October Actions Against the Longest War in U.S. History

By Debra Sweet 

Events took place around the country last week supporting Bradley Manning. We were pleased to have Ethan McCord join us by phone in New York, to talk about why and how soldiers lose their minds and their humanity in the occupations. 
 
Marjorie Cohn writes  that Bradley Manning is a hero, and details how the actions taken by the US Army in the Collateral Murder film he is charged with leaking violate international law: "The charges against Manning end with the language, "such conduct being prejudicial to good order and discipline in the armed forces and being of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces." On the contrary, if Manning did what he is suspected of doing, he should be honored as an American hero for exposing war crimes and hopefully, ultimately, helping to end this war."
 
Ralph Lopez comments on the responsibility of armies to humanely treated the wounded. He quotes from an email Brad is alleged to have written to the person who reported him to Army authorities:

"Humane treatment of the wounded is one of the oldest laws of war. It is not the first attack which caught Bradley's attention, but the second, on the van. Manning's email to Lemo said:
'At first glance it was just a bunch of guys getting shot up by a helicopter...No big deal … about two dozen more where that came from, right? But something struck me as odd with the van thing, and also the fact it was being stored in a JAG officer's directory. So I looked into it.' ... Reporting war crimes transcends all other duties. As for the chain of command, he [Manning] had tried that before, and he saw how far that got." (Wired article)

Courage to Resist Update on Brad's 118 days in prison. More at Bradley Manning Support Network

September Already the Bloodiest Month for US in Afghanistan -- And What About for the Afghans? 

Gareth Porter looks at the intense struggle in at the top of the government over what to do on Afghanistan with Obama hoping the new Petraeus strategy will succeed by July, and Petraeus unwilling to commit to a date for removing troops.  No credible source thinks the U.S. will succeed.  The occupation -- two weeks shy of nine years long -- is not going to be ended without a political fight from us. Porter:

"In interviews in recent weeks, Gen. David Petraeus has been taking a line on what will happen in mid-2011 that challenges President Barack Obama's intention to begin a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by that date. This new Petraeus line is the culmination of a brazen bait-and-switch maneuver on the war by the most powerful military commander in modern US history.  It represents a new stage in the process by which Petraeus, abetted by his allies in the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen, has appropriated much of the power over decisions on war policy that rightly belongs to the commander-in-chief." (read more)

October Rallies in Washington DC: Calm Down & Accept the War/s!

Last month, Glenn Beck brought a lot of Tea Partiers and "right nation" supporters out on the mall in an alarming show of Christian patriotism and racism.  Two different kinds of rallies are planned next month in DC, obviously responding to the challenge from the right, and neither up to the challenge.

The One Nation Working Together rally on Saturday October 2 says it is out to "put America back to work, pull America back together, and keep us moving ever forward."  It will be, as Glen Ford charges, a "pep rally" for the Demoratic Party, put on by some unions, and the NAACP, demanding "the changes we voted for": jobs, education, and a vague call for social justice.  In deference to the Democrats, the "w" word is not mentioned.  You thought I meant "W" as in Bush?  He probably will be mentioned.  But "war" is never mentioned on their website as a problem we might march against.  Nor is the danger of the racist, right wing movement which has directly and repeatedly attacked the NAACP.
 
Jon Stewart announced Thursday a "March to Restore Sanity" to Washington on October 30.  The Times media blog wrote,

"The purpose, he said, is to counter what he called a minority of 15 percent or 20 percent of the country that has dominated the national political discussion with extreme rhetoric. He tarred both parties with that charge, mentioning both the attacks on the right against President Obama for being everything from a socialist to un-American and on the left against former President Bush for being a war criminal.

Ouch.  World Can't Wait will have more to say about who's insane, and I welcome This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. !  In the meantime, Emma Kaplan writes a Dear Jon letter, in which she captures what Stewart is up to:

"We need to find something in between committing war crimes and not committing war crimes. Which is why I really like your approach of having war crimes committed but pretending that they aren't war crimes."

If you want to attend either of these rallies with World Can't Wait, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. !

Support Gregory Koger's Appeal and Reinstatement of Bond

Gregory Koger's appeal and bond hearing is scheduled for this Wednesday, Sept. 22 in Skokie, IL. He is still being held at Cook County Jail after being unjustly sentenced to 300 days for videotaping last November. A big message must be sent by packing the hearing with support for Gregory, and by spreading this NEW petition. Read: Judge Slams Videographer With 300 Days in Jail 

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

1. Sign the petition demanding Gregory be immediately released from jail.
 
2. Donate generously to publish this petition and for the legal appeal (information on the defense committee website, www.dropthecharges.net)

3. Send letters of support to Gregory (information on the defense committee website, www.dropthecharges.net)

4. Come to the appeal hearing on Wed., Sept. 22, 9:30 a.m., Cook County Courthouse, 5600 W. Old Orchard Rd., Skokie, IL.

If you are on Facebook, find "Free Gregory Koger!" and build opposition to this highly political prosecution there as well.

The petition has been signed by:

August Berkshire, President of the Minnesota Atheists*
Father Bob Bossie, SCJ
Pat Hill, Exec. Director, African-American Police League*
Prof. Theodore Jennings, Chicago Theological Seminary*
H. Candace Gorman, Attorney for Guantanamo detainees
Cynthia McKinney
Michael Radzilowsky, Attorney

Main Calls to Action October Actions Against the Longest War in U.S. History

About

World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.