Veterans for Peace Radio Hour

February 27, 2013

St Patricks Parade For Peace!

Filed under: General Discussion — bobfunke @ 2:26

St. Patrick's Peace Parade

March 17th is fast approaching, we are working hard to make sure that we have the best St Pat’s Peace Parade. We include everyone who has ever been marginalized and we are the only Peace groups that advocates the abolishment of war. So come join us in Southie, let’s show the good people of Boston what we’re made of!

Veterans for Peace Radio Hour

 

For the past three years, VFP has sponsored a “second” St Patrick’s Day Parade. It is all inclusive and far from the militaristic view of the “Allied War Council’s”, (just what hell is that anyway?), this year, we have seven divisions: Veterans, Peace Groups, LGBT, Labor, Political, Religious and Occupy Everywhere, we also wish to have an Environmental Steward Group.

Needless to say, many people can fall into any of these groups as interests overlap. We do ask, once you are in a group, you stay within that group. This is a parade for the benefit of the people of Boston, particularly South Boston, since that is where the parade will be held. It is not a demonstration, although there will be ample opportunity to express yourselves and the that of the various groups.

In the past, the AWC offered us a place in their parade, we were told…

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February 25, 2013

$160,000 a pop for a Hellfire missile

Filed under: The Military Industrial Complex — bobfunke @ 2:26

 

Doesn’t seem like much in the Grand Scheme of Things, but the way we’re using these things, they really add up. A drone flies over and targets individuals, say a group of men talking, perhaps about he price of bread, and $160,000 later, (not to mention all of the “pilots” and keeping the drone in the air and maintaining the thing); they are vaporized. Later, we find out an “error” was made and there were women and children that were not seen. Four men discussing the price of bread, 15 dead and maimed.

This happens more often than not. “Targets” are difficult identify from a moving aerial vehicle, there are no uniforms that distinguish an “enemy”, drones can’t see through walls or under tarps protecting people from the sun while they shop or eat. Since we use these notorious objects, we have to build more…at $160,000 a pop. Generally, when demand goes up, the price goes down; not so in the military-industrial complex. From horse meat and dog sold during the Civil War, exorbitant prices have been demanded for the tools of war.

Here is a simple plan, easy enough for a general to understand, disarm drones, use them only for surveillance, identify targets and then get boots on the ground and capture the individuals you want to interrogate and talk to. No torture, no dead and maimed children, no orphans, you talk to the person just as the police talk to a suspect.

The vast majority of people on this earth want Peace. No one wants to be “vaporized” or endanger their children and wives. Stand down, put the arms to rest, stop creating more enemies by killing, above all, innocents. Bring food, medical care, blankets, methods to clean the water, not bombs or Hellfire missiles.  Bring seeds to create a farming community that an be self sustaining, bring compassion, understanding and humanity.

We could feed a village and buy books for a village for $160,000, and more; we could rebuild what we’ve destroyed, our integrity.

Who loses? Raytheon, GE, and a host of other providers of death and destruction.

Who wins? Humanity

The choice is ours, and we need to stop this madness immediately.

Bob

February 16, 2013

St Pat’s VFP People’s Parade Mar 17, come one, come all…

Filed under: General Discussion — bobfunke @ 2:26

 

For the past three years, VFP has sponsored a “second” St Patrick’s Day Parade. It is all inclusive and far from the militaristic view of the “Allied War Council’s”, (just what hell is that anyway?), this year, we have seven divisions: Veterans, Peace Groups, LGBT, Labor, Political, Religious and Occupy Everywhere, we also wish to have an Environmental Steward Group.

Needless to say, many people can fall into any of these groups as interests overlap. We do ask, once you are in a group, you stay within that group. This is a parade for the benefit of the people of Boston, particularly South Boston, since that is where the parade will be held. It is not a demonstration, although there will be ample opportunity to express yourselves and the that of the various groups.

In the past, the AWC offered us a place in their parade, we were told the invitation was for VFP only, we immediately declined the offer, there is no way we are going to desert our brothers and sisters who have been traditionally marginalized in our society. The  first year, some 500 of us showed up, last year we had over 2000; this year we are reaching out to people of every element of society regardless of religious affiliation, hue, GLBT or any other aspect of people who have been excluded in the past or treated as second class citizens. We at VFP believe e are all human beings born with Rights, Privileges and Dignity, we do not differentiate, we are all inclusive. Looking for 3500+!

Please reach out to your friends, your various groups and join us to celebrate life as it should be, Free and Equal.

Contacts:

VFP Pat Scanlon 978-475-1776   info@massvfp.org

Mass Peace Action Cole Harrison 617-354-2169   info@MassPeaceAction.org

Web: smedleyvfp.org

We will assemble at 2:00 Start location: D Street and W Broadway. We will have people to help guide you to the marshaling area.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Bob

February 15, 2013

Death from Above, the evil of drone warfare

Filed under: General Discussion — bobfunke @ 2:26

A US assassination drone firing a missile (file photo)

 

At first glance, it could appear that firing a Hellfire missile from an unmanned drone aircraft killing a known enemy in a distant land could actually somehow be a “good” thing. After just a moments thought though, we realize that killing anyone in never a “good” thing.

After a few more synapses fire, it becomes apparent that the entire drone program is little more than murder from afar. The mishaps, firing missiles into weddings and funerals; firing a missile at a single target and taking out a dozen innocent bystanders; this is how our “new” wars are being fought. I can compare it to a gangland drive by shooting, who cares who gets hurt or killed, as long as you, “make your point”.

This is not warfare, except in the sense that people get killed, it is cowardice, with a lot of innocent people being killed along the way. We are not the “World Police”, however, we have become the “World’s Bully”. We need to regain our sense of self esteem, our sense of reason, we need to be helping people not destroying them and stealing their resources for the profit of a few monsters at the top of the food chain.

With every strike, we create more enemies, more people realize that our government is seriously broken, beholding to the 1%. We, the People, need to end this travesty once and for all; rise up and shout from the streets, “Not in our name!”

It’s not just military and insurgents that die

Filed under: The Human Cost of War — bobfunke @ 2:26

Since we’ve moved into the big leagues after WWII, we’ve been in a near constant state of war in one fashion or another and though these increasingly terrible attacks and invasions of other nations and peoples, we have deployed weapons that are increasingly dangerous. We’ve been told that depleted uranium, (D/U), has been proven “safe” because this is a projectile that has had it’s radioactive signature depleted.

For starters, I find any projectile aimed at a human being somehow being “safe” as ludicrous.

Whether it is a thrown rock, or d/u, the effect can be the same, someone can get hurt or killed. The big differences are the weight ratio’s, the velocities involved and the radiation encountered. By far, the most insidious is the radiation. Since we’ve begun using this type of munition, the rate of birth defects in Iraq and Afghanistan have jumped by to nearly 12.7% of all births. that is 12:100, (the worldwide ratio is 2.7:100). This alarming number of increased birth defects is almost surely due to D/U, I cannot find any direct scientific correlation, but it seems to me that there has to be a tie in.

The projectiles are “safely” handled here perhaps, but in combat, projectiles rarely stay intact. Unless fired into something soft, they have a tendency to shatter on impact spreading their mass for considerable distances. D/U is a heavy metal chock full of mass that is being scattered over considerable distances contaminating relatively large areas.

On of the nightmares of d/u is the massive increase of birth defects that have afflicted Iraqi’s, Afghan’s and our American children. This stuff is radioactive and it is inevitable that birth defects will result from it’s use. The average birth defect rate is 2.7% worldwide; in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is 12.6%. Children being born w/o limbs, eyes, noses or mouths, essentially many simply have no face…let me repeat that, no face.

We must stop the killing and maiming of hundreds of thousands the world over. We hold the keys to a Peaceful world, one where we are not creating enemies at every turn. We can feed the hungry, clothe the naked help with irrigation and getting people to be self sufficient. Close down the military-industrial complex and create the Peace and Life complex.

From the NYT’s…Faces of the Dead

Filed under: The Human Cost of War — bobfunke @ 2:26

Here is a link to an inter active piece in The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/us/faces-of-the-dead.html?ref=us#/hosey_michael_w  documenting the nightmare so many families have had to endure.

One must add civilians to get close to an accurate count of what these wars have cost us in human lives. In human terms, we must also count all of those  wounded and maimed, both physically and psychologically; we must add the suicides and the attempts at suicides; we must add the families and friends of those killed and maimed, from every aspect.

War is not the answer.

Veterans For Peace Members Arrested Protesting Drones

Filed under: General Discussion — occupybostonradio @ 2:26

Veterans For Peace Members Arrested Protesting Drones.

Veterans For Peace Members Arrested Protesting Drones

7

by David Swanson

Elliott Adams and Nate Lewis, two members of Veterans For Peace, were part of a larger group of 15 activists arrested Thursday at the gate to Hancock Airbase in Syracuse, N.Y., where they held large banners and signs protesting drones for three hours before they were arrested.

One banner showed images of children killed by U.S. drones in Afghanistan. Another showed a reaper drone and the grim reaper. Another quoted Martin Luther King Jr. “I have a dream” and Barack Obama “I have a drone.”

Photos and videos: www.facebook.com/daniel.j.burns.9?sk=wall

For some of the participants, this was not their first time protesting at Hancock. Adams was arrested last year as one of the “Hancock 38,” and again this past April in a group of 33. Adams is Past President of Veterans for Peace and current Nonviolent Training Coordinator.

Adams told a judge in February: “I am proud to accept the consequences of my acts and any jail time. I do not want any suspended sentence. If you give me one, also please let me know how I can violate it before I leave the courtroom.” The judge, however, gave Adams a suspended sentence and probation conditions.

Following the arrest of 33 in April, the prosecutor moved to dismiss all charges.

Adams says the latest action is aimed at upholding international law and getting the matter before a judge again. In the case of the Hancock 38, Adams says, “The judge had a hard time making a decision, and made the wrong one, and did not recognize international law. So, we’re giving the court a chance to get it right.”

In April activists held a publicly announced march and were preemptively arrested before reaching the base. This week’s protest took the base completely by surprise, as participants jumped out of cars and began demonstrating, with no march and no public announcement. It took hours before various law-enforcement operations, including state troopers and city police, could agree to make arrests.

Adams said they’d previously been told that protesting at the base gate would be a federal offense. They were not charged with a federal crime. A surprising number of people driving past, Adams said, offered support and held up peace signs. Even the arresting officers were sympathetic, he reported.

Activists read aloud on Thursday the following War Crimes Indictment:

To President Obama, to Secretary of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, to the full Military Chain of the Command, including Commander Colonel Greg Semmel, to all Service Members and civilian staff of Hancock Air Base, and to the local police and Sheriffs Department of the Town of De Witt, NY:

Each one of you, when you became a public servant, serving in a government position or when you joined the United States Armed Forces or police, you publicly promised to uphold the United States Constitution. We take this opportunity to call your attention to Article VI of the US Constitution, which states:

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary not with standing.

This clause is known as the Supremacy Clause because it provides that the Constitution and laws of the U.S., including treaties made under authority of the U.S. shall be supreme law of the land.

The Supremacy Clause provides part of the Supreme Law of the Land.

One Treaty duly ratified by the U.S. is the United Nations Charter. It was ratified by a vote of 89 to 2 in the U.S. Senate, and signed by the President in 1945. It remains in effect today. As such, it is part of supreme law of the land.

The Preamble of the U.N. Charter states that its purpose is to “save future generation from the scourge of war” and it further states, “all nations shall refrain from the use of force against another nation.”

This Treaty applies both collectively and individually to all three branches of government, on all levels, U.S. federal, state and local governments, starting with the executive branch: the U.S. President and the executive staff; the judicial branch: all judges

and staff members of the judiciary; the legislative branch: all
members of the U.S. Armed Forces and all departments of Law
Enforcement and all civilian staff, who have sworn to uphold the Constitution, which includes Article VI.

Under the U.N. Charter and long established international laws, anyone–civilian, military, government officials, or judge- who knowingly participates in or supports illegal use of force against another nation or its people is committing a war crime.

Today you must recognize that when you promised to uphold the Constitution, you promised to obey Treaties and International Law – as part of the Supreme Law of the Land and furthermore, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice of the U.S., you are required to disobey any clearly unlawful order from a superior.

Based on all the above,

WE, THE PEOPLE, CHARGE THE UNITED STATES PRESIDENT, BARAK OBAMA AND THE FULL MILITARY CHAIN OF COMMAND TO COMMANDER COLONEL GREG SEMMEL, EVERY DRONE CREW, AND SERVICE MEMBERS AT HANCOCK AIR BASE, WITH CRIMES AGAINST PEACE & CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, WITH
VIOLATIONS OF PART OF THE SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND, EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS, VIOLATION OF DUE PROCESS, WARS OF AGGRESSION, VIOLATION OF NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY, AND KILLING OF INNOCENT CIVILIANS.

We charge that the Air National Guard of the United States of America, headquartered at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, home of the 174th Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard, under the command of the 174th Fighter Wing Commander Colonel Greg Semmel, is maintaining and deploying the MQ-9 Reaper robotic aircraft, called drones.

These drones are being used not only in combat situations for the purpose of assassinations but also for killings far removed from combat zones without military defense, to assassinate individuals and groups far removed from military action.

Extra judicial killings, such as those the U.S. carries out by drones are intentional, premeditated, and deliberate use of lethal force to commit murder in violation of U.S. and International Law.

It is a matter of public record that the US has used drones in Afghanistan and in Iraq for targeted killings to target specific individuals which has nearly always resulted in the deaths of many others.

There is no legal basis for defining the scope of area where drones can or cannot be used, no legal criteria for deciding which people can be targeted for killing, no procedural safeguards to ensure the legality of the decision to kill and the accuracy of the assassinations.

In support of this indictment we cite the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, who has said that the use of drones creates “a highly problematic blurring and the law applicable to the use of inter-state force…. The result has been the displacement of clear legal standards with a vaguely defined license to kill, and the creation of a major accountability vacuum…. In terms of the legal framework, many of these practices violate straightforward applicable legal rules.” See United Nations General Assembly Human Rights Council Study on Targeted Killings, 28, May 2010.

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/14session/A.HRC.14.24.Add6.pdf

The drone attacks either originating at Hancock or supported here are a deliberate illegal use of force against another nation, and as such are a felonious violation of Article VI of the US Constitution.

By giving material support to the drone program, you as individuals are violating the Constitution, dishonoring your oath, and committing war crimes.

We demand that you stop participating in any part of the operations of MQ-9 drones immediately, being accountable to the people of United States and Afghanistan.

As citizens of this nation, which maintains over 700 military bases around the globe, and the largest, most deadly military arsenal in the world, we believe these words of Martin Luther King still hold true, ”the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today is my own government”.

There is hope for a better world when WE, THE PEOPLE, hold our government accountable to the laws and treaties that govern the use of lethal force and war. To the extent that we ignore our laws and constitution and allow for the unchecked use of lethal force by our government, allowing the government to kill who ever it wants, where ever it wants, how ever it wants with no accountability, we make the world less safe for children everywhere.

We appeal to all United States citizens, military and civilian, and to all public officials, to do as required by the Nuremburg Principles I-VII, and by Conscience, to refuse to participate in these crimes, to denounce them, and to resist them nonviolently.

Signed by:

THE UPSTATE COALITION TO GROUND THE DRONES AND END THE WARS

Adams’ statement, made in court at the trial of the Hancock 38 last November is available online: Elliott-adams-member-hancock-38-and-new-hancock-34-made-statement-trial-november-1-2011

As is his statement at the sentencing hearing: Elliott-adams-sentencing-statement-november-11-2011

Veterans For Peace was founded in 1985 and has approximately 5,000 members in 150 chapters located in every U.S. state and several countries. It is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization recognized as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) by the United Nations, and is the only national veterans’ organization calling for the abolishment of war.

David Swanson’s books include “War Is A Lie.” He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.organd works for the online activist organization http://rootsaction.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.

Recent student protests in Montreal leave me with mixed feelings. | babyboomersmusings

Filed under: General Discussion — occupybostonradio @ 2:26

Recent student protests in Montreal leave me with mixed feelings. | babyboomersmusings.

via Recent student protests in Montreal leave me with mixed feelings. | babyboomersmusings.

February 10, 2013

How many must die?

Filed under: General Discussion — bobfunke @ 2:26

In every battle, every war, every conflict, people die, many of these are non-combatants who have everything to  lose and nothing to gain from armed conflict. Children, women, men who have nothing to fight for lose all they have in the death cycle of war. Bombs dropped during WWII killed more civilians than German, Italian of  Japanese troops. Millions of acres of homes and fields were destroyed, the firestorms of Berlin, Dresden, Tokyo, took hundreds of thousands of lives. Some people were sucked into a fire tornado that drew in winds of 150+ mph. Hiroshima and Nagasaki stand out as the the ultimate destruction of life, as neither were military targets of any importance.

Millions died under Stalin, Hitler, Tojo, Churchill, Roosevelt and Truman. Millions more died under Pol Pot, Johnson and Nixon. The near constant state of war somewhere has kept the wheels of industry well greased. We could have spent so much less on education and medical care than we do on war and would have had far better results for humanity. With what was left over, we could have rebuilt our infrastructure, more schools, trained more teachers, have more scientists enter the ranks, ensured the security of the nation from attack and broken the Military Industrial Complex once and for all.

There is money to be made in war, a lot of it. Far too many people lose their lives needlessly under the cries of  “patriotism” and other euphemisms that stir people into doing things that are quite simply wrong. The wealth to be made drowns out the cries of those wounded, maimed and dying, it obstructs our view of the rivers of blood, broken bones and torn sinew.

We must join together to end the nightmare of war, we must break the chains that tie us to this filthy business.

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