Editor’s note: Thanks to our media ally TomDispatch.com we share with you some reflections on the way the U.S. has been conducting warfare for the past 17 years without most people even noticing. It starts with an introduction by Tom Dispatch editor Tom Engelhardt.
You can read this online at :https://www.tikkun.org/newsite/a-pentagon-style-trip-down-memory-lane
The Light at the End of the Corner
A Trip Down Memory Lane, Pentagon-Style
By Tom Engelhardt We thank Engelhardt and his TomDispatch.com, our media ally, for sharing this article with Tikkun readers. If you’re in the mood, would you consider taking a walk with me and, while we’re at it, thinking a little about America’s wars? Nothing particularly ambitious, mind you, just — if you’re up for it — a stroll to the corner. Now, admittedly, there’s a small catch here. Where exactly is that corner? I think the first time I heard about it might have been back in January 2004 and it was located somewhere in Iraq.
The Destructive Power of Nationalism: Eric Weitz reviews Omer Bartov’s Anatomy of a Genocide and Bartov Responds
The Destructive Power of Nationalism
Eric D. Weitz
A review of:
Anatomy of a Genocide:
The Life and Death of a Town Called Buczacz
by Omer Bartov
Simon & Schuster, 2018
“Human life is cheap” in Casablanca, says Major Strasser (Conrad Veidt) to Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) in the renowned film. In Buczacz, human life was cheap, and then some — expendable, worthless, targeted for obliteration. As Omer Bartov shows in his extraordinary new book, Buczacz, an isolated, backwater town in what is today western Ukraine, was crisscrossed by all the pathologies of twentieth-century political movements. The consequences were devastating for the inhabitants, Jews especially, but Ukrainians and Poles as well. Not that they were the passive victims of abstract political forces or of the actions of the major powers, Habsburg Austria, Imperial and Nazi Germany, and Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union, that variously dominated the town and region.
Being Edged Toward War With North Korea
by David McReynolds
One feels a bit helpless trying to deal with Trump and his push toward war – who is listening? If you think the points I’m making should be shared, by all means share them widely.
There are three essential points, and many secondary ones.
First, Trump has made a major issue of the fact that North Korean missiles could carry nuclear weapons that could strike the continental US. That is true, but somehow missing from this effort at panic, is the fact that both China and Russia have long had nuclear tipped missiles that can hit any point in the US with great accuracy.
Editor’s Note: Andrew Lichterman’s analysis (below and online at https://www.tikkun.org/newsite/donald-trump-destroyer-of-worlds. You can share to social media from this link and there are buttons at the end of the piece that allow you to share the piece that way) is an important review of why Trump’s threats of nuclear war are illegal, and why the underlying nationalism to which he appeals is destructive. Lichterman’s work is important to understand and circulate to others.
Yet there is a missing element here, namely that we need to understand the legitimate fear Americans have about terrorism after 9/11 and about other irresponsible leaders (including Trump) having access to nuclear weapons.We’ve argued that the key to reducing the risk of nuclear war is not to deny the possibility of threats from other nations (the young leader of North Korea at times seems as much a delusional narcissist as Trump) but to understand that we have to focus on the core beliefs about what will bring real security. We have been arguing for the past thirty years that for both the US and Israel the best path to achieve homeland security is to abandon the failed strategy of domination over others as the best path to homeland security and to replace that with the strtegy of generosity as manifested in Tikkun’s proposed Global Marshall Plan (Tikkun ally Congressman Keith Ellison of Minneapoli introduced House Resolution 87 to Congress in February–supporting our reasoning for a Global Marshall Plan.
Saudi Arabia is embroiled in a war in Yemen that it can’t win. Saudi Arabia seems to have bitten off more than it can chew in Yemen. On March 26, 2015, the kingdom launched Operation Decisive Storm, a broad Arab-Islamic initiative ostensibly aimed at reinstating the government of Yemeni President Abd Rabboh Mansour Hadi, whom insurgents had forced from the capital, Sanaa, a month earlier. More than two and a half years on, Saudi Arabia is no closer to its goal, embroiled in a war that it can’t win. How did the country wind up making such a strategic blunder?
EU member states take major step toward a European army
By Peter Schwarz
14 November 2017
The European Union has taken a major step toward developing the capacity to wage war in the future independently of and, if necessary, against the United States. Foreign and defence ministers from 23 of the 28 EU member states signed a framework document on a common defence policy in Brussels on Monday. Along with Britain, which will leave the EU in 2019, only four smaller countries—Denmark, Ireland, Malta and Portugal—did not sign on to the deal. However, they can do so at any time. With the “agreement on permanent structured cooperation” (PESCO), the EU states committed themselves to close cooperation in the development and purchase of weapons, and in making available troops and equipment for joint military interventions.
President Global Security Institute, UN Representative of the World Summits of Nobel Peace Laureates, and Ambassador for Peace, Security and Nuclear Disarmament of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, Chair of the International Law Section of the American Bar Association’s Task Force on Nuclear Nonproliferation and a member of Tikkun Magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board. NORTH KOREA: A LOGICAL PATH TO PEACE
11/05/2017 09:40 pm ET
(Ambassador Susan Burk, Jonathan Granoff, Ambassador Douglas Roche, President Jimmy Carter)
President Carter dignified America while in office, started no wars, and since leaving office has exemplified dignity and character and is an expert in dealing with North Korea, successfully. He has offered his help. At each news cycle we hear President Trump reiterate dangerous provocations toward North Korea, only increasing the risk of crisis leading to miscalculation resulting in war and the possibility of nuclear catastrophe of unimaginable proportions. It is shocking to reflect on how extreme his expressions on behalf of our nation actually are. He threatened to “destroy North Korea” in his recent UN speech before the General Assembly thereby defying the laws of war, which require military actions to be proportionate and discriminate between combatants and civilians, thus threatening a crime against humanity, a genocide against over 25 million people. America is a nation based on the rule of law, degrading international law degrades America.
Osama Bin Laden’s America
Niger, 9/11, and Apocalyptic Humiliation
By Tom Engelhardt
Honestly, if there’s an afterlife, then the soul of Osama bin Laden, whose body wasconsigned to the waves by the U.S. Navy back in 2011, must be swimming happily with the dolphins and sharks. At the cost of the sort of spare change that Donald Trump recently offered aides and former campaign officials for their legal troubles in the Russia investigation (on which he’s unlikely to deliver) — a mere $400,000 to $500,000 — bin Laden managed to launch the American war on terror. He did so with little but a clever game plan, a few fanatical followers, and a remarkably intuitive sense of how this country works. He had those 19 mostly Saudi hijackers, a scattering of supporters elsewhere in the world, and the “training camps” in Afghanistan, but his was a ragged and understaffed movement. And keep in mind that his sworn enemy was the country that then prided itself on being the last superpower, the final winner of the imperial sweepstakes that had gone on for five centuries until, in 1991, the Soviet Union imploded. The question was: With such limited resources, what kind of self-destructive behavior could he goad a triumphalist Washington into?
Editor’s Note: The day before Haloween it’s traditional to focus on witches and goblins and walking skeletons and other scary things. None of those things can compare with the scare we can get by looking at the role the U.S. has played and plays today in the world–and how much worse it may soon get if the Trump Administration follows through on its threats. Yet there is also a more nuanced story to tell. As we often say, Tikkun sends out articles and prints articles that we think have important perspectives that are rarely available in the mainstream media–even if we do not necessarily agree with them. Nicholaw Davies (article below) has a lot important facts to bolster his case, and if we look at the US government and its actions, they come out looking rather shabby, brutal, hurtful and destructive.
Trump on the Warpath
Jeffrey Sachs || Sep 27, 2017 || Project Syndicate
The US suffers from an arrogance of military power disconnected from today’s geopolitical realities. The US is on this path again, heading for a collision with a nuclear-armed adversary, and it will remain on it unless other countries, other American leaders, and public opinion block the way. NEW YORK – Fifteen years after George W. Bush declared that Iraq, Iran, and North Korea formed “an axis of evil,” Donald Trump, in his maiden address to the United Nations, denounced Iran and North Korea in similarly vitriolic terms. Words have consequences, and Trump’s constitute a dire and immediate threat to global peace, just as Bush’s words did in 2002. Back then, Bush was widely praised for his response to the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. It’s easy to rally the public to war, and that was especially true after 9/11.
(Editor’s Note: This article, coming to us from our media ally TomDispatch.com, should give us some perspective on the U.S. military role in the world. Perhaps it might even awaken us to another important question: why exactly are we risking nuclear war with North Korea in order to achieve what end? –Rabbi Michael Lerner email@example.com)
Worth Dying For?
When It Comes to the War in the Greater Middle East, Maybe We’re the Bad Guys
By Danny Sjursen
I used to command soldiers. Over the years, lots of them actually. In Iraq, Colorado, Afghanistan, and Kansas. And I’m still fixated on a few of them like this one private first class (PFC) in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2011.
[Editor’s Note: We Americans have barely a clue about the mischief the U.S. military has been up to for most of the past decades. It has often been provocative when it hasn’t gone the full length of military interventions, sometimes carefully hidden to the U.S. public. On the other hand, we have no sympathy for the repressive regime in North Korea, which in comparison makes the U.S. regime look almost humane. But before thinking that maybe the U.S. is motivated by good values, remember the massive U.S. sales of arms to Saudi Arabia while it continues its near genocidal war against Yemen, and its attempts to build a justification for a future intervention in Venezuela–and these were both part of U.S. policy under Obama.–Rabbi Michael Lerner]
9/4： What the Media isn’t Telling You About North Korea’s Missile Tests
By Mike Whitney
September 04, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – Here’s what the media isn’t telling you about North Korea’s recent missile tests. Last Monday, the DPRK fired a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan’s Hokkaido Island.
NEVER FORGET VIRTUE, NEVER FORGET HIROSHIMA, NEVER GIVE UP WORKING FOR PEACE
08/08/2017 11:14 pm ET | Updated 1 day ago
There are historical matters toward which our ongoing attention is worthy because of their relevance today. Here are some examples:
1. The courage and benefit of Socrates’ sacrifice to uphold the rule of law demonstrated by his refusal to escape his prison cell and willingness to drink deadly poison, a penalty arising from a trial in which he was unjustly adjudicated guilty. He personally sacrificed his life to highlight forever the importance of the rule of law for his and any society. 2.
Editor’s note: Thanks to our media ally TomDispatch.com we present another analysis of American military power–no, not about atomic wars, but about overthrowing governments around the world. Can the Pentagon Win When Putsch Comes to Shove? A Rare Pentagon “Success” Story
By Nick Turse
Winning! It’s the White House watchword when it comes to the U.S. armed forces. “We will give our military the tools you need to prevent war and, if required, to fight war and only do one thing — you know what that is?