I once worked in a refugee camp in Azerbaijan on an education project. The principal of their makeshift school told me one day he was a principal in a large school with one hundred staff. Days later he was in a camp struggling to set up some semblance of a school with a handful of teachers. He did not plan on being a refugee. Yet, there he was. He could be me. They could be us. Millions and millions of refugees, thrown from their homes by war. Why?
Let’s not buy into the horrific actions and threats against Iran. Turn off major media and look to other sources for our news. Check out Michael Klare’s piece Gearing Up for the Third Gulf War: a Future Cataclysm between US, Israel, Saudi and Iran? which you can find on Juan Cole’s site: https://www.juancole.com/. While you are there, check out more of what you can find on Cole’s site.
Every war is fought long after the last physical battle. It is the sustained battle for a dominating, ruling story about that war. Why did we go to war? How did we fight? Who were the righteous and glorious? The evil and devious? Who were the victors? What were the costs? War after war, a repeating pattern. In this United States, it is a lethal pattern propelling us into acceptance of the next war — and the next. The ghosts of war ask us to be skeptical.
It won’t help us to elect women to offices of power, if they turn around and vote for huge military budgets. This recently happened in the vote for the US National Defense Authorization Act of 2017, the largest “defense” bill in history which passed 89–8 in the Senate. Of the 21 women senators voting (16 Democrats, 5 Republicans), only one Democrat woman voted against it. That means 15 Democrat women betrayed, and made insecure, women here and around the world. There are approximately 3.8 billion women in the world; 126 million in the U.S. For whom does our feminism stand?
We will be hearing the word “balance” a great deal with the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick documentary series on VietNam coming up this fall. Question the notion. When a mega power invades a small country and then tells the story, there is no balance. The telling of the dominating perspective is another war (this time for our minds) even when coated with misdirects, niceties and seductions. If you want to arm yourself before listening to the Burns-Novick work read John Marciano’s The American War in Vietnam: Crime or Commemoration or go to the Vets for Peace Full Disclosure site.
Here’s another poster protesting the U.S. military’s role in polluting the earth. The Department of “Defense” produces more hazardous waste than the five largest U.S. oil companies combined! At the same time, the Pentagon is exempt from all international climate agreements!!! How can this be? For another article on this issue, check out Project Censored’s US Department of Defense is the Worst Polluter on the Planet.
When we think about environmental destruction, we must think about war because modern warfare (most particularly coming from our own military) is the number one enemy of the earth. Ecocide — the destruction of the natural environment, especially when deliberate — is both a strategy (i.e., Agent orange) and a consequence of our military practices (i.e., oil use) of U.S. wars. So, we fool ourselves if we think we can address climate change and the environment without being anti-war. If you would like to check an article on this topic, read Karl Mathieson’s What is the Impact of Modern Warfarein the 11/06/2014 issue of The Guardian.
According to UN figures, there were 19.5 million refugees worldwide at the end of 2014. The number of people internally displaced by persecution, war or conflict reached a record number of nearly 60 million people. Then we have all the numbers who scramble from place to place because of their economic conditions. We move to survive, not to cause trouble or discomfort for other people.
From the get-go, the US has dressed up wars of aggression in pretty clothes. Manifest Destiny. World’s Greatest Democracy. Humanitarian Intervention. The work of anti-war activists is that of unmasking the deceit.
We are supposed to identify with nation above humanity or sisterhood, to support endless wars, to not-see our government’s crimes dressed up in “humanitarian interventions.” Let’s not. We should be outraged that women and their loved ones all over the world are being relentlessly trammeled by the injustice of our wars. Wars, now, not just led by men, but also by women of great power and deception.
I’ve said it elsewhere on this site, but feel compelled to repeat this message over and over. Women moving into key positions of power under the name of feminism, then pushing the buttons of imperial wars, no matter what name they give those wars is an outrage. It is not an advance of women or feminism, it is a profound loss. I hear women say it helps us all when women get in these places. It’s the opposite. We helped them get in power as they claim victory in sisterhood. It’s a twisted mockery of sisterhood. Let’s make it real, deep and international.
Never Let Violence Hide Behind_____. Can you finish the sentence? I’ll begin to name a few. Behind blue lines, bedroom doors, ethnic pride, media spin, race theories, border towers, hydroelectric policies.….…
President Obama called for a commemoration of the American War in Vietnam lasting from 2012–2025. During this period we are being regaled with all the mythology of that war. Vets for Peace and Vietnam Full Disclosure are attempting to counter that mythology. Check out www.vietnamfulldisclosure.org to learn more. And buy a t-shirt or hoodie with this design to support them. All proceeds go to Veterans for Peace.
Shame on Israel, their #1 supporter, USA, 100 senators and all those who turn their backs or hedge about the terrible destruction they are leveling on the Palestinian people. There is no valid excuse.
Birthdays. Funerals. Community events. Weddings. The important life affirming events of any human society. Times to be cherished, honored. The US government does neither, however. Rather it sees those events as prime opportunity to seek and destroy with its high-tech weaponry. If we value human culture we must end drone warfare.
This is not a cliché. Unfortunately. We are caught in an endless war. Our government has a waiting list of wars as if the ones they have going now are not enough. On and on we (?) bomb, shoot, sabotage, rape, poison, and torture to serve the few. So, as an artist, I must do this poster that will be considered by some to be a cliché, but is not.
A society bent on war cannot take care of its own. When we destroy the lives, homes, and possibilities of people around the world we cannot fund, protect or nurture own lives, homes and possibilities. We destroy ourselves. With a collective fist, which should hold righteousness and generosity, we hand over our own lifeblood to forge a relentless attack on the human relations we have never bothered to know. We acquiesce in a terrible decision. Or do we?
A few decades ago, one of my favorite posters was “Sisterhood is Blooming Springtime Will Never Be The Same” by the Chicago Women’s Liberation Union. It captured the excitement and optimism of the women’s movement at that time. I still smile when I think of it. Yet, I am distressed to see so many women who call themselves feminist ignore, support — and in cases of women in power, wage — war against other women all over the world. So I decided to borrow from this earlier poster to make a new statement on sisterhood.
Here’s another image I borrowed from the Chicago Women’s Liberation Union’s great poster “Women Are Not Chicks.” Their original message still needs shouting out as the objectification of women is still around (although “babe” is the more contemporary word). Again, though, I am bringing up the anti-war message. The massacre of women and girls by our weaponry has got to be opposed. I really believe that a “feminist” agenda that is not anti-war is not truly a feminist agenda at all.
It seems I feel moved to come out with different ways of saying the same thing. Women! We must be anti-war. That means being very suspicious of those women in power, who call themselves feminists, yet sugar coat their unjust wars with claims of being the moral leader of the universe. It ain’t so.
This poster is in a perpetual draft state, but I though I’d put it out here. What is the cost of war? Our human services, community life, family security and our ability to feel empathy. Drones leveled at one society are metaphorically pointed towards our own. Being lulled into a false sense of calm, of distance from the ugliness of war, is temporary. It will come back to bite us in the b.….