of the people...

(for exclusive consideration of the full text, email:

Thomas J. Humphrey teaches American History and the American Revolution at Cleveland State University, and is the author of Land and Liberty: Hudson Valley Riots in the Age of Revolution.

Free speech threatened when speakers are attacked

By George Beres
(652 words)

Free speech is indivisible. Yet we witness a growing effort to diminish that freedom nationwide. Here in Eugene, Ore., we see it in resistance to a forthcoming public appearance by historian, Mark Weber, editor of the Journal of Historical Review.

Spoken words of Weber and of South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu may vary in their importance. But the freedom for them to speak, and for us to hear, should have equal merit. Ominously, recent developments on the college campus suggest that freedom-- our freedom-- is threatened.

Tutu's scheduled talk in Minnesota is the center of controversy that has mushroomed in higher education over cancellation of a number of speakers at universities because of alleged critical attitudes toward Israel. At the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., Tutu, 1984 Nobel Peace laureate, had been invited to speak next spring.

Following a pattern of behavior in academia nationwide, St. Thomas withdrew its invitation, it said, for fear it might offend local Jews. It has happened in recent months at the University of Montana, Barnard College, DePaul University, and with the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations. In each case, a professor has been cancelled as a speaker or denied tenure because of allegations of anti-Semitism...

(for exclusive consideration of the full text, email:

George Beres is founding director of the University of Oregon Speakers Bureau.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Just War, Inc.

by Tom H Hastings
(538 words)

Back in the day (an expression my undergraduate students sometimes use) we had an expression, It’s all Greek to me. Aristotle helped us define what that means vis-à-vis war. He taught that the only just war was one fought with non-Hellenes. To borrow from another set of expressions, Mighty white of him. As long as you are attacking, say, Persians, war is alright, but please, stop with the city-state swordplay between Athens and Sparta.

Fast-forward to the time of Jesus. He was not in favor of swordplay and even rejected that in self-defense. He took it another step and admonished his disciple who rose to defend Jesus in the Garden on the eve of Passover. The disciple cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest and then Jesus took it to the next level and healed the ear.

Yet in our “Christian nation” we still hold that the doctrine of the Just War is supreme. It was cited on the floor of Congress to justify voting for Gulf War I. Most Christian denominations expressly believe in this Aristotelian doctrine...

(for exclusive consideration of the full text, email:

Tom H. Hastings is director of PeaceVoice and a founder of Whitefeather Peace Community in Portland, Oregon. He teaches full-time in the Portland State University Conflict Resolution MA/MS program.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Priests Protesting Torture at Fort Huachuca Jailed for Justice

(723 words)
By Bill Quigley.

Louis Vitale, 75, a Franciscan priest, and Steve Kelly, 58, a Jesuit priest, were sentenced to five months in federal prison for attempting to deliver a letter opposing the teaching of torture at Fort Huachuca in Arizona. Both priests were taken directly into jail from the courtroom after sentencing.

Fort Huachuca is the headquarters of military intelligence in the U.S. and the place where military and civilian interrogators are taught how to extract information from prisoners. The priests attempted to deliver their letter to Major General Barbara Fast, commander of Fort Huachuca. Fast was previously the head of all military intelligence in Iraq during the atrocities of Abu Ghraib.

The priests were arrested while kneeling in prayer halfway up the driveway to Fort Huachuca in November 2006. Both priests were charged with trespass on a military base and resisting orders of an officer to stop.

In a pre-trial hearing, the priests attempted to introduce evidence of torture, murder, and gross violations of human rights in Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib in Iraq, and at Guantanamo. The priests offered investigative reports from the FBI, the US Army, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Physicians for Social Responsibility documenting hundreds of incidents of human rights violations...

(for exclusive consideration of the full text, email:

Bill is a human rights lawyer and law professor at Loyola University New Orleans. He served as counsel for Frs. Vitale and Kelly. You can reach Bill at For more about their trial, see

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Balm of a Peace Process Infuses The War on Terror/ The Terror of War

(1622 words)

By Johnny Barber

Can we win the war on terror with the terror of war? Each time we declare we will win the war on terror, we dig ourselves a deeper hole. Each time we kill an innocent child on a city street and call it collateral damage, each time we torture and lie that we don’t- we add to the anger and hatred directed against us. Might as well be pointing the gun at our own temple.

Way back when, we routed the Taliban in Afghanistan, the war lords regained control and heroin production shot through the roof…soon we’ll be needin’ another, bigger and better war on drugs- this war will have to be fought in the homeland… the collateral damage will be our very own kids. Not to worry, Blackwater is growing, and looking to diversify. And now the Taliban are resurgent and vowing a new fight. Hamid Karzai (our puppet from Unocal), bunkered down in Kabul, offers them a place in the government if only they refrain from killing. A Taliban spokesperson refused the offer- as long as America interferes in their homeland, they will not negotiate...

(for exclusive consideration of the full text, email:

Johnny Barber travelled to Iraq, Israel, Occupied Palestine and Lebanon to bear witness and document the suffering of people affected by war and occupation. Barber is a member of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship as well as the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

End This Travesty

(620 words)

by Tom H Hastings

It was mid-day, in Baghdad. When Iraqi citizens—not soldiers, not police, not insurgents, not terrorists—approached Nisour Square on September 16 of this year, little did they know that an incident had occurred a few blocks away. They are people caught in a war zone, but they are simply trying to live, to run errands, to get to work if they are lucky enough to have any, or to bring their children someplace.

Those mothers, daughters, fathers and sons were also unaware that Blackwater USA mercenaries, hired by the Pentagon, were there with a massive arsenal that would rain hellfire and lethal explosions on them, killing 17 and wounding 24.

Meanwhile, Erik D. Prince, CEO of the Blackwater corporation, was enjoying his massive personal wealth and luxury. Prince, a heavy contributor to Bush’s ...

(for exclusive consideration of the full text, email:

Tom H. Hastings is director of PeaceVoice and a founder of Whitefeather Peace Community in Portland, Oregon. He is core faculty in the Portland State University Conflict Resolution masters program.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Seduced By War: Remembering Where Our Legacy Resides

(913 words)
By Andrew Murray
I am concerned about a culture that has been seduced by war. I am concerned about a culture that salivates over the raw power of military hardware but shows little sustained interest in the military virtues of courage, loyalty, honor, fidelity and justice. I am concerned that our civilian leaders on both sides of the aisle seem to have forgotten what many of our great generals and admirals including George Washington, Omar Bradley and Dwight Eisenhower always knew: that it is not America's military power that makes us great. It is our greatness that makes us powerful.

What makes us a great country is not that we can go anywhere in the world and kill anyone we want. Well, anyone we can find. What makes us great is that we work hard; we tolerate differences; we have room for faith and science. We are great because in the end we know that a healthy, prosperous and happy society not only endures, but needs, diverse opinions, cultures, life styles, fashions and beliefs. No amount of terrorism can take this away from us. We can only take it away from ourselves.

What was supposed to be the elixir that would cure the national malaise following the turmoil of the '60s and restore our faith in American power has turned out to be, perhaps, an even more difficult circumstance to reconcile. Iraq was a broken and depleted country in 2003, having already lost one war to the US, having been subject to crippling sanctions from the UN and having fought to a draw with Iran after a devastating war that lasted ten years. At the same time the US stood alone as the most preponderant military power.

...(to see full unpublished text email:

Andrew Murray is professor of peace studies and director of the Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa.

Burma and the Press

(681 words)

As of this writing (Thursday, September 27) a nonviolent movement is reaching its crisis in Burma. In 1988 over 3,000 students were killed — massacred would not be too strong a word — when they protested the military takeover of their country. Their courageous, charismatic leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, though she had faced down rifle squads in at least one critical confrontation (superbly dramatized in Beyond Rangoon, with Patricia Arquette), and won an overwhelming electoral victory to boot, was not able to prevail over the regime, which has kept her under house arrest and basically pillaged the country for these nineteen years.

Commentators are noting, correctly, several features of the uprising today: it is a massive, disciplined outpouring — the photographs of tens of thousands of red-robed monks and nuns filling avenues for as far as the eye can see are nothing short of inspiring. It relies on the immense prestige of religious orders in that predominantly Buddhist country. And — among other differences between now and 1988 — the world is watching.

But how closely? We who follow nonviolence have to point out what the mainstream media are missing in this “saffron revolution,” as they have missed in most episodes of nonviolence that have been accumulating with increasing frequency in this post-Gandhian world. 1) They mis-characterize this movement as ‘spontaneous,’ while in reality it has been well-planned for months. More to the point, it has not, like Athena, ‘sprung from the head of Zeus’. ...

...(for the full unpublished text, email

Michael N. Nagler is Emeritus, English, UC-Berkeley. He has written several books on nonviolence and taught Gandhian nonviolence for many years.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Nonviolent Action -- A More Ethical and Effective Alternative to War

(593 words)
by Randy Schutt

War is hell -- both for the soldiers who fight it and the civilians who live where it is fought. The Iraq war is a perfect example of the mess that military force can make of a country: directly killing thousands of innocent civilians, injuring tens of thousands more, and displacing and traumatizing millions, while destroying critical infrastructure -- such as roads, bridges, and electricity generation, water purification, and sewage treatment plants -- that makes a civilized life possible. Creating a civilized, democratic society out of the chaotic disaster that Iraq has become will be extremely difficult and take a very long time, even under the best circumstances.

But what is the alternative? In the last three decades, nonviolent action has demonstrated that it is very effective in overthrowing horribly repressive regimes. For example, nonviolent action toppled the apartheid regime in South Africa, deposed the dictatorships of Slobodan Milosevich in Yugoslavia, Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines, and Augusto Pinochet in Chile, and brought down the former Soviet Union and its communist satellite states (including Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Lithuania). Overthrowing those regimes incurred relatively few casualties and wrought relatively little destruction. The nonviolent overthrow of these vicious regimes has mostly left these countries stronger, more civilized, and much more free and democratic.

### (for exclusive consideration of this unpublished piece, contact
Randy Schutt is Vice-President of Cleveland Peace Action, a member
of the Cleveland Nonviolence Network, and the author of Inciting
Democracy: A Practical Proposal for Creating a Good Society.

Two Democrats Take Nuclear Attack Threat Off the Table — For a Minute

(600 words)
By John LaForge

Two leading democratic presidential hopefuls have recently said they’d take the threat of nuclear attack “off the table,” hinting at their deep psychological discomfort with the idea of deliberate mass destruction. Call it the Hiroshima Syndrome.

Both New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton — albeit before she announced her run — and Illinois Senator Barack Obama, dismissed the long-standing U.S. threat to keep “all options open,” regarding the government’s willing readiness to wage nuclear war anywhere in the world.

On August 2, Obama said in an interview with the Associated Press, “I think it would be a profound mistake for us to use nuclear weapons in any circumstance,” pausing before he added, “involving civilians.” Although Obama quickly retracted the statement saying, “Let me scratch that,” his message needs repeating: H-bombs cannot be used without the grossly indiscriminate killing of civilians.

Senator Clinton publicly chastised Obama for temporarily ruling out the threat to push the button, but she has also said that she would not use nuclear weapons.

In April 2006, nine months before she announced her Oval Office bid, Clinton was asked in a TV interview about her position toward Iran. She said, “... no option should be off the table, but I would certainly take nuclear weapons off the table. This [Bush] administration has been very willing to talk about using nuclear weapons in a way we haven’t seen since the dawn of the nuclear age. I think that’s a terrible mistake.”

... (for exclusive consideration of the full text of this unpublished piece, contact

LaForge works on the staff of Nukewatch -- an environmental action group -- and edits its quarterly newsletter. His articles on nuclear weapons and reactors and militarism have appeared in Z magazine, the Progressive, Earth Island Journal, the New Internationalist and on the opinion pages of the Miami Herald, the Minneapolis StarTribune and the Madison Capital Times.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

9-11 Forgotten

by Johnny Barber

(700 words)

The sixth anniversary of Sept 11th has come and gone, and Americans have forgotten the lessons of that fateful day. As the U.S. continues to lash out blindly in the Middle East, causing death and destruction everywhere it turns, we at home continue to wave our little flags, put metallic ribbons on our cars and call for support of the troops. That Americans are now responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths of innocent peoples- exponentially higher numbers than those killed in the towers- is a fact. Few people here recognize the level of carnage unleashed on the civilian populations of Afghanistan and Iraq. Few people seem concerned with the anguish of others as they try to survive the US military occupation of their countries. Few people recognize in the anguished eyes of the Iraqi people the very same fear, desperation, determination and heroism of the people who suffered on September 11th at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in a flight over Pennsylvania.

In the days after September 11th we as Americans stood together, and reached out to each other. Much of the world reached out to us as well. In our grief and disbelief there was a moment to recognize community- not just the community of New York City, or even the community of our nation, but the community of humankind.

For a moment, however brief, ...

(to see full text of this unpublished piece, email

Johnny Barber ( has travelled to Iraq, Israel, Occupied Palestine and Lebanon to bear witness and document the suffering of people who are affected by war. Barber is a member of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship as well as the Fellowship of Reconciliation. He lives in Deerfield Beach Fl

Congress Shortchanges U. S. Citizens

(721 words)
by Clark Field

With the seriousness of these times – issues from U. S. government occupying Iraq, and Afghanistan, supporting the genocide in Palestine to the tune of billions of dollars annually, torture in Guantanamo, and God knows where else, to the horrific scandal of, mistreatment and mismanagement in, New Orleans, and the lack of health care for approximately 48 million citizens -- how long will we allow Congress to play tricks on us? How long will we, The People, allow Congress to swindle tax revenues from us?

For here's a game played by Congress which we voters fall for. It's called "Other Side of the Aisle." In their public addresses, news conferences, on the floor of Congress, etc., elected representatives in both houses routinely refer to their counterparts in the other major party as being "on the other side of the aisle." Why is that?

(...for the full text, contact

Clark Gabriel Field -- member of the Indiana Peace & Justice Network, associate member of Veterans for Peace, National Call for Non-Violent Resistance, former member: National Committee of War Resisters League
Evansville, IN

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Beyond the Rhetoric of Withdrawal: Our Unknown Air War Over Iraq

by Ed Kinane
(1,450 words)

A key element of the drawdown plans, not mentioned in the President’s public statements, is that the departing American troops will be replaced by American airpower.


The American air war inside Iraq is perhaps the most significant – and underreported – aspect of the fight against the insurgency.

Seymour M. Hersh, “Up in the Air,” Nov. 29, 2005, New Yorker

There’s an air war over Iraq. It’s invisible (here). It’s deadly (there).

The Iraq air war may be the longest such war in history. In one way or another it has been undermining Iraq’s sovereignty, destroying its infrastructure, and killing and maiming Iraqis for some 16 years.

Despite global pressure to withdraw, Bush Inc. – and indeed the broader US power structure – has no intention of giving up Iraq. The potential oil bonanza is too huge. And Iran – with its oil bonanza – is next door.

That air war is intensifying. The US dropped five times as many bombs in Iraq during the first six months of 2007 as it did in the first half of 2006.

... (to examine unpublished full text for possible publication contact

Ed worked in Iraq with Voices in the Wilderness before, during and after “Shock and Awe.” Reach him at

Above the fray: Congress ignores victims

(600 words)

by Tom H Hastings

Visit Washington DC sometime; lobby your elected officials. It is a lesson is how our elite manage to avoid being touched by our problems, by the problems of those who are hurt by their policies, and by reality as experienced by regular folks.

Oh, they sound like regular folks. They cultivate that persona and get elected on the basis of it.

But most of them are above it all.

Few of them have prostheses from service in war; the wars are permitted by these chickenhawks.

...(for the full text, please contact


Tom H Hastings is director of PeaceVoice and a founder of Whitefeather Peace Community in Portland, Oregon.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Health care and the passing of the pig

by Lynn Porter

431 words

A while back a member of the Oregon state legislature said that legislators have been passing out business tax credits “like candy,” as an indirect way of rewarding their supporters. The tax burden has been shifted from business to individual taxpayers, who are no longer willing to carry it, and will reflexively vote against any tax increase that they have to pay.

State services, including health care, are falling apart for lack of revenue. More money will have to come from somewhere, and the only possible source is business.

Lane County Commissioner Pete Sorenson has said, “In 1973 the largest corporations doing business in Oregon paid 18 per cent of the state income tax, the other 82 per cent was paid by wage earners and small business. This year, 2005, the largest corporations — those with 75 shareholders or more — are paying five per cent.”

...(to access the full text to consider for publication request it from

Lynn Porter is an activist in Eugene, Oregon, working on peace, health care and environmental issues. His blog is at

Friday, August 31, 2007

Supporting the Troops, Killing the Troops

by Dr. Craig Greenman

(400 words)

Seventeen years ago, just after the U.S. began its war with Iraq, I encountered a Vietnam veteran in jail. He cried, “If somebody asked me to kill my mother, I wouldn’t do it! I would not do it! He stood there naked and threw his feces against the wall.

“Messiah” is a song about him. It goes like this:

I am the Messiah – I’ve come to save the world

Sometimes I think I’m Satan, ‘cause I killed that little girl

Jehovah, won’t you come down and set your poor boy free

I’m just an ever faithful, crazy Marine who fought for his country

The Marine was a “Messiah,” teaching us to end bad wars. His insanity would end other insanity. Far from making his sacrifice meaningless – as the hawks argued, even then – it would make it supremely meaningful: He would be the last soldier to go nuts for nothing.

...(to view this unpublished commentary exclusively, contact


Dr. Craig Greenman is Assistant Professor of Humanities at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire. He teaches Philosophy and Religious Studies.

A river basin is a terrible thing to waste

(504 words)

by Angela Crowley-Koch

Last night I attended my 20th Hanford public comment meeting. This meeting was about bringing new nuclear waste to the Hanford nuclear reservation, the most contaminated site in the Western Hemisphere which sits on the Columbia River in Washington State.

The meeting was pretty similar to the 19 other Hanford meetings I’ve attended.

The conference room in a Troutdale hotel was overcrowded and unbearably hot. Despite the heat, most stayed three hours and half the attendees stayed for four. The Department of Energy (DOE) didn’t allow time for public Q & A, but after vocal cries of protest, they gave in and answered our questions about the proposal.

Then came the public comment period. ... (to view the unpublished full text exclusively, contact


Angela Crowley-Koch is the Executive Director of Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, a non-profit educational organization committed to the elimination of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction and the achievement of a healthy, just, and peaceful world for present and future generations. PSR is the US affiliate of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, recipient of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize. Ms. Crowley-Koch lives in NE Portland.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Destroying democracy whilst sprucing up Saddam

(464 words)

by Tom H Hastings

When I was an inmate in Wisconsin’s prison system I noted that not many of the inmates felt all that positive about society, the economy, or the government. This is hardly surprising. The Wisconsin prison system, like most of America’s prison systems from the Bureau of Prisons to states to counties and towns are based on retributive justice, not restorative justice. This helps account for high rates of recidivism. Why try to fit in if you’ve deepened your hatred of the system during your time sequestered?

The American military now reports that it has “detained” some 24,500 in Iraq as insurgents (no figures for those detained by Iraqi troops or police), up some 50 percent in the past few months, a manifestation of the surge. They also report, says a 25 August New York Times story, that the “detention system itself often serves as a breeding ground for the insurgency and a training opportunity for those who, after they are released, may attack Iraqi or American-led forces.”

...(for exclusive view of the unpublished full text, contact


Tom H Hastings is director of PeaceVoice and a founder of Whitefeather Peace Community in Portland, Oregon. He is the co-chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Association.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

No Guns, No Bombs

By Kathy Kelly

(965 words)

Amman, Jordan

On August 14, 2007, CNN reported about an unusual school for teenagers, run by the U.S. Army in Iraq, calling it a “jailhouse school.”

Here is the transcript from CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr’s interview with First Lieutenant Rob Glenn:

“These are the latest U.S. weapons against the insurgency -- textbooks, classrooms and soccer fields. This video, provided by the military, shows where the U.S. is now holding daily classes for hundreds of Iraqi teenagers it has imprisoned for being a security risk.

1ST LT. ROB GLENN, U.S. ARMY: Juveniles in custody right now are nearly 800. That's 800 lives that we have an opportunity to impact.

STARR: That's a sharp increase from the 272 juveniles -- all boys aged 11 to 17 -- detained back in February, when the surge started.

U.S. commanders say as a result of the surge, insurgents have stepped up recruiting children to lay IEDs and act as lookouts for snipers, believing the U.S. troops will be reluctant to shoot them. The U.S. has one goal for the jailhouse school.

GLENN: We ensure that when they are released that they don't -- they pick up a book instead of an AK-47 or laying an IED. And that's what this really gets back to.”

The report didn’t mention what methods Lieutenant Glenn uses to reach the school’s “one goal.” Certainly, we must ask whether the children’s parents are allowed to visit them, and how long they’ll be detained, and whether or not their legal rights are addressed. What message is being taught to these students by imprisoning them?

But, Lieutenant Glenn’s “one goal,” to ensure that students pick up a book instead of an AK 47, that they choose books not bombs, merits special attention.

I wish this goal would be adopted by every military school and junior ROTC training facility in the United States.

...(to exclusively examine the full text of this piece, please contact

Kathy Kelly ( is a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence (

We Shouldn’t Be Causing This

(938 words)

by Kathy Kelly

Amman, Jordan

Here in Amman, Jordan, a British teenager, Sonia, age 12, recently spent four days interviewing and befriending Iraqi youngsters close to her in age. She wanted to learn, firsthand, about the experiences of Iraqi youngsters who have fled war and violence in their home country.

A versatile and talented child, Sonia loves to play the trumpet and perform classical Indian dances, the latter being somewhat unusual for a Muslim girl. When she was eight years old, shortly before the U.S. and the U.K. attacked Iraq, she wrote a poem urging respect for the rights of Iraqi children whose lives and hopes would be destroyed by war. The poem reached many people, intensifying efforts of peace activists to stop the war before it started. Sonia continued her efforts on behalf of Iraqi children, even founding an organization called “Children Against War.” ...

(to read the full text exclusively of this unpublished piece, simply request it:

Kathy Kelly ( is a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence (

A pax on both their houses: Congress and US

(549 words)

by Tom H Hastings

Meeting with US Senator Ron Wyden was instructive to a poor member of a public that wants peace. After years of trying to meet with him—including numerous lobbying visits and even an arrest in his office for simply quietly sitting to wait for him after the office closed for the day—I was finally able to meet the man in person. There were 10 of us, each representing a peace organization in Oregon. The meeting followed the senator’s town hall on Iraq held on the campus of Portland State University.

It was that meeting that made me fully realize why Americans have a benthic appreciation for Congress—some 18 percent of us think they are doing a decent job, according to a new Gallup Poll. This is the lowest rate of approval since Gallup began this measurement in 1974.

Ron Wyden opened his town hall by saying he was there to listen. ...(for your exlusive consideration of this piece, email and request full text)


Tom H Hastings is director of PeaceVoice and a founder of Whitefeather Peace Community in Portland, Oregon. He is the co-chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Association.