Monday, December 19, 2016


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

What’s at stake:  The essays in these five newsletters 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.  They are reinforced by many newsletters under different titles (e.g. Grassroots Militarism, Imperialism).  Remember, the name of this newsletter and its blog has been: It’s the War Department.   Now it is Nuclear War and Warming (deadliest enemies of planet and their outliers).
     Eleanor Roosevelt visited Europe shortly after the end of WWI.  Henceforth she increasingly imagined, felt, abhorred, and acted against the horrors of war.  “I think that trip had far-reaching consequences for me. . . .The picture of desolation fostered in me an undying hate of war. . . .The conviction of the uselessness of war as a means of finding any final solution to international difficulties grew stronger and stronger as I listened to people talk. . . .the impression was so strong that instead of fading out of my memory it has become more deeply etched upon it year by year.”   (The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt, 1961, the abbreviated edition).
     We need not visit countries destroyed by war to be able to imagine it, however, nor does she say we must.   I think she would agree that most of us cannot afford such travel.  But we can read about war.  A good writer can evoke what we have not actually seen and experienced.  And good films about war can virtually transport us there.  With this one requirement—that the writings and the films tell the truth; that there be no evasions, no wishful thinking, no cant in them.  But of course the absence of these features is the definition of good literature and film.  --Dick

Contents: Anti-War Newsletter #5, December 18, 2016
World Beyond War
War Resisters League
ANSWER Coalition
Veterans for Peace

Eleanor Roosevelt
Daniel Berrigan
Rory Fanning, Worth Fighting For
Tomas Young
Congresswoman Barbara Lee

Book on War Resistance 1914-1918

OMNI Newsletters on Militarism and Imperialism 2007-2014

Organizations Against US Wars, Militarism, Imperialism

What You Can Do to End War on the International Day of Peace By David Swanson, telesur, World Beyond War (Sept. 21, 2016, UN International Day of Peace)
If you want to find peace in your heart, knock yourself out. Seriously, knock yourself out, there's nothing more peaceful. Or if you want to find peace in your family or your neighborhood, or on the sidelines of a football game during the playing of the National Anthem, there may be no better way to do it than to pledge your allegiance to permanent war on poor foreign countries.
A school board member in Virginia once agreed to support a celebration of the International Day of Peace "as long as everyone understands that I'm not opposing any wars."
But what if you want to find peace through the abolition of war? Then what do you do? Well, then you do the long, hard, exciting, fulfilling, nonviolent, community building work that may very well bring peace to everything from your heart to your local police department in the process, but which is aimed at reducing and eliminating the arms trade and militarism.
Have you noticed how outraged U.S. liberals can become when they discover that the U.S. National Anthem has various ties to racism? Imagine! A song that celebrates the mass slaughter of human beings during an inane quest to take over Canada (which instead got the White House burned) -- that glorious treasure might be marred by a cruel and unenlightened ideology!
Did you see the news story this week about the U.S. government compensating the family of an Italian they'd blown up in a war with a payment of $1 million? What if Iraqis were given that treatment? As many families are gone entirely, let's round down to 1 million victims with survivors left to be compensated. What's a million times $1 million? It's $1 trillion. What the U.S. government spends on militarism in 1 year could treat Iraqis as if they were Europeans. The next year's funding could start in on compensating Afghans, Pakistanis, Yemenis, Libyans, Somalis, Syrians, etc.
There is an educational project needed that you can help with. It involves persuading people that war can't be mended, that it must be ended. You might begin by sitting out a playing of the National Anthem and then explaining to people why. If you don't want to do that alone, do it with a small group. If you don't have a small group, Campaign Nonviolence has over 650 nonviolent war-abolition events of all sorts planned all over the place this week. Find the nearest event.
For more events all over the world, check out our events page at World Beyond War. There are art exhibitions, ship voyages, anti-nuclear lobby events, protest rallies, vigils, conferences, festivals, and long-distance walks.
Have you ever dreamed of seeing a peace movement, much less a war abolition movement, on television? Now you can. On September 23rd and 24th point your web browser to and hook your computer up to your television screen to see the No War 2016 conference. (Or just watch it on your computer.) Here's the detailed agenda of what you'll see at what time, and bios and photos of all the speakers. This event will be three days of making the case for alternatives to war, including activist workshops on the third day, and on the next morning (Monday, the 26th) a 9 a.m.protest at the Pentagon. Come join us!
We will also be delivering to the Pentagon a petition simultaneously being delivered by U.S. whistleblowers and Germans to the German government in Berlin asking for the closure of Ramstein Air Base. On the 23rd/24th you can also catch a live stream World Beyond War event from Malaysia. Other events all over the world will be viewing the live stream from Washington, D.C., including this one in Berlin. Protests are also planned on the 26th in California, at West Point, and inAustralia.
Wherever you are, you should catch a screening of Paying the Price for Peace and of Snowden. The International Peace Bureau World Congress is in Berlin from September 29 to October 3rd. If you can be in Ireland or England or Germany, join the big events on October 8th. Keep Space for Peace Week is October 1 to 8, and has events everywhere.
You can always organize your own event anywhere, and World Beyond War will be glad to help you promote it. If you are looking for a tool for studying, teaching, or leading discussions, we're just now publishing the 2016 version of A Global Security System: An Alternative to War. Or use any of these videos, power points, or speakers.
Want to lobby the U.S. government for something immediately achievable? Call Congress and tell them to halt the next pending sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia to be used killing people in Yemen. Sign this petition too. There is also an opportunity right now to ban cluster bombs, and after those nuclear bombs.
If you're convinced that activism is best directed at the edges of a broken presidential election system, here's a useful approach: demand that debates, like the one on September 26th, include more candidates, so that the pro-war consensus gets challenged.
Another debate is underway in the world right now on the question of whether "Just War" theory is of any value. Even the Catholic Church, the creator of Just War theory, is debating whether to formally reject it. I've just published my argumenton the topic and will be debating a Just War advocate in October. Get involved in this discussion. Ask someone on September 21st, the International Day of Peace, whether they'd like there to be peace everywhere every day. Ask them if they'd like to help make that happen.
Also, you can join a skype call with Afghan peace activists on September 21st.
There is peace in most places most of the time. Adding the last bit of the earth to that peaceful status would not violate any laws of nature. It would only violate the irrational drives and profiting greed of those who oppose peace. This will take more than a day, but we can do it.

Mass Nonviolent Action Against War: D.C. 9/26/16
World Beyond War via via 
11:56 AM (22 hours ago)
to me
World Beyond War is working with the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR) and Campaign Nonviolence (CNV) to plan a major nonviolent action against war in Washington, D.C., on the morning of Monday, September 26, 2016, just following our No War 2016 conference on September 23-25. There will be a training and planning workshop at the end of the conference on the 25th.
When you register to attend the conference, you can indicate whether you'd like to take part in the nonviolent action:
If you would like to take part in the action only, and not the conference, please contact Malachy Kilbride at NCNR.
Re the details of the action, NCNR will have a couple of proposals for actions calling for an end to all war. Send themyour thoughts. Possibilities will include places where those in power make decisions about the ongoing wars. We will focus on those who are elected and appointed and others who run the war machine. Proposals will be discussed at a Sundayafternoon training/planning meeting at 2:00 p.m. on September 25th and final details of the plan will be developed at that time.
Please post and forward this email far and wide. People are asking what they can do. This is part of the answer!
World Beyond War encourages anyone who cannot come to Washington, D.C., to plan your own event. Use our event resources. Contact us for help.
And we join with Campaign Nonviolence in encouraging you to engage in strategic nonviolent actions for peace that week in September. You can hold a vigil, march, rally, demonstration or other nonviolent action in your community to call for the abolition of war. Or host a livestream party to watch and discuss the World Beyond War Conference from DC, and then take action!
These actions are coordinated in collaboration with the Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions. Let CNV know your plans.
Remember: “What matters most is not who is sitting in the White House, but who is sitting in -- and who is marching outside the White House, pushing for change.” ― Howard Zinn
World Beyond War thanks these partners and cosponsors for their help with No War 2016:
To make your organization a co-sponsor, promote the conference to your list and let us know. To become a partner, let us know that you would also like to support this project financially. 
Sent via To update your email address or to stop receiving emails from World Beyond War, please click here.

Dick Bennett 
10:45 AM (1 minute ago)
to CianGladysJazmynneJeanneJoeJulieJustineKellyRichardSteveMatthew
This looks like a thoughtfully arranged rally by many outstanding peace organizations.  OMNI might be a sponsor.  An OMNI member or two might attend.  It'll take some preparation.  I'll organize a fundraiser for the trip.  Dick

No War 2016 -- Details Announced
David Swanson via via 
8:19 AM (14 minutes ago)
to me details have now been made public for the No War 2016 conference in Washington, D.C., September 23-25, and many have already signed up to attend. If you are thinking about attending, now's the time to register. The main webpage for more information (and check out the new videos) is here:
While much is set, there's still room to adjust our plans. We welcome partners, cosponsors, ideas for speakers and workshop leaders, ideas for topics and tactics. Get in touch!
We're also helping to bring together similar events at the same time in other places. Let us know if we can help you. One such event will be in Berlin, Germany, at which U.S. whistleblowers and former drone program personnel will deliver to the German government this petition urging the closure of Ramstein Air Base (please add your name):
A big protest at Ramstein this past weekend helped to put this issue into the news.
We've asked planned speakers to record more videos on why they'll be at No War 2016. You are invited to do the same and send them to us!

Dick Bennett, many thousands of people and organizations in 129 countries thus far have signed the declaration of peace. This very fact is having an impact. You have not yet signed but can do so in about 10 seconds here.
This is the full text of the Declaration of Peace: 
I understand that wars and militarism make us less safe rather than protect us, that they kill, injure and traumatize adults, children and infants, severely damage the natural environment, erode civil liberties, and drain our economies, siphoning resources from life-affirming activities. I commit to engage in and support nonviolent efforts to end all war and preparations for war and to create a sustainable and just peace.
Please forward this to everyone you can.
Thanks!   Peace!
Sign the Declaration of Peace.

Join us on 
Facebook and Twitter.

Support World Beyond War's work 
by clicking here.

War Resisters League
An excellent essay on war in and by the USA, and a revelation of how little money the anti-war movement has!  Dick
Are You Antiwar?
Raul Xavier Ramos  12-17-16  
Dec 16 (1 day ago)
to me

Dear Friends,

I’d be quick to tell you that I’m queer. HIV positive. Puerto Rican. But antiwar?
This past February, yearning for a political home rooted in social justice, I found the War Resisters League. As an intern with WRL I branded the launch to WRL’s No Swat Zone campaign. I spoke at a press conference in New York. I was even on the radio! (Alright, a podcast, but hey. Those are cool, too.) And while at WRL, I found out I was more antiwar than I knew.
Before WRL, I hadn’t thought of the most extreme forms of violence against my own community as being enabled, enacted, and reinforced through militarization. WRL sees war as a force inextricably linked to its root causes of racism, sexism, and exploitation. And it was this lens that brought me to identify as a war resister.

To me, war doesn’t just look like skyrocketing “defense” budgets, heightened and pressurized policing, or the United States’ over 800 military bases worldwide. It looks like normalizing violence against specific communities while reassuring others’ safety. It looks like the NYPD parading its rainbow-clad paddy wagons in Chelsea and the West Village after Orlando while simultaneously harassing queer and trans sex workers and homeless folks. It looks like HIV positive folks around the world being punished by law, from detainment to murder, to keep them away from the general population. It looks like the United States’ ongoing colonization of Puerto Rico’s resources and people, from extraction, displacement and impoverishment. “Safety” for some looks like violence to others.

It was interning at War Resisters League that changed the way I think about how militarism works. WRL’s No Swat Zone campaign, focused on SWAT trainings, connects violent policing tactics to racism, classism, homophobia, and xenophobia. WRL’s campaign against the Urban Areas Security Initiative and resources on war tax resistance remind us that war is part of a larger economy of violence. WRL’s Facing Tear Gas campaign reveals the troubling relationship between arms vendors and the State. And WRL’s ongoing Nonviolent Direct Action trainings and workshops teach us how to resist.
An antiwar movement based on the root causes of war is vitally important right now, and is what brings young activists like me to War Resisters League. If you're against homophobia, you're antiwar. If you're for racial justice, you're antiwar. As the single most visible enforcer of oppression across our communities, militarism deserves everything we've got! 
In Struggle, Raul Xavier Ramos
Former WRL Intern

P.S. Another way to support WRL is by entering its end of year raffle! Drawing this Wednesday. Get your tickets here! 

168 Canal Street
Suite 600
New York, NY 10013
United States

Raising my Voice as an Anti-War Organizer
Seelai Karzai via 
to me

This is just the beginning . . .
Dear WRL Community,
Working with the War Resisters League has changed my life. I am accomplishing many things I thought I couldn’t do and growing as an organizer in ways I was not expecting:
Over the past six months, I worked with WRL’s brilliant national organizers, Ali Issa and Tara Tabassi, on developing the DHS campaign, which included researching and curating political education materials. Last November, I facilitated a weekend training of 30 multi-generational activists in nonviolent campaign development. I’ve updated “What Every Girl Should Know,” our counter-recruitment brochure, to be more nuanced in its representation of gender and sexuality. I’ve led weekly meetings, workshops, conference calls and group projects. I’ve also learned how to think more critically about war and police militarization, as well as how to better connect queer & women’s liberation to anti-war struggles.  
All of this wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of Sara Bilezikian’s parents.
The Sara Bilezikian Peace Internship was created to honor Sara Bilzekian's commitment to peace and justice. As a former volunteer and intern, Sara shared her deep and comprehensive approach to intersectional organizing at War Resisters League and through her work with indigenous communities in the Southwest, supporting women building cooperatives in Nicaragua, opposing corporate globalization and working to close the School of the Americas. Honoring her commitment and passion for social change, Sara's parents Sophie and John Bilezikian began a fund to support the growth of youth leadership in grassroots movements.
Though my Bilezikian internship has come to an end, my time with WRL is not over. I intend to continue honoring Sara’s legacy. In March, I'll be facilitating our “Buy 2 Tanks, Get 10 Guns Free” workshop at INCITE’s “Beyond the State: Inciting Transformative Possibilities” conference in Chicago, doing counter-recruitment work through disseminating WEGSK, and building our DHS campaign as a volunteer in the working group. My commitment to social justice is not only through organizing, but also through my work as a poet.
My commitment to War Resisters League and to building the movement against police militarization continues. But this work is only sustainable through our shared efforts. Can you also commit your time or resources? Please donate to WRL today and, together, we can work to resist militarism everywhere.

With love,
Seelai Karzai

Answer Coalition
Dramatic anti-war action takes place in D.C.
ANSWER Coalition via
March 22, 2015  2:04 PM
to James
 ANSWER Coalition
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Dear Dick,

Photo: Roger Scott
Check back later in the week to see many
more photos from this exciting event.

On Saturday, March 21, a dramatic anti-war assembly rallied at the White House and then wound through the streets of Washington, D.C., delivering symbolic flag-draped coffins to the headquarters of war contractors like Honeywell Corporation, the AIPAC offices and finally at the Senate Office Building at the U.S. Capitol.

Saturday's action was organized by the ANSWER Coalition and was the culmination of four days of anti-war actions and teach-ins organized by a broad coalition of organizations under the umbrella of Spring Rising – an Antiwar Intervention in D.C. Spring Rising was initiated by Cindy Sheehan and many organizations joined together to organize the series of events, including the ANSWER Coalition, Veterans for Peace, World Can't Wait, CODEPINK, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, World Beyond War, Military Families Speak Out, United National Antiwar Coalition, International Action Center, Party for Socialism and Liberation, and more.

Photo: Ted Majdosz
Check back later in the week to see many
more photos from this exciting event.
The March 21 demonstration received considerable media attention from national and international media outlets, including CNN, Associated Press, Reuters, Al-Jazeera and a wide range of alternative media.

Simultaneous March 21 demonstrations were held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and other cities in the Midwest.

Held on the 12th anniversary of the U.S. “Shock and Awe” invasion of Iraq, the groups announced their plans to intensify opposition to the Congressional Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) request from President Obama, which they describe as an authorization for this and future presidents to carry out endless war and endless bombing in Iraq, Syria and other countries in the Middle East under the pretext of fighting ISIS.

Brian Becker, the national director of the ANSWER Coalition, explained why the anti-war movement was marching in opposition to President Obama's request for congressional authorization for endless war:

Photo: Phil Portluck
Check back later in the week to see many
more photos from this exciting event.
“Each of the last four U.S. presidents has carried out the bombing of Iraqi cities and towns. That's 24 years of devastating bombing strikes against a country and a people that has never threatened or harmed the people of the United States. Each U.S. administration has used a different rationale for why the United States must bomb Iraq, with the latest explanation being the need to fight ISIS. But ISIS only exists today because of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. Dropping more U.S. bombs on Iraqis will not solve the problems caused by the earlier U.S. bombs. The United States is in fact the primary cause of the fragmenting of Iraq. Endless war is only a prescription for the growth and exercise of a malignant militarism that is has come to dominate the foundational political structures of the United States.”

Please make a generous tax-deductible donation today so that this critically important work against war and militarism can continue to grow. We can do this work with you but not without you.

Peace or Perish Abolish War on Planet and Poor
Veterans For Peace 29th Annual Convention
 Peace or Perish
Abolish War on Planet and Poor
VFP 2014 Annual Convention, Jul 23 - Jul 27, 2014
University of NC at Asheville
1 University Heights, Asheville, NC 28804
- Hosted by VFP Chapter 99 in Asheville, NC

Confirmed Speakers:
         Cynthia McKinney, American Politician and Activist
         Matthew Hoh, 1st US official to resign in protest over the Afghan war
         Fr. Roy Bourgeois, Founder of SOAW
         Camilo E. Mejia, First Combat Vet Resistor 
         Col Ann Wright, Former U.S. Army Colonel
         Ross Caputi, Marine Corps veteran of the 2nd siege of Fallujah
         Margaret Stevens, VFP Board Member
         Mike Prysner, VFP Board Member, March Forward
         Maggie Martin, IVAW Executive Director & Membership Coordinator
         Ben Griffin, Founder of VFP UK Chapter
         Brian Willson, Vietnam Veteran
         Leah Bolger, Past VFP President
         Patrick McCann, VFP Board President
         Michael McPhearson, VFP Interim Executive Director
  LEARN MORE  2-4-15
Contact Us


Eleanor Roosevelt
Daniel Berrigan
Rory Fanning, Worth Fighting For
Mark Wilkerson, Tomas Young’s War
Rep. Barbara Lee’s Alternative to Pres. Obama’s AUMF
Rep. Barbara Lee, US Congressional, Woman Anti-War Hero

Eleanor Roosevelt, The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt (Harper, 1961).  The Harper Perennial paper edition appeared 2014.  The book is a condensation of her three-volume original.
Eleanor Roosevelt visited the European battlefields shortly after WWI.  From the Preface:  “The picture of desolation fostered in me an undying hate of war which was not definitely formulated before that time.  The conviction of the uselessness of war as a means of finding any final solution to international difficulties grew stronger and stronger as I listened to people talk.”   “. . .in the hope that, by building international understanding and co-operation, we could hold at bay the ugly stupidity of war and learn to substitute for it, however slowly or painfully—or reluctantly—an era of brotherhood” (xiv)   After WWII she visited the devastation of Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich, and Berlin.  “Nothing could better illustrate the sickening waste and destructiveness and futility of war than what I was seeing” (309).   –Dick

Patrick O’Neill, “Daniel Berrigan, Priest, Prisoner, Anti-War Crusader, Dies.”  National Catholic Reporter shorter version appeared in The Nuclear Resister (June 2, 2016).  Another link:

Tomas Young's War

Mark Wilkerson's book details the life and death of a veteran who was paralyzed and spent the last ten years of his life speaking out against American wars. This emotionally charged and inspiring book draws on in-depth interviews with Tomas and his loved ones to highlight public attitudes toward the disabled, medical marijuana and the terminally ill, as well as the issues surrounding veterans’ care. 

Worth Fighting For: An Army Ranger's Journey Out of the Military and Across America by Rory Fanning.  Haymarket Books, 2014.  Review by DAVID SWANSON • 21 OCTOBER 2014.   [Worth reading for its wide-ranging exploration of why men join the Army and why eventually some of them regret it and speak out against it.   –Dick]


I wasn’t sure I’d like a book called Worth Fighting For by a former soldier who walked across the United States to raise money for the Pat Tillman Foundation. The website of that foundation celebrates military “service” and the “higher calling” for which Tillman left professional football, namely participation in the U.S. war on the people of Afghanistan and Iraq. Rather than funding efforts to put an end to war, as Tillman actually might have wished by the end of his life, the foundation hypes war participation, funds veterans, and to this day presents Tillman’s death thusly:
On the evening of April 22, 2004, Pat’s unit was ambushed as it traveled through the rugged canyon terrain of eastern Afghanistan. His heroic efforts to provide cover for fellow soldiers as they escaped from the canyon led to his untimely and tragic death via fratricide.
Those heroic efforts happened, if they happened, in the context of an illegal and immoral operation that had Tillman defending foreign invaders from Afghans defending their homes. And the last two words above (“via fratricide”) tell a different story from the rest of the paragraph, page, and, indeed, the entire website of the Pat Tillman Foundation. Tillman was shot by U.S. troops. And he may not have died a thoroughgoing supporter of what he was engaged in. On September 25, 2005, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Tillman had become critical of the Iraq war and had scheduled a meeting with the prominent war critic Noam Chomsky to take place when he returned from Afghanistan, all information that Tillman’s mother and Chomsky later confirmed. Tillman couldn’t confirm it because he had died in Afghanistan in 2004 from three bullets to the forehead.
Rory Fanning’s book, Worth Fighting For: An Army Ranger’s Journey Out of the Military and Across America, relates, however, that Tillman looked forward to getting out of the military and sympathized with the actions of Fanning, a member of his battalion who became a conscientious objector and refused to fight. According to Fanning, Tillman “knew his very public circumstances forced him to stick it out.”
What made Pat Tillman a particular hero to many in the United States was that he had given up huge amounts of money to go to war. That he had passed up the opportunity to horde wealth in order to engage in something even more sinister doesn’t register with supporters of war. Incidentally, had the U.S. Army not killed him, and if he wasn’t then driven to kill himself (the leading cause of U.S. military deaths now being suicide), Tillman surely would have lengthened his life by leaving the National Football League, which abandons its players to an average lifespan in their mid-fifties, according to a University of North Carolina study, and in some cases, dementia in their forties—an issue that arises in Fanning’s book as he meets with former NFL greats to raise money for the Pat Tillman Foundation.
Tillman was, by all accounts, kind, humble, intelligent, courageous, and well intentioned. He clearly inspired many, many people whom he met, and others he never met, to be better people. Certainly Fanning would include himself in that list, but when he decided to walk across the country raising funds in the name of Pat Tillman, finding support and shelter for himself along the way, Fanning was playing on the beliefs of a propagandized public—beliefs he had ceased to fully share. A sheriff, in a typical example, takes Fanning’s empty water bottles, drives twelve miles to refill them, and hands them back to Fanning with tears in his eyes, saying, “What Pat did for our country is one of the bravest, most admirable things I can remember anyone doing. Take this for your cause.” And he handed Fanning $100.
Was generating hatred and resentment in Afghanistan by killing helpless people a service to the United States? Were the environmental destruction, economic cost, and eroded civil liberties a benefit to us all? Perhaps the answer is “yes” for those people the Pat Tillman Foundation is still trying to milk for money.  Such a foundation does supplement the insufficient funding the government provides to care for veterans, but it also generates public support for and identification with supposed military heroism. It’s a double victory for the makers of war in Washington, most of whom are far more misguided than Tillman ever was, and who are more remarkable for their cowardice than their bravery.
As I said earlier, I wasn’t sure I’d like Fanning’s book. But I was very pleasantly surprised and recommend the book enthusiastically. It recounts an adventure worth having that contained no fighting at all. It’s a tale told with the wisdom, erudition, kindness, humor, humility, and generosity I think Tillman would have been proud of.  More
David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of and campaign coordinator for His books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at and He hosts Talk Nation Radio and was a 2015 and 2016 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.

Debating the costs of endless war

We are already more than 10 months into another Middle East war and the Republican leadership has refused to allow Congress to even debate its costs and consequences. 

This week, I was able to pass an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill to push Congress closer to finally debating and voting on this war. 

Click here to read more about my ongoing fight to stop endless war or watch Rachel Maddow’s coverage of my amendment here. 
Barbara Lee, Tell Congress: Vote for peace not war
Sign the petition
Tell Congress:
"Congresswoman Barbara Lee has proposed an alternative to President Obama’s request for Authorization for Use of Military Force. Her 'peace bill' would put an end to America's endless wars in the Middle East. Vote no on President Obama's request for a new blank check for war, and pass Rep. Barbara Lee's bill instead."

Sign Petition
You'll receive periodic updates on offers and activism opportunities.

Tell Congress: Vote for peace not war
In 2001, in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, only one member of Congress stood up and opposed giving George W. Bush and Dick Cheney a blank check for war. That member of Congress was Rep. Barbara Lee.

After over a decade of endless war that has cost thousands of lives and over $4 trillion dollars, President Obama has finally come to Congress to obtain a new Authorization for Use of Military Force.1 But instead of repealing the 2001 AUMF and setting strict limits on the use of ground troops, he’s asking for yet another blank check for war.

Fortunately, Rep. Barbara Lee has proposed a progressive alternative. Her peace bill would repeal the sweepingly broad 2001 AUMF and the 2002 Iraq War Resolution – the resolutions that President Obama claims given him authority to bomb the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Lee’s peace bill would also prohibit funding ground troops to fight ISIS and give the president 90 days to submit to Congress a comprehensive diplomatic, political, economic, and regionally led strategy for dealing with ISIS.2

Tell Congress: Vote no on President Obama's blank check for war. Pass Rep. Barbara Lee's peace bill instead.

President Obama's AUMF is deeply flawed. It doesn’t ban the use of ground troops but instead addresses boots on the ground with a carefully worded ban on “enduring offensive ground operations.” It also doesn't geographically limit the scope of the war against ISIS, and authorizes the president to target groups and individuals "associated" with ISIS – in other words, the president would be able to wage war against anyone, anywhere, without meaningful restrictions.

Furthermore, the proposed AUMF doesn't repeal President Bush's 2001 AUMF which was passed years before ISIS even existed. It’s so broad it’s what President Obama is now using to justify U.S. bombing of ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

Unless a new Authorization for Use of Military Force repeals or updates the 2001 AUMF, it doesn't really matter what limitations are written into the new authorization because the 2001 law will still be interpreted as a blank check to wage war against ISIS in whatever way the president deems necessary – including the massive deployment of ground troops in Iraq or Syria.

Tell Congress: Vote no on President Obama's blank check for war. Pass Rep. Barbara Lee's peace bill instead.

ISIS is a brutal terrorist organization that wants to take the planet back to the Stone Age. But the sad and simple truth is that the United States cannot lead any intervention without making a terrible situation even worse. Given America’s history of waging wars of aggression and covert operations in the region, we are in no position to lead the way in resolving the current conflicts in Iraq and Syria.

That’s why once again I’m joining the chorus of anti-war Americans to say Barbara Lee speaks for me. Instead of supporting the president’s request for a blank check for war, we agree with Rep. Lee that the best thing the U.S. can do is use a whole range of diplomatic, political and economic tools to stem the flow of weapons and foreign fighters to ISIS, and support regional leadership opposed to the groups.

Tell Congress: Vote no on President Obama's blank check for war. Pass Rep. Barbara Lee's peace bill instead.

1. Ernesto Londoño, "Study: Iraq, Afghan war costs to top $4 trillion" Washington Post, March 28, 2013
2. Julie Hirschfeld Davis, "Amid Debate on ISIS War Bill, a Democrat Proposes Peace," New York Times, February 10, 2015


Clive Barrett, Subversive Peacemakers – War Resistance 1914–1918: An Anglican Perspective

Review by Virginia Moffatt
An Anglican priest, former chair of the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship and chair of the Peace Museum in Bradford, Clive Barrett is ideally placed to document Anglican resistance to the First World War.
I was hooked from the opening chapter which shows how militarism was embedded in the 39 ‘articles of religion’ to which all Anglican clergy must assent. Article 37 – ‘It is lawful for Christian Men, at the command of the magistrate, to wear weapons, and serve in wars’ – clarified why the Church of England finds it so hard to distance itself from war. And it makes the resistance of Anglicans to war all the more remarkable.

Just as anti-war sentiment vanished at the start of the 2003 Iraq war, the peaceful internationalism of the Anglican bishops dissipated in 1914, leaving Maude Royden, an Anglican pacifist, to despair of any ‘Christian body or newspaper or person to speak out and condemn, “not only war in general, but this war”.’

The book covers familiar territory including the formation of the (Christian) Fellowship of Reconciliation (FoR). What sets it apart are the stories of people at the heart of the established church who resisted not only the state but their congregations and their bishops.

Some, like brother Edward Bulstrode, were prevented from speaking to troops when their pacifist views were fully understood. Others, like Charles Stimson, found it difficult to get a vicarage, as middle-class congregations disliked those who opposed the war.

While the majority of clergy supported ‘God’s war’, there were notable conversions. Dick Sheppard returned from his brief frontline experience as a pacifist, opening St Martin-in-the-Fields to war resisters and soldiers alike.

As the war drew to a close, the Church of England’s original bellicosity was gradually replaced by calls for peace, and an acknowledgement at the 1920 Lambeth Conference of the right to conscientious objection.

So ‘an apparently unpatriotic and eccentric anti-war minority was not only vindicated, but was changing national attitudes to conscription and war for ever’.

A thoroughly-researched and often entertaining account of those subversive peacemakers.


See Imperialism, Militarism Newsletters 2007-2014
#1 July 3, 2007
#2 Sept. 20, 2007
#3 April 7, 2008
#4  Nov. 30, 2008
#5   September 13, 2011
#6 October 16, 2011
#7  January 16, 2012
#8 June 3, 2012
#9 Oct. 20, 2012
#10 April 5, 2013
#11 June 3, 2013
#12 July 19, 2013
#13 Sept. 3, 2013
#14 March 2, 2014
#15 June 22, 2014

Contents: US Imperialism Newsletter #35 (consolidating Imperialism and Westward Imperialism newsletter).

Poem by Gerald Sloan, “Pax Americana”

Constructing Enemies: Defending Against Enemies;
From Forts to Exterminate the Redskin Native Americans to Bases to Encircle the (formerly Soviet) Red Russia and China
Chomsky, A Bloody Nation of Forts
Vine, Base Nation: the U.S. “stations its troops at nearly a thousand locations in foreign lands”
Michelle Obama Christens a Submarine
US Addiction to War.

From Across the Atlantic and Europe to Encircling Russia
Dick, OMNI’s Russia Newsletters #1-6
Dahlburg, NATO Triples Response Force, Russia Adds Ballistic Missiles, Secretary Carter to 
     Send Military Equipment to NATO Nations Bordering Russia
US and Allies Reassert Sanctions Nov. 2016
Osborn and Johnson (Reuters), Russia Strengthens Baltic Fleet with Missiles

From Across the Pacific to Encircling China
Dick, US and Philippines: “Balance Piston”: Military Exercises Bordering the South China Sea
China Defends Itself from US Double Standards
Japan Again Increases Military Budget, Rejects Its Pacifist Constitution
Militarizing, Japan Changes Its Constitution to Allow Armed Force Abroad

Turbulence and Resistance Within the Westward Empire
Fran Alexander, Continental USA, NAFTA, Dakota and Diamond Pipelines
Rev. John Dear, Stand at Standing Rock Sioux Nation in North Dakota
Native Hawaiian Group Adopts a Constitution
Jon Olsen, Liberate Hawai’i
Rick Wayman, Marshall Islands Nuclear Disarmament Cases at the ICJ
Bevacqua, While US Increases Militarization, GuamConsiders Decolonization
E. San Juan, the Philippines Today
Evans, Henoko, Okinawa (Japan) Confronts the Empire
South Korea

What Are We To Do?

     Consider the frenzy against ISIS.  Why, when the US “commits more attacks on its own citizens than does ISIS?  We have 33,000 or more shooting deaths in the U.S. each year.  Recently, an Oklahoma man was arrested for 42 drive-by shootings in one night.  Most people, like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., believe the U.S. is the greatest proliferator of violence in the world.”    (Daily Kos, 11/22/15)

What is our true choice? 
      “’In a world convulsed by violence and unbelievable brutality the lines between ‘us’ and ‘the terrorists’ have been completely blurred.  We don’t have to choose between Imperialism and Terrorism; we have to choose what form of resistance will rid us of both.  What shall we choose?  Violence or nonviolence?”  –Arundhati Roy  (from Don Timmerman of Casa Maria Catholic Worker Community, in its newsletter Casa Cry, December 2015).

 The word Cant possesses several shades of meanings, including insincere or hypocritical statements, esp. pious platitudes.  Merely verbal opposition to war and praise of world peace are very often cant.   So we should be cautious about saying we hate war and are for peace, if we are not prepared to act against war, not only because thoughtful people will measure us by the discrepancy between our words and our deeds, but we ourselves will eventually measure ourselves as we grow more thoughtful, as did Eleanor Roosevelt.     

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

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,
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

Contents:  Anti-War Newsletter #4, January 25, 2015

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

For research purposes, specific subjects can be located in the following alphabetized index, and searched on the blog using the search box.  The search box is located in the upper left corner of the webpage.
Newsletter Index:

See:  Authorization for Use of Armed Force, Chemical War, “Collateral Damage” (see: Language of War), Consequences of War, Costs of War, Fear-Monger, 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? Surveillance, Torture, War as a Racket, War Crimes, War Department, War on Terror, War-Monger, War System, Wastes of War, and many more topics. 

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