The Obama administration is pushing to pass their AUMF, an authorization for the use of military force against the "Islamic State" – a gang of thugs in a world of thugs that represents no particular threat to the United States. Yes, the War Party is going full blast with a propaganda campaign designed to drag us into yet another bloody futile war in the Middle East.
We’ve been here before – remember? The last time they corralled us into a war in Iraq they handed us cock-and-bull stories about "weapons of mass destruction" and Saddam Hussein’s nonexistent links to the 9/11 attacks. This time they aren’t bothering with any of that: it’s just pure horror stories plus the laughable contention that ISIL represents a credible threat to the US homeland.
It’s time for a preemptive strike at the War Party’s congressional fortress. Please call your congressional representative today and urge them to vote no on the AUMF – because we can win this one. We stopped them last time when Obama decided it was time to bomb Syria. One by one members of Congress who were inclined to authorize that military campaign backed away when faced with a deluge of outraged calls from constituents. We can do it again – oh yes we can!
Today we received word from our attorneys that the Supreme Court of Israel dismissed our appeal in the wrongful death case of our daughter and sister Rachel Corrie. Our family is disappointed but not surprised. We had hoped for a different outcome, though we have come to see through this experience how deeply all of Israel’s institutions are implicated in the impunity enjoyed by the Israeli military.
It will take some time before we have ability to read the decision in English and to process all the court has said. Nevertheless, it is clear that this decision, affirming the August 2012 lower court finding, amounts to judicial sanction of immunity for Israeli military forces when they commit injustices and human rights violations.
The Israeli Supreme Court decision ignores international law arguments regarding the protection of civilians and human rights defenders in armed conflict, and grossly violates the internationally recognized right to effective remedy.
Despite its success of rebelling Israeli military advances in Gaza, Hamas’s regional political maneuvers of recent years are not bearing fruits. Jointly isolated by Israel and other Arab parties, unaided by the Palestinian Authority (PA) of Mahmoud Abbas, the Islamic Resistance Movement is once again facing difficult choices, and it seems to be choosing a cautious return to its old camp of Iran and Hezbollah. The maneuver this time is particularly risky.
Hamas’ other options, however, are too limited or simply don’t exist. The movement is facing formidable challenges: a mired economy, ruined infrastructure, destroyed Rafah tunnels and a persisting Israeli siege.
The progress of the Hamas-Fatah agreement last year, followed by the formation of a new government, were meant to be prerequisites to other anticipated moves, including the reformation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The once promising push for unity was interrupted by Israel’s massive war, the so-called Operation Protective Edge, which killed and wounded thousands. The war also left the already distraught Gaza in its worse shape yet.
Instead of speedily setting up government ministries in Gaza, funneling money into the devastated Strip and beginning the reconstruction process right away, the Ramallah-based government of Rami Hamdallah delayed everything in what could only be understood as political reasoning. Without an outlet, however restricted, Gaza will not be able to cope for much longer.
If you wrongly guessed Charles Manson, you could hardly be blamed, especially since he’s been in the news again recently. As you can see from the picture of the real Manson below, this skinny young long-hair could have played the infamous mass murderer in a biopic with nary a trip to hair-and-makeup.
Yet the man in the black and white photo is also a serial killer and mass murderer, even though hardly anybody even knows his name. He openly confessed to his murders on film, and yet has not been charged for a single one. He would never have borne any punishment at all, had he not had, to his credit, imposed on himself a career of activism-as-penance.
The mass murderer is Sergeant Scott Camile, and he was an American soldier in the Vietnam War. Like Chris Kyle, Camile participated in an immoral, imperial invasion of a poor country, driving townspeople and villagers from their homes, and massacring them in their homeland.
“We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person oriented society: when machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” – Martin Luther King Jr., “Beyond Vietnam“
Here in Lexington federal prison, Atwood Hall defies the normal Bureau of Prisons fixation on gleaming floors and spotless surfaces. Creaky, rusty, full of peeling paint, chipped tiles, and leaky plumbing, Atwood just won’t pass muster.
But of the four federal prisons I’ve lived in, this particular “unit” may be the most conducive to mental health. Generally, the Bureau of Prisons system pushes guards to value buffed floors more than the people buffing the floors, walking the floors. Here, the atmosphere seems less uptight, albeit tinged with resigned acceptance that everyone is more or less “stuck” in what one prisoner described as “the armpit of the system.”
I think every prison throughout the system should be closed, but if it weren’t for the asbestos and concerns about toxic water, perhaps this old hall would be better than the more modern “facilities” prison architects have designed.
At any rate, new prisoners arrive each week, indicating “the warehouse” is open for storing more human beings.