Friday, May 22, 2015

The American War Machine Turns The Crank Again: The Debacle That Bites Back

Christian "Just War Principles" Established c. 500 A.D. Vs. America's "just war" Tradition

Pope Benedict XVI's Question: 'Can Modern Warfare Ever Be Just?'

"War, Peace And Political Manipulation: Quotations"

"Pope Francis Links"

Pope Francis: One Of The Most Powerful Critiques Of Capitalism You Will Ever Read

Pope Francis: "This Economy Kills"

Pope Francis: Quotations On Finance, Economics, Capitalism And Inequality

Hello Friends - If you have the time, the writings below offer an accurate and very glib (frightening) view of where the U.S. stands as an Empire run amuck. We humans are at a crossroad in our journey, and it is time for U.S. citizens to rise up and oppose endless war the same way earlier generations opposed slavery, child labor, male-only suffrage, segregation and Viet Nam. Nonviolent options to conflict resolution are our only hope. Modern Warfare is obsolete, and simply can no longer be an option; the stakes are too high ("It is either nonviolence or nonexistence." MLK Jr.) David McReynolds is a long-time friend and mentor; a two-time presidential candidate. I spent the day with him last summer at the Catholic Worker farm north of NYC, and hope to do so again this summer. Peace and Hope, Patrick O'Neill, Catholic Worker House, Garner, North Carolina


Not a very cheerful assessment, but I love depressing thought. I think you nail the sense of profound frustration we in the peace/antiwar movement share at this juncture. Below is a piece I just wrote that, I think, comes from the same frustrating place. Like you suggest, I think today's troubles tend to trace back to the days of European colonialism and the difficult and imperfect manner in which, post-WWII, the colonized world was given, or took by force, its liberty from the West. Vestiges of that struggle are still going on in some places -- like Iraq. In the case of Vietnam, I think it's fair to say that war followed as unfinished business in the wrap-up of WWII in Asia. Had the US in 1945 been able to accept Vietnamese independence from French and western colonialism, what might have been the result for an alternative history over the next 70 years in both Vietnam and the United States -- and the world? The problem as I see it is, it's not that powerful elements in the West don't want the so-called Third World to be free of western domination -- it's more that over the years and centuries they have become habituated to being the top-dog that lords it over the rest of the world. And they don't want to give up that feeling of western exceptionalism. (Israelis borrow from their religion and call it being The Chosen of God.) The same is true with race in America: It's not that most white people are racists as much as they are simply used to the feelings of exceptionalism that went hand-in-hand with the days of Jim Crow and lynching. One can get used to kicking others around and not want to give up that feeling; one man's nostalgia is another man's nightmare. My dear ol' bigoted dad died in 2000. He once told me the following to clear up a remark he'd made about black people: "I'm not a racist. I just hate the bastards."  It's all in the nuance.


Here We Go Again
The Debacle That Bites Back
By John Grant
This Can't Be Happening

Jeb Bush had a tough time when a female college student told him his brother, George, and his shock-and-awe debacle in Iraq had created ISIS. Jeb winced and did some ducking and covering. He’d already fumbled a question from Megyn Kelly of Fox News that, if he knew what we know now, would he have done what his brother did. He said he would have also invaded Iraq and that his older brother was one of his campaign’s foreign policy advisers.
Once Jeb realized he’d stumbled into a hornet’s nest, he quickly back-peddled and said he had not understood Kelly’s question. He said he thought he was being asked if he didn’t know now what his brother didn’t know then, would he invade Iraq? In other words, are you, Jeb, as cavalier and oblivious to reality as your brother was? Suddenly realizing how much bad freight his brother’s war carried, he revised his answer: Of course he would not have invaded Iraq.
There was a rare element of accountability, here, something rarely seen vis-à-vis the Iraq War -- or wars like Vietnam, for that matter. The question would not have plagued another candidate quite as much. Beyond voting for the war, which Hillary Clinton did and now calls a “mistake,” even before 9/11 Jeb Bush was part of the Project For A New American Century, which functioned as a blueprint for the invasion of Iraq. The PNAC fellows were about sustaining America as ruler of the world; there is little indication they were very much concerned about the truth.
UNHCR map of Iraq; ISIS controls cities with black dots
UNHCR map of Iraq; ISIS controls cities with black dots
Last week, thanks to a sand storm that grounded US planes, ISIS (or the Islamic State) was able to take Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province. Since then, they’ve taken the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. ISIS already controlled Falluja, a small city between Ramadi and Baghdad, and Mosul to the north -- plus a lot of sand in between. As is its inclination, the ISIS forces reportedly executed a lot of people in Ramadi. No doubt they did the same in Palmyra.
The Islamic State is largely synonymous with the Sunni dominated Anbar Province in western Iraq; its control extends into Syria. Much of the top leadership of the Islamic State is made up of former Saddam generals angry about US Proconsul Paul Bremmer’s cavalier decision to completely eliminate the Iraqi army. In the same misguided spirit, Bremmer also disbanded the Bath Party. These decisions, taken in concert, amounted to one of the stupidest foreign policy decisions of modern times, according to the national security consultant Richard Clarke.
So who should be held accountable? Or better yet, who's gonna ever get it right?
George W. Bush’s post-9/11 decision to militarily wreck Iraq over non-existent nuclear weapons, who will control Iraqi oil and the delusional idea of introducing Jeffersonian democracy into Iraq has now shape-shifted into a truly horrendous monster. Shock-and-awe has gone through the meat-grinder and come out the other end as well-organized psychopathic reaction. What goes around, comes around. The plot gets really absurd when you consider that while the United States government is frantic to counter ISIS it feels obliged to check ISIS’s natural enemy, Iraqi Shiites and Iran, who want nothing more than to crush ISIS. Anbar Province Sunnis aligned with the United States are too weak and insignificant to counter ISIS. Shiite militias controlled by the Baghdad government (militias that fought US troops during the war) have been employed in Anbar in a limited fashion. The US demands these Shiite militias be controlled by the Baghdad government (which is allied with Iran) and not directly by Iranians. To completely unleash the Shiite militias in Anbar would likely lead to a terrible sectarian bloodbath and all sorts of unforeseen consequences and greater war in the region.
It’s hard to imagine the growing perception of the Iraq War as debacle being altered when it hits the history books. True, it ended the Saddam regime, but at the cost of empowering our worst enemy and creating a worse nightmare than Saddam. The US is now performing pretzel-like contortions in Anbar, doing the best it can to PR spin a debacle into a success.
Meanwhile, US right-wing militarists insist on seeing the problem as caused by President Obama. He originally opposed the war and, as promised, eventually withdrew US troops from Iraq. Now, over ISIS, the whole drumbeat to war seems to be happening again. We’re told in anxious, angry tones that if you thought Afghanistan was a haven for terrorists in 2001, the Islamic State in 2015 is much worse and on steroids. With so much military secrecy at play and so much political dishonesty so potentially and intimately connected to the fear-oriented, war-mongering impulse, it’s deja-vu all over again. Fear is rising again, and when Fear takes over it’s only a matter of time before the delusions come out and calls for reason and proportionate reaction are trumped by calls for preemptive attack.
It’s good to periodically remind ourselves of Susan Sontag’s plea after 9/11: “By all means let’s mourn together; but let’s not be stupid together.” Sontag’s plea might translate today as this: By all means, let’s recognize that whether the United States spawned it or not the Islamic State is indeed a monster regime whose absence from the world would be a great improvement. OK. But following up on a military debacle with more of the same is to fully assume the status of “stupid” in Sontag’s equation. If US arrogance and blundering was the fertile ground that nurtured the Islamic State, another round of US arrogance and blundering can only make things even worse.
With the election “silly season” coming into full swing, ISIS is going to be a big topic. Who exactly caused the US to lose the high ground in Iraq? Was it the guy who set it all in movement -- or the guy who said from the beginning he was against the war and then wanted to end it? Do we blame those who opened the Pandora’s Box in Iraq or do we blame those who fought from the beginning that the box not be opened? It’s one of many variants of the stabbed-in-the-back myth: Blame those who opposed the war for the sins of those who set the whole runaway war train in motion. The point is, there’s a profound argument at play, here, between an imperial militarist class that never errs and those who would choose a different path to peace and prosperity that includes shifting military funds to domestic problems.
The antiwar movement tried to make this case after 9/11 and in the run-up to the Iraq War. Violence against other people has consequences, many of them unforeseen thanks to the effects of self-delusion. This is certainly why the Vietnam War went off the rails: Decisions were made not on sober intelligence but upon wish-fulfillment. The United States always gets what it wants, and our leaders don’t want to hear that the on-the-ground reality won’t allow what they want. As for 9/11, the anti-war movement tried to make cause and effect linkages between US military foreign policy and the 9/11 attacks, but those linkages remain censored thinking in mainstream America.
Mike Caddell of Radio-Free Kansas reports that voices on the militarist right in his conservative state can’t fathom how ISIS could take Ramadi in the face of US aerial bombing. It must be because Obama is a Kenyan socialist and he gave it away. These Kansas conservatives apparently did not understand that Iraqis might be smart enough to attack during a sandstorm that would ground US planes. Such a mundane game-changer raises the horror that looms underneath all this: the specter of the US as an impotent giant.
Many Americans have come to see aerial bombing as magical. If an international problem arises and the culprit can’t be reasoned with or bought off, many accept it as a natural response to send in bomb-laden F16s to fix the problem. This assumption is so deep-seated in the American psyche these days that not sending in bombers is automatically seen by some as bad leadership. Obama went against that with Syria, in what was arguably a profile in courage. Not bombing our way back into Ramadi, thus killing lots of innocent civilians, would be another example of smart leadership. Accept that this is a regional problem we cannot solve, that we can only work to avoid a greater war. 
A British bomber over Iraq in 1920
A British bomber over Iraq in 1920
Aerial bombing, of course, was first developed by the British in Iraq circa 1920. Winston Churchill even advocated gassing Iraqi villages from the air to control them. From Nicholson Baker’s Human Smoke, here’s Royal Wing Commander J. A. Chamier on dealing with Iraqi rebellions:
“The attack with bombs and machine guns must be relentless and unremitting and carried on continuously by day and night, on houses, inhabitants, crops and cattle. This sounds brutal, I know, but it must be made brutal to start with. The threat alone in the future will prove efficacious if the lesson is once properly learnt.” Think shock-and-awe 2003. The same brutal logic was at work: wogs only understand violence, so make your first impression especially memorable. Back in 1920, the British were still working in the realm of what William Polk in Violent Politics says is the only tried-and-true counter-insurgency tactic: Scorched earth.
It all comes down to exactly what it is our military/police/surveillance state is defending. It doesn’t seem to be the bottom-up America of Woody Guthrie. That America is awash in troubles -- from the effects of neglected and decaying infrastructure; the growing challenges from man-made climate change; a worsening, unfair plutocratic economy; the mass incarceration of poor African American citizens; the dehumanizing effects of technology; a Rube Goldberg health care system in which corporate profits trump citizen needs; and, finally, an education system put to shame by other developed nations. And that’s only the beginning.
Instead, what our military is sustaining is an ever-more-vulnerable empire set loose by Teddy Roosevelt at the turn of the 20th century and given a grand boost mid-century at the end of World War Two. At what point does such an empire begin to destroy the society and culture at its core?
The truth is, the only reason ISIS wants to attack us is because we attacked them first and wrecked their homeland. The same was true for al Qaeda, which rose out of US military alignment with Saudi Arabia and its oil. No one is suggesting the United States give up its power, become a hermit nation and no longer protect itself. Power isn’t a bad thing; neither is sophisticated intelligence or a responsible military. The point is to stop giving so many people in the world reasons to hate us.
Republicans and many Democrats like to preach that renewing America’s slipping greatness is a matter of re-energizing a militaristic capacity that strikes fear in the people of the world. The realities of the coming competitive world would seem to dictate another response, one that doesn’t ignore violent threats, but one that ratchets down the imperial militarism and one that belatedly addresses the nation’s many domestic shortcomings -- to make the US a better world citizen and, also, to be more competitive in the world.
This is not a new argument. The problem is just becoming more acute.

On May 22, 2015, at 12:08 AM, David McReynolds wrote:

This is a general (and I hope, fairly brief) response, sure to irritate many
but I hope also to remind us of where we are in history.

As a pacifist, I oppose all nuclear weapons - and all war - but I'll come back
to that in a moment. I do understand why the Soviet Union felt the
need for the bomb. I don't agree with their response, but I understand 
it. Dreadful as Stalin's regime, the hard reality was that there was
talk in the US of a "war for peace" while the US still had the monopoly.

Most are too young to remember that such talk was public, and reached
as high as President Truman's cabinet. The Cold War was under way and
one way of settling it was to attack the Soviet Union while the US was
able. It made political sense for the Soviet Union to develop the bomb and
it did, in fact, end the discussion of a "war for peace".  There was also logic
for China to get the bomb, out of legitimate fear of the Soviet Union, as
well as of the US.

I thought then and think now that the French and British governments
were acting irrationally to get into the nuclear race - they only guaranteed
they would be targets in the event of war. Israel may have thought it 
would insure its safety with the bomb but I think it was an arrogant move,
certain to push the Islamic states to try to get such a bomb. (As Pakistan
did and, of course, India). I can't argue that North Korea should give up its
bomb, given the fate of Libya when it thought it had come in from the

But in the end, in the here and now of things, no one is safer because of the 
bomb. If a nuclear war starts the non-nuclear states will also suffer. Depending
on how many bombs are used, it could very easily spell the end human life.
"The day after" even a tiny nuclear war, how much we would wish that we
had moved to settle the long conflict with North Korea; how much Israel
would wish it had made peace when it was able. How much India and 
Pakistan would wish they had made peace over Kashmir.

But the deeper question is where are we in history? The events of August 6
and 9, 1945, marked the first time in our fairly short time on this planet
when the future for humanity became "optional". Our survival depended
on making revolutionary changes in how we dealt with conflict.

The theory of mutual deterrence was always, truly MAD. It was to
Reagan's credit that, limited as his grasp of events was, he did under-
stand that the MAD theory was just that - madness. It was why 
Gorbachev, in their Iceland summit, came close to convincing him
that security rested in nuclear disarmament.

I write this just as the true crazies in our Congress are calling for
yet another military escalation in Iraq. I am as genuinely and deeply
shocked by ISIS as anyone, but don't we yet see that ISIS is one result
of an American foreign policy which sought to deal with problems by
military action?

Yes, on balance the greatest offender in terms of violence in the past
fifty years has been our own country. But this doesn't make Russian or
French or Chinese or Korean or Indian or Israeli or British or Pakistan
nuclear weapons an answer of any kind.

We live at a time when, in the past hundred years, we saw the sub-continent
of India liberated from British rule by nonviolence and when we saw the 
first major steps toward ending racism in our own country taken by massive
nonviolence. Are the powerful too proud and foolish to test the weapons
used by these, the militarily weak?

I'm not filled with great hope. It may be that we need some small 
nuclear war to bring us to sanity. The trouble, of course, is that in
some ways nuclear weapons are already dated. We have advanced 
biological and chemical weapons. And , if that were not enough,
the oceans are rising, the planet is heating. and our own domestic 
politics seems to leave us with only a choice between Hillary and Jeb.

In the here and now, even if we have no answer to ISIS (or Netanyahu,
for that matter), we must think much more deeply on all the systems
of violence on which all the big powers rely. We have not yet learned
that Hitler emerged directly from the ashes of the First World War, or
that extreme Islamic terrorism emerged directly from the ruins of the
old imperial systems (not just our own, but also the French and British).

I know how very hard it is to apply moral principles to politics. It
was an issue that haunted A. J. Muste. It is an issue that had better
haunt us now.

On Thu, May 21, 2015 at 9:31 PM, Andrew Lichterman wrote: 
Apologies for a second long post, but I don't post to these lists often and a bit of substantive discussion now and then can be a useful thing. 

As I stated clearly in my previous post, it is our particular responsibility here in the United States to oppose the aggressive military and foreign policies of those who rule in this country, and also their systemic roles as enforcers of an inequitable global economy, leading developers of high-tech weapons, and the world's largest arms merchants--and in fact that has been the focus of my work for decades. But I believe that we need to do much more to understand and explain our current global predicament. 

Al, I am dismayed to see you (and others) defending the modernization of nuclear weapons by Russia and China as necessary and justifiable-- something that is different from merely predictable.  Essentially, you seem to be replaying the debate between E.P. Thompson and those on the Left who opposed the buildup of nuclear arsenals by the US and its European allies, while arguing for the necessity-- or at least the acceptability-- of the nuclear arsenals deployed by Russia and China.  Thompson's brief sketch of that position--written 35 years ago--bears a striking resemblance to the views I am hearing from you and others: 
"In its story-line it goes something like this.  The original, and also the replicating, cause of Cold War lies in the drives of world imperialism.  These drives are then analyzed, with attention to Africa, South-East Asia, Latin America, and with a peroration about the Middle East and oil.  China is invoked as part of the revolutionary heritage: its inconvenient diplomatic and military postures are then forgotten.  Europe is passed over without analysis, except in its accessory role in world imperialism. State socialism, however 'deformed' (and here Marxists of different persuasions offer different grade-marks for deformity) has a military posture which is 'overwhelmingly defensive.' This can be confirmed by an a priori exercise, through a brief attention to differing modes of production and social systems: the capitalist mode of production is motivated by the drive for profit and for new fields of exploitation, whereas the arms race imposes an unwelcome burden upon socialist states (however deformed) by diverting resources from socialist construction." E.P.  Thompson,  "Notes on Exterminism: the Last Stage of Civilization," (New Left Review 121 June/July 1980). 
Regardless of where one stood in such debates in 1980, how does this kind of view hold up now?  Both Russia and China today are capitalist countries.  Both also have national security establishments and military-industrial complexes that certainly are no more accountable to the majority of their own populations than those in the United States.  

 As Walden Bello noted in a piece about the BRICS states, including Russia and China, 
"While there might be healthy discussion on whether all of these regimes might be called neoliberal, there can be no doubt that they are capitalist regimes, prioritising profits over welfare goals, loosening prior restraints on market forces, spearheading the integration of the domestic to the global economy, following conservative fiscal and monetary policies, exhibiting a close cooperation between the state elite and dominant forces in the economy, and, most importantly, relying on the super-exploitation of their working classes as the engine of rapid growth." Walden Bello, "The BRICs and Global Capitalism," in Shifting Power: Critical Perspectives on Emerging Economies, (Amsterdam: Trans-National Institute, September, 2014),  pp.178-179. 
I am astonished at the ease with which some seem able to apply what look to me like very old formulas to this new-- and to me, not yet fully understood--conjuncture.  We are entering an era of renewed and intensified  economic and military competition among capitalist states, amidst novel challenges such as resource exhaustion and widespread destruction of ecosystems.  Many of the factors that drive high-tech militarism and sustain nuclear establishments in the United States and its nuclear-armed European allies also are present in Russia and China-- they just have less economic and military power.  Those who rule in Russia are making restoration of its military power a top priority.  Those who rule in China are rapidly expanding the reach and technological sophistication of China's military, in part to give it the capacity  to keep up with the growing scope of the foreign economic activities of Chinese capital, which show little sign so far of being conducted in a manner any more equitable or ecologically sustainable than the foreign investments of of their  "imperialist" predecessors. Once upon a time there were people who thought carefully about the implications of geopolitical and military competition among capitalist powers, and about how ordinary people-- not those who held power in governments and commanded militaries--should respond when their rulers dragged them into the kinds of confrontations that could lead to catastrophic wars. We need to be doing that kind of thinking again, focusing on our current moment. I doubt that the best international strategy we could come up with after a thorough rethink would be that until the day that the global hegemon agrees to disarm, we should support the arming up of ascendant and resurgent states for a fight against it to the death (and to all our deaths). 

An analysis that has little more to it than an extended enumeration of bad U.S. actions (with perhaps a few whacks at NATO in its "accessory role in world imperialism")  is not adequate to the task of understanding the world of 2015. Such an incomplete analysis is unlikely to provide an account of how the world works that can be persuasive to most people in the United States. It is not likely to provide a basis for opening up space in Europe for a politics grounded in an independent view of the renewed US-Russia confrontation--something that is as necessary now, albeit under different conditions, as it was during the Cold War. It is not likely to provide a sufficient basis for understanding the increasingly complex network of antagonisms developing in South and East Asia-- also the region where the most vigorous growth of the global capitalist economy is concentrated. Contrary to the apparent beliefs of some on these lists, there likely are large numbers of people in Europe and Asia who see domination by the constellations of large organizations that constitute the governments, militaries, and top-tier economies of Russia and China as no more acceptable than domination by the constellation of organizations we call "the United States." Finally, a peace movement discourse largely confined to a litany of U.S. geopolitical sins is not likely to be effective in making connections to movements (like the climate change movements) that are coming around to understanding that the multiple crises we face are systemic consequences of a global economy driven everywhere by unceasing competition and dependence on endless material growth. We--all of us--need to do better. 

Al, you asked me what I would do if I were the leader of Russia or China.  But from my perspective that question misses the point.  There are no people with views like mine in the leadership of Russia  or China-- any more than there are in the leadership of the United States. But if I lived in Russia or China, I most likely would be doing my best to struggle against the same kinds of problems and institutions in those countries that I struggle against here: a starkly inequitable economy, an ecologically unsustainable development path, lack of meaningful democracy, an entrenched nuclear establishment and military-industrial complex, and a ruling elite that believes that maintaining their relative power against their competitors is so essential that we should risk nuclear annihilation to preserve it. I would be looking for a way out of the civilizational dead end that global capitalism (and its not so very different authoritarian state socialist offshoots) have brought us to. And I would hope that I would be able to rely on the solidarity of like-minded people in the United States.  


On 5/20/2015 2:13 PM, 'Alfred L. Marder' wrote:

I would like to add to the discussion.
We are unalterably opposed to nuclear weapons. This involvement is 70 years long.
We regret that the policy for the need for security “requires” adding to the nuclear arsenal in China and in Russia where historically there has been sentiment for the abolition of nuclear weapons.. Thus, those countries who feel in jeopardy of aggressive US policies have adopted the policy that nuclear weapons will guarantee their security. We found this in Moscow where the anti-nuclear weapon movement saw its very beginnings. This is directly related to NATO troops on its borders.
The US pivot to the Pacific, the collaboration with Japan, the military exercise off the Korean coast, the drive for the Trans-Pacific Economic Treaty have stimulated the response in China.
We may deplore it, but, Andy, if you were the leader of these countries, responsible for the wel-fare of your people, what would your response be? Ignore the potential threats? We cannot escape the reality no sophistry can ignore it, that these are the predicted results of US aggression.
We, in the peace movement, especially, those here in the US, must mobilize against the imperialist aggressive policies of the US that has established 1,000 foreign bases, instigated wars in the Middle East  joined with the most authoritarian, backward Gulf monarchies, establishing a sophisticated police state, based upon an economy of killing machines.
Do we welcome these steps? Of course not! We are for the total abolition of nuclear weapons!
Hesitation to place responsibility is, frankly, a disservice to the struggle you and we must conduct.
Yours in Peace,.
Al Marder
President, US Peace Council

[Attachment(s) from Andrew Lichterman included below]
The question here is not about "evenhandedness."  The question is whether we are going to oppose the continued possession and modernization of nuclear weapons by all nuclear-armed states.  I would note that this thread began with a criticism of China's reported move to MIRV its intercontinental ballistic missiles.  The replies by Alice, Henry, and Al seem to imply that it is not appropriate to criticize moves by some governments to modernize or expand their nuclear forces where those moves are framed as responses to aggressive U.S. policies and military deployments. What exactly is your position here?  Nuclear "deterrence" and continued modernization of nuclear forces is acceptable when the country deterred is the United States?  Or perhaps nuclear "deterrence" and modernization of nuclear forces is acceptable in any case where a government has grounds to believe it is facing an adversary that has both nuclear weapons and an overwhelming advantage in conventional forces?  Where does that kind of thinking lead in terms of the viability of any kind of disarmament movement?

One of the main elements of the ideologies by which we are ruled is the assertion of false collectivities, assumed identities of interest that we are persuaded to accept and support without question. Nationalism is a leading instance, and is the main ideology used to mobilize populations for war. We need movements that better represent the vast majority of people on the planet who don't benefit from the current order of things. The "we" we should be trying to constitute is not one that backs some national government or set of governments. The beneficiaries of today's starkly two-tier global economy, and those willing to risk war and even nuclear war rather than lose their privileged place, are present not only in the United States, but in all the nuclear-armed states, (and most other states as well), and must be identified and overcome in all of them. I don't see the government of any nuclear-armed country as presenting an appropriate model or legitimate political leadership for the movements we need.

The national security states and military industrial complexes in all the nuclear-armed countries are unaccountable to the vast majority of their populations.  There is little to suggest that those who rule in most countries-- and particularly in any of the nuclear-armed countries-- are pursuing a course that leads to a world that that is more economically fair, democratic, or ecologically sustainable.  What we are seeing from the governments of all of the most powerful countries looks much more like a struggle for power within an inequitable and unsustainable global economic and political system than a struggle to build an alternative to it.

We must continue to oppose the aggressive military and foreign policies of those who rule in the United States, and also their systemic roles as enforcers of an inequitable global economy, leading developers of high-tech weapons, and the world's largest arms merchants. We here in the United States have a particular responsibility for this.  But sliding once again into a politics where many people are persuaded to line up behind the banner of one or another nation or bloc of nations--often as the result of some variant of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" thinking-- would, I believe, be a profound mistake. This kind of thinking implicitly reinforces nationalisms in a moment when all nationalisms instead should be explicitly questioned, made problematic.  We need to oppose militarism and arms racing, both nuclear and conventional, not just in the U.S. but everywhere. And we should also be opposing the threat and use of military force as a means of resolving conflict-- everywhere.

On 5/19/2015 8:18 PM, Henry Lowendorf  wrote:
I don’t see Russian or Chinese troops on US borders. I don’t see Russian and Chinese military alliances putting first strike missiles in Canada and Mexico. Are the Chinese pivoting to the west coast of the US? How many Russian and Chinese military bases are in the Americas? How many wars have Russia and China started on our borders? How many democratically elected governments on our continent have Russia and China overthrown? 
I ask those who equate these three big powers, how do you expect the leaders of Russia and China to respond when the mightiest military and economic power on earth, with the rap sheet of a pathological warmonger, surrounds and threatens them? Should they lay down their arms and welcome the US flag?
for peace and justice,
Henry Lowendorf
U.S. Peace Council

From: Alice Slater 
Subject: Re: [ufpj-activist] [ufpj-disarm] Re: [abolition-caucus] China Making Some Missiles More Powerful
I was responding to Jackie's comment that "the arms race continues, with plenty of blameto go around on all sides." I disagree.   We have to calll the US to account.   Alice

From: "'Alfred L. Marder
Unless as a peace movement, we understand who is responsible, we once again will return to the earlier days of nuclear abolition; dam on both your houses, forgetting who manufactured the bombs and dropped them on Hiroshima and Nagasaki./
Why do folks need an “even-handed” approach? There are no rewards!
Al Marder
I put the blame on our side-- the U.S. who thought it could brush China and Russia off on space weapons control, blocking consensus in the CD on a treaty they tabled to ban weapons in space, not to mention the “Asia Pivot” with new bases in the Pacific, US troops in Australia.  Now the chickens are coming home to roost. This is no time for "evenhandedness"!!  Let’s accurately identify who’s the big bully on the block!   Alice

On May 17, 2015, at 11:55 AM, Jackie Cabasso wrote:
   The arms race continues, with plenty of blame to go around on all sides.

China Making Some Missiles More Powerful

The shift is particularly notable because the technology of miniaturizing warheads and putting them atop a single missile has been in Chinese hands for decades but has gone unused.
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Jacqueline Cabasso

Andrew Lichterman

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