|Progressive Calendar 01.11.11||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 21:42:21 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 01.11.11 1. Alliant vigil 1.12 7am 2. Stop FBI/press 1.12 12noon 3. Oxfam 1.12 7pm 4. Eagan peace vigil 1.13 4:30pm 5. Northtown vigil 1.13 5pm 6. MN Muslim women 1.13 7pm 7. Kevin Zeese - Bradley Manning and the rule of law 8. Chris Hedges - Even lost wars make corporations rich --------1 of 8-------- From: AlliantACTION <alliantaction [at] circlevision.org> Subject: Alliant vigil 1.12 7am Join us Wednesday morning, 7-8 am Now in our 14th year of consecutive Wednesday morning vigils outside Alliant Techsystems, 7480 Flying Cloud Drive Eden Prairie. We ask Who Profit$? Who Dies? directions and lots of info: alliantACTION.org --------2 of 8-------- From: Steff Yorek <yosteff [at] gmail.com> Subject: Stop FBI/press 1.12 12noon At 12 noon on Wednesday, January 12, in the Anti-War Committee Office (1313 5th St SE #112C, Mpls) for an important press conference regarding the case of the people whose homes were raided on September 24, 2010 and have been subpoenaed before grand jury proceedings. We will be announcing some important developments in the case. --------3 of 8-------- From: Oxfam Action Corps - MN <oxfam.mn [at] gmail.com> Subject: Oxfam 1.12 7pm Looking for a way to achieve your New Year's resolution to advocate for lasting solutions to poverty and injustice? If so, or if you just want to learn more about Oxfam Action Corps Minnesota, don't miss our New Volunteer Meeting on Wednesday, January 12, 7 PM at Common Roots Cafe (2558 S Lyndale Avenue, Minneapolis). New volunteers and curious supporters are always welcomed at our monthly meetings, but this meeting will be especially tailored to fresh faces. We'll talk about what we do, opportunities to get involved, and plan outreach activities, all while enjoying the cafe's tasty fare. We'll also mark the anniversary of the Haiti earthquake by adding our voices to a national audio petition in calling on Congress to support the Haitian people's recovery. Oxfam Action Corps - Minnesota (612) 293-9831 minnesota [at] oxfamactioncorps.org http://minnesota.oxfamactioncorps.org http://www.facebook.com/OxfamActionCorpsMN --------4 of 8-------- From: Greg and Sue Skog <family4peace [at] msn.com> Subject: Eagan peace vigil 1.13 4:30pm PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends south of the river speaking out against war. --------5 of 8-------- From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 1.13 5pm NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy 10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine. Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View, New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park, Fridley, and Coon Rapids. We'll have extra signs. For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at] aol.com. --------6 of 8-------- From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: MN Muslim women 1.13 7pm Imani Jaafar-Mohammad Speaks: "American Muslim: Life of Islamic Women in the Midwest" Thursday, January 13, 7:00 p.m. Parish Community of St. Joseph, 8701 36th Avenue North (corner of Boone), New Hope. Imani Jaafar-Mohammad was born and raised in the Twin Cities area and is a Minnesota educated lawyer and a Senior Speaker for the Islamic Resource Group. She is a partner with MJM Legal and is an adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of Law. Her article on Muslim women's legal rights in marriage and divorce appeared in the Summer 2010 edition of the Family Law Forum. She will present an informal program on what it is like to grow up as a Muslim woman in this Midwest area. What changed after 9/11? What issues may exist for women who are among the more recent immigrants to Minnesota? This program is free and all are welcome. There will be time for questions and discussion. Sponsored by: Northwest Neighbors for Peace. FI: Call Carole Rydberg, 763-546-5368. --------7 of 8-------- Bradley Manning and the Rule of Law by Kevin Zeese January 11th, 2011 Dissident Voice The case of Private Bradley Manning raises legal issues about his pre-trial detention, freedom of speech and the press, as well as proving his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Putting aside Manning's guilt or innocence, if Bradley Manning saw the Afghan and Iraq war diaries as well as the diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks what should he have done? And, what should be the proper response of government to their publication? A high point in the application of the rule of law to war came in the Nuremberg trials where leaders in Germany were held accountable for World War II atrocities. Justice Robert Jackson, who served as the chief prosecutor in the Nuremberg trials while on leave from the U.S. Supreme Court, said "If certain acts of violation of treaties are crimes, they are crimes whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them, and we are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us.." One of the key outcomes of the Nuremberg trials was that people who commit war crimes or crimes against humanity will be held accountable even if they were following orders. This is known as Nuremberg Principle IV which states: "The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.. The Nuremberg principles were enshrined in a series of treaties" How do the Nuremberg Principles and other laws of war apply to Bradley Manning? What is a person who does not want to participate in war crimes or hiding war crimes supposed to do when he sees evidence of them? If Manning hid the evidence, would he not be complicit in the crimes he was covering up and potentially liable as a co-conspirator? These were questions that Bradley Manning allegedly wrestled with. According to unverified chat logs Manning, talking with Adrian Lamo on email, asks: "Hypothetical question, if you had free reign over classified networks for long periods of time - say, 8-9 months - and you saw incredible things, awful things - things that belonged in the public domain, and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington DC. what would you do?" In Iraq, Manning was ordered "to round up and hand over Iraqi civilians to America's new Iraqi allies, who he could see were then torturing them with electrical drills and other implements". Manning questioned the orders he was being given to help round up Iraqis and brought his concerns to the chain of command. He pointed to a specific instance where 15 detainees were arrested and tortured for printing "anti-Iraqi literature" he found that the paper in question was merely a scholarly critique of corruption in the government asking "Where did the money go?" He brought this to his commander, who told him to "shut up" and keep working to find more detainees. Manning realized he "was actively involved in something that I was completely against". He wrestled with the question of what to do. According to the unverified chat logs with Lamo, Manning told Lamo that he hoped the publication of the documents and videos would spur "worldwide discussion, debates, and reform". He went on to say, "I want people to see the truth - regardless of who they are - because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public". The command structure would not listen, so Manning went beyond them to the people who are supposed to control the military in our democratic republic. He wanted Americans to know the truth. In the chat logs, Lamo asked Manning why he did not sell the documents to a foreign power. Manning realized he could have made a lot of money doing so, but he did not take that path. He explained: "it belongs in the public domain - information should be free - it belongs in the public domain - because another state would just take advantage of the information - try and get some edge - if its out in the open, it should be a public good". These are not the words of a traitor, of someone out to hurt the United States. These are the words of someone trying to improve the United States, trying to get the country to live up to its highest ideals. Manning is charged so far with three counts of unlawfully transferring confidential material to a non-secure computer; i.e., leaking state secrets. Manning faces up to 52 years if convicted of these crimes and it is likely that he will be charged with additional offenses. The charges against Manning end stating that Manning's "conduct being prejudicial to good order and discipline in the armed forces and being of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces". Well, what exactly did the materials Manning allegedly leak show? The video that is the focus of these initial charges is known as the Collateral Murder video. The video shows American soldiers in an Apache helicopter gunning down a group of innocent men, including two Reuters employees, a photojournalist and his driver, killing 16 and sending two children to the hospital. The video, which has been viewed by millions, shows initial blasts at the group killing and wounding people. U.S. forces watch as a van pulls up to evacuate the wounded. The soldiers again open fire from the helicopter, killing more people. A crew member is heard saying, "Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards". But, that was not the end, journalist Rick Rowley reported that the man who they drove over had crawled out of the van and was still alive when the tank drove over him, cutting him in half. Marjorie Cohn, who teaches criminal law and procedure, evidence, and international human rights law at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, describes multiple war crimes from this single video. First, targeting and killing civilians who do not pose a threat violated the Geneva Conventions. Second, when soldiers attacked the van attempting to rescue the wounded they violate the Geneva Conventions which allows the rescue of wounded. Third, the tank rolling over the wounded man, splitting him in two, is a war crime and, even if he were already dead, disrespecting a body violates the Geneva Conventions. The Collateral Murder video documents war crimes according to this legal expert on human rights law. When Manning saw these war crimes, what should he have done? Should he have covered up the evidence of potential war crimes? Should he try to go up the chain of command - a strategy that he had already unsuccessfully tried? If Manning did what he is accused of, he did the only thing that could stop these crimes from continuing. Other documents Manning allegedly provided to WikiLeaks showed the 2009 Granai airstrike in Afghanistan, in which as many as 140 civilians, including women and children, were killed in a U.S. attack. The Australian reported that the airstrike resulted in "one of the highest civilian death tolls from Western military action since foreign forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001".. The Afghan government has said that around 140 civilians were killed, of which 93 were children - the youngest 8 days old - 25 were women and 22 were adult males. The U.S. military had said that 20-30 civilians were killed along with 60-65 insurgents. Allegedly, Manning released hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks who, working with traditional media outlets, has released a small percentage of them. He left it to journalists to decide what was appropriate for release. The small percentage of documents released show widespread and systemic abuses in U.S. foreign policy and in the conduct of wars. WikiLeaks documents including the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs and the diplomatic cables show: . That U.S. troops kill civilians without cause or concern and then cover it up (more examples of hiding civilian killings here, here and here) including killing reporters; . The CIA is fighting an undeclared and unauthorized war in Pakistan with Blackwater mercenaries; . The President of Afghanistan is not trustworthy, that Afghanistan is rife with corruption and drug dealing; . The Pakistan military and intelligence agencies aid Al Qaeda and the Taliban; . The U.S. looks the other way when governments it puts in power torture; . The diplomatic cables also show that beyond the war fronts Hillary Clinton has turned State Department Foreign Service officers into a nest of spies who violate laws to spy on diplomats all with marching orders drawn up by the CIA; . That Israel, with U.S. knowledge, is preparing for a widespread war in the Middle East, keeping the Gaza economy at the brink of collapse and showing widespread corruption at border checkpoints. These are a few examples among many. The documents published by WikiLeaks, allegedly provided to them by Manning, are of critical importance to understanding that U.S. foreign and military policy is not what Americans are told. No doubt historians, human rights lawyers, academics and others will be reviewing these documents and reporting in greater detail the systemic nature of the unethical and often illegal behavior of U.S. foreign policy. This already has the world looking at the United States with new eyes. Experience inside the U.S. military turned a young man from Oklahoma who believed in America into someone who doubted it. Manning believed in American freedom, especially economic freedom and believed the United States played a positive role in the world. He wanted to serve his country. In doing so he became someone who questioned the leadership of the nation, its foreign policy and its conduct of wars. He saw war crimes, violations of law and constant deception. After much soul searching he decided that the quest for a more perfect union required him to share this information. Justice Robert Jackson, during his Opening Address at the Nuremberg Trials, said: "If we can cultivate in the world the idea that aggressive war-making is the way to the prisoner's dock rather than the way to honors, we will have accomplished something toward making the peace more secure". Bradley Manning joins in this enlightened viewpoint and is working to make peace more secure and the United States a better nation. A mature American leadership, rather than prosecuting Manning, would encourage an honest debate about U.S. foreign policy. Thomas Jefferson warned that "oppressions are many" and that for the people to govern we should "leave open . . . all the avenues to truth". Manning has provided an avenue to truth where we can look honestly at our government and dramatically change direction. Enlightened leadership would renounce blackmail, threats and spying of foreign officials, as well as torture and war. Instead Manning is suffering a fate Thomas Jefferson warned about: "Most codes extend their definitions of treason to acts not really against one's country. They do not distinguish between acts against the government and acts against the oppressions of the government". Manning has been sitting in solitary confinement for seven months awaiting trial. He is suffering this fate for the betterment of the nation. People who care about the United States and our impact on the world should stand with Bradley and work to transform American foreign policy away from militarism and toward one where we work cooperatively with nations for the advancement of all. To stand with Bradley visit: Stand With Brad. To prevent prosecution of WikiLeaks vist: WikiLeaksIsDemocracy.org Kevin Zeese is executive director of Voters for Peace. --------8 of 8-------- Even Lost Wars Make Corporations Rich by Chris Hedges Published on Monday, January 10, 2011 by TruthDig.com Common Dreams Power does not rest with the electorate. It does not reside with either of the two major political parties. It is not represented by the press. It is not arbitrated by a judiciary that protects us from predators. Power rests with corporations. And corporations gain very lucrative profits from war, even wars we have no chance of winning. All polite appeals to the formal systems of power will not end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We must physically obstruct the war machine or accept a role as its accomplice. The moratorium on anti-war protests in 2004 was designed to help elect the Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry. It was a foolish and humiliating concession. Kerry snapped to salute like a windup doll when he was nominated. He talked endlessly about victory in Iraq. He assured the country that he would not have withdrawn from Fallujah. And by the time George W. Bush was elected for another term the anti-war movement had lost its momentum. The effort to return Congress to Democratic control in 2006 and end the war in Iraq became another sad lesson in incredulity. The Democratic Party, once in the majority, funded and expanded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And Barack Obama in 2008 proved to be yet another advertising gimmick for the corporate and military elite. All our efforts to work within the political process to stop these wars have been abject and miserable failures. And while we wasted our time, tens of thousands of Iraqi, Afghan and Pakistani civilians, as well as U.S. soldiers and Marines, were traumatized, maimed and killed. Either you are against war or you are not. Either you use your bodies to defy the war makers and weapons manufacturers until the wars end or you do not. Either you have the dignity and strength of character to denounce those who ridicule or ignore your core moral beliefs - including Obama - or you do not. Either you stand for something or you do not. And because so many in the anti-war movement proved to be weak and naive in 2004, 2006 and 2008 we will have to start over. This time we must build an anti-war movement that will hold fast. We must defy the entire system. We must acknowledge that it is not our job to help Democrats win elections. The Democratic Party has amply proved, by its failure to stand up for working men and women, its slavishness to Wall Street and its refusal to end these wars, that it cannot be trusted. We must trust only ourselves. And we must disrupt the system. The next chance, in case you missed the last one, to protest these wars will come Saturday, March 19, the eighth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Street demonstrations are scheduled in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. We are spending, much of it through the accumulation of debt, nearly a trillion dollars a year to pay for these wars. We drive up the deficits to wage war while we have more than 30 million people unemployed, some 40 million people living in poverty and tens of millions more in a category euphemistically called "near poverty." The profits of weapons manufacturers and private contractors have quadrupled since the invasion of Afghanistan. But the cost for corporate greed has been chronic and long-term unemployment and underemployment and the slashing of federal and state services. The corporations, no matter how badly the wars are going, make huge profits from the conflicts. They have no interest in turning off their money-making machine. Let Iraqis die. Let Afghans die. Let Pakistanis die. Let our own die. And the mandarins in Congress and the White House, along with their court jesters on the television news shows, cynically "feel our pain" and sell us out for bundles of corporate cash. Michael Prysner, a veteran of the Iraq War and one of the co-founders of March Forward!, gets it. His group is one of those organizing the March 19 protests. Prysner joined the Army out of high school in June 2001. He was part of the Iraq invasion force. He worked during the war in Iraq tracking targets and calling in airstrikes and artillery barrages. He took part in nighttime raids on Iraqi homes. He worked as an interrogator. He did ground surveillance missions and protected convoys. He left the Army in 2005, disgusted by the war and the lies told to sustain it. He has been involved since leaving the military in anti-recruiting drives at high schools and street protests. He was arrested with 130 others in front of the White House during the Dec. 16 anti-war protest organized by Veterans for Peace. "I believed going into the war that we were there to help the Iraqi people and find weapons of mass destruction," he said when we spoke a few days ago. "But it quickly became clear that these two reasons for the war were absolutely false. If you mentioned weapons of mass destruction to intelligence officers they would laugh at you. It was not even part of the mission to look for these things. If it was part of the mission I would have known because I was part of the only intelligence company in the north of the country. I thought that maybe we were there to help the Iraqi people, but all I saw when I was there was Iraqis brutalized and their living conditions deteriorate drastically. Iraqis would tell me we were worse than Saddam. I soon realized there was a different purpose for the war, that we were putting in place a permanent military occupation. It was my firsthand experience during my deployment that showed me the reality of the Iraq War and led me to begin to question U.S. foreign policy. I began to wonder what U.S. foreign policy as a whole was about. I saw that Iraq was a microcosm. The U.S. military is used to conquer countries for the rich, to seize markets, land, resources and labor for Wall Street. This is what drives U.S. foreign policy." "When Obama was elected in 2008 the majority of the country had turned against the Iraq War," he said. "You could not be a Democrat running for office without giving lip service to being against the Iraq War. The reason people were against the war is because there was a constant, senseless death of U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians. It was a squandering of our resources. This has not changed, despite the rebranding of the occupation. U.S. soldiers are still being killed, wounded and psychologically traumatized, especially those on their third, fourth and fifth deployment who were traumatized in previous deployments and are being re-traumatized. There were two U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq a few days ago. The reasons that led people to oppose the war in 2003 are still in effect. All that has changed is that the U.S. has been able to recruit enough Iraqis to put in the forefront and take the brunt of the combat operations with U.S. soldiers a few steps behind. U.S. soldiers are still involved in combat. One of our members [of March Forward!], who joined our group about a month ago, is in Iraq now. He told me yesterday that he was hit harder than he has ever been hit on his nine months of deployment. Combat is still a reality. People are still being killed and maimed." "The war is still going on," he lamented. "It is still bad for U.S. soldiers, and Iraq is completely destroyed. It is a catastrophe for the Iraqi people. To call this current operation 'New Dawn,' like this is a new day for the Iraqi people, ignores the fact that Iraqis have no electricity, live with constant violence, have no functioning government, have occupying forces still in their country and suffer rampant birth defects from the depleted uranium and other things. Iraq's 'New Dawn' is a horror. It will remain that way until Iraq is given justice, which is a complete and immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces and heavy reparations paid to that country." Iraq, despite the brutality of Saddam Hussein, was a prosperous country with a highly educated middle class before the war. Its infrastructure was modern and efficient. Iraqis enjoyed a high standard of living. The country did not lack modern conveniences. Things worked. And being in Iraq, as I often was when I covered the Middle East for The New York Times, while unnerving because of state repression, was never a hardship. Since our occupation the country has tumbled into dysfunction. Factories, hospitals, power plants, phone service, sewage systems and electrical grids do not work. Iraqis, if they are lucky, get three hours of electricity a day. Try this in 110-degree heat. Poverty is endemic. More than a million Iraqi civilians have been killed. Nearly 5 million have been displaced from their homes or are refugees. The Mercer Quality of Living survey last year ranked Baghdad last among cities - the least livable on the planet. Iraq, which once controlled its own oil, has been forced to turn its oil concessions over to foreign corporations. That is what we have bequeathed to Iraq - violence, misery and theft. It is not as if the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have popular support. The latest CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll shows that 63 percent of the American public opposes U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. And the level of discontent over the war in Iraq is even higher. Yet we continue to accept the duplicity of bankrupt liberal institutions and a corrupt political process that year after year betrays us. Public opinion is on our side. We should mobilize it to fight back. When I and the other protesters were arrested outside the White House on Dec. 16, several of the police officers who had been deployed as military members to Afghanistan or Iraq muttered to veterans as they handcuffed them that they were right about the wars. The anti-war sentiment is widespread, and we must find the courage to make it heard. "All these people join the military because there is an abysmal job market and tuition rates are skyrocketing," Prysner said. "Many young people are cut off from a college education. People are funneled into the military so they can make a living, have a home, health care, take care of their children and have an education. If a fraction of the money spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was used to meet human needs, kids would be able to go to college at affordable rates. We would be able to create jobs for young people when they get out of high school. Vast amounts of wealth, which we create, are poured into these wars and the military while people here are facing increasing hardship. We have to demand and fight for change, not ask for it." "We supposedly elected the most progressive president we have seen in a long time and the Democrats took control of the House and the Senate, but the wars have only expanded and intensified," Prysner said. "The wars are now going into other countries, especially Pakistan and Yemen. The Democrats had a filibuster-proof majority in Congress. We had a seemingly progressive president. But all we got was more war, more military spending, more bombing of innocent people abroad and more U.S. troops coming home in coffins. This should eradicate and shatter the idea that convincing the Democrats to be on our side will accomplish anything. Left to its own devices Washington will continue its war drive. It will continue to dominate these countries and use them for staging grounds to invade other countries. There has been no real change in our foreign policy. If we are hurting the Democrats at this point, then fine. We need to build an independent political movement that is outside of the Establishment. This is the only way we have ever won real victories in our history." 2011 TruthDig.com Chris Hedges writes a regular column for Truthdig.com. Hedges graduated from Harvard Divinity School and was for nearly two decades a foreign correspondent for The New York Times. He is the author of many books, including: War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, What Every Person Should Know About War, and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. His most recent book is Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments vote third party for president for congress for governor now and forever Socialism YES Capitalism NO To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8 Research almost any topic raised here at: CounterPunch http://counterpunch.org Dissident Voice http://dissidentvoice.org Common Dreams http://commondreams.org Once you're there, do a search on your topic, eg obama drones
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