Saturday, January 29, 2011

We Need a Green Industrial Complex, Not Military

Solar Peace, or Blood for Oil:

The Need to Broaden the Peace Movement

An Opening in Obama's SOTU Speech

By Tom Hayden
Beaver County Peace Links via

Jan.27, 2011 - In his State of the Union address, President Obama opened a door through which the peace, labor and environmental movements should march, towards an energy future not dependent on resource wars.

This is our generation’s “Sputnik moment,” adding, “our Apollo project.”

Obama called for one million electric cars on the road in four years, eighty percent of our energy needs met by clean energy in two decades, high-speed rail by 2035 and, starting immediately, 100,000 math and science teachers.

“To help pay for it,” the president added, “I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies.”

There’s a fight that should be fought, a fight in which progressives can only gain ground.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Can We Ditch Militarism for a Green Industrial Policy?

From Military-Industrial Complex

to Permanent Warfare State

By: Gareth Porter
Beaver County Peace Links via FireDogLake
Monday January 17, 2011   

Fifty years after Dwight D. Eisenhower’s January 17, 1961 speech on the “military-industrial complex”, that threat has morphed into a far more powerful and sinister force than Eisenhower could have imagined.  It has become a “Permanent War State”, with the power to keep the United States at war continuously for the indefinite future. 

But despite their seeming invulnerability, the vested interests behind U.S. militarism have been seriously shaken twice in the past four decades by some combination of public revulsion against a major war, opposition to high military spending, serious concern about the budget deficit and a change in perception of the external threat.  Today, the Permanent War State faces the first three of those dangers to its power simultaneously — and in a larger context of the worst economic crisis since the great depression.

When Eisenhower warned in this farewell address of the “potential” for the “disastrous rise of misplaced power”, he was referring to the danger that militarist interests would gain control over the country’s national security policy. The only reason it didn’t happen on Ike’s watch is that he stood up to the military and its allies.

The Air Force and the Army were so unhappy with his “New Look” military policy that they each waged political campaigns against it. The Army demanded that Ike reverse his budget cuts and beef up conventional forces. The Air Force twice fabricated intelligence to support its claim that the Soviet Union was rapidly overtaking the United States in strategic striking power — first in bombers, later in ballistic missiles.

But Ike defied both services, reducing Army manpower by 44 percent from its 1953 level and refusing to order a crash program for bombers or for missiles.  He also rejected military recommendations for war in Indochina, bombing attacks on China and an ultimatum to the Soviet Union.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Crosshairs on target, then ‘Lock and Load’…What Do You Expect? A Pillow Fight?

The Right and the Shooting in Tucson


By Tom Hayden - January 10, 2011, 6:23PM

It appears that Arizona is ground zero in a right-wing war against the democratic process.

Rep. Giffords was on Sarah Palin's "target list" of twenty 2010 incumbents, a list which featured a graphic showing the crosshairs of a gun. Giffords' office was was one of those vandalized by the right-wing in March 2009 in a protest against national health care bill. [Judge John Roll, killed in the incident, also was subject to significant threats due to his positions on immigration.]

As recently as June 12, 2010, leaflets appeared in Giffords' district proclaiming: "Get on Target" and help remove Gabrielle Giffords, "Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly."

Jesse Kelly is a Marine veteran, and right-wing Republican who lost to Gifford November 4, by 48.8%-47%. Kelly was strongly supported by the Tea Party. named Kelly the Number 1 "most terrifying candidate" in the 2010 Congressional elections. He was criticized for taking funds and support from Americans for Legal Immigration [ALIPAC], an anti-immigrant group once denounced by Sen. John McCain's office as "white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and anti-semites." [The Hill, campaign blog, Oct. 26, 2010]. The Anti-Defamation League shared McCain's office view of ALIPAC.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Priority for Obama: Stop the Wars


More Troops Not the Answer in Afghanistan

By Rep. Barbara Lee

Beaver County Peace Links via Huffington Post

In response to reports that an additional 1,400 U.S. troops will be deployed to Afghanistan in the coming weeks, I must state that I categorically oppose a further escalation of the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan.

In 2001, I placed the lone vote against the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force in Afghanistan because I believed that it might pave the way to open-ended war.

Unfortunately, each week brings additional news that my worst fears have been realized.

This action will further entrench the United States Armed Forces in Afghanistan on the false premise of a military-first strategy that has consistently proven itself ineffective and counterproductive.

This latest troop deployment is yet another example of more predictable and misguided recommendations that the situation in Afghanistan demands more time, more lives, and more resources.

Just six months away from the President's pledged start of withdrawal from Afghanistan in July 2011, sending more of our brave men and women in uniform into an impossible situation in Afghanistan is not the answer.

As we enter the 112th Congress, we must make it a top priority to end this war.

That is why I will be reintroducing my legislation to limit funding in Afghanistan to the safe and orderly withdrawal of U.S. troops and military contractors and will further work with my colleagues to hold the President accountable for a significant July reduction in U.S. military presence.

[Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) represents the 9th Congressional District of California. She also is in the leadership of the Progressive Caucus and the Black Caucus.]