Drones Quilts Exhibited at 3 Conferences

drones quilt project

The Drones Quilt Project exhibited recently at the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) Congress in Chicago, the Democracy Convention in Minneapolis, and the Veterans For Peace (VFP) Convention in Chicago. There are now 12 completed quilts, so there are enough to be displayed in more than one location at once.

Future showings are scheduled for Minneapolis, Dallas, and for the first time, outside the U.S. in London.

There are many openings in the 2018 schedule–contact Leah Bolger if interested in hosting the exhibit. leahbolger@comcast.net

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Uncle Sam’s Grisly Record of Murder and Mayhem Since 1945 by Paul Street

by Paul Street
Writer, Dandelion Salad
The Official Website of Paul Street, July 30, 2017
August 1, 2017

The United States has killed, maimed, displaced, and otherwise harmed an astonishing number of people in its 241-year record of murder and mayhem – including more than 20 million killed in 37 nations since 1945.

Direct Assault

A grisly distinction exists between those Uncle Sam has directly assaulted and those he has more indirectly attacked. Examples of direct assault are numerous and horrible to contemplate.

The history of direct U.S.-military mass killing since 1945 includes:

* The firebombing of Tokyo: roughly 100,000 Japanese civilians incinerated when U.S. bombers created the greatest firestorm in history.

* Hiroshima (146, 000 killed with a single bomb – what U.S. president Harry Truman called “the greatest thing in history”) and (80,000) Nagasaki: savagely unnecessary and arch-criminal atom-bombings carried out even though the U.S. high command knew that Japan was defeated and ready to accept U.S. surrender terms).

Read the full srory: Uncle Sam’s Grisly Record of Murder and Mayhem Since 1945 by Paul Street

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Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases

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Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases
Unity Statement
We, the undersigned peace, justice and environmental organizations, and individuals, endorse the following Points of Unity and commit ourselves to working together by forming a Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases, with the goal of raising public awareness and organizing non-violent mass resistance against U.S. foreign military bases.
While we may have our differences on other issues, we all agree that U.S. foreign military bases are the principal instruments of imperial global domination and environmental damage through wars of aggression and occupation, and that the closure of U.S. foreign military bases is one of the first necessary steps toward a just, peaceful and sustainable world. Our belief in the urgency of this necessary step is based on the following facts:
1 While we are opposed to all foreign military bases, we do recognize that the United States maintains the highest number of military bases outside its territory, estimated at almost 1000 (95% of all foreign military bases in the world). Presently, there are U.S. military bases in every Persian Gulf country except Iran.
2 In addition, the United States has 19 Naval air carriers (and 15 more planned), each as part of a Carrier Strike Group, composed of roughly 7,500 personnel, and a carrier air wing of 65 to 70 aircraft — each of which can be considered a floating military base.
3 These bases are centers of aggressive military actions, threats of political and economic expansion, sabotage and espionage, and crimes against local populations. In addition, these military bases are the largest users of fossil fuel in the world, heavily contributing to environmental degradation.
4 The annual cost of these bases to the American taxpayers is approximately $156 billion. The support of U.S. foreign military bases drains funds that can be used to fund human needs and enable our cities and States to provide necessary services for the people.
5 This has made the U.S. a more militarized society and has led to increased tensions between the U.S. and the rest of the world. Stationed throughout the world, almost 1000 in number, U.S. foreign military bases are symbols of the ability of the United States to intrude in the lives of sovereign nations and peoples.
6 Many individual national coalitions — for example, Okinawa, Italy, Jeju Island Korea, Diego Garcia, Cyprus, Greece, and Germany — are demanding closure of bases on their territory. The base that the U.S. has illegally occupied the longest, for over a century, is Guantánamo Bay, whose existence constitutes an imposition of the empire and a violation of International Law. Since 1959 the government and people of Cuba have demanded that the government of the U.S. return the Guantánamo territory to Cuba.
U.S. foreign military bases are NOT in defense of U.S. national, or global security. They are the military expression of U.S. intrusion in the lives of sovereign countries on behalf of the dominant financial, political, and military interests of the ruling elite. Whether invited in or not by domestic interests that have agreed to be junior partners, no country, no peoples, no government, can claim to be able to make decisions totally in the interest of their people, with foreign troops on their soil representing interests antagonistic to the national purpose.
We must all unite to actively oppose the existence of U.S. foreign military bases and call for their immediate closure. We invite all forces of peace, social and environmental justice to join us in our renewed effort to achieve this shared goal.
Signed (in alphabetical order):
— Bahman Azad, U.S. Peace Council
— Ajamu Baraka, Black Alliance for Peace
— Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK
— Leah Bolger, World Beyond War
— Sara Flounders, International Action Center
— Bruce Gagnon, Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space
— Tarak Kauff, Veterans For Peace
— Joe Lombardo, United National Antiwar Coalition
— Alfred L. Marder, U.S. Peace Council
— George Paz Martin, MLK Justice Coalition; Liberty Tree Foundation*
— Nancy Price, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom*
— Alice Slater, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
— David Swanson, World Beyond War
— Ann Wright, CODEPINK
— Kevin Zeese, Popular Resistance
* For identification purposes only.

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What good comes from military spending?

Veterans For Peace, Linus Pauling Chapter member, Joel Inman, wrote the following letter to the Corvallis Gazette-Times editor. It was published May 7, 2017. We believe Joel presents a case that would appeal to fiscal conservatives and libertarians as well. If you follow the link to the comments section, you will note this argument does not resonate well with war hawks.

Letter: What good comes from military spending?

Apr 25, 2017 Updated May 6, 2017

As the president has outlined his suggested budget for the federal government, it is useful to reflect on the purpose of government spending.

In short, the government should either seek to solve a problem with spending or not spend at all and reduce the deficit. This is nonpartisan common sense.

So we should ask ourselves, “what problem is the president solving by increasing the defense budget?” The United States already outspends every possible enemy by factors of 4 or 5 to 1. NATO, which Donald Trump has criticized as being weak, outspends Russia by a factor of 8 to 1. There simply is no problem in defense that needs to be solved with more spending. In fact, it is easily the worst use of America’s economic might.

However, there are other problems in our community, our state, country, and the world where spending could be part of the solution. None of these get the attention they deserve in the president’s budget.

If you believe that the government, at all levels, should either solve problems or get out of the way, you will oppose the president’s budget priorities. No matter your political affiliations, you can see that no greater good can from increasing an already overwhelming military budget.

Joel Inman

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DQP Rejected by Intrepid Museum

The Intrepid is just another propaganda tool if the M-I-C. Any attempt to present both sides of a military issue is simply a deceptive ploy to suggest the pentagon and its contractors are putting the best interests of the American people first. They are not. Profit margin and number of units sold (bought with our taxes) are all that matter to these people. Period.

drones quilt project

Last July the Drones Quilt Project was contacted by the Aviation Curator of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space museum expressing interest in exhibiting the DQP as part of their 2017 exhibit on drones. (See post from 4 Oct 16 on this site). He said that the Intrepid Museum was “endeavoring to show both sides of the armed drone controversy as equally as possible.” He went on to add that they felt “…that the power of the quilt project is exactly what they required to give this debate a level argument.”
However, in mid-March, 2017, the project was notified that the quilts would not be displayed after all, because there was no room for them in the museum’s drone exhibit.

It extremely disappointing that the museum has decided not to include the DQP.  The exhibit will be seen by thousands of people, and now those people may never know about the…

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A sad loss…

April 8 update:  Good article in the LBCC Commuter paper. A memorial is set for this Thuqrsday, Apr. 13, 4:30pm at LBCC, Albany. More details TBA.

Our VFP chapter and local Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) branch are mourning the loss of our newest and youngest member, Dakota Tyger. Dakota took his own life on April 4, 2017 at his home in Albany, Oregon.

From Dakota’s Facebook page

This was a remarkable man, vastly more mature, world savvy and well read than his twenty one years would suggest. In the short time we knew him, he expressed sincere empathy with, and understanding of, the plight of oppressed and working folk.

We cannot speculate about what persuaded Dakota to end his life, but his death is tallied along with the roughly twenty veterans who take their lives every single day.

We knew this was a special guy when he took the microphone during the Q&A session following a recent presentation by Zahra Billoo, the executive director of the Bay Area chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Although the incidents in question predated his enlistment in the Army, Dakota wanted to apologize for the 2010 wanton murders of innocent Afghan civilians by what was known in this Army unit as the “Kill Team.”

We quickly sought an opportunity to get to know Dakota better and over coffee we learned of his interest in joining both Veterans For Peace and the Industrial Workers of the World.

Dakota soon took time away from his studies at Linn-Benton Community College and his favorite pastime of weight lifting to attend the Corvallis-Albany IWW event known as Wobbly Class Act and an IWW membership meeting. He was very interested in local activism and other ways to express his solidarity with, and empathy for, workers struggling under the yoke of the capitalist system.

Despite our short time together, we gained immense respect and admiration for this peace-loving veteran and his loss is felt very deeply.

Dakota Thomas Tyger, Presente!

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Corvallis honors Dr. King and the “Beyond Vietnam” speech

April 4, 2017

Photos of today’s rally commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech.

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