Tag Archives: anti-war

No Escalation! Protests

A small group of people braved the bitter cold in Salt Lake City, Utah on December 3, 2009 to protest the surge of troops to Afghanistan, joining 100 cities across the nation last week in the common message: No Escalation!

Afghanistan Escalation

The peace community around the nation is outraged at Obama’s announcement of the deployment of 35,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. But should we be surprised? Obama promised the reduction of forces in Iraq and further escalation in Afghanistan during his presidential campaign.

Regardless, not only are more lives going to be lost in an escalation that shouldn’t happen, but billions of taxpayer dollars are going to be spent on this escalation, further impacting domestic programs that provide essential services to human beings in the U.S.

This is an outrage.

There are numerous actions being held around the country this week in reaction to Obama’s announcement. Here in Salt Lake City I hope people will come out to the event listed below to raise their voices:

Afghanistan: No Escalation Vigil – December 3, 5:30pm

Afghanistan: No Escalation!

Vigil, 5:30 – 6:30pm
100 South State Street, Salt Lake City, UT

The Reality In Gaza

We Lived to Tell the Story; Lebanon Rescued Us by Cynthia McKinney

January 1, 2009 Yesterday, we met with the President of Lebanon, the Chief of the Military, and the Interior Minister who all thanked us for responding and risking our lives on a mission of mercy; we profusely thanked them for rescuing us.

What would we have done, stranded out at sea, prohibited from reaching our destination, low on fuel, with a badly damaged boat if Lebanon had not
accepted us? Lebanon sent their ships to find us. Lebanon rescued us. Lebanon welcomed us. And we are truly thankful.

It’s official now. We’ve been told that the sturdy, wood construction of our boat, Dignity, is the reason we are still alive. Fiberglass would probably not have withstood the impact of the Israeli attack and under different circumstances, we might not be here to tell the story. Even at that, the report that came to us yesterday after the Captain and First Mate
went back to Sour (Tyre) to inspect the boat was that it was sinking, the damage is extensive, and the boat will take, in their estimation, at least one month to repair. Tomorrow, we will bring the Dignity from Sour to Beirut. And now, we must decide what to do and from where we will do it and how we are to get back to wherever that might be. Continue reading

Oh What a Day! by Cynthia McKinney

December 30, 2008
I’m so glad that my father told me to buy a special notebook and to write everything down because that’s exactly what I did.

When we left from Cyprus, one reporter asked me “are you afraid?” And I had to respond that Malcolm X wasn’t afraid; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wasn’t afraid. But little did I know that just a few hours later, I would be recollecting my life and mentally preparing myself for death.

When we left Cyprus, the Mediterranean was beautiful. I remember the time when it might have been beautiful to look at, but it was also filthy. The Europeans have taken great strides to clean it up and yesterday, it was beautiful. And the way the sunlight hit the sea, I remember thinking to myself that’s why they call it azure. It was the most beautiful blue.

Continue reading


There is an interesting conversation happening over on Facebook about the article I posted,

The Emperor’s New Clothes

I have hidden the names of all the commentors, but here are the contents of the response thus far:

Respondent 1:  Are there actually people dumb or gullible enough to believe the absurdly blatant lies upon which this left wing loon bases his ideological rants? Everything I read in the limited time I could stomach the contents of this Bush-hating, America-bashing diatribe is blatantly false.

Respondent 2:  How did this idiot get in here?

Respondent 1:  Anybody that doesn’t agree with you is an idiot? That’s the left wing strategy — when you can’t argue with the facts, disparage the presenter and / or make up your own "facts."

This article says the U.S. killed 1.0MM Iraqi’s? Even Tim Robbins only came up with 400,000 when he fabricated his number. The U.N. and IRC both estimate the number at …  Read More75,000 people, which is roughly the same number of innocent Iraqi’s that Saddam Hussein killed every 4 months, year after year after year. If Saddam Hussein were still in power, he would have murdered far more people than were killed by U.S. forces since they removed him from power. Instead, this author makes up numbers (among other things) to make the US look bad. The U.S. is a great, noble, nation — an opinion that apparently makes me an idiot.

I can respect the viewpoints of others, and agree to disagree. When a link like this shows up on my home page, I want to be clear that I do not support such nonsense.

DeeIdentifying people as "dumb", "idiot", "gullible enough", "America bashing" or "nonsense" are all names that are not respectful. I am hopeful that people here can engage in dialogue without resorting to such labels or name calling and can indeed "agree to disagree" or choose to delete the offensive persons from their friends list. Continue reading

Shoes for Bush action

It warms my heart when people take an event in the news and turn it into action:

SHOES FOR BUSH action "For the widows, the orphans, and those killed in Iraq."

send me your old shoes to take to DC. ALL SHOES DONATED to the needy in the DC/Baltimore area and distributed by the DC Greens

  On January 20th,tens of thousands of people will be gathering to celebrate the Inaugural of President Barrack Obama.It will be a historical marker  and a joyous and celebratory occasion. However, the promise of change, does not mean that we can shut the door, on the past eight horrific years of the Bush administration and wipe clean the images of  shear terror, torture and suffering on the faces innocent Iraqis who have faced death and total destruction of their country. Also, it will not be easy for our own families, like Melida and Carlos Arredondo who have lost their child to an unjust and immoral war. Americans of conscience are grieving for our children and  for those in Iraq. To watch president Bush leave office, unaccountable is like rubbing salt into a wound.

On Monday, January 19th at 11:00 people will be converging at a permitted site near the White House for what may be a cathartic action of hurling a shoe at an image of President Bush. In the spirit of Mutadhar Al-Zaidi and in solidarity with the people of Iraq, we invite you to join us.

If you are will be in town for the Inaugural, bring an extra pair of shoes with you! If you cannot be there with us you can send us your shoes and we will take them to DC in a U-Haul. No Bomb-sniffing dogs at our post office! Unfortunately if you send shoes to the White House they are taken to a remote location and the gesture will be for not.

 We are designating a page  on this web site to post the names of people who are collecting shoes in your area. These people will deliver  the shoes to collection points where those who will be traveling  to DC, by car, will pick bring them up.

Please consider writing notes and putting them in your shoes. We will read them at the  SHOES FOR BUSH event where documentary film maker Scott Hamann will be recording this historic mass action. Artists are invited to be creative if they choose to create a work of art work with their shoes.

ALL SHOES WILL BE DONATED TO THE NEEDY IN THE WASHINGTON/BALTIMORE AREA. A few will be saved for posterity and perhaps we should donate those to the Bush Library.

My appreciation goes out David Swanson for his literary contribution and support as well as to Andrew Lehman, Marcia Bernstein and Dana Simpson for their contribution of web site creation, The Washington Peace Center, the DC Statehood Green Party and my activist friends and organizations in DC who are supporting this mass action.

Jamilla El-Shafei

You too can take a swipe!


From the rawstory

The aim of "Sock and Awe" (www.sockandawe.com), launched by Britain’s Alex Tew, is to knock Bush out with a shoe, a feat already attained by 1.4 million players, according to the website Tuesday.

Aptly named after the US "Shock and Awe" military campaign to knock out Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, the game gives players 30 seconds to aim at a figure of Bush ducking behind a rostrum.

It was in protest against the Bush administration’s Iraqi policy that journalist Durgham Zaidi threw both his shoes at the outgoing president Sunday during his swansong visit to the battleground. The action won Zaidi widespread plaudits in the Arab world where Bush’s policies have drawn broad hostility.

Why Impeachment Should Still be on the Table

The Emperor’s New Clothes
(or Bil Kundara* America)
*a threatening remark involving the potential use of a shoe

By Vi Ransel


Our strutting, imperial president
paid his farewell visit to Iraq
where he appeared with puppet, Nouri al-Maliki,
not expecting to find himself under attack.

He stood in front of the world’s TV cameras
and pontificated at a press conference podium
“The work hasn’t been easy, but it’s been necessary” he said,
thus exposing America as the world’s moral colon


with this flippant dismissal of four million refugees
and the destruction of an entire society,
the erasure of the beginnings of Western Civilization
and the taking of more than a million Iraqi lives

by means of his aggressive and illegal war
on a non-threatening, essentially unarmed nation.
And then Bush got as close as he’d ever come
to confronting the reality of one of his failures.

As this genocidal, sociopathic Upper Class Twit
was doing a rhetorical backstroke in Iraqi blood,
he was given a final and fitting tribute
in the universal language of television.

A young, Iraqi journalist introduced him
to one of the Middle East’s most well-known customs
which exposed the indecency of George W. Bush
like Joe Welch did to McCarthy and his Commission.

While world journalists still refuse to ask the questions
which would skewer Bush with his own callous charade,
he stood up and with the courage of his convictions
threw his shoes into George W. Bush’s smug face.

He yelled “Ya kalb!” calling Bush “You Dog!”
treating the occupier to a souvenir of his “victory”,
not a shower of flowers from grateful Iraqis,
but a shower of shoes from Muntather al-Zaidi.


This is the farewell kiss, you dog.
This is a gift from the Iraqis, he went on.
This is from those who were killed in Iraq,
from the injured, the widows and the orphans.

Bush ducked the first shoe and in seconds
Muntather had fired off the other
aimed just above Bush’s head, it hit the American flag,
and brought a whole new meaning to the term “shoe bomber”.

In most Middle Eastern countries, the shoe
is seen as an object of dirt, pollution and disrespect
and can be used to insult or to denigrate someone
and millions the world over share the same contempt

for this miserable, draft-dodging chicken hawk
who’s conducted a War of Terror and stunning atrocities
from the distant safety of his Washington Offal Office
for eight years and made it seem like eternity.

And while protected by billions in military technology,
still he stood exposed, not as emperor, but as fool,
and he proved he was no match for a man without a weapon,
armed with only the truth and two of his shoes.

Overnight Muntather al-Zaidi became
one of the most beloved people on the face of the earth,
and even in America the man who humiliated the president
is more popular than the president himself.

Please go to http://www.uruknet.info and click on either “Sacred Shoe” or “The Hero Who Made Bush’s Head a Playground for His Shoes” to sign a petition for the release of this courageous young man. Thank you. Thanks also to Layla Anwar for the term “bil kundara” and its definiton.

Poet and part-time actor Viola Ransel is a Senior Contributing Editor with CJO.

Omer Goldman and the Israeli Military

Ed Asner on Huffington Post

I’ve been around this world for awhile, and it’s pretty hard to leave me speechless. But when I learned about Omer Goldman – well, her story got me.

If you haven’t heard the name Omer Goldman yet, have a seat and grab your Kleenex. Her courage, and the courage of the other "Shministim" in Israel is utterly humbling. And amazing. I don’t use those words lightly.

As you can see from the photo, she’s young and lovely. 19 years old. She’s already served two terms in an Israeli military jail, where she had to wear an American military uniform (a gift to the Israelis) or face solitary confinement. Now, she’s out of jail for medical reasons. But as you read this, many of her young friends are in an Israeli prison for refusing to serve in the military there.

This new generation of young Israeli kids is standing up to the government – they call ’em "Shministim." The Shministim- all about ages 17, 18, 19 and in the 12th grade – are taking a stand. They believe in a better, more peaceful future for themselves and for Israelis and Palestinians, and they are refusing to join the Israeli army. They’re in jail, holding strong against immense pressure from family, friends and the Israeli government. They need our support and they need it today.

In her own words:

Send a letter to the
Israeli Minister of Defense.

I am Omer Goldman.
I am one of the Shministim.
I need your help.

I first went to prison on September 23 and served 35 days. I am lucky, after 2 times in jail, I got a medical discharge, but I’m the only one. By the time you read this, many of my friends will be in prison too: in for three weeks, out for one, and then back in, over and over, until they are 21. The reason? We refuse to do military service for the Israeli army because of the occupation.

I grew up with the army. My father was deputy head of Mossad and I saw my sister, who is eight years older than me, do her military service. As a young girl, I wanted to be a soldier. The military was such a part of my life that I never even questioned it.

Earlier this year, I went to a peace demonstration in Palestine. I had always been told that the Israeli army was there to defend me, but during that demonstration Israeli soldiers opened fire on me and my friends with rubber bullets and tear-gas grenades. I was shocked and scared. I saw the truth. I saw the reality. I saw for the first time that the most dangerous thing in Palestine is the Israeli soldiers, the very people who are supposed to be on my side.

When I came back to Israel, I knew I had changed. And so, I have joined with a number of other young people who are refusing to serve – they call us the Shministim. On December 18th, we are holding a Day of Action in Israel, and we are determined to show Israelis and the world that there is wide support for stopping a culture of war. Will you join us? Please, just sign a letter. That’s all it takes.

So, there you go. Omer Goldman. Now that you’ve met her, I’ll bet you won’t forget her. Better yet, damn it, do something for her, for the Shministim, for peace. Jewish Voice for Peace is the U.S. group heading things up for them. Here’s the link.

One more thing – I know that this can be a tough subject for many of us Jews. But, I find it hard to believe than anyone can look Omer in the eye and tell her that she has to risk her life and her future for Israel whether she wants to or not. It’s just not right. Especially during this time of year, when many of us are getting ready to celebrate a holiday about freedom- well, take a good long look at that photo. You’re celebrating her.

Thanks for reading and send your letter here.

Ed Asner