A Report from the DC Peace Congress

But first, I’d like to say a few words about war and militarism.

This nation was founded on the original sins of genocide and slavery.  In 1967 at Riverside Baptist Church Martin Luther King, Jr. later called the US the largest exporter of violence on the planet, and had called out Amerika for its triple evils of militarism, racism, and capitalism.

NATO and Africom are both really the US, with the NATO think tank the Atlantic Council working with Facebook and likely Google to jettison information that might be anti-war, anti-Imperialist, anti-capitalist, or otherwise not faith-promoting for the War Machine.

This nation is steeped in violence.  There are young adults who’ve never experienced a day when the US wasn’t involved in multiple wars.  The police have been fully militarized (at no cost to them), and are locked and loaded to fire on resistors of any stripe; police kill citizens, even unarmed ones, with almost total impunity. The NYPD po-po have been trained by the IDF for so long that they finally said ‘the heck with it’, and got their own offices in Tel Aviv.

Kids are often raised watching killing cartoons, playing Killing X-box games, and are taught in school and at home to Compete, not Cooperate.  Life’s Zero-sum, baby…and ya better get ready for it early!

‘Diplomacy’ is now all Authoritarian Gunboat Diplomacy, and ‘diplomatic parties’ in Deecee are all about selling weapons of war, often to the worst of the worst criminal regimes on the planet, for instance to Saudi Arabia and Likud Israel, increasingly to Ukraine (both Israel and the US) and Georgia (Montenegro next?) in the proxy wars against…Russia.  And John Bolton recently received a ‘Defender of Israel’ award from the Zionist Organization of America…

The US political class genuflects before Zionism in the most despicable ways, and yes, even Liz Warren (the mid-tem scoreboard reveals massive pro-israel influence on congress-critters).  One begins to wonder who’s the client, who’s the state with regard to Amerika and Israel, under Trump: Amerika and KSA.

And then there are the ‘peace-loving’ DSAs like Bernie Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez lavishing praise on war criminals like John McCain posthumously. Pardon Me?

The publicly stated military budget for 2019 requested by Trump’s Pentagon was $639 billion, yet 40 Senate Dems provided their power of the purse to raise it to $716 billion.  The legislationformally titled the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019’.

Past investigations by Nick Turse have found that hidden in other parts of the budget almost double that budget.  The U.S. Department of Defense spent at least $68,624,394,000 on 689 individual contracts during September 2018.  Operating over a thousand known bases globally, the US military’s carbon footprint is vast, although I wasn’t able to find current information as to ‘how vast’ in a quick Bingle.

But no, our Elected Leaders, neither Blue nor Red, seldom even ask how ‘we’ll’ pay for the military budget.  There’s always money for war, but then what’s left of the social safety net is shredded, whether by Grand Bargains or Presidential Edict.  Homelessness is rampant, as are hunger, poverty, and depression in Amerika.  Medicare/Medicaid for all just costs too much, in some cities, even feeding the homeless is illegal, as is scavenging food behind grocery stores. Increasingly cities and states are enacting anti-BDS Israel as criminal.

Vets with PTSD commit mass murders, commit suicide in horrific numbers.  Some mass killers act out their own urban commando dreams (that psychological narrative I’ll leave to Alice Miller and ‘the roots of violence’), proxy wars by the US and arms sales are ubiquitous, there is always a new enemy besides: Russia, which has become a punch-line in jokes.

And of course, NATO was formed first to ‘fight the Soviet menace’, and after the dissolution needed to reform/save itself as ‘Saving the World from the Russian Menace’, as against all sanity and former promises, NATO bases crowd the borders of Russia, and more and more nations are awarded almost-NATO status.

(Amnesty International logo)

Sorry for the long preface, but before I proceed to the report, I’ll ask: When was Amerika NOT waging war over the last millennium? I’d also like to offer this from John Gorka; he says it right, I think.

From Popular Resistance: ‘Peace Congress Calls For Unity Around April 4 NATO Protests’, Nov. 12, 2018  (some outtakes):

“Washington, DC – The Peace Congress, held in place of the Trump Military Parade, brought together more than 100 people seeking to build a more effective peace and justice movement to end the wars at home and abroad. The Peace Congress celebrated their success in helping to stop the Trump military parade and used the opportunity to hold a general assembly to develop a strategy, goals and next steps for action to strengthen the peace and anti-imperialist movement.

The unifying principles of the Peace Congress are:

  1. End U.S. wars at home and abroad.
  2. Create a peace economy that meets the necessities of people and protects the planet.
  3. Respect the self-determination of all people and nations.
  4. Create transformative change by building a movement of movements.

One of the next steps was a call for a unified mobilization around the April 4, 2019 70th Anniversary NATO conference being held in Washington, DC. The Congress called for not only bringing together peace organizations, but also those opposed to racism and oppression and for economic democracy and environmental justice.

April 4 is the anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by the government in 1968 and his Beyond Vietnam speech given one year before his death. Beyond Vietnam called out the triple evils of militarism, racism and capitalism. The Peace Congress unanimously urged groups to put aside their differences and come together to highlight that message, just as we did to stop the Trump military parade.

The Peace Congress endorsed the calls to action issued by Black Alliance for Peace, the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) the No Foreign Bases Coalition and World Beyond War. These include educational forums, protests the weekend before the NATO meeting, strategic, confrontational, nonviolent protests on April 4 and a peace festival.

The Peace Congress will work to build a movement of movements to provide a strong response to the militarism of NATO and call for the abolition of this military alliance, which has turned into a tool of offensive military actions rather than one of joint defense.” [snip]

The Peace Congress agreed that we must build a broad movement of movements that represents the multiple issues impacted by militarism. As annual military spending is now more than 60% of discretionary spending, it impacts all aspects of our lives. The budget should serve the essential needs of the civilian population for health, education, housing, jobs, and income, as well as protect the planet with a transition to a clean energy economy and infrastructure that is more efficient.

In addition to diversity of issues participating in the peace and justice movement, the Peace Congress is going to prioritize the need for racial and age as well as gender diversity. This means empowering youth to be the next generation of leaders and supporting them, particularly when they face oppression as student groups advocating for Palestinian rights are experiencing.

Solemn March Though DC Memorials to Reclaim Armistice Day

In addition to the Peace Congress, veterans groups and military families led a solemn march through the memorials on the mall. They began near the World War II memorial and went to memorials for the Korean War, Vietnam War and World War I. At each memorial, the group placed a wreath. The march showed opposition to war on a day when many people will be visiting memorials commemorating wars on Veterans Day.

Before the march, veterans who served in various wars and military families who have been impacted by war spoke at a rally. They invited allies of these groups who are working for peace to speak as well. Then, the march was led by a single file procession of veterans wearing signs that described the reality of war. There was one person for each of the 20.6 veterans, mostly under 35, who commit suicide each day.

The veterans called for reclaiming the day as Armistice Day, a day to remember the horrors of war and the need for peace.

This is a video of Stacy Bannerman giving her ‘Freedom Medal’ back to George W. Bush at the big doings in Philadelphia to honor…Dubya.

“After the events in DC, some participants went to Philadelphia to join in protests against former President George W. Bush who was receiving an award from former Vice President Joe Biden for his work with veterans. About Face, formerly Iraq Veterans Against the War, organized a protest outside the event, which was joined by other peace activists.”

??? ‘Documents Show the VA Debacle Began Under George W. Bush; The Bush administration was aware of the backlogs and secret waiting lists but failed to fix the problem, mother jones, may 30, 2014

Is it any wonder that so many around the world are experiencing Vertigo?

Now the newsletter hadn’t mentioned nuclear war per se, but that’s the most worrisome form of war to me.  As the bellicosity levels are increasingly ratcheted up toward Iran, North Korea, China, and Russia, NATO and US war games are increasing all over the globe, given the realignments of nations (many nuclear) into defense and trading blocks, plus the fact that Trump pulled the US out of the INF treaty…and Herr T having doubled down on Obomba’s increase of ‘tactical, small-yield survivable’ nuclear warheads…oh, my how fraught the nuclear tensions in the world are now!  (please feel free to nuke that run-on sentence.)

And yet the US and NATO seem to be ground-zero for most of the global nervous breakdowns and vertigo, including the vast numbers of those in diaspora fleeing their home nations from war, starvation, and other US-created hells in ‘our backyard’.  Or is that my bias speaking?

Peace when you can find it; make community with all you can.  Love, respect, and solidarity is all we have to get us through the dark days ahead.

(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)

20 responses to “A Report from the DC Peace Congress

  1. how quickly the post-war Euro-Amero alliance is breaking down. as Victoria Nuland famously said, “Fuck Europe.” who cares what Europe thinks and who cares what happens to Europe? and more specifically for this comment of Nuland’s, who cares what happens when the US initiates a coup & installs a neo-Nazi gov’t in Ukraine?

    “are they asking, ‘are there any communists in the defense department?’ No, they are asking how many communists are in the defense department…” Angela Lansbury in the original Manchurian Candidate. One commentator, rightly I think, connected the recently outed neo-Nazi cell in the German military with Operation: Gladio, whose goal was to “seed” the post-war gov’ts of Europe with Nazis, esp in the intelligence, security (police) and military arenas. The ostensible purpose of this was to prevent Europe from going red.
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/11/15/germ-n15.html
    (someone recently told me when he was in Japan in the military during the Korean war, about ’53, the CIA was all over the university system in Japan in order to monitor student & labor unrest. and, iirc, the US found the mafia singularly useful in combating redness in Italy, so useful that they resuscitated the mafia after Mussolini had shut them down.)

    doesn’t trump make bush jr look like a noble, sober, reasonable person? this Russia thing is so stupid but try explaining to someone that the ghouls in Trump’s cabinet are not likely to be working w/someone who is a Putin stooge. FFS people. “but Putin posted something on facespace or mybook or instaregret or whatever!!!!” ugh.

    • woooot! a comment, and a good un at that!

      no time to read the wsws piece, but as i’d mentioned gladio on this thread over yonder, i’d also kicked up sibel edmonds’ reports on gladio-b. haven’t finished it or watched the videos an whatnot, but even though edmunds has gone purdy darned strange, i’ll sure read it all, maybe even write it up if it looks fun. “Gladio B substituted Muslims for fascists, and continues to carry out false flag attacks in Europe and maybe elsewhere.”

      https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Operation_Gladio/B

      thanks for the first-hand accounts; remember when the Ds wanted to disband the cia? now they recruit them for office. i liked the report at wsws on the new ‘american socialists’, too. gawd’s bloods, what hypocrites they are, walking back everything they campaigned on.

      https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/11/15/dsae-n15.html

      the EU and trump: this is just plain sordid boot-licking:
      ‘No volunteers: EU countries bow to US pressure over alternative payment channel for Iran’, RT, 15 Nov, 2018 11:30

      https://www.rt.com/business/444051-eu-fears-us-sanctions-iran/

      later alligator, and thanks for the first comment here in…in…a long time. ;-)

      • the time one has to think about McDonald’s…ugh. “scientific food,” indeed. one more stellar example of the flattening of culture occurring in societies whose function is warfare. Mcdonald’s is the MRE of capitalism. and the music…the insistent happiness combined w/the occasional tinge of nostalgic regret over some lost love of youth. filthy, disgusting places made bright & sheeny w/fiberglass & sparkly plastic, all roughly rigid corners…and how do Americans park their fat cans in those booths? oh, they don’t. they eat in their cars.

        how flat & dull & lifeless everything is! and how much energy spent in trying to reanimate a corpse. with happy talk. & fearmongering.


        why not shoot that caravan of bugs heading toward “our” border w/something more than the standard issue firearms of ICE & the Army? it’s very clever of those bugs to use rocks. and it doesn’t usually rain along the Rio Grande, so maybe we can test our stealth bombers in a theater & against a target in which they might actually work? if that’s a bit much, surely there’s something equally awesome & kick ass we can test on these border babies? for self-defense? I mean, we aren’t going to open up on a bunch of school children w/all the firepower one of our M1 Abrams tanks can muster, or shoot them w/bazookas, just for the sheer fun of it, are? you wouldn’t guess that we’d go for that from our movies, video games and uh, more importantly, the body count in the streets, incl from all the guns we dumped on the Mexican drug cartels?

        and just who do people think we bomb in Yemen? Libya? etc., etc., etc.? just the bad guys. we only bomb children when this most pernicious threat to the city on a hill shows up at our back door begging for water. other than that, all our bombs are humanitarian.

        ok, I know this post is all over the place. but really, people expressing their mock horror at what’s happening on the border is just a bit much, isn’t it? better late than never to the “off w/Uncle Sam’s head” ballgame, I guess, but people will quickly discover the same excuses they’ve always used to look the other way. like Russian influence on Facebook.

  2. Happy Sunday, folk! Your post is so loaded, wendye, I woke this morning singing this song:

    I saw Adam leave the garden with an apple in his hand
    I said “Now you’re out what are you goin’ to do?”
    “Plant my crops and pray for rain,
    Maybe raise a little cain;
    I’m an orphan now, and I’m just passing through.”

    Passing through, passing through
    Sometimes happy, sometimes blue
    Glad that I ran into you
    I’m an orphan and I’m only passing through.

    • and a god sunday to you a well, juliania. i’d had to look it up: pete seeger, then? boy, howdy, does ‘pray for rain’ fit. our skins’ are cracking from the inside out it’s so dry here.

      i’m almost glad the lyrics took you seven comments; you’ve almost erased this iteration of haha rAxe. ;-)

      dunno that these are young uns wanting peace, nor if the no nato demos in april will draw many, either young or old. but while it’s a worthy manifesto, most especially as both Ds and Rs are war parties, as big al pointed out over yonder, my answer was that they must now this, and yet exemplify this quote this by chris floyd i keep around:

      “But there’s nothing else for it. We must keep sounding the alarm, even in the face of almost certain defeat. What else is our humanity worth if we don’t do that? And if, in the end, all that we’ve accomplished is to keep the smallest spark of light alive, to help smuggle it through an age of darkness to some better, brighter time ahead, is that not worth the full measure of struggle? ”

      oddly, i must have needed to make my point larger than one extra ??? link, but the irony of dubya getting a medal from biden for ‘helping veterans’! that’s whose watch was first responsible for the debacle at the VA in deecee.

      anyhoo, gotta scoot for sunday chores. i think i may have a new diary coming, but the assange indictment one took several days, comments topped out at 81 last night. not all enjoyed my goodwhistleblower/bad whistleblower demonstations, but…ya gotta do…what cha gotta do, yes?

      nice to see you, ww.

  3. I saw Jesus on the cross on that hill called Calvary
    “Do you hate mankind for what they’ve done to you?”
    He said, “Speak of love, not hate,
    Things to do; it’s getting late
    Tell the people that you saw me passing through.”

    Passing through, passing through
    Sometimes happy, sometimes blue
    Glad that I ran into you
    Tell the people that you saw me passing through.

  4. Well, I shivered next to Washington
    One night in Valley Forge
    “Tell me why do the soldiers freeze here like they do?”
    He said, “Men must suffer, fight,
    Even die for what is right
    Even though they know they’re only passing through.”

    Passing through, passing through
    Sometimes happy, sometimes blue
    Glad that I ran into you
    Even though I know we’re only passing through.

    • Cohen: “Men will suffer, men will fight, even die for what is right
      Even though they know they’re only passin’ through”

      Jah. That ol’ land bandit Washington, he knew they will even die for what is wrong. Sure he did.

  5. Was at Franklin Roosevelt’s side
    Just the night before he died
    He said “One world must come out of World War Two
    Yankee, Russian, white or tan,
    Sure a man is just a man
    We’re all brothers and we’re only passing through.”

    Passing through, passing through
    Sometimes happy, sometimes blue
    Glad that I ran into you
    We’re all brothers and we’re only passing through.

  6. Apologies for spreading myself out that way – the post seemed to require that sort of thing. I didn’t youtube or duckduckgo to find a ‘correct’ version of the above – it’s all outa my own noggin. Close enough for folk music, as the pro’s used to say.

    My husband was a folkie, legitimate and unheralded by the media but he taught some of the best and was known in our intimate circles as the real deal. I have a store of these items, so maybe can divulge a few from time to time if the memory holds up. We started out listening to vinyls stored in the Library of Congress in our college days.

    Bravo to all young’uns messaging peace. Let it be.

  7. The basement of the Library of Congress was where those vinyls were stored. Can’t go much lower than that.

  8. Alan Lomax. There’s a name.

  9. thanks Juliania.

    Make America Gay Again! accessorize its pointy hats & make them fabulous.

    did you ever notice how whiny “the greatest” always is? it’s a sign of a fascistic mentality that any loss or set back or even speed bump in Uncle Sam’s domination of the planet is b/c someone else is “cheating,” “meddling,” etc. trickery, the Chinese are manipulating their currency, the Russians are posting stuff on Facebook (lol), the Afghanis are using human shields, and the evil, evil Hondurans are using nefarious children to penetrate our wall, our great, great wall, never been a great wall before. can an enemy be any more devious than using children? so hello children, meet our bullets.

    this is the “stabbed in the back” mentality of the Nazis, already well-advanced in the US in the oft-repeated notion that we didn’t “win” in Vietnam b/c our politicians wouldn’t “let” us. not only was napalming peasants not enough, not only did we not drop enough bombs, Agent Orange, etc., not “winning” in Vietnam is also grounds for destroying the constitution and taking some revenge on politicians who didn’t have the strength of will to kill even more. US democracy in action didn’t drop enough bombs on those rice farmers! get rid of even the pretense of democracy cuz it just gets in the way.

    and defoliating is not cheating, bombing Laos is not cheating, but building networks of tunnels & engaging in guerilla tactics and getting weapons from china, etc., now that’s real cheating. to the “strong,” the weapons of the “weak” could never be anything but cheating. it’s just too bad that for the “weak,” it’s not a game, so the language of cheating is complete bullshit. “what the Mahdi did to General Gordon was not cricket,” somebody says in Mike Leigh’s marvelous “Topsy Turvy.” yeah, some combatants have the luxury of looking at warfare as a game. some don’t.

    and apropos of nothing really…

    • hadn’t ever considered the theme that ‘our wars’ were lost by cheating, myself. but do see what you mean now.

      [did fdr really say that ‘One world must come out of World War Two
      Yankee, Russian, white or tan’ or anything close; wish he had.]

      nice on the old man’s ‘pallet on the floor’. he sings well, too. speaking of apropos of nothing, i’d fallen asleep for a bit after lunch, and in my dream my musical partner and i were working out a set list for a coming gig, and i’d wondered if we might do something acapella, as our harmonies were purdy damned fine.

      anyhoo, we sang this that we used to perform, and it made my day, and boy, did i need a boost.

      .

      • Well, wendye, Franklin married Eleanor, and yes, ‘twould have been better, perhaps, to put her in the verse instead of him, her legacy being the UN – but then the death of Roosevelt, as with the deaths of the Kennedys, left their possible legacies unresolved, so I think the drama of the verse made sense. Let’s keep it.

    • “how whiny “the greatest” always is”. Jah, Israhell da same way. Funny, Nazies and Zionists bloom in same places.

      This is a moral. Discarded commandment: Do not idolize your oppression.

      Oops, I forgot aristocrats (and crapitalists).

      Crapitalism is Fraud


  10. Ellsberg: “…it virtually demolished the fundamental premise that the Soviets were pursuing a program of world conquest like HItler’s.”

    Fucking irrational commies!!!!!

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

  11. Transparency International UK’s Hiding In Plain Sight report last year revealed the extent to which London’s company formation professionals are able to provide companies with complex structures of ownership so that illicit wealth can be easily laundered. The vast majority of this money originates from former Communists states in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucuses.

    Hey, do vultures make their own carrion?

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