November 19, 2015
In my recent report on the Veterans For Peace march to the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday, I had the great pleasure of meeting Vietnam vets, Barry Ladendorf and Gene Marx, who had traveled from the USA with other veterans as representatives of their country’s own Veterans For Peace group which has been ‘exposing the true cost of war and militarism since 1985’.
After the commemoration, the group headed for Ireland to join members of the new Irish branch of VFP at their commemoration and to back its efforts to draw attention to the scandal that is Shannon Airport being used as a stopover point for US troops on their way to conflict zones. Shannon has become an important gateway for American military personnel to enter theatres of illegal war through a neutral country and has also been exposed by investigations by the Council of Europe and the European Parliament as colluding with the US government’s sickening practise of rendition. Shannonwatch reports that these inquiries:
…identified Shannon airport as a stopover point in the US renditions programme. Ireland was one of the countries named in a 2006 report by Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly rapporteur Dick Marty as having passively colluded in US renditions by allowing Shannon Airport to be used by aircraft linked with renditions without restriction or oversight.
November 10, 2015
A blossoming campaign to reclaim Veterans Day, November 11, as Armistice Day, a day to end all wars, could not be timelier. The apparently deliberate U.S. bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan and worldwide demands for an independent investigation have been met with stonewalling by the U.S. military and a decision by President Obama to prolong the occupation of Afghanistan beyond his presidency. The entrance of Russian warplanes into the war in Syria has been met by Obama’s announcement that U.S. troops (aka “advisers”) will be deployed on Syrian territory. The U.S. occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan have created a disaster throughout the Middle East, turning millions of people into homeless refugees desperately seeking a safe haven for their families.
Underscoring the urgency of the moment, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and International Red Cross President Peter Maurer have issued what they are calling an “unprecedented” joint statement, condemning the callous slaughter of civilians, including the bombing of hospitals in Yemen and Afghanistan.
“Enough is enough. Even war has rules; it is time to enforce them,” said Mr. Ban. “But international humanitarian law is not a solution,” continued the UN Secretary General. “It is a way to mitigate the damage caused by war. Most of all, we call for greater commitment and effective action to prevent and end conflicts. Long-term solutions lie in treating the root causes of war and in negotiating sustainable peace,” added Mr. Ban.
Recklessly aggressive U.S. military maneuvers in other regions are adding to the sense of urgency. In its “Pivot to Asia” the U.S. is beginning to militarily confront nuclear-armed China in its own neighborhood, while the U.S. and NATO are pressuring nuclear-armed Russia on its very borders. After living under the threat of nuclear war for decades during the Cold War, the people of the world to not want to see the resumption of superpower confrontations. One human miscalculation could lead to the worst disaster ever seen – millions of people killed in multiple countries, along with the destruction of civilization as we know it.
In the meantime, a state of permanent war is taking a huge toll here at home in the United States. Thousands of young men and women have died in war and even more have died since returning home, often by their own hand. Military families are devastated by multiple deployments, and the military itself is hurting.
Increasingly, the militarization of the police is also on display. The Pentagon is providing local police departments – and even campus police – with tanks, armored personnel carriers, and other surplus equipment from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Recent war veterans are joining police departments that are adopting military style tactics. The virtual occupation of poor communities of color has led to an epidemic of police killings of young African American men. Military recruiters roam freely through high school corridors and classrooms. The war abroad is mirrored by war at home.
It is more important than ever to remember the true meaning of Armistice Day, which was a response to the massive death toll of World War One, “the war to end all wars.” November 11 was meant to be an international day of peace, but sadly, has been transformed into a glorification of war.
Veterans For Peace, with chapters in 140 cities around the country, is organizing Armistice Day actions throughout the country. We are calling on all peace-loving people to join us in a sustained efforts for peace. We must press our leaders to pull back from the precipice, to disengage from dangerous wars and preparations for war, to avoid nuclear war at all costs, and to engage in diplomacy leading to lasting peace.
On the home front, we must take good care of our wounded warriors, and demilitarize our police. We must make the American dream available to all people who live in this country, regardless of their color or what country they come from. It is time to turn away from war. It is time to embrace peace abroad and peace at home.
At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, veterans and churches will be ringing the bells for peace. Please join us.
October 30, 2015
Simone Del Rosario speaks with Gerry Condon, Vice President of Veterans For Peace, about ending global wars.
October 24, 2015
Submitted by advisory board member, Andrew J. Bacevich
The narrative that we're leaving Afghanistan is self-defeating," Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced last week, in justifying the latest course change in U.S. policy toward that country. "We're not, we can't, and to do so would not be to take advantage of the success we've had to date."
October 15, 2015
The Golden Ruleis coming home to Humboldt Bay! The historic sailing vessel is completing her first voyage since being restored by Veterans For Peace and many friends. The Golden Ruleis expected to arrive into Humboldt Bay at approximately 11 am Friday, October 16. She will be docking at the Eureka Public Marina. Arriving on the Golden Ruleare Captain Ed Fracker of King Salmon and crew members Michael Gonzalez of Trinidad, David San Giovanni of Eureka, and Helen Jaccard of Seattle.
The Golden Rule departed from Eureka on July 23rd and sailed to San Diego in time for the Veterans For Peace national convention. Since leaving San Diego, theGolden Rule has been “port-hopping” up the coast, making stops in Long Beach, Marina del Rey / Santa Monica, Santa Barbara, Morro Bay / San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Berkeley, Sausalito and Noyo Bay / Fort Bragg. At each stop, the crew was interviewed by local media, feted at public events and potluck dinners, and raised funds to continue the mission of the Golden Rule –Sailing for a Nuclear-Free World.
“This was a very successful voyage,” said crew member Helen Jaccard. “Everywhere we went, people were happy and excited to see the Golden Rule. We made many new friends.”
October 09, 2015
The historic sailing vessel Golden Rule has arrived in San Francisco just in time for a peaceful encounter with Fleet Week warships, during the Parade of Ships, Friday 11:am to 12:30 pm. She will be joined by at least one other sailboat from the Bay Area’s famed Peace Navy. With her red sails emblazoned with the peace symbol and the Veterans For Peace logo, the Golden Rule will be hard to miss, as she sails peacefully against an array of huge naval ships.
The media is invited to sail on the Golden Rule beginning at 10:30 am on Friday and 1 pm on Saturday. The Golden Rule can take six passengers at a time. To reserve your place, please call 206-499-1220.
The Golden Rule and her crew intend to sail peacefully on the San Francisco waterfront throughout Fleet Week activities on Friday and Saturday. The public is invited to meet the crew and to tour the boat.
October 07, 2015
The US army must be held accountable for the senseless killing of innocent civilians in a likely deliberate attack on a Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) hospital in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, the vice president of Veterans For Peace (VFP) told Sputnik on Tuesday.
US commander in Afghanistan John Campbell said earlier that the airstrike on the hospital, which claimed 22 lives, was a mistake made by US Command and Control.
October 02, 2015
On October 7, as the U.S./NATO war in Afghanistan enters Year 15, with new U.S. troops just deployed, but also as we mark the anniversary of a popular revolution without war in the Philippines, the world's social media (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr) will be flooded with the message that we've had enough of war and are ready to move beyond it.
Click here to be part of the October 7 thunderclap for peace.
But you can't wait for October 7th. To be part of a thunderclap you have to sign up beforehand. Just click this: http://thndr.me/NChhRE
October 02, 2015
Each year, the School of Americas Watch (SOAW) gathering is the second largest gathering of VFP Members. Join us this November 20-22th, on the 25th anniversary of SOAW. This is an opportunity to connect with activists and organizers from across the Americas.
We will converge in Georgia to call for the closure of the School of the Americas and the closure of Stewart Detention Center, one of the largest private for-profit immigrant prisons in the country. It is incumbent upon us to continue making the connections between SOA violence and the root causes of migration.
Join us as we continue to denounce the failed U.S. policies, which have left a brutal legacy of impunity and Human Rights violations throughout the hemisphere.
October 01, 2015
On Thursday, Oct. 1, the Golden Rule moved to Sausalito, where it will be docked at Schoonmaker Marina thru the weekend.
The week following, the crew will be back in San Francisco and ready for Fleet Week activities.
We have applied to be at the Hyde St. Pier (Nat'l. Maritime Museum) Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 6-8. We are cautiously optimistic, as they had earlier agreed to the Golden Rule being there on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 9-10. However, their requirement that we not leave the dock to go out into the Bay on those days does not work fo us.
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