Posts Tagged ‘war

10
Aug
15

The Fruits Of Peace And True Security

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Bill R

I posted this on my face book page this morning:

These days Jeanette and I are doing childcare a full two days a week for our three grandchildren, four year old Matilda, and the five month old twins, Lucia and Paul. As I watch them grow and go through developmental stages I am reminded of how important it is for human beings to learn ways to calm their mind and emotions in order to react constructively with others in this world. That process starts early. And there are too many examples of human beings not learning that important skill with sad and tragic consequences both as individuals and nations.

The great spiritual leaders of our time and before, like Bishop Tutu, the Dalai Lama, and Pope Francis speak of the essential value of learning to resolve conflict with our enemies in a peaceful way so that we can live in the fruits of peace and true security. The prophet Micah says that there is no security unless all are secure. It begins with feeling secure and safe within ourselves with calm and stable thoughts and emotions.
We are at a critical juncture in our nation where a debate rages between choosing the present opportunity of resolving conflict with Iran, birthplace of a 6,000 year old ancient and advanced civilization, a nation declared by many to be an enemy. We have the opportunity- now sanctioned and authorized by a vote of the United Nations Security Council as international law- to choose diplomacy with international enforcement or unilateral war with Iran, another Middle East War with boundless catastrophic consequences.

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This should be an easy choice. However, we have a faction in our country that has made a policy choice of regime change through war,and will accept no peaceful agreement that allows that govt. to stay in power. Led by a foreign govt,, funded by sympathetic billionaires Congress may likely vote disapproval of diplomacy and international law (although it is unlikely there are the votes to overcome a veto). What is needed is rational and constructive thinking and intention. Contrary to media reports, Congress does not have the authority to block this international law from implementation(see article below), but it can make impediments for implementation that will only harm the United States and US businesses.

Now is an important time especially here in Oregon as one of our senators, Ron Wyden, under the influence of a foreign govt. and its agent here in the US, is reported to be leaning toward a war decision. It is important that he hear from Oregonians as I write. Once before Senator Wyden made a rational decision to not support the war in Iraq. I am hoping he will do likewise in this case.

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Those of you who know me, know that I have a life commitment to a strong meditation practice, because for me it has been the way of inner peace, harmony of mind and emotion, and healing of the soul. It is this spiritual commitment that leads me to talk to my Facebook friends, in a not customary fashion, about a vital policy decision facing our country. To make a decision to turn our backs on an internationally supported decision for diplomacy with enforcement to make a decision of a path towards war, a plan overwhelmingly supported by the scientific and weapons control community, which will actually harm our our stated policy objective of preventing nuclear proliferation, would be tragic and lead to tragic consequences for generations to come, a decision that affect even these little grandchildren of ours. Deliberate unilateral decision to deny the opportunity of peaceful resolution and choose a war of regime change is evil and destructive. It is a choice our Congress will vote on in Sept. just a few weeks. I am posting this for your own reflection and discernment, and not to invite a debate on this site.

07
Aug
15

The incredible cowardice of Senator Chuck Schumer

Chuck Schumer, senior Senator from New York, last night came out in opposition to the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by the five permanent Security Council members and the EU, a deal which takes an Iranian nuclear weapon off the table.

The fact that he released his statement when followers of politics had their eyes fixed on the GOP beauty pageant is telling. It was the equivalent of a Friday afternoon news dump.

Of course, he wasn’t counting that those of us who are Obama supporters and supporters of peace can do more than one thing at a time. The reaction was instant and furious. I’ve tried calling Sen. Schumer’s office, and no one is answering the phone.

His Medium piece is one roiling paranoid fantasy that Iranians can never be trusted, ever, on a par with Binyamin Netanyahu’s belief that Iran wants to conquer the world.

Continue reading ‘The incredible cowardice of Senator Chuck Schumer’

14
May
15

A Wrong Put Right

Henry Lincoln Johnson (1897 – July 5, 1929)

On June 2, 2015, President Barack Obama will award the Medal of Honor to Army Private Henry Johnson for conspicuous gallantry during World War I.

Private Henry Johnson will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions while serving as a member of Company C, 369th Infantry Regiment, 93rd Division, American Expeditionary Forces. Then-Private Johnson distinguished himself during combat operations in the vicinity of the Tourbe and Aisne Rivers, northwest of Saint Menehoul, France, on May 15, 1918.

Private Johnson entered the Army on June 5, 1917. He was assigned to Company C, 15th New York (Colored) Infantry Regiment, an all-black National Guard unit that would later become the 369th Infantry Regiment. The Regiment was ordered into battle in 1918, and Private Johnson and his unit were brigaded with a French Army colonial unit in front-line combat.

While on night sentry duty on May 15, 1918, Private Johnson and a fellow Soldier received a surprise attack by a German raiding party consisting of at least 12 soldiers. While under intense enemy fire and despite receiving significant wounds, Johnson mounted a brave retaliation resulting in several enemy casualties.

When his fellow soldier was badly wounded, Private Johnson prevented him from being taken prisoner by German forces. Private Johnson exposed himself to grave danger by advancing from his position to engage an enemy soldier in hand-to-hand combat. Displaying great courage, Private Johnson held back the enemy force until they retreated.

Command Sergeant Major Louis Wilson, New York National Guard, will join the President at the White House to accept the Medal of Honor on Private Johnson’s behalf.

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More on Henry Johnson here

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NY Daily News: …. Although doctors had replaced his shin bone with a steel tube and removed most of the bones from one foot, Johnson’s discharge papers rated him as having a zero percent disability, disqualifying him for benefits.

Succumbing to poverty and drink, he died at the age of 32 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, his only recognition the French Croix de Guerre.

At last, in 1996, the U.S. awarded Johnson a Purple Heart and followed up in 2002 with the nation’s second-highest commendation, the Distinguished Service Cross. At the time, the military denied Johnson the Medal of Honor, finding insufficient documentation of his heroism.

Subsequently, Sen. Chuck Schumer’s volunteer historians have amassed overwhelming proof that this quintessential Hellfighter from Harlem performed with incomprehensible valor in service of a nation that spurned him at every turn because of skin color.

Full article here

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15
Dec
14

The President and First Lady’s Day

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President Barack Obama addresses an audience of armed forces at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. President Obama thanked the troops for their service and marked the end of the combat mission in Afghanistan. ahead of the upcoming holidays

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President Barack Obama returns a salute as he steps off Marine One helicopter upon his return on the South Lawn of the White House

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First Lady Michelle Obama reads “Twas the night before Christmas” to patients, families, and staff at Children’s National Health System in Washington

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Video Here

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First Lady Michelle Obama and First Dog Bo

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First Lady Michelle Obama greets patient 14-year-old Nataya Miller while she visits patients, employees, and volunteers at Children’s National Health System in Washington DC

09
Nov
14

You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Until It’s Gone

Obama Facts

@RickStrandlof

06
Nov
14

The President And First Lady’s Day

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President Barack Obama stands with Helen Loring Ensign, 85, from Palm Desert, Calif., after awarding the Medal of Honor posthumously to Army First Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing for conspicuous gallantry during a ceremony in the Roosevelt Room of the White House

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive at a ceremony to present the Medal of Honor posthumously to Army First Lieutenant Alonzo H. Cushing for conspicuous gallantry in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. First Lieutenant Cushing received the Medal of Honor for his actions during combat operations in the vicinity of Cemetery Ridge, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on July 3, 1863

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President Barack Obama stands with Helen Loring Ensign, 85, from Palm Desert, Calif., after awarding the Medal of Honor posthumously to Army First Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing for conspicuous gallantry during a ceremony in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. With them, from left to right, are Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., Army Secretary John McHugh and Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald.

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U.S. Army First Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing is pictured in a military academy graduation photograph dated 1861, obtained on October 28, 2014. President Barack Obama posthumously awarded the Civil War artillery officer the Medal of Honor, the highest U.S. award for bravery, 151 years after Cushing was killed at the Battle of Gettysburg.

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President Barack Obama stands with Helen Loring Ensign, as the citation for her relative, U.S. Army First Lieutenant Alonzo H. Cushing is read

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Margaret Zerwekh of Delafield, Wis. raises her hand as she is acknowledged by President Barack Obama during a ceremony awarding the Medal of Honor posthumously to Army First Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing for conspicuous gallantry. President Obama acknowledged the work of Zerwekh, a 94-year-old amateur historian from Cushing’s hometown who painstakingly researched his story and lobbied Wisconsin’s congressional delegation for decades

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First Lady Michelle Obama speaks during a special daytime workshop for high school students from military communities in the greater Washington area

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Willie Nelson, right, and fellow panelist, songwriter Ted Peterson, left, hip hop recording artist Common, second from right, listen as Army Sgt. Christiana Ball responds to a question

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05
Oct
14

The President’s Day

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President Barack Obama is presented a plaque by philanthropist Lois Pope and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, during the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial dedication ceremony in Washington. President Obama paid tribute to disabled U.S. veterans on Sunday, pointing to the dedication of a new memorial honoring those severely injured in war as a symbol of the nation’s perseverance and character.

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Text of the President’s remarks here

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Military veterans stand as they are recognized by President Barack Obama and are applauded during the dedication of the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial

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Veterans and invited guests listen to President Barack Obama speak

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President Barack Obama shakes hands with actor, musician and military advocate and National Spokesman for the American Veterans Disabled for Life (AVDL) Foundation Gary Sinise

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President Barack Obama stands with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Vietnam war veteran and Disabled Veterans’ Life Memorial Foundation co-founder and President Arthur H. Wilson

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15
Sep
14

President Obama Awards The Medal Of Honor To Two Heroes

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Army Command Sergeant Major Bennie G. Adkins salutes after President Barack Obama awards him the Medal of Honor for actions during the Vietnam War

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President Barack Obama applauds at right after presenting the Medal of Honor for Army Spc. Donald P. Sloat to his brother William Sloat, left, in the East Room of the White House. Donald P. Sloat of Coweta, Okla., was killed in action on Jan. 17, 1970, at age 20. While on patrol, a soldier in his squad triggered a hand grenade trap that had been placed in their path by enemy forces. According to the White House, Sloat picked up the live grenade, initially to throw it away. When he realized it was about to detonate, he shielded the blast with his own body in order to save the lives of his fellow soldiers

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13
Sep
14

Hug Wars

 

 Please think carefully before you vote, this is important. Thanks.

:roll: Some people just can’t handle democracy #ThePollsDon’tLie

09
Aug
14

Rise and Shine

10:25 EDT: President Obama makes a statement on Iraq

Also at White House Live

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US Military Air-Drop of Food and Water over Sinjar in Iraq

(What A Difference From Dropping Bombs)

BBC

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The President’s NYT Interview

NYT: Obama on the World

President Obama Talks to Thomas L. Friedman About Iraq, Putin and Israel

President Obama’s hair is definitely grayer these days, and no doubt trying to manage foreign policy in a world of increasing disorder accounts for at least half of those gray hairs. (The Tea Party can claim the other half.) But having had a chance to spend an hour touring the horizon with him in the White House Map Room late Friday afternoon, it’s clear that the president has a take on the world, born of many lessons over the last six years, and he has feisty answers for all his foreign policy critics.

Obama made clear that he is only going to involve America more deeply in places like the Middle East to the extent that the different communities there agree to an inclusive politics of no victor/no vanquished. The United States is not going to be the air force of Iraqi Shiites or any other faction. Despite Western sanctions, he cautioned, President Vladimir Putin of Russia “could invade” Ukraine at any time, and, if he does, “trying to find our way back to a cooperative functioning relationship with Russia during the remainder of my term will be much more difficult.” Intervening in Libya to prevent a massacre was the right thing to do, Obama argued, but doing it without sufficient follow-up on the ground to manage Libya’s transition to more democratic politics is probably his biggest foreign policy regret.

More here

On Israel

On Libya

On Iraq

On China

Thanks a gazillion to LP for the links and to Nerdy for putting them together in a draft

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This made me smile – Knoller has been getting epic push-back on Twitter in recent days for his shilling, and his obsession with the President’s vacation. So much so, he now has an army of Teabaggers following him (just check any of the comments under his tweets). So, maybe the pressure actually left him feeling obliged to tweet at least one bit of honesty:

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In Case You Missed It

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A President Who Doesn’t Hide The Cost Of War

 Pete Souza: “The President, in the process of saluting, participates in a ceremony at Dover Air Force Base for the dignified transfer of U.S. and Afghan personnel who died in Afghanistan a few days earlier. Many family members and friends of the special forces who died in this incident requested a copy of the photograph and later wrote me how much it meant to them.” Aug. 9, 2011

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On This Day – Pete Souza: “We were walking through a locker room at the University of Texas when White House Trip Director Marvin Nicholson stopped to weigh himself on a scale. Unbeknownst to him, the President was stepping on the back of the scale, as Marvin continued to slide the scale lever. Everyone but Marvin was in on the joke.” Aug. 9, 2010

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MoooOOOooorning everyone! Another rushed R&S, will try to catch up through the day.

Happy Saturday!

02
Aug
14

‘Do Palestinians Really Exist?’ / ‘Jewish People Disinherited of Pity’

Dean Obeidallah (Daily Beast): Do Palestinians Really Exist?

We’re not all terrorists, we’re not “cockroaches,” and we’re certainly not an “invented” people. What you don’t know about Palestinians.

Palestine. My late father, Abdul Musa Obeidallah, was born there in the 1930s. When I say Palestine, that’s not a political statement. It’s just a statement of fact. When he was born, there was no state of Israel. There was no Hamas. No PLO. There were just people of different faiths living together on the same small piece of land called Palestine.

….. Most of my Palestinian ancestors lived and died within a few miles of where they were born. That would likely have been my father’s path as well. But as we are all keenly aware, fate had far different plans.

I share this story because I think that lost in the current Gaza conflict is the story of the Palestinians as a people. Instead, they’ve been continually defined as being the “bad” part of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They’ve been broadly labeled as terrorists or seen as acceptable losses. Some Israeli leaders have alleged Palestinians don’t exist, or called them “cockroaches,” “crocodiles,” or a “cancer.”….

….. when I was about 9 years old in the late 1970s, my teacher [in New Jersey] asked about the ethnicity of each student so she could pin it on a map of the world. When she came to me, she was stumped—she didn’t know much about Palestinians, and of course she couldn’t find it on the map since it wasn’t there….

Later that night, I relayed that story to my father and asked him: “Where is Palestine?” He paused for a moment as he gathered his thoughts. He then touched his heart and head and responded: “In here.”….

Full post here

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A couple of articles I thought were worth posting, the one above is as poignant and beautiful as I’ve ever read about Palestine, its history and its people – Obeidallah’s memory of his teacher not being able to find Palestine on the map, and his father’s reaction, beyond heartbreaking.

Continue reading ‘‘Do Palestinians Really Exist?’ / ‘Jewish People Disinherited of Pity’’




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