“Winning the Hearts and Minds of the People!”

Posted by Janet Tuckers on September 18, 2017 under Antiwar | Be the First to Comment

index“Winning the Hearts and Minds of the People!”

by Walter Teague

As a veteran and anti-war activist since 1964, viewing most of Ken Burn’s documentary The Vietnam War I am worried not so much about the content or quality of the film, but about its long term effect on the public’s understanding and acceptance of the current and future such wars.

Most of the reviews especially by other veterans of the war and anti-war movement, agree the film is flawed and point out historical and political discrepancies. Most also recognize that Burns presents a middle-of-the-road position and he admits his aim is to resolve the conflicts the war left in the U.S.

While most critics focus on the films accuracy or focus and hope the film will provide a base for further understanding, few discuss the likely ongoing effect on a public which knows little of the US war on Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and is often accepting or confused about the current seven ongoing wars. My observation is that efforts by veterans and critics have not been allowed equal time at film previews nor can they compete with the massive public hype around this historic event.

The film does show much of the ugliness of U.S. motives and actions. But will showing these flaws and U.S. bias help or prevent most U.S. viewers to develop a full awareness of the troubling lessons? Will the vietnamweaknesses and omissions of the film succeed in smoothing over the more vile and aggressive causes of the U.S. aggression and conduct of the war? Will this film by excusing U.S. aggression and war crimes, make it easier for the U.S. government to continue and expand its current and future wars?

So the more serious question is not is this a good and accurate film, but will this film help prevent such tragic and immoral U.S. war crimes past, present and future? Will this film help prevent more wars by revealing to the average viewer, the true causes and horrors?

Therefore I have 2 major disagreements with the argument that the film should be judged separately from its public affect.

1st, it is not just a film. Many reviews focus on the discrepancies with the facts and interpretations of the political history. This approach supports the conclusion that this film series can and should be something to build on. I agree we should build upon the film since it will be a major public event whatever its weaknesses, but because the film is likely to dominate public opinion, it is all the more important we consider what the overall political impact will be and what can be done to mitigate the damage.

2nd, will it really promote peace? Most of the reviews and critiques of the film are from those who already know a great deal about these issues. However the most important impact of this film is not as entertainment or even a historical record, but its special and likely massive potential impact on the general public’s awareness and interpretation of the meaning of that war. In a tivietnam3me of ongoing wars and charges of war crimes, the U.S. Pentagon recognizes the public’s view of the Vietnam War can influence public support or opposition for its current and future wars. Therefore the Pentagon has initiated a massive 13 year campaign to present and organize public awareness to support the Pentagon’s point of view.1 In the middle of this massive Pentagon campaign to re-write the Vietnam War history and white-wash the war crimes and anti-war movements, PBS’s 18 hour series will play again and again and become an important part of the public’s education.
Is there any question whether this film’s effect will agree with the Pentagon’s view or be counter to it and even if it helps to educate the public? How effectively it builds support or opposition to ongoing wars will be the major test of this film series.

And then will this film help or hinder the pentagon’s effort by rewriting the history of this war to protect the US from any quilt or blame for its past and continuing war crimes?1

At a time when the President surrounds himself with generals and actions that risk adding major wars in Asia and Africa to the ongoing 7 wars so little understood or opposed by the general public, I am reminded of that phrase we all remember, “winning the hearts and minds of the people!”

Since the US public is the real target and their reactions will determinant the effectiveness of this film, we should ask how will this film influence the less inp&j2formed public. Will it reveal that the U.S. intentionally started the war for only slightly hidden Imperial purposes? Will it reveal the many systemic war crimes detailed in the pentagon papers and discussed in Congress? Will this film help change the views of those who have heard for 50 years how we should have won the war and it was a mistake not to support the troops? Will they finally realize they were being massively lied to just as they have been lied to since? Will it build opposition or support for the ongoing and new wars?

The reviews I’ve read fall into two general categories, those who consider The Vietnam War as a portrayal of a major error and the others including a spectrum of those who see the war as a major moral crime that should teach us to guard against those who try to rationalize or recreate such wars. Today most of us know not to trust the Pentagon, but how many will be deluded by Ken Burns into agreeing that the war was started by people with good intentions?

The public’s awareness is likely to be split since most know little about the facts or causes of the war. Using this film to teach one-on-one, many of us could easily debunk and correct the glaring historic distortions and counter the pentagon’s 50th anniversary effort. But if those of us who are opposed to the U.S. claims and actions that led to this terrible war, soft pedal our responses, it is very unlikely we will have an opportunity to protect the larger public from once again being misled by what I believe is a major propaganda documentary.

1. http://www.vietnamwar50th.com/

Walter Teague, 9-16-17
wteague@verizon.net

STOP THE PERMAMENT WAR ECONOMY NOW!

Posted by Janet Tuckers on March 30, 2017 under Antiwar, Pre-Convention Discussion | Be the First to Comment

Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism: Peace and Solidarity Committee

war economy

President Trump’s proposed budget includes a big increase in military spending and is a document for war.  It attacks the environment, diplomacy, education and social programs that benefit the poor and people of color.  CCDS opposes this budget, calling instead for a 50% cut in funding for the Pentagon to support jobs, the environment and programs benefiting the people.  The following statement gives historical perspective to the growth of the military budget and the military industrial complex.
Woodrow Wilson’s Secretary of State, Robert Lansing, proclaimed the danger the new Bolshevik Revolution represented to the needs of capitalist expansion: trade, investment, cheap labor and resources.

Almost thirty years later as World War II ended key advisors of President Truman warned of a return to the Great Depression if war related demand for manufacturing products would decline. The United States Cold War against the former Soviet Union began with the dropping of the bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, sending a message to the Soviets that the United States was the new dominant power in the world. Between 1945 and 1950, the President declared his famous doctrine warning of an “international communist threat,” began a foreign assistance program for part of Europe, launched the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and promised never to recognize the new Peoples Republic of China.

In 1950 President Truman embraced the recommendations he received from advisors in National Security Council Document 68. It called for a perpetual commitment to military spending. It recommended that when a president sits down to map out a federal budget, his/her first priority should be to spend all the military wants and only after that should he allocate financial resources to other societal needs.

As soon as the Korean War started NSC 68 became an unchallengeable feature of public policy. It served the needs of the economy, provided the war material to engage in imperialist adventures all across the globe and, to justify itself, launched a global struggle against “international communism.” Even though the image of the demonic enemy, the Soviet Union, was a lie, US military prowess would be used to stifle revolutionary nationalist and socialist movements and regimes wherever they sprung up.

Dramatic increases in military spending occurred periodically ever since the 1940s for major foreign interventions and as an economic stimulus. For example, President Kennedy’s administration was made up of the military hawks who had tried to get President Eisenhower to spend more on the military. Kennedy expanded investment in counter-insurgency forces, war-related research and development, and military assistance. Eisenhower had held the line and in his farewell address warned of the unlimited influence of the military that was growing in the United States, a military/industrial complex. But in the Kennedy and Johnson years, military spending increased by a third. To scare the American people and get votes candidate Kennedy warned of a “missile gap” with the Soviet Union which turned out to be false.

Twenty years later President Reagan spoke of a “window of vulnerability” as US defenses allegedly had diminished because of “détente” with the Soviet Union in the 1970s. Reagan’s justification for defense spending was a lie also. After modest declines in military spending in the 1990s as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union, President Clinton’s last projected defense budget before leaving office was set at $306 billion.

In the new century the United States substantially increased military spending to launch two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Some years ago Joseph Stiglitz predicted the Iraq War would cost the American people $3 trillion dollars. Today some analysts claim that figure has been surpassed.

During the Obama years military spending stabilized in some areas and increased in others, such as projected development of a new generation of nuclear weapons.
War has changed also as US forces over the last two years have struck “enemies” with drones and bombs in six countries, and maintained over 700 military bases in at least 40 countries (particularly on the African continent). The military spending and wars of the twenty-first centuries were defended as responses to the shock of 9/11 and the need for a global “war on terrorism.”

Now we have a new Trump administration, The President has announced he will be seeking an additional $54 billion in his first military budget (which will total just over $600 billion), a large 10 percent increase while cutting a comparable amount of spending for non-military tasks. For show he has targeted selected military projects for criticism but it is clear he “wants to win wars again.” As NSC 68 called for a long time ago military spending will remain the first priority of the federal government.

In sum, what we can deduce from this history is that military spending since World War II has been a top priority of the federal government. Military spending has consistently “primed the pump,” overcoming the traditional tendency of capitalism toward stagnation. Also, military superiority (the US spends more on the military than the next seven countries combined) has been the prime tool for maintaining global capitalism and opposing any governments, movements, or ideologies that oppose the expansion of capitalism. Millions of deaths and casualties of people everywhere, the loss of thousands of lives of American military personnel, the flight of millions of refugees from war torn lands, and the incredible impacts of war and preparation for war on the environment all suggest that the war system is a nightmare for most citizens of the globe.

We in CCDS call for a 50% reduction in the military budget to fund social programs, jobs, and a Green New Deal. We welcome and encourage the rebirth of a US and global peace movement and we pledge to participate in doing all we can working with others to end the capitalist war system.

Ukraine Crisis: A Deeper Look at the Forces Involved

Posted by admin on March 2, 2014 under Antiwar, Ukraine | Read the First Comment

 

By Randy Shannon

The situation in the Ukraine is cause for concern. An additional cause for concern is the deliberate distortion and misrepresentation of events there by the US media. And this is a situation that calls for Americans to study some history really quickly.

What seems to have happened based on the US media is that a “revolution” against a brutal thieving government by democracy loving people has taken place. And the Russians are trying to “violate” the territorial integrity of the Ukraine.

What really happened is that Nazi sympathizers, Nationalistic, anti-Semitic, and anti-Russian forces long nurtured by the CIA and elites in the West took over a west Ukrainian city, broke into its armory and used the weapons to overthrow the Constitutional government. The President fled the capital and the country. The far right government immediately eliminated the Russian language as an official language of the state and sent armed militia into the Crimea to take over the security forces. The mayor of the capital of the Crimea and the President asked Russia to defend the regional government and the Russian people in the Ukraine.

A bit of history. The Ukraine Republic was created in 1954. The western Ukraine bordering on Europe was part of the Axis Powers during WW2. The eastern Ukraine was part of Russia. The Crimea was part of Russia. Russia agreed to cede Crimea and eastern Ukraine to make the Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine. The regions ceded by Russia were mostly populated by Russians, and minority Ukrainians and Tartars. Russians were guaranteed their civil and human rights in the new Soviet Socialist Republic.

The usurper government consists of a coalition of fascist, nationalists, and far rightists backed by the US and European allies. Two of the main fascist groups are the OUN (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) and the Svoboda Party (Social-National Party of Ukraine). The name Social-National Party of Ukraine is an intentional reference to Adolph Hitler’s National Socialist Party. The major social and cultural character of these fascist forces is hatred of Russia, Russian people, and the Russian language. The wealthy Ukrainians in the western part are descendants of the defeated Axis Powers. They have not accepted the defeat of fascism and feed this revanchist sentiment by blaming not Hitler, but Russia for their defeat. These revanchists have been nurtured by the CIA and similar forces in Europe.

The fascist-nationalist coalition has moved quickly to capture Ukraine in order to impose their economic dominance of the region. This serves two ends, first to immediately displace Russian economic interests in favor of their US patron. Also it furthers the objective of encirclement and subjugation of Russia and China by the US. The second objective was clearly mapped out by Zbigniev Brzezinski in his 1998 manual “The Grand Chessboard.” The Ukraine figures prominently in this strategy of conquest. As an aside, Pres. Obama, who must be one of the most well-read Presidents, made an interesting comment last week: "And our approach as the United States is not to see these as some Cold War chessboard in which we’re in competition with Russia."

Based on this history it is eminently logical that the Russians living in Ukraine fear for their civil rights, if not possible violence. After all, the fascist coup was heavily armed and killed numerous police. And it is to be expected that since Russian had handed them over to Ukraine under previous peaceful conditions, that these Russians would now look to their former homeland to protect them. As an ancient culture and very old nation, Russia will act to uphold the rights and lives of its citizens, especially after having sacrificed 12 million people in WW2 to defeat the parents of today’s Ukrainian fascists. The Russian occupation of Crimea and eastern Ukraine is the only choice available now that powerful western corporations and secret agents have backed a fascist coup.

These forces are now demanding that the US and European governments support and help consolidate the coup government. As in the 1930’s anti-Russian forces are being armed, encouraged, and legitimized. The American people should demand that the threats stop and that the coup be denounced, and the coup government boycotted.

The Obama administration should call for a restitution of the Constitution of the Ukraine. The February 20th agreement between the Ukrainian government and the right wing opposition should be restored. The President of Ukraine should return to Kiev with his life protected. The elections scheduled by the fascists in May should be cancelled and the regularly scheduled elections at the end of the year reinstated.

Randy Shannon is a CCDS bational committee member. A Statement by CCDS will be forthcoming.

Reflections on the Passing of Comrade General Vo Nguyen Giap – Great Hero of Humanity

Posted by admin on October 10, 2013 under Antiwar, Strategy, Vietnam | Be the First to Comment

By Merle Ratner

I am very saddened at the passing of General Vo Nguyen Giap on Friday! Bac Giap, as he is called as a term of great affection, dedicated his entire life to achieving the national liberation and independence of Vietnam. He led the victory of the Vietnamese people against French colonialism and U.S. imperialism, making Vietnam the first country to achieve decisive victories over colonial and imperialist powers.  Bac Giap and President Ho Chi Minh together led the movement for national liberation and socialism which made these victories possible.  Developing Marxism Leninism creatively and applying it to the particular conditions of Vietnam, they were able to meld the demands for national independence and ending feudalism and oppression into a powerful and all-sided people’s struggle.

Bac Giap developed a theory and practice of people’s war — an integrated strategy of military, political and diplomatic mobilization of the entire Vietnamese people.  This unique comprehensive approach maximized the agency of the Vietnamese masses in achieving their own liberation, mobilizing their grass roots initiative.  Some bourgeois press obituaries of General Giap have claimed that he was “ruthless,” willing to lose millions of people to win Vietnam’s independence. Those who write this clearly do not understand Bac Giap or the Vietnamese people! The French colonialists and U.S. imperialists’ scorched earth war against the Vietnamese made the fight for liberation burn in the heart of the people, who were willing to make incredible sacrifices to achieve their liberation. Bac Giap successfully led this movement with great love and respect for those he commanded and his love has been reciprocated.  The massive outpouring of people, including many youth, this weekend in the streets of Vietnam to honor Bac Giap underscores how beloved he is in Vietnam, as he is around the world.

After liberation, Bac Giap continued to fight for the development of people’s power and socialism, particularly focusing on the empowerment and advancement of the majority of the population — the peasant community.  He has been a consistent voice criticizing corruption and opportunism and advocating for environmentalism.  Around the world Bac Giap embodied proletarian internationalism as an inspiration to people struggling for independence, equality and justice

In an interview he gave in 1999 with PBS, Bac Giap summed up some of the lessons which the world has drawn from his life of service to humanity, There is a limit to power. I think the Americans and great superpowers would do well to remember that while their power may be great, it is inevitably limited…. Since the beginning of time, whether in a socialist or a capitalist country, the things you do in the interests of the people stand you in good stead, while those which go against the interest of the people will eventually turn against you. History bears out what I say.

I met Bac Giap and his wife and comrade, Dang Bich Ha, several times over a number of years from the 90’s to 2005.  The first time, I was immediately struck by his kindness and his humility. As I shook his hand, somewhat awestruck, he waved his hand and stopped me when I started to say how honored I was to meet him, He said that he had come to hear my thoughts, and the thoughts of our movement, about the situation in Vietnam and the U.S.  He asked me to tell him about the communist and left and anti-war movements in the United States, about how people here viewed Vietnam and about what we thought of the current situation of the Vietnamese revolution.  He was particularly interested in how young people in the U.S. understood the situation in Vietnam and the about basis for long term friendship and solidarity.

Bac Giap told me that about his research and investigation into the living conditions of the peasants, land use issues and his desire to ensure that they were able to improve their lives and prosper as Vietnam developed.  He expressed concern for Vietnam’s workers, saying that in a socialist country, particularly in this stage of development, policies must focus on the well-being of the majority- the workers and peasants.

In a later meeting, we spoke about socialism and about the challenges of political education of youth.  Bac Giap was always hopeful, even when acknowledging the contradictions that development brings.

I was also privileged to spend some additional time with his wife, Dang Bich Ha. Bac Ha is a strong revolutionary woman who took part in all the discussions and raised many questions about the communist movement in the U.S.  Bac Giap and Bac Ha’s relationship impressed me as an expression of the Vietnamese revolution’s emphasis on the equality of women from the earliest days.  It struck me as a marriage of love, equality and respect, with common beliefs as well as lively discussions and even some disagreements!

In my final meeting, General Giap spoke mainly of his activities in the revolution against the French and his work together with President Ho Chi Minh.  At that time, he was resting in Do Son at a very modest Army house.  His body was becoming frail, but he still managed to climb a flight of stairs to meet with a large group of soldiers who had come to visit bearing flowers and great enthusiasm. With the young soldiers Bac Giap radiated energy and warmth, making everyone feel comfortable.  I will always remember Bac Giap, Bac Ha at his side, among that group of young men and women with their eyes shining!

Merle Ratner, former member of the CCDS national coordinating committee, was instrumental in organizing the two CCDS study tours to Vietnam and contributed to the CCDS pamphlet "Vietnam: From National Liberation to 21st Century Socialism." She is a Co-coordinator of the US-based Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign and coordinated an international workshop on Marxist Theory and Practice in the World Today at the Ho Chi Minh Academy in Vietnam. She also has two articles on Vietnam today in the new CCDS book, Vietnam: From National Liberation to 21st Century Socialism

CCDS WELCOMES UN RESOLUTION ON SYRIA REDUCING DANGER OF NEW WAR

Posted by admin on October 4, 2013 under Antiwar, Syria, Violence | Be the First to Comment

CCDS welcomes the UN resolution on the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria, which was passed unanimously by the Security Council including support from Russia and China and the US, as well as Syria itself.  The resolution reduces tension and the possibility of war; implementation may lay the basis for a Geneva conference towards resolution of the Syria crisis, especially with full Syrian participation.

CCDS further calls for the destruction of all chemical weapons in the region, including those held by Israel, and points out there is no mention of the US use of depleted uranium ammunition in Iraq, which is now contributing to elevated cancer rates in the Iraqi population.  To ensure peace in the region, all countries need to agree to establish a nuclear weapons free zone, a proposal initiated by Iran and today opposed only by Israel.

The Obama administration’s plan for a military attack on Syria, supported by Israel and Saudi Arabia, was defeated for several reasons: US public opinion opposes a new war, Congress, including neo-isolationists in the Republican party, was reluctant and the British Parliament vetoed UK participation. Russia led international opinion against the war which included all the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) with BRICS emerging as a stronger alternative to the US for international leadership. The peace movement surged into action with lobbying andstreet protests.  The Obama administration found itself isolated and chose for now to not go it alone in yet another Middle East conflict.

The progressive majority, the peace movement and the left helped stop the attack and win at least a temporary victory; however, with the US keeping "all options on the table," continued vigilance is necessary. Revived negotiations regarding Syria made possible the reestablishment of US communications with Iran at the UN General Assembly.  More diplomacy, adherence to UN resolutions and continued democratic demands by the people will improve the overall situation in the Middle East.

CCDS Statement: No US attack on Syria, Convene the Geneva Conference!

Posted by admin on August 28, 2013 under Antiwar, CCDS Today, Syria | Read the First Comment

August 28, 2013

A US military attack on Syria will only escalate the violence, create more destruction and loss of life, and derail efforts to work with Russia to convene an international peace conference.  Such an attack will inflame an already dangerous situation and have unpredictable consequences, possibly leading to a disastrous regional war in the Middle East with US involvement.  Such a war also will be a major blow to the progressive majority in our country, bringing a new wave of militarism at home and end efforts to cut the military budget to fund social programs.  The solution to the Syrian conflict lies with international negotiations with full Syrian participation to achieve a cease fire and begin a nonviolent political process.  A US attack only makes the situation worse and a solution more remote.

The use of chemical weapons is a reprehensible, heinous crime.  The US should fully support the independent UN investigation and join with all members of the Security Council, including Russia and China, to fashion an appropriate response according to international law.  But it must be noted that the U.S. has no moral ‘high ground’ on this matter. The US is a perpetrator of the “Agent Orange” chemical war against Vietnam, whose people are still suffering from the results, and an enabler of Saddam Hussein’s use of chemical weapons in the Iran-Iraq war. Far from being motivated by humanitarian concerns, U.S policy is rooted in the desire to maintain strategic dominance in the Middle East and secure oil supplies.

CCDS calls for working with United for Peace and Justice, Peace Action and other peace groups to oppose such an attack before it occurs, and if it happens to follow through with actions to prevent further escalation and bring it to an immediate end. Start by putting some heat on your Member of Congress, even if it’s only a phone call or an email.

US Must Talk, Not Threaten North Korea

Posted by admin on April 25, 2013 under Antiwar, China, Korea, Militarism | Be the First to Comment

Statement from the CCDS Peace and Solidarity Committee

Sixty years after an armistice ended the fighting in the Korean War, the situation remains tense, abnormal and dangerous on the Korean peninsula.  Any military conflict in Korea carries the risk of broadening into a catastrophic war as the US, China, Japan and Russia all have strategic interests in the area.  Another major Korean war would mean large increases in US military spending and more austerity and repression at home, as well as great destruction and loss of life.  The crisis of March-April 2013 did not lead to a military confrontation; however, since the basic issues have not been addressed, another crisis is at some point likely.

The first source of tension is the US refusal to negotiate a peace treaty with North Korea legally ending the Korean War.  Sometimes characterized as inscrutable, North Korea’s prime diplomatic objectives are actually simple and clear: sign a peace treaty with the US, get the sanctions lifted and join the international community as a respected and equal nation.  It is US policy that is blocking normalization.

After World War Two, a reunited Korea would surely have chosen the popular Kim Il Sung as president since Kim had been the national leader of the Korean resistance  to the Japanese occupation.  Kim Il Sung, however, was also leader of the Korean Communist Party and thus unacceptable to the US, which blocked reunification.  In the 1990s, North Korea participated in discussions to suspend its nuclear program in return for economic aid and movement towards recognition.  In 2001, however, the Bush administration labelled Pyongyang as one of the "axis of evil" and showed in Iraq what that meant.  North Korea then restarted its nuclear program and moved to further development of a nuclear weapon and long range missiles.  The simulated nuclear bombing runs of US B-52s and stealth bombers practicing over South Korea only justifies in North Korean eyes their need for nuclear weapons and a powerful military.

As the world’s military superpower, far more powerful than North Korea, the US should take the initiative to reduce militarization and tensions rather than conducting provocative military exercises with South Korean forces.  However, partly as a result of the Obama administration’s "pivot" to Asia/Pacific, the US has been strengthening its military presence in East Asia, including working with Japan to strengthen anti-missile defense systems.  This has encouraged rightist Japanese prime minister Abe to suggest altering the Japanese pacifist constitution to allow for a stronger Japanese military presence, further inflaming tensions.

China has proposed restarting the six-party talks to energize the diplomatic process.  The Chinese are North Korea’s long standing ally; China wants a denuclearized Korean peninsula and calls for reduction of US/South Korea joint military exercises and  an end to provocative language.  This would create a better environment for talks and reconciliation and benefit the Korean people as well as peace.  China also wants closer consultation with North Korea.

CCDS urges that people contact the president and Congress to demand the US agree to negotiate a peace treaty with North Korea and stop its campaign of pressure and regime change.  Talks among equal partners are the only way to improve the situation in Korea.  Activists should call for cutting the military budget by the US withdrawing troops and pulling back from its growing forward position in the Asia/Pacific region.

April 25, 2013

Nurses Play Leading Role in Chicago Battles

Posted by admin on May 24, 2012 under Antiwar, Labor, Militarism, Organizing | Be the First to Comment

nurses

Nurses in Chicago NATO/G8 Protests Demanding ‘Robin Hood’ Tax

 

National Nurses United: Linking Global Struggle

With Successful Organizing in Difficult Places

By Sandy Eaton, RN
CCDSLinks

National Nurses United, the two-year-old national union of registered nurses, called on its members and all their allies to Come Together to Heal the World in Chicago on May 18th. This marks the latest phase in the union’s campaign for a Financial Transaction Tax, the “Robin Hood Tax,” which began outside the US Chamber of Commerce on Lafayette Park last June and quickly spread to Wall Street and beyond.

NNU’s annual Staff Nurse Assembly this year bypassed Capitol Hill, its usual venue, for Chicago, the original site of the G8-NATO summit. Having sent a strong delegation to Cannes last December to target the G20 while rallying in cities across the US at the same time, the nurses seized this opportunity to advance the fight for a 0.5% tax on stock trading and other transactions in order to garner up to $350 billion per year to create jobs and meet human needs. More than 100 organizations of community, environmental, labor and health groups from around the world endorsed the event.

Read more of this article »

No US/Israeli War on Iran!

Posted by admin on March 25, 2012 under Antiwar, CCDS Today, Iran, Militarism | Be the First to Comment

 

Statement of the National Coordinating Committee of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, March 24, 2012

March 20, 2012 marks nine years since the US invasion of Iraq. US troops have left that country but thousands of State Department security personnel and military contractors remain. The situation in the Middle East remains tense, dangerous and volatile, with many factors pointing towards greater conflict in Syria, Palestine and elsewhere.

US policy continues to be driven by those seeking to secure oil interests and strategic hegemony in the region. They now aim at regime change in Iran, a regional power and the world’s second largest oil exporter.

The loudest voices for war call for a US/Israeli military attack on Iran’s nuclear installations.  Prominent in war agitation are the Israeli government, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), US rightwingers and neocons, and Republican presidential candidates vying with one another to get the most pro-Israel votes.  These hawks argue that a military strike would be quick and limited and set back the alleged Iranian nuclear weapons program, saving Israel from the supposed existential threat. 

Many US (and Israeli) military analysts, however, warn of possible Iranian retaliation widening into a costly and potentially vast regional war — as Iran is a much bigger and resourceful country than Iraq.  Such a war would deal a grievous blow to the peoples concerned, to progressive movements and immediately eliminate any thoughts of cutting the US military budget and funding social programs.

The Obama administration has stated it has no current plans to attack Iran but maintains a posture of threats and intimidation by insisting "all options are on the table." Israel’s intentions are murky; Israel may calculate that a military strike would inevitably draw US support, especially in an election year.  Moreover, the US strategy already in place of tough economic sanctions is causing suffering among the Iranian people and portends possible confrontation ahead. 

Assassination of Iranian scientists and agitation for regime change are acts of war.  A large US naval presence patrolling the Persian Gulf may lead to an unplanned incident that could spiral out of control.  The Iranian leadership may over-react to these numerous provocations.  Thus there is a very real danger of US involvement in another major Middle Eastern war even if the Obama administration would like to avoid it.

CCDS calls for dialogue and diplomacy to settle international problems: not war or sanctions against Iran; and US military aid to Israel should end.  The UN-approved nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East points the way to security for all nations.  In such a zone, no country, including Israel, could possess nuclear weapons and the US would not be allowed to bring such weapons into the region on naval forces.  Every Middle East country except Israel favors a nuclear free zone.  CCDS calls upon its members and friends to support this initiative and the UFPJ pledge of resistance to stop a war on Iran, see www.unitedforpeace.org

[Special thanks to Duncan McFarland and our CCDS Peace and Solidarity Committee for working on this.]

Peace Allies in the Defense Establishment?

Posted by admin on March 5, 2012 under Antiwar, Militarism, Obama | Be the First to Comment

 

On the matter of war with Iran, it seems so…Here’s a large ad in the March 5 Washington Post: