The Steering Committee of Beaver County Peace Links
has decided to again gather at the Courthouse for a public vigil
for Peace in the Occupied Territories and Israel.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 2
at 12 NOON
in FRONT of the BEAVER COUNTY COURTHOUSE
Please make signs:
“Stop Supporting Israel”
"Stop the Massacre on Gaza"
"Sovereignty for Palestine"
"Self-determination for Palestinians"
"Justice for Gaza"
"Stop the Violence"
"Peace is the only Solution"
Rep Keith Ellison, End the Blockade of Gaza! http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/keith-ellison-end-the-gaza-blockade-to-achieve-peace/2014/07/29/e5e707c4-16a1-11e4-85b6-c1451e622637_story.html
Collective Punishment in Gaza
Rallying in suppport of Palestinians in Gaza, protestors including Tavia LaFollette of Shadyside, left, and Susanne Slavick of Ross Township, right, cradling sheets wrapped to look like dead children. Bill Wade/Post-Gazette
Oakland protesters rally for Palestinians against Israeli attacks in Gaza
By Amy McConnell Schaarsmith
Beaver County Blue via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
July 19, 2014 – Protesters cradling sheets wrapped to look like dead children rallied in Oakland on Friday to call on the United States to withdraw financial support for Israel over that country‘s military assault in the Gaza Strip.
The group of about 100 protesters waved signs and Palestinian flags, and chanted slogans such as, “Make a choice, Obama, human rights or apartheid!” in front of the University of Pittsburgh’s Hillman Library on Forbes Avenue as evening traffic rushed by, with some cars honking in support. Holding the sheet-wrapped figures — one of which included what looked like the dangling legs and shoes of a young girl — the group then marched along Forbes and Fifth avenues to draw attention to their cause.
“Residents of Gaza have been under siege for such a long time, they‘re barely living to begin with,” said 21-year-old Pitt senior Hadeed Salaameh, a native Palestinian who said she helped organize the protest. “We as humans, we have to speak out, it’s our responsibility, and as Americans have to speak out because our tax dollars are funding this.”
Continue reading Peace Rally in Pittsburgh
Robin Rombach/Post-Gazette: Protesters gather Friday on the corner of Bigelow Boulevard and Forbes Avenue in Oakland in disapproval of possible U.S. military action against Syria.
By Amy McConnell Schaarsmith
Beaver County Peace Links via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Sept 7, 2013 – Weary of nearly two decades of intermittent wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan, protesters met in Oakland on Friday to tell the Obama administration not to bomb Syria in retaliation for its apparent use of chemical weapons in a Damascus suburb last month.
Chanting slogans such as "more money for jobs, not for war!" and waving signs with slogans such as "Obushma" and "These Colors Don’t Run the World," the group of approximately 100 demonstrators organized by the Thomas Merton Center Antiwar Committee clogged the intersection of Forbes Avenue and Bigelow Boulevard and repeatedly crossed the streets in front of stopped vehicles.
Among them, Syrian native Elaine Khalil, 47, said the United States — and all the other countries trying to influence the outcome of the conflict between Syrian President Bashir Assad and the rebels trying to oust him — should stop meddling and let the Syrian people make their own peace.
"With [President Barack] Obama supporting this war, our fear is it would actually explode into World War III," Ms. Khalil said, citing the possibility that military strikes might incite retribution by other countries in the region. "If they would pull their hands out of it, the Syrian people would resolve their own problems."
Continue reading Obama Plan to Bomb Syria Protested in Pittsburgh
PDA urging Congressional Progressive Caucus to oppose US military attack on Syria, after Barbara Lee wins on debating the war policy.
By Cole Stangler
Beaver County Blue via In These Times
August 29, 2013 – Advocates of using U.S. military force against forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have long made their case without success. But following a chemical weapons attack on civilians allegedly committed by Assad’s forces last week, the United States inched closer to military intervention.
On Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry called the attack that left hundreds dead a “moral obscenity” and gave the strongest indication to date that the United States could be intervening militarily. As United Nations inspectors continue their investigations into last week’s attacks, President Obama says the United States has already “concluded” that the Assad regime is responsible.
Reports indicated that a U.S. attack on specific targets in Syria could take as place as soon as Thursday. But on Wednesday night, hours after delivering a speech to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, President Obama said in an interview that he had not yet come to a decision.
As the Obama administration mulls its course of action, opposition is slowly emerging in Congress, which is scheduled to be on summer recess until September 9. So far, nearly all of that opposition has focused not on the intervention itself, but on the executive branch’s lack of consultation with Congress.
Continue reading Will Congress Represent the Antiwar Majority and Block an Attack on Syria?
By Michael S Lofgren
Beaver County Peace Links via Huffington Post
March 18, 2013 – On the decennial of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the persons responsible have shown remarkably little guilt over launching an unprovoked war of aggression, even when the lamentable results might be expected to give one pause to rethink the enterprise. Marveling at the complacency about Iraq of America’s foreign policy elite as they are fawningly interviewed on the Sunday talk shows, columnist Alex Pareene says that "[p]eople who were integral in the decision to wage that war sat there and opined on what the United States should do about Iran and China and North Korea and no one laughed them out of the room. It was disgusting." Disgusting, but hardly surprising here in the United States of Amnesia.
Are there any lessons to be drawn from the debacle? Here are three tentative conclusions:
American Exceptionalism is a more pernicious drug than crack cocaine. Almost 50 years ago, J. William Fulbright described American Exceptionalism extremely well in his book The Arrogance of Power:
The causes of the malady are not entirely clear but its recurrence is one of the uniformities of history: power tends to confuse itself with virtue and a great nation is peculiarly susceptible to the idea that its power is a sign of God’s favor, conferring upon it a special responsibility for other nations — to make them richer and happier and wiser, to remake them, that is, in its own shining image.
Whatever grubby calculations of realpolitik our political classes harbor — access to cheap oil, strategic military advantage, appeasement of political lobbies — they invariably mask them in the doctrines of American Exceptionalism, the idea that a war has a higher moral purpose when the United States is involved in it. The invasion of Iraq was a marquee example of this deception, because the aggression was so naked. What looked like an ordinary cynical land-grab was actually (according to American Exceptionalism) a selfless duty, rather like Rudyard Kipling’s white man’s burden.
Continue reading Iraq: 10 Years After, Have We Learned a Thing?
Malalai Joya pushes back against a decade of war, occupation and propaganda
By Jon Queally
Beaver County Peace Links via Common Dreams
Jan 10, 2013 – Malalai Joya has a simple message for US, NATO, and Afghan leaders: Get out.
‘Get out’ of her country, she tells those from the US and other western nations. And to the warlords, the Taliban, and the fundamentalists represented in the ruling government, she says ‘get out of the way’ of a peaceful and prosperous future for regular Afghans.
As Afghan President Hamid Karzai prepares to meet with Barack Obama on Friday and speculation swirls about the future US role as 2014 slowly approaches, one of Afghanistan’s leading peace advocates has a message that those in the US—increasingly cited for their war-weariness—rarely hear: Afghans themselves, caught between an occupying power and a corrupt government, are "fed up" with war, death and the destruction of their rights and aspirations.
"We are fed up with the so-called ‘helping hand’ of the US and NATO that is used to justify occupation," Joya said in an extensive interview with journalist Elsa Rassbach and published by Common Dreams Thursday.
Joya, who rose to international prominence as the youngest female member of the Afghan parliament in 2005, says the US-led war in Afghanistan—"waged under a fake banner of human rights and democracy"—has gone on far too long, and what most Afghans want is the complete withdrawal of US troops so that regular Afghans can reclaim their dignity and solve their own problems.
Responding to the Obama and Karzai meeting, Joya explained to Rassbach that agreements made in Washington between the two will do nothing to improve the lives of most Afghans.
Continue reading A Voice for Peace in Afghanistan: ‘Stop This Criminal War’
American Public Opposes War with Iran
By Tom Hayden
Beaver County Peace Links via Peace Exchange Bulletin
Sept 18, 2012 – Among key findings of a survey conducted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs are these:
51% oppose the UN authorizing a strike on Iran, 70% oppose a unilateral U.S. strike on Iran, and 59% do not want to get involved in a potential Iran-Israel war; 45% favor the UN authorization of a strike;
“In the hypothetical situation in which Israel were to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities, Iran were to retaliate against Israel, and the two were to go to war, only 38 percent say the United States should bring its military forces into the war on the side of Israel. A majority (59%) says it should not.” (p. 30)
54% do support an attack by U.S. ground troops against terrorist training camps and facilities, down from 82% in 2002.
To deal with the crisis in Syria, majorities of Americans support diplomatic and economic sanctions (63%) as well as a no-fly zone in Syria (58%).
Those numbers may be what is causing Benyamin Netanyahu, and his allies in AIPAC, to step up their campaign of implied political threats against the Obama administration for its relative caution over Iran’s nuclear program.
Continue reading Question to the Candidates: Who Will Speak for the Antiwar Majority?