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Peace & Nonviolence

In Memoriam: Paul Wellstone

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Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn. Photo credit: US Senate / Wikimedia.

  • Outspoken Senator Was A Lonely Voice Against Iraq War
  • Perhaps if more members of Congress had displayed the courage and conscience that Wellstone showed during that season of jingoistic fervor 15 years ago, the situation in Iraq, and the Middle East as a whole, might be far different today  — and far less hazardous to peace prospects, and to American interests as well, in the region.

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Jeff Clyburn, Who.What.Why



http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Paul%20Wellstone%20Iraq%20War%20Speech.jpgOctober, 2017 | A lot of attention has been given recently to Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) for finally displaying acts of conscience in defiance of an increasingly erratic and reactionary White House. One former Senator who never waited around to speak out was Paul Wellstone.

Wellstone was described by some as “the conscience of the Senate.” When the progressive Democrat from Minnesota addressed the Senate chamber on Oct. 9, 2002, pleading against the nation’s reckless rush to war during the Iraq Resolution debate, he could not have been more prescient.

Jeff Clyburn: Copy editor/Page designer, WhoWhatWhy.org

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Tomgram: Michael Klare, The New Face of "War" at Home

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  • Beyond Harvey and Irma: Militarizing Homeland Security in the Climate-Change Era
  • Our potential saviors, at a moment when the very environment that has for millennia welcomed humanity is up for grabs, might be thought of as the Keystone Cops of the twenty-first century.

Michael T. Klare, TomDispatchhttp://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Support%20Independent%20Media_0.jpg

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http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ABPub/2011/04/04/2014681395.gifSeptember 17, 2017 | Deployed to the Houston area to assist in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, U.S. military forces hadn’t even completed their assignments when they were hurriedly dispatched to Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to face Irma, the fiercest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. Florida Governor Rick Scott, who had sent members of the state National Guard to devastated Houston, anxiously recalled them while putting in place emergency measures for his own state. A small flotilla of naval vessels, originally sent to waters off Texas, was similarly redirected to the Caribbean, while specialized combat units drawn from as far afield as Colorado, Illinois, and Rhode Island were rushed to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Meanwhile, members of the California National Guard were being mobilized to fight wildfires raging across that state (as across much of the West) during its hottest summer on record.

Michael T. Klare is a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College and the author of Resource Wars and Blood and Oil. Consider this essay a preview of his newest book, Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy, which has just been published by Metropolitan Books.

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From the Archives | The US Carried Out 674 Military Operations in Africa Last Year. Did You Hear About Any of Them?

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  • For years, the US military has publicly insisted that its efforts in Africa are negligible, intentionally leaving the American people, not to mention most Africans, in the dark about the true size, scale, and scope of its operations there.
  • Is that why they call it an American “battlefield” behind closed doors?
  • Related: Special Project | US Wars and Covert Actions Around the World: Week Ending  April 25, 2015

Nick Turse, the Nation

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Closing%20of%20US-Led%20African%20Military%20Exercise.jpgBrigadier General James Linder and other military officials at the closing ceremony for a US-led international training mission for African militaries. (Reuters/Joe Penney)

April 14, 2015 | For three days, wearing a kaleidoscope of camouflage patterns, they huddled together on a military base in Florida. They came from US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and US Army Special Operations Command, from France and Norway, from Denmark, Germany, and Canada: 13 nations in all. They came to plan a years-long “Special Operations-centric” military campaign supported by conventional forces, a multinational undertaking that—if carried out—might cost hundreds of millions, maybe billions, of dollars and who knows how many lives.

Ask the men involved and they’ll talk about being mindful of “sensitivities” and “cultural differences,” about the importance of “collaboration and coordination,” about the value of a variety of viewpoints, about “perspectives” and “partnerships.” Nonetheless, behind closed doors and unbeknownst to most of the people in their own countries, let alone the countries fixed in their sights, a coterie of Western special ops planners were sketching out a possible multinational military future for a troubled region of Africa.

Nick Turse is the managing editor of TomDispatch.com and a fellow at The Nation Institute. A 2014 Izzy Award winner, he has reported from the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Africa, and his pieces have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation and regularly at TomDispatch. Turse's New York Times bestseller Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam received a 2014 American Book Award.

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Special Project | US Wars and Covert Actions Around the World: Week Ending  April 25, 2015, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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(Ismael Mohamad / United Press International)

  • For decades beginning during the Cold War, US policy in the Islamic world has been aimed at suppressing secular reformist and leftist movements. Beginning with the CIA-engineered coup against a secular democratic reform government in Iran in 1953 (it was about oil), Washington has propped up dictators, coaching these regimes in the black arts of torture and mayhem against secular liberals and the left.
  • 8 New Items including:
    • The US Carried Out 674 Military Operations in Africa Last Year. Did You Hear About Any of Them?
    • Special Report | Iraq Redux: Week Ending April 18, 2015
    • U.S. military intervenes in Latin America, Marines going to Honduras
    • Tomgram | Christian Appy: "Honor" the Vietnam Veteran, Forget the War
    • America's 30-year Cold War with Iran: Manufacturing A Good Adversary
    • TomGram | William Hartung: Your Money at War Everywhere
    • Defense Industry Whores
    • The Big Dick School of American Patriotism

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Special Report | Burns / Novick PBS Series 'The Vietnam War': The Critics Speak Out

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Everything wrong with the new ten-part PBS documentary on the Vietnam War is apparent in the first five minutes.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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Evergreene Digest 

6 New Items including:

6) America’s Amnesia
5) The Killing of History
4) Making history safe again: What Ken Burns gets wrong about Vietnam
3) Does Vietnam Even Matter Any More? Does Ken Burns?
2) There Is No Rehabilitating the Vietnam War
1) The Ken Burns Vietnam War Documentary Glosses Over Devastating Civilian Toll

Fall, 2017 |

6) America’s Amnesia, Thomas A. Bass, Vietnam Full Disclosure 
Everything wrong with the new ten-part PBS documentary on the Vietnam War is apparent in the first five minutes. A voice from nowhere intones about a war “begun in good faith” that somehow ran off the rails and killed millions of people. We see a firefight and a dead soldier in a body bag being winched into a helicopter, as the rotor goes thump, thump, thump, like a scene from Apocalypse Now. Then we cut to a funeral on Main Street and a coffin covered in Stars and Stripes, which multiply, as the camera zooms out, into dozens and then hundreds of flags, waving like a hex against warmongers who might be inclined to think that this film is insufficiently patriotic.



5) The Killing of History, John Pilger, Consortium News
PBS’ “The Vietnam War” may show some of the conflict’s horrors but still soft-pedals the horrific war crimes that America inflicted on Vietnam, fitting with a corporate-dependent documentary project.




4) Making history safe again: What Ken Burns gets wrong about Vietnam, Patrick Lawrence, Salon <>
Historian Christian Appy: Vietnam was not a “tragic misunderstanding” but a campaign of “imperial aggression”



https://www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_large/public/views-article/ken-burns-vietnam-no-big-picture.jpg?itok=oPqHmhF2 A U.S. B-66 Destroyer and F-105 Thunderchief dropping bombs on North Vietnam during Operation Rolling Thunder on June 14, 1966. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

3) Does Vietnam Even Matter Any More? Does Ken Burns? Robert Freeman, Common Dreams

"There's no scoping out," the author writes. "That is intentional."



https://www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_large/public/views-article/vietnam_legacy_0.jpg?itok=gp6WLP-V The Vietnam War, writes Freeman, "must be remembered and condemned for the debacle it actually was." (Image: vietnamfulldisclosure.org)

2) There Is No Rehabilitating the Vietnam War, Robert Freeman, Common Dreams
There is enormous pressure and a lot of money working to rehabilitate Vietnam, to put the guilt and the shame of it behind us. But it was precisely the guilt of the people, their shame at what was being done in their name, and their courage to denounce it that made it impossible for their government to carry out the savagery any longer.



https://cdn01.theintercept.com/wp-uploads/sites/1/2017/09/vietnam-war-ken-burns-nick-turse-lede-1506546389-article-header.jpg1) The Ken Burns Vietnam War Documentary Glosses Over Devastating Civilian Toll, Nick Turse, The Intercept

If you really want to get a sense of “what happened” in Vietnam, just imagine that you’re actually crouched in your basement, that your home above is ablaze, that lethal helicopters are hovering overhead, and that heavily-armed teenagers — foreigners who don’t speak your language — are out there in your yard, screaming commands you don’t understand, rolling grenades into your neighbor’s cellar, and if you run out through the flames, into the chaos, one of them might just shoot you.



Related:

Special Report | Ken Burns / Lynn Novick PBS Documentary Series 'The Vietnam War' Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

The series will almost certainly avoid the fundamental moral issues that define the US as an historically imperial, dangerous, and deceitful political/economic nation state and culture.

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Why the Democrats Cheer Trump When He Wages War … and Why We Must Not Join Them

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Many people—grassroots Democrats, activists, and people who have generally looked to the top Democrats to stop Trump—were shocked and angry that these same leading Democrats are now cheering Trump’s military action.

Revolution Newspaper 

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April 10, 2017 All it took was Trump firing off 59 cruise missiles against Syria for most leading Democrats, who had been posing as staunch Trump opponents, to start singing his praises.

Senator Chuck Schumer said it was “the right thing to do.” The “militant” Senator Elizabeth Warren said the “Syrian regime must be held accountable.” The “radical” Bernie Sanders condemned Assad as a “war criminal” while mildly criticizing the war criminal Trump for not consulting Congress first.

Right before the Syria attack, Democratic Party standard-bearer Hillary Clinton called for going further than Trump did and “taking out Syria’s airfields”—something which would require hundreds of major strikes, with the potential for unpredictable escalation.

Revolution Newspaper, the voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, provides the foundation, guideline, and organizational scaffolding for the whole process of carrying out our strategy for revolution.

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How to Confront the Military Recruiting Playbook

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  • Part !: Military Recruiting and How To Confront It
  • Wars start in our high schools, and this is where we can help to put an end to them.
  • Part 2: Pentagon Recruiting Playbook Revealed
  • It’s time for a national discussion on military recruitment, something not likely to happen while the media moguls continue to ignore this important story.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part !: Military Recruiting and How To Confront It

 

Image by Debra Sweet via Flickr

The revolution we engender must course through the schools. We can no longer afford to cede our neighborhood schools to the corporatists and the militarists. Wars start in our high schools, and this is where we can help to put an end to them.

Pat Elder <>, World Beyond War / Dandelion Salad 

June 30, 2017 | This year the Army’s goal is to recruit 80,000 active duty and reserve soldiers. The Navy is trying to sign up 42,000; the Air Force is looking for 27,000, and the Marines hope to bring on 38,000. That comes to 187,000. The Army National Guard will also attempt to lure 40,000.

These soldiers are needed to maintain the status quo for a year, aside from a last-minute increase of 6,000 additional Army soldiers added by President Obama.

http://worldbeyondwar.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/pat-elder.jpg Pat Elder is the author of Military Recruiting in the United States, and the Director of the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy, an organization that works to counter the alarming militarization of America’s high schools. Elder was a co-founder of the DC Antiwar Network and a long-time member of the Steering Committee of the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth.

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Part 2: Pentagon Recruiting Playbook Revealed

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7189/6884751075_8fc28da5f0.jpg Image by Debra Sweet via Flickr

It’s time for a national discussion on military recruitment, something not likely to happen while the media moguls continue to ignore this important story.

Pat Elder, World Beyond War / Dandelion Salad 

July 18, 2017 | Ominous developments in three states this summer – Oregon, Texas, New Jersey, and one city – Chicago, provide a glimpse into the Pentagon’s new playbook to recruit soldiers from high schools across the country. In brief, the military has been engaged in a robust lobbying campaign to lower academic standards to make it easier to recruit youth.

New recruits have long been required to hold a high school diploma or a GED certificate. This requirement is a major impediment to finding enough soldiers to meet annual targets, but even when struggling students barely manage to graduate, the Pentagon has developed a plan to marshal more of them into the military.

http://worldbeyondwar.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/pat-elder.jpg Pat Elder is the author of Military Recruiting in the United States, and the Director of the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy, an organization that works to counter the alarming militarization of America’s high schools. Elder was a co-founder of the DC Antiwar Network and a long-time member of the Steering Committee of the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth.

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Special Report | Ken Burns / Lynn Novick PBS Documentary Series 'The Vietnam War'

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The series will almost certainly avoid the fundamental moral issues that define the US as an historically imperial, dangerous, and deceitful political/economic nation state and culture.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Donate%20Now%21%20Graphic%20%28v1%29.jpgThe Media Shouldn't Sell Out

Unlike PBS, Evergreene Digest is accountable only to our readers: Not corporations, not their foundations, not politicians, not any political party.

Help us keep ethical, independent media thriving.

Dave and Crew


6 New Items including:

1) Ken Burns returns to take on Vietnam – 'a war we have consciously ignored'
2) Minnesota Remembers Vietnam
3) A Ball O’ Confusion Is Comin' to Your TV: Ken Burns' PBS Series on Vietnam Gives Its Corporate Sponsors Little to Worry About
4) Talking Points for Approaching the Burns/Novick PBS Vietnam War Documentary
5) The Vietnam War: A Film Everyone Can Embrace?
6) Burns and Novick, Masters of False Balancing

September 17, 2017 | 

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6) Burns and Novick, Masters of False Balancing, Jerry Lembcke, Public Books
With The Vietnam War, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick have created a film that rehashes some old, tired tropes. In doing so, they distort what soldiers, veterans, and antiwar activists alike know about the war and its aftermath, especially inside the United States.

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5) The Vietnam War: A Film Everyone Can Embrace? Camillo Mac Bica, Vietnam Full Disclosure
Full Disclosure: The Truth About America's War in Vietnam

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https://i1.wp.com/vietnamfulldisclosure.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/220x158xheader_logo.png.pagespeed.ic_.I5_Tpg1hVW.png?resize=264%2C1914) Talking Points for Approaching the Burns/Novick PBS Vietnam War Documentary, Veterans for Peace, Vietnam Full Disclosure

Attached you’ll find PBS’ brief descriptions of the 10 episodes along with concise, documented talking points you can use when participating in local PBS panels, making public statements or doing news interviews. In addition to the brief talking points and discussion questions, we’ve provided excerpts from important publications that provide deeper insight and further documentation.
This paper will help you authoritatively address issues raised in the PBS series and answer fundamental questions about the war.

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3) A Ball O’ Confusion Is Comin' to Your TV: Ken Burns' PBS Series on Vietnam Gives Its Corporate Sponsors Little to Worry About, By Frank Joyce, AlterNet
Don't expect an honest accounting of the atrocities commited by the U.S.

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2) Minnesota Remembers Vietnam, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

  • Part 1: Reserve your seats for "The Vietnam War":  Screening and Discussion: Minnesota Remembers Vietnam
  • There are going to be three events in the Twin Cities of Ken Burns: "The Vietnam War": Screening and Discussion. 
  • Part 2:  Full Disclosure: Re: The Burns-Novick PBS Series, About the US War in Viet Nam
  • The series will almost certainly avoid the fundamental moral issues that define the US as an historically imperial, dangerous, and deceitful political/economic nation state and culture.

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1) Ken Burns returns to take on Vietnam – 'a war we have consciously ignored', David Smith, The Guardian

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/1fea08bbb8c3b2bc8c24408df48dc7c587e52af9/0_78_2800_1680/master/2800.jpg?w=1140&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=0196220a7814a6b942d52c645dcc4120

In this December 1965 photo shot by Horst Faas, a US 1st division soldier guards Route 7 as Vietnamese women and schoolchildren return home to the village of Xuan Dien from Ben Cat. Photograph: Horst Faas/AP

Burns’s new 10-part, 18-hour epic film covers the conflict from all sides, and hopes to ‘shape more courageous conversations about what took place’

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