July 2016 Archives

War crimes are being carried out in our name, and we refuse complicity. "There is not going to be some savior from the Democratic Party," we declared in the original call to stop the crimes of U.S. government. The whole idea of putting our hopes and energies into "leaders" who compete to oversee the most brutal empire in history is proving every day to be a disaster. The system of capitalist imperialism they promote is hardly "broken," as some suggest, but serves the interest of America's ruling class well.  

"Get yourself out on the street to protest, or send money to get others there!" urges World Can't Wait steering member Samantha Goldman. "While the Republican Party representatives advocate to lynch/kill/lock up Hillary -- way outside the normal base of discourse -- the government is bombing nations, killing civilians with impunity. All of this shows how illegitimate the set up is." 

The recent U.S. airstrike on Syria killing up to 95 civilians mistaken for ISIL fighters is a good example of the rampant lawlessness attending U.S. foreign policy. The Syrian National Coalition has called for a suspension of the U.S.-led air campaign against the Islamic State pending investigation of civilian deaths from strikes around the northern city of Manbij. The airstrikes drew immediate "outrage and grief" on social media.

The Republican National Convention is finally over. It's been a long ordeal for viewers who witnessed the meanness of spirit Donald Trump provoked from profoundly disgruntled attendees toward scapegoats for their distress -- Blacks, Muslims, Latinos, "uppity women," and just about anyone who doesn't subscribe to a white suprematist worldview.

In last night's acceptance speech, Trump promised an isolationist platform for the United States, including and especially a wall at the border with Mexico, a preposterous plan ridiculed brilliantly with a Shout Out "Build the Wall Around Trump." Immigration rights activists and other demonstrators joined the Ruckus Society to unfurl "hundreds of feet of canvas, stretching more than a city block in downtown Cleveland... to send a message to Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump that they won't stand for xenophobic rhetoric or policies," reported chicagoist.com.

Revolution Club member Joey Johnson burned an American flag outside the entrance to the RNC convention hall Wednesday.  At least 17 were arrested. (Donations for legal support may be made online.) An anonymous donor comments "let's get these people out of jail so they can take their message to the DNC." We welcome the discussion around U.S. imperialism and free speech inspired by this protest action.

Flag burning is a political statement -- with Joey's 1989 victory in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Texas v. Johnson, even the system itself recognizes that! Watch yesterday's action in this YouTube, to hear Joey speak just before the flag was lit, condemning this flag as a symbol of countless crimes against peoples over history, time, and the global history of the U.S. empire since its birth.... and answering the "America First" message of the fascist Trump.

Code Pink protester Medea Benjamin interrupted Trump's speech last night, holding a sign that says "Build Bridges, Not Walls." Benjamin described the moment to cosmopolitan.com:

"I had actually gotten a copy and read the speech beforehand, and so I knew at what point I wanted to stand up, and that's when Donald Trump said, "I am your voice." And that's when I got up and said, "You're not my voice. You're the voice of hatred."

"We're not doing this because we are pro-Hillary," added the protester. "In fact, we have a lot of criticisms against Hillary Clinton, because of her role in taking us to wars and voting for the Iraq War and pushing for the war in Libya that's been so disastrous." 

Next week: Protest the Democrats' War Party. Everyone who cares about the future is invited. Be a part of bringing the anti-war message when the War Party meets in Philadelphia. Join with World Can't Wait and cosponsors Brandywine Peace Community, CodePink, KnowDrones and the Philadelphia Area Anti-Drone Network. Endorsed by the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Catholic Peace Fellowship/Philadelphia Chapter, Green Party of Philadelphia, Manhattan Green Party, NYC Metro Raging Grannies, NY Granny Peace Brigade, Peace Center of Delaware County, Veterans for Peace Chapters 31 & 34 and Women's International League for Peace & Freedom (Greater Philadelphia Branch). Special thanks to American Friends Service Committee.

The system that capitalizes on the misery of millions to "make America great again" for the ruling class seeks approbation for its crimes in the voting booth, with what journalist John Pilger calls "the old illusion of choice that is no choice: two sides of the same coin."  We choose to take to the streets to say NO to endless wars for Empire, spread the word, and donate to enable others to travel and produce the banners, display materials and fliers that will help propagate the message that the Crimes Of Our Government Must Stop! 

The presidential contest is closely watched by an international community suffering U.S. "interest." Neither candidate seeking the position of Commander in Chief will stop the war on terror or end the culture of violence it has given rise to. The change we need is not on the ballot. 

Whether Donald Trump's politics of hatred and exclusion and authoritarianism will capture endorsement by the Republican National Committee will be decided this week. The nomination of pro-life governor Mike Pence for Vice President on Friday brings fresh urgency to protection of civil liberties, and in particular women's reproductive autonomy. How Trump's selected running mate affects the overall party platform, and foreign policy in particular, is speculative but of great concern to anyone who cares about humanity.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has a solid history of allegiance to the 'Endless War Doctrine' that propels U.S. foreign policy. What you see is what you'll get. It isn't pretty:

"Former senator and secretary of state Hillary Clinton is the only candidate for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination who supported the invasion of Iraq," observes University of San Francisco professor Stephen Zunes, as he lists the five lamest excuses Clinton supporters make to justify her October 2002 vote for the authorization of military force.

Photo:  An Iraqi searches for body parts at the site of a powerful car bomb, Baghdad, May 2007.

Clinton now says her Iraq war vote was a "mistake" that Bernie Sanders says she shouldn't apologize for. 

"Somewhere around 220,000 Afghans have died since the 2001 U.S. invasion, and millions of other are refugees" counts Foreign Policy in Focus columnist Conn Hallinan. Clinton's alliance with then secretary of defense Robert Gates was instrumental in the crucial decision to escalate the Afghan war in 2009, and then to slow drawdown the following year.

Clinton is more inclined toward aggressive foreign policy than Obama, believing that "American exceptionalism gives the U.S. the right to intervene in other countries."

One of Clinton's last actions as Secretary of State was to call for the arming of Syrian rebels fighting Assad, a plan backed by former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and CIA director David Petraeus, and General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Activist and author Zach Cartwright finds Clinton responsible for the fall of Iraq and Syria and the rise of ISIS, using weapons funded by the U.S. government.

Photo: Kurdish gunsmith holds American-made M16A4, previously owned by Iraqi Army and converted to M4 carbine type rifle by ISIS.

The "Hard Choices" that Clinton documents in her memoir contribute to a long list of interventionist disasters disguised as "responsibility to protect." The Democrats' "safer choice in foreign policy matters" promises much more of the same.

The Damage Clinton Has Done

As pundits speculate on terror-ful scenarios of a Trump victory, and strategists historicize a peaceful legacy for the longest-war president, apologists for American triumphalism fabricate justification for the imperial ambitions of a war criminal.

"It is not unusual for a president to want to be his own secretary of state, but rarely has a secretary so badly wanted to be her own president," wrote University of San Francisco professor Stephen Zunes in 2013. "Hillary Clinton [left] her position as Secretary of State with a legacy of supporting autocratic regimes and occupation armies, opposing enforcement of international humanitarian law, undermining arms control and defending military solutions to complex political problems. 

"She was appointed to her position following eight years in the U.S. Senate, during which she became an outspoken supporter of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, lied about Iraq's military capabilities to frighten the public into supporting the illegal war, unleashed repeated attacks against the United Nations, opposed restrictions on land mines and cluster bombs, defended war crimes by allied right-wing governments and largely embraced Bush's unilateralist agenda."

But it is perhaps Hillary's unyielding support for the Israeli Occupation that best elicits favor from imperial parties to western ascendancy. 
"It is one thing to hold one's nose and vote for Hillary Clinton as the lesser evil," writes Robert Scheer, editor in chief of Truthdig. "It is quite another to suddenly absolve the Clintons and other top Democrats who have, as Sanders repeatedly pointed out during his campaign, contributed so much to the national crisis."

Decline to vote for either war party.
Warning: Be careful what you wish for -- it just might bite you in the ass. A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for 'endless, stupid war'

Bernie supporters might want to revisit the foreign policy of their hero. His endorsement of Hillary pretty much guarantees a revival of Cold War aggression against Russia, and other nations challenging U.S. hegemony across the globe.

"There are a lot of unhappy campers out there," said Green Party's Jill Stein... "A revolution that goes back under Hillary Clinton's wing is not a revolution." Not that Bernie's promises were ever all that.

World Can't Wait invites convention goers to demand an end to endless war.

Photo: Bernie Sanders as Ghirlandaio's "Old Man with his Grandson" with a scene from the Syrian civil war in the window c/o John Seed
The killing of five police officers in Dallas doesn't excuse the racist violence suffered by people of color on a regular basis. "We need protest more than ever to push back against the ideological onslaught that seeks to silence those who demand justice for Philando Castile and Alton Sterling -- in order to amplify talk about the 'brave' cops who supposedly 'put their lives on the line'," writes Nicole Colson, Socialist Worker.

"In the era of the 'war on terror', the violence of the U.S. empire has often come home. But the victims are usually the families of former soldiers -- and especially the veterans themselves who find themselves at the breaking point." 

The suspect sniper blown to bits by remote-control in Dallas Thursday was trained by the U.S. military. The novel use of a killer robot elicits immediate comparisons to targeted drone strikes overseas, notes CBS News. 

We can only begin to imagine the horror Afghan citizens confront every day.

Photo: Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Department robots, Maryland

A Week of Shootings

"We can never say that America has failed us," says Mistah F.A.B., "because America has never been set up for us to win." 

The Bay Area rapper takes on systemic racism and police brutality in his new song, '6 Shots':

Choked Eric Garner out, he was sellin' cigs / Broke Freddie Gray back, yup, they sho' did / Don't know what happened to Sandra, but man, it wasn't cool / Tried to say suicide, you think we damn fools? / Shot Oscar in the back when he was handcuffed / Didn't even give Tamir time to put his hands up...

The track title refers to the six shots that killed Alton Sterling, a Baton Rouge father of five, while selling CDs in front of a convenience storeHe was the 38th person killed by Louisiana police since 2015.

Bay Area Says NO to NATO!

July 10, Sunday, Noon, March/Rally on Golden Gate Bridge

World Can't Wait will participate in the following event:

European activists are planning protests and a 3 day conference in Warsaw in response to the NATO Summit there next weekend.  In solidarity, Bay Area CODEPINK will focus our monthly Walk for Peace on opposition to the Cold War dinosaur, NATO.  We invite Bay Area peace organizations to join us and help spread the word. 

What:  March/Rally on Golden Gate Bridge:  SF Bay Area Says No to NATO
When: Sunday, July 10, Gather at 11:45 am;   March/Rally Noon - 2 pm,  
Where: Golden Gate Bridge; all gather at South End Plaza and walk to middle of the Bridge
Parking (carpooling highly recommended): Arrive by 11:15 to get a parking space in parking lots near the SE or SW side of the bridge; OR park at Crissy Field parking and walk up the stairs to the South End Plaza. 
Public Transportation: Muni Bus #28
For more information or to co-sponsor this event: Toby Blome, ratherbenyckeling@comcast.net

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