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Nationwide peace campaign plans

By Deborah Dupre’ at Examiner

Call to Rethink Afghanistan and ‘War on Terror’

A coalition of major U.S. non-government organizations will be campaigning for peace nationwide in October, including teach-ins, demonstrations and new, award-winning film screenings.

The peace project follows a recess during which hope for change under the Obama administration has gradually dwindled due to no change in U.S. foreign policy including the “long war.”

The antiwar silence has been “crashingly deafening” says Cindy Sheehan on her pilgrimage to Martha’s Vineyard to protest her son’s death and all other innocent people killed over a falsified cause for war. (John Walsh, The Silence of the Antiwar Movement is Deafening: Cindy Sheehan’s Lonely Pilgrimage to Martha’s Vineyard, Counterpunch, August 26, 2009) Sheehan’s protest coincided with President Obama’s vacation in the resort area.

CodePink founder, Medea Benjamin said, “We’re coming out of a low period. But as progressives feel more comfortable protesting against the Obama administration and challenging Democrats as well as Republicans in Congress, then we’ll be back on track.” James Dao, New York Times, American Antiwar Movement Plans an Autumn Campaign Against Policies on Afghanistan, August 30, 2009)

Veterans for Peace, Code Pink, Military Families Speak Out, Votevets.org, Win Without War and U.S. Labor Against the War, a network of nearly 190 union affiliates, are among national organizations planning peaceful awareness raising about US foreign policy.

A demonstration for peace is scheduled in Washington D.C. next month.

United for Peace and other group are planning smaller, local opportunities to create peace through in other places around the country. Teach-ins with Veterans and families, ‘ad hoc memorials featuring the boots of deceased soldiers and Marines” and films are being scheduled according to the NY Times.

 

Fuel no cause for war

The Sundance Best Documentary Audience Choice Award-winning movie, FUEL will open in New York City followed by openings in Washington, D.C. and cities across the nation in October. During Fuel’s test run earlier this year, pro-war on terror viewers left theaters saying they were inspired and empowered by learning the truth and peaceful solutions already implemented that make foreign policy of war for oil unnecessary.

Former US weapon inspector, Scott Ritter and The Shock Doctrine author, Naomi Klein explain in FUEL the psychological operation weapon of war applied on the American public to win war support. FUEL includes footage of congressional hearings about Cheney’s secret U.S. energy policy meetings with oil heads where Iraq oil and pipelines were mapped and discussed, months before the New York City September 11, 2001 mass murder followed by the rapid invasion of Iraq.

FUEL’s test run success in the Los Angeles area included a 7-week hold-over by popular demand at Santa Monica Promenade’s AMC Theater. The theater manager told the author this was “definitely record breaking.” Much of this success was attributed to LA’s well known figure and producer of Joel Andreas’s book,  Addicted to War, Frank Dorrel who promoted FUELamong LA’s peace community.

Peacemaker call to stop slaughtering Afghanistan people

Also scheduled for the October peace campaign is the film series permeating the internet about ‘war on terror’ realities, Rethink Afghanistan, produced by professional peace worker and award-winning political filmmaker, Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films production company.

According to Greenwald, “Brave New Film’s short videos have been viewed over 40 million times in the past two years. They have inspired hundreds of thousands of people to take action and forced pressing issues into mainstream media.”

Greenwald initiated the organization, Peacemaker, Brave New Foundation. One of the organization’s activities is informing members whenever there are civilian casualties of the Afghanistan war so that members can immediately call Congress.

Eight years have passed since Laura Bush declared that “because of our recent military gains, women are no longer imprisoned in their homes” in Afghanistan, “complete mythology”  as Greenwald documents in Rethink Afghanistan.  (R. Greenwald, Rethink Afghanistan, Part 5, Brave New Films, 2009)

“This is our chance to help change U.S. foreign policy,” stated Greenwald at a recent gathering of peacemakers in Los Angeles where attendees viewed some of his work.

Greenwald documents that the war in Afghanistan is increasing the likelihood that American civilians will be killed in a future terrorist attack.

Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, commander of American forces in Afghanistan, is “expected to request additional troops, beyond the 68,000 projected for the end of the year, after finalizing a policy review in the next few weeks,” according to Dao in the NY Times report.  Countering this request is CodePink’s petition to end war on Afghanistan that states:

“We call on you to quit hiding behind the skirts of Afghan women and come forward in support of real and sustained peace. As Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently warned ‘We cannot succeed… in Afghanistan by killing Afghan civilians.’ Bombing villages only serves to alienate people and fuel support for the Taliban’s armed resistance. What Afghanistan truly needs is a surge in doctors, teachers, and economic development.” (CodePink, Women For Peace website.)

CodePink has posted on its website the words of Malalai Joya, once the youngest member of the Afghan Parliament, and now forthcoming author of A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice:

“It is a shame that so much of Afghanistan’s reality has been kept veiled by a western media consensus in support of the ‘good war.’ Perhaps if the citizens of North America had been better informed about my country, President Obama would not have dared to send more troops and spend taxpayers’ money on a war that is only adding to the suffering of our people and pushing the region into deeper conflicts.”

Dao writes that Military Families Speak Out founder, Nancy Lessin said, “There are some that feel betrayed by Obama.”

Last month, Veterans for Peace (VFP) spokesperson Roland Van Deusen talked about feeling betrayed by Congress, referring to it not responding to Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s offer to assist with a U.S. Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the offer extended to Congressman John Conyers as reported in the Examiner on August 19. (D. Dupre’, Archbishop Tutu’s U.S. Truth Commission ignored offer questioned, Examiner, August 19, 2009)

Mahatma Gandhi grandson and founder of MK Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, Dr. Arun Gandhi plus President Jimmy Carter, other Nobel Peace Prize laureates, and VFP representatives helped draft the VFP led peace plan including Tutu’s agreed involvement.

The VFP team hold hope that this October during the national peace campaign, Conyers or another Congressperson will favorably respond to the ignored Tutu offer, an unresolved diplomatic faux pas since 2008.

The October peace actions coincide with the eighth anniversary of the first American airstrikes on Taliban forces; the seventh anniversary of Congressional authorization of the Iraq war; an anticipated Congressional debate over sending more troops to Afghanistan; and the International Conference on Vaccines and planned military involvement on U.S. soil to assist with the controversial experimental H1N1 vaccinations.