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The Army Chaplain Who Quit Over 'Unaccountable Killing' of Obama’s Secretive Drone Program

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  • Antal said he “hopes to see greater empathy” among Americans for the victims of the U.S. drone program and is “deeply saddened by the numbing of our culture” to U.S.-led violence abroad.
  • “It’s becoming very easy for Americans to just go shopping and forget that this violence is happening,” Antal said.
  • Related: In Drones We Trust: Christians and the Kill List

Michael Edison Hayden, ABC News

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Rev. Chris J. Antal, the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Rock Tavern, atte Bob Fernandez/Philadelphia Inquirer

May 28, 2016 | As a witness to the removal of fallen U.S. troops from Afghanistan, Army Chaplain Christopher John Antal can’t recall a time when that solemn ceremony wasn’t conducted without the presence of drones passing along the horizon.

They were sleek and quiet, making a gentle humming noise as they flew over the flight lines — where aircraft can be parked and serviced — of the Kandahar airfield in Afghanistan, where he was stationed in 2012. Not everyone had access to the flight lines, according to Antal, but he was responsible for participating in dignified transfer ceremonies, also known as ramp ceremonies, which were set there to greet the caskets of fallen service personnel as they were returned to base, en route to the U.S. On these occasions, he would watch the drones drift in and out, loaded with Hellfire missiles.

Michael Edison Hayden serves as a Breaking News Writer for ABC News in New York City.

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Related:

In Drones We Trust: Christians and the Kill List, William Alberts, The World Can't Wait

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  • Many Christian leaders are chaplains of the status quo.  Their bottom line is about maintaining profits not being prophets.  Rather than finding their voices and speaking truth to power, they provide the Invocations and Benedictions for those in power—and also punish those who threaten the status quo.
  • The US Military Christian Chaplaincy: Helping Soldiers Adjust to Committing War Crimes
  • Have They No Shame?

 

Crocodile Tears on Memorial Day

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  • It is these politicians who, without hesitation, will quickly send American youth into war, and claim that killing people a half-world away somehow protects American citizens. And once Americans are in combat, these same politicians will complain about the cost of war, and vote against providing adequate funds for decent medical and psychological treatment for those who come home damaged.
  • Part 1: Memorial Day Crocodile Tears from Those Who Create Wars
  • Part 2: Remembrance Day: Why I’ll Wear a Dandelion Instead of a Red Poppy

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Memorial Day Crocodile Tears from Those Who Create Wars

It is these politicians who, without hesitation, will quickly send American youth into war, and claim that killing people a half-world away somehow protects American citizens. And once Americans are in combat, these same politicians will complain about the cost of war, and vote against providing adequate funds for decent medical and psychological treatment for those who come home damaged.

Walter Brasch, Dandelion Salad

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Mock%20Caskets%20Draped%20with%20US%20Flags.jpgImage by Elvert Barnes via Flickr

May 29, 2016 |  A few million Americans may be thinking about it, but won’t be celebrating Memorial Day. For them, there’s not much to celebrate or to remember.

They’re the low-wage employees who may have to work all three days, without overtime; about three million workers earn the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Many work 30 to 35 hours a week, just low enough that their employers don’t have to pay for insurance, holidays, or sick leave. The corporate CEOs, of course, will be enjoying the long weekend at their alternate vacation homes in the mountains, or along the coasts, or at off-shore islands where they have found banks willing to hide their money and avoid U.S. taxes.

Walter Brasch is an award-winning journalist and the author of 20 books, is co-founder of the Northeast Pennsylvania Coalition for the Homeless. His latest book is Fracking America: Sacrificing Health and the Environment for Short-Term Economic Benefit.

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Part 2: Remembrance Day: Why I’ll Wear a Dandelion Instead of a Red Poppy

And when he saw them marching up Whitehall
I remember what old Arthur said
He said the donkeys are all wearing poppies
So I shall wear dandelions instead  
--“Dandelions” written and sung by Steve O’Donoghue

Stop the War Coalition, Dandelion Salad

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May 30, 2016 | And when he saw them marching up Whitehall

I remember what old Arthur said
He said the donkeys are all wearing poppies
So I shall wear dandelions instead

“Dandelions” written and sung by Steve O’Donoghue

Stop the War Coalition campaigns to end the occupations in Afghanistan & Palestine, against any attack on Iran or Syria, against Islamophobia, and in defence of civil liberties.

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A Drumbeat of Multiple Shootings, but America Isn’t Listening

  • Most shootings with four deaths or injuries are invisible outside their communities.
  • And most of the lives they scar are black.
  • Related: Racist McShootface

Sharon LaFraniere, Daniela Porat, and Agustin Armendariz, New York Times

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https://static01.nyt.com/images/2016/05/11/us/multishoot-fb-photo/multishoot-fb-photo-superJumbo.jpg Seven people were shot in a matter of minutes last August at an Elks Lodge in Cincinnati. Credit: Gus Powell for the New York Times

May 22, 2016 | After the slaughter of nine worshipers at a South Carolina church last June, but before the massacre of eight students and a teacher at an Oregon community college in October, there was a shooting that the police here have labeled Incident 159022597.01. It happened on a clear Friday night at an Elks Lodge, on a modest block of clapboard houses northeast of this city’s hilly downtown. Unlike the butchery that bookended it, it merited no presidential statements, no saturation television coverage.

But what took place at 6101 Prentice Street on Aug. 21 may say more about the nature of gun violence in the United States than any of those far more famous rampages. It is a snapshot of a different sort of mass violence — one that erupts with such anesthetic regularity that it is rendered almost invisible, except to the mostly black victims, survivors and attackers.

Sharon  LaFraniere is an American journalist who has covered southern Africa and China for the New York Times. Daniela Porat: Reporter, Computer Assisted Reporting at the New York Times. Agustín Armendariz is an investigative reporter specializing in data analysis for ... "The Buying of the President" (2004) which was a New York Times bestseller.

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Related:

Racist McShootface, Lucy McBath, Everytown for Gun Safety

  • http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Take%20Action%20Today%20button.jpgShame Missouri legislators for taking a dangerous step towards being the first new "Stand Your Ground" state since Trayvon's killing.
  • Related: Our gun myths are all wrong: The real history behind the Second Amendment clichés that have sustained our lethal gun culture.

 

Top 12 Reasons the Good War Was Bad: Hiroshima in Context

  • A column-length list of the top reasons that the good war was not good.
  • Consider this a friendly reminder to President Obama on his way to Hiroshima.

David Swanson, American Herald Tribune

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http://ahtribune.com/images/Welcome_Ceremony_in_Japan_33962.jpgWelcome Ceremony in Japan

May 24, 2016 | Consider this a friendly reminder to President Obama on his way to Hiroshima.

No matter how many years one writes books, does interviews, publishes columns, and speaks at events, it remains virtually impossible to make it out the door of an event in the United States at which you've advocated abolishing war without somebody hitting you with the what-about-the-good-war question.

Of course this belief that there was a good war 75 years ago is what moves the U.S. public to tolerate dumping a trillion dollars a year into preparing in case there's a good war next year, even in the face of so many dozens of wars during the past 70 years on which there's general consensus that they were not good. Without rich, well-established myths about World War II, current propaganda about Russia or Syria or Iraq would sound as crazy to most people as it sounds to me.

David Swanson is an American activist, blogger and author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union."

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United States Exposed for Being Complicit in Arming and Training Child Soldiers in Afghanistan

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  • “There’s nothing heroic about putting a child in danger by arming him and having him fight in a war. The Taliban killed 10-year-old Wasil Ahmad, but those who encouraged him to fight bear responsibility as well,” Patricia Gossman, the senior Afghanistan researcher for Human Rights Watch, told the Guardian.
  • When policy becomes more important than morality, people, including innocent children suffer.

Jay Syrmopoulos, Free Thought Project

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http://thefreethoughtproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/United-States-Complicit-in-Arming-and-Training-Child-Soldiers-in-Afghanistan.jpgFebruary 5, 2016 | The killing of a 10-year-old Afghan boy, Wasil Ahmad by Taliban forces has raised serious questions about the United State’s creation and backing of a militia group using of child soldiers.

Ahmad has been lionized as a national hero in Afghanistan after his death on Monday in the Uruzgan province at the hands of Taliban militants. The boy had previously gained national prominence for helping militia forces break an insurgent siege after his uncle had been wounded.

Jay Syrmopoulos’ work has previously been published on BenSwann.com and WeAreChange.org. 

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