by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J S Davies
On June 1, President Trump threatened to deploy active-duty U.S. military forces against peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters in cities across America. Trump and state governors eventually deployed at least 17,000 National Guard troops across the country. In the nation’s capital, Trump deployed nine Blackhawk assault helicopters, thousands of National Guard troops from six states and at least 1,600 Military Police and active-duty combat troops from the 82nd Airborne Division, with written orders to pack bayonets.
After a week of conflicting orders during which Trump demanded 10,000 troops in the capital, the active-duty troops were finally ordered back to their bases in North Carolina and New York on June 5th, as the peaceful nature of the protests made the use of military force very obviously redundant, dangerous and irresponsible. But Americans were left shell-shocked by the heavily armed troops, the tear gas, the rubber bullets and the tanks that turned U.S. streets into war zones. They were also shocked to realize how easy it was for President Trump, single-handedly, to muster such a chilling array of force.
This week, the official death toll in Iran from the coronavirus pandemic surged to 1,433 deaths and nearly 20,000 infected, with tens of thousands of confirmed cases. On top of this, researchers say that Iran’s infections will not peak until late May, at which time as many as 3.5 million Iranian lives may be lost.
China and Britain are pressing the U.S. to lift its crippling sanctions on Iran amid the coronavirus crisis. But last week, rather than coming together as a world community, the Trump administration imposed even more sanctions on Iran. “Our [new] sanctions will deprive the regime of critical income from its petrochemical industry and further Iran’s economic and diplomatic isolation,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo bragged, despite the fact that the sanctions are preventing diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of COVID-19. This is evil. This is inhumane. This is murder.
Congress and the international community need to step in immediately! Send a message now to your Senators and Representative in Congress calling on them to introduce legislation to lift the sanctions. After you send that message, you will be automatically directed to the petition asking the World Health Organization and U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres to issue statements calling on the U.S. to lift the sanctions.
CODEPINK is organizing, co-sponsoring and traveling to Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Colombia, and Honduras this spring-summer. Join us as we engage in peace diplomacy from below to learn firsthand how U.S. foreign policy harms the most vulnerable. If you’ve ever wanted to talk to people abroad who are directly affected by U.S. foreign policy, this is your chance!
It’s hard to truly understand a country and its people without visiting. While being a tourist is great and enriching, taking it to the next level and joining a citizen diplomacy peace delegation is rewarding and helps impact policy here at home. Upon returning home, peace delegates can meet with their representatives in Congress to speak about what they saw. They can write articles about their experiences and talk to folks in their own communities so that those who couldn’t join can have a source of information that isn’t the mainstream media.
Please sign and share this letter thanking Representative Ilhan Omar for her leadership to transform US foreign policy and put us on the Path to PEACE!
Dear Representative Omar,
We, the undersigned, wholeheartedly endorse your Path to PEACE, a foreign policy legislative package based on a vision that centers human rights, justice and peace as the basis of U.S. involvement with the world. PEACE, or Progressive, Equitable and Constructive Engagement, fundamentally challenges our militaristic foreign policy and offers an inspiring message for what we want U.S. interaction with the world to look like.
For too long, our government has waged war and imposed sanctions in our names, claiming that it will make us and the world safer. As we get closer to the 17th anniversary of the Iraq war, we are making it clear that we know this is just empty rhetoric. Military threats, drone strikes, bombings, troop deployments, assassinations and sanctions that impede access to food and medicine don’t make us safer, they make us less safe by causing or intensifying conflicts, spurring mass migration, contributing to climate catastrophe and making the world more chaotic and dangerous. We say no more and are now walking the path to peace.
Photo by Helen Jaccard
By Ann Wright and Helen Jaccard
Sixty-one years ago in 1958 the Golden Rule and her intrepid crew sailed from Los Angeles to stop U.S. atmospheric nuclear weapons from being exploded in the Marshall Islands. Under orders from the U.S. government, the Coast Guard stopped the boat in Honolulu and arrested the captain and crew, who spent 60 days in jail.
Now, 61 years later in 2020, the Golden Rule, is back in Hawaii and is ready to sail to the Marshall Islands and beyond on her continuing mission to prevent a nuclear war. With Veterans for Peace as her sponsor, the Golden Rule and crew are planning to leave Hawai’i in late-February and sail to the Marshall Islands and then on to Hiroshima, Japan for the 75th commemoration of the horrific U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.