Saturday, March 26, 2011

Newsletter #2 on Causes and Prevention of Wars

OMNI NEWSLETTER #2 ON LIBYA AND OTHER WARS, CAUSES AND PREVENTION,  3-26, 2011   Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace. 

Contents of #1 Feb. I, 2011
Old Men in Power
  General Smedley Butler
   Merchants of Death
Climate Change: Refugees
   Empathy, Forgiveness
   Refuting Lies, Myths, Illusions
   Graphic Truth of Combat

Contents of #2

and US (7 Essays):
Kucinich: Stop the Funding
More Essays: Stop the Bombing
Libya Petition
Libya: Code Pink

Causes and Prevention of Wars
Books:  Corporate-Pentagon-Congressional-White House-Corp. Media Complex: 
      Lockheed Martin by Bill Hartung and Eisenhower by James Ledbetter
      Climate Change:    Global Warring By Cleo Paskal,
William Blum, Anti-Empire Report, Deception by Leaders
Lessons Learned from War by a Japanese

LIBYA  (7 essays)
Kucinich: “NATO War Still a Bad Deal”
 Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Reader Supported News
Intro: "Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today wrote to fellow members of Congress that NATO's role in the war in Libya would not shield Americans from the costs of the war. Kucinich's letter responded to the announcement by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that NATO would take over command of the no-fly zone in Libya. In his letter, Kucinich pointed to United States' dominant role in the funding of NATO and called for Members to support his amendment which would eliminate US funds for the military intervention in Libya."

Just Foreign Policy News on the Web:

“Action: Pressure Congress to Debate Libya
Whatever one thinks of the ongoing U.S. military intervention in Libya, President Obama has set a dangerous precedent by embarking on a major military operation in Libya without Congressional authorization. Eight Members of the House have brought forward H. Con. Res. 31, a bi-partisan resolution affirming that the President must obtain specific statutory authorization for the use of U.S. armed forces in Libya. Ask your Representative to join them in affirming that U.S. military action in Libya must have Congressional authorization.

‘The Upcoming Congressional Debate on Libya Is Key
President Obama has dropped a bomb on the War Powers Resolution. It's essential for future efforts to constrain the war-making of Presidents that Congress push back. There are plenty of things Congress can do: explicitly prohibit the introduction of ground forces, prohibit the overflight of Libya by US planes, establish a timetable for the withdrawal of US forces, place a cap on what the Administration can spend. There are plenty of good historical precedents, including the efforts to limit the Clinton Administration's wars in Yugoslavia.

‘Francis Boyle: UN Resolution on Libya Allows Invasion
Professor of international law Francis Boyle stresses that while the UN Security Council resolution expressly forbids a "foreign occupation force," it does not prohibit an "invading force."

‘Yoweri Museveni Criticizes Western Military Intervention in Africa
The President of Uganda on why he opposes the Western military intervention in Libya and what he thinks should happen now.

Liberal Democrats in Uproar Over Libya Action
John Bresnahan and Jonathon Allen, Politico
By: John Bresnahan and Jonathan Allen
March 19, 2011 04:27 PM EDT
John Bresnahan and Jonathon Allen report: "A hard-core group of liberal House Democrats is questioning the constitutionality of US missile strikes against Libya, with one lawmaker raising the prospect of impeachment during a Democratic Caucus conference call on Saturday."
Robert Greenwald | Day One: Obama Drops 100 Million Dollars on Libya
Robert Greenwald writes: "The administration launched this new war (and yes, it is a war) with no official congressional authorization, little public debate and with a vague, possibly even non-existent, endgame in mind. It's as if the lessons of the last decade are completely lost on policymakers in the United States."

A Petition Against Quagmire in Libya  AND TO RETHINK US FOREIGN POLICY from Tom Hayden

[Published by Tom Hayden, The Peace Exchange Bulletin is a reader-supported journal, critically following the Pentagon's Long War in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, as well as the failed U.S. wars on drugs and gangs, and U.S. military responses to nationalism and poverty around the world.]
At least ten thousand Americans are expected to sign the following petition against a quagmire in Libya, which is to be delivered to the White House and by local activists to their elected representatives. The campaign against a Libyan quagmire flows out of continuing grass-roots pressure against the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

The petition is being circulated by the Peace and Justice Resource Center, directed by Tom Hayden, an author and critic of the "Long War" for the past decade, and a leader of the anti-Vietnam movement of the 1960s. The PJRC is an online network affiliated with clusters in over 50 American cities as well as peace groups in NATO countries. The petition is meant to promote local discussion and serve as an organizing tool in anti-war outreach and advocacy before elected officials. 

The full text of the petition follows:
The United States cannot afford a deepening quagmire in Libya. We call on President Obama to seek authorization from the U.S. Congress for his Libyan bombing campaign, including a mission statement limited to protecting Libyan civilians, a viable diplomatic strategy, an exact cost projection, and a timeline for the rapid withdrawal of all U.S. combat troops before the war becomes another quagmire.

We believe that Col. Quaddafi is an autocratic ruler who has controlled Libyan lives for far too long. But we also believe a military escalation to remove him would be seen as a violation of Libyan sovereignty and a subversion of United Nations authorization 1973. Col. Quaddafi can be contained, forced into exile, or removed by the force of his own people.

We call for a responsible White House plan to end the unaffordable trillion dollar wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Libya. The pro-democracy movements sweeping the Middle East and North Africa deserve American diplomatic, economic and political support, but cannot become the platform for another decade of military intervention.

We support the Democratic National Committee's recent resolution calling for a significant and substantial withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan beginning this July, and the transfer of funds for war to rebuilding our economy at home.

We further call for the most serious effort of our generation to speed the transition to energy conservation and renewable resources with the same urgency with which our government takes us to war.

It is time for a great re-thinking of American foreign policy, and a stronger movement for peace, jobs and environmental sanity.


Tell Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: Use Diplomacy to Bring About a Ceasefire in Libya
Read Instead of Bombing Dictators, Stop Selling Them Bombs by Medea Benjamin and Charles Davis on Huffington Post
Join us in conversation with women from war zones
“One Woman’s Journey Toward Peace in Iraq”
Tune in on Saturday, May 14th at 11:00am PST/2:00pm EST - we will be talking with Rashad Zaydan in Iraq!

March 24, 2011
Dear Dick,
We know that Muammar Gaddafi is a dictator and we support Libyan people who are rising up to oust him. But bringing in the cruise missiles to the “rescue”? No way! Our government’s involvement should be to use creative diplomacy, negotiations, and international pressure, not war. The best thing the U.S. can do to support democracy in the Middle East is: Stop arming dictators.
 Please join us in telling Secretary of State Hillary Clinton—a key player pushing for war in Libya—that we want an end to the bombing, an immediate ceasefire in Libya and an end to U.S. arms sales to the region’s dictators.
Western nations were selling Gaddafi the weapons his regime has been using to suppress the Libyan people. In 2009 alone, European governments — including Britain and France — sold Libya more than $470 million worth of weapons. The Obama administration was working to provide the Libyan dictator another $77 million in weapons, on top of the $17 million it provided in 2009 and the $46 million the Bush administration provided in 2008. What is the message we send by bombing Gaddafi’s forces while continuing to support brutal regimes in countries such as Yemen, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia?
The repressive government in Yemen has received more than $300 million in military aid from the U.S. over the last five years. U.S. military sales to Bahrain since 2000 total $1.4 billion. The monarchy of Saudi Arabia is set to receive $67 billion worth of weapons – the largest weapons deal in U.S. history.
The U.S. Tomahawk cruise missiles fired into Libya are reportedly killing innocent civilians. According to The New York Times, European and US warplanes with “brutal efficiency” bombed “tanks, missile launches and civilian cars, leaving a smoldering trail of wreckage that stretched for miles.” The truth is that wars, even so-called humanitarian ones, entail destroying people and places. And innocents pay the price.
There’s an easier, safer way to protect civilians from dictators than aerial bombardment: stop arming and propping up dictators. Send that message to Hillary Clinton, along with the call for an immediate ceasefire in Libya.
Once again, it's our job to be the voice of sanity that says, loudly and clearly, "War is not the answer."
Ali, Alli, C.J., Chelsea, Dara, Farida, Gayle, Janet, Jean, Jodie, Kristen, Medea, Nancy K, Nancy M, Natalia, Rae, Sanaa, Shaden, and Tighe
P.S. Join us in conversation with women from war zones

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In light of unfolding events in Libya, North Aftrica, and the Middle East, we are sending another "mass mailing" we hope will be helpful. We include in full a new in depth article from Gilbert Achcar, and also links to a number of other pieces that have gone up online on ZNet today. We hope you will visit regularly in this best and worst of times...
Vijay Prashad: Intervening in Libya
Merip Editors: Of Principle and Peril
Robert Naiman: When the House Comes Back...
Patrick Cockburn: Bombing Libya


--Bill Hartung.  Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex.  Nation Books, 2011.
--James Ledbetter.  Unwarranted Influence: Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Military Industrial Complex.  Yale UP, 2011.


Global Warring: How Environmental, Economic, and Political Crises Will Redraw the World Map

by Cleo Paskal As told by: Cleo Paskal  Key Porter Books | December 7, 2009 | Hardcover
The Cold War was never this hot!We live in interesting times. The biggest western economic institutions are crumbling, what were once marginalized voices are now dominating international negotiations, and touchstone climate events, such as the …+ read more
The Cold War was never this hot!

We live in interesting times. The biggest western economic institutions are crumbling, what were once marginalized voices are now dominating international negotiations, and touchstone climate events, such as the monsoon, are failing. Everywhere you look economic, geopolitical and environmental assumptions are being shaken to the core. The world is changing. Fast.
Global Warring examines these trends by combining insightful economic and political analysis with the most likely environmental change scenarios. It identifies problem areas that could start conflicts (access to water and resources in Asia), economic trends that are shifting the balance of power (China's policy of nationalistic capitalism), and geopolitical realignments (the burgeoning strategic partnership between the United States and India).
Award-winning writer and geopolitical expert Cleo Paskal makes sense of this overwhelming topic by dividing it into five sections: how seemingly impervious western nations, such as the United States, are shockingly vulnerable to hurricanes, storm surges and rising sea levels, and what that could mean for their internal stability and economic development; how the thawing Arctic is opening up a whole new arena for power politics as some of the world's biggest countries wrangle for control over vast resources, strategic shipping routes such as the Northwest Passage and geopolitical leverage; how changing precipitation patterns, extreme weather and water shortages are creating severe disruptions in India and China, and how that could affect their relations with each other, and the world; how rising sea levels may shift borders and alter the very notion of statehood, potentially challenging international law to the breaking point; and, finally, what could happen in coming decades, and how to avoid the worst of it.
Paskal combines ten years of research; the latest findings from the Hadley Centre and the United Nations; and interviews with top political, security and economic strategists with her own extensive travel as a foreign correspondent. The result is a penetrating, accessible, compelling, and chilling reminder that Global Warring is not only coming, it's here.
"In a clear, comprehensive and alarming analysis, Cleo Paskal underlines the geopolitically disruptive potential of climate change. Arguably this is the biggest challenge to human society since the Ice Age or the Black Death and it is not clear we are any readier  to respond adequately to ours than were our unfortunate ancestors to theirs." -- Guy Stanley, Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University.


Anti-Empire Report, March 1, 2011 empire's deep dark secret

"In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should have his head examined," declared US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on February 25.
Remarkable. Every one of the many wars the United States has engaged in since the end of World War II has been presented to the American people, explicitly or implicitly, as a war of necessity, not a war of choice; a war urgently needed to protect American citizens, American allies, vital American "interests", freedom, or democracy. Here is President Obama speaking of Afghanistan: "But we must never forget this is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity." 7
This being the case, how can a future administration say it will not go to war if any of these noble causes is seriously threatened? The answer is that these noble causes are irrelevant. The United States goes to war where and when it wants, and if a noble cause is not self-evident, the government, with indispensable help from the American media, will manufacture it. Secretary Gates is now admitting that there is choice involved. Well, Bob, thanks for telling us. You were Bush's Secretary of Defense as well, and before that 26 years in the CIA and the National Security Council. You sure know how to keep a secret.

 “Lessons learned from war” 0de Magazine
I have many fond memories of sitting in a small room in my wife’s grandmother’s house, sipping tea, and giving obaa-chan the space to say whatever was on her mind.
When I asked her about World War II, here’s what she had to say:
"The death of loved ones, natural disasters, wars, and divorces. All of these events give us cause to stop and reflect on our lives.
World War II taught me a lot. It seems to me that in all wars, both sides tend to be correct in standing up for their values, and quite short-sighted in denying their shortcomings.
I think this is also true in personal relationships that aren’t going well. People fail to realize and acknowledge their own shortcomings, and this prevents them from recognizing there are always two people responsible for the failing.
When the war ended I was grateful to still be alive and I was ready to redirect my life. Having withstood the war I was pretty certain I could withstand everything life had to offer.
A lot of precious lives were lost and many people died at a very early age. The war broke my heart and caused me to reexamine everything I thought I knew. I was pretty certain my heart would break a few more times before I died, and I needed to take the time to better understand how life is full of suffering and joy, love and hate.
I found myself wondering what all the killing had accomplished. What truths had the war revealed? What lessons were to be learned by every Japanese person? Surely our culture needed to redirect itself, and I wondered how this would be accomplished, and if indeed it would be accomplished. Before the war life had a certain familiarity that felt comfortable: up early every morning to start the day, and work well into the evening, all with a sense of an endless rhythm and flow, with one day leading to the next. By the end of the war, everything had been turned upside down. Everyone was so busy rebuilding shattered lives and attempting to make up for lost time, that few people took the time to sit and reflect.
I realized I was going to have to let go of great sadness in order to begin the next stage of my life. Having seen so many people die, I found it important to place the focus of my attention on the newborn babies in our neighborhood. Watching them grow, and flourish, under the gaze of a loving mother. Life was indeed continuing to spring forth and I knew it was important to focus on the positive.
The war led me to understand the world is being destroyed by the anger and resentment that is stirred up by our leaders. Beneath all the bad feelings lies a deep fear that is big enough to destroy all of life. When our fear, anger, and resentment overflows into war, it squeezes the love from our hearts and there are no winners. Only survivors.
God is the Spirit that lives within each of us and gives us life. Who we are, depends to a large extent on how we love. We need to nurture our fear and our anger with kindness, so that hope, health, and compassion will spring forth in each of us. Regardless of the country we were born in, or the values we hold dear.
There is a great deal of fear and anger in the world today. Please consider how you can nurture with kindness all those you meet and enter into relationship with."

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