Tag Archive | Iraq

Peace Day Shout-out

On this International Day of Peace, Peace Day of 2013, I would like to give a special shout-out to the passionate peaceniks:

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CODEPINK, along with others, has worked hard to prevent a U.S. attack on Syria and so far has succeeded. CODEPINK has been working hard to Ground the Drones, i.e. stop U.S. drone attacks, and to Close Guantanmo, the infamous U.S. prison of the war of terror on terror.

CODEPINK began with a vigil in front of the White House on November 17, 2002, trying to prevent the U.S.-led War in Iraq. They didn’t succeed in that endeavor, but they have been a group working against war and for peace ever since.

CODEPINK defines itself as ” 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.”  (See more here.) That last part of themselves is what they call their Bring Our War $$ Home campaign.

Visit their website,  check them out, get involved online and in action — both men and women.

Along with CODEPINK, I Declare World Peace.

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Memorial Day 2013

For Memorial Day this year, I remember by the numbers:

The 4486 U.S. military casualties in the Iraq War, 70 of whom were from my state of Kentucky

The 2227 U.S. military casualties in the Afghanistan War, 40 of whom were from Kentucky

(from iCasualties.org)

I also remember the many, many civilians who have died in those two countries from our actions.

 

On Memorial Day 2013, I also remember:

All the civilians, including children, who have died by US. drone strikes outside the war theater. In Pakistan, alone, between 411-884 civilians have reportedly been killed, including between 168-197 children.

(See here.)

 

I am also remembering the 9 detainees who have died in the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay,  Cuba.

(See here.)

 

I Declare World Peace. It is time.

9-11!

Here we are at another anniversary of 9-11–the eleventh to be exact. What have we learned?

It has seemed to me that 9-11 represented the emergency call, 911. I have always believed that it was to be a wake-up call for America’s role in the world, for our foreign policy. I am not sure we have learned much.

The original 9-11 happened on the watch of President George W. Bush. He seemed not to be prepared, foreign policy-wise, and was lead by the nose by his neo-conservative foreign policy team. They almost immediately wanted a war with Iraq, a dream they had held for some time. Instead, out of revenge, we went to Afghanistan and then on to Iraq. We have left blood and havoc in our wake.

Under the watch of President Barak Obama we have done some better. Our combat troops our out of Iraq, although their leaving was negotiated under Pres. Bush. We still have mercenaries there. Most of our troops are due to leave Afghanistan in 2014. I am not proud of our actions regarding Libya. Civil rights and human rights have not fared very well under either president.

I am not convinced of American exceptionalism. We have done too much damage in the world at large and have not had the best track record in our own country–slavery, segregation, and our treatment of Native Americans being prime examples.

I am also not convinced that we have to act mainly out of our own national interest. What about the international interest, the interest of the world-at-large, of the planet? Wouldn’t that be in our national interest? How about interdependence?

All of the religions and ethical traditions and movements seem to have some form of what is called the Golden Rule: Treat others as one would like to be treated or, converesly, Do not treat others as one would not want to be treated. Most of us seem to think that this rule speaks to individuals. Yes, primarily, it does, but what about nations? Should the rule not also apply to them? I believe it should.

Many individuals have signed the Charter for Compassion that is based on the Golden Rule. There are even Compassionate Cities. Some countries are becoming involved. I hope that more and more sign on in affirmation and live it out.

I Declare World Peace. Peace is the way.