Abby and Robbie wrap up 2018 by discussing bizarre holiday antics at the White House their favorite Christmas movies, Liz Wahl running for Congress, and how inhumane US border policy is literally killing kids. The second half of the episode they discuss the notion that Trump is “curtailing US empire” by withdrawing the troops he himself added from Afghanistan and Syria, despite expanding the US military to its largest size, while increasing bombing 400% and civilian casualties nearly 300%.
*Conversation about Trump’s troop withdrawal at 48:00
Thanks for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast please consider donating to Media Roots Radio on Patreon: www.patreon.com/mediarootsradio
More pictures below info!
Dear Friends,We are excited to welcome you to our 3rd Encuentro, with the theme this year, “Dismantle Border Imperialism! Fight, Create, Power to the People.”
We have an exciting weekend planned with workshops, actions, and a concert in Mexico. One of the critical events of our time together will include a vigil at Eloy Detention Center – one of the deadliest detention facilities in the United States. Check out the weekend’s events here and check out our social media for livestreams of workshops and other updates.
During this year’s Encuentro, we will also uplift and remember the Salvadoran martyrs that gave their lives speaking truth to power 29 years ago today – six Jesuits priests, Elba and Celina Ramos were murdered at the University of Central America by the Salvadoran army, trained at the School of the Americas. It is with their spirit that we send the message that when our communities are under attack, we stand up and fight back.
Beyond the activities planned, this weekend will also be a time for our community to connect, resist, and build the power of our movement. Moreover, this weekend will be a chance for us to stand united in our resolve to fight back – and most importantly to win – because we know that nothing is stronger than the power of the people.
As the asylum seekers’ caravan from Honduras and other countries across Central America approaches the U.S. border, our collective message of ending border imperialism could not be more important. We urge you to join us however you can – in person or online to uplift our message of solidarity and collective liberation. With escalating attacks from the Trump administration towards Black and Brown communities our united voices will signal that the fight is far from over.
We hope to see you throughout the weekend and we stand in solidarity with our communities far and near who are standing against U.S. imperialism.
ENCUENTRO TRAVEL TIPS
– Don’t forget to register for the Encuentro. If your organization would like to endorse the Encuentro, please do so here.
– Bring a form of identification (US Passport, Driver’s License, LPR Card, Work Permit, etc)
– Wear comfortable walking shoes and WARM clothing. Temperatures are dropping, so check the weather forecast to pack accordingly!
– Wear sun protection and bring a water bottle. Remember you are coming to the Sonora Desert. Stay hydrated. Water is life.
– For any and all legal questions, please contact the Legal Collective at firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be a 24-hour legal hotline throughout the weekend: 520-462-3440
– For any other questions, please contact SOA Watch at 202-234-3440
ENCUENTRO WEEKEND INFORMATION
*While crossing from the US into Mexico does not require much time, crossing from Mexico into the US does (on weekends, the lines can take up to 2 hours or more). Please keep this in mind as you view the weekend schedule of events and make your decisions accordingly.
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
– We will be informing and updating on the Encuentro throughout the weekend! Plug in by following us on social media:
Twitter @SOAWatch ; Facebook @SchoolOfTheAmericasWatch ; Instagram @SOAWatch
– Use our hashtags:
#BorderEncuentro2018 #LucharCrearPoderPopular #StruggleCreatePowerToThePeople #NoBanNoWalls
#SOAWatch #CloseSOA #NoMasSOA
The movement to close the SOA is a community, and all ideas are welcome.
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SOA Watch, 225 E 26th St, Suite 7, Tucson, AZ 85713
11/17/2018 8:40 AM
Just a quick check in to let you know we are safe and **BUSY**!!! I have a few minutes this morning that I thought I would share what has been going on so far here in Nogales.
Yesterday was a packed day. We mingled with and met people from all around the country yesterday morning the Hotel Americana in Nogales. At 1:00 we caravanned to Tucson to protest Milkor USA (milkorusa.com – it’s a disgusting website) at the subcontractor in Tucson, called Abrams Airborne Manufacturing. Milkor partnered with them to created the major components of the a 40mm multi-shot grenade launcher). The protest went well – there were about 200 people and George Martin was there! The Tucson Police actually came and helped out due to the crowd size and they even decided to shut down the part of the street we were on to do an impromptu march.
After that we caravanned to Eloy, AZ to hold a rally and vigil a the ICE Detention Center. There was music, art, poetry, speakers, signing, dancing. Two of the speakers had actually spent time in the Eloy detention center and are now speaking out in their activism. At the end all 300-400 people lined the sidewalk in front of the detention center, sang and made noise. we could see people inside jumping up and down and sending us signals of acknowledgement in various ways. They knew we were there and felt the love and support. This rally/vigil portion of the day lasted 3 hours. We then travelled back to Nogales and crashed!
Today we are starting off the day with a walk to the border led by Veterans for Peace (they have a strong presence here) at 7:30am. Today is tabling and workshop day that will go to about 6pm. Our GPUS/GPAX table is on the Mexico side. Then at 7:30pm is a concert at the Border wall with a lineup of great artists and featuring Rebel Diaz, a hip hop artist who has been affected personally by the issues.
Tomorrow all the activities take place at the border wall. Father Roy Bourgeois will be speaking along with many others. I will report out on that when I can. We will be leaving Nogales tomorrow after the Border Encuentro closing to head back to Salt Lake, stopping for the night in Flagstaff and then finishing our journey on Monday.
The entire schedule of activities is at this link (it is a pdf): http://www.soaw.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2018_SOAW_ENCUENTO_PROGRAM__LINEAR_PDF_WITH_PAGINATION.pdf
I took the liberty of having 10 lawn signs made that split up what is on our banner (attached). I have the banner, but I wasn’t sure how two of us would be able to use it in the various activities, so I had this done to at least have something with GPAX on it to hold/display. I also had a table runner done by my sign guy and it is absolutely gorgeous. He even threw in a green table cloth to put under it. I will be sure to take a pic today and share. One of the attached photos is of me holding one of the signs, standing beside Georg, at the afternoon protest.
Commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Democratic National Convention Protests
(This article is posted here.)
The following is the prepared text of remarks Rich Whitney made on behalf of the Chicago Committee Against War and Racism at a press conference on July 24th, 2018 in Grant Park in Chicago, near the statue of John A. Logan, General John Logan Statue in Grant Park, scene of one of the most iconic protests against the Vietnam War during the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
The CCAWR has issued a Call for a demonstration against war and police violence on August 25th, marking the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Democratic National Convention, when the movement against the Vietnam War was suppressed inside the convention hall, and brutally attacked by Mayor Richard Daley’s police on the streets of Chicago. If you can, won’t you please come to Chicago, and help change the world, on August 25th!
In calling for this demonstration, the Chicago Committee Against War and Racism declares that in many respects we are confronting worse evils today than we were 50 years ago — but we are still confronting the same institutional barriers to peace and progress.
Just 11 days ago, U.S.-led coalition warplanes in Syria conducted intensive airstrikes near Abu Kamal in the Deir ez-Zor province, with estimates of civilian casualties ranging from 30 to 54, the higher estimate coming from The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. All too typically, this received little media attention. It was not part of the so-called “national conversation.” But acts like these, occurring on a regular basis, need to become part of the national conversation, and that is part of what motivates us to call for this protest. These acts of aggressive war are not somehow magically transformed into moral acts simply because relatively few U.S. personnel are at risk of harm.
In 1968, the U.S. government was engaged in one illegal war. Now the U.S. illegally bombs, drone-strikes and/or occupies territory in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Pakistan and Yemen. It is responsible for millions of casualties, horrific devastation and suffering, and the displacement of millions of refugees. It has also been financing covert destabilization, “regime change” and support for repressive governments in much of Central and South America –and then it cruelly imprisons and punishes the hundreds of thousands of refugees who come to this country seeking safety and the opportunity to work. It spends $10.3 million a day of our tax dollars in military support for the repressive, now officially apartheid regime in Israel.
Every single one of these attacks on countries that never attacked the United States are illegal under established international law, including the Kellogg-Briand Pact, the Nuremberg Charter and the United Nations Charter. As in 1968, we have no right to attack other nations that never attacked us.
Let us be clear. These wars are not only thoroughly immoral and illegal in their direct impacts, they are also part of a war at home against the American working class, and especially its most oppressed members, people of color. We spend over $1.3 trillion a year on wars and maintaining a military machine, including about 1,000 military bases in about 135 different countries — while working people and students are being driven into poverty and debt, and while millions of people go without access to health care, decent schools, higher education, decent and affordable housing, safe drinking water, decent public transportation and other necessities. And our government spends these colossal sums on what amounts to corporate welfare, to help ensure the continued profits of giant energy corporations, weapons manufacturers and others, to maintain an empire and continue policies of global domination that actually make us all less safe.
Read the rest of the article here or continue reading below.
June 19, 2018 5:09 PM ET
The Green Party of the United States condemns President Trump’s reckless withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Tuesday afternoon, May 8, 2018, and rejects the President’s baseless statement that “this was a horrible, one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made.”
In spite of the saber-rattling rhetoric, Iran has remained compliant with the deal, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The Green Party notes the one-sided nature of this deal, which punishes Iran while allowing Israel to proliferate nuclear weapons for “self-defense,” a move that increases the possibility for escalated conflict in the Middle East. As stated by Michael J. Koplow of Haaretz Tuesday, “Netanyahu has convinced Trump that leaving the Iran deal protects Israel. But the U.S. walkout means a full on Israel-Iran war in Syria now becomes far more likely. ”
Green Party of the United States
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2018
According to Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), “Donald Trump has committed what will go down as one of the greatest acts of self-sabotage in American’s modern history.”
“The US has been the clear instigator in reviving a global nuclear arms race and remains the only nation to use nuclear weapons as an act of war. The United States has committed to nuclear weapon modernization program with a price tag of more than a trillion dollars, with the goal of ensuring a clear first-strike global advantage,” noted Tony Ndege, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States.
The Green Party vice presidential nominee in 2016 and noted human rights activist, Ajamu Baraka, stated, “The first item is to call for the agreement to be respected as a framework for further agreements, including a de-nuclearized Middle-East region.” Mr. Baraka went on to point out that the Green Party condemns any moves toward the justification for military conflict, and he continued, “we oppose war, nuclear weapons and militarization, without any hesitation.”
Bahram Zandi, co-chair of the Green Party International Committee sharply pointed out that “the United States never did its share of diplomacy, holding only Iran to the terms of this deal to stabilize the region, while Israel kept its nuclear weapons and threatened, attacked and killed people in neighboring Syria, including Iranian soldiers on the ground.”
The Green Party calls for equilibrium in the Middle East and for all regional stakeholders to be held equally accountable for peace. “The United States should call for a nuclear weapons freeze for all including Israel, in order to level the playing field of the responsibility of keeping the peace,” remarked Dr. Zandi.
Green Pages: The official publication of record of the Green Party of the United States
~ END ~
Tuesday’s debate and vote in the U.S. Senate on whether to end (technically whether or not to vote on whether to end) U.S. participation in the war on Yemen can certainly be presented as a step forward. While 55 U.S. Senators voted to keep the war rolling along, 44 voted not to table the resolution to end it. Of those 44, some, including “leaders” like Senator Chuck Schumer, said not a word in the debate and only voted the right way once the wrong way had won. And conceivably some could say they were voting in favor of having a vote, upon which they would have voted for more war. But it’s safe to say that at least most of the 44 were voting to end a war — and many of them explicitly said so.
I use the phrase “end a war,” despite the fact that Saudi Arabia could continue its war without U.S. participation — in part, because it’s easier, and in part because experts have suggested that Saudi Arabia could not do anything like what it is doing without the participation of the U.S. military in identifying targets and refueling planes. It is of course also true that were the United States to go beyond what was under consideration on Tuesday and cease providing Saudi Arabia with planes and bombs, and use its influence as an oil customer and general war partner to pressure Saudi Arabia to end the war and lift the blockade, the war might end entirely. And millions of human lives might be spared.
Virginia Senator Tim Kaine has for years been a leading proponent of getting Congress to authorize wars, making clear that he wanted to keep those wars going but with Congressional authorization. This time was different. Kaine pushed publicly for votes to end U.S. participation in the war on Yemen. He and even his colleague from Virginia Mark Warner (!) voted to end the U.S. war. I’m not sure any senator from Virginia had ever done such a thing before. And, in fact, no senator from anywhere had ever voted on a resolution raised under the War Powers Act before, because this was the first time any senator had bothered to try such a thing. Kaine tweeted:
“Millions in Yemen may starve and 10,000-plus are dead because of a war with no end in sight, that the U.S. has stumbled into. Proud to support this proposal to direct the removal of U.S. armed forces.”
“Stumbled into”? Forget it, he’s rolling.
And Kaine was the least of it. To watch Dianne Feinstein argue for ending a war had a very Twilight Zone aspect to it. Look through the list of who voted “Nay” and re-define them in your mind as people who under just the right conditions (possibly including guaranteed failure to reach a majority) will sometimes vote to end a war. I’d call that progress.
But if you watch the debate via C-Span, the top question in your mind might not be “What incredible activism, information, accident, or luck got 44 people to vote the right way?” but rather “Why did 55 cheerful, well-fed, safe people in suits just vote for mass-murder?” Why did they? Why did they take a break for political party meetings in the middle of the debate, and debate other legislation just before and after this resolution, and walk around and chat with each other exactly as if all were normal, while voting for genocide?
The facts of the matter were presented very clearly in the debate by numerous U.S. senators from both parties. They denounced war lies as “lies.” They pointed out the horrendous damage, the deaths, the injuries, the starvation, the cholera. They cited Saudi Arabia’s explicit and intentional use of starvation as a weapon. They noted the blockade against humanitarian aid imposed by Saudi Arabia. They endlessly discussed the biggest cholera epidemic ever known. Here’s a tweet from Senator Chris Murphy:
“Gut check moment for the Senate today: we will vote on whether to continue the U.S./Saudi bombing campaign in Yemen which has killed over 10,000 civilians and created the largest cholera outbreak in history.”
Senator Jeff Merkley asked if partnering with a government trying to starve millions of people to death squared with the principles of the United States of America. I tweeted a response: “Should I tell him or wait and let his colleagues do it?” In the end, 55 of his colleagues answered his question as well as any history book could have done.
The ridiculousness of arguments for continuing the war was called out by senators on the floor. Senator Mitch McConnell and others made the claim made to them by Secretary of War (“Defense”) James Mattis, that ending U.S. participation in bombing civilians in Yemen would mean more civilian deaths in Yemen, not fewer. Others trotted out the claim made by Trump’s lawyers, parroting Obama’s lawyer Harold Koh, that bombing a nation flat is neither “war” nor “hostilities” if U.S. troops are not on the ground being shot.
Senator Bernie Sanders put a stop to such nonsense. He recommended trying telling the people of Yemen being bombed with U.S. bombs and U.S. targeting and U.S.-fueled planes that the United States is not really involved.
The idea that the full Senate should leave to a committee a matter the committee had not bother to touch in years was also appropriately laughed out of court.
Senator Mike Lee reassured his colleagues that ending the U.S. war on Yemen on grounds of illegality wouldn’t slow or halt any other illegal US wars. (I’m sure you’re relieved to hear that!)
To their credit, Senators Murphy and Lee and Sanders were very clear that a vote to table, rather than directly vote on, their resolution to end the war, would be a cowardly vote not to have a debate and not to obey the U.S. Constitution. And to their greater credit, they went ahead and had the substantive debate prior to the vote to table. In the past on at least one occasion of the many times that we’ve seen such resolutions brought forward in the House, the war-proponents talked substance while the opponents talked only procedure. This change, too, was progress.
So, why? Why did the Senate vote for genocide? And why is nobody surprised by it?
Well, the arguments made by the Senators on the right side of the debate certainly left something to be desired. Sanders spoke of the dead in the wars on Vietnam and Iraq, and they were all Americans. He said the war on Vietnam almost destroyed an entire generation of Americans. This was a war that killed 6 million people in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, plus 50,000 from the United States. How can people come to think about one-sided slaughters if we pretend they don’t really exist?
Senator Tom Udall said that from WWII until the presidency of Donald Trump the United States was a noble, law-abiding, altruistic leader of spreading democracy, although not quite perfectly. In so saying, Udall bestows on Trump a sort of magical power, as well as rewriting U.S. history. The U.S. public was allowed no vote on Tuesday. Neither was Trump.
The resolution itself was limited, marred by loopholes, and not truly whipped for by many of those who voted against tabling it. Perhaps a stronger resolution would have failed even more badly. Or perhaps a more coherent case against war would have been more persuasive. I do not know. But the notion that you should arm and assist the Saudi dictatorship in bombing people when it’s called anti-ISIS and not when it’s called anti-Houthi seems a trickier case to make than the one that you should stop arming and assisting in the slaughter of human beings, generating more enemies, impoverishing the public, draining funds from human needs, damaging the environment, eroding the rule of law, imperializing the presidency, militarizing your culture and schools and police, and aligning your government with a brutal monarchy.
Perhaps that’s a case that has to be made to the public first and then to the senators, but many senators made clear how they were thinking. Lee was not off in trying to reassure them about the setting of precedents. One of them openly worried that if refueling bombers that were blowing up people’s homes in one country was counted as “hostilities,” then refueling bombers that were blowing up people’s homes in any country could be counted as “hostilities.” And then what kind of a world would we have?!
So, a vote against one war is never just a vote against one war. It’s a vote to challenge, if ever so slightly, the power of the war machine. These Senators are paid not to do that.
Here is a list of Senators and their 2018 bribes (excuse me, campaign contributions) from dealers of death (excuse me, defense companies). I’ve indicated how they voted on tabling Tuesday’s resolution with a Y or N. A pro-war vote is a Y:
Nelson, Bill (D-FL) $184,675 Y
Strange, Luther (R-AL) $140,450 not in senate
Kaine, Tim (D-VA) $129,109 N
McSally, Martha (R-AZ) $125,245 not in senate
Heinrich, Martin (D-NM) $109,731 N
Wicker, Roger (R-MS) $109,625 Y
Graham, Lindsey (R-SC) $89,900 Y
Donnelly, Joe (D-IN) $89,156 Y
King, Angus (I-ME) $86,100 N
Fischer, Deb (R-NE) $74,850 Y
Hatch, Orrin G (R-UT) $74,375 Y
McCaskill, Claire (D-MO) $65,518 N
Cardin, Ben (D-MD) $61,905 N
Manchin, Joe (D-WV) $61,050 Y
Cruz, Ted (R-TX) $55,315 Y
Jones, Doug (D-AL) $55,151 Y
Tester, Jon (D-MT) $53,438 N
Hirono, Mazie K (D-HI) $47,100 N
Cramer, Kevin (R-ND) $46,000 not in Senate
Murphy, Christopher S (D-CT) $44,596 N
Sinema, Kyrsten (D-AZ) $44,140 not in Senate
Shaheen, Jeanne (D-NH) $41,013 N
Cantwell, Maria (D-WA) $40,010 N
Reed, Jack (D-RI) $37,277 Y
Inhofe, James M (R-OK) $36,500 Y
Stabenow, Debbie (D-MI) $36,140 N
Gillibrand, Kirsten (D-NY) $33,210 N
Rubio, Marco (R-FL) $32,700 Y
McConnell, Mitch (R-KY) $31,500 Y
Flake, Jeff (R-AZ) $29,570 Y
Perdue, David (R-GA) $29,300 Y
Heitkamp, Heidi (D-ND) $28,124 Y
Barrasso, John A (R-WY) $27,500 Y
Corker, Bob (R-TN) $27,125 Y
Warner, Mark (D-VA) $26,178 N
Sullivan, Dan (R-AK) $26,000 Y
Heller, Dean (R-NV) $25,200 Y
Schatz, Brian (D-HI) $23,865 N
Blackburn, Marsha (R-TN) $22,906 not in Senate
Brown, Sherrod (D-OH) $21,373 N
Cochran, Thad (R-MS) $21,050 Y
Baldwin, Tammy (D-WI) $20,580 N
Casey, Bob (D-PA) $19,247 N
Peters, Gary (D-MI) $19,000 N
Feinstein, Dianne (D-CA) $18,350 N
Moore, Roy (R-AL) $18,250 not in Senate
Jenkins, Evan (R-WV) $17,500 not in Senate
Tillis, Thom (R-NC) $17,000 Y
Blunt, Roy (R-MO) $16,500 Y
Moran, Jerry (R-KS) $14,500 N
Collins, Susan M (R-ME) $14,000 N
Hoeven, John (R-ND) $13,000 Y
Durbin, Dick (D-IL) $12,786 N
Whitehouse, Sheldon (D-RI) $12,721 Y
Messer, Luke (R-IN) $12,000 not in Senate
Cornyn, John (R-TX) $11,000 Y
Cotton, Tom (R-AR) $11,000 Y
Murkowski, Lisa (R-AK) $11,000 Y
O’Rourke, Beto (D-TX) $10,564 not in Senate
Rounds, Mike (R-SD) $10,000 Y
Warren, Elizabeth (D-MA) $9,766 N
Rosen, Jacky (D-NV) $9,655 not in Senate
Sasse, Ben (R-NE) $9,350 Y
Portman, Rob (R-OH) $8,500 Y
Nicholson, Kevin (R-WI) $8,350 not in Senate
Rosendale, Matt (R-MT) $8,100 not in Senate
Menendez, Robert (D-NJ) $8,005 Y
Boozman, John (R-AR) $8,000 Y
Toomey, Pat (R-PA) $7,550 Y
Carper, Tom (D-DE) $7,500 N
Crapo, Mike (R-ID) $7,000 Y
Daines, Steven (R-MT) $6,500 N
Ernst, Joni (R-IA) $6,500 Y
Kennedy, John (R-LA) $6,000 Y
Sanders, Bernie (I-VT) $5,989 N
Scott, Tim (R-SC) $5,500 Y
Ward, Kelli (R-AZ) $5,125 not in Senate
Enzi, Mike (R-WY) $5,000 Y
Fincher, Steve (R-TN) $5,000 not in Senate
Isakson, Johnny (R-GA) $5,000 Y
Lankford, James (R-OK) $5,000 Y
Shelby, Richard C (R-AL) $5,000 Y
Duckworth, Tammy (D-IL) $4,535 N
Burr, Richard (R-NC) $4,000 Y
Capito, Shelley Moore (R-WV) $4,000 Y
Gardner, Cory (R-CO) $4,000 Y
Mandel, Josh (R-OH) $3,550 not in Senate
Hassan, Maggie (D-NH) $3,217 N
Hartson, Alison (D-CA) $3,029 not in Senate
Brakey, Eric (R-ME) $3,000 not in Senate
Diehl, Geoff (R-MA) $3,000 not in Senate
Downing, Troy (R-MT) $2,700 not in Senate
Klobuchar, Amy (D-MN) $2,498 N
Blumenthal, Richard (D-CT) $2,090 N
Coons, Chris (D-DE) $2,027 Y
Leahy, Patrick (D-VT) $2,002 N
Alexander, Lamar (R-TN) $2,000 Y
Bennet, Michael F (D-CO) $2,000 N
Johnson, Ron (R-WI) $2,000 Y
Renacci, Jim (R-OH) $2,000 not in Senate
Rokita, Todd (R-IN) $1,500 not in Senate
Masto, Catherine Cortez (D-NV) $1,435 not in Senate
Booker, Cory (D-NJ) $1,380 N
Harris, Kamala D (D-CA) $1,313 N
Van Hollen, Chris (D-MD) $1,036 N
Thune, John (R-SD) $1,035 Y
Lee, Mike (R-UT) $1,000 N
Morrisey, Patrick (R-WV) $1,000 not in Senate
Petersen, Austin (R-MO) $1,000 not in Senate
Stewart, Corey (R-VA) $1,000 not in Senate
Young, Bob (R-MI) $1,000 not in Senate
Young, Todd (R-IN) $1,000 Y
Udall, Tom (D-NM) $707 N
Lindstrom, Beth (R-MA) $700 not in Senate
Murray, Patty (D-WA) $635 N
Mackler, James (D-TN) $625 not in Senate
Merkley, Jeff (D-OR) $555 N
Barletta, Lou (R-PA) $500 not in Senate
Monetti, Tony (R-MO) $500 not in Senate
Olszewski, Al (R-MT) $500 not in Senate
Paul, Rand (R-KY) $500 N
Faddis, Sam (R-MD) $350 not in Senate
Paula Jean Swearengin (D-WV) $263 not in Senate
Vukmir, Leah (R-WI) $250 not in Senate
Wilson, Jenny (D-UT) $250 not in Senate
Ross, Deborah (D-NC) $205 not in Senate
Hildebrand, David (D-CA) $100 not in Senate
Wyden, Ron (D-OR) $75 N
Singer, James (D-UT) $50 not in Senate
Schumer, Charles E (D-NY) $16 N
Sbaih, Jesse (D-NV) $5 not in Senate
Roberts, Pat (R-KS) $-1,000 Y
Franken, Al (D-MN) $-1,064 not in Senate
Kander, Jason (D-MO) $-1,598 not in Senate
Edwards, Donna (D-MD) $-2,700 not in Senate
Obviously one must look at numerous votes and other actions, and at bribes from previous years, and at the relative cost of running in each state, etc., but we do see here 51 of the 55 yes votes receiving weapons profits, and most of them near the top or middle of this list. And we see 42 of 44 no votes receiving weapons profits, and most of them near the middle or bottom of this list. Of the top 70 recipients, 43 voted yes. Of the bottom 20 recipients, 14 voted no.
A bigger factor would seem to be political party, since 45 of the 55 yes votes were Republican (plus 10 Democrats), and 37 of the 44 no votes were Democratic (plus 2 Independents and 5 Republicans). But this can hardly be separated from funding, as the amounts above are dwarfed by the money brought in and distributed to candidates by parties, with the “defense” profiteers giving the Republican party $1.2 million, and the Democratic Party $0.82 million. One can be very confident that neither party’s “leadership” privately asked its members to vote to end the war on Yemen. Publicly, the Republican party leadership urged a vote for continued genocide. If we look at party and money combined, we see that all of the Republicans who voted no are pretty low in the list, while the relevance of bribes is less clear with Democrats who voted yes. But a no vote as part of a majority — had such a thing happened — would have been unlikely to have pleased either party.
Then there’s the media problem. The Democratic Party-promoting MSNBC was silent, while NPR told its listeners that poor innocent Saudi Arabia was surrounded and under attack by the demonic Iran. The New York Timeseditorial board did better than its reporters. But if any coverage of the U.S. role in Yemen had made it onto television, then I would be able to find people when I travel around the United States who are aware that there is a war in Yemen. As it is, I can find few who can name any current U.S. wars. If Senator Sanders had opposed this war when he was running for president, instead of urging Saudi Arabia to spend more and get its blood-soaked hands dirty, progressives would have heard that — and I would have backed Sanders for president.
Or what if Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, ACLU and other groups claiming to support human rights had helped oppose the war on Yemen? Or what if pundits stopped referring to such groups as human rights groups and called them, instead, Pro-U.S.-War/Human Rights groups? Would that have made a difference?
What about the rest of us? I work for two groups that tried: RootsAction.org and World Beyond War. So did many others. Many formed big coalitions to try to have a bigger impact. Could we have done more? Of course. What about people who didn’t sign anything, go to anything, phone or email any Senators? It’s hard to say that any of us have clean hands.
I happened to read a column on Wednesday that proposed that everyone cease honoring any former U.S. president who owned people as slaves. I’m all for it. But the same column proposed as a noble and honorable factor being a decorated and “successful” (German) soldier. This gives me pause in denouncing slave-owners as “monsters.” Of course slavery is monstrous and those who do it are responsible for it. Their statues should all come down and be replaced by worthy ones, including ones of slavery-abolitionists and civil-rights activists, ideally memorials for movements rather than individuals.
But what if we come someday to understand that war is monstrous? Then what should we make of war supporters, including columnists? And what am I to make of things I myself thought a decade or three ago and now no longer think? Isn’t there something a shade monstrous about praising war on the anniversary of the 2003 attack on Iraq and at the same moment that the U.S. Senate is voting to kill the (non-“white”) people of Yemen? And yet, isn’t such behavior found in a column opposing racism, written by an anti-racism activist the work of something other than a monster? Perhaps senators aren’t monsters either. Perhaps we can bring them around yet. We have to try.
Women’s Caucus condemns the brutal treatment of 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi by Israeli military
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Women’s Caucus of the Green Party calls on Congress to pass HR 4391, “Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act.”
The bill, submitted by Congresswoman Betty McCollum (Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party-Minn.), would prevent the use of U.S. tax dollars for the Israeli military’s ongoing detention and mistreatment of Palestinian children.
Recent news of Ahed Tamimi, a Palestinian teenager who was interrogated and charged with assault by Israeli military forces for slapping an Israeli soldier in December and threatened with rape by an Israeli journalist, highlights the need to recognize that massive detentions and violent interrogations of minors are horrific violations of human rights and international law and need to end. Continue reading “Green Party National Women’s Caucus demands passage of House bill upholding human rights for Palestinian minors and international law”
“The electoral fraud supported by the U.S. State Department in favor of the dictatorship has forced our people to protest massively throughout the country, despite savage government repression that has taken the lives of more than 34 young people since the election, and in which hundreds of protestors have been criminalized and imprisoned.”
Zelaya: Open Letter to the American People
People of the United States:
For the past century, the owners of the fruit companies called our country “Banana Republic” and characterized our politicians as “cheaper than a mule” (as in the infamous Rolston letter).
Honduras, a dignified nation, has had the misfortune of having a ruling class lacking in ethical principles that kowtows to U.S. transnational corporations, condemning our country to backwardness and extreme poverty.
We have been subject to horrible dictatorships that have enjoyed U.S. support, under the premise that an outlaw is good for us if he serves transnational interests well. We have reached the point that today we are treated as less than a colony to which the U.S. government does not even deign to appoint an ambassador. Your government has installed a dictatorship in the person of Mr. Hernández, who acts as a provincial governor–spineless and obedient toward transnational companies, but a tyrant who uses terror tactics to oppress his own people. Certain sectors of Honduran private industry have also suffered greatly from punitive taxes and persecution.
You, the people of the United States, have been sold the idea that your government defends democracy, transparency, freedom and human rights in Honduras. But the State Department and Heide Fulton, the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires who is serving as de facto Ambassador to Honduras, are supporting blatant electoral fraud favoring Mr. Hernández, who has repeatedly violated the Honduran Constitution and (as noted by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights) basic human rights. He is responsible for the scandalous looting of USD $350 million from the Honduran Social Security Institute and while he lies to you shamelessly that he is fighting drug cartels, he has destroyed the rule of law by stacking the Supreme Court with justices loyal to him.
The people of the United States have the right to know that in Honduras your taxes are used to finance, train and run institutions that oppress the people, such as the armed forces and the police, both of which are well known to run death squads (like those that grew out of Plan Colombia) and which are also deeply integrated with drug cartels.
People of the United States: the immoral support of your government has been so two-faced that for eight consecutive years the U.S. Millenium Challenge Corporation has determined that the Hernandez regime does not qualify for aid because of the government’s corruption, failing in all measures of transparency. With this record, the Honduran people ask: Why is the U.S. Government willing to recognize as president a man who the Honduran people voted against, and who they wish to see leave office immediately?
People of the United States: We ask you to spread the word, to stand up to your government’s lies about supporting democracy, freedom, human rights and justice, and to demand that your elected representatives immediately end U.S. support for the scandalous electoral fraud against the people of Honduras, who have taken to the streets to demand recognition of the victory of the Alliance Against the Dictatorship and of President-Elect Salvador Alejandro César Nasralla Salúm.
We can tolerate difference and conflict, seeking peaceful solutions as a sovereign people, but your government’s intervention in favor of the dictatorship only exacerbates our differences.
The electoral fraud supported by the U.S. State Department in favor of the dictatorship has forced our people to protest massively throughout the country, despite savage government repression that has taken the lives of more than 34 young people since the election, and in which hundreds of protestors have been criminalized and imprisoned.
We stand in solidarity with the North American people; we share much more with you than the fact that the one percent has bought off the political leaders of both our nations.
As descendents of the Independence hero Morazán, we want to live in peace, with justice and in democracy.
The Honduran people want to have good relations with the United States, but with respect and reciprocity. •
Tegucigalpa, December 21, 2017
José Manuel Zelaya Rosales
Consitutionally Legitimate President of Honduras 2005-2010
Chief Coordinator, Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship
José Manuel Zelaya Rosales is the Constitutionally Legitimate President of Honduras (2005-2010), and Chief Coordinator of the Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship.