Ten Years since February 15, 2003
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Were you in the streets ten years ago, trying desperately to stop the looming invasion of Iraq? What do you remember about February 15? What have we learned since then? Write to me with your thoughts.
I'll share your comments in the next World Can't Wait e-newsletter.
February 23 = 1000 Days in Prison for Bradley Manning
Join in protests to free Bradley Manning, still held without a trial yet:
New York City
Find out more at: bradleymanning.org.
With the kind of "kabuki theater" questioning the Senate gave John Brennan last week during a public hearing, it's certain they will confirm him as Director of the C.I.A. This should not be any surprise. Diane Feinstein, Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee hasn't met a national security "concern" yet that didn't trump the rights of the people; we know she was one of the select few briefed by the Bush regime when they began torture, or excuse me, "enhanced interrogations."
But, finally, after several years of a drone killing spree unimpeded by almost any comment, much less protest at the level needed, the words "drone" and "controversy" are finally being said in the same sentence. I point out some in Suddenly Targeted Killing by Drones is Controversial, including the fine editorial cartoons appearing, the best of which is from Tom Tomorrow.
World Can't Wait is not alone in making the comparison between the Bush regime's use of torture/indefinite detention and the targeted killing without due process of the Obama administration. The New York Times said Sunday:
“By emphasizing drone strikes, Mr. Obama need not bother with the tricky issues of detention and interrogation because terrorists tracked down on his watch are generally incinerated from the sky, not captured and questioned.”
Dennis Loo, in The Red Queen's in Charge: Murdering People and Due Process Via Drones, asks:
One of the drone victims from Kunar, hurt early Wednesday.
"If it was within Iran’s capacity to deploy drones over the U.S., the way the U.S. does over Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, etc., and Iran’s Prime Minister and his closest advisor for drones, Mohammed J. Brennan, met every Tuesday in Tehran to decide which Americans were going to be assassinated, the way President Obama and his own John Brennan do, and Iran was murdering thousands of Americans, including over 176 American children, what do you suppose the response in the U.S. might be?"
Last week's tiny sliver of a public hearing was interrupted by the wonderfully loud Ann Wright and others from Code Pink, many of whom had been in Pakistan months ago to see evidence of C.I.A. drone killings. They were arrested for disrupting Congress, and we thank them!
The theater continued Tuesday night in the State of the Union message, which followed on Obama's Inaugural address. Looking beyond the public wrapping of concern for people killed in gun violence, of a demand that action be taken about climate change, a cold, chilling, message continues to comes through. Hours after he spoke, a NATO airstrike killed ten, mostly women and children, according to the BBC, as the US continued its war on Afghan villagers. Kathy Kelly, returned from her twelfth visit to Afghanistan, said this morning in response to Obama's focus on the sacrifice of U.S. troops and his commitment to a "unified and sovereign" Afghanistan:
President Obama is a hawkish president who likes to appear dovish. The reality is that the Pentagon has said that the troops will be in Afghanistan until 2024 and beyond. And in the 21st century military that the president and the Pentagon want to create, they don’t necessarily need big, huge military bases all across Afghanistan. What they want to have are special operations troops working in coordination with the capacity for drone strikes, weaponized drone strikes and drone surveillance.
Has anyone mentioned the Nobel Peace Prize lately?
Resisting the NDAA's Terrible Indefinite Detention Provisions with High Standards
I really encourage you to view Raymond Lotta's presentation and the interesting discussion from this past Sunday's webcast. Lotta went into the history of political opponents of governments targeted in 1930's Germany, and in the U.S. in the 50's, 60's and 70's, as well as what he called the "disturbing turn" in the lawsuit against the NDAA, Hedges v. Obama. Audience questions drew on the content of a poem by Pastor Martin Niemoeller, who put great effort into saving his own Lutheran Church, and later was self-critical of that chocie, saying it meant the expense of millions of lives. Lotta described the essence of the lesson Niemoeller drew of not allowing the repressive government to determine who is "the other;" not allowing targeted gorups to act as if it's OK if the government targets "them."
See the Call to Stand Together To Oppose The Obama Administration’s Dangerous Assault On Fundamental Rights.
Protesting for the Planet this weekend
Tuesday night we heard from Barack Obama that climate change demands immediate action, but the solution appears to also be the problem:
"The good news is, we can make meaningful progress on this issue while driving strong economic growth. I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago."
Wednesday, 48 protesters were arrested in front of the White House, including the executive director and president of the Sierra Club (right), ending their 120 year ban on civil disobedience as an organization. This was a warm-up to the weekend, as people gather in Chicago for a climate crisis conference (I'll be speaking, and hope to see you there), and on Sunday in a mass march and rally in DC against the Keystone XL pipeline:
World Can't Wait will have a "Humanity and the Planet Come First" contingent at the protest on Sunday February 17 in Washington, DC. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to attend with World Can't Wait.The World Can't Wait contingent will meet on the street side across from the Mall at the corner of 15th St. NW & Constitution Ave. NW. Contact us on Feb. 17 at 347-581-2677. For more information and bus tickets, go to forwardonclimate.org.
Debra Sweet, Director, The World Can't Wait