Lawrence Protests War, Imperialism & Recruitment on the 4th Anniversary of the US Invasion of Iraq

Lawrence, KS is one of the many cities to hold a demonstration marking the fourth anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq. Community members from across the state and all over the nation join together to resist the war.

Lawrence Protests War, Imperialism & Recruitment on the 4th Anniversary of the US Invasion of IraqLAWRENCE, KS – At noon, over 120 community members met at Veteran’s Park at 19th & Louisiana to stand in solidarity with soldiers, students, Iraqis, and all other people resisting war. With bullhorns, banners, and gigantic puppets, members rallied at the park and then marched to the complex of military recruitment centers at 23rd & Louisiana.

“We’re here today to raise political consciousness and get others to do the same,” said Carl Webb, a black, Marxist, military deserter and member of Iraq Veterans Against the War. “We want everyone to come out, protest, and organize at a grassroots level to end war.” Webb spoke at the rally alongside Haskell Indian Nations University professor Julia Goodfox and Kansas Mutual Aid collective members Joe Carr and Jordan Ferrand-Sapsis.

The KC Iraq Task Force set up an emotional display called “Eyes Wide Open.” Army boots and sneakers were laid out across the lawn, each representing a Kansas military service person or Iraqi civilian who has died in the Iraq war. Ten black coffins, made of cardboard and marked with phrases like “this is the cost of war,” were placed behind the display.

At 12:45, a majority of the rally marched south on Louisiana street and congregated at the military recruitment centers. Belinda Penaloza, media spokesperson for the demonstration, explained why the demonstration targeted the recruitment centers. “Military recruiters in Lawrence prey upon the poor, youth, and people color and we are sick of the way new soldiers are being enlisted,” said Penaloza. “We don’t want one more person sent overseas to die in this horrible war.”

At the recruitment center, demonstrators were met with an overwhelming police presence. Around 75 officers were stationed in a variety of locations, including a prisoner transport vehicle and the chief of police who is the head of this area’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. Dozens of officers lined the property of the shopping center, many equipped with gas masks and pepper spray. Anytime a protester stepped a foot off the public easement, police immediately threatened them with arrest.

Despite police intimidation, a handful of protesters successfully blocked the entrance to the center by stacking the coffins in the road. The coffins were immediately removed by police and recruiters, who destroyed them by violently stomping and ripping them apart.

Demonstrators left the recruitment center at around 1:30pm and marched back to Veteran’s Park, where the protest was concluded. Overall, the march was perceived as a success by organizers and participants. People from across Kansas and several other states came to participate. Everyone left the march physically safe despite the overwhelming police presence.

The action was part of a long-standing campaign against military recruitment in Lawrence. These specific centers have been the target of repeated demonstrations, including two that involved arrests and successful shutdowns.

As they left today, the crowd chanted, “we’ll be back!” And they likely will.

A Soldier’s View: Forgotton Sacrifice

This commentary on America today was written by U.S. Air Force Captain F. John Duresky, currently stationed in Iraq. It was published in The Washington Post on July 5, 2006.

A few days ago, as I do every day in Iraq([search]), I listened to the commander’s battle update. The briefer calmly and professionally described the day’s events. Somewhere in Iraq, on some forgotten, dusty road, an insurgent fighting an occupying army detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) under a Humvee, killing an American soldier. The briefer fielded a question from the general and moved to the next item in the update.

The day before that, in America, a 15-year-old’s incredibly rich parents planned the biggest sweet 16 party ever. They will spend more than $200,000 on an opulent event marking a single year in an otherwise unremarkable life. The soon-to-be-16 girl doesn’t know where Iraq is and doesn’t care. That same day an American soldier died in Iraq.

Two days earlier, a 35-year-old man went shopping for home entertainment equipment. He had the toughest time selecting the correct plasma screen; he could afford the biggest and best of everything. In the end, he had it installed by a specialty store. He spent about $50,000 on the whole system. He has never met anybody serving in the military nor served himself, but thinks we should “turn the whole place into a parking lot.” That day, another American soldier died in Iraq.

Three days earlier, some college students had a great kegger. There were tons of babes at the party, the music was awesome. Everybody got totally blitzed, and many missed class the next day. The young men all registered for the draft when they were 18, but even though our nation is at war, they aren’t the least bit worried about the draft. It is politically impossible to conscript young people today, we are told. That day, another American “volunteer” died in Iraq.

Four days earlier, a harried housewife looked all over town for the perfect accessory for her daughter’s upcoming recital. Her numerous chores wore her out, but she still found herself preoccupied. Her oldest son is having trouble in his first year of college, and he has been talking of enlisting in the Army. She is terrified that her child will go off to that horrible war she sees on TV. She and her husband decide to give their son more money so he doesn’t have to work part-time; maybe that will help with his studies. That day, another soldier died.

Yesterday millions of Americans celebrated Independence Day. They attended parties and barbecues. Families came together from all across the country to celebrate the big day. Millions of dollars were spent on fireworks. At public events, there were speeches honoring the people who served and those who made the ultimate sacrifice. These words mostly fell on bored ears. While the country celebrated its own greatness, other Americans were still fighting in Iraq.

Today Americans go back to their normal business. The politicians in Washington have made sure the sacrifices of the war are borne by the very smallest percentage of Americans. They won’t even change the tax rates to prevent deficits from running out of control. Future generations will pay the cost of this war.

Many Americans feel strongly about the war one way or another, but they aren’t signing up their children for service or taking the protest to the streets. What can they do? It is they whom we in the military trust to influence our leaders in Washington.

Today, as on every other day in Iraq, American servicemen are in very real danger. Our country is at war. Mothers, fathers, wives, husbands and children are worrying about their loved ones in a faraway land. They all hope he or she isn’t the one whose luck runs out today.

WMD Found in North Dakota: Disarmament Begins

Plowshares Action in North Dakota, Friends of Omaha peace movement arrested for act of conscience against WMD.

WMD Found in North Dakota: Disarmament BeginsA Roman Catholic Priest and two Veterans went to a Minuteman III silo this morning and began to disarm the nuclear weapon using hammers. Reverend Carl Kabat, OMI, Gregory Boertje-Obed, and Michael Walli entered the E-9 missile silo on the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara Nation in North Dakota about 75 miles southwest of Minot. Using a sledgehammer and household hammers, they disabled the lock on the personnel entry hatch that provides access to the warhead and they hammered on the silo lid that covers the 300 kiloton nuclear warhead that is targeted and ready to launch. The activists painted DISARM on the face of the 110-ton hardened silo cover and the peace activists poured their blood on the missile lid.

They were detained and arrested by McLean County Sheriffs and are being held in the McLean County jail in Washburn, North Dakota. The three have been charged with county Criminal Trespass and Criminal Mischief.

Speaking from jail, Greg Boertje-Obed, from Duluth, Minnesota, explained, “Carl Kabat, OMI from St. Louis, Missouri added, “We now prepare for the nuclear bombing of Iran with the reasoning that only weapons of mass destruction can stop weapons of mass destruction. We bombed and strafed in Iraq based on lies that the Iraqi’s possessed nuclear weapons. We have the weapons here.”

The Minuteman III missile is targeted and on alert for launch. The missile is armed with a warhead that carries 27 times the heat, blast and radiation of the bomb dropped by the U.S. on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945.

The activists say that they are following the nonviolent Jesus, that they are taught by their faith to love their enemies, and that the money used for these weapons of mass destruction is a theft from the poor and should be used for food, housing, medical care and rebuilding the infrastructure of our country.

ATTACHED: Statement, Fact Sheet and Biographies. For press updates, more information and images, go to

Nuclear Weapon Here Plowshares

Please pardon the fracture of the good order. When we were children we thought as children and spoke as children. But now we are adults and there comes a time when we must speak out and say that the good order is not so good, and never really was. We know that throughout history there have been innumerable war crimes. Two of the most terrible war crimes occurred on August 6th and 9th, 1945. On August 6th, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, Japan, killing more than 100,000 people (including U.S. prisoners of war). Three days later the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki, Japan, killing more than 50,000 people. Use of these weapons of mass destruction on civilian populations were abominable crimes against humanity.

The U.S. has never repented of these atrocities. On the contrary, the U.S. has deepened and expanded its commitment to nuclear weapons. The U.S. built a large nuclear industrial complex which has caused the deaths of many workers and has resulted in killing many more people by nuclear testing. Our country built thousands of nuclear weapons and has dispersed weapons-grade uranium to 43 nations. Each Minuteman III missile carries a bomb that is 27 times more powerful than those dropped on the Japanese people. The building of these weapons signifies that our hearts have assented to mass murder. Currently the U.S. is seeking to research a new class of smaller nuclear weapons demonstrating its desire to find new uses for weapons of mass destruction.

The U.S. is rushing down the path that leads to more death and destruction, ultimately bringing this nation and other nations to ruin. Therefore we issue a call for national repentance. We make an urgent appeal to the people of the U.S. to change course – to place our security in God and not in weapons of mass destruction. We have chosen to start the process of transformation and disarmament by hammering on and pouring our blood on components of the Minuteman III nuclear missile system. We believe that the concrete that goes into making missile silos would be better used for building homes. We know that total disarmament of our first strike system of nuclear weapons will require national repentance with a change in the hearts and minds of the people of the U.S. The pouring of our blood is meant to make visible the bloodshed resulting from the production, testing, and use of nuclear weapons. We believe the message in the Bible that after Cain killed his brother Abel that Abel’s blood “cried out from the ground.” We hear our sisters’ and brothers’ blood crying out from the ground. We believe that God hears these cries and grieves deeply over every person whose blood is shed.

We call ourselves the “Weapon of Mass Destruction Here Plowshares” to highlight that our nation has thousands of horrific weapons of mass destruction. U.S. leaders speak about the dangers of other nations acquiring nuclear weapons, but they fail to act in accordance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which commits the U.S. to take steps to disarm its weapons of mass destruction. We act in order to bring attention to people’s responsibility for disarming weapons of state terrorism. We can begin the process of exposing U.S. weapons of mass destruction, naming them as abominations that cause desolation, and transforming them to objects that promote life.

We dress as clowns to show that humor and laughter are key elements in the struggle to transform the structures of destruction and death. Saint Paul said that we are “fools for God’s sake,” and we say that we are “fools for God and humanity.” Clowns as court jesters were sometimes the only ones able to survive after speaking truth to authorities in power.

Is there hope for the world? Yes – if people begin to live the truth now. We believe that Jesus reveals who God is, and that God is a God of love and nonviolence, teaching us to love all people, even our enemies. Furthermore, the prophets Isaiah and Micah prophesy that there will come a time when people will learn the ways of God and “They shall beat their swords into plowshares,and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

By our plowshares/pruning hooks action we have tried to make visible God’s will for disarmament and peacemaking. By living this truth we hope to shorten this murderous age – closing the gap between the future hope for universal peace and our present reality of endless violence and war-making. We begin to bring hope into the present moment.

Carl Kabat, OMI
Greg Boertje
Michael Walli

June 20, 2006

WMD Here Plowshares

Greg Boertje-Obed—51; from Duluth, Minnesota; member of Loaves and Fishes Catholic Worker and Veterans for Peace; former U.S. Army officer; participant in previous plowshares actions which disarmed Trident II nuclear missile tubes in Rhode Island, combat helicopters and nuclear capable war planes in Pennsylvania, and a Tomahawk nuclear-capable missile launcher and missile tubes in Virginia; married to Michele Naar-Obed; father of Rachel Obed,-11 years old.
“I believe Jesus led us to do this witness based on his teachings of intervening for the sake of the poor. These weapons are killing us and the poor today. I believe this plowshares action is a natural extension of our Catholic Worker mission which is hospitality, providing for the needs of the poor, and defending the poor.”

Carl Kabat, OMI—72; from St. Louis, Missouri; 47 years a Roman Catholic priest; worked as a missionary in the Philippines and Brazil; participated in the first plowshares/pruning hooks action in 1980 and the first Silo Pruning Hooks action in 1984 and other plowshares actions; served about 16 years in jails and prisons.
“We are fools and clowns for God and humanity’s sake. Over 2,500 American soldiers have died because of nuclear weapons in the past several years in Iraq. … I remember Eisenhower who said that every weapon that is made is a theft from the poor…. The only condemnation of Vatican II was that nuclear weapons are a crime against humanity and are to be condemned unreservedly.” Carl Kabat, OMI

Michael R. Walli—57; Vietnam veteran; Roman Catholic; currently residing in Duluth, Minnesota.
“I’ve been influenced by the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, and the teachings of the late Pope John Paul II to oppose the culture of death, and this plowshares action seems to me to be a suitable way of acting on these teachings.” Michael Walli.


A Minuteman III is a first strike Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) nuclear weapon. The current U.S. ICBM force consists of 500 Minuteman III’s located in three missile fields: F.E. Warren Air Force Base with 150 missiles covering the corner of Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming; Malmstrom AFB in Montana with 200 ICBMs; and Minot AFB in North Dakota with 150 missiles. These warheads can be launched from a Minuteman III missile silo within minutes and reach any destination within 35 minutes. A nuclear bomb launched from a Minuteman silo produces uncontrollable radiation, massive heat and a blast capable of vaporizing and leveling everything within a 50-mile radius. Outside the 50 square miles – extending into hundreds of miles – the blast, wide-spread heat, firestorms and neutron and gamma rays are intended to kill, severely wound and poison every living thing and causing long term damage to the environment. A Minuteman warhead has the potential to destroy the genetic code of the human race. Current warheads carry 27 times more power than the U.S. nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima August 6, 1945.

The Minuteman III is currently undergoing upgrades to extend its 2020 service limit. Minuteman III is the sole ICBM deployed by the United States. Each Mark 12 or Mark 12-A warhead in a Minuteman III silo can travel more than 6,000 miles at 15,000 miles per hour.

At one point the U.S. had 1,000 land-based ICBMs at a cost to taxpayers of $7 million each. Minuteman IIIs are in transition from having 3 independently targeted warheads to carrying one.

The Minuteman missiles are dispersed in hardened silos and connected to an underground launch control center through a system of hardened cables. Launch crews, consisting of two officers, perform around-the-clock alert in the launch control center. A variety of communication systems provide the National Command Authorities with virtually instantaneous direct contact with each launch crew. Should command capability be lost between the launch control center and remote missile launch facilities, an airborne launch control center dubbed “looking glass” automatically assumes command and control of the missiles.

The Minuteman III system is undergoing upgrades to: replace an aging guidance system; increase payloads; remanufacture the solid-fuel rocket motors; replace standby power system; repair launch facilities; improve communication; enhance accuracy; and improve survivability in a nuclear war.

In January 2002 Nuclear Posture Review, issued by the Bush administration, threatens the use of nuclear weapons to “deter” any attack by chemical or biological as well as nuclear weapons by any non-nuclear state or entity within or sponsored by “the axis of evil.” We now prepare for nuclear bombing of Iran with the reasoning that only weapons of mass destruction can stop weapons of mass destruction.

By any standard of proof, the threat or use of the Minuteman III constitutes crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity or genocide.

Bush Supporters and Detractors Gathered at Juan Diego Center

A crowd turned out at 31st and Q as President Bush traveled from the Juan Diego Center to Metro Community College.

Bush left the Catholic Charities’ Juan Diego Center, 5211 S. 31st St., at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. The tour of the Center was followed by a speech on immigration reform at Metro Community College.

A crowd of 30 to 40 people gathered along Q Street, west of the Juan Diego Center. Signs in the crowd indicated that most were Bush detractors. Signs ranged from “I (heart) you Mr. President, but you are wrong. Secure Our Borders!” to “Impeach Bush and Cheney” and “Drop Bush, Not Bombs.” Three people held a large sign that read “We (heart) W!” They were largely outnumbered by people in blue “Nebraskans for Peace” shirts. Other signs displayed messages meant not for the President, but for other demonstrators, such as “Protest today, deported tomorrow” and “Illegals go home.”

The crowd remained quiet, and there was not much interaction among the different groups. The crowd appeared mostly white with a wide rage of ages, but mostly middle-aged. Most of the signs were in English. The president’s motorcade turned east as it exited the Juan Diego Center – the crowd was a half block away from the cars. There were a few cheers and a few boos, and the crowd dispersed after the motorcade passed.

The Omaha media had a minimal presence. Channel 7 had a reporter with a camera. Police were present on foot, on horseback and in patrol cars. Demonstrators and passers-by were allowed access only on the sidewalk on Q street west of the Juan Diego Center. Q Street east of 31st Street was closed to pedestrian and auto traffic.

The immigration ‘debate’ will continue in Omaha at an anti-illegal immigration rally later this month.

Small, enthusiastic turnout to ‘welcome’ President Bush

Approximately thirty people gathered at the intersection of 10th and Cuming between 5 and 7pm Tuesday, June 6, 2006. President Bush drove along Abbott Drive into Omaha from the Eppley Airfield shortly before 7pm. He will speak a the Juan Diego center in South Omaha tomorrow, regarding immigration reform.

The crowd waved and held signs up to passing traffic and police. Signs included “Drop Bush, Not Bombs” “No Person can be ‘illegal’” “Nadie puede ser illegal” and an american flag with a peace sign in place of stars, among others. The gathering was put together on short notice by the UNO Student Democrats. The crowd appeared to be mostly white, with a wide rage of ages, but mostly college-age. Most of the signs were in English.

People milled about and chatted as they waited for the motorcade. Others lined Cuming street, waving to cars and cheering as they honked. Traffic moved fast, but the stoplight at 10th street allowed some motorists to have a closer look. Reaction from drivers ranged from peace signs and smiles to scowls and looks of confusion.

The Omaha media had a large presence – reporters from Channel 3 and the Associated Press were present with, among others. A reporter from Channel 7 turned up just as the crowd was leaving.

Police presence was visible but not overbearing. 10th street was closed at noon, and nearby parking lots were closed as well. Two mounted officers were present on the opposite side of Cuming; they crossed the street to stand between the rally and the road as the motorcade approached. Officers on foot and in patrol cars were present in small numbers; more officers arrived as the motorcade approached.

The crowd remained on the brick corner of 10th and Cuming. The sidewalks along Cuming and along 10th street are owned by the city, but are considered the private property of the Qwest center, according to one of the event organizers.

As the motorcade drove past, one participant began call and response chants that were enthusiastically picked up by the rest of the crowd. Energy picked up as the motorcycles and black automobiles sped past along Cuming street. The crowd originally expected the motorcade to turn at 10th and Cuming; instead it continued along Cuming, driving past the group, but on the other side of the street.

President Bush will speak at the Catholic Charities’ Juan Diego Center, 5211 S. 31st St., at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

“Celebrate Christmas Shutdown Stratcom”

Catholic Workers temporarily close off access to Offut Entrance during their annual Holy Innocence retreat.

“Emboldened” by their confirmed suspicions that the US Government has maintained close surveilance of their activities, midwest Catholic workers crossed the line at Stratcom Air Force Base earlier today (Dec. 28). In a recent Democracy Now segment Des Moines Catholic Worker Frank Cordaro said “the fact that we have made the list as a threat to the military only emboldens us, I guess, and maybe confirms to us that we’re on the right track.” in response to the Pentagon conducting surveillence of local peace activists.

Armed with banners, speeches, songs, and prayers the crowd marched towards the barricaded entrance of Stratcom. There were a total of four people who disobeyed the orders of Military Police and opened the gate that blocked their entry on base. They then proceeded to march on to the base and into the custody of the MPs. Three of the activists, Fr Jack McCalsin, Paul Gallagher, and Frank Cordaro, already have bannned & barred status from previous actions at Stratcom. Along with Renee Espeland the four face a possible six months in federal prison.

They were processed on base by the MPs and will most likely have to return for their court dates soon.

The line crossers were:
Fr Jack McCalsin, 76 yrs old, retire priest of 50 year from the Archdiocese of Omaha, NE
Paul Gallagher, 44 yrs old, from the Jaegerstaetter Catholic Worker Farm in Danville IL
Renee Espeland, 44 yrs old, mother of four and Chimney Sweep from Des Moines IA
Frank Cordro, 54 yrs old, Des Moines Catholic Worker, Des Moines IA

Pentagon spies on Nebraska Peace Activists

Omaha, NE


Democracy Now! reported last Thurs. Dec. 15, 2005 that authorities are keeping track of cars spotted at anti-war events around the country. The information, initially obtained and reported by MSNBC, indicates that the Pentagon has been conducting domestic surveillance of anti-war and anti-recruitment protesters across the country, including the demonstration at Offutt Air force base near Omaha, which was listed as a ‘credible threat.’

Bush has since admitted to signing an order authorizing domestic surveillance but has claimed that the spying was limited to people in the United States with a “clear link” to terrorism. This is at odds to the information published in MSNBC’s site, which mentions the protest at Offutt several times as well as events in New York, California, Florida, Georgia and several other states.

False Pride of the “Super Outlaw State”

“Although few Americans realize that their country was the first to commit genocide, ethnic cleansing and use forced death marches, these historical facts didn’t escape the Third Reich and Adolph Hitler. He admired the American government for their efficiency”

“Much of the world regards the United States as a rogue state and the greatest threat to their existence.” – Samuel Huntington, Harvard Professor, Foreign Affairs

“Bush has – his administration has succeeded in a few years in making the United States the most feared and often hated country in the world.” – MIT Professor Noam Chomsky

America is a country built on genocide, slavery, exploitation and war. In America’s short and bloody history there have been millions murdered by extremist politicians and profiteers, usually in the name of freedom and democracy.

Of all the war crimes committed by America, the mass murder of millions of Native American Indians stands out as one of the most poignant examples of genocide in human history. In 1838 Government troops enforcing the “Indian Removal Act”, captured or killed every Cherokee American in North Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama. The Cherokees had discarded their traditional Indian ways and were wearing their hair and clothing exactly like white settlers. They also built their farms, homes, schools and towns exactly like the whites, and they had printing presses and printed their own newspapers. The Cherokees understood that nothing could stop an expanding American civilization from enveloping their world and they made every effort to conform and become part of that new civilization. In the end it proved impossible for them to gain acceptance because of American racism.

The Cherokee Americans were herded together into collection camps with inadequate food water and shelter. These were the first concentration camps and many died in them. After the United States government had collected well over the officially stated 17,000 people, a number closer to 17,000 families, the exhausted and sick Cherokee people were forced to make a 1000 mile march north to prison camps in Okalahoma. This march, which took place in winter, was probably the first forced “death march”. The Cherokees called it, “The trail of tears”, because of the thousands who died along the way.

Although few Americans realize that their country was the first to commit genocide, ethnic cleansing and use forced death marches, these historical facts didn’t escape the Third Reich and Adolph Hitler. He admired the American government for their efficiency in removing the American Indians. It gave him precedence for his “Master Race” objective, which was similar to John Luis O’Sullivan’s 1845 “Manifest Destiny” declaration, justifying the unbridled and murderous westward expansion of the United States in the 1800′s.

It is true that men like James Madison and others were moral enough to write into the United States Constitution that, “all men are created equal”, but they didn’t intend for Negroes or women to share in that equality. For nearly one hundred years after ratifying the United States Constitution America continued to use hundreds of thousands of African Negroes as slaves, literally building the wealth of a nation with the blood sweat and tears of a race stolen from their land.

For 144 years women were not allowed to vote in America. According to the white Christian males who ruled and continue to rule the country, the American Constitution said nothing about women being equal. At the time of the writing of the US Constitution in puritanical America, women had been denied the right to vote and were conveniently relegated to a permanent second-class status only slightly above that of the Negro. This punishment for women was justified by the early American ‘religious right’ because of the perceived biblical sins of Eve in the Garden of Eden.

American history proudly records that in World War II, American military might and technology saved the world from Hitler and Nazism, but America’s contribution to the war against Germany was minimal. Near the end of World war II, America had 94 divisions spread around the world fighting on multiple fronts, It was Russia, which concentrated 491 divisions against the bulk of Hitler’s forces, killing well over four million German soldiers, and it was Russia which lost over twenty million citizens and rose like a phoenix from the ashes of her own destruction to save the world from Nazism.

America has been involved in so many wars in its short history that war has become an integral part of the American economy. Both the Korean War and the Vietnam War were waged to generate profits for the corporate military industrial complex and a hand full of right wing politicians. On June 27, 1950 president Truman ordered U.S. forces into Korea to “protect the world from communism”. It was to be the beginning of a long “for profit war”, which John Foster Dulles, a government appointed International attorney, had secretly instigated between North and South Korea.

On Oct. 26 the Chinese army under the command of Mao Tse Tung, put an abrupt end to the scheme. Entering the war with 300,000 men, China dealt America a crushing defeat beating the U.S. back to the 39th parallel. By the time of the Armistice negotiations of 1953, North and South Korea, and China combined had suffered a total of 4,000,000 casualties, 500,000 more than Japan in World War II, and America lost 54,246 soldiers. Had America successfully instigated a civil war between North and South Korea, it could have lasted for decades and cost the lives of tens of millions of human beings. The American corporate military industrial complex and their political lackeys in Washington didn’t get the war they were hoping for. They did however get $263 billion taxpayer dollars and kill over 4,000,000 innocent human beings in the name of freedom and democracy.

Vietnam was a much more financially successful repeat of Korea. America instructed their corrupt South Vietnamese puppet dictator Prime Minister Diem to halt democratic elections in Vietnam to prevent the establishment of a united Vietnam. America assured Diem that if hostilities resulted United States armed forces would help him to appose the North Vietnamese. With the backing of America, Diem promptly cancelled the elections. In 1958 Civil War started and within two years guerrilla war erupted throughout southern Vietnam. Diem asked Washington for assistance and the American military industrial elite had their war.

On January 27, 1973, in spite of American saturation bombings during the peace talks, a peace agreement was signed that stipulated the immediate end of hostilities and the withdrawal of U.S. troops. US involvement in the, “Vietnam slaughter for profit war” had lasted 25 years and resulted in the deaths of 3,000,000 of the Vietnamese people and 58,000 Americans. $570 billion taxpayer dollars were consumed in the war, generating obscene profits for the Federal Reserve banking system and the military industrial complex.

The most recent Gulf wars were also fought for profit and oil and are based on lies to justify blatant attacks by America. In the first 1990-91 Gulf war waged by George Bush Senior, Kuwait had been slant-drilling the Iraqi oil field of Rumallah as well as driving down the price of oil at a time when Iraq was in desperate need of funds to rebuild its infrastructure after the Iran-Iraq War. Saddam Hussein notified Washington that Kuwait was slant drilling his oilfields. Since Saddam had been armed by Washington and was their ally, he never expected to be attacked when Washington gave him permission to attack Kuwait. Bush Sr. punished Saddam and his people severely by wiping out most of the Iraqi army and imposing sanctions, which killed well over a million innocent people, mostly children. Although the first Gulf War had lasted less than a year it had cost the American taxpayers some $63 billion.

The second war against Iraq waged by George W. Bush Jr. was based on nonexistent weapons of mass destruction and a non-existent connection between Iraqi and the destruction of the World Trade Center. In two years the Bush administration has killed over 100,000 innocent men, women, and children in Afghanistan and Iraq and wounded over 500,000 in the name of Democracy and freedom. Although the original reasons for attacking Iraq have proven to be completely fabricated and baseless, the ensuing war of resistance has provided Bush with an excuse to maintain a constant US military presence. Already $165 billion dollars have been looted from the American people to pay for the Iraq war, with an additional $82 billion recently requested by the Bush administration.

In Bush’s junior’s Iraq war there have also been many war crimes and violations of the Geneva Conventions committed by his administration: Bombing civilians, attacking hospitals, and torture to name a few. Probably the worst war crime committed in the history of man has been the dumping of over 1000 metric tons of the deadly U238-isotope, America’s nuclear waste, on Iraq and Afghanistan by the Bush administration. This monstrous act has made childhood leukemia and spontaneous abortions commonplace, and has doomed the people of both countries to endless suffering and premature death. According to a UN Sub Commission report, cancer in Iraq has increased 1000%, and deformities 600%. Depleted Uranium has rendered Iraqi lands infertile, entered the food chain, and contaminated the ground water. With a half-life of 4.5 billion years the Uranium 238 dropped on Iraq by Bush Jr. and his father has rendered much of the country permanently unfit for human habitation.

Today the world is told constantly that America is in a so-called “never-ending war” against terrorism. But over the past 35 years American leaders have been the single greatest purveyors of terrorist acts throughout the world. The US government or their CIA trained mercenary forces have used terror-bombing campaigns against unarmed civilian populations in many countries. America has participated in destroying churches, hospitals, schools, houses, hotels, farms, and factories, and other nonmilitary targets. America has killed millions in Laos, Cambodia, the Congo, East Timor, Panama, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Mozambique, Somalia, Angola, Yugoslavia, Iraq, and numerous other countries. In dozens of countries with democratic movements, which threatened the power of American corporations to exploit the native populations, US leaders have used death squad terrorism to successfully eliminate social and democratic reform. America has also contributed to the death and destruction of the Palestinian people, leaving generations without mothers and fathers, bent on revenge.

When Spanish president Aznar, announced that Spain would participate in the American war against Iraq he had the support of 2% of the population of Spain. He was therefore hailed by the Bush administration as a great leader of what was called the New Europe. Old Europe, the bad guys, were countries with governments that took the same position as the large majority of their population. New Europe were the countries like Spain and Italy where the governments overruled the vast majority of the population and followed orders from Crawford, Texas, proving that they understood the nature of democracy according to the administration. Turkey, dared to follow the will of 95% of the population, and rejected Washington’s orders to participate in the war. They were bitterly condemned by some in US leadership such as Paul Wolfowitz, who berated the Turkish military for not ignoring the will of 95% of the people and forcing the government to take their marching orders from Bush. Democracy is an acceptable concept for the US elite as long as we the people do what they the political and economic leadership say.

The Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, which is very respectable and not given to exaggeration, ran an article by two prominent strategic analysts, John Steinbrenner and Nancy Gallagher. They pointed out that the military programs and aggressive stance of the Bush administration, carry in their words, “appreciable risk of ultimate doom,” They go on to say that, “If the United States is to remain a democracy worthy of the name, the political system will have to acknowledge that the United States is now the dominant threat to everyone else.” The “super outlaw state.” They go on to explain that the terrifying technology that is being developed in Donald Rumsfeld’s transformation of the military will “assuredly defuse to the rest of the world. There will be a competition in intimidation and action/reaction cycle creating rising dangers, potentially unmanageable ones, for Americans as well.”

© Copyright 2/17/05 by Raymond Ponziny. Permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog, or web media if this credit is attached and the title remains unchanged.

Pop-Ed 2.0

This is for you to copy and send or reword and send to whoever you think ought to read it.


Alberto Gonzales should not be confirmed as America’s next Attorney General. The author of the end-run around the Geneva Conventions, who characterized as “quaint” the world’s proper response to genocide and other excesses of states’ behavior in war, deserves a dishonorable mention in the rogues’ gallery of lawyers who use the law to excuse crime.

His advice to President Bush proved unhelpful in Bush’s stated purpose to bring an end to terrorism. Torturing humans is not an option in a world which is making its slow progress toward a sustainable peace.

The Abu Ghraib torture and ongoing reports of illegal abuse of prisoners; the reports of extralegal “renditions,” called for by Donald Rumsfeld and others; and the news that the numbers of the Iraqi “insurgency” probably out-pace the numbers of coalition fighters indicate that torture is clearly counter-productive. Further reports that this administration is considering building prisons to permanently house “detainees” (that would be life-imprisonment for people who are not charged and have not enough evidence gathered against them to be tried for any crime) should further alarm proponents of democracy regarding the appropriateness of having Alberto Gonzales and his ilk at the helm of the Justice Department.

Alberto Gonzales apparently hadn’t enough moral foundation or logical precision to foresee what any parent could figure out, that extreme pressure results in extreme resistance.

On the weakness of this alone, his confirmation to the position of Attorney General should not go forward.

Area Activist Jailed

Local peace and social justice activist William Slattery was arrested yesterday for voicing his objection to the presence of George W. Bush in Council Bluffs, IA. A resident of Omaha, Slattery was brought to the Pottawattamie County Jail on charges of disorderly conduct, criminal trespass, and (dis)obedience to an officer of the peace.

Slattery was standing in line at the Mid-America Convention Center, where those entering the Republican-only rally were gathered, holding a sign that read “War is also terrorism.” After being ordered to put the sign away by Convention Center security, Slattery was escorted off the property by the Council Bluffs Police. He attempted to dialogue with the officers, but was taken into custody after reaching the public sidewalk.

Slattery was arraigned and released on $975 in signature bonds this afternoon. He will stand trial on December 14, 2004 at the Pottawattamie County Courthouse. The trial will take place at 9:30am in courtroom 3D. Please come out and support William!

For more information, if you have questions or comments, or if you would like to express your support, please contact either Caitlin or William at (402)991-4586, peace_radicallove(at)