Iraq

Seventeen Anti-war Protesters Arrested in Hart Building while Congress Celebrates

by Elaine Brower    

Activists at Hart Building 1-9-09Yesterday was the first day of session for the 111th Congress. For the first time since the November elections, members of Congress returned to the Hill, and newly elected officials were sworn in with pomp and circumstance, with their families in tow. What a proud moment for them, especially the recently minted Democrats who rode the wave of national discontent with the Republican party. The halls of the Dirksen, Russell and Hart Buildings were freshly scrubbed, and bustling with food, people, and new furniture.
 
However, gathering a few blocks away were anti-war activists determined to rain on their parade by reminding these partygoers that there are wars happening, with lots of death and destruction, compliments of Congressional funding and complicity. The “March of the Dead,” created by the group “Activist Response Team” (ART), sent out a call for all those with a conscience to show up on January 6th in D.C. to wear a mask and carry the name of someone killed in illegal wars and occupations.  
 

 

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Will the Bush Administration be Held Accountable for War Crimes?

 

By Andy Worthington
 
The answer ought to be yes, if the verdict of the Senate Armed Services Committee Inquiry into the Treatment of Detainees in US Custody is to mean anything.
 
The bipartisan report (PDF), based on a two-year investigation and released on December 11 by Senators Carl Levin and John McCain, concludes that the torture and abuse of prisoners in US custody in the “War on Terror” is the direct result of policies authorized or implemented by senior officials within the current administration, including President George W. Bush, former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney’s former legal counsel (and now chief of staff) David Addington, and former Pentagon general counsel William J. Haynes II.
 
Since the scandal of the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq broke in April 2004, over a dozen investigations have identified problems concerning the treatment of prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo, but until now no official report has gazed up the chain of command to blame senior officials for authorizing torture and instigating abusive policies, and the Bush administration has been able to maintain, as it did in the wake of the Abu Ghraib scandal, that any abuse was the result of the rogue activities of “a few bad apples.”
 
This is now untenable. As the report states,
 
    The abuse of detainees in US custody cannot simply be attributed to the actions of “a few bad apples” acting on their own. The fact is that senior officials in the United States government solicited information on how to use aggressive techniques, redefined the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorized their use against detainees. Those efforts damaged our ability to collect accurate intelligence that could save lives, strengthened the hand of our enemies, and compromised our moral authority.
 

 

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“Global War on Terrorism”: Illegitimate under Bush, Illegitimate under Obama

 

The “War on Terror” is a War OF Terror

By Kenneth J. Theisen
 
The government of the United States has been involved in the so-called “global war on terrorism” (GWOT) for over seven years now. The leaders of your government and its apologists have justified this war as a legitimate response to attacks allegedly launched by Islamic extremists on September 11, 2001.
 
Many have been critical of how the Bush regime has conducted this war, but relatively few Americans have really challenged the underlying assumption that there is legitimacy to the GWOT itself. Even fewer have delved into the real reasons behind the GWOT, which have nothing to do with the U.S. actually rejecting terrorism. Bush and other political leaders of the U.S. use the words “terror,” “terrorism,” “terrorist” to defame essentially any and all who oppose them, and to create the justification for their own use of overwhelming military power. But if the word “terrorism” has any meaning, it is the use of military force against civilians to serve political ends – and the United States stands second to none in that sordid competition.
 
 

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Now More Than Ever, The World Needs A Bold U.S. Antiwar Movement

 

by Kevin Gosztola    
 
In response to the proposed escalation of U.S. military actions in the Middle East and the further institutionalization of lawlessness by the American government, Chicago altactivists came together for a rally in Chicago Saturday afternoon called “Now More Than Ever, No More Wars for Empire.” The event, held in Federal Plaza right in front of Obama’s transition office, was part of plans for two days of action; tomorrow the activists plan to be in Obama’s neighborhood calling for an end to U.S. wars of aggression.
 
Those present at the rally strongly demanded that Barack Obama end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by immediately and completely withdrawing U.S. forces from the Middle East and by bringing the “war on terror” to an end. The protest specifically called for antiwar activists to step up their efforts to call attention to important issues and declared, “Now is the time to speak out and demand real change and justice.”
 
 The action was held on the same day as the United for Peace and Justice National Assembly. That and the weather, which consisted of cold 20 to 30 mph gusting winds, all had an effect on the number of people who came out to participate.
 
As one activist named Neal (who is with Jews for Justice) said, “This is the first speak out of this sort [that I know of] since Obama has been elected [which pointed] out how the president-elect is going to continue all the policies to achieve what he said would be another American century. This means war and injustice for U.S. Empire. It’s very important [that] we’re out here.”
 

 

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Gates Promises Escalation,“Protracted Fight” in Afghanistan

 

By Kenneth J. Theisen
 
December 11, 2008 the secretary of war Robert Gates stated that he hopes to send more than 10,000 US combat troops to Afghanistan by the middle of 2009. This would bring U.S. troop levels to more than 50,000. Currently there are an additional 35,000 international troops in the country, mostly from NATO countries.
 
Gates is one of the Bush regime’s top henchmen in the so-called war of terror and Obama has announced that he will keep him on as his war chief. Gates made his announcement while he was visiting a NATO base outside of Kandahar, Afghanistan. 

During his visit, Gates said the US viewed the country as "a protracted fight" and said the U.S. would remain in the country until successful. In what is bad news for the people of Afghanistan, Gates announced that the U.S. mission will expand significantly, and that more resources and troops would be coming from the international community.

 

 

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Blackwater Indictments: Thugs Face Trial, Top U.S. War Criminals Don’t (Yet)

By Kenneth J. Theisen

Imagine what would occur if several Arab men armed with automatic weapons and grenade launchers unleashed the firepower of their weapons on the streets of Washington, D.C. killing and wounding innocent civilians, including women and children. Our nation’s leaders would be calling for the execution of not only the assailants, but also of the leaders of these “terrorists.” The president would probably go on the air and announce that the persons responsible for the outrage would be hunted down no matter where they were hiding. The nation would be put on a war footing.
 

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We Must Stop the U.S "Mini-Wars"

By Kenneth J. Theisen

Most people are aware that the United States government is currently engaged in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Many are even aware of continuing missile strikes against Pakistan. But most are unaware that the U.S. is also regularly launching other military attacks against other countries as well. These have included Somalia and Syria. These attacks violate international law and must be widely condemned. But for the most part they are only met by silence. 

These attacks have been justified by the Bush regime as necessary to prosecute the so-called "war on terror." But they are really part of a U.S. war of terror against the world. 

In 2004, with the approval of President Bush, then Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld signed a classified order giving the military authority to attack "terrorists" anywhere in the world. This order is known as "Al Qaeda Network Exord."  It allegedly allows U.S. forces to conduct military operations outside officially declared war zones.

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Iraq War Resisters speak at Rice University

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On Friday November 14th Houston Indymedia, Chapter 49 of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Chapter 12 of Veterans for altPeace, Rice for Peace and Military Families Speak Out cosponsored screenings of Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan and Deserter at Rice Cinema.

Following these films, Iraq Veterans and War Resisters in Houston and in Canada spoke to the audience about their military service in Iraq and Afghanistan and their reasons for becoming anti-war activists. Using Skype, we were able to facilitate a discussion with Ryan, of California and Dale of Mansfield Texas who are currently in Canada seeking asylum to avoid deployment to Iraq in this illegal war. While Canadian Parliament has passed legislation to allow conscientious objectors to stay in Canada, the Conservative Government of Stephen Harper has continued to deport US servicemen who are seeking asylum. Ryan Johnson spoke with Houston IMC Radio Before the Film Screening, take a listen.

Houston IVAW talked about their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, how being in war has impacted their physical and mental health, the awful benefits provided by the Veterans Administration, and with the rest of the audience strategized about how we can rebuild an anti-war movement in Houston. Listen to the full audio of the panel of Radio Indymedia

Pictured from left to right: at the table; Brandon Neely, Summer, and Matt of Houston's IVAW Chapter, On screen; Ryan Johnson and Dale of Toronto's IVAW Chapter

 

Veterans Day call by Resisters to 'Stop the War'

By Benjamin Lewis and Brandon Neely
 
On this day, Veteran's Day, we would like to express to the American public why we, veterans of the Global War on Terror, have chosen to refuse orders to reactivate into military service. We are direct witnesses to the horrors of this war, having experienced its atrocities at their source, and we have decided that we can no longer carry out these illegal and immoral altpolicies.
We believe that veterans and active-duty GIs are in a key position to stop illegal and unjust war, and we are inspired by the resistance of troops who stood against the war in Vietnam. One of the preeminent reasons for the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam was increasing dissent among the active-duty troops stationed abroad and at home. By the end of the war, there were entire units refusing to participate in combat, many going as far as outright mutiny.

 

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US Journalists and War-Crime Guilt

by Peter Dyer

October 16 is an anniversary that should hold considerable interest for American journalists who have written in support of "Operation Iraqi Freedom" - the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Sixty-two years ago, on Oct. 16, 1946, Julius Streicher was hanged.

Streicher was one of a group of 10 Germans executed that day following the judgment of the first Nuremberg Trial - a 40-week trial of 22 of the most prominent Nazis.

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A War for Empire - Not a "Good War" Gone Bad

By Larry Everest

originally published in Revolution

 For the people of Azizabad, a small village in western Afghanistan, the dark early morning hours of August 22, 2008 suddenly turned into a nightmare of devastation and death. As villagers slept, U.S. forces attacked-first with guns, then air strikes. By the next morning, according to UN investigators, over 90 people had been massacred, including 60 children and 15 women.

The U.S. military initially claimed they had hit a "legitimate" Taliban target, that only 5 to 7 civilians were killed-so-called "collateral damage"-and the other 30 to 35 dead were Taliban militants. These were lies.

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About

World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.