Friday, July 27, 2012


NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND GENOCIDE NEWSLETTER # 13, July 27, 2012. OMNI Building a Culture of PEACE, Compiled by Dick Bennett. (See #1, June 14, 2007; #2, January 8, 2008; #3 May 16, 2008; #4 June 10; 2009, #5 July 23, 2009, ; #6 Sept. 21, 2009; #7 August 29, 2010; #8 April 11, 2011; #9 August 4, 2011; #10 Feb. 27, 2012; #11 April 4, 2012; #12 June 27, 2012.) Imagine a world free of nuclear weapons, be committed to that goal.



Here is the link to all OMNI newsletters: The dozens of newsletters provide OMNI and the peace and justice movement with subject-focused information and criticism. Editors are wanted for these Newsletter who can devote adequate attention to the subjects.

Contents of Nos. 9-11 at end.

Contents of #12

The SANE Act

Schell, Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Uranium Double Standards

Wittner, Deterrence?

Falk and Krieger Dialogue

Contents of #13

Contact President: Take Nukes Off Alert

FCNL Washington Newsletter

The Nuclear Resister

Hartung, MAD Still


[CLW] 13 Minutes to Doomsday? Tell the President to Reduce the Threat of Nuclear War

John Isaacs, Council for a Livable World via

July 27, 2012

Dear Dick,

Our good friends at Peace Action, our allies on so many issues, urge you to take action on taking our nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert. Peace Action has long been involved in trying to stop the nuclear arms race, having been originally formed to oppose nuclear weapons explosive testing.

Please consider their message.

John Isaacs & Guy Stevens

Dear Friend,

I don't find myself agreeing with the Washington Post's editorial board all that often. What used to be known as a liberal newspaper has become more and more conservative, especially on war and peace issues, over the years.

But, a recent lead editorial was a nice surprise over my morning coffee. 13 Minutes to doomsday outlines what should be a no-brainer, the case for the U.S. and Russia to take our nuclear weapons off hair-trigger, launch-ready alert.

Of course we at Peace Action want all nuclear weapons abolished worldwide, by 5:00 this afternoon if possible! But de-alerting is one of the single most effective steps we could take to reduce the danger of nuclear war.

Tell the president he needs to do it, right away!

The title of the editorial, 13 Minutes to Doomsday, refers to the time a president would have to make a decision to launch our nuclear missiles in response to a report that the US is under nuclear attack. Not a lot of time to prevent doomsday.

Today, you can prevent doomsday before it's too late. To quote the Post, "the president will soon sign off on instructions to the military to implement the posture review," referring to the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, which set overall current U.S. nuclear weapons policy.

Tell the President to take action to decrease the likelihood of an accidental or hasty decision to launch a nuclear attack. Over two decades after the end of the Cold War, this simple step of "de-alerting" nuclear weapons is long overdue.

Help me convince President Obama to take this simple step to make our country-- and the world-- safer.

Humbly for Peace,

Kevin Martin

Executive Director

Peace Action

PS : There is no sane reason for keeping nuclear weapons on hair trigger alert. Acting together as the President prepares his instructions to the military will impact this important decision. Get your friends involved by forwarding them this message.

FCNL Washington Newsletter

[This excellent Quaker newsletter no. is all about controlling nuclear weapons. D]

• Washington Newsletter

Nuclear Weapons: Congress at a Turning Point

May/June 2012

In the last 16 months, lawmakers have ratified the New START treaty to reduce the number of nuclear weapons, increased funding to prevent these weapons’ spread, and blocked the start of a $5 billion nuclear weapons facility. Yet lawmakers need to hear that constituents want more or this progress could be rolled back.

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The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty: Still a Good Idea

Nuclear testing may seem a thing of the past: in the last 10 years, only North Korea has conducted any test explosions. The United States, Russia and other countries that have acknowledged nuclear weapons programs have all publicly announced a moratorium on testing. Yet right now this moratorium depends on good will, not the force of international law. This treaty is critical to preventing a new generation of nuclear weapons powers from emerging in the world today and getting the United States back on the road toward nuclear disarmament.

Budgeting for Fewer Nuclear Weapons

Members of Congress are under pressure to trim federal spending and cut the budget deficit. This era of belt-tightening is leading some members to take a hard look at the high cost of the U.S. nuclear weapons program and could pave the way for some long overdue cuts. At the same time, funding for programs to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and materials is as critical as ever.

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July 8, 2012

Tomgram: William Hartung, Why No One Notices Our MAD Planet

I can still remember sneaking with two friends into the balcony of some Broadway movie palace to see the world end. The year was 1959, the film was On the Beach, and I was 15. It was the movie version of Neville Shute’s still eerie 1957 novel about an Australia awaiting its death sentence from radioactive fallout from World War III, which had already happened in the northern hemisphere. We three were jacked by the thrill of the illicit and then, to our undying surprise, bored by the quiet, grownup way the movie imagined human life winding down on this planet. (“We're all doomed, you know. The whole, silly, drunken, pathetic lot of us. Doomed by the air we're about to breathe.”)

It couldn’t hold a candle to giant, radioactive, mutant ants heading for L.A. (Them!), or planets exploding as alien civilizations nuclearized themselves (This Island Earth), or a monstrous prehistoric reptile tearing up Tokyo after being awakened from its sleep by atomic tests (Godzilla), or for that matter the sort of post-nuclear, post-apocalyptic survivalist novels that were common enough in that era.

It’s true that anything can be transformed into entertainment, even versions of our own demise -- and that there’s something strangely reassuring about then leaving a theater or turning the last page of a book and having life go on. Still, we teenagers didn’t doubt that something serious and dangerous was afoot in that Cold War era, not when we “ducked and covered” under our school desks while (test) sirens screamed outside and the CONELRAD announcer on the radio on the teacher’s desk offered chilling warnings.

Nor did we doubt it when we dreamed about the bomb, as I did reasonably regularly in those years, or when we wondered how our “victory weapon” in the Pacific in World War II might, in the hands of the Reds, obliterate us and the rest of what in those days we called the Free World (with the obligatory caps). We sensed that, for the first time since peasants climbed into their coffins at the millennium to await the last days, we were potentially already in our coffins in everyday life, that our world could actually vanish in a few moments in a paroxysm of superpower destruction.

Today, from climate change to pandemics, apocalyptic scenarios (real and imaginary) have only multiplied. But the original world-ender of our modern age, that wonder weapon manqué, as military expert, TomDispatch regular, and author of Prophets of War: Lockheed and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex Bill Hartung points out, is still unbelievably with us and still proliferating. Yes, logic -- and the evidence from Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- should tell us that nuclear weapons are too staggeringly destructive to be usable, but in crisis moments, logic has never been a particularly human trait. How strange, then, that a genuine apocalyptic possibility has dropped out of our dreams, as well as pop culture, and as Hartung makes clear, is barely visible in our world. Which is why, on a landscape remarkably barren of everything nuclear except the massive arsenals that dot the planet, TomDispatch considers it important to raise the possibility of returning the nuclear issue to the place it deserves in the human agenda. (To catch Timothy MacBain's latest Tomcast audio interview in which Hartung discusses the upside-down world of global nuclear politics, click here or download it to your iPod here.) Tom

Beyond Nuclear Denial

“How a World-Ending Weapon Disappeared From Our Lives, But Not Our World” By William D. Hartung

There was a time when nuclear weapons were a significant part of our national conversation. Addressing the issue of potential atomic annihilation was once described by nuclear theorist Herman Kahn as “thinking about the unthinkable,” but that didn’t keep us from thinking, talking, fantasizing, worrying about it, or putting images of possible nuclear nightmares (often transmuted to invading aliens or outer space) endlessly on screen.

Now, on a planet still overstocked with city-busting, world-ending weaponry, in which almost 67 years have passed since a nuclear weapon was last used, the only nuke that Americans regularly hear about is one that doesn’t exist: Iran’s. The nearly 20,000 nuclear weapons on missiles, planes, and submarines possessed by Russia, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, China, Israel, Pakistan, India, and North Korea are barely mentioned in what passes for press coverage of the nuclear issue.

Click here to read more of this dispatch.Visit our sister sites:

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Schools program

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Swedes push for a nuclear ban

ICAN Sweden makes it clear to their politicians that they expect action for a nuclear ban.

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Bringing ICAN to Syria

A profile of ICAN campaigner Ghassan Shahrour, who is working for a nuclear-free Middle East.

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10 seconds is all it takes

Watch this powerful new video and take action on Nuclear Abolition Day, June 2.

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Paris action for disarmament

Join ICAN campaigners in Paris, France, for a four-day hunger strike for nuclear abolition.

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ICAN meeting in Vienna

ICAN held a campaigners' meeting in Vienna from 28 to 29 April in advance of the NPT PrepCom.

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Humanitarian consequences

ICAN welcomes international conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons in 2013.

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Cut nuclear spending

Nuclear disarmament campaigners participate in the Global Day of Action on Military Spending.

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Don't Bank on the Bomb

ICAN launches a global report on the financing of nuclear weapons producers. Is your bank involved?

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• 1 of 6

• ››



ICAN campaigners from around the world call for immediate negotiations on a nuclear weapons ban.

Biological and chemical weapons, landmines and cluster bombs have been banned. Why not nuclear weapons?


For ICAN's weekly roundup of global news, click here.

ICAN, you can, we can

The global campaign

Play video »

Ban nuclear weapons

Why it's time

Play video »

A Little Less Conversation

Time to start negotiations

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Nuclear Insecurity Summit

End the hypocrisy

Play video »

Beating the Bomb

The peace movement

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About ICAN

• The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons is a global grassroots movement for the total elimination of nuclear weapons through a legally binding, verifiable Nuclear Weapons Convention.

With more than 200 partner organizations in 60 countries, we provide a voice to the overwhelming majority of people globally who support the prompt abolition of nuclear weapons.

Prominent individuals such as anti-apartheid leader Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams have lent their support to the campaign.

Other ICAN sites

Basic nuclear facts

• Problem at a glance

• From 1945 to present

• Arguments for abolition

• International law

• Medical effects

• The politics at play

• How they work

• Nuclear fuel chain

National ICAN sites

• ICAN Aotearoa New Zealand

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Latest ICAN publications

Campaign Overview (2010)

This 8-page booklet provides an overview of ICAN since its inception in 2007. It outlines the direction the campaign is taking following the NPT Review Conference and describes why a Nuclear Weapons Convention is the most realistic path to zero. Download

Towards Nuclear Abolition (2010)

Towards Nuclear Abolition is an ICAN report of the eighth Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference, held in New York in May 2010. It documents the growing support among nations for the negotiation of a convention to outlaw and eliminate all nuclear weapons. Download

The Case against Nuclear Weapons (2010)

This 20-page booklet describes the nuclear problem and outlines why a Nuclear Weapons Convention is needed. It argues that nuclear weapons are inhumane, make the world less secure, are harmful to the environment and are a waste of money. Download


Contents of #9

Weapons Budgets Compared: Obama, Ryan, People

Book: Nuclear WWIII

Facts about Nuclear Weapons

Cost Study Project

Countdown to Zero Film

El Baradei’s The Age of Deception

Nonproliferation Funding

Health Effects of Nuclear Weapons Production and Testing

Contents of #10

Nuke Spending Increased

O’Hanlon’s Book on Disarmament

Weinstein, Nuclear Weapons Locations in US

Mitchell, Atomic Cover-up

Wittner, Scrapping Two Nuclear Plans

Banerjee, A Victory in New Mexico

Contents of #11

Norton, Bill to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

The Nuclear Resister

End Missile Tests at Vandenberg

International Campaign to Abolish

Pres. Obama’s Contradictions

Wednesday, July 25, 2012



From Veterans for Peace.    Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:05 am (PDT) . Posted by: "Sanford Kelson" Attorney-at-Law 8231 South Canal Road Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania 16316 Email:
Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 10:53 AM

We condition the poor and the working class to go to war. We promise them honor, status, glory, and adventure. JULY/AUGUST 2012

War Is Betrayal: Persistent Myths of Combat by Chris Hedges

We condition the poor and the working class to go to war. We promise

them honor, status, glory, and adventure. We promise boys they will

become men. We hold these promises up against the dead-end jobs of

small-town life, the financial dislocations, credit card debt, bad

marriages, lack of health insurance, and dread of unemployment. The

military is the call of the Sirens, the enticement that has for

generations seduced young Americans working in fast food restaurants or

behind the counters of Walmarts to fight and die for war profiteers and


The poor embrace the military because every other cul-de-sac in their

lives breaks their spirit and their dignity. Pick up Erich Maria

Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front or James Jones's From Here to

Eternity. Read Henry IV. Turn to the Iliad. The allure of combat is a

trap, a ploy, an old, dirty game of deception in which the powerful, who

do not go to war, promise a mirage to those who do.

I saw this in my own family. At the age of ten I was given a scholarship

to a top New England boarding school. I spent my adolescence in the

schizophrenic embrace of the wealthy, on the playing fields and in the

dorms and classrooms that condition boys and girls for privilege, and

came back to my working-class relations in the depressed former mill

towns in Maine. I traveled between two universes: one where everyone got

chance after chance after chance, where connections and money and

influence almost guaranteed that you would not fail; the other where no

one ever got a second try. I learned at an early age that when the poor

fall no one picks them up, while the rich stumble and trip their way to

the top.

Those I knew in prep school did not seek out the military and were not

sought by it. But in the impoverished enclaves of central Maine, where I

had relatives living in trailers, nearly everyone was a veteran. My

grandfather. My uncles. My cousins. My second cousins. They were all in

the military. Some of them-including my Uncle Morris, who fought in the

infantry in the South Pacific during World War II-were destroyed by the

war. Uncle Morris drank himself to death in his trailer. He sold the

hunting rifle my grandfather had given to me to buy booze.

He was not alone. After World War II, thousands of families struggled

with broken men who, because they could never read the approved lines

from the patriotic script, had been discarded. They were not trotted out

for red-white-and-blue love fests on the Fourth of July or Veterans Day.

The myth of war held fast, despite the deep bitterness of my

grandmother-who acidly denounced what war had done to her only son-and

of others like her. The myth held because it was all the soldiers and

their families had. Even those who knew it to be a lie-and I think most

did-were loath to give up the fleeting moments of recognition, the only

times in their lives they were told they were worth something.

"For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' 'Chuck him out, the brute!'"

Rudyard Kipling wrote. "But it's 'Saviour of 'is country' when the guns

begin to shoot."

Any story of war is a story of elites preying on the weak, the gullible,

the marginal, the poor. I do not know of a single member of my

graduating prep school class who went into the military. You could not

say this about the high school class that graduated the same year in

Mechanic Falls, Maine.

. . .

Geoff Millard was born in Buffalo, New York and lived in a predominately

black neighborhood until he was eleven. His family then moved to

Lockport, a nearby white suburb. He wrestled and played football in high

school. He listened to punk rock.

"I didn't really do well in classes," he says. "But that didn't seem to

matter much to my teachers."

At fifteen he was approached in school by a military recruiter.

"He sat down next to me at a lunch table," Millard says. "He was a

Marine. I remember the uniform was crisp. All the medals were shiny. It

was what I thought I wanted to be at the time.

"He knew my name," Millard adds. "He knew what classes I was taking. He

knew more about me than I did. It was freaky, actually."

Two years later, as a senior, Millard faced graduation after having been

rejected from the only college where he had applied.

"I looked at what jobs I could get," he says. "I wasn't really prepared

to do any job. I wasn't prepared for college. I wasn't prepared for the

workforce. So I started looking at the military. I wanted to go active duty Marine Corps, I thought. You know, they were the best. And that's what I was going to do.

"There were a lot of other reasons behind it, too," he says. "I mean, growing up in this culture you envy that, the soldier."


Support the Troops? How About 55,000 Female Homeless Veterans By Jin Zhao, AlterNet 25 July 12, RSN

Homelessness among women veterans is a growing national concern. Tens of thousands of women veterans are fighting a war they did not choose to wage, and many of them have had multiple traumatic experiences, not only during service but also before and after. These traumatic experiences, which can include everything from combat-related stress to childhood abuse to domestic violence, contribute to this growing crisis.

There are some 55,000 homeless women veterans in the U.S. today, and that number is likely to grow as the number of women veterans increases overall. (The VA projects the number to grow from 1.8 million, or 8.2 percent of the total number of veterans, in 2010 to 2.1 million, or 15.2 percent of the total, in 2036.)

Research shows that trauma is a gateway to homelessness. As many as 93 percent of female veterans have been exposed to some type of trauma. The high concentration of trauma among women veterans contributes to the fact that women veterans are four times more likely to become homeless than their civilian counterparts. Among homeless women veterans, 53 percent have experienced military sexual trauma (MST), compared to one in five among women veterans in general.

As more women are deployed in combat operations, trauma is becoming an urgent concern in women veterans’ care. The VA reports that 182,000 women have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, compared to 41,000 in the Gulf War. This increase in women deployment correlates the number of women veterans who suffer PTSD and traumatic brain injury, two major risks related to homelessness.

Jennifer, a 45-year-old homeless veteran, shared with AlterNet her story of struggling with MST over the years. Jennifer joined the Marine Corps in 1988, but her dream of building a military career was shattered just a year later when she was sexually assaulted by a staff sergeant while on duty overseas.

The perpetrator was tried and found guilty, but with little support, Jennifer started a downward spiral. For more than 20 years, Jennifer has struggled with substance addiction and mental illnesses. (She’s been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, depression and PTSD.) She has a difficult time holding a job. She’s neglected her children. After two failed marriages, Jennifer hit a new low point 18 months ago and became homeless.

Those who work with homeless women veterans would easily recognize this familiar pattern: trauma, addition/mental illness, homelessness. Often the cycle repeats itself. A woman interviewed for a VA study described her experience living that pattern:

“It’s like for me, you start with the rape. Then you go into the drugs. And drugs leads to homelessness. You regroup. You go back to the rape. You go back to the drugs. Go back to the homelessness....You go to stay with people and they rape you. It’s a vicious cycle until something stops.”

Trauma-Informed Care for Homeless Women Veterans

There are few available services tailored to women veterans’ needs, and many homeless women vets are not aware of the programs and services that are available to them due to programs’ inadequate outreach and communication.

In March, the VA’s Office of Inspector General audited a number of VA-funded homeless services providers, and the results raised a few red flags. The OIG found that 31 percent of the providers it reviewed did not adequately address the safety, security and privacy risks of veterans, especially female veterans. In one case, a sex offender was placed in a facility where a homeless women veteran and her 18-month-old son lived.

But these issues are not new. Last year, the Government Accountability Office expressed safety concerns with VA-funded housing. Incidents of sexual harassment or assault on women residents had been reported and there were no minimum gender-specific safety and security standards for the programs.

The VA has vowed to improve safety and security of the providers it funds to serve women veterans. However, ensuring safety and security is only part of what needs to be done to better help homeless women veterans.

“Some services providers overlook the impact of trauma. They mislabel or misunderstand people’s challenges and behaviors, when they are in a lot of ways responses to traumatic experiences that people have. So what can happen is that it can lead sometimes to services...designed to help people who experienced trauma end up retraumatizing people inadvertently. By retraumatizing I mean in ways sort of recreating situations that may mimic past trauma,” said Kathleen Guarino of the National Center on Family Homelessness.

Guarino worked with the Department of Labor Women’s Bureau last year to create Trauma-Informed Care for Women Veterans Experience Homelessness, a guide for community homeless service providers that work with women veterans. According to Guarino, the key to success for service providers is to “identify what [women veterans’] unique needs are, and to design [homeless service] programs to speak to those needs.”

That means programs must avoid putting women veterans in situations that mimic their traumatic experiences -- situations that make them feel vulnerable or helpless. Details such as installing locks on doors become crucial in facilities housing women veterans. Structural arrangements such as including women veterans in making policies and rules for themselves are also important because they give women veterans a sense of control over their own lives.

Signs of distress can be subtle. “As somebody becomes agitated or shuts down or becomes more anxious, that could be...misunderstood or mislabeled as defensive or difficult, kind of label them in more negative ways. What may be really happening is somebody is having a trauma-related response,” said Guarino. That’s why a good understanding of trauma should be an important qualification in those who work with this population.

With proper help, homeless women veterans can break their vicious cycle and get back on their feet. Jennifer has been receiving trauma-informed care for three months and is making remarkable progress in the Veterans Village of San Diego, a residential program for veterans with addiction and mental illness. Sober for four months, she has reconnected with her two older daughters and is getting ready for a new semester at the City College of San Diego, where she will study skin care. She said her life has been “turned around."

Though hopeful for the future, Jennifer wished that help had come earlier. “To turn to addiction, to lose your family, seriously, that should have been acknowledged in the beginning,” she said. “But that was a long time ago. Now I just started recovering and it’s been 20 years.”

Empowering Women in the Military and Beyond

In the recently released documentary The Invisible War, director Kirby Dick documents heart-wrenching stories of military sexual violence victims. Many of these women are retraumatized by the responses to their attacks. In a male-oriented military culture, victims of sexual assault are often discouraged or intimidated so they do not report their assaults. And when assaults are reported, they can be dismissed, and victims blamed.

“When you have military sexual trauma, people look at you like it’s your fault or you did something wrong, or you provoked it. And then in the male-oriented environment, they look at you like it is your fault completely is tough,” said Jennifer, adding that her roommate is an MST survivor who never reported her assault.

What makes it difficult for women in the military or women veterans to come forward and/or ask for help is the high expectation of self-reliance. “You have to be tough. I chose to be in the military, so things shouldn’t bother me. That’s how I felt. And I felt like I was very weak if I said anything, like I was whining,” Jennifer said. Until recently, she did not tell anybody in her personal life about her assault -- not her ex-husband, her children or her friends.

The military isn’t the only place where bad things happen. Many homeless women veterans have experienced multiple traumas before and after their military service as well. Taken together, these traumas become a huge burden.

It is reported that 52 percent of homeless women veterans had “pre-military adversity" such as child abuse (sexual and physical) and domestic violence. Post-military intimate partner abuse is also common among this population.

Worse, pre-military abuse often contributes to a young woman’s decision to enter the military in the first place. As a homeless woman veteran told VA researchers, she joined the military to get out of her abusive environment, hoping that the military would be a “safe haven.”

What we see here is a pipeline that produces trauma, and it should be taken seriously if we are serious about ending homelessness among women veterans. When girls and young women find themselves in abusive situations, they should have more options than joining the military or sleeping on the streets. Only when women are validated, respected and empowered in the military and in society at large, will the wounds of those who have been hurt start to heal.

Jin Zhao is a freelance journalist, multimedia producer and photographer. Her work has appeared in the Nation and on AlterNet. Follow her on twitter @jinealogy and visit her blog

Friday, July 20, 2012


*Action: A Great Week to Cut the Pentagon Budget and End the War!

The 2013 "Defense" Appropriations Bill is expected to be voted on in the House this week. Members of Congress are introducing amendments to cut the military budget and to end the war in Afghanistan. Urge your Rep. to support these amendments.

For Barney Frank's Legacy: Pass the Mulvaney Amendment

Frank is retiring from the House this year after thirty-two years of service. In the cause of working to rein in America's out-of-control military spending, Frank has stood out from his colleagues. Now Frank is trying to do something about the fact that, despite all the bloviating about the deficit, the House is on track to pass a military budget that busts the spending caps of the Budget Control Act.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


OMNI NEWSLETTER #6 ON US WAR ON TERRORISM, July 19, 2012. Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace. (#4 Jan. 19, 2012; #5 May 29, 2012).

Here is the link to all OMNI newsletters:

Related Newsletters: Afghanistan, Air War, Bases, Bush, CIA, Homeland Security, Imperialism, Indefinite Detention, Iraq, Lawlessness, Militarism, National Security State, 9-11, Obama, Pakistan, Pentagon, Secrecy, State Terrorism, Surveillance, Terrorism, Torture , War Crimes, Wars, and more.

“Number of private U.S. citizens killed in terrorist attacks in 2010: 15. Number killed by falling televisions: 16.” (“Harper’s Index,” August 2012, p. 9). And our warrior leaders and their war-monger supporters have produced two wars (or is that four?) to defend “America” and “freedom” at the price of trillions of dollars and tens of thousands of innocent people?

Contents of #4

Cole and Lobel, Less Safe, Less Free

Costs of Privatized War on Terror

Klare: Al Qaeda to China

Obama, Oil, China

Allende to Bin Laden

Mother Jones: FBI vs. Muslims, Continued Rendition

JPN: Islamophobia Around the World

Younge: Bigotry and Europe’s Terrorists

FAIR: Perceiving “Islamic Terror” in Norway

Contents of #5

Bacevitch, What Is It?

European Nations and US

Engelhardt and Bacevich, Special Operations

Who’s Winning?

FBI’s Manufactured Plots

Silverstein, “Terrorism Expert”

In Colombia

Contents of #6

Two Terrorists:

Shakir Hamoodi

Tarek Mahanna

Bacevitch, Obama’ Secret Ops

Fox News Misinformation

Two Books on Terrorism

SHAKIR HAMOODI: 9/11, War on Terror, and PERSECUTION (There are hundreds of cases, and many more egregious ones like Hamoodi’s. One good source is Susan Herman’s Taking Liberties).

Take action:

Hamoodi Family Benefit Trust

c/o Law Office, 1103 East Broadway, Columbia, MO 65201

Sign petition and contribute to the trust:


1. GUEST COMMENTARY: Support justice for Shakir Hamoodi ...

May 24, 2012 – Shakir should not go to prison for sending money to his family in Iraq.

2. Help Dr. Shakir Hamoodi

Shakir Hamoodi Dr. Shakir Hamoodi is an Iraq-born US citizen, father, Nuclear Engineer, businessman, Interfaith leader, Islamic scholar and cultural leader ...

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May 19, 2012 – Shakir Hamoodi has been sentenced to Federal prison for three years for “ conspiring” to send money to support friends and family left behind in ...

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Find shakir hamoodi on WhitePages. There are 2 people named shakir hamoodi in Columbia, MO.

5. Iraq native did what was right
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May 27, 2012 – When I heard the judge sentence my friend Shakir Hamoodi to three years in prison, I remembered our first introduction and his advice before I ...

6. Hamoodi - Commentary
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May 21, 2012 – Shakir Hamoodi and his family came from Iraq and settled in Columbia, where he became a nuclear scientist at the University of Missouri and ...

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To connect with Support Dr. Shakir Hamoodi, sign up for Facebook today. ... Dr. Shakir Hamoodi, a Columbia businessman and cultural leader, was sentenced ...

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Jun 3, 2012 – Dr. Shakir Hamoodi has worked tirelessly to ease the tensions between many different faith groups and organizations. His was sentenced to 36 ...

9. Shakir Hamoodi Remarks on Sentencing

May 28, 2012 – Remarks on the Sentencing of Shakir Hamoodi for Violating Sanctions of Iraq Veterans for Peace Memorial Day Peace Gathering Columbia ...

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May 18, 2012 – Shakir Hamoodi. closeNews podcasts; Use iTunes • Use a different player • RSS. All Content. closeNews podcasts ... Tagged: Shakir Hamoodi ...

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1. Hamoodi punished for his 'family values'

Columbia Daily Tribune‎ - 7 hours ago

Family values are what my friend Shakir Hamoodi exemplifies. Shakir has lived in the United States since 1985 and raised five children to be ...

Son Of Liberty

By Tarek Mehanna, Harper’s Magazine (July 2012)

From a statement read in court by Tarek Mehanna, a twenty-nine-year-old Massachusetts man who in April was sentenced to seventeen and a half years in prison on charges including materially supporting terrorism, for offenses such as translating and posting Al Qaeda propaganda online.

July 01, 2012 "Information Clearing House" -- -- I was born and raised right here in America. This angers many people: How can an American believe the things I believe, take the positions I take? In more ways than one, it’s because of America that I am who I am.

When I was six, I began putting together a massive collection of comic books. Batman implanted a concept in my mind, a paradigm as to how the world is set up: that there are oppressors, there are the oppressed, and there are those who step up to defend the oppressed. Throughout my childhood, I gravitated toward any book that reflected that paradigm—Uncle Tom’s Cabin, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, even The Catcher in the Rye.

By the time I began high school and took a history class, I was learning just how real that paradigm is. I learned about the Native Americans and what befell them at the hands of European settlers. I learned about how the descendants of those European settlers were in turn oppressed under the tyranny of King George III. I read about Paul Revere, Tom Paine, and how Americans began an armed insurgency against British forces—an insurgency we now celebrate as the American Revolutionary War. I learned about the fight against slavery in this country, and the struggles of the labor unions, working class, and poor. I learned about the civil rights struggle.

From all the historical figures I learned about, one stood out above the rest. I was impressed by many things about Malcolm X, but above all I was fascinated by his transformation. I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie Malcolm X by Spike Lee—it’s over three hours long, and the Malcolm at the beginning is different from the Malcolm at the end. He starts off as an illiterate criminal but ends up a husband, a father, a protective and eloquent leader, a disciplined Muslim performing the hajj in Mecca, and, finally, a martyr.

Malcolm’s life taught me that Islam is not something inherited; it’s not a culture or ethnicity. It’s a way of life, a state of mind anyone can choose no matter where he comes from or how he was raised. Since there’s no priesthood, I could directly and immediately begin digging into the texts of the Koran and the teachings of Prophet Mohammed. The more I learned, the more I valued Islam like a piece of gold.

With that, my attention turned to what was happening to other Muslims in different parts of the world. And everywhere I looked, I saw the powers-that-be trying to destroy what I loved. I learned what the Soviets had done to the Muslims of Afghanistan. I learned what the Serbs had done to the Muslims of Bosnia . I learned what the Russians were doing to the Muslims of Chechnya. I learned what Israel had done in Lebanon—and what it continues to do in Palestine—with the full backing of the United States.

I learned what America itself was doing to Muslims. I learned about the Gulf War and depleted-uraniumbombs. I learned about the American-led sanctions that prevented food, medicine, and medical equipment from entering Iraq, and how—according to the United Nations—over half a million children perished as a result. I remember a clip from a 60 Minutes interview of Madeleine Albright in which she expressed her view that these dead children were “worth it.” I watched on September 11 as a group of people felt driven to hijack airplanes and fly them into buildings from their outrage at the deaths of these children.

I watched as America attacked and invaded Iraq. I saw the effects of “shock and awe” in the opening days of the invasion—the children in hospital wards with shrapnel from American missiles sticking out of their foreheads. I learned about the town of Haditha, where twenty-four Muslims—including a seventy-six-year-old man in a wheelchair, women, and even toddlers—were shot up by U.S. Marines. I learned about Abeer Qassim al-Janabi, a fourteen-year-old Iraqi girl gangraped by five American soldiers, who then shot her and her family and set fire to the corpses. These are just the stories that make it to the headlines.

I mentioned Paul Revere. When he jumped on a horse and went on his midnight ride, it was to warn the people that the British were marching to Lexington to arrest Sam Adams and John Hancock, then on to Concord to confiscate the weapons stored there by the Minutemen. By the time they got to Concord, they found the Minutemen waiting for them, weapons in hand. From that battle came the American Revolution. There’s an Arabic word to describe what those Minutemen did that day. It was a word repeated many times in this courtroom. That word is jihad.

"Unleashed: Globalizing the Global War on Terror"

By Andrew Bacevich,, posted May 29, 2012

The author teaches history and international relations at Boston University

Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, The Golden Age of Special Operations

Posted by Andrew Bacevich at 6:51am, May 29, 2012.

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They have a way of slipping under the radar, whether heading into Pakistan looking for Osama bin Laden, Central Africa looking for Joseph Kony, or Yemen assumedly to direct local military action against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. I’m talking, of course, about U.S. special operations forces. These days, from Somalia to the Philippines, presidential global interventions are increasingly a dime a dozen; and they are normally spearheaded by those special ops troops backed by CIA or Air Force drones. Few Americans even notice.

An ever expanding secret military cocooned inside the U.S. military, special operations types remain remarkably, determinedly anonymous. With the exception of their commander, Admiral William McRaven, they generally won’t even reveal their last names in public, which only contributes to their growing mystique in this country.

But for a crew so dedicated to anonymity, they also turn out to be publicity hounds of the first order. In 2011, for instance, active-duty U.S. Navy Seals (first-name only please!) became movie stars, spearheading a number one box office hit, Act of Valor. It was the film equivalent of a vanity-press production, focused as it did on their own skills in battle in... hmmm, the Philippines (to prevent a terror strike against the U.S.). A team of SEALs even parachuted onto Sunset Boulevard for the film’s Hollywood premiere.

Then last week another special ops team, in coordination with their Norwegian and Australian counterparts, heroically rescued the mayor of Tampa Bay, held "hostage." They also rappelled down from helicopters and arrived in Humvees to secure the area around the Tampa Convention Center, which will service 15,000 members of the media when the Republicans hit town to nominate Mitt Romney for president. Whew! Another close publicity call!

It was a mock assault on terror watched by thousands of Tampa residents, all timed to the annual Special Operations Forces Industry Conference, also in town and swarmed by 8,000 attendees, including McRaven. Its goal: to bring together special operators from around the world and the industry that arms and accessorizes them. (U.S. special ops forces have a $2 billion purchasing budget each year for all the gadgets the defense industry can produce.)

Oh, and if you want a measure of how hot the special ops guys are these days, how much everyone wants to horn in on their act, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke before the conference, offering, according to Danger Room’s David Axe, “a vision in which shadowy U.S. and allied Special Operations Forces, working hand in hand with America’s embassies and foreign governments, together play a key role preventing low-intensity conflicts.” And if those conflicts aren’t prevented, then the Foreign Service, Clinton assured her listeners, will be happy to lend its “language and cultural skills” to the fighting prowess of the special ops troops. Diplomacy? It’s so old school in such a sexy, new, “covert” war-fightin’ world.

The basic principle is simple enough: if you see a juggernaut heading your way, duck. As TomDispatch regular Andrew Bacevich, editor most recently of The Short American Century, makes clear, war American-style is heading back "into the shadows" and it's going to be one roller-coaster of a scary ride. (To catch Timothy MacBain's latest Tomcast audio interview in which Bacevich discusses what we don’t know about special operations forces, click here or download it to your iPod here.) Tom


Globalizing the Global War on Terror

By Andrew J. Bacevich

As he campaigns for reelection, President Obama periodically reminds audiences of his success in terminating the deeply unpopular Iraq War. With fingers crossed for luck, he vows to do the same with the equally unpopular war in Afghanistan. If not exactly a peacemaker, our Nobel Peace Prize-winning president can (with some justification) at least claim credit for being a war-ender.

Yet when it comes to military policy, the Obama administration’s success in shutting down wars conducted in plain sight tells only half the story, and the lesser half at that. More significant has been this president’s enthusiasm for instigating or expanding secret wars, those conducted out of sight and by commandos.

President Franklin Roosevelt may not have invented the airplane, but during World War II he transformed strategic bombing into one of the principal emblems of the reigning American way of war. General Dwight D. Eisenhower had nothing to do with the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb. Yet, as president, Ike’s strategy of Massive Retaliation made nukes the centerpiece of U.S. national security policy.

So, too, with Barack Obama and special operations forces. The U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) with its constituent operating forces -- Green Berets, Army Rangers, Navy SEALs, and the like -- predated his presidency by decades. Yet it is only on Obama’s watch that these secret warriors have reached the pinnacle of the U.S. military’s prestige hierarchy.

John F. Kennedy famously gave the Green Berets their distinctive headgear. Obama has endowed the whole special operations “community” with something less decorative but far more important: privileged status that provides special operators with maximum autonomy while insulating them from the vagaries of politics, budgetary or otherwise. Congress may yet require the Pentagon to undertake some (very modest) belt-tightening, but one thing’s for sure: no one is going to tell USSOCOM to go on a diet. What the special ops types want, they will get, with few questions asked -- and virtually none of those few posed in public.

Since 9/11, USSOCOM’s budget has quadrupled. The special operations order of battle has expanded accordingly. At present, there are an estimated 66,000 uniformed and civilian personnel on the rolls, a doubling in size since 2001 with further growth projected. Yet this expansion had already begun under Obama’s predecessor. His essential contribution has been to broaden the special ops mandate. As one observer put it, the Obama White House let Special Operations Command “off the leash.”

As a consequence, USSOCOM assets today go more places and undertake more missions while enjoying greater freedom of action than ever before. After a decade in which Iraq and Afghanistan absorbed the lion’s share of the attention, hitherto neglected swaths of Africa, Asia, and Latin America are receiving greater scrutiny. Already operating in dozens of countries around the world -- as many as 120 by the end of this year -- special operators engage in activities that range from reconnaissance and counterterrorism to humanitarian assistance and “direct action.” The traditional motto of the Army special forces is “De Oppresso Liber” (“To Free the Oppressed”). A more apt slogan for special operations forces as a whole might be “Coming soon to a Third World country near you!”

The displacement of conventional forces by special operations forces as the preferred U.S. military instrument -- the “force of choice” according to the head of USSOCOM, Admiral William McRaven -- marks the completion of a decades-long cultural repositioning of the American soldier. The G.I., once represented by the likes of cartoonist Bill Mauldin’s iconic Willie and Joe, is no more, his place taken by today’s elite warrior professional. Mauldin’s creations were heroes, but not superheroes. The nameless, lionized SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden are flesh-and blood Avengers. Willie and Joe were "us." SEALs are anything but "us." They occupy a pedestal well above mere mortals. Couch potato America stands in awe of their skill and bravery.

This cultural transformation has important political implications. It represents the ultimate manifestation of the abyss now separating the military and society. Nominally bemoaned by some, including former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and former Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, this civilian-military gap has only grown over the course of decades and is now widely accepted as the norm. As one consequence, the American people have forfeited owner’s rights over their army, having less control over the employment of U.S. forces than New Yorkers have over the management of the Knicks or Yankees.

As admiring spectators, we may take at face value the testimony of experts (even if such testimony is seldom disinterested) who assure us that the SEALs, Rangers, Green Berets, etc. are the best of the best, and that they stand ready to deploy at a moment's notice so that Americans can sleep soundly in their beds. If the United States is indeed engaged, as Admiral McRaven has said, in "a generational struggle," we will surely want these guys in our corner.

Even so, allowing war in the shadows to become the new American way of war is not without a downside. Here are three reasons why we should think twice before turning global security over to Admiral McRaven and his associates.

Goodbye accountability. Autonomy and accountability exist in inverse proportion to one another. Indulge the former and kiss the latter goodbye. In practice, the only thing the public knows about special ops activities is what the national security apparatus chooses to reveal. Can you rely on those who speak for that apparatus in Washington to tell the truth? No more than you can rely on JPMorgan Chase to manage your money prudently. Granted, out there in the field, most troops will do the right thing most of the time. On occasion, however, even members of an elite force will stray off the straight-and-narrow. (Until just a few weeks ago, most Americans considered White House Secret Service agents part of an elite force.) Americans have a strong inclination to trust the military. Yet as a famous Republican once said: trust but verify. There's no verifying things that remain secret. Unleashing USSOCOM is a recipe for mischief.

Hello imperial presidency. From a president’s point of view, one of the appealing things about special forces is that he can send them wherever he wants to do whatever he directs. There’s no need to ask permission or to explain. Employing USSOCOM as your own private military means never having to say you’re sorry. When President Clinton intervened in Bosnia or Kosovo, when President Bush invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, they at least went on television to clue the rest of us in. However perfunctory the consultations may have been, the White House at least talked things over with the leaders on Capitol Hill. Once in a while, members of Congress even cast votes to indicate approval or disapproval of some military action. With special ops, no such notification or consultation is necessary. The president and his minions have a free hand. Building on the precedents set by Obama, stupid and reckless presidents will enjoy this prerogative no less than shrewd and well-intentioned ones.

And then what...? As U.S. special ops forces roam the world slaying evildoers, the famous question posed by David Petraeus as the invasion of Iraq began -- "Tell me how this ends" -- rises to the level of Talmudic conundrum. There are certainly plenty of evildoers who wish us ill (primarily but not necessarily in the Greater Middle East). How many will USSOCOM have to liquidate before the job is done? Answering that question becomes all the more difficult given that some of the killing has the effect of adding new recruits to the ranks of the non-well-wishers.

In short, handing war to the special operators severs an already too tenuous link between war and politics; it becomes war for its own sake. Remember George W. Bush’s “Global War on Terror”? Actually, his war was never truly global. War waged in a special-operations-first world just might become truly global -- and never-ending. In that case, Admiral McRaven’s "generational struggle" is likely to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Andrew J. Bacevich is professor of history and international relations at Boston University and a TomDispatch regular. He is editor of the new book The Short American Century, just published by Harvard University Press. To listen to Timothy MacBain's latest Tomcast audio interview in which Bacevich discusses what we don’t know about special operations forces, click here or download it to your iPod here.

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter @TomDispatch and join us on Facebook.

Copyright 2012 Andrew

Does Fox Hire Uninformed Pundits—or Does Being on Fox Make You Uninformed?

Posted on 06/08/2012 by Jim Naureckas

On the popular Fox News show the Five (6/6/12), co-host Eric Bolling blasted Muslim advocates who are suing the New York Police Department over its spying program targeting Muslims, saying that in the last 15 years, "Every terrorist on American soil has been a Muslim."

In fact, Muslims are responsible for a tiny fraction of terrorism in the U.S.; as a Rand study pointed out in 2010 (Extra!, 5/11), of the "83 terrorist attacks in the United States between 9/11 and the end of 2009, only three…were clearly connected with the jihadist cause."

Bolling has made a habit of broadcasting false information about terrorism in the U.S. Last year (7/13/11), he bizarrely claimed that there hadn't been any terrorism on American soil when George W. Bush was in office. He later (7/14/11) amended that to say "in the aftermath of 9/11"–which is equally untrue (FAIR Blog, 7/15/11).

Studies have suggested a correlation between primarily relying on Fox News for your information about the world and ignorance about basic facts. Those studies do not address whether the relationship is causal—in other words, it isn't clear if watching Fox News makes one ignorant, or if less-informed people are somehow drawn to Fox News. Eric Bolling's popularity on Fox does not clear up that question.

Michael Blain, Power, Discourse and Victimage Ritual in the War on Terror

Blending concepts from 'dramatism' such as 'victimage ritual' with Foucault's approach to modern power and knowledge regimes, this book presents a novel and illuminating perspective on political power and domination resulting from the global war on terrorism. With attention to media sources and political discourse within the context of the global war on terror, the author draws attention to the manner in which power elites construct scapegoats by way of a victimage ritual, thus providing themselves with a political pretext for extending their power and authority over new territories and populations, as well as legitimating an intensification of domestic surveillance and social control. A compelling analysis of ritual rhetoric and political violence, "Power, Discourse and Victimage Ritual in the War on Terror" will be of interest to sociologists, political theorists and scholars of media and communication concerned with questions of surveillance and social control, political communication, hegemony, foreign policy and the war on terror.

An Intellectual History of Terror:

War, Violence and the State By Mikkel Thorup

2010 by Routledge – 282 pages.

Series: Routledge Critical Terrorism Studies

• View Inside this Book

• Description

• Contents

• Author Bio

• Subjects

This book investigates terrorism and anti-terrorism as related and interacting phenomena, undertaking a simultaneous reading of terrorist and statist ideologists in order to reconstruct the ‘deadly dialogue’ between them.

This work investigates an extensive array of violent phenomena and actors, trying to broaden the scope and ambition of the history of terrorism studies. It combines an extensive reading of state and terrorist discourse from various sources with theorizing of modernity’s political, institutional and ideological development, forms of violence, and its guiding images of self and other, order and disorder. Chapters explore groups of actors (terrorists, pirates, partisans, anarchists, Islamists, neo-Nazis, revolutionaries, soldiers, politicians, scholars) as well as a broad empirical source material, and combine them into a narrative of how our ideas and concepts of state, terrorism, order, disorder, territory, violence and others came about and influence the struggle between the modern state and its challengers. The main focus is on how the state and its challengers have conceptualized and legitimated themselves, defended their existence and, most importantly, their violence. In doing so, the book situates terrorism and anti-terrorism within modernity’s grander history of state, war, ideology and violence.

This book will be of much interest to students of critical terrorism studies, political violence, sociology, philosophy, and Security Studies/IR in genera

Mikkel Thorup is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Philosophy and the History of Ideas, University of Aarhus, Denmark


 OMNI NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER #1, July 19, 2012.  Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace and Justice.


My blog:  The War Department and Peace Heroes 

Newsletters on Peace, Justice, and Ecology:


See: Imperialism, Militarism, Pentagon,  Recruiting, Suicides, Whistleblowing, and more.




Contact Your Congressional Representatives

  • Congressman John Boozman: Lowell office: (479) 725-0400; Ft. Smith office: (479) 782-7787; Harrison office: (870) 741-6900
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Contents #1


Introduction:   Dick Bennett

Newspaper Painting with One Brush: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette






Here is the link to all OMNI newsletters:   For a knowledge-based peace, justice, and ecology movement and an informed citizenry as the foundation for change.






Dick Bennett

What are the causes, consequences, and cures of the US empire?  Here we ask:  What is the cause and what the cure for the hostility between NK and US? 

     The Jan. 3, 2012 NAT printed a cartoon on the editorial page showing the new ruler of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, standing in front of an H-Bomb with a pacifier in his mouth.   Are we to understand the cartoonist to mean that NK is a danger because a baby controls such enormous power?

     Why not interpret the cartoon as suggesting the new ruler’s potential for learning from his father, Kim Jong Il, that NK is safe from attack by the US because it has also acquired the bomb.    After all, the US had bombed Japan with nuclear weapons, and since 1945 it had threatened to use the weapon against alleged enemies over a dozen times, despite world knowledge of the bomb’s extraordinary destructiveness, a terror weapon indiscriminate in its killing.   The US was no infant in experience with the nuclear bomb, yet during the Korean War in 1950 President Truman threatened publicly to use the atomic bomb against North Korea, and in April 1950 he sent a squadron of planes carrying the bombs to the Western Pacific.  And not only Truman, but General MacArthur, the Pentagon chiefs, the field commanders, and later President Eisenhower requested or approved their use.   And we all know that President Bush poisoned the well of diplomacy by naming Iraq, Iran, and North Korea as the “Axis of Evil,” and then invaded and occupied Iraq, which had no nuclear weapons, and the US continues to threaten Iran, which also has no nuclear weapons.   

     So let’s ask our newspapers to stop repeating the warrior dogmas about so-called enemies, to quit reinforcing US permanent war, to cease accepting the official jingoistic history of US wars, and instead to ask questions about that history, to help citizens examine rather than march lockstep.



See:  Korean War

Harold Sunoo  2012

Tim Beal 2011

Bruce Cumings 2011


Dr. Harold W. Sunoo: “Let us end the war and bring peace in Korea!”

Post Categories: Asia

Harold W. Sunoo, Ph.D. | Tuesday, February 28, 2012, 8:59 Beijing



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President Truman said at the Peace Conference with Japan in San Francisco in Sept. 1951 that “It is a treaty that will work. It does not contain the seeds of another war. It is a treaty of reconciliation, which looks to the future, not the past…. Let us be free of malice and hate to the end that from here on there shall be neither victors nor vanquished among us, but only equals in the partnership of peace.”

The winner of the bitter war was willing to let by gones be by gones, it was a great gesture indeed. 

Why, then, has America not made peace with North Korea for over 60 years? The Korea War, 1950-53, was a humiliation for U. S. which viewed itself after World War II as the Supreme Power in the Pacific. For the first time in U. S. history all they got was a stalemate. So they have stayed in South Korea ever since, refusing to sign a peace treaty and trying in every way to inflict damage and pain on the North Korean regime.

North Korea has survived more than sixty years of unrelenting American hostility. The people of North Korea continue to build the Juche  (self-determination) socialism while defending their hard-won sovereignty.

How do we in America to reconcile with North Korea? Have you ever heard anything positive about North Korea on American television, radio, or in the newspapers? Everything is negative, degrading and poisonous. Any North Korean who is elevated to leadership is belittled and abused. The language is personally insulting to the highest degree and is totally subjective.

Where does this hostility come from? This is the hostility of the pure discrimination of the early slave-masters relationship.

It is particularly galling to Americans that the authority of North Korea continues to choose descendants of Kim Il-Sung to represent the state in the highest capacity. Selecting these leaders is how the Korean authority tells the world that the DPRK will continue its tradition. It remains true to the ideals that many generations of Koreans have fought for.

When Kim Jong-il died on Dec. 17, 2011, there was speculation in the West and America that there would be a power struggle in North Korea. Kim Jong-un, son of Kim Jong-il, was selected collectively by to Supreme Authority of the Regime.

There are many seasoned revolutionary leaders in North Korea who have learned how to deal with U. S. Military, diplomatically and politically. They supported Kim Jong-il’s many difficult decisions to put defense of the country at the top of their national agenda.

The Bush administration referred to North Korea as part of the “Axis of Evil”- which was a list of countries the U. S. intended to invade, and Bush administration did invade Iraq.

Now the leaders and entire country are united behind Kim Jong-un who will continue the path set by Kim Il-Sung.  He will do his best to defend the sovereignty of North Korea and its right to the social system of its own choosing.

       Do the political leaders in the U. S. follow the will of its people? The half of American population has now been officially classified as the poor or near poor .  U. S. corporations make billions of dollars but they don’t help the people only the richest 1% of the population.

A majority of Americans don’t want foreign wars, but America is at war. People don’t want tax breaks for the rich, but the rich get them anyway, e.g. General Electric Co. made $14 billion in 2010, but did not pay tax. The people want good schools, but thousands of teachers are dismissed. The people don’t get what they need.

American people don’t trust the politicians and know that they work for the rich. 80% of the U. S. Senators and 40% of the members of the House are the millionaires.  What can the people expect from them? That’s the way the American politics work, but not in North Korea. In North Korea, the wealth of society is publicly owned and is not in to hands of 1% like in America.

North Korea was completely destroyed by the U. S. in the 1950-’53 War, but they rebuilt the country. Their economy thrived in the 1960’s and 1970’s, but it has had to spend much of its resources on national defense. It has a food problem because  of prolonged drought, poor climate and  80% of its territory is high mountains and narrow valleys.

Today the U. S. has pushed tough sanctions on North Korea through the UN Security Council, creating extreme hardship.   

What can the American people do to help the North Korean people and help end the war in Korea? How can we help to bring reconciliation with North Korea? Long ago President Truman made an eloquent speech at the peace conference to reconcile with Japan. Why can’t the political leaders in America do the same  today?

We must tell it to the American leaders again and again until they understand the problem, and what is right thing to do for America and Korea.

Today American media still believe that North Korea is a Stalinist Communist Country. That is totally wrong. North Korea is uniquely  Juche Socialistic Country. The Juche Idea is based on human spirit, not Marxist materialism.

Let’s advocate that the U. S. leaders bring a peace treaty with North Korea as soon as possible, which will help to maintain a peace in the Northeast Asia, and peace in the world.

Harold W. Sunoo, Ph.D.

Distinguish Professor Emeritus of the

Central Methodist University, MO


Founder of

Harold W. and Sonia S. Sunoo



Tim Beal, North Korea: The Struggle Against American Power.  Editor of the online newsletter, the Pyongyang Report.   Korea, America, and the Road to War.”   Z Magazine (February 2011).   Argues that the recent clash between N. and S. Korea, contrary to claims by S. Korea backed up by the US and US mainstream media, was provoked by S. Korea.  South Korea and the United States have rejected calls by China, echoed by North Korea, for negotiations, but have, instead, launched further war exercises….”



Bruce Cumings: Latest North Korea Provocations Stem from Missed US Opportunities for Demilitarization


Tension is rising on the Korean Peninsula following North Korea’s underground nuclear test on Monday and a series of subsequent missile tests. The United States and South Korea have raised their military alert level after North Korea said it would abandon the 1953 truce that ended the Korean War. We speak to University of Chicago professor Bruce Cumings, author of several books on Korea.

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Bruce Cumings, professor at the University of Chicago. He is the author of several books on Korea, including Korea’s Place in the Sun: A Modern History and North Korea: Another Country.

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JUAN GONZALEZ: Tension is rising on the Korean peninsula following North Korea’s underground nuclear test on Monday and a series of subsequent missile tests.

The United States and South Korea raised their military alert level Thursday after North Korea said it would abandon the 1953 truce that ended the Korean War. The US-South Korea Combined Forces Command alert level is now at three, the highest it has been since North Korea’s only other nuclear test in 2006.

Earlier in the week, South Korea announced it would join a US-led initiative to intercept ships suspected of carrying nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, components or missiles to deliver them. Pyongyang has warned it would consider South Korea’s membership in the Proliferation Security Initiative to be an act of war.

AMY GOODMAN: At the United Nations, the US and Japan have circulated a draft UN Security Council resolution condemning Pyongyang’s nuclear test and calling for strict enforcement of UN sanctions imposed on North Korea after its first atomic test in October of 2006. The US-backed draft also demands that North Korea not conduct any more nuclear tests, cease any advances in the ballistic missile program and allow the return of international nuclear inspectors to monitor North Korea’s nuclear activities.

On Thursday, President Obama’s National Security Adviser James Jones addressed the North Korea situation during an interview on National Public Radio.

JAMES JONES: Nothing that the North Koreans did surprised us. We knew that they were going to do this; they said so, so no reason not to believe it. But the imminent threat is the proliferation of that kind of technology to other countries and potentially to terrorist organizations, non-state actors. And that is, in my view, the most imminent danger.


AMY GOODMAN: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has accused North Korea of acting in a “provocative and belligerent manner.”

HILLARY CLINTON: North Korea has made a choice. It has chosen to violate the specific language of the UN Security Council Resolution 1718. It has ignored the international community. It has abrogated the obligations it entered into through the six-party talks. And it continues to act in a provocative and belligerent manner toward its neighbors.

There are consequences to such actions. I want to underscore the commitments that the United States has and intends always to honor for the defense of South Korea and Japan. That is part of our alliance obligation, which we take very seriously.


AMY GOODMAN: We’re joined now by Bruce Cumings. He’s a professor at the University of Chicago, author of several books on Korea, including Korea’s Place in the Sun: A Modern History and North Korea: Another Country.

Professor Cumings, welcome to Democracy Now! Talk about the significance of this underground test that’s believed to be bigger than the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

BRUCE CUMINGS: Well, thank you, Amy.

What we have here is another train wreck that, if you’re paying attention to US-North Korean relations, you can see coming from a mile away. And we already had this train wreck in 2006. As you just said, the US and South Korean forces moved up to a level-three defense alert after the North Korean bomb, the first bomb, was detonated in October 2006.

But if you backtrack to our Independence Day, July 2006, North Korea tested a long-range missile, several—six or seven—medium-range missiles that could hit Japan, and they purposely chose July 4th to get the attention of the Bush administration. This time, they tested the missiles first and then chose our Memorial Day to test their second bomb on May 25th. They do these things with great calculation. This was—this latest bomb test was an obvious attempt to get Obama’s attention.

And they’re acting out of the same playbook that worked for them in 2006. In other words, George W. Bush, who didn’t talk to evil and didn’t reward bad behavior, turned around within weeks of the first North Korean test in October of ’06 and started direct bilateral talks with the North Koreans in Berlin. This led to the February 2007 agreement to freeze and dismantle the North’s plutonium facility. That was the second time the North had agreed to freeze and dismantle its entire complex. The first was with Bill Clinton in 1994. So, unlike Iran, we have two pieces of evidence that North Korea was willing to give up its plutonium program for eight years. It was frozen for eight years. And then they agreed again in 2007 to do this.

So, the media—I should say the mainstream media, not Democracy Now!—they pay no attention. Along comes North Korea trying to get our attention. They do a bunch of provocative things. And there’s no question that what they’re doing is provocative, but it’s nothing new for them. And then people pay attention, but without the context that’s so essential to understand this.

The Obama administration, and especially Secretary of State Clinton, are running on the same tracks as George Bush did in ’07 and ’08. They’re even talking about the Proliferation Security Initiative, PSI, which is something that was handcrafted by John Bolton to put pressure on North Korea. So President Obama needs to pay attention to a situation that he actually might be able to solve if he paid attention, get back to talks with North Korea. And if he can solve this problem, as his predecessors did, at least temporarily, he would put tremendous pressure on Iran also to give up its enriched uranium program. So I think that’s what’s going on.

But you really—I mean, you have to read the fine print of even our paper of record to find any of this out. For example, this morning we learn, of course, they’ve raised the alert to high levels, but our commanders say there’s no unusual military activity in North Korea. North Korea doesn’t want a war. But this train wreck could have been seen coming from a mile away, or two years away, at least, and the Obama administration is just not paying attention.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Professor Cumings, if we can take sort of a longer historical view, one of the things that apparently North Korea has done is that it’s tearing up the truce agreement that ended the Korean War. But the Korean War was sixty—almost sixty years ago now. And most Americans don’t even know that there was really no final peace agreement to that war. Why has a final agreement between Korea and the United States eluded our government and their government for so many years?

BRUCE CUMINGS: Well, it’s a very good question. It actually goes back before the Korean War, because in 1945 the US divided Korea unilaterally. The Soviets eventually supported that. We put 25,000 combat troops into Korea, deeply shaped post-war Korean history through a three-year military government. And here we are sixty-four years later, having stumbled into a civilizational thicket that we didn’t understand then and don’t understand now, and we have no exit strategy and the possibility of a new war. So this is a failed policy.

The Korean War ended with an armistice that the South did not sign, refused to sign it. And the North Koreans have used that against the South ever since. But in the last fifteen years, they’ve been calling for a peace treaty or a peace agreement to finally end the war. And there was a great deal of negotiation in the mid-’90s under the so-called four-party talks that Bill Clinton and Kim Young-sam, South Korean president, and Kim Jong-il involved themselves in, along with the Chinese. They got very close to an end to the Korean War, some sort of an agreement that would end it.

But after that, and really for the last decade, the North has threatened many times to break the armistice. They’ve said many times they’re not bound by it. This is another—you know, it’s .8 on their ratchet-up-the-tension scale. But it doesn’t really mean much. It’s a lot of rhetoric. What it means fundamentally is they’d like to end the Korean War. And that’s another thing President Obama could get done, if he’d pay attention and get rid of a lot of Bush holdovers and Clinton holdovers in his administration.

AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean by that? Who is being held over? And who do you think is not constructive in solving the problem with North Korea?

BRUCE CUMINGS: Well, we’ve already—we’ve already discussed the Bolton PSI initiative. President Obama has brought people into his administration, some of them confirmed, some not, like Kurt Campbell, people in the 1990s who weren’t concerned with our specific problems with North Korea that go back sixty-four years, but were overwhelmingly concerned with nonproliferation and saw North Korea entirely through the lenses of nonproliferation. And we’re hearing that again. We heard it at the top of the hour from General Jones.

Now, just to make a comment on this proliferation threat, the US has North Korean plutonium samples from their Yongbyon reactor. They’ve had them since about 1993. If North Korea were to transfer plutonium to some country or terrorist group and they used it, eventually the US would get that signature, and they would do what Colin Powell said we would do in 1995, which is to turn North Korea into “a charcoal briquette.” I mean, that’s the way we talk to North Korea, even though the mainstream media doesn’t pay attention to that kind of talk. “A charcoal briquette.” Well, we did that already during the Korean War with conventional bombing. So, this situation is one where neither side really gives quarter, when it comes down to it. Nonproliferation is a worthy goal, but if we don’t solve the North Korean problem, the Non-Proliferation Treaty really is just a piece of paper. It’s already in shreds.

JUAN GONZALEZ: What about the role of China, Japan and the other major powers in the area? How are they reacting to this—once again, this rise in tensions?

BRUCE CUMINGS: Well, Russia doesn’t really count. Neither does Japan, although Japan makes things very difficult by focusing on eight or nine people that the North Koreans allegedly abducted and can’t produce for the Japanese. The Japanese seem to think eight people are more important than finding a solution to North Korea’s atomic bomb.

South Korea has become a huge obstacle to dealing with the North. And the North absolutely hates the current president, which is a new situation and again a very unfortunate one.

This is really now, and has been really since 2006, a situation where the major players are the United States, North Korea and China. China wants to preserve a friendly regime on its border. It’s not going to take actions that will lead to severe stress on North Korea. On the other hand, it certainly doesn’t want North Korea testing nuclear weapons, when its great fear is that Japan will go nuclear. And Japan could go nuclear overnight. They have huge stockpiles of plutonium. It would just take a decision to do so. I think Japan is quite far from going in that direction, but that’s China’s great fear. And it could then cascade through South Korea and Taiwan getting nuclear weapons. So this is a very dangerous proliferation threat.

But the context, going back to the Korean War, for North Korea is that we have targeted North Korea with nuclear weapons since 1950. We are the only power to put nuclear weapons into the Korean Peninsula from 1958 to ’91. And when you look back at Don Rumsfeld’s antics in 2003, when he thought he had won the Iraq war around May or June of 2003, he was asking Congress for new bunker-busting nuclear weapons to go after Kim Jong-il and the North Korean leadership. There’s an article in the New York Times where someone in the Pentagon—I think it was Rumsfeld, but it was anonymous—was quoted saying, “If I’m Kim Jong-il, I’m running around wondering, you know, what’s likely to hit me next.” Is this any way to run a foreign policy, to threaten to decapitate the leadership of a country that we’re technically at war with? So—with nuclear weapons? So this is the real situation. And if I or you were in North Korea, uppermost in our mind would be American nuclear weapons.

I think the ultimate way to solve this is to actually implement the Non-Proliferation Treaty by the major nuclear powers drawing down their nuclear weapons eventually and hopefully to zero. In the meantime, it’s just an unequal treaty, where we get to have nuclear weapons, but other countries don’t.

AMY GOODMAN: Bruce Cumings, the two American journalists who are now being held in North Korea for nearly two months, supposedly the North Korean government says they’ll put them on trial in June, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who work for Al Gore’s network, Current, why are they being held? Do you know their story?

BRUCE CUMINGS: As far as I can tell, they stumbled across the North Korean border inadvertently, giving the North Koreans a nice catch, like Iran. There’s been much less attention to these two than there was to the woman reporter who was recently released by Tehran. But there will be a lot of attention next week when they come to trial in Pyongyang on June 4th. I think—one never knows, but I would guess that the North Koreans will declare them guilty and then kick them out of the country.

But it could be—there’s been a lot of talk that Al Gore might actually go to North Korea. Within the Clinton—excuse me, Freudian slip—within the Obama administration, as I understand it, there has been talk of an even higher-level emissary than Stephen Bosworth, who is the emissary they appointed to deal with North Korea. So it could be that next week you’ll see a breakthrough, on at least the journalists.

I think, though, it’s important to remember that from the North Korean standpoint, after they blew off their missiles and busted off their first bomb, Bush turned around and talked to them and made an agreement with them, and they may well think this is the way to get Washington’s attention and get another agreement.

AMY GOODMAN: We want to thank you very much, Bruce Cumings, for being with us, professor at the University of Chicago


AMY GOODMAN: —author of a number of books on Korea: Korea’s Place in the Sun: A Modern History and North Korea: Another Country.

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Security Council votes for stiffer sanctions on N. Korea   3/7/2016



The United Nations Security Council, in a 15-0 vote, passed a resolution to impose stronger sanctions against North Korea. Separately, North Korea said it won't attend UN Human Rights Council sessions that examine its human rights record.

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I’d like to call your attention to an important article we’ve just published from the July/August issue of the subscription magazine: “What do Americans really think about conflict with nuclear North Korea? The answer is both reassuring and disturbing.” The article is free-access for two months.

Written by Stanford University experts Alida Haworth, Scott Sagan, and Benjamin Valentino, this piece reviews the results of a public opinion survey conducted this year that examines American attitudes toward a proposed preemptive war against North Korea.

Some of the findings:

·  Most Americans do not want the United States to launch a preventive war against North Korea.

·  But a large, hawkish minority—about a third of respondents—approves of a US preventive strike across scenarios—even when US use of nuclear weapons could be expected to kill 1 million North Korean civilians.

·  Americans are deeply misinformed about US offensive and defensive military capabilities, including the ability to find and destroy North Korean nuclear weapons without a ground invasion and whether missile defense would be certain to protect against North Korean nuclear missiles.

·  Trump supporters are particularly likely to hold dangerous misperceptions about war with North Korea.

Although it is good news that most Americans do not support preemptive war against North Korea, far too many don’t hesitate to approve, even if nuclear weapons are used in the attack. And far too many Americans are mistakenly convinced that such an attack would not result in harm to US citizens.

Please read this important article and share it widely. As always, we welcome your thoughts; you can reach us at

The link to the article, published at Taylor & Francis Online, is here.

To subscribe to the bi-monthly magazine, click here.

John Mecklin





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