Wednesday, March 31, 2021

WAR WATCH WEDNESDAYS #15

 


WAR WATCH WEDNESDAYS

Extinctions, Climate Catastrophe, Militarism, Endless Wars: Making Connections

     ARPBS, “Extinction: the Facts,” David Attenborough, Wednesday, March 31, 7.pm.  With a million species at risk of extinction, Sir David Attenborough explores how this crisis of biodiversity has consequences for us all, threatening food and water security, undermining our ability to control our climate, and even putting us at greater risk of pandemic diseases.”

10 Ways that the Climate Crisis and Militarism are Intertwined.  - CodePink

https://www.codepink.org › 10_ways_that_the_climate...   By Medea Benjamin. The environmental justice movement that is surging globally is intentionally intersectional, showing how global warming is connected to US global war machine.

 

Iraq War and Ending Endless Wars

18 years later, we must end endless wars

Lilly Dragnev, Peace Action  3-18-21

9:04 AM (21 minutes ago)

to me

Dear Peace Action supporter,

On March 20, 2003 at 5:34 a.m. Baghdad time, the United States invaded Iraq. 18 years later, U.S. troops still remain. It is high time we repeal the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) and officially end the war started erroneously 18 years ago. 

There have been nearly 208,000 civilian deaths, with ‘excess deaths’ estimated to be as high as one million. Over 9 million Iraqis have been displaced from their homes, and an entire generation of children has grown up not knowing anything other than the violence, poverty, and trauma of war. 18 years after the invasion of Iraq, neither Iraqis nor Americans are any safer.

Please write to your members of Congress today and urge them to do everything to end these endless wars and prioritize human needs over war and militarism.

The human costs of this war are unfathomable. However, we know the financial costs all too well. Nearly $2 trillion of taxpayer money has been spent on the Iraq War since 2003. This money could have instead been invested in education, infrastructure, racial justice, healthcare, a greener economy, and so much more. The Biden Administration and Congress must work together to end the decades of unchallenged fighting, killing, dying, and spending. They must reflect on a legacy of wars and overseas operations that disproportionately target and impact people of color around the world. They must end not just the Iraq War, but withdraw U.S. troops from far flung combat zones from Afghanistan to the Sahel in Africa.

Please contact your members of Congress and urge them to speak out against militarism and ever-growing Pentagon spending.

On this anniversary, I ask you to speak out against the years of bloodshed. To speak out against the military-industrial complex that perpetuates systems of oppression both at home and abroad. To speak out against the billions of dollars shoveled to the Pentagon year after year. 

We have an opportunity to once and for all end the Iraq War, end endless wars, and call for a reallocation of funds from the Pentagon into diplomacy, humanitarian assistance, and human needs. Help urge the President and Congress to seize it.

In peace,

Lilly Dragnev
Peace Action

 

Further action

Diverse Coalition Calls on Congress to End 'Forever Wars' and 'Unaccountable, Interventionist' US Foreign Policy  by Jessica Corbett, staff writer.
Common Dreams (2-18-21).
A separate letter, signed by some of the same groups, lays out how the Biden administration can "end the cycle of endless war of the last two decades."

 

USA: VIOLENT NATION (from Abel Tomlinson soon after the murder of eight Asian women)
Not sure if you heard the following story. In a culture that still glorifies this, it's no wonder mass violence occurs so regularly.  In response to a comment I made about opposing racism-fueling warfare & USA nuking hundreds of thousands of Asian civilians, a friend of a friend wrote:
"My high school mascot is The Bombers with a mushroom cloud as the icon. There’s a B52 painted on the side of the school representing the plane that dropped the Nagasaki bomb. The plane’s name is “A Day’s Pay” because the workers at the Hanford power plant that built the bomb donated a workday’s pay to fund the plane.

There’s been a battle between those who are “Proud of the Cloud” and those who are fighting to change the mascot: “There’s no silver lining behind this cloud.”

We used to chant “Nuke ‘em till they glow!” at basketball games.

 

I feel really inspired to head a movement to change the mascot for good."

More deeply detailed story:

https://memoriesofthepeople.wordpress.com/2018/07/19/going-nuclear-the-high-school-mascot-of-mass-destruction/amp/

 

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

UN WORLD WATER DAY NEWSLETTER #6, MARCH 22, 2021.

 

 

OMNI

OMNI UN WORLD WATER DAY NEWSLETTER #6, MARCH 22, 2021.

World Climate Justice Month Begins,

COMPILED BY Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology.

(#1 August 9, 2011; #2 March 22, 2012; #3 March 22, 2014, #4, March 22, 2015; #5, March 22, 2018).

 

What’s at stake:  This year’s World Water Day theme is simple -- the value of water. It’s important to understand just how essential this resource is; if managed correctly everyone can benefit. A core focus of World Water Day is to help achieve one of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals: water and sanitation for all by 2030. As we’ve pointed out elsewhere on this site, not just millions but billions of people around the world suffer due to poor access to water, sanitation and hygiene.

 

 

Contents

UN World Water Day

Countries Most Affected by the Global Water Crisis

Stock Market Trading in Water

US Military Operations Have Contaminated the Pacific Region

Trump Promotes Privatization

Afghanistan

 

 

TEXTS   

Read About World Water Day

World Water Day - March 22, 2021

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UN WORLD WATER DAY MARCH 22, 2021

UN DISPATCH, UN WATCH, UN FOUNDATION,

Commentary and coverage on the UN and UN-related issues

 

"A New UN Report Shows What Countries Are Most Affected by the Global Water Crisis"

 Full Story: UN Dispatch (3/23) 

LinkedIn Twitter 

 

 

Water futures: the latest battleground in the defence of the fundamental right to water.   Mronline.org (2-16l-21).

Stock market trading in water futures is the latest battleground in the defense of the fundamental right to water.  | more…   share on Twitter Like Water futures: the latest battleground in the defence of the fundamental right to water on Facebook

 

 

 

New Book: Poisoning the Pacific

Poisoning the Pacific- by Jon Mitchell, investigative journalist with Okinawa Times, is based upon 12,000+ pages of FOIA documents, it reveals how US military operations have been contaminating the Pacific region with toxic substances, including plutonium, dioxin, and VX nerve agent. Hundreds of thousands of indigenous people and US service members have been exposed—but the DoD has hidden the damage and refused to help victims.

Noam Chomsky, Oliver Stone and Nobel Peace Prize winners, ICAN, have all thrown their support behind the book

Read more here!   From Veterans for Peace 10-2-20

 

TRUMP PROMOTES PRIVATIZATION

Dear Dick,

Welcome to Food & Water Action!   4-10-20

I want to let you know that you're doing something great. By taking action with Food & Water Action you're part of a movement of people standing up to greedy corporations that put our food, water and future at risk just to turn a bigger profit.

There's nothing we value more than supporters like you.

Here's what you can expect from us:

·  We'll keep you updated on the local and national issues that impact your food and water, that threaten your climate, and that put the future of our planet in danger.

·  We'll give you the chance to take more actions — signing petitions, calling your legislators, donating, spreading the word on social media and even volunteering in your community — to make it easy for you to make a difference.

·  YOU can send us your feedback by replying to any of our emails — we'd love to hear from you!

Right now, I hope you'll take another step with us and say NO to Trump's scam of a plan to privatize our public resources!

Donald Trump's proposal to "fix" America's infrastructure is actually a huge threat to our country.1,2 He wants to sell our water systems, bridges, roads and schools to the highest bidder — big business wins, we lose.

Trump's privatization scam only benefits his Wall Street billionaire friends and foreign corporations. They'll put their profits before your well-being — hiking water rates and tolls.

Keep Wall Street away from our public systems — sign now to REJECT Trump's plan!

Trump's plan would hurt working families across the country and disproportionately impact low-income and rural communities and communities of color. We consistently see that when big corporations take control of our infrastructure, taxpayers carry the costs.3

Take our crumbling water systems, for example:

The American Society of Civil Engineers' report card for water infrastructure gives the United States a D. It's not just communities like Flint that are suffering. Already, 12% of househds can't afford their exorbitant water bills.4 Unless we do something to fix this problem, it’s likely to get worse: by 2019, nearly 36% of U.S. households could be unable to afford their water service!

American communities need help fixing water infrastructure, but privatizing our water systems is NOT the answer.

Privatizing water means higher water rates, job loss and little accountability to customers like you. Food & Water Action studied water rates of the 500 largest U.S. community water systems and found that large for-profit, privately owned systems charge 59 percent more than large publicly owned systems.5

On top of that, privatization will not help communities like Flint address their water problems. Private investors would cherry-pick service areas to avoid cash-strapped neighborhoods where households can’t afford to pay the cost of privatized service.

We need public investment in water systems, roads and schools, NOT a Wall Street giveaway!

That's why Food & Water Action is fighting alongside hundreds of other organizations and unions to ensure that our infrastructure is public and has the resources necessary to keep everyone safe. That’s why we support the WATER Act to provide dedicated federal funding to improve and maintain our aging water systems and pay for it by making sure corporations pay their fair share.6

It's up to us to demand the right thing from the people who represent us.

Call on your members of Congress to REJECT Trump's Wall Street giveaway and instead support the plan for public investment!

The American people deserve a fix to our infrastructure that puts people first — NOT Wall Street.

Onward together,

 

Wenonah Hauter
Founder and Executive Director
Food & Water Action and Food & Water Watch


1. Trump pivots to infrastructure as he enters bruising weekPolitico, June 3, 2017.
2. Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Is a Corporate Giveaway, Food & Water Watch, June 14, 2017.
3. Public-Private Projects Where the Public Pays and PaysNew York Times, June 6, 2017.
4. How Many People Can't Afford Their Water Bills? Too Many., Food & Water Watch, March 21, 2017.
5. The State of Public Water in the United States, Food & Water Watch, February 16, 2016. 
6. Water. Jobs. Justice. The Case for the Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity and Reliability (WATER) Act, Food & Water Watch, April 25, 2018.

 

AFGHANISTAN’S WATER

Digging Deeper by Kathy Kelly
VFP Weekly E-News, June 8, 2018
"The most sophisticated and heavily armed warring party in Afghanistan is the U.S. military. Despite spending hundreds of billions of dollars on non-military aid to Afghanistan, the United States has done little to improve Afghanistan’s infrastructure or alleviate its alarming water crisis. President Donald Trump’s interest in what’s happening under the ground in Afghanistan is focused exclusively on the U.S. capacity to extract Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, estimated to be worth trillions of dollars.

Ordinary Afghans could be forgiven for feeling paralyzed and defeated by controlling elites who ignore their most basic human needs. Yet every day, Afghan communities reject continued war and call for peace."

Read the Entire Article

 

CONTENTS: UN WORLD WATER DAY NEWSLETTER #5, March 22, 2018

http://jamesrichardbennett.blogspot.com/2018/03/omni-un-world-water-day-newsletter-5.html

Greenberg, Mighty Earth 2018 World Water Day Forum,
     Farrell’s Lounge, 3-22, 6:30

UN World Water Day, March 22

Recent Books on Water

Matt Damon’s Water War

Context:  Books on Rising Seas

 

 

END UN WORLD WATER DAY NEWSLETTER #6

 

WAR WATCH WEDNESDAY #14

 WAR WATCH WEDNESDAY #14

 

CLIMATE CHANGE AND NUCLEAR WAR
A CONFLUENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND NUCLEAR WAR/WINTER As related by Michael Mann in The New Climate War, pp. 17-20.
     The infamous George C. Marshall Institute is the climate science-denying think tank of the 1990s, founded by the climate-change denier Frederick Seitz.  But what started GMI was mainly the military-industrial complex during the escalating arms race between the US and the Soviet Union (US/SU) during the 1980s.  Leading pro-war profiteers, including Lockheed-Martin and Northrop Grumman benefitted particularly from Reagan’s “Strategic Defense Initiative” (SDI, known as “Star Wars”).  Its antiballistic missile program was designed to shoot down nuclear missiles in space.   All was full speed ahead for alleged safety and certain profit, except for one scientist.

     The distinguished Carl Sagan was aware of the mounting global, existential threat of a nuclear arms race, and was raising awareness of a global thermonuclear war   The threat transcended immediate death and destruction of populations.  “The massive detonation of nuclear warheads” in an all-out nuclear war “might produce enough dust and debris to block out a sufficient amount of sunlight to induce a state of nuclear winter” permanently. Humanity “might suffer the same fate” of the dinosaurs sixty-five million years ago.”   Sagan feared that Reagan’s Star Wars “would lead to an escalation of tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union and a dangerous buildup in nuclear arms, portending the very nuclear winter scenario he so feared.”

     “Here’s why Sagan’s anti-SDI campaign is germane to the central topic of this book.”. . . . The nuclear winter simulations that Sagan and his colleagues conducted were based on early generation global climate models.   So if you didn’t like the science of nuclear winter, you really weren’t going to like the science of climate change, which revealed the culpability of the same powerful polluting interest that groups like GMI were defending.  With the collapse of the cold war in the late 1980s. . . GMI “needed another issue to focus on,” that is, “another scientific boogeyman to justify their existence.  Climate change surely fit the bill.”  --Dick

TAKE ACTION
Read Mann’s The New Climate War.  Tell friends about it.

 

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

WAR WATCH WEDNESDAYS #13

 

WAR WATCH WEDNESDAYS #13

3 ITEMS IN THIS WWW

Nuclear Bombs Factory at Rocky Flats

NUKES OUTLAWED JANUARY 22, 2021
  On this day The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons became international law. 

President Biden and Pentagon Budget

 

From Auschwitz to Rocky Flats

WE DIDN’T KNOW (Germans who lived nearby Auschwitz, US citizens who lived near Rocky Flats, CO)

   Almost the final words of The Doomsday Machine were written by Robert Ellsberg, Daniel’s eldest son.   He and his father sat on railroad tracks at Rocky Flats, trying “to stop the production of plutonium triggers there, ”trying to show that we the people have “the power to change ourselves and history” by “accepting the risks of peacemaking.”

  “Rocky Flats is the Auschwitz of our time.  Behind that barbed wire…intelligent, decent family men in their white suits and their security badges” are preparing “for the Final solution to the Human Problem.  In each bomb prepared at Rocky Flats is another Holocaust—perhaps for the children of Moscow, Peking, Hanoi—those who build them don’t know.

   At one of the German concentration camps. . .the American troops who liberated it forced the townspeople  to tour the camp. . .the piles of corpses, the ovens that had disposed of the dead.  And of course they were numbed and shocked and they said, ‘We didn’t know—we didn’t know what was in those boxcars—we didn’t know what came out of those chimneys.”   

   So son and father and friends stood on the railroad tracks at Rocky Flats on May 12, 1978, outside Arvada, CO, not far from Denver, where plutonium detonators, used in nuclear bombs from 1952 until 1989, were produced by the plant's operator, Rockwell International Corporation, the protesters “trying to warn the people” what kind of cargo” travelled over those tracks in those boxcars, even if it meant arrest.
Based upon the final 2 pp. of The Doomsday Machine pp. 337-9.
--Dick

 

NUKES OUTLAWED JANUARY 22, 2021
    On this day
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons became international law.  (It had been approved 122-1 by the UN General Assembly in July 2017.)  Nuclear weapons are now illegal under international law.  Earlier, nuclear weapons were the only weapons of mass destruction not banned under international law, despite their catastrophic consequences. The US and the other nuclear weapons nations have not signed the Treaty, and the US is working to undermine it
Now they are prohibited weapons of mass destruction, and the Treaty provides a legal framework for lasting nuclear disarmament. 

    The nine nuclear-armed countries are also still violating the 50 year-old Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which requires them to negotiate to eventually eliminate all Nuclear weapons.  Instead, the nuclear powers are developing new generations of nuclear weapons.  The US plans to spend $494 billion over the next ten years, and over 1.7 trillion in the next 30 years to “upgrade” its arsenal.  The military-industrial complex driving the expenditures, will make billions of dollars, part of which they give to politicians in Congress and White House, who are part of the complex, to sustain the nuclear regime.


ACTION
What Can We Do?
Demand that the US and all the nuclear powers sign the Treaty and begin the de-nuclearization of the planet.  How do we DEMAND?
Internationally:
Support ICAN The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (Nobel Peace Prize winner), a coalition of non-governmental organizations in a hundred countries promoting the Treaty.  Icanw.org .  The easiest and most effective action against nuclear danger is to support established abolition organizations.  See WWW on Global Zero, 3-10-21.
Locally:
Join OMNI’s demonstrations at Martin Luther King, Jr., and Razorback Road, where we also protest UAF’s participation in the complex.  King called for ending the nuclear arms race in his Nobel Peace Prize speech in Dec. 1964: “we must shift the arms race into a ‘peace race.’”  In this particular, King speaks against Razorback UAF, which should divest itself from armaments research..
Be ready to reply to people, who complain we can’t afford the best education and health care: the money is available from the nuclear weapons industry, and join us abolish nuclear weapons.
Dick

BIDEN’S PENTAGON BUDGET

PRESIDENT BIDEN (and try warmaker Rep. Womack again) needs to hear from you on the Pentagon budget

Erica Fein   WIN WITHOUT WAR    3-13-21

11:17 AM (3 hours ago)

Dick — 2020 blew the lid off one of the greatest lies told by lawmakers for generations: that astronomical amounts of Pentagon spending keep us safe.

The reality is that the threats that are killing us — a poor public health system, white supremacy, climate change — cannot be fixed with another multi-billion dollar fighter jet, multi-million dollar missiles, or multi-trillion dollar nuclear weapon systems.

President Biden could rein in Pentagon spending, but reports indicate he is set to recommend the SAME level of Pentagon spending as last year — the same amounts as Trump’s last budget request.

This is the polar opposite of where we need to be heading, so we’re working with progressive Representatives like Barbara Lee, Mark Pocan, and Jake Auchincloss for an all-out push to build support in Congress and pressure Biden’s team to STOP overfilling the Pentagon’s coffers.

Add your name and tell your Representatives to join the Lee-Pocan-Auchincloss letter and support cutting the Pentagon budget!

Did you know? We could cut the Pentagon budget by more than ten percent and still spend more than the next ten largest militaries — combined! Imagine the generational impact those hundreds of billions of dollars in savings would have: if instead of weapons, arms dealers, and war, we invested them in diplomacy, humanitarian aid, global public health, sustainability initiatives, and basic research. 

The pandemic surfaced injustices that have long needed correcting, and the voters who elected President Biden and a Democratic majority in Congress made clear that we want to see our priorities put back in order and our communities put first. 

One of the most impactful ways President Biden and Congress can do that is by proposing a budget that reflects our priorities — and that means a decrease to the Pentagon budget topline. 

We’re working with Rep. Barbara Lee and other allies to make sure Biden’s team doesn’t fall short. They’re circulating a letter around the House now to build the coalition necessary to make this urgent demand a reality. Dick — can you help us create the huge pressure we need in order to stop constantly plowing trillions of dollars into the Pentagon’s already stuffed coffers?

Add your name and tell your Representatives: It is TIME to cut the Pentagon budget!

Thank you for working for peace,

Erica, Amisha, Annika, and the Win Without War team

© Win Without War 2020
1 Thomas Circle NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005
(202) 656-4999 | 
info@winwithoutwar.org 

TAKE ACTION, turn talk into action
Join OMNI  (http://omnicenter.org/donate/ ) and other anti-war organizations.
Tell the President to start converting the Pentagon budget to human needs.

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

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