Peace Movement

Changing Military Recruitment Policies in Schools: One Phone Call and Email at a Time

February 11, 2015 by Source
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The Experiences of a Santa Barbara Mother in Finding Alternatives Are Inspiring

By Kate Connell / Draft NOtices

In the spring of 2014, I went to observe a career day at Santa Barbara High School, where my son is enrolled. There were a variety of organizations with representatives and literature tables. The Marines and the Navy recruiters were also there. They were soliciting student contact information.

The Marine’s “survey” form included questions such as, “Did you know that the Marine Corps has a $150,000 scholarship?” and “Did you know that the qualifications for the Marine Corps are higher than the standards of UC Santa Barbara?” I told them that under the school’s existing recruiting protocol they were not allowed to get student information directly from students, and that they had to go through the Santa Barbara Unified School District office.

I turned around and saw the school’s career counselor and approached him, reminding him about the school’s recruiter protocol. He didn’t recall that part of the protocol and said he would talk to the military recruiters about it. I asked, “What about the information they have already gathered from students?”

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The American Sniper As Hero

January 26, 2015 by Source

American SniperBy FDRDemocrat/ Daily Kos

The controversy over the movie American Sniper has predictably reopened the divide among many Americans over the Iraq War. What is more interesting is how the choice made by director Clint Eastwood to choose a sniper as a heroic archetype unravels classic notions of what is considered heroism.

The concept of heroism has been with humanity since the beginning. At it’s heart it contains a common thread where the hero (or heroine) risks themselves for the sake of others.

How then to adapt the heroic archetype to the profession of sniper? This is no easy task.

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“Steal Heaven” – Abbie Hoffman Tribute at San Diego REP

January 5, 2015 by Source

The San Diego REP begins 2015 with Herbert Siguenza’s tribute to Abbie Hoffman

By Alejandra Enciso Guzmán / San Diego Free Press

Photo Credit: Daren Scott

Abbie Hoffman was an American political activist who also founded the Youth International Party (Yippies) in 1968 and was known for his successful media events. The Yippies were likely to use ‘guerrilla’ theater or public pranks to bring attention to their causes.

Hoffman’s legacy lives on at the San Diego Repertory Theatre when it stages the world premiere of “Steal Heaven.” The production, which opens on January 10 is by Herbert Siguenza who also acts and co-directs along with Todd Salovey.

“Abbie Hoffman was a political figure of the sixties. Some people called him ‘crazy’ or ‘ultra-radical’ but the things he was saying back then have all come true,” the formerly San Diego based Siguenza stated during a phone interview with San Diego Free Press.

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Veterans Day 2014

November 11, 2014 by Source
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In observance of Veterans Day 2014, we turn to a series of posts that our online media partner, San Diego Free Press, has been running this week, “War and Peace Week”.

War and Peace Week at the San Diego Free Press by Anna Daniels

Drill Team (a paean, not to the war machine) by Jay Powell


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Twelve Years Ago Today OB Held Its Largest Peace Rally This Century

October 27, 2014 by Marc Snelling
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By Marc Snelling

Last month Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama, who was elected to end two wars, addressed the nation to announce an open-ended bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria. As the Afghanistan War (now the longest in American history) and the conflict in Iraq continue it is clear Obama has failed to live up to his election promises.

Not only has his administration failed to live up to it’s word to end two wars and close Guantanamo prison, he has even changed his tune about the initial invasion. The US “sought to work within the international system” he said earlier in March of this year at a speech in Brussels. Obama further declared the the US had “left Iraq to it’s people in a fully sovereign Iraqi state that can make decisions about it’s own future.”

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Lessons from Cointelpro – Many Learned in OB and San Diego in the Seventies

October 13, 2014 by Source
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Editor: The following is taken from a talk given by Professor Peter Bohmer at the Radical Ecology Conference, in Portland, Oregon on September 6, 2014. Bohmer currently is a faculty member in Political Economy at the Evergreen State College in Washington state. He lived in Ocean Beach in the Seventies and taught at SDSU. Many of the lessons Bohmer learned were from experiences here in San Diego and OB during the heady days of the 1970s.

By Peter Bohmer

I have been asked to share my experiences and knowledge of government repression with you not to scare you but so that we can deal with it and build stronger and more effective movements today for social, environmental and economic justice, locally, nationally and globally.

First a few comments.

We live in a society that is very unequal and growing more so. 50 million are below the official poverty line, and 10 million are officially unemployed and another 10 million have given up looking or are working part-time and want to work fulltime.

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Marjorie Cohn: Obama Declares Perpetual War

September 23, 2014 by Source
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By Marjorie Cohn / Truthout / Sept. 15, 2014

President Barack Obama escalated the drone war he has conducted for the past five and a half years by declaring his intention to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, or ISIL. Since August 8, Obama has mounted at least 154 airstrikes in Iraq. He will send 475 additional US troops, increasing the total number in Iraq to about 1,600.

Obama announced he would conduct “a systematic campaign of airstrikes” in Iraq, and possibly in Syria. But, not limiting himself to those countries, Obama declared the whole world his battlefield, stating “We will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are . . . if you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”

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Jewish Voice for Peace San Diego Condemns the Israeli Offensive in Gaza

July 21, 2014 by Source

By David Deutsch, Jonathan Graubart, and Avital Aboody/ Jewish Voice for Peace, San Diego

hold israel accountableJewish Voice for Peace San Diego (JVPSD) is the local chapter of the national Jewish Voice for Peace, an organization devoted to the pursuit of peace, social justice, equality, and human rights in Israel-Palestine.

While most mainstream American Jewish organizations have long abandoned moral responsibility when it comes to Palestinians, we insist upon holding Israel accountable for its crimes, which include a nearly fifty-year occupation, a denial of Palestinian self-determination, repeated war crimes, and systematic human rights abuses.

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Reshaping the Vietnam Narrative

June 18, 2014 by Source
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The Vietnam War was a turning point in U.S. history but not as many people may think. In defeat, the national security state changed the narrative into one that made American soldiers the victims and made anti-war activists into traitors who spat on returning soldiers, as Marjorie Cohn explains.

By Marjorie Cohn /

We came dangerously close to nuclear war when the United States was fighting in Vietnam, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg told a reunion of the Stanford Anti-Vietnam War Movement in May 2014. He said that in 1965, the Joint Chiefs assured President Lyndon B. Johnson that the war could be won, but it would take at least 500,000 to one million troops.

The Joint Chiefs recommended hitting targets up to the Chinese border. Ellsberg suspects their real aim was to provoke China into responding. If the Chinese came in, the Joint Chiefs took for granted we would cross into China and use nuclear weapons to demolish the communists.

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Don’t Walk Away from War : It’s Not the American Way

June 13, 2014 by Source

By Tom Engelhardt /

thEYHT689LThe United States has been at war — major boots-on-the-ground conflicts and minor interventions, firefights, air strikes, drone assassination campaigns, occupations, special ops raids, proxy conflicts, and covert actions — nearly nonstop since the Vietnam War began. That’s more than half a century of experience with war, American-style, and yet few in our world bother to draw the obvious conclusions.

Given the historical record, those conclusions should be staring us in the face. … So here are five straightforward lessons —

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Memory Against Forgetting: The May 1970 Peace Memorial at UCSD

May 15, 2014 by Source
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Editor: the following is based on a speech delivered by the author, Niall Twohig on last Friday, May 9th, in front of a group of fifty gathered in Revelle Plaza at UC San Diego to unveil The May 1970 Peace Memorial. The Memorial is dedicated to George Winne, who immolated himself and died as a protest against the Vietnam War in May of 1970, plus it’s dedicated to those students who carried on the May 1970 Student Strike.

By Niall Twohig

Why a memorial for May 1970? Why a memorial for peace? Why now?

To suggest some answers, I want to ask you, the reader, to take an imaginative leap back in time to May 1970.

In order to make this leap, we have to remember that the U.S. was waging an unpopular proxy war in Southeast Asia, made all the more unpopular after the invasion of Cambodia at the end of April.

If we found ourselves transported to May 1970, this would be all too apparent. We would see the images?the aerial views of bombs upon bombs pulverizing the Vietnamese countryside, images of GIs burning huts, footage of badly burnt villagers running from the firestorm of napalm, photos of rows upon rows of mutilated bodies scattered in the fields and anonymous soldiers packed away in coffins draped in stars and stripes.

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May 1970 Student Strike Against Vietnam War to Be Commemorated at UCSD May 9th

May 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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UCSD Students to Honor George Winne’s Self-Immolation and Protests 44 Years Ago

Forty-four years ago exactly, college and university campuses across America exploded in violent and non-violent protests against President Nixon’s expansion of the Vietnam war. It was May 1970.

Over the course of the month, the nation would witness more than 450 university, college and high school campuses being shut down by student strikes that involved more than 4 million students. It was the largest American student protest before and since.

During protests, National Guardsmen killed four students at Kent State University on May 4, 1970 in Kent, Ohio, and Jackson city police and Mississippi state troopers killed one student at Jackson State College and a high schooler passerby, in Jackson, Mississippi on May 15.

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“Best of OB Rag” – 2008 – Part 1

December 21, 2013 by Staff
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Here’s the first part for “Best of OB Rag” in 2008 – a story of the disappearance of the “Peace Sign” off of Bird Rock, and more on the Iraq war, the peace movement, the 2008 elections, torture, nuclear power, video from an alien invasion of OB in the Seventies, San Diego foreclosures and health care reform :

Peace Sign Atop “Peace Rock” Disappears From Sunset Cliffs – Vandals? Thieves? Conservatives?

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Rep. Alan Grayson: ‘As a Congressman, I need all the facts on Syria – and I’m not getting them.’

September 10, 2013 by Source
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On Syria Vote, Trust, but Verify

By Congressman Alan Grayson / The New York Times / Sept. 6, 2013

WASHINGTON — THE documentary record regarding an attack on Syria consists of just two papers: a four-page unclassified summary and a 12-page classified summary. The first enumerates only the evidence in favor of an attack. I’m not allowed to tell you what’s in the classified summary, but you can draw your own conclusion.

On Thursday I asked the House Intelligence Committee staff whether there was any other documentation available, classified or unclassified. Their answer was “no.”

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San Diego’s Left Found a Haven in Golden Hill During the 1970s

May 28, 2013 by Jim Miller


By Jim Miller

In the first part of my interview [at the San Diego Free Press] with Peter Zschiesche, he discussed Golden Hill past and present and described what he calls “the Golden Hill vibe.” Much of that feeling came out the politics and culture of the late sixties and early seventies. In this second and final installment of our interview, Peter talks about that time period and outlines some of the key places and players that made Golden Hill a vital, progressive community.

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Dirty Wars and Drones: Real National Security?

May 5, 2013 by Source

Jeremy Scahill
Author Jeremy Scahill Examines the Ugly Reality
By Jay Powell / San Diego Free Press

Thursday night, Jeremy Scahill, author of “Blackwater” gave a preview of his new book “Dirty Wars” to a full house at Hoover High School auditorium in City Heights a community that is home to many refugees from countries torn by war.

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OB Rag Poll on the Use of Drones: 82% Oppose Drones in the U.S.

April 8, 2013 by Frank Gormlie

Recently, the OB Rag ran a readers’ poll on the use of drones by the US government either in America and/or abroad. The results of the week-long poll are in: 82% of respondents oppose the use of drones in the United States.

36% of the respondents replied that they are okay with the use of the unmanned flying vessels in other countries by our government. 17% indicated that they are okay with their use in America.

45% of the 108 readers who responded specifically feel that the use of drones in America is unconstitutional or that they should not be used in our country. Another 37% replied that they specifically opposed their use overseas as well.

26% said that their use in America is “absolutely unconstitutional”. Another 19% were okay with their use in hunting down terrorists abroad, but opposed their deployment here in this country.

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March 28th Is the 42nd Anniversary of the Largest Community-Police “Disturbance” in Ocean Beach History

March 28, 2013 by Frank Gormlie
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Today, March 28th, marks the 42nd anniversary of the infamous Collier Park Riot – the largest “disturbance” between the community and police in the history of Ocean Beach.

Hundreds of OBceans and students from area colleges were gathered on March 28, 1971, at a peaceful anti-Vietnam War protest that was combined with a community clean-up of a large corner lot for parkland when they were attacked by police. This unprovoked assault by police resulted in a riot that spread from Soto and Greene Streets all the way to the beach and lasted for hours into the night. Fifty people were arrested, many injured, a patrol car was burned, but over time, the wounds were healed, the war ended, and a park was created in northeast OB: Collier Park.

Here are a series of articles about the Collier Park Riot and what it meant for Ocean Beach.

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Did Richard Nixon Commit Treason By Sabotaging Vietnam Peace Talks?

March 20, 2013 by Source
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Newly-released tapes record LBJ saying Nixon committed treason.

By Eric Brown / International Business Times / March 17 2013

Newly released tapes recorded during Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidency have confirmed long-held rumors that in 1968, then-presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon worked to sabotage Vietnam War peace talks.

The LBJ tapes were recently declassified and released by the Johnson library in Austin, Texas. According to the BBC’s summary of the tapes, not only did Nixon possibly commit treason, but LBJ knew about it and decided not to expose him in the closing days of an election that Nixon barely won.

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Debate Over San Diego Lifeguards – Diversity, Gender, Salaries and Politics

March 12, 2013 by Source
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Editor: We found an important debate going on in the pages of the Point Loma Democratic Club, and decided to repost the following positions. The first is by Michael Russell, a former San Diego lifeguard, who raises serious questions about gender, diversity, salaries and politics of the lifeguard union, Teamsters Local 911. The second is a response by Ed Harris, union steward for Teamsters 911 (quotes in italics are from Russell’s piece).

San Diego Lifeguards – Questions Raised Concerning Gender, Diversity and Salaries

by Michael Russell / Point Loma Democratic Club / March 8, 2013

Thank you for inviting me to your monthly meeting to listen to Ed Harris present his case for your support. As a former San Diego Lifeguard, I was interested in hearing his plea to Democrats for help in swaying the San Diego City Council. His quest as Union Steward for Teamsters 911 is to build and replace three Lifeguard Towers in Ocean Beach, South Mission Beach, and North Pacific Beach.

I agree that these City infrastructure projects are probably ripe, because of the low cost of current construction in this economic recession. Having worked at all these towers in the past, I agree that they are out of date and require constant upgrades, for such beach safety stations are necessary and appropriate. They are all major projects, costing millions, and must take into account long-term issues like sea level rise and changing beach demographics.

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Anti-Nuke Events Proliferate as the Holiday Season Arrives

November 29, 2012 by Doug Porter
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It may be the season for shopping for consumers. It may be a time to recharge for political campaigners. But for the anti-nuclear activists in the region it’s time to intensify their efforts. Inside are a half dozen programs, protests and events compiled by the Peace Resource Center for the coming days. Remember to make your holiday season about more than a trip to the mall.

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Saying Good-bye to George McGovern and Russell Means – Heroes of the 1970’s

October 22, 2012 by Frank Gormlie
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When heroes from our past pass on, sometimes it seems like there’s a rush to the exit doors. This weekend and today, both George McGovern and Russell Means passed through that door. Both of these heroes of the Seventies lived and died in South Dakota.

George McGovern, the peace candidate from South Dakota, a former Congressman and Senator from that state, who won the Democratic Party’s nomination for president in 1972, died early Sunday in Sioux Falls, S.D. He was 90.

And Russell Means, a former American Indian Movement activist who helped lead the 1973 uprising at Wounded Knee, reveled in stirring up attention and appeared in several Hollywood films, died early Monday at his ranch in Porcupine, S.D. He was 72 years old and had fought throat cancer.

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The Maimed – On Eleven Years of War In Afghanistan

October 8, 2012 by Source
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Chris Hedges gave this talk Sunday night – October 7th – in New York City at a protest denouncing the 11th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan. The event, at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, was led by Veterans for Peace.

By Chris Hedges

Many of us who are here carry within us death. The smell of decayed and bloated corpses. The cries of the wounded. The shrieks of children. The sound of gunfire. The deafening blasts. The fear. The stench of cordite. The humiliation that comes when you surrender to terror and beg for life. The loss of comrades and friends. And then the aftermath. The long alienation. The numbness. The nightmares. The lack of sleep. The inability to connect to all living things, even to those we love the most. The regret. The repugnant lies mouthed around us about honor and heroism and glory. The absurdity. The waste. The futility.

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No Country for Young Men as Old Men Play for Time: The End in Afghanistan is Totally Predictable

May 24, 2012 by Source
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Editor: Last Sunday outside the NATO conference, dozens of American Iraqi and Afghan veterans threw their medals away in protest of the wars. A very similar protest by veterans was held during the anti-Vietnam war days in 1971. .

By Dave Lindorff / Nation of Change and This Can’t Be Happening / May 22, 2012

Once again American troops are being asked to keep fighting for a mistake — this time the 2001 fantasy of the Bush/Cheney administration that it could make a client state out of Afghanistan.

John Kerry, back before he was a pompous windsurfing Senate apologist for American empire, back when he wore his hair long and was part of a movement of returned US military veterans speaking out against the continuation of the Vietnam War, famously asked the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at a hearing, “How do you ask a man to be the last one to die for a mistake?”

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Veterans Throw Medals Into the Street as Protest Against Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

May 21, 2012 by Source
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See here for Chicago braces for final day of anti-NATO protests as demonstrators march on Boeing HQ

Reuters / May 20, 2012

Nearly 50 U.S. military veterans at an anti-NATO rally in Chicago threw their service medals into the street on Sunday, an action they said symbolized their rejection of the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of the veterans, many wearing military uniform shirts over black anti-war t-shirts, choked back tears as they explained their actions. Others folded an American flag while a bugle played “Taps,” which is typically performed at U.S. military funerals.

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Craziness in Chicago: NATO, Protests, Nurses, Vets Throw Away Medals, and Trumped Up ‘Terrorism’ Charges?

May 19, 2012 by Frank Gormlie
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This weekend is the crazy weekend for Chicago. NATO is meeting about Afghanistan, protests are happening, nurses storm the streets demanding taxes on the rich wearing Robin Hood masks on, Iraq and Afganistan veterans are throwing away their medals in protest of the wars – and now, an attempt to trump it all, we have “terrorism” charges against some activists which are being met with swift denials and charges of “set up”.

President Obama had a sleep-over for world leaders at Camp David, getting ready for a G8 meeting on Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, dozens of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars plan on leading a march of thousands on Sunday, May 21, alongside Vietnam veterans, and will be presenting their medals to NATO officials during. This anti-war march will proceed through Chicago’s downtown area to the convention center where NATO is holding its summit.

And of course, inside the summit will be President Obama and other world leaders. The City of Chicago is bracing for major protests. Organizers are hoping the rally, which caps a week-long series of anti-NATO actions, will draw thousands. The Iraq and Afghanistan and Vietnam veterans will hold a reconciliation

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The Afghan Syndrome

April 11, 2012 by Source

Vietnam Has Left Town, Say Hello to the New Syndrome on the Block

By Tom Engelhardt / / April 10, 2012

Take off your hat. Taps is playing. Almost four decades late, the Vietnam War and its post-war spawn, the Vietnam Syndrome, are finally heading for their American grave. It may qualify as the longest attempted burial in history. Last words — both eulogies and curses — have been offered too many times to mention, and yet no American administration found the silver bullet that would put that war away for keeps.

(OB Rag Editor: please go to the original post for all the many links – )

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Occupy the Martin Luther King Day Parade in San Diego -January 15th

January 10, 2012 by Source

OCCUPY the ML King Parade in San Diego

Sunday, January 15 2012
2:00 PM to 4:30 PM

Alongside the San Diego Harbor
Grape Street and Harbor Blvd
San Diego, CA

Restore the true message of Martin Luther King

The once great San Diego Martin Luther King Parade has fallen in recent years from its noble stature, into a near-perversion of it original purpose. In the parade this year on Sunday, January 15th, OCCUPY will change that with your help.

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San Diegans Rally to Support America’s Soldier of Conscience – Bradley Manning

December 19, 2011 by Rocky Neptun
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Julia Glover pulls on her knitted gloves, wraps her scarf tighter around her shoulders as the chilly breeze whips through San Diego’s newly named Freedom Plaza. Fixing her eyes grimly on the costumed patrons of the ballet in tuxedos and firs as they line up for the annual Nutcracker presentation at the Civic Theatre, across the square from the Occupy San Diego base camp, she shivered and said sadly, “there they go, the fools of empire, the subsidiaries of the 1 percent, they will never understand, much less appreciate what Bradley Manning did for us.”

From Florida, she was visiting a friend in San Diego and was determined to spend her 68th birthday marching for Pfc. Manning on their shared birthday, December 17th. As she waited for the Saturday march to begin, listening to San Diego Occupiers discuss strategy at their daily General Assembly gathering in the plaza, she commented “we need to occupy Ft. Meade; all of us, thirty or forty thousand from across the nation, marching upon the base, requiring our government to release this young hero.”

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Shameful Iraq War – Based on Bush’s Lies – Is Finally “Over”

December 16, 2011 by Frank Gormlie

The American military’s involvement in Iraq is over, with the formal ending of the engagement being announced yesterday by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta at a very low-key ceremony at the Iraqi airport. Attended, by the way, by very few Iraqi politicians and civilian leaders.

This war – which cost 4500 American lives and 32,000 wounded, and over (a conservative estimate) 100,000 dead Iraqis – which forced us to spend $1 trillion, was one of the most shameful periods in modern American history.

This has to be said – as the corporate media, the pundits and politicians declare how proud they are of American combat troops while saying nothing about all the lies that the Bush administration pushed in order to invade that country in March of 2003.

In this celebratory atmosphere – we need to remind ourselves of the lies that got us there.

Lie No. 1: Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi government had weapons of mass destruction. None were ever found.

Lie No. 2: Saddam Hussein was responsible for the attacks on 9/11. Totally not true.

Lie No. 3: the Iraqis had connections with al Queda. Totally not true.

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