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the peace Letter

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Washington peace center
Vol. 48 No. 1

y! da

Spring 2011

Founded in 1963

20 years oF tHe u.s. in iraq
tHe peace movement:
reFLecting on 20 years
by Lisa Fithian
The recent murder of Osama Bin Laden has renewed a call for the U.S. to withdraw from Afghanistan. This feels especially poignant as I am in New York City working two blocks from the World Trade Center site. I am working on a significant mobilization on Wall Street against the Big Banks and Millionaires who are stealing our wealth and wreaking havoc in communities across the country. Looking back over twenty years and numerous wars, this moment feels the most hopeful. War is finally emerging as an economic justice issue. My relationship with the peace movement began in 1983, when I learned about the struggles for justice in Central America, the destructiveness of U.S. foreign policy, and the power of nonviolent direct action to change the course of history. The Pledge of Resistance was a dynamic national campaign that used the threat of mass noncooperation and civil disobedience to interrupt business as usual if the United States invaded Nicaragua. Over an eight year period, 100,000 people signed the Pledge, and thousands of us were arrested in creative and coordinated action across the country calling for justice. The U.S. never did invade. In 1987, I joined the Washington Peace Center, and we began an anti-racist process that looked at the oppression and violence at home and began a transformation within our leadership, program and base. We not only worked for peace in Palestine and ending the 1990 Iraq war, but for obtaining healthcare for children in need, supporting women in their fight to end domestic violence, and calling for gay rights. In 1987, a big coalition with some labor participation organized a three day national mobilization for Peace and Justice in Central America and South Africa culminating with a direct action that shut down every entrance to the CIA headquarters in Langley, VA, with 600 people arrested. The unions who participated were terrified but thrilled with our success. Fast forward to 1999, a moment when a convergence of movements successfully closed down the World Trade Organization. The WTO Protests in Seattle earned the direct action movement a lot of respect, and diverse forces including labor began to build new relationships rooted in solidarity agreements. It was an exciting time, until September 11th, 2001 when the budding global justice movement was derailed and the peace movement ascended. Our movement for global justice, using creative direct action focused on the destructiveness of capitalism, was replaced by a movement using mass mobilizations and legislative work focused on militarism and foreign policy. We have now gone through ten more years of war, thousands dead and a country in ruins, despite the historic protest called by United for Peace and Justice on February 15, 2003,

voices From iraq:
end tHe occupation noW!
Baghdad did not fall in three weeks, as the U.S. public was made to believe. Baghdad fell after 13 years of wars, air strikes, and economic sanctions. While we think of March 19, 2003 as the day that marks the beginning of the Iraq war, Iraqis believe the war began in January of 1991 – and never stopped. In Iraq during the 1990s, I remember my father coming home some nights with a black plastic bag, acting suspicious, because he brought us “illegal items.” These items varied, but they included some Iraqi sweets, homemade Coca-Cola, and sometimes white bread - items that were outlawed under the ruthless economic sanctions of the 1990s. A strict rationing system was required to ensure there was enough sugar and flour for everyone. Another consequence of the sanctions was the collapsing infra-

Image by Mahalia Dailey

by Raed Jarrar

continued on page 2

continued on page 11

voices From tHe past

timeLine: 20 years in iraq

paradigm sHiFt!

page 2

page 6

page 8

page 2


our mission
The Washington Peace Center provides education, resources and action for those working for positive social change and a world free from oppression. We strengthen the impact of the peace and justice movements by

Letter From the director:
I was in middle school when we started bombing Iraq on Jan 15, 1991. I clearly remember how upset my parents were, but I didn’t really feel the impact directly in my life. Twenty years later, we look back and can see the devastating impact of U.S. bombs and U.S. sanctions on a generation of Iraqis my age. Although we in the U.S. peace movement mark March 19, 2003 as the date of this invasion of Iraq – my generation’s war – for the Iraqis, this has been an ongoing, 20-year struggle to survive. The news of Osama bin Laden’s death hit just as we went to print – the supposed excuse for our initial invasion of Iraq. Our President said justice had been served and some people celebrated in the street, while others were shocked at their levity in the face of death. We at the Peace Center know that violence can never bring lasting peace and justice. `Sometimes looking back over the past two decades can be depressing because so much of our struggle seems unresolved or unchanged, but I take heart from the legacy of activism and organizing we see. As MLK Jr. said, it’s a “long, bitter but beautiful struggle for a new world.” In this issue, you’ll hear from activists old and young about the past 20 years, and, most importantly, their strategies and ideas for a future that is more just and peaceful. The Peace Center is approaching our 50th birthday, and we’re both looking back on our history and thinking strategically about how to build our movement for the next 50 years. We know change comes slowly, and we know we’re in this beautiful struggle for years to come. And we know it’s the right thing to do. If you agree, please use the slip on page 11 to donate to the Peace Center and keep us going for the next half century. Thank you for all your support and incredible work over the years. Together, we are building a movement and making a difference!

(1) fostering greater collaboration among activist groups

(2) bridging the gap between global, national  & local issues and communities, and (3) providing the material support to achieve these goals.

WPC Staff and volunteers attend the Iraq Anniversary rally in D.C. on March 19, 2011

Based in Washington, D.C., we have been working to achieve peace and social justice since 1963. We envision a world based on respect for people and the planet that is achieved through nonviolence, peace and social justice.

voiceS froM the paSt!
What the Peace Center was saying in the 1990s…
“The devastating economic impact of military spending and the resulting lack of resources available to be allocated to social needs have fueled domestic emergencies in the areas of education, healthcare, environment, racism, housing, women’s rights, and the decay of the nation’s infrastructure.” Agee Speaks Against U.S. Militarism, May 1991 Peace Letter “People of conscience must demand that all prospects for a peaceful solution be pursued before force is used.” Libya Bombing: Who Wins?, October 1991 Peace Letter “D.C. is essentially regarded as a Third World country by many politicians, and their actions toward D.C. mirror their policies toward the Third World.” D.C. Activists Organize in Response to Control Board, June 1995 Peace Letter “To transform the society, we must develop a program that moves those most exploited, whose cheap labor fuels the local economy, from the margins to the center of our struggle.We need to build a movement that is centered in the struggles of those most oppressed - women, immigrants, people of color.” Immigrant Rights Under Attack: Latino Community Works for D.C., December 1995 Peace Letter

tHe peace Letter
The Washington Peace Letter is published biannually to support local, national and international struggles against oppression. It seeks to present analysis of current events, covering information not available in the corporate media. Peace Letter items are copyright-free and may be reproduced. Please give us credit and send us a copy if you do use the Peace Letter!

Submissions: The Peace Letter welcomes

submissions of articles, announcements, letters to the editor and artwork from the progressive community. Contact us at peaceletter@washingtonpeacecenter.org

Coordinating Board Members: Pedro Cruz,
Robby Diesu, Bette Hoover, Julian Forth, Lacy MacAuley, Paul Magno, David Thurston & Jane Zara

In Peace, Sonia Silbert Director
editor: hierald e. kane-oSorto layoUt and illUStration: JaSon trader tiMeline by daniel and kriStin Steiniger peace organiZing intern: Sarah dobSon & ben king

Staff: Sonia Silber, Director & Hierald E.
Kane-Osorto, Organizing Fellow

Washington peace center 1525 newton st nW Washington, d.c. 20010 phone: (202) 234-2000
info@washingtonpeacecenter.org www.washingtonpeacecenter.org

History in motion
iraq one year Later:
sanctions continue War
By Marie Martineau, Human Rights Activist


20 Years in Iraq cont'd page 1
structure of Iraqi cities. Our schools were falling apart without windows to replace the broken ones, or desks to accommodate new students. The first bombs that were dropped on Baghdad in March 2003 woke me up. I knew it was the last straw - Baghdad would fall in the next few weeks. Baghdad fell under the U.S.-led military occupation on April 9, a date that is commemorated with an annual protest by hundreds of thousands of Iraqis demanding a complete withdrawal of the U.S. armed forces. This year, protests in Iraq were more intense since the Iraqi public wants and expects the U.S. to withdraw before the end of the year, in accordance with the bilateral security agreement that was signed in 2008. The agreement included a clear plan with two deadlines for a complete U.S. military departure. The first required all U.S. combat forces to withdraw from Iraqi cities, towns, and villages by June 30, 2009. The second deadline, which Iraqis are watching very closely, requires the complete withdrawal of all U.S. troops (combat and non-combat) and shutdown of all U.S. military bases before December 31, 2011.For Iraqis, a recent visit by Secretary Gates and other top military officials to Iraq was seen as an attempt to delay or cancel the December 31 deadline. This sparked massive demonstrations, including threats to resort to violence if the U.S. stayed longer. Muqtada Al-Sadr, the prominent nationalist Shia cleric, encouraged his followers to take up armed resistance if U.S. forces stayed after the end of the year. Harith Ad-Dhari, from the nationalist Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars, demanded that the U.S. stick to the current deadline for withdrawal. The U.S. military occupation has been causing death and destruction, destabilizing Iraq, and delegitimizing its government. Extending the occupation will discredit President Obama after his repeated promises to abide by the deadline, and will destroy what is left of Obama's political capital in the Arab and Muslim worlds. Repairing the damage done to the U.S.-Iraq relationship will take a lot of work. Iraq set an example for the U.S. to follow in its actions following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990 – paying compensation to Kuwait and its citizens, through a United Nations program, without restrictions or interfering in the country’s domestic issues. The United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) is still working to compensate Kuwait for the crimes committed against them during the Iraqi invasion and military occupation. More information on the commission's work can be found at www.UNCC.ch. In addition, citizens from the U.S. and Iraq should engage in a serious dialogue to discuss the damage that has been done to American-Iraqi relations, and should determine ways to work on bilateral reconciliation. As an Iraqi-American, I know that people from both sides want to rebuild the bridges that were burned in the last two decades, and I know that we can do it with the efforts of ordinary Iraqis and Americans. Once we manage to end the military occupation, I am full of hope and faith that the next two decades will be a time of peace and reconciliation between the two countries. Raed Jarrar is an Iraqi-American blogger and political advocate based in Washington, D.C.

This article is adapted from a piece published in the January 1992 issue of the Washington Peace Letter.
One year ago this month, the United States was in the midst of carrying out the most intense bombing campaign in history against the people of Iraq. Yet when the war was over, the economic sanctions, put in place by the United Nations to drive Iraq out of Kuwait, were not lifted. One year later, under pressure from the United States, the sanctions continue to be enforced and are wreaking havoc on the Iraqi people. Food and medicine were specifically exempted from the sanctions, yet no food or medicine actually reached Iraq during the six months prior to the beginning of the conflict. At the close of the war, U.N. Undersecretary General Martti Ahtisaari reported that supplies in the food rationing system of Iraq had fallen to 39% of their pre-sanctions level. Food prices on the open market had skyrocketed 1,000%. The U.N Secretary General’s Mission to Iraq under Saddrudin Aga Khan, along with experts from all relevant U.N. agencies, conducted an on-site study of Iraq’s food and health needs, and prepared recommendations for the U.N. Secretary General. Their recommendations were ignored by the Security Council in favor of a plan which fell $800 million short of Iraq’s established needs and gave aid under terms by which Iraq lost control of its oil revenues.

In any food crisis, the greatest number of victims is small children. By August 1991, the International Study Team found that 900,000 children in Iraq were malnourished. An estimated 170,000 children would die before May 1992. By August 1991, the International Study Team found that 900,000 children in Iraq were malnourished. The allied bombing destroyed the water and sanction system of Iraq, and water-borne diseases reached epidemic proportions. The humanitarian assistance under the oil sale proposed by the Security Council in August 1991 provided no funding to restore the agricultural production of Iraq, nor the water and sanitation sectors. Bush’s constant attacks upon Saddam Hussein during the war brought the nation to near hysteria. America was led to believe that if Saddam Hussein were gotten rid of, all would be well. With three unfriendly ascendant nuclear powers on it's borders, Iraq would probably continue its quest for nuclear weapons no matter who was in power. It would appear that unless the U.S. intends to disarm one nation after another by the gruesome method used on Iraq, stable disarmament can only be achieved through comprehensive regional cooperation. Without security guarantees such as were given after World War 2 to a demilitarized Germany and Japan, it is hard to see how any nation in the Middle East would willingly disarm for long.

The question now before the American people is:
are we going to allow Iraq’s children to be fed or continue to use them as pawns to bring about the overthrow of a government?

the U.S. Military Spent
year 1991 $483.2 year 2003


billion dollarS!

year 2010

To read about the three steps to support full withdrawal from Iraq, see page 10.


veterans reFLect
Interview by Laura Russello
of family and camaraderie among military members, telling them the people they’re fighting will come take away their way of life. This creates a sense of one’s family being in danger, and this will make people fight in order to protect it. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is another example of why violence is not inherent in humans. If war is natural, why would people develop PTSD?

conversation WitH pauL cHappeLL
Based on their direct experiences with war, many military members have formed groups to raise their voices in opposition to the ongoing occupation of Iraq. Geoffrey Millard, an Iraq war veteran, puts it eloquently: “Today's resisters take steps on a spectrum of resistance that is largely possible because of the existence of an organization called Iraq Veterans Against the War.” In addition, the peace movement still has a long way to go in terms of gaining political influence. I sat down for an in-depth discussion about these issues with Paul Chappell, an Iraq war veteran who is now the Peace Leadership Director for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. Please visit his website at www.Paulkchappell.com.

Laura Russello: What role do you see veterans playing in the peace movement today? Paul Chappell: Since 9/11 there has been a great deal of campaigning in the media,
and by citizen groups, to promote veterans as highly respected heroes. Because of this widespread promotion, veterans are in a great position to speak out about issues of war. Veterans also have first-hand experience and carry a high degree of credibility when speaking about the atrocities of war.

Laura Russello: How would you compare the war resistance movement over the last 20
The overall political situation has changed and the peace movement is not addressing the appropriate issues. The biggest shift since the Vietnam era is the privatization of the military. Private contractors are making massive profits off the current wars in

Paul Chappell: I think the present day war resistance movement has not really adapted.

years with that of the Vietnam era?

Iraq and Afghanistan, which marks a shift in how war is conducted in general. I see the peace movement stuck focusing primarily on counter-recruitment, which is a mistake because of this shift toward privatization.

The fundamental myth that keeps the war system going is the idea that war, and having a huge military budget, is keeping us safe. If you believe this, then you will logically assume you are safer when more money is spent on war. The peace movement needs to show people that war is not making them safer.

the movement. We have to change people’s thinking through dialogue. I’ve met many peace activists who cannot talk to someone they disagree with without getting angry.

targets of the opposition, which are the underlying myths I mentioned earlier surrounding the war system. We need to pay attention to how we present ourselves - which includes our dress, our messaging and our consistency in messaging. We need training for young people in

Laura Russello: What are some next steps the peace movement can take? Paul Chappell: We need a better strategy. In my opinion this means going after the weakest

Laura Russello: That makes sense to me. How do you propose we make this case to Paul Chappel: The evidence that war is not keeping us safe is overwhelming. There are
the general public? numerous studies showing that war increases terrorism. On top of that, we need to educate people about how the economy will continue to suffer if we keep putting huge amounts of money into the military. Another assertion I’ve heard is that human beings are naturally violent, which is easy to refute. The greatest problem with every army in world history has been how to get soldiers not to run away from combat. To deal with this, the army creates a sense

tricks, propaganda or deception.

movements did. We know war doesn’t make us safe and that there are better ways to resolve conflict. We’re on the right side of history and because of this we don’t have to use

Laura Russello: What do you see as the greatest strength of the peace movement? Paul Chappell: We have the truth on our side, just as the civil rights and women’s sufferage

Laura Russello is the former Executive Director of Michigan Peaceworks. She is a writer and editor for her community-based blog, Calescent Paradigm: Igniting Social Change Through Thought, Action and Art (http://lauramrussello.wordpress. com) and also volunteers with the Washington Peace Center.

Soldiers forced to leave the army solely because of a mental disorder:
increase in the number of soldiers forced to leave the Army solely because of a mental disorder from 2005 to 2009. Mental disorders account for one in nine medical discharges, according to Army statistics.



The Dept. of Veterans affairs states that pTSD occurs in:

committed by members of the armed forces between 2005 and 2009. This is more than the number of soldiers killed in occupation of Afghanistan.


PTSD occurs in 11-20% of Veterans that served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom

Sources: “US Wars and Post Traumatic Stress Disorders,”
Marine Corps News Room and “Trauma and PTSD,” US Department for Veterans Affairs.

of Vietnam Veterans

10% 30%

(post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

of Desert storm Veterans

resisters reFLect
ann WrigHt reFLects on WHistLeBLoWers
"I have served my country for almost thirty years ... I want to continue to serve America. However, I do not believe in the policies of this Administration and cannot – morally and professionally – defend or implement them. It is with a heavy heart that I must end my service to America and therefore resign."
  In March 2003, retired Army Colonel and former U.S. Diplomat Ann Wright resigned in response to the U.S. decision to invade and occupy Iraq. While Ann Wright does not consider herself a whistleblower, she has highlighted and publicized whistleblowers, particularly government insiders who spoke out against the Iraq War, in her book “Dissent, Voices of Conscience.” She continues to honor them through sharing an abbreviated history of whistleblowers, their role in shaping peace movements, and her vision of their role, and ours, in the future.    Ann began her discussion with Daniel Ellsberg’s 1971 publication of top secret U.S. government documents regarding the Vietnam War. The study revealed the government had information early on that the war was not likely to be won, would result in far greater causalities than was publicly admitted, and that the government was lying to the American public about secret bombing campaigns in Laos and Cambodia. For his bravery in copying the study and getting it published in major newspapers in the U.S., Ellsberg faced threats of physical harm and charges under the Espionage Act, carrying a maximum sentence of 115 years. However, the Nixon administration gathered evidence against Ellsberg illegally, so the charges were dismissed.  In the last decade, people have continued in Ellsberg’s groundbreaking footsteps by speaking out for human rights and constitutional principles. After the September 11, 2001 tragedy, two women held the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) accountable for mishandling critical information. FBI agent Coleen Rowley wrote a memo to FBI Director Robert Mueller and testified before the Senate for 9/11 Commission regarding the FBI’s negligence, while a contract FBI employee, Sibel Edmonds, provided evidence of a cover-up involving a U.S. government official’s payoff from another government. In 2004, U.S. Army Specialist Joe Darby provided photographic evidence to the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command that displayed soldiers mistreating and torturing prisoners in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison in violation of the Geneva Conventions. After being assured anonymity, he was publicly exposed by Donald Rumsfeld, which forced him into military protective custody and later into the Federal witness protection program. Last year, U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning allegedly disclosed over 250,000 confidential U.S. diplomatic cables regarding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the website WikiLeaks. He spent ten months in pre-trial “maximum custody” solitary confinement at Quantico Marine Base where Daniel Ellsberg and Ann Wright were arrested on March 20, 2011 at a rally protesting the inhumane conditions of his detention. He was recently transferred to a medium-security facility.


Compiled from an interview by Sarah Dobson
Whistleblowers demonstrate there are people within the government who will not let government officials get away with violating our laws. They are voices of conscience willing to challenge authority, even at great personal expense, by exposing lies, corruption, criminal actions and immoral policies. Whistleblowers encourage others to be skeptical and critical of half truths delivered to the public. Although they may be terminated, prosecuted and threatened for their dissent, whistleblowers are true patriots who hold our nation to a higher standard of democracy and morality.

wright provideS three StepS for SUpporting whiStleblowerS:
1.  Protect whistleblowers! Federal and state regulations have been enacted to protect whistleblowers, yet these regulations are being ignored. We must pressure Congress to pass laws which truly protect those who speak up and expose wrongdoing of government officials. 2.  Support whistleblowers! If/when whistleblowers are alienated by their communities and demonized by the government, we must welcome them into our community and offer our help and appreciation. 3.  Prosecute wrongdoers! We cannot let the sacrifices of whistleblowers be made in vain. We must hold our elected officials accountable and prosecute them for their violations of U.S. law.

recent hiStory of g.i. reSiStance
firSt gUlf war
Jeff Patterson became the first active-duty military resister in the U.S. led attack on
Iraq and founded Courage to Resist which supports war resisters and assists them in building a public defense.

Second gUlf war

Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) was created in 2004 by the next generation
of resisters, it serves as a community for veteran and GI resisters and trains leaders within the resistance movement. Important resisters include:

• •

Garrett Repenhagan created a blog Fight to Survive (FTS), a space for current soldiers to express frustration and anger, building an environment of resistance. Camilo Mejia was the first soldier to refuse redeployment. He was then jailed for a year, and since his release has traveled to tell his story.

By Geoff Millard, a war resister himself, who was the founder of the IVAW-DC Chapter, a former Chair of the Board of IVAW, and a current member of WPC’s Advisory Council.

“Eight years ago today I was actually in an organizational meeting, planning an anti-war demonstration against the invasion of Iraq. And it was a Wednesday, I remember distinctly. One of our members walked in crying and said we are now bombing Baghdad, and we all broke down. I’m still breaking down. Some of us were already a year into organizing against going into Iraq.”


2003 1991

The U.S. responds with 5 weeks of bombing followed by a ground offensive U.S. Sanctions of Iraq begin




– WARD REILLY Vietnam Veteran and member of Veterans for Peace




“That was the first time in my life that I became politically active… I was teaching law at Tulane and David Duke, a leader of the Ku Klux Klan, was running for governor of Louisiana—ahead in the polls. My daughter was about six months old, and I thought, ‘I cannot raise a child in a place where they’re electing a Nazi KKK leader governor. I have to be able to tell her that I did something.’”

– TERRY O’NEIL President of NOW

“I was Coordinator of the Peace Center and we were organizing response plans for when the war began… But I had a trip planned to South America, so I go, and then we hear that the bombs dropped. It began a 36 hour journey back… We had just enough change to get to the airport and they put us on a free flight to Miami. I walked up to the White House protests with my bags in hand.”


Demonstrations across the U.S. protesting buildup to the war against Iraq; polls show most Americans support nonviolent resolution of the conflict

U.S. and U.K. launch bombing campaign to destroy Iraq’s weapons programs

120,000 Iraqi troops invade Kuwait, accusing them of flooding world oil markets

U.S. uses 320 tons of depleted uranium in munitions, causing serious long-term health problems for veterans and civilians

U.S. officials, John Barack Obama is CIA reports that Tyler Drumheller, Brady, Kiesling, elected President Iraq does not former CIA official, John H. Brown, and as an anti-war possess WMD reveals evidence that Ann Wright, resign candidate and has not Bush was informed and 36 million begun to before the war that Iraq people in over 60 Jubilation as U.S. produce did not possess WMDs countries rally to combat troops them protest the war Tens of thousands of Iraqis withdraw from Terrorists hijack cities U.S. loses track of gather to protest U.S. planes and crash into nearly $8.8 billion presence in Iraq on the fourth the Twin Towers Saddam Hussein U.S. Embassy in of the Development anniversary of the fall of killing 2,973 people. is captured Iraq is largest in Fund for Iraq Baghdad The U.S. responds by the world, staff will launching a war in double by 2012 Afghanistan to dismantle Al-Qaeda








Iraq Veterans UN establishes Saddam is Bradley Manning Torture at Bush launches the oil-for-food prosentenced to death allegedly leaks Abu Ghraib is Against the War invasion of Iraq (IVAW) is formed gram; allows Iraq Iraq refuses and executed by confidential cables revealed to help antiwar to temporarily hanging to Wikileaks to allow any Bush claims we found soldiers network sell oil to meet documenting U.S. further WMD in Iraq and The Washington Post and benefit from 250,000 people humanitarian soldiers killing of inspections announces the end reveals deplorable a community of march at the White needs Iraqis to reinstate a of major combat conditions for veterans support House to protest disarmament operations at Walter Reed’s the war program outpatient center

Casualty Totals Source: www.justforeignpolicy.org

– LISA FITHIAN Co-Convener of United for Peace and Justice


ce 2

“On March 19, 2003, my husband was in Boston with a group of people who sat down at the federal building to oppose the invasion, and were all arrested. So that evening I was getting my husband out of jail. We went home and cried a lot, we did a lot of interviews, and we decided we needed to redouble our efforts to end the war that we thought never should have started.”


*Since 200


*Since 2


– NANCY LESSON Co-Founder of Military Families Speak Out

20 Years of the U.S. in Iraq


paradigm sHiFt
BreaktHrougHs & paradigm sHiFts

The end of War:
By Barbara Wien

Resistance to war is building worldwide and may be reaching critical mass in the near future. This may seem like an insensitive or foolish claim when the U.S. is waging three bloody wars and massacring tens of thousands of people (see timeline of 20 years in Iraq, page 6-7). Yet, there is evidence. We can hasten the demise of war by spreading peace education in every possible setting, by transforming the role of soldiers and military institutions for a global environmental recovery race, and by supporting nonviolent struggles unfolding around the world for economic equality and democratic participation. In 1962, Thomas Kuhn first suggested that a set of ideas, theories or schools of thought, known as paradigms, can become dominant, self-reinforcing and self-perpetuating. In his book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn posits that paradigms are born out of a society’s structures, such as race, gender and class. These paradigms become a system of logic unto themselves, although they may be fundamentally flawed. Research stems from these paradigms and produces flawed outcomes. People and societies come to believe or depend entirely on the flawed paradigms, which serve only the interests of the ruling class.  This is true of today’s war system. But what was once enshrined and celebrated can be reconsidered. Contradictions or flaws in the theory may emerge. A group of people come along and challenge the dominant views, turning the whole notion on its head.  A revolution in thought or a paradigm shift occurs, changing forever the way we view history, societies and ourselves. This happened with the institution of slavery, and is happening at this moment with the institution of war. The Seville Statement on Human Violence, the work of hundreds of social scientists, archeologists, anthropologists, primate specialists and peace researchers, debunks the myth that the human race is hard-wired for war and violence. They posit there is stronger evidence that the human race is naturally cooperative or our species would not have survived this long, and war is a social construct which serves the interests of war profiteers. War is not fixed in nature like gravity in the cosmos. The Seville Statement challenges us to evolve to a higher stage of human development. Young people brought up to believe in the inevitability of war are much less likely to work for peace. Societies supporting war produce successive generations which unquestioningly send their youth to die. Feeding children a steady diet of media violence and glorified war further desensitizes them to human suffering, numbs their capacity for empathy, and ensures they will not challenge the use of force. But more families and educators are rejecting such brainwashing. Millions of young people are graduating from peace and conflict resolution programs rejecting racism, violence, and economic inequality. They don’t believe in war anymore. Military force is an outdated paradigm.  There may always be those who push for violent solutions out of greed or fear, but they are the minority. Most of us are tired of war draining our purses and treasuries when vast human needs remain unresolved. The world is rapidly moving beyond the old model of violence and the use of war as an instrument of foreign policy to a richer, deeper sense of human security.  We are aching for cultures of dignity and peace. 

proFessor Wien HigHLigHts tHree trends indicating a paradigm sHiFt:
1. Peace education is growing everywhere in formal and non-formal settings, in Kindergarten through 12th grades, colleges, universities, pre-schools, refugee settings, after-school programs, inner city gangs, summer campus, church and Bible study circles, labor unions and thousands of other contexts in many countries (see Global Campaign for Peace Education website www.peaceed-campaign.org). Start a Peace Education course in your local school system today and be part of the paradigm shift. 2. Resistance to military intervention among soldiers and officers is growing even inside the military academies. They have been to Iraq and Afghanistan. They know war is not making us safer and is creating even greater threats. 3. Nonviolent revolutions are increasing exponentially. Since 1974, over fifty countries have transitioned from dictatorships to democracies using Gandhi’s nonviolent principles and strategies.
Barbara Wien is a peace educator, activist, and mother who currently teaches Peace Education at American University.

$658 Million, anticipated profit for bp and cnpc froM the raMaila oil field in SoUthern iraq baSed on 20 year contract Signed in the wake of the invaSion.

exxonMobil waS the biggeSt Seller of oil to the pentagon between 1999 - 2005

Source: http://www.wri-irg.org/node/264

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/

iraq, reFLecting on peace From eL saLvador
by Rev. Marta Benavides
My heart is heavy as I write this piece reflecting on the history and struggle of the people of El Salvador in relation to the people of Iraq. We who have experienced war know that the environmental and societal destruction does not end with a ceasefire or peace treaty. Nearly 20 years after the end of armed conflict in El Salvador, we still suffer from exploitation, the negative impacts of free trade agreements, and coup d’états. Yet I know that we, like the people of Iraq, will continue to work for peace and justice. My story is about where we are in El Salvador and exploring the necessary steps needed to become a different society. In January 1992, the Peace Accords in El Salvador were signed, ending a bloody and costly civil war. They resulted in the legalization of our demands for human rights and the formation of the Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN), a political party that is in office today. Despite these encouraging negotiations, it was a long road until these promises came to fruition. For the previous 20 years, the government used fear and fraud to stay in power. There were hundreds of deaths, disappearances, imprisonments, rapes, tortures, and exiles. But through international campaigns, pressuring our legislature, and impacting U.S. policy, the people eventually saw the fruit of their labor. On March 15, 2009, the presidential elections in El Salvador arrived.   Even amid whispered fears about possible violence among followers of the opposite parties, as had happened during earlier campaigns, we had to go vote. The FMLN, forbidden during the war in the 1980s, was now the majority opposition party and finally had a chance to win and govern. This was Bishop Romero’s dream, my dad and mother’s dream, that of Schafik, of Masferrer, Roque Dalton, Prudencia Ayala, of all humble Salvadoran men, women, and children who have suffered and risked everything since 1492 to create the processes, times, and spaces to achieve peace and justice. It is on the shoulders of their history that we arrived at that day. The newly elected president and his administration were elected to work for change. There was a political shift and the dawning of a new era, but our struggle was not over. Iraq today is a symbol for all people who know the importance of freedom, justice, and peace. It is a point of departure to see the impact of policies of war and the lack of a real commitment for state policies for peace. Since Iraq, many more wars have been the reality not only for the Middle East but for all of us in the world. The way that the war in Iraq came about - justified, legitimized, and ongoing - is still the norm. What fuels such wars? How can the citizens of the countries waging these wars understand the relationship between the war and their daily living? Do they know what it takes to maintain the world as we know it today? Nearly 20 years after the Peace Accords, interventionist foreign policies continue to permeate our lives in El Salvador. We continue to suffer from terrible problems resulting from our officially dollarized economy and globalization. Simple things like tortillas and cooking gas have doubled or tripled in cost. El Salvador is presently the most violent country in the Americas, creating a lack of opportunities for young

eL SaLVador :

people and breeding even more violence. Corruption has been rampant at all levels. As we reflect on Iraq, we must provide alternatives to this framework. Withdrawal from Iraq will be a challenging situation as the U.S. leaves behind 20 years of destruction, violence, and social ills. It is my deepest wish that we move forward and create, in a conscious manner, a culture of peace. We must live the peace that dignifies difference, equality, equity, and citizen participation; the peace that governs the official governments; the peace that respects human, economic, ecological, social, and cultural rights; the peace that allows people to live in harmony with Mother Earth. It is said that when we truly - and from the deepest part of our being - long for something, the entire universe will conspire with us to reach it.  Let us conspire with the universe itself, and let us daily and everywhere be the change we want and need. Rev. Marta Benavides from El Salvador is an ordained minister, permaculturalist, educator, and artist. She founded Siglo XXIII, the 23rd Century Movement for Sustainable Peace and Justice and is one of the co-chairs of the Global Call to Action on

yoUth reflectS on fUtUre by Sarah Dobson
When the U.S. invaded Iraq in 1991, I was one and a half years old. I didn’t know much about the world, much less about U.S. foreign policy. I have grown quite a bit since that day, and now anticipate our withdrawal from Iraq as a 21 year-old graduating from college. But how have we grown as a nation? The U.S. is still an adolescent. We’re a bully. We fight to stay on top and we steal lunch money because we can. We are impulsive, aggressive, and reckless. We are an adolescent with a large arsenal of weapons and a suitcase full of cash. And we’ve been irresponsible. So do we crash and burn? Or can we get our head on straight and grow up? How can we stop the current wars and prevent future wars? 1. We must redefine security. Relinquish the idea that safety means controlling others through force and fear. Security is cooperating with others to achieve mutual survival and prosperity. Violent foreign intervention damages our security. We must educate for peace. If people don’t understand that peace is possible and in their best interest, they will not work for it. Let us teach that peace is education, health care, employment, housing, environment, security — a higher standard of living.

it'S tiMe to grow Up

2. We have to work together. Duh. The war machine is too powerful to tackle alone. We need communication and respect between local, national, and international levels for a successful peace movement. If the peace activists can’t get along, how can we expect others to? So we need stop acting out of fear and insecurity, educate ourselves, and work together. That seems achievable for mature adults. Don’t you think? Sarah Dobson interned with the Washington Peace Center and recently earned a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Maryland


WHat are We Leaving BeHind?

Contribution to global warming from fuel-intensive combat, oil well fires, gas flaring, cement consumption, and the use of explosives and chemicals

The deadline set for the withdrawal of U.S. troops is December 31st, 2011. But that will not be the end of the U.S. presence in Iraq, and it is certainly not the end of the war’s consequences. Twenty years of sanctions, bombing, and polluting in Iraq has left families shattered, infrastructure toppled, the environment ravaged, and billions of dollars squandered. This once wealthy country is now faced with reconstructing under a weak political system, a collapsed economy, and a devastated people.

what iS the U.S. leaving in iraq?

econoMic coStS •

• $3 trillion, about 60 times the Bush administration’s original estimate • $9 billion of US taxpayers' money lost and unaccounted
Increased federal debt, factor in skyrocketing oil prices

loSt and daMaged U.S. liveS •

• 4,459 US troops killed, 33,023 wounded (excludes psychological injuries) • 30% develop serious mental health problems within 3 to 4 months of
returning home. More soldiers committed suicide in 2009 and 2010 than died in combat

U.S.-backed priMe MiniSter noUri al-Maliki
• 29 protesters gunned-down by the Maliki-run security forces in Iraq in
tortUring and killing those who speak out against his rule. February 2010. Hundreds of protesters blindfolded, handcuffed, beaten and threatened with execution for being insufficiently pro-regime

loSt and daMaged iraqi liveS • At least 99,900 violent civilian deaths • Over 654,965 iraqi deaths as a consequence of the war, with estimates
• 3 million widows estimated by Iraqi government
up over 1 million

continUed U.S. preSence in iraq • •
(as of March 2010)

• 47,000 U.S. troops and 2,700 private security contractors
Largest U.S. embassy in the world with 8,000 personnel in Baghdad, with plans to double its staff by 2012 U.S. Ambassador James Jeffrey and Lieutenant General Lloyd Austin estimate that in 2012 the U.S. presence will consist of up to 20,000 civilians (Data from 2011 unless otherwise noted) Sources: Huffington Post, Telegraph.co.uk, USliberals.org

• •

Soaring rates of honor killings, rape and kidnapping forcing many women to remain at home, limiting employment and educational opportunities Surge in infant mortality rates and cancer linked to depleted uranium bombs

diSplaced iraqiS •

• 2.3 million internally displaced Iraqis (as of 2007) • 2.1 million Iraqi refugees in Syria & Jordan
Tens of thousands of women and girls forced into prostitution to survive

concrete SolUtionS for iraq poSt withdrawal! raed Jarrar offers us 3 steps we should take as we begin to withdraw from iraq:
1. end the U.S. military occupation by december 31st. Sign this petition to demand that the U.S. and Iraqi governments abide by this deadline and contact your Congressional representatives. http://www.change.org/ petitions/end-the-occupation-of-iraq-before-the-end-of-2011 2. downsize the State department's footprint in iraq. The U.S. plans leave 17,000 personnel after 2011as part of its “diplomatic mission,” yet it is another means of intervening in Iraq's domestic affairs. 3. work on a real U.S.-iraqi reconciliation. This needs to include both government-sponsored programs and citizen to citizen dialogue.

where do we go froM here?

deStroyed infraStrUctUre
• • • • •

28% children suffering from chronic malnutrition (as of 2007) 27-60% Unemployment Rate 70% iraqis without access to adequate water supplies 5.6 Average daily hours Baghdad homes have electricity (as of 2007) 37% Number of Iraqi homes connected to sewer systems

environMental degradation •

• 141 million metric tons of carbon dioxide released

(more than annual emissions of 60% of all countries) Pollution of depleted uranium, oil, gasoline, benzene

Peace Mvmt. continued from page 1
where 11 million people in almost 800 cities around the world mobilized against the U.S. invasion of Iraq. We built a majority opinion against the war and helped elect the first black President on a promise for peace, but we have seen neither peace nor justice.

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What can we learn from the past 20 years? How do we keep growing our movement for peace?
1. Build a strategic analysis of peace. Peace cannot exist without justice. Develop campaigns which connect peace to the environment, economy, housing, healthcare, prisons, immigration, women’s rights and more. War must be seen as an economic issue, and those of us with privileges must be allies and work in solidarity with communities under attack if we really hope to end war. 2. Organize Consciously! (Don’t just mobilize.) Build an organization with a clear and accountable base that empowers all. Use decentralized models like affinity groups and spokes councils that can build direct democracy and support creative and strategic direct action. We must use our power to heal and build, not oppress and destroy. 3. Build a culture that celebrates life – rooted in fairness and respect that values human connection, cooperation, authenticity, creativity, imagination, equality, and sustainability. Dump consumerism, branding, competition, profit-making and violence. I do not know if I will see an end to war in my lifetime, but I do know that it is possible to build structures and relationships that liberate, and that people working together have the power to create a peaceful and just future. Into the neighborhoods and into the streets! director sonia silbert and advisory council member nadine Bloch at one nation rally, oct. 2, 2010

The Peace Center finished 2010 on a celebratory note at our sixth annual Activist Awards Grassroots Gala, where we honored ten outstanding local activists and threw a party for the over 300 members of our progressive community that attended. This year’s lifetime achievement award went to Marcus Raskin, co-founder of the Institute for Policy Studies. In honor of the 8th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the Washington Peace Center collaborated with Military Families Speak Out and United for Peace and Justice to host an educational forum entitled "Move the War Money, Save our Communities". We heard from local organizers on the impacts of D.C. budget cuts and national organizers on the challenges of reducing the military budgets and discussed strategies for relating these struggles.

We also supported and attended many mobilizations and actions in the D.C. area, including Witness Against Torture’s Fast for Justice, a week of action organized by SOA Watch and the Latin American Solidarity Conference (LASC), the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, IMF Resistance and many events and actions attempting to rebalance the D.C. budget to save the safety net and support the needs of the people. Internally, we have embarked on a strategic planning process with the help of a wonderful volunteer consultant and we hope to have a finished document by this summer that will focus and guide our work for the coming years. Throughout it all, we’ve kept our online calendar updated with dozens of events each week and have lent our sound system, stages and bullhorns to over a dozen progressive events and actions just in the first few months of 2011.

Lisa Fithian is a community organizer, activist, and trainer and continues to work with people to access the power they need to build a more just and peaceful community and world. Lisa is also a member of WPC's Advisory Council.

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Spring 2011

Founded in 1963

the size of text based on frequency of response
• Iraq One Year Later: Sanctions Continue War • Ann Wright Refl ects on History of Whistleblowers • Timeline: 20 Years in Iraq • Iraq, Refl ecting on Peace from El Salvador • Youth Refl ects on the Future


Have a look at www.washingtonpeacecenter.org for our online calendar of DC progressive events

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