Position Paper on Violence in the BLM Movement 

 

 

By Rusty Tomlinson

One of the principles of the Green Party is nonviolence. We believe strongly, and research shows, that it is a much more effective tool for change than violence. We are concerned with the degree to which violence is being manifested in the BLM protests, therefore, we the Green Party Peace Action Committee (GPAX) offer this position paper, a collection of suggested defenses against and alternatives to violence.

The police must be held accountable for their use of brutality, chemical and impact weapons and their failure to protect protesters and others against assailants. The use of tear gas against military enemies is illegal; it should not be used against Americans exercising their First Amendment rights. Rubber bullets and beanbags are potentially lethal. Protesters and others should keep their cameras ready to document any brutality or other misdeeds by police. Any misdeeds should be reported to the police Internal Affairs Division or, if necessary, the state police. If that doesn’t work, there is litigation. The people should continue to push for the establishment of citizen’s review boards, with the power to investigate and hold the police accountable.

The push to defund the police must continue. Of particular importance is to demilitarize the police, taking away their military weapons and combat armor. If police show up in their dress uniforms, there will be much less violence!

Trump used active duty personnel, the 82nd Airborne, to clear protesters from Lafayette Park, so that he could walk to a church for a photo op. They used chemical weapons and physical abuse to clear the park. Trump made noises like he was going to enact the Insurrection act, which would have made his use of active duty troops legal. As it was, his use of them was illegal. Trump later backed off on the use of active duty troops, and none have been used since then, but if any are ever again deployed, they must be reminded that they took an oath not to obey any illegal orders. Many military members have expressed displeasure at being deployed against protesters and we believe many would step down and maybe join the protesters. If any obey orders to deploy against protesters, they and their chain of command must be held accountable for deploying illegally and for any violence or brutality committed against the protesters.

Unlike the use of active duty forces, the use of National Guard forces is legal, but we feel it is immoral. We believe that a good percentage of the National Guard have more in common with the protesters, than they do with the militaristic mindset of the National Guard. Therefore, we call on the members of the National Guard to break the law, stand down and join the protesters. We realize that any members who take our advice will face some immense legal problems and we will refer them to organizations who can help, such as the GI Rights Hotline, Courage to Resist, Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War and Stand Down! Refuse to Deploy!. As always, National Guard who do not take our advice and who deploy against the protesters must be held accountable for brutality, chemical and impact weapons, so, as always, keep your cameras ready.

The Trump regime initiated what they named Operation Diligent Valor, threatening to send a coalition of personnel from different Department of Homeland Security divisions, who were trained in special operations and SWAT tactics, along with US Marshals. They soon became infamous for pushing non-offending protesters into vans and employing chemical and impact weapons. Organizers in Portland, OR proved very adept at devising non-violent responses, such as the Wall of Moms, who would place themselves between the protesters and the federal law enforcement personnel, the Wall of Dads, who brought leaf blowers to disperse the tear gas and the Wall of Vets. The DA in Philadelphia swore that any of the federal personnel who broke the law in his city would be arrested. The Facebook group Stand Down! Refuse to Deploy! tweeted the DAs in the other cities threatened by the Trump regime, asking that they swear similar oaths. Once again, accountability is essential.

And yet another threat has appeared. Right wing, racist militias, often armed, have started appearing at the BLM protests. Confrontations between protesters and militia have resulted in at least five shootings and four deaths. When armed militia show up, the most important thing is to avoid angry confrontations and taunts. Use your cameras to document police interactions with the militia. Are they working in concert with the militias? Are they allowing militia members to commit violent acts and walk away freely, while the police harass non-violent protesters? Use cameras, legal observers and the press to document such behavior. If you know where the militia will be, schedule your event where they are not. It is a lot easier to stay on message, when there are no violent counter-protesters.

Remember, that BLM is a movement OPPOSING violence. Agent provocateurs try to sabotage our message by committing violence against people and destruction of property and making it appear that we are doing it. Let’s not help them. Leave your firearms and firebombs at home.

Hiroshima/Nagasaki Bombings Student Resources

Student Resources about the 1945 bombings of Hiroshima/Nagasaki (H/N)

By Dianne Blais for the GREEN PARTY PEACE ACTION COMMITTEE (GPAX)

These Resources include: 

Intro – info about the H/N bombings

Aug. 6-9, 2020 EVENTS

Anti-Nuclear Organizations that include H/N bombings remembrance

Webinars about the H/N bombings

Books about the bombings

Articles about the bombings

Films about the bombings

Miscellaneous:  Photos,  Sample Program to Remember H/N and petition

 

A good intro to the H/N bombings is “The Untold History of the U.S.”

Oliver Stone’s 2012 12-part series (free on Netflix and supplemented by a 750-page companion book) is a condensed analysis of WWII and the H/N bombings.

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) – US section created this online 1945 timeline. https://www.vtwilpfgathering.com/timeline

WebsiteUN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA)

https://www.un.org/disarmament/education/slideshow/hibakusha/ Links to many resources, including Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs collection of testimonies from Hibakusha

https://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/un/disarmament/arms/testimony_of_hibakusha/index.html

 

Hiroshima – “Original Child Bomb” by Thomas Merton (1961 poem has 41 sections) https://inaspaciousplace.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/hiroshima-original-child-bomb-by-thomas-merton/

 

 

FOR AUGUST 6-9, 2020

https://www.hiroshimanagasaki75.org/  more than 160 organizations working together to create 18 hours of video streaming on August 6 and 9

 

From August 6 at 8:15am, the time that the nuclear bomb was detonated over Hiroshima, until August 9 at 11:02am, the time the nuclear bomb was detonated over Nagasaki, peace activists around the world will undertake individual and/or group actions as part of a ‘Peace Wave’

ReThinkMedia.org is a media company that is a gathering place for organizations to share resources for the 75th Anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

75 Years and Counting: From Hiroshima to Hope –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RE6hCc6Mo2Q&feature=youtu.be

film featuring performances and readings, interviews with hibakusha, and traditional koto and shakuhachi flute along with beautiful images of candle-lit lanterns floating on Green Lake (Seattle, Wash).

 

Groups against nuclear weapons that support remembering the H/N bombings.

Go to these groups’ web-sites for videos, articles, and links to further information.

From Wikipedia:  Nuclear disarmament groups include the Campaign for Nuclear DisarmamentPeace ActionPugwash Conferences on Science and World AffairsGreenpeaceSoka Gakkai InternationalInternational Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear WarMayors for PeaceGlobal Zero, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

U.S. elder statesmen Sam NunnWilliam PerryHenry Kissinger, and George Shultz have called upon governments to embrace the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons & have created the Nuclear Security Project to advance this agenda. Organizations such as Global Zero, an international non-partisan group of 300 world leaders dedicated to achieving nuclear disarmament, have also been established.

 

Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons www.abolition2000.org

 

PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (PSR) mobilizes physicians and health professionals to advocate for climate solutions and a nuclear weapons-free world.  Is local /state/national/international organization.,

The Council for a Livable World promotes policies to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons and to minimize the risk of war through lobbying and by helping elect and support Members of Congress who share our goals.

 

United for Peace & Justice www.unitedforpeace.org a multi-issue network that takes nuclear weapons dangers seriously

 

Prevent Nuclear War.org Back from the Brink: The Call to Prevent Nuclear War is a national grassroots campaign seeking to lead us away from the dangerous path we are on – lays out five common-sense steps that the United States should take to reform its nuclear policy.

 

UNFOLD ZERO is a platform for United Nations (UN) focused initiatives and actions for the achievement of a nuclear weapons free world. UNFOLD ZERO aims to unfold the path to zero nuclear weapons through effective steps and measures facilitated by the UN General Assembly, UN Security Council, UN Secretary-General and other UN bodies.

 

Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) has info & documentary films   https://www.nti.org/

 

The World Peace Council (WPC) is an international organization that advocates universal disarmament,  The U.S. Peace Council  represents its American section.

 

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is a coalition of non-governmental organizations promoting adherence to and implementation of the United Nations nuclear weapon ban treaty.

 

World BEYOND War is a global nonviolent movement to advance the idea of not just preventing any particular war but abolishing the entire institution (2014).

Mayors for Peace “No more Hiroshima! No more Nagasaki!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03aRCUSsyCg

 

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

WILPF was founded in 1915 during World War I, with Jane Addams as its first president.

 

LOCAL GROUPS

Tri-Valley CAREs Communities Against a Radioactive Environment From Hiroshima to a Healthy Tomorrow: Embracing Our Common Humanity —Annual protest and rally held at the gates of Livermore Laboratory,

 

Since 1982, the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Peace Committee of the National Capital Area has been organizing for the abolition of nuclear weapons and power and in support of nuclear victims.

 

Prevent Nuclear War.org Back from the Brink: The Call to Prevent Nuclear War is a national grassroots campaign seeking to lead us away from the dangerous path we are on – lays out five common-sense steps that the United States should take to reform its nuclear policy.

 

Hiroshima City University (HCU) contains the affiliated Hiroshima Peace Institute (HPI)

 

Minneapolis St. Paul Hiroshima Nagasaki Commemoration Committee (HNCC)

No More Bombs based in Washington state

Webinars about the H/N bombings

7/25/2020 – Four historians explained that the US didn’t need to drop the bomb, we’ve been told a myth.   https://youtu.be/7hJVHsQ7f0k   What Every Global Citizen Needs to Know About the Decision to A-Bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Hiroshima Symposium Hibakusha Testimony: Hiroshima 1945 to the U.S. 2020  (March 5, 2020). Recording available to watch online.  Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis  https://iu.mediaspace.kaltura.com/playlist/details/1_k83bkcoj

IUPUI’s Japanese Studies Program hosted “Hiroshima Nagasaki A-bomb Poster Exhibition,” which includes the testimony of Dr. Hideko Tamura, an A-bomb survivor and Hiroshima Peace Ambassador, followed by a symposium with guests, Dr. Roy Tamashiro, Professor Emeritus from Webster University and specialist in Peace Studies, as well as Ari Beser, the grandson of the only crew member who participated in both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.

Books about the bombings

One Sunny Day by Atomic bomb survivor Dr. Hideko Tamura Snider (1996)

Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War by Susan Southard (Viking 2015) — tells the story of five survivors, all of whom where teenagers in 1945, and the life of the entire city, over the next 70 years. Documents the enduring impact of nuclear war. www.susansouthard.com

Choosing Life: My father’s journey from Hollywood to Hiroshima by Leslie A. Sussan https://hiroshima-choosinglife.com/  The ripples of one bomb on four generations and two continents seen at a level of human compassion.

 

African Americans Against the Bomb

Nuclear Weapons, Colonialism, and the Black Freedom Movement

By Vincent Intondi   https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=23490

The Atomic Bomb on my Back.  Hibakusha (atomic bomb sufferer/survivor), Taniguchi, at age 16, was badly burned by the blast, and spent ten years in recovery. This account of his life, during which he lived with “the atomic bomb on his back,” is a moving tale of survival and activism, as he dedicated his life to the abolition of nuclear weapons.  https://www.rootstockpublishing.com/rootstock-books/the-atomic-bomb-on-my-back he would often show the photo of his burns to illustrate the intense suffering that resulted from the bombings. He spent a total of more than three-and-a-half years in the hospital after the bombing.

Dr. Joseph Gerson is Executive Director of the Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security and Vice-President of the International Peace Bureau. His most recent book is Empire and the Bomb: How the US Uses Nuclear Weapons to Dominate the World. His previous books include The Sun Never Sets and With Hiroshima Eyes.

 

Articles about the bombings

“Intersectionality of the bomb” https://www.armscontrol.org/act/2020-07/features/reflections-injustice-racism-bomb

 

Films about the bombings

Hibakusha, Our Life to Live and Article 9 Comes to America by David Rothauser
Hibakusha
https://youtu.be/goiKsKgsYdM
Article 9
https://youtu.be/yui6xLdX3Aw

The Moment in Time: The Manhattan Project | 2000 | 56min | Directed by John Bass |
This Library of Congress and Los Alamos National Laboratory co-production uses interviews and oral histories with many of the key Manhattan Project scientists who helped build the bomb. The film charts the fear that the Nazis were working on an atomic bomb, and follows its development up to the explosion of the ‘Trinity” bomb on July 16, 1945 with scarce consideration given to the population living in the vicinity.

 

ICAN Film: The Beginning of the End of Nuclear Weapons http://theendofnuclearweapons.com

This documentary film about the efforts to bring about a nuclear weapon ban treaty into international law and the role of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is told through the voices of leading activists that are part of the coalition of ICAN. This 56 minute documentary is available by contacting the producer through the website listed. It includes a brief history of the bomb and anti-nuclear activism and moves to the historic steps taken since 2010 to turn the treaty from a dream into a reality.

Hiroshima: BBC History of World War II  https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0475296/

The docudrama recounts the world’s first nuclear attack and examines the repercussions. Covering a three-week period from the Trinity test to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the program chronicles America’s political gamble and the planning for the momentous event. Archival film, dramatizations, and special effects depict what occurred aboard the Enola Gay and inside the nuclear blast.

 

White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (2007) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0911010/ Using extensive interviews with survivors and archival footage, an examination reveals the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

 

MISCELLANEOUS:  Photos,  Sample Program  & petition

Photo Essay

https://time.com/after-the-bomb/  Powerful Photos of Survivors paired with their personal stories.  A selection of the work of Photographer Haruka Sakaguchi.  Suitable for posters, handouts, display and readings.

 

Sample Program to raise awareness of Hiroshima/Nagasaki w/ Readings, Songs & Film

Hiroshima Day  (original by Barbara Taft, Greater Phoenix AZ)

7:00     Program begins with Song – “Blowin’ in the Wind”,  “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”

Film Excerpts: “White Light, Black Rain :

7:20     Slide Show on Hiroshima, until mostly finished, then begin:

Songs:  “Song of Peace (Findlandia),  “Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream”

Poem:  “I Come and Stand at Every Door,” by Nazim Hikmet

7:40     Reading of Toyomi Hashimoto from play “Most Dangerous Women” written by Jan Maher

VOICE  (Narrator)
August 6, 1945.  Hiroshima.  Perhaps the darkest day in a dark decade. Three days later the United States drops a second bomb on the city of Nagasaki.

Toyomi Hashimoto remembers that day: Though at each anniversary the skies over our city are blue and peaceful, the memory of that day in 1945 still troubles my body and soul. In spite of the wartime conditions, my husband and our little son and I lived a happy life. On the morning of August 9, 1945, I walked to the gate to see my husband off to work.  My three-year-old boy, Takashi, went out to play. I was alone in the house when, in the distance, I heard an approaching airplane. “Japanese?” I wondered.  I stepped outside to see my son running to me, calling, “Airplane! Airplane!”

The moment we reentered the house, there was a blinding flash followed by a tremendous explosion.  The roof of the house caved in, pinning us under a mountain of debris.  Hours passed.  I do not know how many.

Then I heard my son crying softly and calling for mother and father.  He was alive.  I tried to reach for him, but a huge beam immobilized me.  I could not break free. Though I screamed for help, no one came.

Soon I heard voices calling names of neighbors. My son was bravely trying to crawl from under a heap of clay that had been one of the walls. When he turned and faced me, I saw that his right eye was obliterated with blood.  Once again, I tried to move, but the beam would not budge. I screamed so loud and long that I must have lost my voice.  I called to the people I could see scurrying about, but they did not hear me.  No one answered until the lady next door finally pulled my son out of the wreckage.

I suddenly became aware of a sharp pain in my breast, left hand, and stomach. As I tried again to crawl out, I saw that a huge nail was stuck in my stomach. “Fire! Fire!” I could hear people shouting around me. It was either break free or burn to death. With a violent wrench, I pulled myself from under the beam.  In doing so, I ripped the flesh of my stomach. Blood spurted from an agonizing gash in my body.

I was at last out of the ruined house.  Still, my son was nowhere to be seen. Perhaps the kind lady next door had led him to safety. I had to search for him, but I could only limp slowly because of the pain in my stomach. As I crept slowly along, people more seriously injured than I clutched at my feet and pleaded for help and water. I heard loud voices shouting, “Leave the old people!  Help the children first!”  All I could do was promise to come back with water, if it was possible.

“Thank heaven you’re alive!” I heard a familiar voice saying.  Turning, with intense happiness, I saw my husband, who was holding our son in his arms. We climbed to the top of a hill together, walking among countless corpses.

On the hilltop, a kind man gave us bed sheets, candles, sugar, and other useful things. At once we began to try to do something for Takashi, who had lost consciousness.  After a while, as we dripped sugar water into his mouth, he awakened.  He had already lost the sight of his right eye. Myriad slivers of        glass were embedded in his head, face, body, arms, and legs. An air-raid alarm, still in effect, prohibited lighting candles. In the pitch darkness, my husband and I picked out as many pieces of glass from his body as we could find.  So full of life and energy until that moment!  Now blind in one eye and covered with blood and dirt!

Still he bore everything bravely and only asked, “Am I being a good boy?”

SHE stands quietly, head bowed.

 

Petition:  Join the Hibakusha in calling for an end to nuclear weapons by signing their petition here: https://www.hiroshimanagasaki75.org/hibakusha-appeal

 

 

 

Proposed World Peace Platform

THE GREEN PARTY’S WORLD PEACE PLATFORM PROPOSED FOR 2022 ADOPTION

ENDORSED BY THE GREEN PARTY PEACE ACTION COMMITTEE (GPAX)

ON JULY 6, 2020

GREEN PARTY’S FOUR PILLARS

Democracy, Social & Economic Justice, World Peace, Ecology

WORLD PEACE POLICY STATEMENT

The Green Party believes that economic development is only environmentally sustainable globally when it’s rooted democratically in social and economic justice. As a superpower, our government’s domestic militarism is tied to international militarism. Thus, our foreign policy of attacking, through overt and covert warfare, the sovereignty of nation-states to acquire their natural, financial, and human resources to maintain geopolitical supremacy must end if we are to protect ourselves and the people of the world against the corporate hijacking of our foreign policy. Our interests are best served in respecting international law and the fundamental United Nations principles of non-aggression and self-determination.

I. WARFARE – OVERT

A. Armaments & Weapons of Mass Destruction

Our government’s use of armaments and weapons of mass destruction not only places our country in violation of international and humanitarian law but also makes the military-industrial-complex the largest polluter on the planet through its production, transport, and deployment of armaments and weapons of mass destruction – putting all life on earth at the edge of environmental extinction.

Despite the United Nations call for a global ceasefire during the Covid-19 world-wide pandemic, our government has instead deployed 20,000 troops to Europe to encircle Russia, and has sent warships to threaten Venezuela, Iran, and China. Our government’s misguided quest to control the world’s largest oil supply puts us in direct opposition with the world’s other superpowers. Further, our country’s interventions in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East have left us mired in endless wars that have weakened our country’s economic vitality and decreased opportunities for our children.

B. Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear weapons are the most devastating weapons of mass destruction in existence. Not only has the U.S. nuclear weapon programs consumed vast resources, generated toxic pollution, and spread global fear of apocalyptic destruction but the Trump administration seeks to restart the nuclear arms race. The large stockpiles of these weapons, and their proliferation into a growing number of nations, pose a clear and present danger to humankind.

Apart from the immediate potential for the massive loss of life and destruction of societies in a nuclear war, the widespread use of nuclear weapons risks global ecological catastrophe in a nuclear winter, a long period of reduced sunlight that would cause crop failure and result in famine. This raises the danger level of nuclear war to an existential threat.

C. Drone Warfare

Armed drones are deployed in both overt bombing campaigns as well as in covert warfare such as assassination attempts and biowarfare. Not only are these attacks in violation of domestic, international, and humanitarian law and violate the sovereignty of nation-states, but errors in intelligence and targeting result in the killing of civilians including medical professionals, journalists, and children.

D. Cyber Warfare

Software hacking by U.S. government agencies against targeted nation-states poses serious risks to global security and peace especially when it conducts false flag attacks.  Cyberwarfare tools are now capable of disrupting power grids, damaging public health facilities, and triggering armed conflicts.

E. Weaponization of Outer Space

In support of our government’s quest for full-spectrum dominance, the Pentagon has been directed to establish a sixth branch of the armed forces called the Space Force. Our government is seeking to resurrect some version of the largely defunct 1980’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). The SDI called for the development of a system that could intercept nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Our government already uses space-based technology, such as satellites, to conduct espionage and disrupt the computer, communication and power systems of sovereign nation-states, and its military has polluted space with toxic orbital debris from broken satellites, spent rocket bodies, etc. which may collide with each other and already fall back to earth daily.

Green Position Against Overt Warfare

1. The Green Party calls for the observance of international law, treaties and charters, and foreign geographical boundaries and airspace and seeks a comprehensive review of treaties the U.S has either not signed or not ratified, covering every area of international relations, to bring the U.S. into compliance with the legal commitments assumed by the majority of U.N. member countries. This is especially important with the proliferation of nuclear, biological, chemical, and nanotechnological weapons and in the regulation and control of existing weapons. This is also highly relevant in climate change accords.

2. The Green Party calls for respecting the sovereignty of all countries and their right to autonomous self-determination. Since 2000, except for Yugoslavia, the U.S. and its adjuncts have toppled governments in Afghanistan, Bolivia, Ecuador, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, and Ukraine. The U.S. has attempted to destabilize and/or topple the governments in Iran, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Zimbabwe. This demonstrates that both the corporate Republican and Democratic parties are pro-war and anti-peace.

3. The Green Party calls for the repeal of the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) which was passed by Congress in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001, and any other measure purporting to authorize preemptive or illegal military action. In passing the AUMF, Congress abdicated its exclusive authority under the Constitution to declare war. Further, it betrayed its responsibility to the American people by delegating to the president virtually dictatorial power to commit acts of war.

4. The Green Party calls for the abolition of nuclear weapons through legislative and diplomatic means. Until that goal can be accomplished, our government must adopt a no-first-strike policy and no-preemptive strike policy. Our government must abide by all nuclear arms control treaties that limit proliferation, improve safeguards, and reduce sizes of nuclear arsenals leading to elimination such as the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NTP), the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM), the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force Treaty (INF) and the Treaty on Open Skies to prevent the nuclear arms race. Our government must honor its commitments to end the research, testing and stockpiling of all nuclear weapons of any size; and dismantle all nuclear warheads from their missiles.

5. The Green Party calls for the abolition of all research, stockpiling, and sale of chemical, and biological weapons. Our government must comply with the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the Biological Weapon and Toxin Convention (BWC). Our government must cease all research involving gain-of-function genetic engineering (intentionally making viruses more contagious and deadly to humans) and dual-use research of concern, the creation of viruses that also have bioweapon potential. Our government must allow foreign teams to visit the U.S. for verification purposes at least annually.

6. The Green Party calls for the abolition of the use of drones, nanotechnology, and other robotic weaponry for illegal aggressions, targeted assassination campaigns, and the transmission of bioweapons. The U.S. must enter into international treaties to regulate the use of these weapons, including both remote controlled and autonomous systems. The U.S. must provide full disclosure and transparency in the investigation of drone strikes that result in human casualties.

7. The Green Party calls for the abolition of cyber warfare as it targets civilians through the potential disruption of critical infrastructure and services in violation of domestic, international, and humanitarian law.

8. The Green Party calls for the abolition of all activities and funding that support the weaponization of outer space.

9. The Green Party calls for those guilty of misleading our country into invasions, occupations, and acts of aggression by falsifying information to be held accountable for violations of domestic, international, and humanitarian law. For example, former President George Bush and members of his administration were found guilty of war crimes by Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission.

10. The Green Party calls for the reduction of our Military and Intelligence Community budgets to half of its current size. The Military and Intelligence Community’s 2019 budgets were $686.1 billion and $81.7 billion respectively. For comparison, in the same period, the military budget for China and Russia was $177.6 billion and $46.4 billion respectively.

11. The Green Party calls for the phasing out of all military bases and installations not specifically functioning under a U.N. resolution for peacekeeping and the bringing home of troops stationed abroad, except for troops assigned to protect U.S. embassies. As of 2020, the U.S. has over 1,000 foreign military bases and installations. In particular, we join the call of the Black Alliance for Peace to shut down the military bases that constitute Africom.

12. The Green Party calls for the closure of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly known as the School of the Americas, in Ft. Benning, Georgia which is notorious for teaching torture techniques to foreign military personnel to use in terrorizing their people into submission.

13. The Green Party calls for the ending of arms sales to foreign nations and the shifting of our export market to peaceful technology and services. The United States is the largest arms seller and dealer in the world.

14. The Green Party calls for the signing of the Ottawa Treaty (the Anti–Personnel Mine Ban Convention) which prohibits the production, stockpiling, use, and sale of land mines and assists other nations in unearthing and disabling land mines buried in their lands.

15. The Green Party supports disinvestment campaigns against arms manufacturers, transporters, financiers, and dealers.

II. WARFARE – COVERT

A. Intelligence Community

Our government uses covert warfare and psychological operations (PSYOP) to install coup d’états in autonomous countries thereby replacing indigenous elected leaders with oppressive puppet regimes inimical to their people and beholden to U.S. finance capital. These regime change wars are planned, coordinated, and executed by the Intelligence Community (IC) whose main mission, as described by former CIA agent, Philip Agee, “is to guarantee a favorable investment climate for U.S. industry.” To this end, the IC directs its military contractors/mercenaries to carry out shock-troop campaigns, false flag attacks, assassinations, and the sabotage of key infrastructures such as electrical grids and water treatment plants. Theoretically, this is done to create human suffering so intolerable that it causes civil unrest leading to revolution. However, the reality is that heinous violence and prolonged deprivation causes hatred for our government and destabilizes countries and regions just as depicted in the declassified KUBARK torture manual that specifies how to “create a world of fear, terror, anxiety, dread.”

U.S. taxpayer dollars also fund Astroturf opposition parties, fake news organizations, and subservient Non-Governmental and Human Rights Organizations. As a result of these efforts, biased reports from captive Human Rights Organizations are generated to wrongly justify our government’s misuse of the United Nations Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine to seize assets and install regimes favorable to U.S. corporations. However, regime changes are not sustainable and often lead to power vacuums and greater regional instability as evident with Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and Syria.

Green Position Against Covert Warfare – Intelligence Community

1. The Green Party calls for the end of all covert actions used to influence, destabilize, or usurp the governments of other nation-states and prohibits assassination in any form.

2. The Green Party calls for the closure of all overseas prisons which are often referred to as Black Sites. At these compounds, the Intelligence Community presides over the torture and interrogation of prisoners outside the scope of the American judicial system. The most infamous of these Black Sites are Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, Abu Ghraib in Iraq, and the Detention Site Cobalt in Afghanistan. Information regarding the exact number and location of secret prisons is classified. Other countries with known U.S. Black Sites are Lithuania, Romania, Poland, and Thailand.

3. The Green Party calls for the release of all foreign political prisoners and those held without criminal charges or violent convictions.

4. The Green Party defends the rights of whistleblowers, journalists, and news media outlets that revealed U.S. war crimes, human rights violations, and corruption, to exist without the threat of persecution, extradition and arrest by the U.S. government as shown in cases against  Philip Agee, John Kiriakou, Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, and Wikileaks.

5. The Green Party calls for those guilty of ordering or conducting torture, executions, and assassinations to be held accountable for violations of national, international, and humanitarian law. For example, former President George Bush and members of his administration were never charged for their role in the torture of detainees.

6. The Green Party calls for the framing and enforcement of legislation that will hold U.S. citizens who profit from misusing their public positions in foreign countries accountable for their corrupt practices. Recent examples are the Biden family in their dealings with Ukraine and the Clinton family in their dealings with Haiti.

7. The Green Party calls for the elimination of the ideologically driven misuse of criminal and judicial procedures by U.S. authorities to falsely accuse politicians like Lula da Silva, Cristina Fernandez, Jorge Glas, Rafael Correa and Evo Morales of crimes to persecute them via “lawfare”.

8. The Green Party calls for the elimination of the ideologically driven misuse of U.S. narcotics policy and enforcement by its Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in foreign countries. In countries the U.S. government targets for regime change, it invents spurious charges that justify the arrest of democratically elected officials and the imposition of unilateral economic sanctions, and in countries it favors it turns a blind eye to drug trafficking at best and facilitates the protection of criminals and drug activity at worst. For example, Venezuela is unfairly targeted for drug trafficking penalties because the U.S. government is engaged in regime change efforts, while Colombia is not even though Colombia is the world’s top producer of cocaine. Because of the dark alliance between the U.S. government and President Ivan Duque of Colombia, not only does the narcotics trade continue unabated, but the hard-won Colombia Peace Accords signed in 2016 lies in tatters and Duque is not held to account for the hundreds of murders of social, community, environmental and indigenous leaders. The U.S. routinely allies with leaders known to be involved in narcotics and related organized crime like Juan Orlando Hernandez, and Alvaro Uribe which remains a hindrance to world peace.

B. Economic Sanctions

Our government uses unilateral coercive economic sanctions as covert warfare. Economic sanctions negatively impact one-third of humanity in 39 countries and cause death and devastation by denying targeted countries access to U.S. dominated markets, finance, and transactional systems. Additionally, our government uses secondary sanctions to force third parties, such as foreign governments, financial institutions, and individuals, to adopt U.S. sanctions against targeted countries. Penalties for conducting business with a sanctioned country range from military aggression, arrest, fines and property seizures to being cut off from the US financial system and markets whether or not the activity engaged in impacts the United States directly. Thus, economic sanctions restrict a targeted country from generating wealth, stabilizing its currency against price fluctuations, and providing its people with critical services and resources. Because economic sanctions also interfere with the functioning of essential infrastructure, e.g. electrical grids, transportation and communication systems, and water treatment & distribution facilities, by blocking access to key industrial inputs, such as fuel, raw materials, and replacement parts, they lead to drought, famine, disease, and abject poverty.

Economic sanctions also block health care facilities from obtaining lifesaving supplies and equipment which is even more deadly in times of pandemics, national disasters, and war. In total, economic sanctions result in the death of millions of impoverished people of color in what can only be described as class & race warfare and it puts the United States squarely in violation of the Geneva Convention, the Genocide Convention and Nuremberg Charter amongst others. Yet, sanctions are slyly marketed by our government as a “more peaceful way to make the world safe for democracy.” This lie allows the United States to implement, with impunity, economic sanctions that devastate the most vulnerable people in the countries it hypocritically claims it’s seeking to protect. Economic sanctions are also used to justify and conceal the appropriation of foreign public funds by the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve through asset freezes and seizures.

Green Position Against Covert Warfare – Economic Sanctions

1. The Green party calls for the abolition of all U.S. unilateral coercive economic sanctions.

C. Global Lending Institutions & Trade

Our government’s dominance over global lending institutions, such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), facilitates the destruction of foreign economies through usury and by forcing the adoption of structural adjustments (austerity measures) which end life-saving public benefits to repay these loans, and displaces local industries and farming, allowing U.S. vulture capital to more easily capture foreign vital resources.

Our government’s trade policies and agreements are unfavorable to developing countries and structurally maintain imbalances that date back to colonialism. Policies aimed at unduly protecting multinational corporations from legitimate claims by sovereign countries have enabled environmental and humanitarian disasters such as Union Carbide in Bhopal, Chevron in Ecuador, Shell in Nigeria, and multiple corporations mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Green Position Against Negative Global Lending Practices & Trade Policies

1. The Green Party calls for the redrafting of policies and practices of U.S. led global institutions, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB), to protect human rights, the environment, and domestic industry & agriculture. To ensure compliance, the WTO, IMF, and World Bank’s operations must be transparent, and the institutions must be held accountable to all nations, not just donors.

2. The Green Party calls for the redrafting of all international trade and commerce agreements such as the Central American Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) as they sustain underdevelopment through unfair terms and conditions.

2. The Green Party calls for U.S. corporations, that operate in other countries, to adhere to the core labor standards established by the International Labor Organization (ILO) Declaration of the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

3. The Green Party calls for the granting of states and municipalities’ rights to refuse to invest in foreign businesses that do not abide by their standards for imported goods, fair trade, and environmental protection.

4. The Green Party calls for the revocation of laws that unduly protect transnational corporations from legitimate claims by sovereign countries. Trade policies must include clauses guaranteeing trade partners access on equal terms to impartial arbitration. In particular, our government must make clear it will not protect corporate offenders responsible for mass harm cases as referenced above. Further, our government must not act to defend corporate pharmaceutical and other interests unjustly seeking to extend patents unreasonably against the interests of both vulnerable populations overseas and of the majority of people in the U.S.

D. Department of State and USAID

Our government uses its Department of State as an adjunct to its Intelligence Community. While the Department of State provides diplomatic services to U.S. citizens abroad and foreign heads of state, it also serves as an effective vehicle for intelligence gathering as well as providing cover for U.S. personnel engaged in espionage. Overall our government’s foreign aid program serves to enrich and protect U.S. transnational corporations by creating, sustaining, and defending foreign markets and policies for its products and services. Additionally, it uses military, economic, and humanitarian aid to compel and/or reward foreign governments for taking actions favorable to U.S. corporate interests. In the Middle East, foreign aid can be considered little more than a conduit used to subsidize U.S. arms manufacturers – as it financially seeds theater wars that expend munitions on all sides of a given conflict. Further, even economic aid can be indirectly used as military aid since it frees up committed funds enabling countries to purchase weaponry.

The Budget Request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 for the U.S. Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is $41 billion. In 2018, the top five foreign aid recipients were: Afghanistan ($5.1 billion – 80% military aid); Israel ($3.1 billion – 100% military aid); Jordan, ($1.4 billion – 37% military aid); Egypt ($1.2 billion – 87% military aid); and Iraq ($1.2 billion – 39% military aid).

Green Position on Foreign Aid

The Green Party calls for the end of foreign aid that is used covertly to wage regime change wars in non-compliant autonomous nation-states, and that functions as socialism for U.S. transnational corporations and its products – especially when its failing products are tied to “aid” packages. Often aid packages include commitments involving genetically modified organisms (GMO), toxic/carcinogenic pesticides like glyphosate, fertilizers, and growth hormones laced products that are banned from sale in European countries and Japan and disrupt local economies. Additionally, the State Department and its related agencies’ budgets should be cut in half as proposed for the Defense and Intelligence Community budgets.

E. Palestine and Israel

Our government continues to supply Israel with military aid despite Israel’s discriminatory and racist laws, policies, and practices towards the Palestinian people that violate international and humanitarian law and result in apartheid and displacement. Israel is the second-highest recipient of foreign assistance and 100% of it is military aid. This is done not only because Israel is a strategic ally in the Middle East but also because Israel tests U.S. made weaponry out on foreign countries as well as on the people in the territories it occupies. Further, through collaboration between the U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies (CIA and Mossad), Israel funnels U.S. arms to third countries that our nation is unable to because of congressional restrictions. On behalf of U.S. arms manufacturers and dealers, Israel has sold weapons to the South Africa government during apartheid; the Contras in Nicaragua to allow the Reagan administration to circumvent the Boland Amendments; the military junta of Guatemala; and Iran, during the Iran/Iraq war while the U.S. was simultaneously selling weapons to Iraq, etc.

Green Position on Israel and Palestine

1. The Green party supports the formation of one democratic state in all of historic Palestine the shared homeland of two peoples with equality before the law.

2. The Green Party supports the international Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement as a non-violent way to end occupation, apartheid, and allow refugees to return home, in following the example of the divestment campaigns instrumental in ending South African apartheid.

F. Immigration Policy & Detention

Our government’s unquestioned support for the overseas activities of U.S. transnational corporations has not only contributed to the structural underdevelopment of these countries, but also the growth of thriving black markets. As a result, workers are often displaced from their jobs and communities and subjected to drug, weapon, and sex trafficking violence. This has led to caravans of Central American migrants seeking asylum in the United States, believing it to be a land of safety and opportunity. However, upon arrival, immigrants are instead seized and held captive in our government’s detention system a system that imprisons over 50,000 adults and children in facilities that are so lacking in basic human services that they are largely referred to as concentration camps. Even worse, children are separated by force from their families by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents rendering them more vulnerable to assault, sexual abuse, and psychological trauma. Economic refugees and asylum seekers in Europe are also a result of proxy wars set in the Middle East and Africa that involve the United States military and/or CIA.

Green Position on Immigration and Detention

1 The Green Party calls for the end of unfair and unequal finance & trade agreements and its military and Intelligence Community’s intervention in the politics of developing countries in support of U.S. transnational corporations. These policies have made developing countries inordinately dangerous and unlivable, and increased the need for migration. Therefore, policies to stem the flow of immigrants must first be centered on rebuilding these countries in a way that sustains the health and welfare of their people to reduce incentives to leave.

2. The Green Party calls for a more humane and open immigration policy that’s free of racism and prejudice, and better allows for family reunification, the nationalization of existing immigrants and asylum.

3. The Green Party calls for the release of all immigration detainees that are not criminal fugitives, the closure of all internment facilities, and compliance with our Constitution and universal human rights principles in its treatment of immigrants.

G. Territories/Commonwealths

Our government holds three territories, American Samoa, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands; and two commonwealths, Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands. Although all people born in territories/commonwealths are U.S. citizens (except for American Samoa), they lack the right to vote in federal elections and have no elected representatives in Washington, this renders them at best second-class citizens. Additionally, these territories/commonwealths receive less funding for social and economic programs than those received by the states. Also, since trade and finance are controlled by the U.S., they are prevented from taking initiatives that may be in their best interest for development.

Green Position on Territories/Commonwealths

The Green Party supports the people of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands in their respective decisions to either remain U.S. territories/commonwealths, or to petition congress for statehood, or to declare independence as sovereign non-aligned nation-states.

Kent State Shootings

Anti-draft Action Day, Miami University, and the Rebellion that led to the Kent State Shootings.    …Logan Martinez

“May 4th is the 50th Anniversary of the shootings at Kent State University.  We are asking people here in Ohio and across the country join in 4 minutes of silence at noon on May 4th to remember Kent State, Jackson State, and all the victims of our unjust wars.” (Please share with the attachment. Thanks.)

April 15, 1970 was a nationwide anti-draft action day.  Here in Dayton there was a sit-in at the local draft board of about 35 people.  At Miami University in Oxford, OH there was an anti-draft peace rally.  At the end of the rally a student spoke “it was not enough to protest the war, people have to take action.” At that point, they marched over and occupied the Navy ROTC building.  Later the black students who were organizing for a black studies program and an increase in black enrollment joined the occupation.  Over 300 students were arrested making national news and rocking Ohio.

With the announcement of the invasion of Cambodia, protests occurred across the country with major protests at Ohio State and Ohio University.  The week before Kent State, over 1,000 students were arrested at Ohio State protesting the war and black students there were also demanding a black studies program.

During the spring of 1970, the Nixon administration orchestrated the overthrow of the Cambodian government, setting up a military dictatorship and paving the way for a US invasion.  After 11 years of war in Vietnam, the American people were growing weary of the cost in lives and money. Across the country student protests had increased both in numbers and militancy.

At Kent State there was a sharp confrontation between police and student protestors.  On Saturday night May 2nd an unknown arsonist burned the Army ROTC building to the ground. Governor Rhodes called out the National Guard and on May 4 they fired into unarmed protesters killing 4 and wounding 9. Across the US, campuses and communities erupted into massive protests against the war, the draft, and the shootings at Kent State. Hundreds of college campuses were shut down as students went on strike, the largest student strike in US history.

In Mississippi, two black students were killed the next week. Black and white students united in calling for black studies courses, more minority enrollment at colleges, and opposition to the war.

US Wars continue throughout the Middle East and Africa. Billions of dollars are being squandered in this quagmire.  Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, two of the longest wars in our history. American foreign policy is aimed at making the world safe for US corporations.

May 4th is the 50th Anniversary of the shootings at Kent State University.  We are asking people here in Ohio and across the country join in 4 minutes of silence at noon on May 4th to remember Kent State, Jackson State, and all the victims of our unjust wars. People can make a peace poster to hold or place in front of their home or apartments. Creative art projects for peace are needed.  Please help spread the word on this important effort and join online in the many efforts to end our current wars. Join us on May 4th.

We need to build a massive peace movement to stand up to Trump and the WAR Machine.

For Jobs and Peace,

Logan Martinez

Green Party of Ohio—Dayton
937-260-2591 /  loganmartinez2u@yahoo.com

The Great Pandemic Awakening

The Great Pandemic Awakening:

How the Coronavirus Epidemic Should Reorder National Priorities

Haig Hovaness

GPAX Secretary

 

Historians may record the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020 as a turning point in the ordering of priorities of the world’s nations. The stark reality of a global epidemic that sickens millions and kills tens of thousands may jolt the people of all nations into awakening to the difference between real and imaginary threats to their safety. This may lead to a long-overdue retreat from militarism and xenophobia, social maladies that have caused the squandering of vast resources better applied to legitimate human needs.

 

Ever since the invention of nuclear weapons at the end of WWII, large-scale warfare between advanced nations has been a political impossibility. The response to any large conventional attack would entail the use of devastating nuclear weapons in an exchange that could culminate in a global catastrophe. No regime could survive, politically or physically, such an outcome. Nevertheless, most large nations have persisted in building up enormously costly military establishments in anticipation of a fantasy of large-scale conventional warfare. This fantasy presumes that combatants would limit their hostilities to bloody conventional warfare and never resort to their most powerful weaponry. Post WWII History has repeatedly proven that nuclear-armed nations will not fight large conventional wars, but the irrational preparations for such fighting persist.

 

Although nuclear weapons have rendered large-scale conventional war infeasible, they have also become the object of irrational expenditure. Ill-founded theories of nuclear war strategy have resulted in grossly excessive spending on weapons that can never be used. The pernicious phenomenon of an arms race, once limited to competitive accumulation of guns, tanks, planes, and ships has taken hold in the development and stockpiling of nuclear weapons. Perversely, the more nuclear weapons are designed and deployed, the less secure the world becomes. Not content with devising ever more deadly and accurate offensive nuclear weapons, major nations are expending huge sums on developing and deploying missile defense systems, a futile undertaking that continues because of an irrational belief that enough spending can overcome intractable technical problems.

 

How much spending for military fantasies are we talking about in in the United States?

The current annual allocation in the US government budget for all defense-related expenditures is over one trillion dollars. This is over half of the discretionary budget. The cost of a single F35 jet fighter ($110 million) could buy 2,200 hospital ventilators, desperately needed in the Coronavirus pandemic. By comparison, the US government’s discretionary spending on Federal health institutions for the same period amounted to about $90 billion, a tenth of what is spent for “national security.” In short, the US is spending 10 times more to defend against imaginary threats than it is to contend with real threats to public safety.

 

Consider the clear and present danger of COVID-19. There is nothing imaginary or speculative about the mounting toll of this pandemic virus. Apart from the terrible spread of infections and fatalities, the economic damage inflicted on the world is staggering, leading some economists to predict a worldwide depression. Current projections anticipate over 100,000 fatalities in the US resulting from COVID-19. This is more than all US deaths caused by military action since WWII. Yet because of grossly misallocated resources, many of these pandemic victims will die needlessly. They will have perished because a nation obsessed by fantasies of endless warfare did not address the real dangers facing the country. There will be more pandemics after COVID-19 because evolution of viruses never stops, and it is just a matter of time before the next wave comes. Even if all viruses are defeated by medical science, the global danger of climate change is worsening inexorably and posing an even more challenging test of rational allocation of national resources.

 

We must awaken from a nightmare of imaginary military threats and horrific war plans to the grim reality of our neglected protections from the true global dangers of disease, climate disruption, poverty, and xenophobia. Such an awakening will be an ample recompense for the suffering endured by the world’s people in the Coronovirus pandemic of 2020.

 

The Green Party of the US has consistently advocated the redirection of US national resources away from excessive military spending and toward social needs. Citizens who wish to restore sanity to the allocation of our government’s resources and reorder national priorities to serve the common good should vote for Green Party candidates for local and national office. The Green Party is the party of peace and social justice. It is the party that is ready to serve an American public awakened to our true national priorities.

 

 

 

 

No War on Iran! Join Anti-War Actions this Weekend!

The Green Party Peace Action Committee has endorsed the call of the United National Antiwar Coalition(UNAC) to take a stand for peace and hold local antiwar actions on the weekend of July 13th, demanding:

  • No War on Iran!

  • No U.S. Coup in Venezuela!

  • End Sanctions Now!

  • Bring all U.S. Troops home now!

There are at least three actions taking place in Illinois: In Chicago, Champaign-Urbana, and Carbondale. (Details below.)

The weekend of July 13th was selected in part because Sunday, July 14th, is the anniversary of the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between Iran, the United States and other nations, also known as the “Iran Nuclear Deal.”

It was bad enough that the Trump administration reneged on this agreement. Now Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and others in the administration are engaging in dangerous acts of provocation against Iran, in a misguided effort to destabilize that country, promote so-called “regime change,” and perhaps deliberately incite a war. Even if a full-blown war is not intended, its acts of economic warfare against Iran and Venezuela already violate international law, and its reckless acts of brinksmanship and daily barrage of unsubstantiated accusations against Iran demonstrate that it is pushing toward some type of military aggression against that nation – which could easily escalate into a full-blown war.

While some members of Congress are making noise about trying to rein in the Trump administration’s ability to start another disastrous war in the Middle East, most Democratic and Republican members alike have laid the groundwork for such a war. For decades, they have abdicated their constitutional authority to declare war to the executive branch, allowing president after president to commit acts of war with little or no resistance. In addition, most Democratic leaders in Congress go along with their Republican colleagues (and the corporate news media) in proclaiming that Iran is the “world’s leading State sponsor of terrorism,” “the main source of instability in the Middle East,” etc.

These claims are constantly repeated but rarely examined, as if sheer repetition is an acceptable substitute for truth. Whatever one thinks of Iran’s actions towards its neighbors, there is little or no substance to these charges. Cheerleaders for war are using the “terrorism” charge, grainy videos and other dubious “evidence” in an attempt to manipulate the public into believing that future U.S. military attacks on Iran may be justified. Yet there can be no justification for U.S. military aggression against a nation that has not attacked the United States. Any such action would be illegal under well-settled international law, illegal under the U.S. Constitution, and without a shred of moral justification.

Such claims are also monstrously hypocritical, coming as they do from a nation that has literally rained tens of thousands of bombs and missiles against seven different Middle East and African nations in recent years, driving much of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria into the hell of persistent war, political chaos and economic ruin, with no end in sight. Not only has the United States directly supplied terrorist groups in Syria, its efforts at “regime change” generally have fostered an increase in terrorist activity in the region. Americans must wake up to the fact that the world’s leading “State sponsor of terrorism” is their own government.

As UNAC well points out: “In modern history, Iran has never attacked another country, something the U.S. has done continuously. Iran has not threatened to attack the U.S. or other countries, only maintaining its right to defend itself. On the other hand, the U.S. has threatened to annihilate Iran if it interferes with U.S. ‘interests.’ While the U.S. has around 20 times the number of foreign military bases as all other countries combined, Iran only has foreign bases in Syria, a country that asked for Iran’s support in its war against jihadist forces, most supported by the U.S. and its allies, as well as direct attacks from Israel, the U.S. and its NATO allies.”

As it is, the economic warfare (sanctions) against both Iran and Venezuela (another target for so-called “regime change” via blatant U.S. attempts to orchestrate a coup) are already killing people, an estimated 40,000 in Venezuela alone.

It is time for the American people to say: “Enough! No More War!” Democrats and Republicans in Congress are currently debating, not over whether to increase military spending next year, but over how much to raise it. The parameters of the debate are whether to increase the military budget from $716 billion to $750 billion, or “only” $733 billion. Even those colossal sums don’t include the tens of billions of dollars that go into the “overseas contingency operations budget,” where a lot of current war spending is hidden from public view. They also don’t include funding for Homeland Security, the payment of interest on past wars, or the additional health-care costs caused by physical or mental injuries to the veterans, whom all politicians claim to care so much about. Meanwhile, tens of millions of Americans languish in poverty, debt and little or no health care, our infrastructure continues to crumble, and not nearly enough is being done to address climate catastrophe and the collapse of our ecosystem — a major cause of which is militarism and war.

The Green Party is the Peace Party. With only rare individual exceptions, neither Democrats nor Republicans can legitimately claim to be a “lesser evil” on the issues of militarism and war. Just as “nonviolence” is one of our key values, militarism and war must be one of our foremost issues as Greens. We have a responsibility to strongly raise our voices for peace, as we are the leading political expression of the peace movement in the U.S. today.

Accordingly, we call upon all Greens to please join us, and others in UNAC and the broader peace movement, in local actions around the above four demands, on or about July 13th.

In Chicago: Friday, July 12, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., 190 N. State St., Chicago, IL 60601. Join the Facebook event.

In Champaign: Saturday, July 13, 5 p.m., Southwest corner of West Side Park, Champaign Illinois. Short rally followed by march to downtown Champaign.

In Carbondale: Saturday, July 13, noon – 1 p.m., Corner of Main and Illinois Ave., Carbondale, Illinois, VIGIL TO STOP WAR BEFORE IT STARTS, END SANCTIONS, AND BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW. Join the Facebook event.

Illinois Green Party Outreach
http://www.ilgp.org/

Greens Support Local Anti-War Actions this July 13th weekend

Greens Support Local Anti-War Actions this July 13th weekend demanding:

• No War on Iran!
• No U.S. Coup in Venezuela!
• End Sanctions Now!
• Bring all U.S. Troops home now!

  • The Green Party Peace Action Committee has endorsed the call of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) to take a stand for peace and organize a day of local antiwar actions on the weekend of July 13th, demanding:
    • No War on Iran!
    • No U.S. Coup in Venezuela!
    • End Sanctions Now!
    • Bring all U.S. Troops home now!

The weekend of July 13th was selected in part because Sunday, July 14th, is the anniversary of the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between Iran, the United States and other nations, also known as the “Iran Nuclear Deal.”

It was bad enough that the Trump administration reneged on this agreement. Now Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and others in the administration are engaging in dangerous acts of provocation against Iran, in a misguided effort to destabilize that country, promote so-called “regime change,” and perhaps deliberately incite a war. Even if a full-blown war is not intended, its acts of economic warfare against Iran already violate international law, and its reckless acts of brinksmanship and daily barrage of unsubstantiated accusations against Iran demonstrate that it is pushing toward some type of military aggression against Iran – which could easily escalate into a full-blown war.

While some members of Congress are making noise about trying to rein in the Trump administration’s ability to start yet another disastrous war in the Middle East, most Democratic and Republican members alike have laid the groundwork for such a war. For decades, they have abdicated their constitutional authority to declare war to the executive branch, allowing president after president to commit acts of war with little or no resistance. In addition, most Democratic leaders in Congress go along with their Republican colleagues (and the corporate news media) in proclaiming that Iran is the “world’s leading State sponsor of terrorism,” “the main source of instability in the Middle East,” etc.

These claims are constantly repeated but rarely examined, as if sheer repetition is an acceptable substitute for truth. Whatever one thinks of Iran’s actions towards its neighbors, there is little or no substance to these charges. Cheerleaders for war are using the “terrorism” charge, grainy videos and other dubious “evidence” in an attempt to manipulate the public into believing that future U.S. military attacks on Iran may be justified. Yet there can be no justification for U.S. military aggression against a nation that has not attacked the United States. Any such action would be illegal under well-settled international law, illegal under the U.S. Constitution, and without a shred of moral justification.

Such claims are also monstrously hypocritical, coming as they do from a nation that has literally rained tens of thousands of bombs and missiles against seven different Middle East and African nations in recent years, driving much of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria into the hell of persistent war, political chaos and economic ruin, with no end in sight. Not only has the United States directly supplied terrorist groups in Syria, its efforts at “regime change” generally have fostered an increase in terrorist activity in the region. Americans must wake up to the fact that the world’s leading “State sponsor of terrorism” is their own government.

As UNAC well points out: “In modern history, Iran has never attacked another country, something the U.S. has done continuously. Iran has not threatened to attack the U.S. or other countries, only maintaining its right to defend itself. On the other hand, the U.S. has threatened to annihilate Iran if it interferes with U.S. ‘interests.’ While the U.S. has around 20 times the number of foreign military bases as all other countries combined, Iran only has foreign bases in Syria, a country that asked for Iran’s support in its war against jihadist forces, most supported by the U.S. and its allies, as well as direct attacks from Israel, the U.S. and its NATO allies.”

U.S. Bases Surrounding Iran

The history of U.S. intervention in the region, the lack of evidence that its presence in the Middle East is actually aimed at fighting terrorism, or promoting “democracy,” “stability,” etc., all point to the fact that the real motives for its presence are economic. The underlying purpose of its current wars, and its threats against Iran, is to enrich the owners of America’s most powerful corporations by controlling the oil and other resources, markets, labor and wealth of those nations. The same is true of its long history of military aggression in Latin America and its current efforts to overthrow the legitimate government of Venezuela. War-making also enriches the military weapons industry and its beneficiaries, also known as the military-industrial-congressional complex.

An attack on Iran would not only be illegal and immoral — it would be catastrophic for the people of both countries (except war profiteers and major energy corporation shareholders). Like neighboring Iraq and Syria, Iran is one of the cradles of civilization. It also is much larger and more populous than those nations, with a much larger military. A war with Iran would be terribly costly in every respect — human, economic and environmental. It would have major domestic consequences, possibly including a resumption of the military draft, on top of the “poverty draft” in operation now.

As it is, the economic warfare (sanctions) against both Iran and Venezuela (another target for so-called “regime change” via blatant U.S. attempts to orchestrate a coup) are already killing people, an estimated 40,000 in Venezuela alone.

It is time for the American people to say: “Enough! No More War!” As it is, Democrats and Republicans in Congress are currently debating, not over whether to increase military spending next year, but over how much to raise it. The parameters of the debate are whether to increase the military budget from $716 billion to $750 billion, or “only” $733 billion. Even those colossal sums don’t include the tens of billions of dollars that go into the “overseas contingency operations budget,” where a lot of current war spending is hidden from public view. They also don’t include funding for Homeland Security, the payment of interest on past wars, or the additional health-care costs caused by physical or mental injuries to the veterans, whom all politicians claim to care so much about. Meanwhile, tens of millions of Americans languish in poverty, debt and little or no health care, our infrastructure continues to crumble, and not nearly enough is being done to address climate catastrophe and the collapse of our ecosystem — a major cause of which is militarism and war.

The Green Party is the Peace Party. With only rare individual exceptions, neither Democrats nor Republicans can legitimately claim to be a “lesser evil” on the issues of militarism and war. Just as “nonviolence” is one of our key values, militarism and war must be one of our foremost issues as Greens. We have a responsibility to strongly raise our voices for peace, as we are the leading political expression of the peace movement in the U.S. today.
Accordingly, we call upon all Greens to please join us, and others in UNAC and the broader peace movement, in local actions around the above four demands, on or about July 13th. Following UNAC’s call:

We urge you to attend or organize an event in your area. The events could be protests, vigils, forums, banner drops, civil resistance or whatever your group feels will be most effective.

If your organization would like to endorse the call, you can do so here.

If you would like to post your event, please do so here.

GPAX Committee Statement On the Imprisonment of Julian Assange

The United States Government is engaged in a campaign of personal destruction directed at Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange. Under the cover of questionable legal arguments, The US has carried out a relentless, multifaceted, punitive program aimed at making an example of an Internet publisher who has challenged the power of the US national security establishment. Through the actions of the US government, Assange has been stripped of his political asylum, imprisoned by the UK, and is awaiting extradition to the US to face espionage charges with a penalty of life imprisonment. He is being held in Belmarsh prison, a high-security facility, officially for the minor crime of a bail violation but for the ultimate purpose of rendition to the US. Assange was recently moved to the hospital wing at Belmarsh, and reports indicate he is in poor health.

 

A large segment of the public has been turned against Assange by a smear campaign conducted through mass media outlets with friendly ties to the national security agencies. The UN has issued a report in which Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture said that Assange has been exposed to psychological torture. According the UN report, “In the course of the past nine years, Mr. Assange has been exposed to persistent, progressively severe abuse ranging from systematic judicial persecution and arbitrary confinement in the Ecuadorian embassy, to his oppressive isolation, harassment and surveillance inside the embassy, and from deliberate collective ridicule, insults and humiliation, to open instigation of violence and even repeated calls for his assassination.”

 

Assange has been called a rapist, a narcissist, and a spy with “blood on his hands.” The bloodiest hands in American media belong to those who participated in selling the American instigated wars that have ripped apart Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Journalists who eagerly repeated the lies that led to the Iraq war now attack Assange’s consistently truthful reporting of America’s misdeeds. American intelligence officials, who have publicly lied to Congress without consequences, are leading the attack on Assange, a man who, until his isolation and imprisonment, had been reliably reporting inconvenient truths about America’s secret activities. US politicians refuse to hold the CIA and other secret agencies accountable for past and present misdeeds. Senator Schumer of New York openly warned his congressional colleagues against opposing the national security agencies: “Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community — they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.” How far are we from the model of the old USSR in which everyone feared the secret police?

 

In addition to seeking to punish Assange with life in prison, the US government intends to use his prosecution under the Espionage Act as a weapon against the free press. Because conventional news organizations regularly publish secret information that has been leaked by informants and whistleblowers, the same arguments used to prosecute Assange can be used to convict journalists for the New York Times or the Washington Post. If Assange is convicted under this law, reporting on anything the US government classifies as secret will come to a halt. Powerful intelligence agencies like the CIA, not content with intimidating their timid political watchdogs, are seeking to eliminate the oversight of a free press.

 

The assault on Julian Assange is nothing less than an attack on the truth and a threat to global security. A world in which the US government secretly pursues hostile actions, unchecked by any independent oversight, is a danger to all mankind. Julian Assange has served the interests of the people of the world by truthfully revealing activities that undermine peace and security. The Peace Action Committee of the Green Party of the United States calls upon the US Justice Department to drop all charges against Julian Assange, and we call upon the UK government to release Assange from prison.

War, what is it good for?

Op ed by Keith Brumley March 2019

 

Edwin Starr, in his 1970 hit single asked “War, what is it good for?” His catchy answer was “absolutely nothing!”

On the face of it Mr. Starr’s point seems obvious. But if so why has the United States engaged in seemingly endless war in places like Vietnam, Panama, Grenada, Afghanistan and Iraq, since Mr. Starr’s song hit the charts? Why are policy makers in Washington D.C. fomenting for more war in Venezuela and Iran? Apparently, war is good for something as the U.S. continues engaging it.

Perhaps our policy makers, being graduates of Ivy League schools, know something of war’s benefits of which mere commoners are unaware? Perhaps they believe endless war is a means to maintaining and sustaining the affluent lifestyle we enjoy in the Unites States?

One argument may be jobs. Isn’t it true the defense industry is a major source of jobs for Americans? After all, President Trump was willing to turn a blind eye to Saudi Arabia’s murdering of journalist Jamal Khashoggi to keep an arms deal in place to “save American jobs.”

While it is true that companies like Raytheon, Boeing and Lockheed Martin make many billions of dollars manufacturing and selling their weapons to the Pentagon and countries like Saudi Arabia, profits are concentrated in the hands of the 1% – the CEOs and shareholders. War is “good” for them. Not so much for the rest of us. Certainly not for people on the receiving end of those weapons, like the war-torn victims of Yemen.

Professor Heidi Garrett-Peltier, in a 2017 studyLinks to an external site. published by Brown University’s Watson Institute, found that “federal spending on domestic programs in health care, education, clean energy and infrastructure creates more jobs, dollar for dollar, than military spending.” The reality, as David Swanson of World Beyond War notes, is “spending those same dollars on peaceful industries, on education, on infrastructure, or even on tax cuts for working people would produce more jobs and in most cases better-paying jobs.”

So it turns out, while war may be “good for” CEOs and shareholders of war profiteering corporations, it’s not for the rest of us. Taxpayers would get a bigger bang for the buck if we funneled money away from the Department of Defense and instead poured that money into funding Medicare for all, free college education, repairing and replacing our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, and enacting a “Green New Deal.” It would produce more and better jobs. And best of all, no more bombs ripping through school buses in Yemen.

Okay, but surely Americans are wealthier and happier because of our bellicose belligerence, right? Surely we enjoy lower “prices at the pump” and have a greater sense of security because of our endless wars?

In a word, no.

The U.S. contains roughly 5% of the world’s population but consumes nearly 30% of the world’s natural resources. If the rest of the world consumed like us we’d need several more planets to sustain all that consumption.

Even with all this consumption, the United States did not make the top 10 list of the World Economic Forum’s “happiest countries in the worldLinks to an external site.” in 2018 (we were 18th). That honor went to Finland, followed closely by Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

Oddly, these countries aren’t making war on anyone at present. Perhaps the adage is true – “Anything war can do, peace can do better.”

The U.S. did lead the field in one area – anti-depressant use. Clearly endless war isn’t making us happier or more secure.

In fact, the imperialist policies of the United States make Americans less secure. It may seem strange but most people resent invading armies, drone strikes in the middle of the night, and covert CIA operations toppling their elected governments. That tends to make enemies, not friends.  

Imagine the friends the United States would have the world over if we spent even a third of the trillion dollar (yes, with a “T”) defense related budget to provide medicine, food, shelter, roads, bridges, and education to countries we presently bomb or occupy with military bases? Rather than being viewed as the most threatening country to world peaceLinks to an external site., the United States would be the most loved.

Bloated “defense” budgets and endless war does not produce “good jobs,” does not make us wealthier or happier, and does not make us more secure.

So, back to Edwin Starr’s question – “War, what is it good for?”

He was right. “Absolutely nothing!”