Thursday, October 30, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
AFRICOM: Key Facts and Concerns (August 2008)
AFRICOM expands of the role of the U.S. military on the African Continent, potentially shifting humanitarian resources from civilians to military personnel. We reject this militarization of foreign engagement. We also repudiate the role of the U.S. military and private military contractors in training and equipping African soldiers. Instead, our vision is a comprehensive U.S. foreign policy grounded in true partnership with the African Union, African governments, and civil society on peace, justice, security, and development.
Over the last year AFRICOM has been touted as a military command, a development agency, and as a force for creating security and stability on the African continent by “helping Africans help themselves.” Its competing mission is not simply a public relations problem – it is a problem inherent within the structure of AFRICOM itself.
While we recognize the inefficiency of the EUCOM-PACOM-CENTCOM structure and the need to coordinate DOD efforts, we condemn the further extension of the U.S. military footprint on African soil and the inclusion of soft power in AFRICOM’s mandate.
The people of the African Continent have expressed the need for better education systems, health care, jobs, roads, clean water, and good governance – diplomatic and development tasks, not military missions. The majority of African civil society are adamant against the increased presence of U.S. soldiers, military programs, and private contractors.
Today, AFRICOM’s primary mission is to “legitimize” African militaries by engaging in “train and equip” activities which, to date, have been largely inefficient and detrimental.
The U.S. is currently providing military equipment and training to governments which are widely seen as corrupt, illegitimate, oppressive, or which are guilty of fueling instability within its own country or across borders. Examples include Chad, Uganda, Rwanda, and Equatorial Guinea, among others.
In a 2008 report, Human Rights Watch notes with concern the U.S. training of Chadian forces, several of whom have now defected to join rebel movements.
Consider this, from a recent report by the U.S. Army’s Strategic Studies Institute: In the 1980’s, the U.S. spent approximately $500 million to train and equip Samuel Doe’s army. “Every armed force that plundered Liberia over the past 25 years had its core in these U.S.-trained Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) soldiers. Today, millions of dollars are awarded each year to DynCorp International, a private security contractor, to train Liberian forces.
The U.S. should consider the historical effect of irresponsible military involvement in Africa. From propping up human rights abusers like Samuel Doe and Mobutu Sese Seko to the U.S.-Ethiopian invasion of Somalia in 2006, the U.S. follows its own interests with little regard for the people of Africa. The current expansion of the U.S. military in Africa, embodied by AFRICOM, is primarily designed to increase access to Africa’s oil, counter terror, and offset China’s economic influence in the region. As such, if forced to choose, AFRICOM personnel will safeguard U.S. interests over African interests.
Although AFRICOM claims Ambassadors will retain Chief of Mission authority in their respective countries, the influence of General William Ward – a four-star, persuasive general – is likely to undermine the sovereign decisions of Ambassadors. Furthermore, with Ambassador Mary Yates serving as second-in-command, General Ward is seen as holding jurisdiction over the State Department in Africa.
Militarism in Africa: A Guidebook
By Chioma Oruh
Click here to download!
AFRICOM: STATEMENT OF CONCERN (October 2007)
We are a group of concerned U.S. and Africa based organizations and individuals opposed to the creation of AFRICOM. AFRICOM represents the expansion of the role of the U.S. military – potentially shifting the face of disaster response and humanitarian assistance from civilians to military personnel. Our vision is a comprehensive U.S. foreign policy grounded in true partnership with the African Union, African governments, and civil society on peace, justice, security, and development.
Africa Action Africa Faith and Justice Network African Security Research Project Arms and Security Initiative, New America Foundation Association of Concerned Africa Scholars Center for Democratic Empowerment, Liberia Foreign Policy In Focus Missionaries of Africa Pan Africa Network, Oakland CA Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Justice and Peace Office Resolve Uganda TransAfrica Forum United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society Washington Office on Africa The Hip Hop Caucus
John Cavanagh, Institute For Policy Studies
Alternatives and Recommendations for AFRICOM
Instead of establishing a military command, the US government should promote a just security doctrine. AFRICOM is not what the people of Africa need and it is not what will achieve long-term stability on the continent. What is needed is a boost in education, job opportunities, health care, debt relief, fair trade policies, and many other things that would ensure development, peace and prosperity.
With enough pressure from the American people, Congress can decline to fund AFRICOM in the coming defense appropriations cycle. President Bush recently unveiled his FY2009 Defense Budget. Within it, he requested $389 million for the AFRICOM headquarter operations in Stuttgart, millions more for operations on the continent, and a continuation of the funding for the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa located in Djibouti.
It is our hope that Congress will take this stand against AFRICOM. However, if AFRICOM must be established, we insist that:
The role of Ambassadors as point-persons in US-Africa policy is maintained and that the command structure is delineated to ensure that diplomatic efforts do not fall under the jurisdiction of the military.
Congress has sufficient oversight whether through regular reports or a special committee.
Restrictions are placed on funding to ensure that private military sub-contractors are never used to carry out the mandate of AFRICOM.
Restrictions are placed on funding to ensure that the military is under the same guidance as the State Department and that human rights violations never occur.
When training and equipping foreign armies, local communities are made fully aware of US presence and its intended goals.
The military acts in the most culturally respectful way possible when engaging in activities on the continent.
Every decision is made with the interests of Africans in mind.
resist AFRICOM is a project by The Hip Hop Caucus, Africa Faith and Justice Network, Foreign Policy in Focus, Africa Action, TransAfrica Forum, and many other concerned organizations and individuals
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Speak out for the less fortunate
Be the media!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Des & Liz were invited to share a few hours with our Vet friends who were in town for meetings with the Veteran Affairs Dept regarding Hiv/Aids health issues. The main message the VA system is totally overburdened and getting worse with the flood of Iraq War Vets coming home with tremendous needs of outreach mental help readjustment needs to acclimate back to civilian life....on and on.......The system is not capable of handling the constant ever- growing needs ...........
The trial has started today for the March 12 nonviolent civil resistance action at the Capitol
10 of our social justice activists friends face the judicial system once again for efforts of dissent toward ENDING THE ILLEGAL WAR of Occupation in Iraq!!
We CODEPINK sisters applaud the dedication, courage,committment to justice in Iraq,and the constant efforts toward setting the example of DIRECT Nonviolent action!!
Speaking for myself this group has taught me many important lessons ie leadership in times of war through actions that sacrifice the usual comforts of life.
Support Peace Groups in any way possible
We need constant support!!
Give Peace A Vote in 2008
Poll workers are in demand -WE MUST ALL PROTECT the VOTE!!
Monday, October 20, 2008
New Busboys 5st k NW
Global Exchange Fair Trade Shop
Busboys K street featured Dr. Helen Caldicott last
night to educate people like me on the medical hazards
associated with nuclear power!Dr.Caldicott has worked
for 35 years to educate the public on the environmental
crises that we can eliminate on the grassroots level!
Founder of Wand-Women for Nuclear Disarmament
Co-Founder of Physicians for Social Responsibilty
Carbon Free Nuke Free by 2050 We can do it!
Global Disarmament Disarm Disarm!
Friday, October 17, 2008
DC Codepink on the road to promote the peace vote in the big city -NYC
GIVE PEACE A VOTE!!
The CODEPINK DC peace team went to New York for the last Presidential debate at Hofstra University in West Hempstead Long Island Weds Oct 15th.We went straight to the Grand Hyatt at Grand Central station (as we arrived 2 days early) to meet-greet McCain's liar express.We got out on the streets before 6pm with Tiger as McCain.Tiger made our Cheney Puppet Head into a McCain version.It was a professional effort thus very realistic!McCain look-a-like commanded much attention in a very congested part of the big city.It was great action because Tiger was the best Insane McCain.
Monday, October 13, 2008
CODEPINKers took our drums megaphones Italian Flags to the White House for the Berlusconi Bush Summit this morning! the people of Vincenza Italy say NO DAl Molin!!
95% of the Vincenza citizenry clearly oppose further US militray expansion!!
Listen to your People-Stop supporting the Evil Bush Empire!!!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
By Lynn Rooks
We are so honored and blessed today, to have "the Grandmothers" amongst us here at the PINK house. For a couple days now, there has been a non-stop drumming for peace event on the Mall, sponsored by Turtle Women Rising. With chanting, singing, dancing, and blessings offered unto fire, the days have been profoundly shaped with the vibrations of Peace and Healing.
More to come soon about recent actions...only about sharing this gift of Peace right now.
Friday, October 10, 2008
We started the day at sunrise with the turtle women drumming circle opening ceremonies and blessings!Then took out the bikes rollerblades and bullhorns to the G7 events at the IMF with other activists.We greenwashed coal outside the International Monetary Fund!Next event was the Treasury Dept & WhiteHouse for a disruption of a photo opp with King Henry Paulson!
We were running from one event to the next all day with our Pink Peacemobile!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tiger Linn Liz drove up to New York City to work our street theatre magic for a protest on Wall Street with Hank Paulson.We have a banner that says Treasury Dept= UNDER NEW Management GOLDMAN SACHS!The action inculded music and lots of dancing in our bankers suits!It was a high energy action lots of movement marching dancing singing chanting photos interviews!!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
President Ahmadinejad spoke at the United Nations last week. The next day he met with 150 people from 50 different peace groups, an event organized by Fellowship of Reconciliation http://www.forusa.org/. Leslie was honored to be a part of this historic event: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20081013/huff-hannon.
President Ahmadinejad told the delegation,"Iranians love Americans!" He also said his country doesn't want war. He believes the time of the atomic bomb has come to an end. "We've passed that time; we have no interest in the bomb." Over three years ago Iran's spiritual leader issued a proclamation, or fatwa, prohibiting the possession of nuclear weapons. Iran hasn't attacked another country in 260 years.
Jodie Evans and Medea Benjamin, Co-founders of Code Pink, were both there. A few people were selected to talk about their organization and ask Ahmadinejad a question. Medea, as the Founding Director of Global Exchange, had this to say: "President Ahmadinejad, my organization has been sending delegations to Iran for years, but the process is cumbersome, and we never know who is going to get a visa, and often not until the last minute. I, myself, would love to visit Iran, but I can't get a visa!" He responded with a promise he'd push to make it easier for Americans to get visas and hoped the U.S. would do the same for Iranians.
GOOD NEWS! H.Con. Res. 362, the proposed Naval Blockade of Iran, sponsored by Congressman Gary Ackerman, has been shelved! http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=44031. Howard Berman, Chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, stated he would not mark-up the bill unless the legislation was amended to remove the ambiguity of the "blockade clause." This is a huge victory for the peace movement.
Leslie is still on the east coast, but she'll be coming home soon (sigh). Here she is with CodePink protesting the bailout in front of the New York Stock Exchange and at a Die-In in Washington, DC: http://www.whitehouseprotest.org/. Leslie was in the Congressional Gallery when the House voted to deny Bush and Paulson their bailout. Unfortunately they passed it on Friday. Dennis Kucinich had this to say: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaF_MZVWM3E
The U.S. has the most unequal distribution of income and wealth of any major country in the world. The top 1% earn more income than the bottom 50% and own more wealth than the bottom 90%. These 400 families control our government by contributing to the campaigns of our elected officials. Dissent is permitted, but only until it makes a difference. Unprecedented attacks on our civil liberties began at the Republican National Convention and will no doubt continue. President Bush - in violation of federal law - has assigned the 3rd Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team to active duty on American soil and the soldiers could be called upon for a variety of tasks, including quelling "civil unrest": http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10341.
So what do we do? This is a time of profound change. People are beginning to realize our Congress serves only the rich and powerful and our administration can't be trusted. When we reach a critical mass of mutual understanding, we'll take our country back.
Leslie and I are hoping to visit Iran with CodePink this November. While we're there, we'll be establishing connections with students and teachers. We want to give young Americans an opportunity to make friends with young Iranians. If you are a parent or a teacher and you'd like to know more about this program, please send us your mailing address.
Peace and Freedom,
Jes & Leslie
Opera Lovers. Don't miss this one!
U.S. Army establishes a permanent presence in Israel
with a 120-member support team to help deploy a radar system for detecting incoming Iranian missiles:
Inside Iran's Fury by Stephen Kinzer
A brief history of Iran and its relationship with the U.S.
The Shift! You are not alone!!
The Battle Plan II: Sarah "Evita" Palin, the Muse of the Coming Police State http://www.huffingtonpost.com/naomi-wolf/the-battle-plan-ii-sarah_b_128393.html
Anti-war Veterans Unfurl Arrest Bush/Cheney banner at National Archives
Now Is the Time to Resist Wall Street's Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein
Jes & Leslie ... A Journey for Peace and Freedom: http://www.jfpf.org/
If you would like to be added to The Gandhi Peace Brigade Group List,
please let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you. Jes
CODEPINK brought a decorated Christmas tree to Capitol Hill with gifts of coal wrapped for the working class people!Hank Paulson & Bush were part of the street sellout theatre accepting the $$$$ from the congressmembers.
We took an independent poll of staffers from booth party and
GAEL has been nominated for the best actress award for yesterday's performance.
PLease make certain to visit your rep in district before the end of the year and STAND UP for truth peace justice and a better more just foreign policy.
Impeachment Hearings could have mitigated this HORRIBLE BAILOUT SCAM!!!IMPEAMENHT is still possible...........CALL Conyers remind him he could have preempted this BULLSH$$$T BAILOUT debacle!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Just hours before the Senate vote on the $700 billion Bailout bill, Code Pink went to visit the offices of Senators Dodd, McCain, Obama and Reid to demand that they listen to the voice of their constituents, look at alternatives to the Bailout and to ask them why the Senate did not pass last week's $56 billion Economic Stimulus bill that could have helped the poor, the unemployed and the country's infrastructure.
A rousing rendition of "No Bailout" sung to the tune of the spiritual "Amen" entertained all within earshot of Code Pink. The band of Code Pink activists, dressed to represent the working people of our nation, started out in the offices of Senator Dodd. At noon on the day of the vote on this "crucial legislation" there were no copies of the bill in the office nor was there one posted to the internet. After some discussion with the staff in Senator Dodd's office it was clear that he needed to know that he could pass this bill "over our dead bodies!" and a short die-in followed. I suspect he got the message.
Code Pink next headed to the offices of Senator John McCain, Republican candidate for president. Again, the senator was asked look at alternatives to the Bailout, asked why the Senate did not pass last week's $56 billion Economic Stimulus bill that could have helped the poor, the unemployed and the country's infrastructure and once again, we were told that the Bailout was necessary and good and no, they didn't have a copy of this "vital bill". It was now 1 PM on the day of the vote and Code Pink had little choice but tell Senator McCain that they could pass the Bailout "over our dead bodies!"
Code Pink's last stop was to the offices of Senator Obama, Democratic candidate for president. Again we asked our questions and again we were not satisfied. We did, however, finally get a copy of the Bailout bill. With just hours to go before what might be a defining piece of legislation for our country, the people of the United states were given little time to read and discuss this bill. What else was Code Pink to do but let Senator Obama's office know that the Bailout bill could be passed "over our dead bodies!"
In each of the offices we visited, the phones were ringing off the hook with calls from constituents regarding this bill. In one office the calls were 100 "No" votes to every three "Yes." The American people and Code Pink are dying to be heard and today that's just what we did.
The Senate is rushing the VOTE on the BAILOUT tonight
Please call the Switchboard 1202.224.3121
LISTEN to thepeople..Reelection is coming soon....
Wewant Transparency Oversight Regulation-Cap Greed
the market will work itself out!!