At the November 2011 School of the Americas Watch vigil in Columbus, GA, I attended two sessions on the United States military’s use of drones and activists’ resistance to this use.
Legacy of Twin Towers, 10 years later #Mercenaries #Military #Contracts #Budget #Cartoon
Among the [Cossack insurgents] were boys of sixteen and seventeen, freshly mobilized into the ranks of the insurgents, throwing out their legs bravely over the warm sand, for some unaccountable reason talking and singing gaily. For them war was a novelty, like a new game. During their first days of fighting they would raise their heads from the harsh earth to listen to the bullets whistling over their heads. “Greenhorns” the front-line Cossacks contemptuously called them as they taught them to dig trenches, to shoot, to carry their equipment on the march, and even the art of delousing themselves and of wrapping their feet in rags so that they should not get tired so quickly in their heavy boots. But meantime the lad would stare out on the world around him with astonished, birdlike eyes, raising his head and gazing out of his trench, afire with curiosity, trying to see the Reds while the Reds’ bullets whistled past him. If death was his portion, the sixteen-year old “soldier” would stretch himself out and lie like a great child with boyishly round arms, and he would be carried back to his native village to be buried in the grave where his for-bears were rotting. His mother would meet him, wring her hands and crying aloud over the dead, tearing the grey hair from her head. And when the body was buried and the clay on the mound was drying, the aged, bowed mother would carry her unquenchable sorrow to the church, there to “remember” her dead son.
But if the bullet had not inflicted a mortal wound, then only would the lad begin to realize the merciless nature of war. His lips would tremble and writhe. The “soldier” would cry out in a childish voice: “Oh, Mother, Mother!” and little tears would roll from his eyes. The ambulance cart would shake him up over the trackless fields, the company medical officer would wash the wound and laughingly comfort him as if he were a child: “Now, Vania, don’t behave like a cry-baby!” But the “soldier” Vania would weep, would ask to go home, call for his mother. If he recovered and returned to his company, then indeed he was beginning to have a thorough understanding of war. Another week or two of battles, of bayonet-fighting, and then see him stand in front of a captive Red soldier and, with feet set wide apart, spitting like any brutal sergeant-major, hear him hiss through his teeth:
“Well, peasant, so you’re caught, you bastard!” So you wanted the land? Wanted equality? I expect you’re a Communak. Tell us, you snake!” In his anxiety to show his daring and “Cossack” frenzy he would raise his rifle and club the man who come to his death on the Don lands, fighting for the Soviet government, for Communism, for the abolition of war from the earth.
And somewhere in Moscow or Vyatka province, in some lonely village of the enormous Soviet Republic, a mother would receive the report that her son had “fallen in the struggle against the White Guards for the emancipation of the toiling people from the yoke of the landowners and capitalists.” She would read it again and again, tears running down her cheeks. Her motherly heart would be consumed with a burning grief, and every day until she died she would remember him whom she had carried in her womb, whom she had borne in blood and woman’s agony, him who had fallen under an enemy’s hand somewhere in the unknown Don region.
The Don flows home to the sea by Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov; translated into English by Stephen Garry New York: Alfred A. Knopf; 1940. 1959 reprint. Pp. 208-9.
Below is the letter I sent based on this action alert from Pax Christi USA.
U.S. DOE/NNSA Los Alamos Site Office
Dear Mr. Tegtmeir,
The Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement (CMRR) project in
Los Alamos, New Mexico should be cancelled.
I oppose all preparations for nuclear weapons, and I ask that the
United States begin nuclear disarmament immediately.
I’m also concerned about the tremendous cost of this project. The
“Details of Project Cost Estimate” table in the FY2012 budget puts
CMRR’s current projected cost at $5.86 billion and a completion date
of FY2023 – this is more than ten times the original forecast – and
who knows what the final cost might be.
It’s also disturbing that this facility is sited near a fault line.
This raises important safety concerns and no doubt is responsible for
the tremendous cost increase.
My address and phone number
Call for Essays: Prisons, Peace, and Social Justice
Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice is an international journal distributed in more than 50 nations. We seek essays on the above theme for a special issue.
“During the civil rights movement and the peace movement against the Vietnam War, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. taught us that the bombs we drop overseas explode in our own cities. There was hope at the demise of the Cold War that the Military Industrial Complex would be dismantled. Instead, it has expanded to many more fronts-including the domestic front, where it is paralleled by the ‘Prison Industrial Complex’…The domestic ‘war on crime’
calls for a domestic peace agenda” (Magnani and Wray, Beyond Prisons 2006, 4-5).
“The peace movement provides us with an analysis of events and alternative solutions to foreign policy problems. A similar nonmilitary interpretation of crime and justice issues is needed. Solutions free from the violence of caging or death are required. It is essential that [prison] abolitionists join together to begin to build that kind of movement capability. In the eyes of some, we are already bound together. They have dismissed us as ‘dreamers, crackpots and sentimentalists’” (Critical Resistance, Instead of Prisons 2005 , 18-19).
“The prison is like a rather disciplined barracks…” (Foucault, Discipline and Punish 1977, 233).
Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice (Routledge) is dedicating issue 23.3, “Prisons, Peace, and Social Justice,” to exploring the intersection of Peace Studies and Prison Studies, two burgeoning interdisciplinary fields that promise to challenge basic assumptions about the modern world and offer radical analysis and possible solutions. Essays are welcome on any aspect of this issue’s theme, broadly conceived. Submissions that address global issues and perspectives are especially encouraged. Topics may include but are not limited to:
? restorative justice ? transformative justice ? militarism and the carceral society ? theorizing the domestic and foreign “enemy” ? critiquing deterrence based arguments for war and prison ? books not bombs, education not incarceration: a penal/war economy, public education, and democracy ?
peacemaking as a viable alternative to aggression and banishment ?
rethinking occupation and criminality ? war at the borders: immigrant detention and the right to free movement ? forgiveness and the death penalty ? invisible legacies: psychological trauma from war and incarceration ? LGBT oppression and state violence ? capitalist globalization and the normalization of cages and weaponry ? philosophical arguments about human nature in Peace Studies and Prison Studies ? race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, and the criminalized Other ? anti-prison pacifist philosophies and practices ? prison as a tool of war, imperialism, white supremacy, and class domination ? violence of the “war on crime” against partners/spouses, children, and communities ? political prisoners and prisoners of conscience ? looking again at retributivist ethics: the past or the future? ? anti-capitalist, anti-racist, and feminist critiques of the roots of war and incarceration ? “lock ‘em up” and “shoot ‘em up”
masculinities: toward alternative, liberatory gender constructions ? nature of things: war, prison, and environmental racism ? cross-cultural analysis of non-violent, non-carceral attempts to remedy conflict with social justice ? pedagogies of peace, freedom, and reconciliation ? taking steps toward realizing the “impossible”: coalition-building and other strategies for a world without walls and wars
Interested writers should submit essays (2,500-3,500 words) and 2-3 line bios to Peace Review no later than April 15, 2011. Essays should be jargon- and footnote-free.
See Submission Guidelines at:
Peace Review is a quarterly, multidisciplinary transnational journal of research and analysis focusing on the current issues and controversies that underlie the promotion of a more peaceful world. We publish essays on ideas and research in peace studies, broadly defined. Essays are relatively short (2,500-3,500 words), contain no footnotes or exhaustive bibliography, and are intended for a wide readership. The journal is most interested in the cultural and political issues surrounding conflicts occurring between nations and peoples.
For more information on the journal and issues of style and formatting, see:
Send essays to:
Robert Elias (Editor) or Kerry Donoghue (Managing Editor) Peace Review University of San Francisco 2130 Fulton Street San Francisco, CA 94117-1080 USA
or by email:
Managing Editor, Peace Review (2010 Utne Press Award Finalist) University of San Francisco 2130 Fulton Street San Francisco, CA 94117-1080