Showing posts with label defend the palestinian people. Show all posts
Showing posts with label defend the palestinian people. Show all posts

Sunday, December 02, 2012

From The Archives Of The “American Left History” Blog (2006) ISRAEL OUT OF LEBANON NOW –DEFEND THE LEBANESE PEOPLE!

Markin comment (2012): So things in this wicked old world don't change much just a twist here or there...
…Nor in this particular case are we concerned about a ‘proxy’ war being fought by Hezbollah on behalf of Iran and/ or Syria. Or Israel as a 'proxy' for American imperialism. These opponents have their own scores to settle. While Hezbollah has apparently long been supplied by Iran and or Syria the forces on the ground are a quasi-Lebanese national army in South Lebanon. This is in fact an old fight between these opponents. Only now it appears, one way or the other, it is going to be fought to the finish. 

Israel is a modern, sub-imperialist capitalist state which has overwhelming military superiority in this contest. Lebanon, after the destructive events of the past 30 years, is barely a nation-state. Hezbollah’s militia, for all intents and purposes, stands in as the Lebanese national army in South Lebanon.  Given the vast disproportion between the forces in dispute leftists are duty bound to stand in defense of the weaker force here- Hezbollah’s militia. A military victory here for Israel is not in the interest of the oppressed of the world, including Israel’s own working classes. As a practical matter militant leftists here must call for the American and other governments to stop military shipments to Israel. Now! I told you it wasn’t pretty.  

I hope that I am not the only militant leftist who is feeling squeamish about the duty to defend Hezbollah’s militia against the Israeli onslaught. They are not even making a pretense that their actions are a ‘second front’ in aid of the beleaguered Palestinian people who are in desperate straits in Gaza and the West Bank. That would, at least, give us a little something to hang on to Moreover, Hezbollah, as I understand it, in Arabic means “Army of God”. Hell, militant leftists are in a bad way in the Middle East when the “Army of God” is the ‘progressive’ side in a conflict.   

When the deal goes down Hezbollah is eventually the same force we will have to fight if we want to see a desperately needed socialist solution in the Middle East as hard as that is to imagine today. If anyone needs a quick history lesson on this remember the kindred spirits of Hezbollah who, gladly assisted by the American government, fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980’s. Most of those fighters went on to form the Taliban, No. These are definitely not our people. However, that is another fight for another time. Right now in this situation this is what we are up against. Yes, we make our own history- but, damn, let’s start to set the terms of engagement around so we can at least support forces that can see past the 8th century. Enough said.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Defend The Palestinian People- Defend Gaza

Stop the Israeli State Terror! — Defeat the desperate election offensive of Netanyahu, Lieberman and Barak
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Nov 19, 2012
By CWI reporters
The Israeli government has declared that its shocking and brutal assault on the Gaza strip, "Operation Pillar of Defence," will be a “widespread campaign” and threatens “protracted conflict.” Among its opening strikes was the assassination of the military leader of Islamist party Hamas, Ahmed Jabari, and more than ten other Palestinians, as a terrifying rain of missiles was fired from the air.
The onslaught was clearly aimed at escalating the conflict, with the Israeli regime turning its back on a ceasefire agreement that had just been negotiated to stop military attacks from both sides. Assassinations of Palestinians by the Israeli armed forces in recent months have played a central part in escalating the conflicts in the south of Israel and Gaza.
Already, some governments, including, for example, Britain, through its foreign secretary, William Hague, are blaming Hamas as bearing “principal responsibility” because of rocket fire from Gaza. Clearly, they are preparing to repeat the western powers’ silence during the Israeli regime’s previous assault on Gaza, "Operation Cast Lead," in 2008-09.
“I am responsible for us choosing the right time to exact the heaviest price and so be it,” was the chilling message of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Palestinians fear a repeat of Cast Lead’s bombardment and invasion of Gaza, when nearly 1,400 people were slaughtered, including 314 children, and are in a state of terror and panic. There are ominous signs that a ground invasion is being considered, with Israeli soldiers’ leave cancelled and some reservists called up.
As well as the terrible toll of Palestinian deaths and injuries, following the killing of Jabari three Israeli civilians were killed in the Israeli town of Kiryat Malakhi when their building was hit by a Palestinian missile. Netanyahu and Co knew that their assault would bring this kind of response; however, their aim was not to encourage peace and security for Israelis or Palestinians but to serve their own interests.
Seeking votes
In a statement issued on 14 November, the Socialist Struggle Movement (the CWI section in Israel/Palestine) explained that a key factor in the timing of this assault is the Israeli government’s attempt to boost its support prior to the general election scheduled for January. It wishes to appear to be fortifying security in Israel. In recent weeks, opinion polls have shown that Likud Beytenu, the newly merged party formed by Netanyahu and Lieberman, was losing support.
So, the Socialist Struggle Movement argued, “the capitalist government of Netanyahu is making desperate efforts to change the agenda of the election scheduled for January in order to marginalize the burning social problems, which Lieberman said he’s ‘sick of hearing all the cries about’. The assassinations by the government in recent months had a central part in the escalation of the conflicts in the south and Gaza.
“The government’s decision to respond to straying shells from the Syrian civil war by returning fire, and maximizing the threats of retaliatory military action alongside the threats of punitive action against the [West Bank] Palestinian Authority as well, are part of the election campaign of failing nationalist politicians. They fear losing their seats and are willing to gamble the lives of ordinary Israelis.
“The government hopes to deepen even further the divide between the Israelis and the Palestinians in an attempt to win more votes. However, this is a particularly big gamble that could definitely get out of the control of Netanyahu, Lieberman and Barak. It is still not clear at this stage what will be the scale of the air strikes in Gaza on one hand (it is declared to last at least several days) and the response of the Palestinian militias in Gaza on the other. A number of children and teenagers in Gaza have already paid with their lives in the passing week for the cruel election campaign of Likud Beytenu and Security Minister Barak, and today, 14 November, another baby and a small girl innocent of any crime were killed.”
Leaders of the main Israeli ‘opposition’ parties Yachimovich (Labour), Lapid (Yesh Atid) and Mofaz (Kadima) were quick to stand by the government and speak in one voice, without any hint of reservation, as they do not even pretend to offer any real alternative to the narrow, mad and dangerous agenda of the current government.

In addition to their re-election aims, the Israeli leaders want to cut across the revival of a Palestinian bid for UN recognition later this month, pre-empt any pressure for peace talks from the re-elected President Obama in the U.S. and try to counter any strengthening of Hamas as a result of the major changes and tensions in the region – in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, etc.
The Socialist Struggle Movement argued that the Israeli government is gambling “that the offensive on Gaza would not produce sharp regional and international protests. The government hopes to exploit the Syrian civil war and the growing tension in Lebanon in order to strike a blow against Hamas in Gaza. But the developments in Syria and Lebanon will not be necessarily prevent the possible development of significant protests in Egypt with the call to defend the residents of the Strip against another bloodbath on the lines of 2008-09’s ‘Operation Cast Lead’.”
But Netanyahu, Lieberman and Barak’s blood-filled strategy can spiral out of their control and rebound on them by massively inflaming relations between countries and the situations within them; already there are protests and demonstrations breaking out across the Arab countries and worldwide, as well as in the Palestinian territories. In Egypt, which shares a border with Gaza, a call to defend the residents of Gaza is being made on demonstrations.
Inside Israel, the Socialist Struggle Movement immediately argued that “opposition to the war plans of Netanyahu, Barak and Lieberman could and should be organized, also inside Israel and in the Palestinian Territories, in order to prevent a sharper escalation in the military conflict. Initial protest steps have begun to be organized and they should be widened.”
As well as calling for protest demonstrations, Socialist Struggle Movement is calling for the Israeli workers’ organisations, including the Histadrut trade union federation and the social movements, to publicly denounce the offensive and to initiate and take part in protests against it.
  • Stop the slaughter! End the missile strikes and other attacks on Gaza!
  • No to this war of the Israeli government of big business and settlements!
  • End the Israeli blockade of Gaza. Open the Gaza-Egypt border!
  • For the immediate withdrawal of the Israeli army from the Palestinian territories.
  • For a mass struggle of the Palestinians, under their own democratic control, to fight for genuine national liberation.
  • For working class support, throughout the Middle East and internationally, for the Palestinians’ struggle.
  • For independent workers’ organisations in Palestine and Israel.
  • For a struggle for governments of representatives of workers and the poor that will end oppression, defend democratic rights and break with capitalism and imperialism.
  • For democratic socialism in Palestine, Israel and throughout the Middle East, with guaranteed democratic rights for all national minorities.

Socialist Alternative, P.O. Box 45343, Seattle WA 98145
Phone: (206)526-7185
Comments? Suggestions for improving our web page? Please email

Monday, November 19, 2012

Palestinian civilian toll climbs in Gaza

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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli aircraft struck crowded areas in the Gaza Strip on Monday, driving up the civilian death toll and in one case devastating several homes belonging to one clan — the fallout from a new tactic in Israel's six-day-old offensive meant to quell Hamas rocket fire on Israel.

Escalating its bombing campaign, Israel on Sunday began attacking homes of activists in Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza. These attacks have led to a sharp spike in civilian casualties, killing 24 civilians in less than 24 hours, a Gaza health official said. Overall, the offensive that began Wednesday killed 91 Palestinians, including 50 civilians.

The rising civilian toll was likely to intensify pressure on Israel to end the fighting. Hundreds of civilian casualties in an Israeli offensive in Gaza four years ago led to fierce international condemnation of Israel.

Hamas fighters, meanwhile, have fired hundreds of rockets into Israel in the current round of fighting, including 12 on Monday, among them one that hit an empty school.

The new airstrikes came as Egypt was trying to broker a cease-fire, with the help of Turkey and Qatar. The Turkish foreign minister and a delegation of Arab foreign ministers were expected in Gaza on Tuesday. However, Israel and Hamas appeared far apart in their demands, and a quick end to the fighting seemed unlikely.

In Monday's violence, a missile struck a three-story home in the Gaza City's Zeitoun area, flattening the building and badly damaging several nearby homes. Shell-shocked residents searching for belongings climbed over debris of twisted metal and cement blocks in the street.

The strike killed two children and two adults, and injured 42 people, said Gaza heath official Ashraf al-Kidra.

Residents said Israel first sent a warning strike at around 2 a.m. Monday, prompting many residents in the area to flee their homes. A few minutes later, heavy bombardment followed.

Ahed Kitati, 38, had rushed out after the warning missile to try to hustle people to safety. But he was fatally struck by a falling cinderblock, leaving behind a pregnant wife, five young daughters and a son, the residents said.

Sitting in mourning with her mother and siblings just hours after her father's death, 11-year-old Aya Kitati clutched a black jacket, saying she was freezing, even though the weather was mild. "We were sleeping, and then we heard the sound of the bombs," she said, then broke down sobbing.

Ahed's brother, Jawad Kitati, said he plucked the lifeless body of a 2-year-old relative from the street and carried him to an ambulance. Blood stains smeared his jacket sleeve.

Another clan member, Haitham Abu Zour, 24, woke up to the sound of the warning strike and hid in a stairwell. He emerged to find his wife dead and his two infant children buried under the debris, but safe.

Clan elder Mohammed Azzam, 61, denied that anyone in his family had any connections to Hamas.

"The Jews are liars," he said. "No matter how much they pressure our people, we will not withdraw our support for Hamas."

Late Sunday, an Israeli missile killed a father and his eight-year-old son on the roof of their Gaza City home. The father, a Hamas policeman, was on the roof to repair a leaking water tank, his relatives said.

In another area of Gaza City, the patriarch of the Daloo family, Jamal, sat in mourning for 11 members of his family killed in a missile strike on his home Sunday. Among the dead were his wife, his son, daughter-in-law, his sister and four grandchildren. His face swollen from crying, he embraced relatives and neighbors paying their condolences.

The mourners sat in plastic chairs just meters away from bulldozers clearing the ruins of Daloo's home. His 16-year-old daughter Yara was still missing and believed under the rubble, family members said.

Daloo, who is left with two sons, tried to take comfort in the belief that the loss of his family was God's will and that the dead are now in paradise. He vehemently disputed Israel's initial claim that a senior operative of Islamic Jihad, a smaller sister group of Hamas, was hiding in his house. He said his son Mohammed, one of those killed, was a policeman in the Gaza police, but not an activist.

"The international public opinion witnessed the facts," he said of the tragedy that befell him. "This does not require my words."

Also Monday, Israel bombarded the remains of the former national security compound in Gaza City. Flying shrapnel killed one child and wounded others living nearby, al-Kidra said. Five farmers were killed in two separate strikes, al-Kidra said, including three who he said had been mistakenly identified earlier by Hamas security officials as Islamic Jihad fighters.

Other strikes killed two fighters on a motorcycle in southern Gaza and two passengers in a taxi that had put a press signs in the windshield, al-Kidra said.

In addition to 91 Palestinians killed over the past six days, some 720 were wounded, al-Kidra said.

On the Israeli side, three civilians have died from Palestinian rocket fire and dozens have been wounded. An Israeli rocket-defense system has intercepted hundreds of rockets bound for populated areas.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said 12 rockets had struck Israel by late Monday morning, including one that hit a school. Schools in southern Israel have been closed since the offensive started.

Israel launched the current offensive after months of intensifying rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, which continued despite the strikes.

In the night from Sunday to Monday, aircraft targeted about 80 militant sites, including underground rocket-launching sites, smuggling tunnels and training bases, as well as Palestinian command posts and weapons storage facilities located in buildings owned by militant commanders, the Israeli military said in a release. Aircraft and gunboats joined forces to attack Hamas police headquarters, and Palestinian rocket squads were struck as they prepared to fire, the release said.

In all, 1,350 targets in the Gaza Strip have been struck since the Israeli operation began. However, military activity over the past two nights has dropped off as targets change and international efforts to wrest a cease-fire plod ahead.

Israel and Hamas have put forth widely divergent conditions for a truce. But failure to end the fighting threatens to touch off an Israeli ground invasion, for which thousands of soldiers, backed by tanks and armored vehicles, have already been mobilized and dispatched to Gaza's border.

President Barack Obama said he was in touch with players across the region in hopes of halting the fighting. While defending Israel's right to defend itself against the rocket fire, he also warned of the risks the Jewish state would take if it were to expand its air assault into a ground war.

"If we see a further escalation of the situation in Gaza, the likelihood of us getting back on any kind of peace track that leads to a two-state solution is going to be pushed off way into the future," Obama said.


Associated Press writer Amy Teibel in Jerusalem contributed reporting.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Defend The Palestinian People-U.S.Out Of The Middle East

This spirited rally for Gaza was attended by at least 300 people; note that there will be another tonight. While the focus here is on Palestine, the peace community's perspectives on the Israeli and US governments are also relevant to VFP's current discussion about Leah's trip to Iran, a country already suffering from crippling US sanctions (remember our February Iran action? the "No War On Iran" meme in every march?), despite its adherence to international law. It has signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, for example.
A few simple points of fact: The U.S. has a vast nuclear arsenal and is the only country that has ever deployed these weapons (Iran has none). Israel is in open violation of the NPT with its huge "secret" stockpiles of nuclear weapons. America's economic and military support of Israel has caused suffering and death in Palestine, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere.

Leah (and others with CodePink, UNAC, etc.) did the world a tremendous service by trying to shine a light on U.S. drone killing of civilians in Pakistan; her effort to do the same for what US sanctions are doing to the citizens of Iran should, in my judgment, be encouraged. Obviously many Smedleys disagree; but before decrying the mission, why not consider what's actually known, and not known, about Iran, and what a delegation to Iran might teach Americans?

Those of us who regularly attend local and national peace vigils and speak-outs often discuss, to anyone willing to listen, the number of countries the Obama administration is actually at war with; the reality of drone strikes, "diplomatic" interventions and "humanitarian" wars; and (as only Nate and Tony acknowledge) the fact that economic sanctions are indeed an act of war against ordinary citizens. So even if Iran's leaders *were* "evil," it's important to recognize that sanctions do nothing to hurt Iran's leaders.

Hope the following video provides more food for thought on how military policy targets citizens/civilians. Peace, Joan

Re: Video: "March and rally for Gaza, Boston, Mass., November 15, 2012"

Joan Livingston has shared a video with you on YouTube
For VFP, which (except for Ross Caputi) missed this event. There will be another march tonight in solidarity with Gaza, whose bombing was approved by Obama on Monday.
March and rally for Gaza, Boston, Mass., November 15, 2012
Supporters of Palestine in Boston protest Israel's killing of civilians in the Gaza Strip, marching to the Israeli consulate with music, visuals, and chants against Israeli apartheid, the occupation of Palestinian territories, and US military/economic support for Israel's crimes. Hundreds of activists from many area groups, including Jews for Palestine, CodePink, the United National Antiwar Coalition, and OccupyBoston, joined pro-Gaza protestors in other cities around the globe; they also encountered a counter-demonstration by Zionists.
©2012 YouTube, LLC 901 Cherry Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Latest From The SteveLendmanBlog-Fragging in Afghanistan?

The Latest From The SteveLendmanBlog

Markin comment:

I am always happy to post material from the SteveLendmanBlog, although I am not always in agreement with his analysis. I am always interested in getting a left-liberal/radical perspective on some issues that I don’t generally have time to cover in full like the question of Palestine, the Middle East in general, and civil rights and economic issues here in America and elsewhere. Moreover the blog provides plenty of useful links to other sources of information about the subject under discussion.

Fragging in Afghanistan?

by Stephen Lendman
Email: lendmanstephen (nospam) (verified)

29 Mar 2012

Fragging in Afghanistan?

by Stephen Lendman

If it's happening, it's not reported. Washington wants no mention or suggestion of what plagued Vietnam. More on that below.

Writing about the Russian Revolution, Leon Trotsky said:

"The moral condition of the army was hopeless. You might describe it by saying the army as an army no longer existed. Defeats, retreats, and the rottenness of the ruling class had utterly undermined the troops."

War in Vietnam affected US soldiers that way. Until 1967, order was well maintained. After Tet in late January/February 1968, things changed. Mutinies forced the Pentagon to disguise them with language like "combat refusal."

Soldiers disobeyed orders. Most were search and destroy missions. They were put in harms way against formidable enemies. At times, entire companies defied commanders. As fear of punishment faded, incidents mushroomed. So did fragging.

Wikipedia calls "attacking a superior officer in one's chain of command" with intent to kill. Fragmentation grenades were usually used. Hence, the term fragging. No fingerprints were left behind.

As frustration and anger grew, so did fragging incidents. They became the price extracted for being ordered in harm's way against enemies refusing to quit.

After Tet, they became widespread. At least 800 incidents occurred, perhaps 1,000 or more. Precise numbers are unknown because army officials stopped counting. Judge Advocate General Corp officers believe only 10% of attempts were reported. Other estimates suggested they occurred at five times official figures. Officers shot by their men were excluded. They were listed as wounded or killed in action.

Army officials admitted they couldn't account for over 1,400 officer and noncom deaths. Perhaps as many as one-fourth occurred at the hands of subordinates. The Army was at war with itself. It was unprecedented, but didn't reflect revenge. It was about opposing search and destroy missions. Soldiers wanted them ended. Refusal had its price.

Officers were often warned in advance. Smoke grenades were left near their beds. Tear gas grenades or grenade pins followed if warnings went unheeded. Fragmentation grenades punished the stubborn. Soldiers weren't playing games. Everyone was the enemy. Officers at times fragged troops they suspected of planning to target them.

In one battalion, the commander refused to distribute arms. He feared he and other officers would be shot. Congressional hearings in 1973 estimated around 3% of officer and NCO deaths from fragging. Other methods included handguns, automatic rifles, booby traps, knives, and bare hands.

In 1971, Col. Robert Heinl, Jr. said:

"The morale, discipline and battleworthiness of the US Armed Forces are....lower than anytime in the century and possibly in the history of the United States."

"By every conceivable indicator, our Army that remains in Vietnam is in a state of approaching collapse, with individual units avoiding or having....refused combat, murdering their own officers and NCOs, drug-ridden and dispirited when not mutinous."

The longer America's wars continue, the closer a similar state approaches critical mass because of declining moral, repeated deployments, combat stress, battle fatigue, and what Vietnam vet Steve Hesske called the "negative universals in all warfare."

They include "Lousy nutrition. Cramped, dirty, awful living conditions. Terrible weather. Unreasonable, often senseless, demands made by superiors. And what Michael Herr describes in DISPATCHES (as) 'long periods of boredom punctuated by moments of stark terror.' "

In his book titled, "Fragging: Why US Soldiers Assaulted Their Officers in Vietnam," George Lepre said similar assaults occurred in earlier US wars, but not like in Vietnam.

Drug use, low morale, a quagmire conflict, formidable enemies, and ranks filled with below-standard troops to meet manpower needs contributed to explosive incidents.

Fraggers were mostly young, immature, poorly educated, Black, and mediocre performers. Most weren't draftees, and no evidence suggests anti-war sentiment was involved.

"It was no accident that the fragging phenomenon occurred during an unpopular war," said Lepre. A host of contributing factors led to America waging war on itself. It didn't end until Washington's humiliating April 30, 1975 Saigon embassy rooftop exit.

Perhaps Kabul, Baghdad, and Tripoli repeats will follow. For millions affected, it can't happen a moment too soon. Their struggle continues to assure it. Afghanistan most reflects it. An acknowledged unwinnable war persists, but how much longer before what can't go on forever, won't.

Afghanistan's Unwinnable War

Afghanistan reflects Vietnam. Whether or not fragging's occurring isn't known. However, if frustration grows and morale and discipline deteriorate, it may arrive full force.

Known incidents involve Afghan, not US forces. However, cover-up and denial may conceal unreported incidents, perhaps more than imagined.

On February 1, Medill on the Hill, a project of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism headlined, "Insider attacks on US troops by friendly Afghan forces on the rise," saying:

A March 2011 Kandahar Province attack killed two US soldiers and wounded four others. An Afghan security contractor was responsible - "a hired gun paid for by the US-led coalition."

It wasn't an isolated incident. Since May 2007, Afghan security forces launched at least 45 attacks. About 70 or more NATO troops were killed and hundreds more wounded.

Friendly force attacks are increasing. Most came in the past two years, despite careful recruit screening. NATO ranks number 130,000, including 90,000 US troops.

As of October 2011, Afghan National Security Forces numbered 312,000. However, distrust, poor training, corruption, and growing desertions erupt in violence against a hated occupier.

On March 1, the Christian Science Monitor headlined, "Afghan troops keep killing US troops," saying:

An Afghan soldier and civilian employee "murdered two US soldiers at a base near the southern city of Kandahar today. That brings the total so-called green on blue killings in Afghanistan to six since an Afghan witnessed US soldiers dumping Qurans into a burn pit at Bagram Air Base a week ago."

At issue is America's decade-long failed war. Incidents are increasing. Frustration and anger define them. Afghans want Americans out. Anger causes attacks. Many others sympathize and perhaps plan their own.

They belie official progress and growing stability reports. Conditions have never been worse. At 124 months and counting, Afghanistan is America's longest war. Vietnam lasted 103 months. Polls show declining public support. Obama duplicitously claims:

“The overwhelming majority of Afghan troops have welcomed and benefitted from the training and partnering that we’re doing. When you think about it, the same was true in Iraq.” By end of 2014, “Afghans will have capacity just as Iraqis to secure their own country.”

In fact, violence wracks Iraq. Incidents occur regularly. On March 20, over 30 bomb attacks struck cities and towns across the country. At least 52 were killed and about 250 injured. It was Iraq's bloodiest day in a month. Police checkpoints and patrols were mostly targeted.

Army and police are often attacked. Al Qaeda and other insurgents claim responsibility. March 19 was the war's 9th anniversary. Violence rages daily. Afghanistan gets most attention, but Iraqis want Americans out as much as Afghans do. Fighting will rage until they're gone, and the same's true for Libya.

Arab street anti-American sentiment is visceral. Anything's possible against a hated occupier and complicit satraps. A recent Kabul attack involved assassinating a US colonel and major inside the Afghan Interior Ministry headquarters.

The gunman was reportedly an intelligence service driver infuriated by US comments mocking Koran protests and the Koran itself. Other incidents involve Afghan troops killing US soldiers. In populated areas, civilians die with them in cases where car bombs, grenades, or other explosive devices are used.

In 2012, over a dozen US troops were killed. Around fivefold that number were wounded, many seriously. Cover-ups likely conceal others, and when injured soldiers die, only their families are told.

Nothing will stop these and similar incidents until America's occupation ends, and Afghans run their own country. Until then, US soldiers will be targeted are killed.

Perhaps they'll wage war on themselves like for years in Vietnam. Given similarities between the conflicts, it may be just a matter of time.

A Final Comment

During his March Kabul visit, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was targeted. Reports said a man drove a bomb-laden vehicle onto the runway where his plane landed.

An International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) statement confirmed the incident, but downplayed it. Panetta's visit went on as planned. Afghans want no part of him and US forces he represents.

Even they can't be trusted. Panetta ordered US troops meeting with him in Helmand Province disarmed. In a tent where they gathered, around 200 marines were told to lay down automatic rifles and 9mm pistols. A sergeant was told to clear all weapons outside.

It's significant because typically troops remain armed when the defense secretary addresses them.

The official explanation given about wanting to be "consistent with the Afghans" didn't wash. At issue is trust and perhaps fear that anger in the ranks may erupt against visiting US officials. Why not when multiple deployments put ground forces in harm's way.

America may again wage war on itself. Given the similarities between Southeast Asia and Afghanistan, it may indeed be just a matter of time.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen (at)

Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

See also:

This work is in the public domain

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

From The United National Anti-War Coalition (UNAC)- Proposals For Action At The March 23-25 Conference

Click on the headline to link to the United National Anti-War Coalition (UNAC) website.

Markin comment:

Although the conference has passed (March 23-25), in keeping with one of the aims of this blog, this UNAC pre-conference material is presented for archival purposes. The actual passed resolutions will be placed here as soon as they become available.

Under the following section:



We, the 99 percent, demand an end to government cover-ups of its heinous and criminal deeds!

I propose adding the following:

- Free accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower PFC Bradley Manning! According to
journalists, the release of improperly classified documents helped fuel the
democratic Arab Spring movements, shed light on secret corporate influence
on our foreign policies, and most recently contributed to the Obama
Administration reluctantly agreeing to withdraw most U.S. troops from Iraq.
Now PFC Manning is facing life in prison for 22 charges for nothing more
than sharing the truth. We demand that military and government officials
acknowledge PFC Manning as a whistle-blower and drop the charges against

Under the following section:


We, the United National Antiwar Coalition, will:

I propose adding:

-Promote and participate in actions supporting PFC Bradley Manning, the most
important whistle-blower of the “War on Terror” era. Specifically, we will
endorse and participate in public events in support of Bradley during the
court martial proceedings against him.

Emma Cape

Campaign Organizer

Join our facebook page: savebradley !

Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored Position Statement on the Necessity of an Open and Transparent National Peace Movement

Inside the US/NATO Military Industrial Media Complex there is a deliberate news management effort that undermines the freedom of information on the powerful military/corporate elites though overt censorship, mass distractions and artificial news—stories timed for release to influence public opinion.

New research in the journal American Behavioral Scientist (Sage publications, February 2010) addresses the concept of “State Crimes Against Democracy” (SCADs). Professor Lance deHaven-Smith from Florida State University writes that SCADs involve high- level government officials, often in combination with private interests, that engage in covert activities for political advantages and power. Proven SCADs since World War II include McCarthyism (fabrication of evidence of a communist infiltration), Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (President Johnson and Robert McNamara falsely claimed North Vietnam attacked a US ship), burglary of the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist in effort to discredit Ellsberg, the Watergate break-in, Iran-Contra, Florida’s 2000 Election (felon disenfranchisement program), and fixed intelligence on WMDs to justify the Iraq War.

Other suspected SCADs include the assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald, the
shooting of George Wallace, the October Surprise near the end of the Carter presidency,military grade anthrax mailed to Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy, Martin Luther King’s assassination, widespread covert torture by US forces, and the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 on September 11, 2001. The proven SCADs have a long trail of congressional hearings, public records, and academic research establishing the truth of the activities. The suspected SCADs listed above have substantial evidence of covert actions with some countervailing deniability that tends to leave the facts in dispute.

All of these subjects deserve the attention of the American public. No matter where one stands on these topics, these studies should be part of a vibrant dialogue within peace movements in any democratic society. Anything less is simply a matter of censorship.

Resolution for No Censorship

National Peace Assembly Albany, NY July 2010

Resolve: The National Peace Movement demands the immediate and total withdrawal of U.S. military forces, mercenaries and contractors from Afghanistan and Iraq, and the end to drone attacks on Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other countries and calls for self-determination for the people of all countries. In this demand is the necessity for full truth and transparency regarding all US/NATO actions and an expanded development of independent news sources for broad public knowledge of the state of the wars and occupations. We demand an end to censorship of news topics and full democratic access to freedom of information within the US NATO Military Industrial Media Empire.

Further Resolve: that the National Peace Movement supports full and open public discussion and investigation of all State Crimes Against Democracy and corporate malfeasances.

From Project Censored

Proposal from the Rhode Island Mobilization Committee to amend/add to
to draft proposal demands:

1. Stop attacks, repression and discrimination directed against
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Transsexual individuals and
communities everywhere;

2. Stop all attacks on Women's Reproductive Rights; No to
patriarchal misogyny in all its forms;

3. Free the Cuban Five!

Two proposals from the Middle East Crisis Center

Fight Imperialism, Fight All Oppression

Imperialist wars are clearly the #1 threat to humanity. These criminal actions have created millions of victims. NATO is a criminal organization.
However, that doesn't mean that we blindly support all the regimes or movements that are in the bad graces of the imperialists. Because a nation has been savagely treated by imperialists or fascists does not give its ruling groups cover from all criticism.

UNAC opposes all governments which violently suppress opinions, employ torture, execute prisoners and deny basic worker and human rights, which bomb civilians and which suppress national or religious minorities.

While we oppose any attacks, interventions, low intensity wars by the UN or the imperialist powers or their subservient allies, we oppose all oppression and agree with the Arab street, "Down with the regimes"

We say, "No to Imperialism, No Support for Dictatorships or Theocracy, For the People Always"



In response to the March killing spree in Gaza, the Egyptian Parliament has demanded the recall of the Israeli ambassador, the "freezing" of its peace with Israel and the furnishing of "all kinds of support" to the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank

We applaud all efforts to help the Palestinian people and urge revival of the plans talked about in Egypt last May to stage a massive peaceful march to completely open the Rafah Gaza border to free passage and trade.

Break the siege of Gaza and bring thousands of truckloads of food, construction material and all the necessities and good things of life to the Gaza Strip.




The so-called “leaders” and bankers of the eight richest countries as well as the military heads of 28 members of NATO – dominated by the U.S. are meeting in Chicago in May 2012 at the NATO/G8 Summits. Military leaders, strategists, and defense contractors round out this cast of oppressive world “leaders” who are key in promoting continued war and occupation among the developing countries of the world, especially in the Middle East . The only group shut out of these meetings and their war and poverty agenda are ordinary people affected by their decisions.

The leading countries in NATO and the G8 are all former or current colonial nations. As part of the legacy of colonialism, there is still close cooperation between the occupying army and the bankers who exploit the occupied economy. It should come as no surprise that both NATO’s and the G8's position toward Israel and Palestine reflects this colonialist perspective.

NATO and Israel engage in joint military exercises and sharing of intelligence including studying Israeli military tactics in the occupied areas. Without Palestinian input, NATO has secured close ties to the Israeli Army despite Israel’s military committing numerous human rights violations while maintaining an illegal occupation.

NATO and the G8 consistently support the Israeli position. During the 2006 Israeli invasion of Lebanon they blamed Hezbollah and Hamas for the conflict, affirming Israel’s right to “defend itself.” They refuse to condemn Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip and continue to politically and financially support Israel’s illegal, collective punishment of the people of Gaza. At every opportunity, they urge the Palestinians to return to peace talks, while failing to stop the establishment of new, and the expansion of existing, Israeli settlements.

The G8 and it's implementation arms - the IMF and World Bank - exploit the economy of Palestine as well as all the countries involved in the Arab Spring. Economic plans developed for Palestine, Tunisia, Libya, or Egypt encourage cuts in social services; reduce food and fuel subsidies; "reform" labor market policies; cut public employment; and open local markets for foreign investment (especially by members of the G8). The G8 will support and invest in Palestine and other Arab countries as long as they move toward western-style democracy (as defined by the G8) and become markets for the G8’s global corporations and the IMF/World Bank economic policies.

NATO and the G8 support the policies of the Israeli state; actively fund its apartheid practices including the occupation of Palestine; and engage in joint military exercises and the sharing of intelligence with the state of Israel. The G8 and it's implementation arms - the IMF and World Bank – actively exploit the economy of Palestine as well as the countries involved in the Arab Spring.

Amendment to Draft Action Program:

For these reasons, the United National Antiwar Committee calls for all Palestine solidarity groups and activists who support an end to the occupation; granting full equality to Palestinian-Arab citizens of Israel; and guaranteeing the Right of Return to join the Palestine solidarity contingent of the NATO/G8 protest march on May 20, 2012. Occupy the streets, not Palestine!

We, the 99 percent, demand the end of privatization of public functions:

No to the privatization of public functions such as military operations, prisons, schools, and postal service!

No to the sale of public property to private entities and of below-market leases of mineral, grazing and logging right on public land for private profit!

Guaranteed public employment at living wages to citizens who can find no private sector work in order to address unmet infrastructure and human service needs as well as cultural enhancements satisfying to workers and audiences, such as provided through the Works Progress Administration and the Farm Security Administration.

From Michael Rice, Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace.

Resolution to the United National Antiwar Coalition: Support the Mobilizations at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions

Submitted jointly by the Coalition to March on the RNC and the Coalition to Protest at the DNC

This fall, the two corporate parties will hold their nominating conventions. The Republicans will meet from August 27-30 in Tampa, Florida, and the Democrats will meet the following week from September 3-6 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Broad coalitions have formed -- uniting labor, civil rights, immigrants rights, students, anti-war, women's and LGBTQ groups, and more -- to challenge the pro-Wall Street, pro-war agendas of the two parties. There will be marches, demonstrations, and other actions to raise peoples' demands for jobs, justice, and freedom during the conventions.

Our communities have been devastated by the policies of the Republicans and Democrats. The economic crisis continues to deepen with mass unemployment and underemployment, home foreclosures and evictions, utility shutoffs, and punishing austerity programs that are wiping out public education, health programs and all social services. Both parties broker deal after deal that benefit the banks and corporations at the expense of the great majority of people in this country. Raids and deportations of immigrants continue to increase, and racism, xenophobia, and bigotry are being whipped up to sow divisions among the 99%.

U.S. wars abroad have expanded. The brutal occupation of Afghanistan has surpassed the 10 year mark and continues on, and U.S./NATO bombs rained down last year on Libya. The U.S. sent more than 100 troops into Uganda and has continued to expand AFRICOM, targeting the entire continent of Africa. Everyday, the war drums beat louder and louder against Iran and Syria. Hundreds of billions of dollars continued to be poured into imperial U.S. adventures abroad that visit terror upon the world's peoples, while people are suffering here at home.

It's clear that both the Republicans and Democrats serve and protect the interests of the 1%, not the 99%. We need a powerful movement from below to raise peoples' demands and challenge the banks, corporations, and political parties that represent their interests. We call on the progressive, social justice, and anti-war movements in the U.S. to join thousands in the streets of Tampa and Charlotte this fall. The Occupy Movement, and the history of all peoples' movements for justice, has shown that we can't rely on the political establishment to make progress -- it's up to us to stand up, speak out, and fight back to demand the world that we deserve.

Call to March on the RNC

Tampa Florida, August 27-30, 2012

·Demand Good Jobs, Healthcare, Affordable Education, Equality and Peace

·Say NO to the Republican Agenda

·Money for human needs, not for corporate greed

On August 27, 2012, while the Republican National Convention selects a candidate for president, we will be marching in the streets of Tampa, Florida demanding jobs, healthcare, education, equality and peace. We will let the entire world know, “We have had enough of the endless attacks on the rights of working people and our standard of living!” We will defend Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. We will defend ourselves against union busting. We will defend our children's right to an affordable, quality education. We want money spent on human needs, not on wars overseas and corporate greed.

In Congress and in states across the country, the Republicans and their Tea Party allies have unleashed a war on the people of this country. While the Republicans bailed out Wall Street, many of us lost our homes. While they push tax cuts for the rich, they are destroying working families and our way of life by cutting programs that serve us. The Republicans are trying to break our unions and take away our right to bargain collectively. They are spearheading attacks on immigrants and promoting an agenda of racism and hatred.

For too long, too many politicians in both political parties have ignored our needs, while serving the interests of the rich and powerful. We need to take things into our own hands and make them understand the consequences of their actions. Monday, August 27, 2012, is the time to advance the cause of justice and make our voices heard. Tampa, Florida is the place for all of us to raise our demands. Whether you are working to defend reproductive rights, standing up against attacks on immigrants and racist discrimination, resisting attacks on working people, or saying no to government cutbacks, we can come together from across the country to let our voices be heard. From California, to Illinois, to New York, we can join our brothers and sisters in the South in mobilizing and building a united protest with a clear message, “No to the Republicans! We demand good jobs, healthcare, affordable education, equality and peace!”

On Monday, August 27, 2012, the attention of the entire world will be focused on Tampa, Florida. The Republican National Convention brings together some of the worst politicians that this country has to offer. We're calling on all those ready to fight back against the attacks launched by the Republican Party and their corporate masters to take to the streets and demand a better future for our families, our communities and our children.


September 2012: Join the Coalition to Protest at the DNC in Charlotte, NC

We Demand:

· Good jobs for all! Economic justice now — Make the banks and corporations pay for their crisis!

· Money for education, health care, housing and all human needs, not for war and incarceration

· Justice for immigrants and all oppressed peoples! Stop the raids and deportations!

In September of 2012, the social justice movements of the United States have an opportunity and obligation to use the spectacle of the Democratic National Convention as a platform to raise people’s demands for justice on the world stage.

Progressives from around the state, from across the South and from all over the country will converge in Charlotte to oppose policies of the Democratic Party and their banking cronies. Charlotte is the “Wall Street of the South.” With the world headquarters of Bank of America and the East Coast headquarters of Wells Fargo, it is the second largest concentration of finance capital in the U.S., after New York City.

We need a people’s movement for justice for the 99%.

Economic crises at home and abroad intensify while jobs and vital services have been cut at municipal, state and federal levels. The Democrats and Republicans are pushing austerity programs while simultaneously brokering deals that bail out and benefit banks and large corporations.

Public workers in North Carolina and Virginia are denied their right to collectively bargain, and workers elsewhere across the country are seeing this right under attack. Under the Democratic Party, the reach of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) expanded and deportations skyrocketed. U.S. wars abroad have extended and the US continues to spend billions in Afghanistan and Iraq. U.S. war drones fly over the Middle East and Africa. Antiwar and international solidarity activists are targeted in FBI raids and Grand Jury witch hunts while we continue to fight for freedom for long-incarcerated U.S. political prisoners like Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal. We have seen a rise in bigotry and political targeting of Muslim and Arab people. We want to see justice and equality for Black, Native, Latina/o peoples, for women and for LGBTQ peoples. We must call for a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions! We oppose the attack on our planet by big corporations; we must continue the fight for environmental justice and demand our right to a healthy air, land, and water.

Now more than ever we need a powerful mass movement that can challenge the pro-war, pro-Wall Street agendas of the two corporate parties. We see the seeds of this movement all around us.

Join the Coalition to Protest at the DNC to plan actions and events that will take place during the convention. Read through our Principles of Unity (adapted from the St. Paul Principles & Chicago Principles). Then begin working with us to develop plans for Charlotte, as we come together in resistance to the economic crisis, the banks, the wars and all the attacks on working people!


Resolved that UNAC adopt the following point of unity:

We oppose war and sanctions against the Iranian people and stand in solidarity with their struggle against state repression and all forms of outside intervention.

Presented by Havaar: Iranian Initiative Against War, Sanctions, and State Repression

Raha Iranian Feminist Collective is part of Havaar: Iranian Initiative Against War, Sanctions, and State Repression. A member of Havaar, who is attending the conference on both days, will be present Sunday to put this forward. Thank you.

Resolved that UNAC adopt the following point of unity:

We oppose war and sanctions against the Iranian people and stand in solidarity with their struggle against state repression and all forms of outside intervention.

Resolution to Expose the Censorship that Represses the 99 Percent

In line with the foundations of , which are “1) unity in the movement, 2) independence from political parties, 3) democratic decision-making, 4) U.S. Out Now from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan (and now Libya), and 5) a commitment to mass action as the major strategy for building a powerful and inclusive movement, while endorsing other kinds of actions as well to build a movement capable of bringing about fundamental change”, we supporters of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth are in solidarity with the 99 percent of humanity “who want peace, a healthy planet and a society that prioritizes human needs, democracy and civil liberties for all”[1]. No social movement can succeed for long without an understanding of the forces that are arrayed against them. That is why we call attention to the tactics of the 1 percent. “They go after truth tellers and whistle blowers.”[2] They use the complicit corporate media. “They make speaking out and protesting a crime, claiming this gives material support to terrorists.”[3]

Therefore, we call on the United National Anti-war Conference (UNAC) to oppose these repressive tactics by uniting with us to expose the most injurious, dangerous instance of disinformation, which the 1 percent have used as the main pretext for their imperial, global warmaking. We resolve that the UNAC adopt the evidence endorsed by over 1600 certified Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth as the basis for ending the censorship that facilitates the repression of the 99 percent and justifies the 1 percent’s disastrous “War on [of] Terror”.

Respectively submitted,

Connecticut 911Truth


For years the lobby “ J Street” has advertised itself as a “progressive” Jewish alternative to the infamous AIPAC. It was never true. For instance in October 2009 J-Street proudly published a letter to it of congratulations from Tzipi Livni who had been Israeli Foreign Minister during the Gaza Massacre (2008-2009).

Now it has outdone itself. At its upcoming conference, its “Gala” will be keynoted by Ehud Olmert, the former Israeli Prime Minister. It was Olmert who launched war against Lebanon in which over 1,000 Lebanese died and Israel fired over a million cluster munitions, most after the ceasefire had been worked out. He was also responsible for the Gaza Massacre in which over 1,400 Palestinians were killed.

Incidentally, he left office under a cloud of corruption and is under indictment for “obtaining by fraud under aggravating circumstances, fraud, breach of trust, falsifying corporate documents, and tax evasion”

Btselem USA (whose parent group does great work in documenting Palestinian oppression) is a cosponsor of the conference. The great folk singer Theodore Bikel is inexplicably master of ceremonies of the Gala

UNAC condemns J Street for inviting this war criminal Olmert to its conference and calls on Btselem USA, Theodore Bikel and anyone else participating or supporting this event to cancel and to apologize.

Submitted by Stanley Heller, Connecticut

Amendment to the Draft Action Proposal of the United National Antiwar Coalition National Conference by the Greater Hartford Coalition on Cuba, March 19, 2012

[to be inserted as the fourth bullet in the first “We, the 99 percent, demand” section]

End the 50-plus year U.S. economic war on the Cuban people and their Revolution! Stop the illegal support and use of U.S. territory by rightwing Cuban terrorists in violent attacks on the people and elected officials of Cuba! Close the U.S. military base at Guantanamo and return the occupied territory to Cuba! Lift all travel restrictions on U.S. citizens to visit Cuba!

[to be inserted in the last bullet of the last “We, the 99 percent, demand” section]

Free the Cuban Five antiterrorists – Fernando González, Antonio Guerrero, Ramόn Labañino, Gerardo Hernández, and René González – held in U.S. prisons for over 13 years on frame-up charges of conspiracy to commit espionage and murder!

On behalf of the Greater Hartford Coalition on Cuba,

Tim Craine, Coordinator and Alex A. Koskinas, Treasurer

P.O. Box 330161 West Hartford, CT 06133-0161

(860) 930-5615 (Alex) (860) 794-7384 (Tim)

In the spirit of wanting important issues to be discussed with full mutual respect and without weakening our collective wisdom and resolve, WE PROPOSE:

That be supported by UNAC to join with those of varying opinions to hold, as appropriate and possible, mutually respectful discussions here at this conference, and to organize at least an hour long panel at the next UNAC gathering or conference, to debate whether or not 9/11 was a false flag operation, with no other presentation occurring simultaneously. Our blog spot is here:

Jews and Muslims Asking for a

Credible Scientific Investigation of 9/11

Sunday presentation to be done by Orthodox Jew Yehuda Littmann

Saturday presentation to be done by David Slesinger

Resolution to Endorse Global March to Jerusalem March 30:

The Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ) is a groundbreaking new initiative that is organizing non-violent civil resistance on 30th March 2012, which is Palestinian Land Day. The march will unite the efforts of Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, Jews, and all citizens of conscience in the world to put an end to Israel’s disregard for international law through the continuing occupation of Jerusalem and the rest of Palestinian land. Our plan is to organize massive peaceful marches towards Jerusalem, or to the nearest point possible according to the circumstances of each country, in Palestine (the 1948 seizures, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip) and the four neighboring countries: Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon. Internationals will participate in land caravans traveling through Asia or fly directly to one of the main sites for the march. Around the world solidarity actions will also take place to support the demands of the GMJ: an to end the Zionist policies of apartheid, ethnic cleansing and Judaisation. Global participation in the march will confirm to the world that these racist policies and practices of the state of Israel against Jerusalem and its people are a crime not only against Palestinians but against all humanity.

Resolved: that UNAC endorses the Global March to Jerusalem on March 30, 2012, and encourages its affiliates, where possible, to organize and support solidarity actions within the USA on that day.

In solidarity, Ken Stone


We recognize that for at least two decades international opinion has supported the “two-state solution” to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. However, we view this solution as neither democratic nor viable in the face of international law, material conditions and the “facts on the ground” that now exist in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), particularly the fact that the West Bank (WB) has been integrated into Israel demographically, economically as well as territorially. Thus, the "two-state solution" is a chimera, at best meant only to end Israeli military occupation in parts of the West Bank. As such, it is unsustainable, offering neither justice nor peace because 1) it is premised on legitimizing permanent inequality between Israeli Jews and Palestinians and 2) it does not address the heart of the conflict: the ongoing dispossession of Christian and Muslim Palestinians within Israel and in the OPT because they are not Jews and Israel’s refusal to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.

In light of this reality and the fact that Israel-Palestine is and always has been a multicultural land, we support the creation of one democratic state for Palestinians and Israelis on the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the River Jordan as the homeland of both peoples, with equality before the law for all.

Justine McCabe

Co-Chair, International Committee

Green Party of the United States

U.S./NATO Troops Out Now! No to Imperialist Wars, Occupations, Sanctions, Embargoes!

Self-determination for All Oppressed People!

The United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) was founded on the principle of self-determination for all oppressed nations and peoples. We demand the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all U.S./NATO troops, mercenaries and drones from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Libya. We have every confidence that, free from imperialist intervention of every type, the oppressed nations and peoples of the world are fully capable of building societies that represent their interests as opposed to the imperial exploiters, neo-colonialists and would-be subjugators.

We have seen the horrific consequences of U.S. wars, "humanitarian" interventions, starvation sanctions, crippling embargoes and targeted assassinations. All have been employed to justify renewed imperialist conquest.

It is our task and obligation as antiwar and social justice activists within the United States to prevent the U.S./NATO's enormous military, economic and media power from imposing its will on the oppressed of the world in order to benefit the interest of the U.S. power elite – the 1%. UNAC opposes any form of U.S. military or economic intervention, sanctions, sabotage and assassinations in Iran and Syria, in Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador and Haiti, and in all other countries where the Pentagon, the CIA, the State Department or their allies seek to impose their will.

Submitted by UNAC Administrative Committee

The People’s Congress proposes the following amendment to the draft action proposal of UNAC

Amendment on the People’s Congress

UNAC recognizes The People’s Congress as a means to organize Americans to end war, social injustice and the tyranny of our current government.

UNAC agrees to support and to participate in the Inaugural National General Assembly of the People’s Congress, July 25 - 29, 2012.

UNAC endorses the Mission of the People’s Congress as expressed herein:

“We ordain and establish the People’s Congress to represent ourselves, as Americans, as one people to enable us to alter our government to these end:
- To design its Bylaws to form itself as a legitimate First Amendment Deliberative Assembly of the American people
- To exercise the self-evident sovereignty of the American people over our government and our Constitution
- To alter our national government’s structure and dynamics to make a more perfect union so the public policies of our national government come to match the public opinion of our citizens
- To bring about the rule of law in fairly enforcing domestic, electoral and foreign policies
- And to enable the democratic majority of the American people to end the tyranny of the illegitimate rule of wealthy plutocrats and despotic corporations


First Proposal:

In the spirit of wanting important issues to be discussed with full mutual respect and without weakening our collective wisdom and resolve, WE PROPOSE:

That be supported by UNAC to join with those of varying opinions to hold, as appropriate and possible, mutually respectful discussions here at this conference, and to organize at least an hour long panel at the next UNAC gathering or conference, to debate whether or not 9/11 was a false flag operation, with no other presentation occurring simultaneously. Our blog spot is here:

Jews and Muslims Asking for a

Credible Scientific Investigation of 9/11

Sunday presentation to be done by Orthodox Jew Yehuda Littmann

Saturday presentation to be done by David Slesinger

Second Proposal

Since almost no 911truth group is democratic and the movement as a whole is more atomized that hierarchical, we hereby agree that Ed Ciaccio, a regular writer for Dandelion Salad, be authorized to join the UNAC board or to designate a replacement who has equal dedication to collegiality and support for progressive values. This is designed to encourage more pleasant communication rather than as a guarantee that any given proposal from the truth movement be adopted by UNAC.

To be presented by David Slesinger or his designee


99% language is opportunistic as a peace organization since even the occupiers don't have a strong anti-war message, so my suggestion is to change the "99%" references to "We the people"...

nothing major, but the change does close the door of opportunism.

Peace, Mark D. Stansbery

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

From The Pages Of "Workers Vanguard"-Victimized for Protesting Israeli War Criminal-Overturn the Convictions of the Irvine 11!

Click on the headline to link to the International Communist League website.

Workers Vanguard No. 995
3 February 2012

Victimized for Protesting Israeli War Criminal-Overturn the Convictions of the Irvine 11!

(Young Spartacus pages)

LOS ANGELES—On 23 September 2011, an Orange County, California, court convicted ten of eleven Muslim students charged with “conspiracy to disrupt a public meeting” and “disruption of a public meeting” for protesting Michael Oren, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S., during his speech on 8 February 2010 at University of California Irvine (UCI). For the crime of exposing this Zionist butcher, who the students decried as an “accomplice to genocide,” they were each sentenced to three years of informal probation, 56 hours of community service and $270 in fines! The ten defendants have filed to appeal their convictions. We in the Spartacus Youth Clubs demand: Overturn the convictions!

The students are fully justified in denouncing the likes of Michael Oren. A former paratrooper and Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman, Oren coordinates Israeli and U.S. bloody interests in the Near East and shares responsibility for the relentless oppression of the Palestinian people. This war criminal praises the IDF massacre of some 1,400 Palestinians during its heinous assault on the Gaza Strip in 2008 and lauds Israeli commandos who slaughtered nine people aboard the Turkish aid ship Mavi Marmara in May 2010. Among the many victims of the 2008 attack on the Gaza Strip were cousins of one of the Irvine protesters.

The legal offensive against the Irvine 11 followed in the wake of discipline by the UCI administration. Based on big-brother surveillance of e-mail traffic, UCI accused the Muslim Student Union (MSU) of organizing the protest against Oren. The administration suspended the group for a quarter, placed it on probation for another two years and ordered its members to collectively perform 100 hours of community service. The UCI administration, the D.A. and the courts are making it clear that they will tolerate no protest against Washington’s alliance with Israel, U.S. imperialism’s staunchest ally in the Near East. As the Partisan Defense Committee, the class-struggle legal and social defense organization associated with the Spartacist League, stated in a 14 February 2011 letter sent to the D.A., “These prosecutions serve as well to engender an atmosphere of paranoia and hysteria, especially targeting Muslims, and to intimidate into silence anyone who speaks out against the brutal colonial occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or who defends the Palestinians against murderous assault by the Zionist state.” Down with the UCI administration’s disciplinary measures against the MSU! Reinstate the MSU!

To manufacture a case against the Irvine 11, the D.A. issued five search warrants for the private e-mails of the defendants and other UC Irvine students without their or their lawyers’ knowledge. Among the thousands of e-mails read by the D.A. and turned over to the court were those supposedly protected by attorney-client privilege. Since the case was based entirely on this illegally obtained communication, prosecutors dropped the charges against one of the students in exchange for community service. The D.A. also attempted to intimidate students to testify against their peers, in at least one case sending the D.A.’s Special Prosecutions Unit to bang on a student’s windows at 7 a.m. yelling, “Police, open up!” In another instance, they went to the house of a student’s grandmother and accused her of hiding her granddaughter.

The MSU is a religious organization that has sponsored public events at UCI in defense of the Palestinians. These events have featured speakers espousing generally liberal politics, including anti-Zionist rabbis and capitalist politicians like Cynthia McKinney. Religion and nationalism are bourgeois ideologies, and in the Near East they are the main obstacles to the workers achieving class consciousness. But regardless of political differences, students and workers must defend everyone who is targeted by the capitalist state and reactionary forces for protesting U.S. imperialism and its bloody allies and for expressing solidarity with the oppressed.

The outrageous criminal conviction of the Irvine 11 for “disrupting” Michael Oren occurs in the context of the decade-long “war on terror,” which began under Republican George W. Bush and has been continued with a vengeance by Democrat Barack Obama. Designed to justify wars abroad, at home the “war on terror” has provided a new justification for government repression against its perceived opponents. For example, the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) gives the state nearly unlimited powers to abduct and imprison anyone it deems as a threat, including U.S. citizens (see “Obama Ramps Up ‘War on Terror’ at Home,” WV No. 993, 6 January).

Zionist groups on campuses across the country have for years smeared anyone who dares even suggest the Palestinian people have a right to exist as an “anti-Semite” or “terrorist.” At UCI, groups like the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and StandWithUs have undertaken a years-long campaign against the MSU. In 2004, when a few dozen Muslim UCI students wore green stoles with Arabic writing at graduation, the ZOA complained that the stoles incited terrorism against Jews and Israel. That year, the ZOA also filed complaints against the university with the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, alleging that talks given by speakers invited by the MSU were anti-Semitic. And when the MSU invited George Galloway (then a British Member of Parliament) to come to UCI and raise money for medical aid to the people of Gaza, the ZOA wrote to the Chief Campus Counsel claiming that the MSU was using the university as a fund-raising base for Hamas! In today’s climate, being accused of supporting a “terrorist” group has led to imprisonment, or even disappearance into the torture chambers of a military brig.

Defend the Palestinians and Their Supporters!

As revolutionary Trotskyists, we seek to win students and youth to a Marxist worldview, to taking a side with the exploited and oppressed against capitalist imperialism. Against Zionism as well as all variants of Arab nationalism, we understand that the only solution to the problem of Israel/Palestine, where two peoples have valid, conflicting claims to a small territory, lies through the joint struggle of Jewish and Palestinian Arab workers, connected to class struggle throughout the region. A just solution is not possible under capitalism. The only road to peace in the Near East is socialist revolution. This requires a revolutionary struggle not only against the Zionist butchers and the various dictators, mullahs and monarchs who rule the rest of the region, but also against the paymaster of oppression in the Near East—the American bourgeoisie. Defend the Palestinians! All Israeli troops and settlers out of the Occupied Territories! Down with U.S. imperialism!

Monday, February 20, 2012

One State Conference: Israel/Palestine and the One-State Solution-Harvard Conference

One State Conference: Israel/Palestine and the One-State Solution

Submitted by ujpadmin1 on Fri, 02/03/2012 - 3:35pm.
When: Saturday, March 3, 2012, 9:00 am to Sunday, March 4, 2012, 6:00 pm

Where: Harvard Kennedy School • 79 John F. Kennedy Street • Harvard Sq T • Cambridge

Harvard University will be hosting a conference on the one state solution. Registration Feb 2. The conference takes place on March 3rd and 4th at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Speakers include: Ilan Pappe, Stephen Walt, Timothy McCarthy, Susan Akram, Duncan Kennedy and Ali Abunimah.

Please visit: for more information or to register for the conference.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Palestinian Statehood: If not Now, When? by Stephen Lendman

Palestinian Statehood: If not Now, When?
by Stephen Lendman
Email: lendmanstephen (nospam) (verified) 22 Sep 2011
Palestinian Statehood: If not Now, When? by Stephen Lendman

After 63 years, including 44 under occupation, 85% of Palestinians want statehood now, not later or perhaps never.

Israel and Washington object, wanting permanent occupation and subjugation.

A previous article said a "silent agreement" among Western powers may postpone Security Council and General Assembly votes for later dates to be announced.

Sources also claim Abbas wants it for more negotiating time with America.

Delay very much benefits Washington and Israel for reasons, including:
• more time for high-pressure strong-arming;

• to get more anti-statehood Security Council votes to to avoid an embarrassing veto;

• getting the issue out of headlines; and

• convincing Abbas to drop the idea altogether in return for special favors and enough sweetners to take home to say he got something.

On September 20, Los Times writer Paul Richter headlined, "UN may delay vote on Palestinian statehood application," saying:

The plan calls for putting off a vote indefinitely to avoid an embarrassing US veto and let Washington try to restart peace talks that never worked before and won't now.

It "would also keep $600 million a year in American aid and other international assistance flowing to the Palestinians. Congress threatened to cut the US aid."

Unnamed sources said Abbas "signed off on the plan," providing more evidence of what he had in mind all along - betrayal while coming home with something to say he tried.

Whether other PA officials go along isn't known. However, according to PLO Executive Committee member and PA legislator Hanan Ashrawi:

Palestinian officials are willing "to accept some delay, of the kind you would have under normal UN procedures."

But if it's being done to undermine the process, "we have recourse to other action," suggesting going to the General Assembly ahead of the Security Council.

Procedure requires both on statehood issues.

The Security Council acts promptly when Western interests are favored.

Voting for the illegitimate Libyan Transitional National Council regime and balkanized South Sudan most recently.

Otherwise it organizes committees for further deliberation or finds other ways to delay what it wants subverted.

Palestinian statehood and full de jure UN membership top Washington's agenda now in New York, going all out against long delayed justice.

It's America's pastime - supporting what's wrong over right, especially against people or nations who can't challenge.

Palestinians Rally for Statehood

On September 21, Haaretz writers Avi Issacharoff and Anshel Pfeffer headlined, "Thousands rally in Ramallah to back Palestinian statehood bid," saying:

Thousands filled "Yasser Arafat Square in central Ramallah on Wednesday (to) support" Palestinian statehood.

A huge displayed sign read "UN 194," signifying Palestine as the 194th member state.

Many waved Palestinian flags or condemned a threatened US veto.

Students got the day off to attend. The teachers union asked ministry of high education employees and directorates of education, private schools, and UNRWA ones to participate.

Thousands also turned out in Bethlehem, Nablus and Hebron.

Fatah leader Mahmoud Al-Alul spoke for others, saying:

"Yes, we want to change the rules of the game because we spent a long time in negotiations, and we made every possible effort to achieve a just and honorable peace. This Israeli government (and previous ones don't seek it), but rather (want) settlement expansion to satisfy settlers."

The International Middle East Media Center said rallies are being held in many countries for Palestinian statehood, including America.

On September 16, hundreds turned out in New York in support. One protester said trying for what's right will eventually work. Another said:

"Time is with the Palestinians. There is no question. History has taught us that people do get justice. It is going to be a long process. It will not happen tomorrow, but it will happen. I have every faith. I may not see it in my lifetime, but it will be."

It won't happen during the 66th General Assembly session because Washington, Israel, and key EU nations blocking tactics without objection from Abbas, regardless of what he says publicly to appease supporters.

Settlers Rally Against Statehood

On September 21, several hundred extremist ones marched in West Bank areas to protest what they only want Jews to enjoy.

Itmar settlement participants were escorted by Israeli soldiers.

Spokesman for northern West Bank settlers David Haivri said:

"The Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria are unfazed by the international media buzz going on around the Abbas circus at the UN."

Opposing "members of our community held symbolic processions (to express) our sovereignty on the land. Abbas can play house at the UN, but even he knows that it is a show with no real implications."

Indeed so, and he's a willing participant.

On September 20, dozens of settlers attacked Asira al-Qibiliaya, a Palestinian village near Nablus. Some were armed and fired weapons.

Israeli troops and police fired rubber bullets and tear gas against victims, making a bad situation worse. Several injured Palestinians required hospitalization, including a 14-year boy struck by a tear gas canister.

Obama in the General Assembly in 2010 and Now

Last year he said:

A year ago "I pledged my best efforts to support the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, as part of a comprehensive peace between Israel and its neighbors."

"If an agreement is not reached, Palestinians will never know the pride and dignity that comes with their own state. Israelis will never know the certainty and security that comes with sovereign and stable neighbors who are committed to co-existence."

"I refuse to accept that future....This time we should reach for what's best within ourselves. If we do, when we come back here next year, we can have an agreement that will lead to a new member of the United Nations - an independent, sovereign state of Palestine, living in peace with Israel."

That was then. This is now. Obama's gone all out to subvert statehood, vowing to veto a Security Council resolution for it.

On September 21, 2011 in New York, he said Palestinians "deserve a state of their own. But....genuine peace can only be realized between Israelis and Palestinians themselves."

So far, "the parties have not bridged their differences."

"Peace will not come through statements and (UN) resolutions...."

Israelis and Palestinians "must reach agreement on the issues that divide them....Peace depends upon compromise."

"America's commitment to Israel's security is unshakeable." Peace depends on acknowledging "real security concerns that Israel faces every single day. Let's be honest: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it."

Fact check

Palestinians sought peace for decades. Israel spurned all initiatives, choosing conflict over diplomacy and justice.

Palestinians never had a willing partner. They don't now in Tel Aviv or Washington.

Nuclear armed, Israel is the most formidable regional power. It's faced no threats for almost 40 years. In contrast, neighboring states Lebanon and Syria face real ones as do Palestinians under occupation.

Peace indeed requires compromise. Israel offers none. Like Washington, it doesn't negotiate. It demands.

Obama barely stopped short of endorsing Israeli crimes in so many words. His agenda strongly supports them.

For many decades, it's been longstanding US policy. Many times it did so by vetoing dozens of resolutions condemning or censuring it for its actions against the Palestinians or other Arab people, deploring it for committing them, or demanding, calling on or urging the Jewish state to end them.

Israel never did or will now. In fact, for over three decades, it's flagrantly violated passed resolutions.

In March 1980, the Security Council unanimously adopted UN Resolution 465. It addressed Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine and Syria's Golan Heights.

it condemned Israel's policy of "setting parts of its population and new Immigrants in those territories (and said doing so constituted) a flagrant violation of the fourth Geneva Convention relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East."

It called on Israel to "dismantle the existing settlements and in particular to cease....the establishment, construction and planning of (new) settlements in the Arab territories since 1967, including Jerusalem."

In 1977, Menachem Begin refused Jimmy Carter's request to freeze settlement activity. At the time, about 50,000 Israelis lived in East Jerusalem, only 7,000 in 45 West Bank and Gaza outposts.

In 1985, West Bank/Gaza settlers numbered 42,000, doubling their 1982 population. Today, it tops 500,000 and continues increasing on stolen Palestinian land. American funding supports it.

In June 1980, the Security Council passed Resolution 476. It also called for ending Israel's illegal occupation and condemned Israel for refusing to obey other Security Council and General Assembly resolutions demanding it.

Israel never complies. Supported by Washington, it does what it pleases with impunity. Palestinians, of course, suffer most.

They now want Israeli repression ended. Statehood is step one to achieve it. Abbas isn't in New York for it.

He's representing Israel and Washington, not his own people. He's replicating what he's done disgracefully for years.

Getting out from under him, his number two Salam Fayyad, and their hangers on is key to finally achieving Palestinian rights they've been long denied.

Obama's speech showed help from Washington isn't coming. Palestinian officials and analysts were disappointed, reading what he said as one-sided support for Israel.

In other words, he reiterated longstanding US policy to keep Palestine occupied and subjugated permanently.

Palestinians say that no longer will be tolerated and demand going on their own for justice.

A Final Comment

The Tel Aviv-based Reut Institute (RI) works pro bono for Israeli government agencies. It provides "real-time strategic decision-making" support in areas of national security and socioeconomic policy.

On September 13, it published a policy paper titled, "The Declaration of Palestinian Statehood: An Unparalleled Political Opportunity," offering a "framework for an Israeli political initiative" for Palestinian statehood.

Though deeply flawed, its principles include the following:
• Independent Palestine and full UN membership will be recognized by America, Israel and other world governments;

• "two-states-for-two-peoples" will refer to Jewish and Palestinian Arab ones;

• the PA will maintain all powers granted by Oslo and subsequent agreements; recognizing Hamas will depend on fulfilling Quartet demands;

• elements of sovereignty will be upgraded; Palestine could issue its own currency and negotiate international trade agreements, "but its final borders and security arrangements with Israel would" have to be agreed on;

• initial territory would include Gaza and the West Bank; "the illegitimate Hamas....would not be recognized by Israel and the international community;"

• Washington would guarantee agreed-on security arrangements; "Gaza would not be connected to the West Bank through a safe passage until similar arrangements are established on its border with Egypt;"

• Israel's self-defense right from Palestinian threats would be recognized;

• independent Palestine would exclusively represent its people;

• elections would determine future leaders and representatives;

• Israeli-Palestinian negotiations would decide borders, security, economic and trade issues, environmental ones, and matters relating to Jerusalem;

• West Bank Palestinian prisoners would be released as a goodwill gesture; and

• diaspora Palestinians could return.

RI calls "now" the "ideal time to launch such an Israeli initiative," omitting reasons most important. They include:
• Israel's growing isolation;

• rage against it on Arab streets;

• growing global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) initiatives; and

• most of all because it's the right thing to do.

RI's initiative is noteworthy for proposing Palestinian statehood in contrast to strong Israeli/Washington opposition.

However, its elements fall way short of full sovereign independence, including 22% of historic Palestine within 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Moreover, all states may elect whatever leaders they choose. Hamas is Occupied Palestine's legitimate government. Recognizing that and ending its foreign terrorist organization status is essential. Calling it an "illegitimate regime" can't be tolerated.

Nor can Israel's illegal occupation, theft of Palestinian land and resources, settlements for Jews only, the Separation Wall, and other ways Arabs are oppressed and discriminated against unjustly.

Less than full sovereign rights, including these, is failure. RI represents Israel. Palestinians need world leaders respecting ones they elect to represent them.

With all the above conditions met, a major step forward will be achieved. Now's the time for it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen (at)

Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
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