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Climate-change deniers can't handle the inconvenient truth

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  • When a noted climate-change skeptic reported a major study found a significant global-warming trend the response by climate-change deniers was predictable and revealing.
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  • Also revealed was a willingness of Republicans to try to stack the decks against climate science.
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  • “My Fear is that Climate Change is the Biggest Crisis of All” --Naomi Klein
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Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY

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So the joke begins like this: An economist, a lawyer and a professor of marketing walk into a room. What's the punch line? They were three of the five "expert witnesses" Republicans called for last week's congressional hearing on climate science.

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But the joke actually ended up being on the Republicans, when one of the two actual scientists they invited to testify went off script.

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Professor Richard Muller of Berkeley, a physicist who has gotten into the climate-skeptic game, has been leading the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, an effort partially financed by none other than the Koch foundation. And climate deniers — who claim that researchers at NASA and other groups analyzing climate trends have massaged and distorted the data — had been hoping that the Berkeley project would conclude that global warming is a myth.

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Related:

“My Fear is that Climate Change is the Biggest Crisis of All”, Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!
Naomi Klein Warns Global Warming Could Be Exploited by Capitalism and Militarism

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Obama's unconstitutional war

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  • Seattle Times editorial columnist Bruce Ramsey argues that the Libyan involvement is an unconstitutional war because President Obama never received authorization from Congress.
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  • Kucinich Warns Obama on Libya War
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Bruce Ramsey, Seattle Times | WA

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In his Monday (March 28)  speech, President Obama described his Libyan enterprise as an "effort," an "operation" and a "mission." Is it a war? He didn't say.

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Americans have been in enough wars to recognize one when they see it. Libya is aflame with war, and America is now in it, Obama having put us in it.

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But is it a constitutional war? I think not.

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The Constitution makes the president "commander in chief." He is authorized to conduct war, but not to start one. The Founding Fathers said, "The Congress shall have power ... to declare war." They also said no state shall "engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay" — "without the consent of Congress."

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Kucinich Warns Obama on Libya War, Robert Dreyfuss, Nation Magazine
“While the action is billed as protecting the civilians of Libya, a no-fly-zone begins with an attack on the air defenses of Libya and Qaddafi forces. It is an act of war. The president made statements which attempt to minimize U.S. action, but U.S. planes may drop U.S. bombs and U.S. missiles may be involved in striking another sovereign nation. War from the air is still war." Dennis Kucinich, D-OH

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Quotations for Conscientious Objectors to War and Killing

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  • And for the churches that are ambivalent on the subject
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  • Mark Twain, Martin Luther, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lord Hartley Shawcross, George Patton, American Friends Service Committee, Adolph Hitler, George Orwell, Tacitus, Seymour Hersh, and others
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Gary G. Kohls, MD, for Every Church A Peace Church

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Below is the passage about Martin Luther's opposition to military service in unjust wars. Therefore Martin Luther advocated Selective Conscientious Objection to War (a forbidden stance in the US!). In addressing the question "Suppose my lord were wrong in going to war?”, Luther replied:

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“If you know for sure that he is wrong, then you should fear God rather than men (Acts 5:29), and you should neither fight nor serve. For you cannot have a good conscience before God.”

"Oh, no, you say, my lord would force me to do it; he would take away my fief and would not give me my money, pay and wages. Besides I would be despised and put to shame as a coward, even worse as a man who did not keep his word and deserted his lord in time of need."

“I answer: You must take that risk and, with God's help, let whatever happens, happen. He can restore you a hundred fold as he promises in the gospel..."— Martin Luther

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“War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.” --John F. Kennedy

“The most important topic on earth: peace. What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children — not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women — not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.” --John F. Kennedy, American University commencement address, Washington, 10 June 1963. (Four months later Kennedy was assassinated.)

"There comes a point when a man must refuse to answer to his leader if he is also to answer to his conscience" --Lord Hartley Shawcross, Attorney General of Great Britain 1945-1951 and Nuremburg Prosecutor

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" --Edmund Burke (British Statesman and Philosopher, 1729-1797)

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“To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.” – Abraham Lincoln

”The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who during time of great moral crisis maintained their neutrality.” --Dante

"We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we do about peace - more about killing than we do about living." —WWII General Omar Bradley

"I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country." --WWII Gen. George Patton

"In war, there are no unwounded soldiers" --Jose Narosky

"It can never be lawful for a righteous man to go to war, since his warfare is in righteousness itself; nor to accuse anyone of a capital charge, since it makes no difference whether you put a man to death by word or by sword, since it is the act of putting to death which is prohibited. It is always unlawful to put a man to death." —­Lacantius

"Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore (individual citizens) have the duty to (refuse to obey) domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring." --Nuremberg War Crime Tribunal, 1950

“We must kill them in war, just because they live beyond the river. If they lived on this side, we would be called murderers.” --Blaise Pascal (17th century mathematician and philosopher whose father lost his entire savings because of France’s national bankruptcy caused by the debt incurred during the religious Thirty Years War)

“If you had seen one day of war, you would pray to God that you would never see another.” --The Duke of Wellington (celebrated for being the victorious British general at the Battle of Waterloo, June 1815)

“I confess without shame that I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded, who cry aloud for more blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is Hell.” —Civil War Union General William Tecumseh Sherman who orchestrated the infamous scorched earth policy that terrorized the Confederacy in his “March to the Sea” in 1864.

"Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder and it is the working class who fights all the battles, the working class who makes the supreme sacrifices, the working class who freely sheds their blood and furnishes their corpses, and it is they who have never yet had a voice - in either declaring war or making peace. It is the ruling class (the “plutocrats”) that invariably does both. They alone declare war. They are continually talking about patriotic duty. It is not their patriotic duty but your patriotic duty that they are concerned about. Their patriotic duty never takes them to the firing line or chucks them into the trenches." --Eugene Debs, antiwar activist, union organizer and Socialist candidate for president who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for speaking out against WWI. He received a million votes as a 1920 write-in candidate for US president while he was in jail!

"Military power is as corrupting to the man who possesses it as it is pitiless to its victims. Violence is just as devastating to the soul of the perpetrator as it is to the body and souls of those who are victims of it" --American Friends (Quakers) Service Committee

“What good fortune for those in power that the people do not think.” --Adolf Hitler

"Through clever and constant application of propaganda people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise." --Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1923

“It also gives us a very special, secret pleasure to see how unaware the people around us are of what is really happening to them.” --Adolf Hitler

“The streets of our country are in turmoil! The universities are filled with students rebelling and rioting! Communists are seeking to destroy our country! Russia is threatening us with her might! Our republic is in danger, yes, danger from within and without! We need law and order!" --Adolf Hitler, indistinguishable from the rhetoric of Ronald Reagan 45 years later.

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”Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.” --Joseph Stalin

"Why, of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war, neither in Russia, nor England, nor for that matter, Germany. That is understood, but after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simpler matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." --Herman Goering. Long time Nazi, Reichmarshall, and heir-apparent to Hitler. Statement made while imprisoned at Nuremberg after WWII.

"Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You win it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.” –WWII General George Patton

“My God, I actually pity those poor bastards we’re going up against. My God, I do. We're not just going to shoot the bastards, we're going to cut out their living guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We're going to murder those lousy Hun bastards by the bushel. Now some of you boys, I know, are wondering whether or not you'll chicken out under fire. Don't worry about it. I can assure you that you'll all do your duty. The Nazis are the enemy. Wade into them. Spill their blood, shoot them in the belly. When you put your hand into a bunch of goo, that a moment before was your best friend’s face, you’ll know what to do.” --General George Patton

“My kind of loyalty was to one’s country, not to its institutions or its office holders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease and death.” —Mark Twain

"All through history it has been the nations that have given the most to generals and the least to the people that have been the first to fall." --Harry Truman

"Loyalty doesn't mean following the President when he decides to drive over a cliff. It means holding him back." --Burr Loomis

"All that was required of them (i.e. the brain-washed masses) was a primitive patriotism which could be appealed to whenever it was necessary to make them accept longer working hours or shorter rations. And even when they became discontented, as they sometimes did, their discontent led nowhere, because, being without general ideas, they could only focus it on petty specific grievances. The larger evils invariably escaped their notice." --George Orwell 1984

"We were constantly told by our friends, ‘Who were we to differ with able statesmen, with men of sensitive conscience who also absolutely abhorred war, but were convinced that this war for the preservation of democracy would make all future wars impossible, that the priceless values of civilization which were at stake could at this moment be saved only by war?’ But these very dogmatic statements spurred one to alarm. Was not war in the interest of democracy for the salvation of civilization a contradiction of terms, whoever said it or however often it was repeated?" --Jane Addams, Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Founder of Hull House; Personal Reactions During War, 1922

”In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.“ --George Orwell

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron." --Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder and it is the working class who fights all the battles, the working class who makes the supreme sacrifices, the working class who freely sheds their blood and furnishes their corpses, and it is they who have never yet had a voice - in either declaring war or making peace. It is the ruling class that invariably does both. They alone declare war and they alone make peace. They are continually talking about their patriotic duty. It is not their duty but your patriotic duty that they are concerned about. There is a decided difference. Their patriotic duty never takes them to the firing line or chucks them into the trenches." --Eugene V. Debs

"To plunder, to slaughter, to steal, these things they misname empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace.” —Tacitus

"He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice...Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of­ country stance - how violently I hate all this; how despicable and ignoble war is...I would rather be torn to shreds than be part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder." --Albert Einstein, pacifist.

"We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government, nor are we for this party or against the other...  But we are for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom, that these may be exalted in our nation, and that goodness, righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace and unity with God, and with one another, that these things may abound." --Edward Burrough, Society of Friends, (Quaker), 1659

"War is the greatest plague that can afflict humanity; it destroys religions, it destroys states, it destroys families. Any scourge is preferable to it." --Martin Luther, 16th Century Just War Christian monk who created a great schism in Christianity when he tried to reform a corrupt organized church by violent means - and failed.

"The greatest threat to our world and its peace comes from those who want war, who prepare for it, and who, by holding out vague promises of future peace or by instilling fear of foreign aggression, try to make us accomplices to their plans." --­Hermann Hesse

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“Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other (enemy of public liberty). War is the parent of armies and from these (armies) proceed debts and taxes; and armies and debts and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.

“In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both.

“No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” –James Madison, "Political Observations" (1795) also in Letters and Other Writings of James Madison (1865), Vol. IV, p. 491.

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"If man will only realize that it is unmanly to obey laws that are unjust, no man's tyranny will enslave him." —Gandhi

"In nonviolence, the masses have a weapon that enables a child, a woman, or even a decrepit old man to resist the mightiest government successfully. If your spirit is strong, mere lack of physical strength ceases to be a handicap." —Gandhi

"It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the air force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber" --Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

“A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side.” —Aristotle

"Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day." --Theodore Roosevelt, on April 19, 1906

“Pity the poor, wretched, timid soul, too faint hearted to resist his oppressors.  He sings the songs of the damned, I cannot resist, I have too much to lose, they might take my property or confiscate my earnings, what would my family do, how would they survive.  He hides behind pretended family responsibility, failing to see that the most glorious legacy that we can bequeath to our posterity is liberty!” --W. Vaughn Elllsworth

“As for the peoples, they were nothing at all [to the politicians]. . . except cannon fodder. No government ever . . . hesitated to deceive them. [Each government] took it for granted that they [the average citizenry] would let themselves be butchered in unlimited quantities when the game of power politics [included] war.” --Konne Zilliacus, M.P. (1894-1967), Mirror of the Past: A History of Secret Diplomacy

"A common and natural result of an undue respect for law is that you may see a file of soldiers, colonel, captain, corporal, privates, powder-monkeys, and all marching in admirable order over hill and dale to the wars, against their wills, ay, against their common sense and consciences, which makes it very steep marching indeed, and produces a palpitation of the heart. They have no doubt that it is a damnable business in which they are concerned; they are all peaceably inclined. Now, what are they? Men or small movable forts and magazines, at the service of some unscrupulous man in power?"  --Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

"And so I’m looking for Paul. And I’m doing the stories as a freelancer. And I’m looking for him. I’m somewhere in the West Coast. And I hear about him, and I find his phone. It was a lot harder then to find his house. We didn't have Google. He’s a southern Indiana farm boy. I get down there the next day. I fly overnight to, I think it’s Indiana, Indianapolis, below Indianapolis, below Terre Haute, a place called New Goshen, down in the southern part of Indiana. A chicken farm. I pull in. It’s a chicken farm out of Norman Rockwell, one of those old paintings from the Saturday Evening Post. It’s poor, just chicken coops, no farm, no farmland, a bunch of shacks. That’s the home. To the mother that I talked to the night before, I said, “I’m coming.” She said, “I can’t tell you he’s going to talk to you.” I said, “I’m coming, and you decide.” She said, “Just come, but I can’t promise.” She comes out to meet me. She’s 50 maybe, weathered, no man around, looks 70. And I just say, “Is Paul in there? Is he around?” She said, “He’s in there.” I said, “Is it alright if I talk to him?” She said, “Okay,” and then she says—then she says, you know, she says, “I gave them [the government and the Army] a good boy, and they sent me back a murderer.”-- Seymour Hersh
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We Will Not Kill

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So, for the record, here is what conscientious objectors object to:

We object to killing.
We object to killing in the name of capitalism.
We object to killing in the name of communism.
And we object to killing in the name of religion.

We object to being forced to register for war and killing.
We object to being forced to participate in the preparations for war and killing.

We object to killing innocent civilians.
We object to killing soldiers.

We object to nuclear weapons for killing.
And we object to conventional weapons for killing.

If war comes, man of us will perform peaceful alternative service.
Many of us will go to jail rather tan compromise deeply held beliefs.

But we will not fight.
Because we will not kill.

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Series | Rebooting the American Dream, Part 10

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  • 11 Ways to Rebuild Our Country: Back to the Future
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  • Part 10: Put Lou Dobbs Out to Pasture
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Only a fool would try to deprive working men and working women of their right to join the union of their choice. — Dwight D. Eisenhower

Thom Hartmann, truth-out

(Image: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; Edited: to)

Truthout is proud to bring you an exclusive series from America's No. 1 progressive radio host, Thom Hartmann. Starting today, we'll be publishing weekly installments of Hartmann's acclaimed new book, "Rebooting the American Dream: 11 Ways to Rebuild Our Country." We invite Truthout readers to join us over the next 12 weeks as, chapter by chapter, we explore these groundbreaking ideas for national transformation. We continue today with....Put Lou Dobbs Out to Pasture!

Back in the late 1980s, when I ran an advertising agency in Atlanta, a multinational corporation approached us about producing its internal newsletter, a monthly eight-pager about the company’s goings-on in the United States, Mexico, and Japan. Not surprisingly, they wanted the newsletter produced in English, Spanish, and Japanese.

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For our small agency trolling for clients, this corporation was a big fish—it could provide a good shot of cash for what was then a startup business with a half dozen employees—so I put a help-wanted ad in the local daily newspaper, the Atlanta Constitution Journal, for a graphic designer who was also fluent enough in those three languages to know how to set type and where to hyphenate words (the company was providing us with the text in the three languages). It was clearly a search for a needle in a hay stack, so I was totally shocked when a young man showed up on our doorstep, claiming that he was a graphic artist with fluency in all three languages.

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Kucinich Warns Obama on Libya War

“While the action is billed as protecting the civilians of Libya, a no-fly-zone begins with an attack on the air defenses of Libya and Qaddafi forces. It is an act of war. The president made statements which attempt to minimize U.S. action, but U.S. planes may drop U.S. bombs and U.S. missiles may be involved in striking another sovereign nation. War from the air is still war." Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)

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Robert Dreyfuss, Nation Magazine

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Support for war against Libya has risen to a fever pitch even among liberals. I would point out that Russia, China, India, Brazil and Germany abstained from the UN Security Council vote yesterday, belying the Obama administration’s contention that bombing Libya has worldwide support. There is very little difference between George Bush’s 2003 “coalition of the willing” and Barack Obama’s “alliance” in 2010, since it is comprised of the US, UK, France and a handful of reactionary Arab states in the Persian Gulf who are meanwhile using brutal force against their own dissidents and rebels.

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In response to President Obama’s warlike declaration of intent against Libya, Representative Dennis Kucinich issued the following statement today (March 18). Needless to say, I agree. Here is the statement.

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How Our Government Lies to Us to Justify Military Actions

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  • Remarks delivered (March 19) to the anti-war rally at the Minnesota State Capitol on the 8th Anniversary of the start of the Iraq war.
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  • Our need to memorialize the instances we have been lied to by our government,  that has allowed us to feel justified in  taking military actions.
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Wayne Witmann, Veterans for Peace

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

Thank all of you for coming to the rally commemorating the initiation of the invasion of Iraq.  My remarks today are going to be centered around our need to memorialize the instances we have been lied to by our government,  that has allowed us to feel justified in  taking military actions.

I recall from my history courses that there were some real questions about the attack on the battleship Maine which sparked the Spanish – American war that led to a great expansion of our empire.  Once the war started we never bothered to go back and revisit the instant to see what actually did happen with the battleship Maine as it appears we were content to occupy the lands we won and set up puppet States we knew we could control.

Similar situation appears to have occurred bring our involvement into World War I,  with the sinking of the Luesitania.  We did not look critically at that happening,  but got involved in shaping the post war world,  with the promise that World War I  was to be a war to end all future wars and, after all, we got rid of the Kaiser.

Many historians now are contending that the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 was not a surprise attack.  A  decision was made to remove our carriers from the port so they would not be a target. We have a monument right over there noting the first shot fired of World War II for the United States occurred when the USS Ward sank a Japanese submarine about 2 hours before the attack on the fleet,  after all we got rid of Hitler Mussolini and Tojo.

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It is now well documented that the Tonkin Bay incident was a fabrication which was used to justify the Vietnam tragedy with the intent to depose Ho Chi Mighn and stop the advance of communism.

In our own lifetime we know that President Bush Senior in 1989 was bent on invading Panama and just needed an incident.  Failing to promote one by soldier abuse of the citizens of Panama he finally found an incident,   he said an officer’s wife was harassed and intimidated by Panamanian solders at a check-point.  With this evidence an invasion of Panama was launched with much loss of life and we did capture and imprison Noriega.. 

Today there is a movement with growing support to find out really what happened in New York City and Washington D. C. on September 11, 2001.  This effort in spite of a massive effort to thwart it is gaining ground and brave people are demanding to know who may have abetted these terrible crimes and what really did happen that day. 

The one thing we do know is we were lied to and deceived on March 19, 2003.

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It is appropriate that we be here today and work to commemorate this date every year to remind ourselves that we have a history of being lied to and to commit ourselves to be critical thinkers.  Having lived 81 years,  most of it not wanting to ask the questions,  and being comfortable in accepting what our military government was telling me, although I knew I probably was being lied to,  but not wanting to make a fuss,  kept my mouth shut and went along with the deceit.   By our being here today we are letting the powers in our country know we are going to be examining what they do and we will do what we can to call  out our government leaders and hold them accountable and not let them forget what they do and what is to be their legacy.

We are challenged today by the events in Northern Africa and other areas of the Middle East.  We are tempted today to identify with the yearning of the people of the affected areas for more freedom and a better life in their opposition to the repressive governments under which they live by the unilateral  use of our military forces.  We must take care to avoid thinking we can  solve the problems with our massive military might. We are challenged in our own culture by the assault on the basic hard won right to join with other workers,  and create a union to have a say about the place we work and promote  workers interests.  It may be more prudent for us to attend to our own business and encourage others to do the same as we recall our Veterans For Peace Statement of Purpose noting we will restrain our government from intervening overtly and covertly in the internal affairs of other nations.

I want to thank the organizers of this event for allowing me to share these comments with you, you are welcome get a copy of our War Times and I look forward to chatting with you at the Black dog café.

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The “Kill Team” Photographs

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  • In long, unsuccessful wars, in which the enemy—the people trying to kill you—do not wear uniforms and are seldom seen, soldiers can lose their bearings, moral and otherwise. The consequences of that lost bearing can be hideous. The G.I.s in Afghanistan were responsible for their actions, of course. But it must be said that, in some cases, surely, as in Vietnam, the soldiers can also be victims.
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  • US Army Apologizes for Horrific Photos from Afghanistan
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Seymour M. Hersh, New Yorker Magazine

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

La Mohammed Kalay, Afghanistan, 2010.

It’s the smile. In photographs released by the German weekly Der Spiegel, an American soldier is looking directly at the camera with a wide grin. His hand is on the body of an Afghan whom he and his fellow soldiers appear to have just killed, allegedly for sport. In a sense, we’ve seen that smile before: on the faces of the American men and women who piled naked Iraqi prisoners on top of each other, eight years ago, and posed for photographs and videos at the Abu Ghraib prison outside of Baghdad.

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It’s also the cameras. Der Spiegel reported this week (March 20-26) that it had obtained four thousand photographs and videos taken by American soldiers who referred to themselves as a “kill team.” (Der Spiegel chose to publish only three of the photographs.) The images are in the hands of military prosecutors. Five soldiers, including Jeremy Morlock, the smiling man in the picture, who is twenty-two years old, are awaiting courts-martial for the murder of three Afghan civilians; seven other soldiers had lesser, related charges filed against them, including drug use. On Tuesday (March 22) , Morlock’s lawyer said that he would plead guilty.

More...

Related:

US Army Apologizes for Horrific Photos from Afghanistan, Matthias Gebauer and Hasnain Kazim, Der Spiegel
This is what war looks like.

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Drowning in hypocrisy

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  • We don't know the real motivation for our entering the Libyan civil war; we're being fed the usual lines that almost certainly have little to do with reality. Nevertheless, we're in another shooting war to “save civilians from a brutal dictator.”
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  • A Mission Wrapped in Confusion
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  • From Wounded Knee to Libya: A century of US military interventions
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James Clay Fuller, Things We're Not Supposed to Say

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American democracy is drowning in toxic hypocrisy.

It is so pervasive in what passes for public discourse that the average, ignorant American can't tell the phony from real, and even relatively informed individuals often confuse facade with structure.

President Barack Obama, pushed by Hillary Clinton and her “tough” wing of the administration, decides to start killing people in Libya. (To phrase it any other way – the ways politicians and the corporate press are describing what's happening, for example -- would be hypocritical.)

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A Mission Wrapped in Confusion, Eugene Robinson, TruthDig

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  • After days of bickering, we heard a grand announcement that NATO will take command of the operation. Don’t believe it. The United States will be functionally in charge, and thus on the hook, until this ends.
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  • Libya and the five-second rule
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From Wounded Knee to Libya: A century of US military interventions, Dr. Zoltan Grossman, Evergreen University

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