War and Peace

May 4, 1970 Remembered

May 4, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

Monday, May 4 – Introduction

For at least an entire generation of Americans, the day May 4, 1970, will always be associated with the shootings of unarmed students by National Guardsmen on the campus of Kent State University in Ohio. Four students were killed – two had nothing to do with the protests, one was an ROTC cadet – and nine others were wounded, including one permanently paralyzed. The shootings will be eternally remembered as a grim stain upon US history.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Oliver Stone (Now) on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

April 18, 2022 by Source

Early in February, perhaps a couple weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine, well-known producer / director, Oliver Stone told journalist Robert Scheer: “The United States and its allies in NATO have been provoking Russia for, since two years now — actually three years – over the Ukraine…”

In the same interview, Stone decried “bloodthirsty” media coverage saying, “they have no proof that Russia intends to invade Ukraine; I doubt that they would. I think Russia is concerned only with the Donbass region.”

After the invasion, Stone — who had also criticized the media for using the term “invasion” to characterize Russia’s plans — came around. And here is the full text of Oliver Stone’s most recent Facebook post:

Read the full article → 2 comments

There Is No Left Position That Justifies Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine

April 12, 2022 by Source

By David Ost / Common Dreams / April 2, 2022

It is tough for leftists to be on the same side as the mainstream.

We can easily feel at those times that we’re missing something, that we’re letting down the struggle, that by ganging up even on an admittedly bad actor we’re helping strengthen the nemesis at home, allowing it to appear as the good guy.

Ever since 1917, that has been the case with regards to the western Left and Russia. Before 1917, the Left saw the tsarist autocracy as the pinnacle of authoritarian reaction, an attitude that eased the path for the socialist parties of Russia’s enemies to embrace World War I. But ever since the Russian Revolution, the Left has been wary of joining with any western bourgeois condemnations of the country,

Read the full article → 1 comment

Show Your Support for Ukraine – Human Peace Sign at OB’s Dog Beach – Sunday, March 6 at 2pm

March 5, 2022 by Frank Gormlie

People showing support for Ukraine are coming together at Dog Beach in OB to form a Human Peace Sign on Sunday, March 6. At 2 pm.

The event is being organized by Rhonda June Blaine and Mike James is helping out.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Reality Check: There Are More Russians Standing Up to Putin than Republicans

March 1, 2022 by Source

Read the full article → 3 comments

Both Iraq and Ukraine Invaded With Lies

February 22, 2022 by Source

By Craig Jones

Both things are true: The US military empire invaded and occupied Iraq in 2003, attempting to justify it with lies; and now the Russian military empire is invading and will occupy Ukraine, attempting to justify it with lies. In fact, both these atrocities are purely the outcomes of military-industrial-state complexes.

Military empires can be depended upon to perpetrate atrocities.

There is historic context to what is going on.

It has been clearly documented that the “West” with the US in the lead made promises via Glasnost that NATO would NOT expand further towards Russia; but those promises were demolished precisely by NATO expansion, with military forces, year after year moving ever on, right up to Russian borders.

Read the full article → 2 comments

To War Or Not To War? That Is the Question

February 22, 2022 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine dominates the headlines; with good cause. Diplomacy is failing. Inflation is raging. Europe is reliving the nightmare possibilities of more Russian tanks, troops and trenches on its borders.

The current carefully scripted takeover of the two Ukrainian “state-lets” is a repeat of Putin’s takeover of the former Soviet state of Georgia, and more recently, the seizure of Crimea.

“August 7th, 2008, Russia launched a full-scale land, air and sea attack against its tiny neighbor, across an internationally recognized border.

The conflict pitted 70,000 Russian troops against Georgia’s army of about 10,000 soldiers and another 10,000 reservists. Needless to say, the “war” did not last long—it was over by August 12.”

That invasion lasted 5 days.

Read the full article → 7 comments

Some Common-Sense About the Ukrainian Crisis

February 17, 2022 by Source

By Volodymyr Ishchenko / Al Jazeera / Feb. 16, 2022

The Ukrainian political leadership must not allow great powers to decide the country’s future.

In late January, as Western countries escalated their rhetoric about an “imminent invasion” by Russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy questioned this narrative at a press conference with foreign reporters. “I’m the president of Ukraine and I’m based here and I think I know the details better here,” he said following his phone call with US President Joe Biden.

I felt proud and I think many other Ukrainians did so, too. In the 2019 presidential elections, 73 percent of voters supported Zelenskyy, a comedian with no political experience, in an act of total rejection of the dinosaur of Ukrainian oligarchic politics, Petro Poroshenko, who ran on an aggressive nationalist platform.

Read the full article → 6 comments

Reader’s Rant: American Mainstream Media Are Beating the Drums of War With No Sense of History

February 10, 2022 by Source

By Frances O’Neill Zimmerman

No question Senator Bernie Sanders did a national service by writing this piece for the Guardian. The American press and radio/TV are beating the drums of war with no explanation about past history, so Sanders goes to a British journal to lay out the risks we are taking.

I haven’t seen one word of explanation about NATO’s USA-backed expansion in recent years to the borders of Russia itself.

Instead we hear only that Putin is having a nostalgic fever dream about restoring Russian greatness by reconstituting the old Soviet union.

No mention of any tacit agreement between the USA and Russia in 1990-91 for Russia to accept the reunification of Germany in return for our keeping Ukraine out of NATO.

Read the full article → 9 comments

Bernie Sanders: ‘We Must Do Everything Possible to Avoid an Enormously Destructive War in Ukraine’

February 9, 2022 by Source

By Bernie Sanders / The Guardian UK / Feb. 8, 2022

I’m concerned when I hear familiar drumbeats in Washington demanding we ‘show strength’, when we’re faced with what could be the worst European war in 75 years

Wars have unintended consequences. They rarely turn out the way the experts tell us they will. Just ask the officials who provided rosy scenarios for the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, only to be proven horribly wrong. Just ask the mothers of the soldiers who were killed or wounded in action during those wars. Just ask the millions of civilians who became “collateral damage”.

That is why we must do everything possible to try and find a diplomatic solution to what could be an enormously destructive war in Ukraine.

Read the full article → 3 comments

9/11 Changed No Views of Mine About the World

September 9, 2021 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

Recently the UT asked readers to react to where we were on 9/11 and wanted to know what went through our minds that day, and how that changed our view of the world.

I had no response because 9/11 didn’t change my view of the world as much as it validated how I see the world.

My first thought after seeing the second plane crashing into one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center was “Oh! Oh! The Pentagon is going to do something real crazy in retaliation for this!” That assumption was based on a lifetime of observing our country when it’s pissed.

Read the full article → 11 comments

Urgent Call on Biden Administration: Do Not Abandon Afghan Women and Girls

August 20, 2021 by Source

The following women’s letter was organized by Vital Voices and Women for Women International, a group of celebrities, policy experts, NGO leaders and activists.

Urgent Call on Biden Administration: Do Not Abandon Afghan Women and Girls

We join a growing chorus of global leaders and advocates in raising up the voices of Afghan women’s rights activists who are under imminent threat, and urge the Biden administration to honor its commitment to gender equality by acting swiftly to support women who are trapped in a dire crisis.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Joe Biden Stands Up to the War Machine

August 17, 2021 by Source

“I stand squarely behind my decision,”President Joe Biden said Monday. “After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces.”

Biden said the collapse of the 20-year American military involvement in Afghanistan proved he was correct to end the U.S. mission, arguing that the Taliban’s takeover of the country vindicated his decision to bring home the U.S. troops stationed there. …

In making this statement and defending his decision, Biden stood up to the US war machine, the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us about.

Read the full article → 8 comments

After 2 Decades of Lies and Disconnect by American Leaders, US Leaves Afghanistan

August 16, 2021 by Source

Washington’s War in Afghanistan Is Over. What Happens Now?

President Biden was right to withdraw US troops. But we should have no illusion that this will end the war for Afghans.

By Phyllis Bennis / The Nation / August 16, 2021
We don’t know yet what the consequences

US Retreats as Taliban Take Kabul

By Jon Queally / Common Dreams / August 15, 2021

Nearly two full decades of lies and wishful thinking from U.S. generals,

There ‘Will Never Be’ a US Military Solution in Afghanistan: Rep. Barbara Lee

By Andrea Germanos / Common Dreams / August 16, 2021

Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee—who cast the sole vote

Read the full article → 5 comments

Remembering May 4, 1970 Half a Century Later

May 4, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

May 4, 1970 for at least an entire generation of Americans will always be associated with the shootings of unarmed students by National Guardsmen on the campus of Kent State Ohio. Four students were killed – two having nothing to do with the protests, one was an ROTC cadet – and eleven were wounded – they will be remembered as a stain upon US history for eternity.

At the time, it shocked the nation – and visibly and viscerally divided the country, already fractured from more than a decade of the African-American movement for civil rights and a handful of years of the ever -increasing militancy of the anti-Vietnam war movement centered on college and university campuses. A deep cultural divide had also developed in America

Read the full article → 2 comments

We Added Some Color to Breen’s Pro-War Editorial Cartoon

April 15, 2021 by Frank Gormlie

Could not leave alone Union-Tribune editorial cartoonist Steve Breen’s piece of work published in today’s paper. Apparently, he falls into that group of patriots who think 20 years in Afghanistan is just not enough. His cartoon today displayed that sentiment.

So, here’s our response – added some color to his graphic.

Read the full article → 9 comments

Lessons to Learn – Nagasaki 75 Years Later – Right vs. Might

August 10, 2020 by Source

By Scott Stephens

Sunday, August 9 marked the 75th anniversary of the Nagasaki atomic bombing, which instantly wiped out 80,000 innocent civilians. We can debate whether or not this decision was warranted. However, most scholars feel the Nagasaki drop was unnecessary as Japan was close to surrendering following the bombing of Hiroshima and the Soviet Union joining the allies. But our debates won’t change history, and, likely, these disagreements may never be resolved.

But I think there is something we can all agree on: we should avoid war and look to diplomatic solutions whenever possible.

In a civilized world, victory shouldn’t be reserved just for the most powerful nations. Those of us who have lived most of our lives in the world’s most powerful, dominant country have grown accustomed to the chant of “let’s just bomb the shit out of them,” referring to whoever is our enemy at the time. But less powerful nations don’t have that luxury. The straightforward premise that right over wrong should carry more weight than who has the biggest bombs is hard to argue with.

Read the full article → 0 comments

May 4, 1970: Kent State Murders 50 Years Ago Today – ‘The Day the World Turned Upside Down’

May 4, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Fifty years ago exactly, on May 4, 1970, was the day the world turned upside down for an entire American generation of young people. It was the day National Guardsmen on the campus of Kent State University in Ohio aimed their M1 rifles at crowds of unarmed demonstrating college students and fired.

15 students were hit by bullets – four of them died either instantly or within minutes and eleven were wounded, one so badly he was maimed for life.

This day, then, stands out – as Pearl Harbor did for an earlier generation, as 9-11 did for a later generation. It was one thing to protest the Cambodian invasion and the war in Vietnam, it was quite another to be shot to death by American soldiers on an American college campus for protesting the wars.

The date May 4, 1970 will forever be associated with the murders of four young people.

Read the full article → 5 comments

50 Years Since the Rebellion of May of 1970

April 30, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

Introduction to Series

A half century ago exactly, our country was being literally torn apart over the war in Vietnam and its subsequent escalations. Today, the only reference to the Vietnam War is how the number of American deaths from the COVID-19 virus have now exceeded the deaths of US servicemen during the entire Vietnam period.

Yet, history has caught up with us.

Fifty years ago exactly to the day, on April 30, 1970, President Richard Nixon announced to the nation that he had ordered the invasion of Cambodia by US troops. Nixon didn’t call it an “invasion” but it was clear he was expanding the war in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, not de-escalating it as he had pledged.

With his announcement, Nixon set off a month-long torrent of protest mainly by college and university students, an intensity never seen before on American campuses.

Read the full article → 9 comments

Pranksters Paste Donald Trump Jr. Recruitment Posters in Front of Armed Forces Career Center

January 14, 2020 by Source

In an Instagram caption, the two wrote, “We put up some #honestsigns at the Army Recruitment Center. Hopefully we aren’t going to war, but if we did, we know one guy who won’t enlist.”

Read the full article → 0 comments

It’s Time of ‘Imagine the Unimaginable’

January 14, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

I once taught an upper-division seminar at UC Riverside titled “Strategies of Defense in the Nuclear Age.” The prompt for designing such a course was the simplistic, but serious responses of many undergraduates whenever I asked. “How would you solve this crisis?”

Lots of contemporary crises were available then—just as they are today. The students’ frequent answer: “Nuke ‘em.”

These nonchalant remarks about the devastating power of a nuclear weapon caused me to add a whole section of actual film footage about the human as well as environmental consequences of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Trump Threatens War Crimes Against Iran. Congress Must Stop Him.

January 9, 2020 by Source

By Marjorie Cohn

Trump has already committed the crime of aggression against Iran, and he is now threatening to commit a war crime if he carries through on his January 4 promise to target Iran’s cultural sites. The United States has violated the United Nations Charter’s prohibition on the use of military force. This is the time to raise our voices and demand that our congressional representatives put a halt to Trump’s illegal war-making.

It should be clear to any legal analyst that Donald Trump’s catastrophic decision to order the illegal assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani and Iraqi senior military leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis constituted the crime of aggression and violated both the United Nations Charter and the U.S. War Powers Resolution.

Read the full article → 4 comments

A Tale of Two Generals

January 6, 2020 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

Once upon a time there were two generals. One was a fit-looking guy with gray hair, a handsome older face with a square jaw, wearing a nice-looking uniform trimmed in gold braid, decorated with medals and campaign ribbons. The other general was a guy with – well, pretty much the same appearance.

One general worked for Country No. 1, a big, brash, rich, well-armed and -equipped place with millions of patriotic people. The other general worked for Country No. 27 (depending on which Gross Domestic Product (GDP) list you consult). Country No. 27 was not rich; it had some notable armaments and trained soldiers, but it was brash, and its people were very patriotic.

Both countries were involved militarily in countries outside their borders.

Read the full article → 0 comments

The Real Lesson of Afghanistan Is that Regime Change Does Not Work

December 26, 2019 by Source

A world in which war is normal and peace is out of reach is no more survivable or sustainable than a world where the atmosphere gets hotter every year.

By Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies / Nation of Change / December 20, 2019

The trove of U.S. “Lessons Learned” documents on Afghanistan published by the Washington Post portrays, in excruciating detail, the anatomy of a failed policy, scandalously hidden from the public for 18 years. The “Lessons Learned” papers, however, are based on the premise that the U.S. and its allies will keep intervening militarily in other countries, and that they must, therefore, learn the lessons of Afghanistan to avoid making the same mistakes in future military occupations.

Read the full article → 0 comments

The Toll of Endless War on American Veterans

November 11, 2019 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

As America’s endless wars grind on, largely out of view, we have become good at bombastic displays of patriotism at ballgames and other public venues, but underneath our ritualized nods to the service of our veterans the unseen psychic toll suffered by those who fight our wars remains mostly invisible.

In fact, in the age of the all-volunteer military, most of us don’t really need to think that much about it.

Still the suffering is deep and pervasive, like it or not. Many of us don’t know that one out of ten homeless people on the street is a veteran (with some estimates putting it much higher). Thus, despite our official love of veterans, as a society we are clearly quite comfortable treating them like disposable people. Think about that the next time you see somebody sleeping in a storefront doorway: perhaps that person risked their life for your country.

Read the full article → 0 comments

As Trump Aids and Abets Turkey’s War Crimes, the UN Must Act

October 24, 2019 by Source

By Marjorie Cohn / Truthout / Oct. 23, 2019

Nearly two weeks have passed since Turkey launched its ground and air attack on Rojava, the autonomous region of northeast Syria, following Trump’s sudden removal of 1,000 U.S. troops from the area.

While the United States and Turkey reached a “ceasefire” agreement on October 17, there are ongoing reports of violations of the deal. A U.S. official told CNN that Turkish-backed forces broke the ceasefire on its first day, saying that they were either acting beyond the scope of Turkish control or Turkey “didn’t care what they did.” Two U.S. officials said the ceasefire “is not holding.”

Read the full article → 0 comments

What Makes a War ‘Good’?

July 23, 2019 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

Since 1896, Ohio voters have picked the winning candidate in all but two presidential elections – 1944 and 1960 – giving rise to the state’s renown as a “bellwether” to which candidates cannot afford to turn a deaf ear. If Ohioans are going to be so influential, maybe we could help inform their future choices by sharing some concerns from the Golden State.

Dear Ohio,

I was wondering if Ohioans could give a little thought to what makes a war “good.”

Your answer might be important as we listen to the increasing thunder of American leadership shaking their fist at passersby on the world stage. After all, wars conceived are not wars remembered.

Our lasting impression of any war is its true outcome. If people could agree about what makes one war good and others bad or even forgotten, it might help us evaluate the use of our military might. That could help us choose our next president.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Iraq Vows to Stand With Iran if Iran Is Attacked by U.S.

May 29, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

It’s a little-known story that’s not breaking through U.S. mainstream media, but something that Americans need to know:

Iraq’s leaders are vowing to stand with Iran if Iran is attacked by the United States.

Period. Now just grok that for a moment. Iraq will stand with Iran if Trump moves on Iran militarily.

Iraq’s Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali al-Hakim made the pledge following talks with his Iranian counterpart.

Hakim said:

“We stand by our neighbor Iran, and economic sanctions are unnecessary and cause great suffering to the Iranian people.”

This is all in the midst of the US government ramping up its rhetoric against what it calls the Iranian threat.

Read the full article → 11 comments

The Costs of Endless Wars

May 27, 2019 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

If you don’t know someone in the military, sometimes it can be easy to forget that the United States has been in a war that never ends since 9/11. As a professor at City College, I see the effects in and out of the classroom as the stream of veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and/or dealing with war related health issues continues unabated and is frequently unrecognized by the community.

The same could be said of the skyrocketing suicide rates for active duty military and veterans .

As for the fallen that Memorial Day is meant to remember, the numbers since 9/11 are troubling with 480,000 dead from wars in the Middle East and Asia, including 280,000 civilians, according to a recent study from the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University. Other studies put just the number of Iraqis killed in that conflict at a cold 1,000,000.

Read the full article → 0 comments

The San Diego Connection If There’s War With Iran

May 23, 2019 by Michael Steinberg

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

On May 9 the US Naval Institute reported, “Due to provocative behavior from Iran and new intelligence…US National Security Advisor John Bolton cited {but did not identify}a “number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings.”

Subsequently the US Central Command ordered the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln strike force from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf, belly up with Iran.

The Navy report also mentioned that the Lincoln, stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, is “set to arrive at its new homeport of San Diego later this year.”

Read the full article → 0 comments