June 23, 2015
Submitted by Skip Oliver.
Arnold “Skip” Oliver is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio. Visit VFPGoldenRuleProject.org for more information.
Historic Peace Ship Is Re-Launched
Along the rugged coast of northern California’s Humboldt County, maritime history is being made. June 20th marked the launch ceremony of the rebuilt sailing ketch, the Golden Rule, after four years of hard work by a restoration team led by Veterans for Peace. As we shall see, the Golden Rule is no ordinary sailboat.
If you are old enough, you may recall that in the 1950’s, the U.S. military used the Marshall Islands as the primary site for its atmospheric nuclear weapons testing. As is now known, those huge nuclear detonations in the Western Pacific were wreaking havoc on the environment and human health. In fact, with each monstrous explosion, readily detectable clouds of radioactive fallout wafted around the planet, and contamination began to turn up in cows’ and mothers’ milk. Increasingly, skepticism grew about government assurances that there was no danger.
Then, in 1958, the Golden Rule arrived on the scene. The Hugh Angelman-designed 30-foot ketch was purchased by a group of activists who soon set out on a voyage of nonviolent protest toward the Marshalls. Their plan, which was well publicized, was to sail into the target zone and sacrifice both boat and crew if need be to bring a halt to the tests.
June 19, 2015
National Gathering in Eureka, California
The Saturday, June 20 (summer solstice) Christening and Splashdown celebration for the Golden Rule peace boat is turning into a momentous occasion. The sail masts were raised this week and local media in the northern California coastal town of Eureka, California is abuzz with news of the big party. Orion Sherwood, a member of the original 1958 crew of Quaker nonviolence activists, now 85 years old, will be present. Sally Willowbee, daughter of original crew member George Willoughby, has arrived in Eureka already. Other children and grandchildren of crew members of the Golden Rule and its sister peace boat Phoenix are also expected.
June 16, 2015
Letter Reinforces Call Made in National TV Ad Campaign
Hastings on Hudson, NY – An increasing number of United States military veterans are counseling United States military drone operators to refuse to fly drone surveillance/attack missions – the veterans are even helping sponsor prime time television commercials urging drone operators to "refuse to fly."
In a letter released today by KnowDrones.com, 44 former members of the US Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines whose ranks range from private to colonel and whose military service spans 60 years, “urge United States drone pilots, sensor operators and support teams to refuse to play any role in drone surveillance/ assassination missions. These missions profoundly violate domestic and international laws intended to protect individuals’ rights to life, privacy and due process.”
Among those signing the letter are retired U.S. Army Colonel Ann Wright, who resigned from her State Department post in 2003 over the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and former Marine Captain Matthew Hoh, who, in spite of pleadings by Obama Administration officials, resigned his State Department post in Afghanistan in 2009 in protest over U.S. strategic goals and policy there. Also signing are former U.S. Army Captain and CIA official Ray McGovern; former U.S. Navy Lt. Barry Ladendorf, president of Veterans for Peace; and former U.S. Army Sgts. Aaron Hughes and Maggie Martin, co-directors of Iraq Veterans Against the War.
June 11, 2015
Ralph talks about the human and financial costs of war to Barry Ladendorf, the President of Veterans for Peace.
June 11, 2015
Author, Phyllis Bennis, is an Advisory Board Member
Even as Obama admits there's no military solution in Iraq, the Pentagon is pouring more U.S. troops and weapons into its floundering war on the Islamic State.
Almost nine months after President Obama admitted that “we don’t have a strategy yet” to challenge the Islamic State — and just days after he said he still has “no complete Iraq strategy” — the non-strategy suddenly has a name: escalation.
According to reports in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, the Obama administration is poised to send 400 to 500 additional troops to Iraq immediately, and to build a new U.S. military base in restive Anbar province to house them — and potentially many more.
June 09, 2015
A new video series by filmmaker Regis Tremblay (The Ghosts of Jeju), Tom Sturdevant Chapter #001Maine.
S. Brian Willson is the first in a series of veterans describing their experiences in the military, their subsequent realization that war is a lie and their commitment to working for peace. Ten profiles have been recorded with another dozen scheduled for filming. They will be released four to six weeks apart.
The series is a powerful and effective tool to counter war propaganda and the DoD sanitizing of the Vietnam War, and is an excellent vehicle for education and outreach.
View the trailer here: https://vimeo.com/116375156
The cost for each profile is $10 plus $4 for shipping and handling. Send checks made out to Regis Tremblay, 209 River Rd., Woolwich, Maine 04579.
June 05, 2015
What is going on and what can we do about it?
In Iraq, the U.S. military is actively involved in the war against ISIL. Aside from aerial bombardment, the U.S. is providing advanced armaments, training and advisers to an increasingly sectarian war, and Congressional hawks are calling for a return of U.S. boots on the ground.
In Afghanistan, the U.S. war that has been “winding down” forever, U.S. troops remain actively involved in the fight against the Taliban. Watch your local newspapers, and you will notice that our GI’s continue to die, along with thousands of Afghani’s. So much for bringing peace and stability.
In Syria, the U.S. remains active in supporting the civil war to bring down the Assad government. If this means giving arms and aid to sectarian rebels, and to indirectly aiding ISIS (some say directly), then so be it. The goal, after all, remains regime change and re-making the Middle East more to the liking to empire builders in the U.S., that is: small, weak, divided, and unable to resist imperial designs.
In Yemen, thousands of civilians are dying in massive aerial bombardmentled by Saudi Arabia and its “coalition” of monarchs, backed by the unseen hand of the U.S., which provides the bombs and the political cover.
In Ukraine, the U.S. and NATO are gearing up for a serious escalation of the conflict between Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine and the rightwing Ukrainian government that was installed after a U.S.-backed coup in Kiev. The western media is full of articles about an imminent Russian invasion, a wildly successful propaganda effort to justify sending U.S. arms and advisers, and continue playing chicken with nuclear-armed Russia on is own borders. Many experts believe this is the most dangerous intervention of all.
June 05, 2015
As retired and former members of the United States military, we urge United States drone pilots, sensor operators and support teams to refuse to play any role in drone surveillance/ assassination missions. These missions profoundly violate domestic and international laws intended to protect individuals’ rights to life, privacy and due process.
At least 6,000 peoples’ lives have been unjustly taken by United States drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, the Philippines, Libya and Syria. These attacks are also undermining principles of international law and human rights, such as those enumerated in the United Nations International Declaration of Human Rights, written in 1948 under the guidance of Eleanor Roosevelt with the blood of the atrocities of World War II freshly in mind. The United States is a signatory to this declaration.
June 02, 2015
VFP members, Tarak Kauff, Bruce Gagnon, Regis Tremblay and Mike Marceau were in attendance to deliver the VFP letter to officials from the Okinawan government addressed to Gov. Onaga.
Tarak presented the letter to officials
Photos Courtesy of Ellen Davis
June 02, 2015
Veterans For Peace was founded to help end war. We have lived directly with the experience of U.S. empire and our members have served in war and been stationed on bases around the world. Many of our members have served on, or flown to, U.S. bases on Okinawa over the years.
We are deeply concerned about, and oppose construction of, a new U.S. military base within Okinawa. We stand in total solidarity with the people of Okinawa in their long struggle for peace, dignity, human rights, and protection of the environment.
At this time, Veterans For Peace is particularly disturbed by the U.S. attempt to build a massive new U.S. Marine air base with a military port at Henoko. Not only would the Henoko base be an environmental disaster—the location is rich in bio-diversity and is home to the endangered marine mammal dugong—but the base would also be a betrayal of the Okinawan people who for many years have requested that the U.S. government remove its huge military boot-print from the island.
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