In some future lovely little war, perhaps with China or some other demonized target, some percentage of the U.S. public may suddenly exclaim: “Hey, since when does a draft include young women as well as men?!” Old tunes will be revised and sung in protest with lyrics about being the first one on your block to have your daughter come home in a box. The tragedies will be played out in tears and screams and flag-covered propaganda-regurgitating rationalizations. Dead women and men will be thanked for the service of stirring up World War III before being dumped in the ground to rot, as some of the living begin to envy them and wonder about the merits of the service they’ve provided.
Afghanistan is the most glaring proof of the American treachery. It’s a cautionary tale for others who incredibly still seem trusting in hitching their wagon to a U.S. alliance.
This week on Talk World Radio: draft registration. Is it unfair to young women not to force them to kill and die for weapons profits? Our guest Rivera Sun is the Editor of Nonviolence News, a nationwide trainer in strategy for nonviolent movements, and the author of many books and novels, including The Dandelion Insurrection and The Way Between. She serves on the Advisory Boards of World BEYOND War and the Backbone Campaign. Her essays on nonviolence are syndicated by Peace Voice and published in hundreds of journals.
It’s outdated. It’s dysfunctional. It’s hated by most of the populace. No, we’re not talking about the line at the DMV. We’re talking about the Selective Service and the military draft. For decades, young men have had to register. Now, congress is considering expanding draft registration to women.
It took a variety of approaches to market the 2003 war on Iraq. For some it was to be a defense against an imagined threat. For others it was false revenge. But for Samantha Power it was philanthropy. She said at the time, “An American intervention likely will improve the lives of the Iraqis. Their lives could not get worse, I think it’s quite safe to say.” Needless to say, it wasn’t safe to say that.
“We’re number one!” The United States famously fails to actually lead the world in anything desirable, but it does lead the world in many things, and one of them turns out to be the poisoning of the Pacific and its islands. And by the United States, I mean the United States military.
Updated: October 6, 2020
Palestine is currently facing a quadruple crisis consisting of Covid-19 pandemic, Zionism, imperialism and reactionary Arab regimes. With more than 50,000 Coronavirus cases, Palestine is finding it hard to combat the pandemic with a war-torn and fragmented healthcare system. The ruthlessness of Zionist ideology has invariably prevented the proper development of health infrastructures and what we have now is a severely under-resourced health architecture perforated by the wounds of settler colonialism. As a result of Israel’s 53-year occupation of West Bank and Gaza, the region has been converted into a donor-dependent system that has perennial shortages in equipment, medication and staff due to military raids and import restrictions. While the Palestinian Authority (PA) has tried to effectively operate within this restricted environment, the all-encompassing Israeli chokehold around the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) has greatly curtailed the administration’s ability to secure key supplies to counter the spread of infection. Not contented with the restriction of medical supplies, Israel has further hampered Palestine’s Covid-19 response by comprehensively destroying two Coronavirus testing centres.
Updated: Added a “Take Action” July 23, 2020
The U.S. House of Misrepresentatives on Tuesday voted 324 to 93 (with 13 not voting) to defeat a proposal to move a mere 10% of military spending to human, environmental, and health needs. The 324 people who voted the wrong way on this really should never show their faces in public again. Our society ought to shame them so deeply that they pick up and move to a country with healthcare and retirement and clean energy and a decent education system where they can discover what they’ve been depriving the United States of, as well as discover what they’ve been inflicting on the world. Certainly, nobody should ever vote to elect any of them again.
“There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen.” — Vladimir Lenin
Between 1973 and 1990 scores of people were disappeared by the US supported fascist regime of Augusto Pinochet in Chile. They were incarcerated, tortured and thousands were murdered. In fact, the official total of those killed by the regime is just over 40,000. But some critics suggest it was much higher. Pinochet was able to do all of this with the blessing of the CIA who assisted him in the coup against the elected President, Salvador Allende, and in his reign of terror afterward in Chile. The painful lessons of the Pinochet years has often been obscured under neoliberal historical revisionism, but with what is currently unfolding in cities like Portland, Oregon, it is urgent to revisit them.
I know it’s stiff competition, but hear me out.
The threat of nuclear apocalypse is higher than ever. The threat of irreversible climate collapse is higher than ever and massively contributed to by militarism. The trillions of dollars being dumped into militarism are desperately needed for actual defense against these dangers including spin-off catastrophes like coronavirus. But military jobs and weapons production jobs (producing weapons for dictatorships and so-called democracies around the world; the U.S. handles 80% of the globe’s foreign weapons sales) are being deemed “essential” and actually being boosted with more funding.
When the imperialists carry out reckless actions like the recent assassination of a top Iranian military official, aren’t they at least partly conscious of the ways this endangers their power structure? Don’t they see that the more resources the American war machine consumes and the worse proletarian living conditions become as a result, the greater the likelihood becomes that a revolution will happen? Don’t they see the obvious and growing signs of the U.S. empire’s collapse? Don’t they see that the more the neoliberal order exacerbates climate change and destabilizes the economy, the more the bourgeois power structure comes under threat?
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said yesterday, after the Iraqi government had asked the US to leave their country, pack up and close the US bases, “the United States is prepared to help the Iraqi people get what they deserve and continue our mission.” He went on to say that the Iraqi people want the US to keep their bases in Iraq.
In her 2017 book No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics And Winning The World We Need, Naomi Klein wrote in reference to her experiences in post-invasion Iraq that:
“There have been times in my reporting from disaster zones when I have had the unsettling feeling that I was seeing not just a crisis in the here and now, but a glimpse of our collective future-a preview of where the road we are all on is headed unless we somehow grab the wheel and swerve.”