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Peace & Nonviolence

Women in Combat: Equal Opportunity Meat Grinder

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  • This isn’t about denying rights to women, its about hitting “pause” before making it easier to throw even more of our mothers and daughters needlessly into the meat grinder, and our humanity along with them.
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  • Martin Luther King, Jr.: "I have a dream...to go to war?!"
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Kelley B. Vlahos, AntiWar.com

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

(Photo by Seth Robson/Stars and Stripes)

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Not a month after the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, a move that allows gays to serve openly in the military, one of the Army’s top brass is saying that the meat grinder – er, playing field – could be getting even more level.

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When asked a question Jan. 6 about finally letting women into combat assignments in the war zone, Army Chief of Staff George W. Casey Jr. said publicly that “we’re looking at revising the policy. … We’ve had some work going on for a while, and that’ll double back up to the secretary, I would think, in the next couple of months.”

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This wasn’t just a one-off response, apparently. A week later, the Associated Press wrote that a key military panel was preparing a report that recommends women should be allowed to serve officially in combat duty.

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Martin Luther King, Jr.: "I have a dream...to go to war?!" Robert Greenwald, Brave New Films

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  • A Pentagon official actually claimed that if King were alive today, he might support the war.
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  • The Misuse of Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Scams Targeting Veterans

Vetting for Vets

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Jeanine Skowronski, MainStreet

We know that scammers tend to go after the elderly, college students and children, but an increasingly popular target is U.S. veterans.

“Con artists will target any sort of vulnerable demographic,” said Denise Richardson, Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist. She explained that veterans are accessible due largely in part to the large number of legitimate agencies that support them. They are also eligible for many different benefits that scam artists take advantage of, such as long term health care and federal pension plans, that the greater population does not receive.

“Scammers use these organizations and these benefits as a front to drag people in,” Richardson says.

To help veterans avoid falling victim to fraud, MainStreet rounded up some of the scams used to trick military personnel over the years.

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Martin Luther King, Jr.: "I have a dream...to go to war?!"

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  • A Pentagon official actually claimed that if King were alive today, he might support the war.
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  • The Misuse of Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Robert Greenwald, Brave New Films

Low Income Readers:  If you are on a tight budget, don't send cash! Just forward articles to your friends - and non-Progressives too ;) - and we need help building our Evergreene Digest community, you can invite your Facebook friends, that's a big help too. We are proud to have you with us.

The Pentagon sank to a new low this week(Jan 12-18) in their attempt to sell the Afghanistan War to the American people. At their Martin Luther King, Jr., Day observance, a Pentagon official actually claimed that if King were alive today, he might support the war.

This is simply not true. As shown in our new video, Dr. King could not have been more clear in his 1967 speech denouncing the Vietnam War:

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"A true revolution of values will lay hand on the world order and say of war, "This way of settling differences is not just. …A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

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More than 10,000 people died in the Afghanistan War last year alone. This year, the government plans to spend $107 billion on the war. We believe that if Dr. King were alive today, he would repeat his admonition to U.S. policymakers on their responsibility:

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“I speak as one who loves America...The great initiative in this war is ours; the initiative to stop it must be ours.”

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Martin Luther King, Jr., was a national hero who called on us to have the moral courage to stop another war that wasn’t making us safer and that wasn’t worth the cost. Help us fight the Pentagon lies. Spread the truth by sharing this video with your family and friends.

Sincerely,

Related:

The Misuse of Martin Luther King, Jr., Mark Engler, Dissent Magazine

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  • First Glenn Beck tries to claim MLK; now the Pentagon?! This has gone too far.
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  • Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence
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  • Approaching Spiritual Death
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The Misuse of Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  • First Glenn Beck tries to claim MLK; now the Pentagon?! This has gone too far.
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  • Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence
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  • Approaching Spiritual Death
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Mark Engler, Dissent Magazine

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You might remember Martin Luther King, Jr. as someone who railed against the triple evils of “racism, materialism, and militarism.” But according to Obama’s Department of Defense, “today’s wars are not out of line with the iconic Nobel Peace Prize winner’s teachings.”

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This contention is advanced in an article by the American Forces Press Service, which the Pentagon is distributing for republication. CommonDreams did republish it—as an example of government shamelessness, correctly noting that you “can’t make this stuff up.”

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Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence, Rev. Martin Luther King

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Speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City

Duty to Warn:  Approaching Spiritual Death, Gary Kohls, Evergreene Digest
Is it Too Late to Mend America’s Dying Soul?
http://evergreenedigest.org/content/duty-warn-approaching-spiritual-death

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The Deafening Silence About the War in the Deficit Debate

It is this type of corporate welfare system, along with periodic bank bailouts and tax cuts for the super-rich, which suits the two political parties just fine. Welfare for the truly needy, however, is generally abhorrent to them, and thus the limited nature of the current debate about the federal deficit.

Dan Kovalik, Huffington Post

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There is a lot of talk right now on Capitol Hill about the need to balance the federal budget. Sadly, both Democrats and Republicans alike are largely debating about how best to balance the budget upon the backs of the poor and working people (who are many times the very same people) and the elderly. First and foremost on the chopping block appears to be Social Security and Medicare -- the lifeline for millions of seniors in this country and the only hope for any sort of retirement for the vast majority of people in this country.

Meanwhile, belying any real interest in balancing the budget, the extension of unemployment benefits for millions of people out of work through no fault of their own is being made contingent upon tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans.

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Gandhi is Too often Ignored by American Resisters

I have been disappointed in the assertion that exercising one's first amendment right is a reason one should not be found guilty of a regulation one violated as part of an open civil arrest. It seems weak to assert one should not be prosecuted for being part of a public protest expected to involve arrest.

David Slesinger, Op Ed News

If you liked reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

During the preparation the night before the  Veterans for Peace arrests  on Thursday (December 16), I raised the accusation that the  American peace movement  suppresses discussion of Gandhi's approach to resistance. During the evaluation on Friday, some opposition to such discussion came forward. Nevertheless, VFP president Mike Ferner assured me after the meeting that discussion of Gandhi would occur at a later VFP event.

Allow me here to discuss in greater detail why I hold that Gandhi's approach to resistance has more potential power than civil resistance .

Advocates of civil resistance are welcome to take issue with my following characterization. The goal of civil resistance is to have the legal process acknowledge that the criminals are in power and the protesters are more deserving of honor than being in jail. I have heard of it succeeding at times. I certainly admire and support any non hateful and non frightening arrest against war and injustice.

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Case dismissed; your tax dollars at work – or not, Linda LeTendre, Schenectady Daily Gazette | NY

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  • One woman fighting for peace--and tweaking a few Feds in the process.
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  • Gandhi is Too often Ignored by American Resisters
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How the US let al-Qaida get its hands on an Iraqi weapons factory

In an exclusive extract from his new book, A History of the World since 9/11, Dominic Streatfeild explains how despite expert warnings, the US let al-Qaida buy an arsenal of deadly weapons – then tried to cover it up.

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Dominic Streatfeild, The Guardian

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Iraqi soldiers inspect weapons seized in Yusifiyah, 16 Nov 2008. Photograph: Khalid Mohammed/AP

Haki Mohammed and his brothers were shovelling manure on their farm in Yusifiyah in the spring of 2003 when the soldier arrived. Dishevelled and distressed, the man had run a great distance. "Please," he entreated, "are you true Arabs?"

The Iraqis, raised in a culture of obligatory hospitality towards needy strangers, immediately understood the subtext. The man needed help. Even had he not been a soldier (Haki thought he recognised the uniform of a Special Republican Guard), they were honour-bound to offer assistance. "Of course," Haki assured the man. "What is it you need?"

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The soldier held out his AK-47. "Take it." He indicated the webbing around his waist, stuffed full of charged magazines. "Take them all. I don't want them. But I need a dishdasha or a robe. Anything that isn't a uniform." Then the soldier started to undress.

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The Mohammeds were indeed good Arabs. They fetched a dishdasha and the man slipped it on. Then, without warning, he flung the ammunition and the rifle down and ran off into the desert. Bemused, the Yusifiyans examined his belongings. He wasn't a Republican Guard at all. His uniform, bereft of rank badges, was that of a rarer outfit: Manzaumat al-Amin, the Iraqi military's security and protection agency.

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Mike Ferner: People's Media at Work in Afghanistan

Most Afghans were glad at first when coalition forces toppled the Taliban, but, after 9 years of war and occupation, it's time for the U.S. and NATO to leave.

Grant Lawrence, Before It's News

Image by @mjb via Flickr

The five boys I met in Kabul, Afghanistan, from the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers were young - the oldest only 20 - and as charming and well-mannered as teenage boys can humanly be. Their mentor, Hakim, displayed patience and tireless compassion.

I found it easy to settle into a comfortable relationship with them for 10 days, but during the event described below, it became clear that these young men were a courageous lot, going against many cultural norms in Afghanistan and doing so publicly. People in places like today's Afghanistan have been "disappeared" for less.

As I began to realize how dangerous the Peace Volunteers' work could be, the global call-in project dubbed "Dear Afghanistan," became much more than a chance for callers to meet a handful of charming, brave boys. It was the beginning of an international support committee that at some moment may need to quickly mobilize to demand governments intervene to protect these young men's lives. Indeed, after a few years of quiet work in their province and the relatively high-profile Dear Afghanistan calling project, Afghan security forces visited Hakim's village for a third time, leaving the distinct impression he is no longer welcome. Just before he and the AYPV were to make the 11-hour drive through the mountains to Bamyan, he booked a flight to another country.

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