Monday, January 26, 2015


ANTI-WAR, ANTI-IMPERIALISM, NEWSLETTER #4.  January 25, 2015.     
  Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology.  (#1 April 2, 2012; #2 Jan. 18, 2013; #3 March 25, 2014).

What’s at stake:  HH Dalai Lama on Violence: ..."Of course, war and the large military establishments are the greatest sources of violence in the world. Whether their purpose is defensive or offensive, these vast powerful organizations exist solely to kill human beings. We should think carefully about the reality of war. Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous - an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that war is criminal or that accepting it is criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering"  [I received this from a stranger via Facebook, without source citation or any attempt to verify its authenticity.   –Dick]

These essays on resisting  US wars and imperialism and the ideas and language used to rationalize them offer a collection of some of the best writing on how to end the US War system.  --Dick

My blog:
War Department/Peace Department

See:  Authorization for Use of Armed Force, Chemical War, “Collateral Damage” (Language of War), Consequences of War, Costs of War, Genocide, Imperialism, Individual Wars, Lawlessness, Militarism, Military-Industrial Complex, Nuclear Weapons and War, Pentagon (the War Department), Profits of War, PTSD, Secrecy, Suicide, Support the Troops? Torture, War as a Racket, War Crimes, War Department, War on Terror, War System, Wastes of War, and many more topics. 


Anti-cant:   The word Cant possesses many meanings, including insincere or hypocritical statements, esp. pious platitudes.  Merely verbal opposition to war and praise of world peace are very often cant.    So be cautious about saying you hate war and are for peace, if you are not prepared to act against war, because people will measure you by the discrepancy between your words and your deeds.     

Nos. 1-3 at end.

Contents Anti-War Newsletter #4

Veterans for Peace, 3 Legislative Priorities
Kucinich, Be a Force for Peace

Make Love Not War Video
WWI Christmas Truce 1914

Veterans for Peace, DAYS for Peace Against War
Schlabach, Build Just Policing as Alternative to War
Stop US Imperialism by Stopping Recruiting
Wittner, Do Wars for Freedom Defend Freedom?

David Cochran, Catholic Realism and the Abolition of War
Tom Cornell: Rev. of David Cochran, Catholic Realism and the Abolition of

Invasion of Panama
Fallows, Examine Our Wars

Contact Senators Cotton and Boozman


VFP Legislative Update: Dick, Establish a connection with Your Senator or Representative!


January, 2015

Dear Dick,
The 114th Congress is in session.  Especially if you have a newly elected Senator or Representative, now is a good time to establish a connection with them or their staff who handle military or international affairs.   Let them know you want them to take the lead on the issues that matter to you and to Veterans For Peace. The most direct way to do this is to call their D.C. office and speak to them.  It is also very likely that they're tracking mentions of their names in letters to the editor.   You can write a Letter to the Editor of your local paper with this message and be sure to include their names.
Based on our Mission Statement, VFP’s three main legislative priorities remain the same and we will continue to update you on legislative actions related to these areas.  
o   The Senate is already active in trying to impose new sanctions on Iran which would collapse ongoing nuclear negotiations. Call the Capitol at 202- 224-3121 and ask for your Senator’s office.  Urge them to OPPOSE the Menendez-Kirk Iran sanctions legislation.  We want negotiation, not war!
o Congress will consider a new authorization for the use of military force against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) by the spring.  We can start now to call for no authorization.  U.S. military intervention has only led to new conflicts, it cannot solve them.
·  REDUCE AND REDISTRIBUTE MILITARY SPENDING:  An estimated 100,000 people killed in Syria, Iraq, and Palestine in the past year. Many of the deaths were the result of direct U.S. military action, weapons transfers, military aid to allies, and support for proxy armies and militias.  We will track the budget process throughout the year to limit that spending whenever possible.
·  HEAL THE WOUNDS OF WAR IN U.S. VETERANS AND OVERSEAS:  We will monitor efforts to reform the Veterans Administration and improve care for all vets.  Another major VFP concern is justice for all who were exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War - U.S. and Vietnamese alike.
This year is already shaping up to be an important time for war and peace.  Calls for more U.S. intervention in the "Middle East" are growing and warmongers are increasing their fear tactics to push people both in Europe and the U.S. towards more war.  At this time, the voice of Veterans For Peace is critical. Make sure your voice is heard.
Let us know about your efforts to influence policy and what your concerns are.
Michael T. McPhearson      
Veterans For Peace,
1404 North Broadway, St. Louis, MO 63102, 314-725-6005 

Kucinich: Weary Nation 'Must Not Cede to Forces of Destruction'
by Deirdre Fulton.  Common Dreams, Nov. 22, 2014.
Former congressman says that despite grim political realities, a new paradigm is still possible for those willing to fight for it.

SUN, 02 FEBRUARY 2014 AT 9:05 PM
Axe Peace Super Bowl Commercial 2014 (Video) - Make Love Not War!
Axe Peace Super Bowl Commercial 2014 (Video) - Make Love Not War!
One of the surprisingly poignant commercials that aired during the 2014 Super Bowl was courtesy of AXE Peacebody spray.
“In a world filled with war, the greatest weapon is love. Make love, not war with new AXE Peace,” the caption for the video read along with the hashtag #KissForPeace.
The commercial depicts things happening around the world that seem to be dangerous, such as armed forces preparing their weapons for war, but then everything suddenly turns into peacefulness. This was such a powerful commercial!
WHAT DID YOU THINK of the Axe Make Love Not War commercial?

AXE PEACE | Make Love, Not War

While preparing his book, To End All Wars, Adam Hochschild traveled the still-scarred land of WWI in Europe.  “The thin band of territory stretching through northern France and this corner of Belgium has the greatest concentration of young men’s graves in the world. . . .Today there are more than 2,000 British cemeteries alone in France and Belgium, cared for by almost 500 gardeners.”   But he found “only a single memorial celebrating anyone for doing something other than fighting or dying,” and that one--small, unattended--was “in memory of the soldiers from both sides who took part in the Christmas Truce of 1914.”   So Hochschild imagines “another cemetery, of all those who understood the war’s madness enough not to take part,” and he wonders who would lie there.  It would be international in scope.  Eugene V. Debs from the US, Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht from Germany, E. D. Morel from England.  Keir Hardie, Jean Jaures, Bertrand Russell.  “ Stephen Hobhouse and the more than 6,000 other British conscientious objectors who went to prison.”   And many soldiers, including the French troops who mutinied in 1917 and the German sailors who refused orders to sail near war’s end.  What is Hochschild’s point?   These dead heroes for peace were not confident they would win their struggle, but rather knew they would not, yet stood firm to “honor the best of human nature” and prepare the day when all would feel with Alice Wheeldon in her prison cell, “the world is my country.”

ORGANIZE FOR PEACE:  A Calendar and Three Essays

Waging Peace and Justice: July-August 2014

Casey Stinemetz <>

to James
“The challenge remains. On the other side are formidable forces: money, political power,  major media. On our side are the people of the world and a power greater than money or weapons: the truth.”
 -Howard Zinn

Waging Peace and Justice
July 2014-August 2014

In June, Veterans For Peace took to the streets to raise our voices against U.S. military intervention in Iraq.  On June 19th, Veterans For Peace hosted a national press conference in Washington D.C, where Iraq Veterans Against the War andMilitary Families Speak Out voiced their concerns and opinions.  Major media covered the conference, and a number of articles came out as a result.  Check out the compiled list of articles about this conference.  In the weeks following, chapters have hosted rallies and protests in their local communities to educate on this serious situation that faces us.  We have gained a lot of national press around these actions, so we know that they are taking notice of our actions. Great work to all!

Much of July will focus on preparation for the 29th national convention. “Peace or Perish Abolish War on Planet and Poor” was chosen as the theme to tie together the many issues that result as a product of endless war.   Although we can’t all be present at convention this year, we can work to bring this theme to light throughout this month and the rest of the year.  As we all know too well, many of the problems facing us at home can be directly linked to an ongoing state of war.  The state of poverty, the student-debt crisis, rising gas prices, violence in our streets, increased privacy concerns, the militarization of police and borders, and so many other issues are interrelated and impacted by militarism and the draining of national resources to conduct war.  With summertime comes community events, festivals, and gatherings that give us a chance to educate our neighbors in a social setting. 

As we move into August, a number of historical days bring another opportunity: to link together the past mistakes with the current situations.  We must ask the difficult questions and spark conversation: Are we going down the same path that we took in WWI? Are our leaders making the same mistakes to draw us into Iraq again? Are we repeating the same foreign policy decision from past was such a disaster in Vietnam? Together, we can bring the important message of peace to the streets.  Together, we can push forward the change we seek by pressuring our leaders and demanding accountability to what the people demand.

Upcoming Dates:
Below you will find suggested dates and actions that you can support in the upcoming months related to VFP's ongoing work.  If you have any additional dates that should be added to our calendar, please e-mail national

July 23rd
10 Year Anniversary of IVAWIraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) was founded in July 2004 at the Veterans For Peace (VFP) Annual Convention in Boston.  IVAW gives a voice to the large number of active duty service people and veterans who question U.S. Post 9-11 foreign policy, but are under various pressures to remain silent.  This year, partially in honor of this important anniversary, we are encouraging and supporting as many Post 9-11 veterans and IVAW members as possible to attend the 2014 Convention.  Be sure to give a shout out to IVAW and tell them “Happy Anniversary!”

July 23rd-27th
VFP National Convention in Asheville, NC
The Veterans For Peace 29th Annual Convention will be held at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, NC with a theme of “Peace or Perish Abolish War on Planet and Poor.”  Please check out the national convention website for more information. 

July 27th: Day in History
Anniversary of Signing of Korean Armistice
After three years of a bloody and frustrating war, the United States, the People's Republic of China, North Korea, and South Korea agree to an armistice, bringing the Korean War to an end on July 27th 1953 . Much time has passed, but the US is still fighting the longest undeclared war in its history in Korea, with some 30,000 soldiers stationed in South Korea today. 

July 28th: Day in History
Austria-Hungary Declares War on Serbia
On July 28, 1914, one month to the day after Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife were killed by a Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo, Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia, effectively beginning the First World War.  Remember that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Christmas Truce, which will be a major focus for VFP at the end of the year. 

August 2nd: Day in History
50th Anniversary of Gulf of Tonkin
The Gulf of Tonkin Incident was two separate confrontations involving North Vietnam and the U.S.  in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin on August 2, 1964 and August 4, 1964.  Johnson proceeded quickly to authorize retaliatory air strikes against North Vietnam as a result and accused the North Vietnamese of “open aggression on the high seas.” He then submitted to the Senate a resolution that authorized him to take “all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression.” The resolution was quickly approved by Congress; only Senators Wayne Morse of  Oregon and Ernest Gruening of Alaska voted against it. Later, when more information about the Tonkin incident became available, many concluded that Johnson and his advisers had misled Congress into supporting the expansion of the war.

August 6th: Day in History
Hiroshima Day
On August 6th, an American B-29 bomber, dropped the world's first atom bomb, over the city of Hiroshima. Approximately 80,000 people are killed as a direct result of the blast, and another 35,000 are injured. At least another 60,000 would be dead by the end of the year from the effects of the fallout.

August 9th: Day in History
Nagasaki Day
On this day in 1945, a second atom bomb is dropped on Japan by the United States , at Nagasaki, resulting finally in Japan's unconditional surrender. The bomb was dropped at 11:02 a.m., 1,650 feet above the city. The explosion unleashed the equivalent force of 22,000 tons of TNT. The hills that surrounded the city did a better job of containing the destructive force, but the number killed is estimated at anywhere between 60,000 and 80,000 (exact figures are impossible, the blast having obliterated bodies and disintegrated records).

August 10th: Victims of Agent Orange Commemoration Day
August 10th is a day to remember the victims of Agent Orange.  This is an opportunity to participate and educate about the VFP Vietnam Full Disclosure campaign

August 19th: World Humanitarian Day
World Humanitarian Day falls on August 19th, the day in 2003 when 22 aid workers were killed in a bombing at the UN headquarters in Baghdad. It's a day to commemorate all people who have lost their lives in humanitarian service and to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the world. Read more about World Humanitarian Day

August 26th: Day in History
Women Gained the Right to Vote
It took activists and reformers nearly 100 years to gain women the right to vote, and the campaign was not easy. On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was finally ratified, enfranchising American women and declaring for the first time that they, like men, deserve all the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

August 29th: UN International Day against Nuclear Tests
Since nuclear weapons testing began in the mid-twentieth century, there has been little consideration of the devastating effects of testing on human life, let alone the understanding of nuclear fallout from atmospheric tests. Hindsight and history have shown us the terrifying and tragic effects of nuclear weapons testing, especially when controlled conditions go awry, and in light of today’s nuclear weapons which are far more powerful and destructive. The International Day against Nuclear Tests is a day in which educational events, activities and messages aim to capture the world’s attention and underscore the need for a unified attempt in preventing further nuclear weapons testing.

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Address postal inquiries to:
Veterans For Peace
216 South Meramec Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63105-3504

Just Policing, Not War
An Alternative Response to World Violence
Gerald W. Schlabach, Editor; Foreword by Jim Wallis.  2007.         

2008 Catholic Press Association Honorable Mention!
For decades, the Catholic Church and historical peace churches such as the Mennonites have come together in ecumenical discussions about war and peace. The dividing point has always been between pacifism, the view held by Mennonites and other peace churches, and the just war theory that dominates Catholic thinking on the issue. Given the transformation of global relations over this period—increased interdependency and communication as well as the fall of the Soviet Union, emerging nationalism movements, and the slow development of international courts—the time is right to rethink the Christian response to war.
Gerald Schlabach has proposed just policing theory as a way to narrow the gap between just war and pacifist traditions. If the world can address problems of violence through a police model instead of a conventional military model, there may be a role for Christians from all traditions. In this volume, Schlabach presents his theory and has invited a number of scholars representing Catholic, Mennonite, and other traditions to respond to the theory and address a number of key questions:
  • What do we mean by policing?
  • Can policing solve conflicts beyond one’s own borders?
  • How does just policing theory address terrorism?
  • Is international policing possible, and what would it look like?
  • Is just policing a Christian solution that meets the criteria of both traditions?
This important volume offers a fresh and meaningful discussion to help Christians of all traditions navigate the difficult questions of how to live in these times of violence and war.
Gerald W. Schlabach, PhD, is associate professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he teaches courses in social ethics and Christian morality. He has written on topics ranging from peace, social justice, and nonviolence to Augustinian thought, Benedictine spirituality, and the Eucharist.

See my notes on the soldier whose book was used for One Book, who did not acknowl. the youth had an option—not to enlist.
Counter-recruitment is a critical strategy against the influence that ROTC and US military recruiters have on young people in their schools and communities. Distributing these resources at schools, counseling offices, job fairs, events, community centers, and recruiter offices can bust myths about military life while opening an alternate path for young people to end the cycle of militarism. 
The Military is Not Just a Job, It’s 8 Years of Your Life
Produced by Project YANO, this recently updated pamphlet is absolutely essential for anyone that is considering joining the military. Available in both English and Spanish.
The Military is Not Just a Job is just $0.15 each up to 99, or $0.12 each for 100+, plus shipping!
Know Before You Go, 'Cause There's No Reset Button
A collaboration with the Ya-Ya Network (Youth Activists-Youth Allies), this leaflet breaks down the myths of enlistment, life and injustices in the military, and stop-loss. Created by youth, it is accessible to everyone!
Know Before You Go, 'Cause There's No Reset Button is just $0.15 each, plus shipping!

What Every Girl Should Know About the US Military
COMING SOON! Keep your eyes out for an updated version of this pamphlet, to be released in 2015 with exciting new gender justice perspectives!

By Lawrence S. Wittner, History News Network, posted November 16


Catholic Realism and the Abolition of War

CODE: 978-1-62698-074-7
·         Description
·         Book Details
·         Reviews
·         Send To Friend
Argues that the same social forces that have opposed and overturned other modes of violence can also end war.
Is war an inevitable and inescapable reality of the human condition?  While arguments in favor of the judicious use of warfare (such as just war theory) often rely on what seem like "commonsense" or realistic attitudes toward the necessity of violence in an imperfect world, other forms of institutionalized violence, such as vendettas and duels, slavery, and lynching, were also often accepted as commonplace in American society.
Through a gradual and reinforcing process of changing social attitudes as well as public policies, Cochran argues, humanity can move toward the eventual elimination of war as an acceptable form of violence just as it has moved, albeit slowly and unevenly, toward the abolition of these other forms of institutional violence.
"If the causes of conflict resolution and Christian peacemaking are to gain ground in the coming decades, this progress will depend upon the kind of keen analysis that Cochran offers in this splendid book."--Thomas Massaro, S.J., Dean and Professor of Moral Theology, Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University
David Cochran teaches politics and directs the Archbishop Kucera Center for Catholic Intellectual and Spiritual Life at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa.  He is co-author of The Catholic Vote: A Guide for the Perplexed.

Tom Cornell: Rev. of David Cochran, Catholic Realism and the Abolition of War, in The Catholic Worker (May 2014).  Cornell offers several objections to Cochran’s optimism, but they do not substantially alter his high regard for the book,      which “demolishes the ‘just war’ arguments of the neo-conservatives” and offers hope of abolishing war just as we have abolished other destructive social constructs, such as lynching.    “This book should be a standard in college and university courses on moral theology.”   --Dick.

 LOOK AT OUR WARS (see Newsletters 1-3)

WILLIAM BLUM, KILLING HOPE and  ROGUE STATE.  The details of the over 40 illegal, unnecessary interventions and invasions by the US after WWII.

By Greg Grandin,, posted December 21
Tomgram: Greg Grandin, How the Iraq War Began in Panama
Posted by Greg Grandin at 5:00pm, December 21, 2014.
Follow TomDispatch on Twitter @TomDispatch.
[For intro. by TomDispatch and Grandin’s full essay:   --Dick]
The War to Start All Wars 
The 25th Anniversary of the Forgotten Invasion of Panama 
By Greg Grandin
As we end another year of endless war in Washington, it might be the perfect time to reflect on the War That Started All Wars -- or at least the war that started all of Washington’s post-Cold War wars: the invasion of Panama.
Twenty-five years ago this month, early on the morning of December 20, 1989, President George H.W. Bush launched Operation Just Cause, sending tens of thousands of troops and hundreds of aircraft into Panama to execute a warrant of arrest against its leader, Manuel Noriega, on charges of drug trafficking. Those troops quickly secured all important strategic installations, including the main airport in Panama City, various military bases, and ports. Noriega went into hiding before surrendering on January 3rd and was then officially extradited to the United States to stand trial. Soon after, most of the U.S. invaders withdrew from the country.
In and out. Fast and simple. An entrance plan and an exit strategy all wrapped in one. And it worked, making Operation Just Cause one of the most successful military actions in U.S. history. At least in tactical terms.
There were casualties. More than 20 U.S. soldiers were killed and 300-500 Panamanian combatants died as well.  Disagreement exists over how many civilians perished. Washington claimed that few died.  In the “low hundreds,” the Pentagon’s Southern Command said.  But others charged that U.S. officials didn’t bother to count the dead in El Chorrillo, a poor Panama Citybarrio that U.S. planes indiscriminately bombed because it was thought to be a bastion of support for Noriega. Grassroots human-rights organizations claimed thousands of civilians were killed and tens of thousands displaced.

See my article, James R. Bennett, “The U.S. Media Submit to Censorship in the Grenada, Panama, and Iraq Invasions.”  St. Louis Journalism Review (Dec. 1992-Jan. 2993), 16-17.  --Dick

Against US Stupid Wars
“The Tragedy of the American Military”
The American public and its political leadership will do anything for the military except take it seriously. The result is a chickenhawk nation in which careless spending and strategic folly combine to lure America into endless wars it can’t win.   "The Tragedy of the American Military"  By James Fallows, The Atlantic, posted December 31, 2014.
If any of my fellow travelers at O’Hare were still listening to [Obama’s] speech, none of them showed any reaction to it. And why would they? This has become the way we assume the American military will be discussed by politicians and in the press: Overblown, limitless praise, absent the caveats or public skepticism we would apply to other American institutions, especially ones that run on taxpayer money. A somber moment to reflect on sacrifice. Then everyone except the few people in uniform getting on with their workaday concerns.
The public attitude evident in the airport was reflected by the public’s representatives in Washington. That same afternoon, September 17, the House of Representatives voted after brief debate to authorize arms and supplies for rebel forces in Syria, in hopes that more of them would fight against the Islamic State, or ISIS, than for it. The Senate did the same the next day—and then both houses adjourned early, after an unusually short and historically unproductive term of Congress, to spend the next six and a half weeks fund-raising and campaigning full-time. I’m not aware of any midterm race for the House or Senate in which matters of war and peace—as opposed to immigration, Obamacare, voting rights, tax rates, the Ebola scare—were first-tier campaign issues on either side, except for the metaphorical “war on women” and “war on coal.”  For the full essay:

RECENT OMNI NEWSLETTERS.  Look at these subjects.  All relate some more some less to US militarism and imperialism, to US permanent war-making.
Iran #25, 1-17
Cuba #4, 1-16
Vegetarian Action #15, 1-14
Democracy #3, 1-12
Flag Patriotism #2, 1-9
Fossil Fuels #3, 1-4

Boozman, John - (R - AR)
Class III
320 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4843

Contents of #1
Willson, Vietnam War Protester
Amy Goodman
Hochschild on WWI
Hedges, Myth of War

Contents Anti-War Newsletter #2
Dick: North American Directory
HAW Annual Conference
Veterans for Peace
Military Families Speak Out
Citizen Soldier:
War Resisters League
Howard Zinn for Truth, Justice, Peace
Giffey, Veterans’ Paths to Peace in Many Wars
Catonsville Nine: Vietnam War
Iraq Occupation and Sen. Grassley
Seymour, US Anti-Imperialism
NBC, War as Entertainment

horizontal line

Anti-War Newsletter #3  
Introduction, Dick:  Think Global, Act Local , Act Global   [read Pierce on AUMF in Lawlessness newsletter #2]
Pope Francis
David Swanson, War No More
Brayton Shanley: The Many Sides of Peace, Living the Agape Community Way
Lendman:   Francis Boyle, Protesting Power, a Lawyer Defends Dissenters (Iran, Afghan)
Kathy Kelly, Our Vocation to Abolish War
Winslow Myers, Living Beyond Wars
Ann Wright: vs.  Iraq War, Government Insider Dissenters, Refusers
Refusing Military Service: 2 Books
Kohn: History of Draft Violators
Kovac: WWII, COs, Public Service Camps
History:  Who Goes to US Wars?
Keith, WWI, Southern US Poor Man’s War
Satire on Vietnam War
Lewin, Report from Iron Mountain

END ANTI-WAR NEWSLETTER #4 January 25, 2015

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Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)