Tuesday, December 4, 2018

"Morally Indefensible War"

Let there be peace on Earth during this "season of peace" many of us pray. Unless you're the United States of America, that is. Then by all means unilaterally drop out of the INF Treaty and continue bombing innocent civilians in foreign lands, because that's how you spread freedom and democracy around the world, right? Even if we've forgotten how to show compassion to our fellow human beings, deep down we know there is another way... a better way. There are others who are willing to lead humanity on the road toward a lasting peace and justice for all. You might be one of them.
"Morally Indefensible War"  
by C. A. Matthews 

Dear Readers--

We thank you for being here today. It's hard to know how many of you actually will read this message, as Google--along with Facebook, Twitter, and a few other social media platforms--has been actively blocking access to The Revolution Continues webpage since the week before election day. Obviously, we touched a raw nerve with the corrupt establishment somewhere along the line. 

Up until the recent election, every indicator showed that our reach was growing, and more and more new readers were accessing the blog. Today we can't tell whether or not if the counters have been interfered to make us believe we were losing readership, or somehow we've lost thousands of readers just like that. (If you're a computer guru and want to help us determine what's up and how to stop it, please email us at thebernieblog2016@gmail.com Thanks!) It does seem a bit strange to lose 90% of our average weekly page hits overnight right before the mid-term elections. We have to assume there's been some kind of foul play.

Much love and thanks go out to our regular blog readers and to my fellow progressive bloggers, You Tubers and activist acquaintances worldwide. Even if it's just you guys who can reach this blog site, it's still worth doing. We all knew we were in it for the long haul, and it wasn't going to be easy. Power to the people--especially on those days when we wonder if it's worth all this stress! (Follow the Six Progressive Self-Affirmations in the meme and you'll feel better.)

When Barb McMillen and I started this blog back in 2015, we agreed we wouldn't give up on the blog until Senator Bernie Sanders was elected president. That didn't happen, and it nearly broke Barb's heart. (It didn't do  much for mine, either.) Barb was a Bernie delegate to the DNC convention in Philadelphia and a life-long Democrat. She took the primary rigging and the outrageous actions against Bernie supporters at the convention by the corporate Dems hard. It didn't do her fragile health any good.
RIP dear Barb
As a life-long independent, I backed Bernie's campaign because he was an independent thinker--a democratic socialist, no less--and stood up for what was right often in the midst of ridicule and derision from the status quo. (Who can forget his speech against the invasion of Iraq to a nearly empty House chamber?) While it hurt to see Bernie standing on a campaign stage trying to whip up support for corporatist candidate Hillary Clinton, I didn't dwell on the pain. I moved on and returned to my eco-socialist roots, as did many other Bernie supporters as witnessed by the increasing numbers of "Dem Exiters" and new Green Party members since 2016.

Times change and we have to be willing to take different paths in order to build that "future to believe in" that Bernie talked about. I don't necessarily believe that all of Bernie's tactics have been the right path to take for the good of our country and our world, but most of the time they have been sound and reasonable ones. You generally know where you stand with a guy like Bernie Sanders who speaks his mind and wears his heart on his sleeve. He didn't (and still doesn't) sully his integrity by taking money from corporate lobbyists. It's what attracted so many people to him to begin with during the 2016 primary season.  It attracted about 30,000+ in one arena where we heard him speak alone! And he did this day after day, week after week, and all the while the mainstream media ignored him at the behest of the corrupt establishment duopoly and their Wall Street bankster buddies.

There's no denying that it takes strength, courage and determination to do what Bernie did in 2016. It takes a person with clear vision and faith in his own sense of agency to accomplish his goals. That is what I will always respect about Bernie Sanders, even if I don't always agree with his current choice of political bedfellows.

So, when Bernie recently stood up in the Senate and introduced a bill to end the War in Yemen (and yes, it is a war--an undeclared one), I felt proud to have said I'd canvassed for him. He has kept his promise and fought for his goal to put an end to the endless wars for oil and to shut down the military-industrial complex. Sure, he doesn't have a spotless track record on this subject. He has voted to keep tax-payer money flowing into a military airplane plant in Vermont to keep it open, but in the end, he does seem to care about human beings on the whole and wants to ease their suffering. (This earlier video proves this.) He's willing to gamble his political future away by being outspoken for the oppressed. He's willing to put his neck on the line for them.

Bernie has proven this time and time again with his support and campaigning for a national single-payer health care system (the new and improved Medicare for All). He's proven it by rallying the troops in the "Fight for $15" strikes to raise the minimum wage to a living wage. He's proven this by taking a stance for free college education for all and for not deporting asylum-seekers and DACA kids.

Because Bernie cares, he's openly against warfare. He stands out like a shining beacon of morality in an immoral Senate. But wouldn't any half-way decent human being be against bombing school buses full of Yemeni children? Wouldn't any self-serving politician say he was against bombing school buses if he knew it would get him votes? Could he have an unspoken agenda that isn't necessarily a positive one?

While we can't read a person's mind or probe the deeper recesses of his heart for answers, we can look at a person's words and deeds. Bernie's actions have been consistently on the side of people, planet and peace over corporate profits. In that respect, Bernie Sanders is in line with the Green Party's platform, even if he won't join the party itself. It seems safe to say he's genuine when he says he wants to put an end to the War in Yemen.

But would Bernie be for stopping all wars--and never allowing the US to start another one ever again? Would he be against regime change and sponsoring coups in other countries when we don't agree with their choice in a leader? It remains to be seen. Word on the street says Bernie will run for president in 2020. We might actually get the chance to find out how he'll act when confronted with the full force of the military-industrial complex while sitting in the Oval Office. 

Until then, we must have faith that we are backing the right candidates. We must keep fighting the good fight against "morally indefensible war."  It takes more than just one straightforward senator to make the world a better place, after all. It takes all of us.

Related articles:
Yemen, Poisoned Water, and a Green New Deal:

The War in Yemen is not a war--it's a massacre:

The Yemen War is 2018's worst humanitarian crisis:

However, there's a loophole in Bernie Sander's Yemen bill that allows continued US involvement:

US provides military aid to more than  70% of world's dictatorships:

Bernie speaks on national strategy call to win Medicare for All: https://medicare4all.org/event/nov13call/  

Bernie Sanders puts forward program that could split the Democratic Party:  https://blackagendareport.com/bernie-sanders-puts-forward-program-could-split-democratic-party


Bernie Sanders

Earlier this week, the United States Senate took the first step toward ending our country’s active participation in a morally indefensible war in Yemen — a war most Americans know little about and that Congress never voted to authorize.

Over the last several years, our support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen has been one of the great moral stains on our nation resulting in the worst humanitarian crisis on earth. During the last several years more than 85,000 children in Yemen have starved to death, while millions more of the people there face imminent starvation. With the water infrastructure destroyed by Saudi bombs, 10,000 new cases of cholera occur each week as people are unable to find clean drinking water.

And what my bill, offered with Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Chris Murphy of Connecticut, says is that instead of being part of the killing in Yemen, on behalf of a despotic Saudi regime, we should be doing everything possible to create a peaceful resolution to that war and provide the kind of humanitarian help Yemenis so desperately need.

With 63 votes in favor and 37 against, this is the first time in the history of the United States that the U.S. Senate has voted to advance a resolution withdrawing the United States Armed Forces from an unauthorized and unconstitutional war.

And our success has a lot to do with people at the grassroots level making their voices heard on this important issue.
But we still have work left to do.

Next week, I expect that we have another procedural vote and then a final vote on passage of the resolution. So we cannot stop now. Not if we want to see this victory through to the end and limit our engagement in Yemen to the humanitarian and diplomatic aid needed to relieve the suffering of millions of Yemenis. Add your name if you’re with me:

For decades and under presidents of both parties, Republicans and Democrats have abdicated their Constitutional responsibility to debate and decide whether or not our country engages in war.

It is not the president who gets to decide whether or not we go to war in Yemen, or Syria, or anywhere else. It is Congress.

And our vote earlier this week was a big step forward in reasserting that constitutional responsibility.

Not surprisingly, given our president's deep affection for authoritarian regimes, the White House has threatened to veto this bill if it gets to Trump’s desk. So what I want to do today with this petition is make sure Trump knows that it isn’t just the United States Senate that believes we should end our involvement in this humanitarian catastrophe, but the American people as well.

So add your name:

Enough is enough. Enough killing. Enough starvation. Enough destruction. This is the time to tell Saudi Arabia, and indeed the rest of the world, that we will no longer be a partner to the horrific crisis in Yemen.

In solidarity,
Bernie Sanders

Tell the U.S. Senate: It's time to end the United States’ support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Help us win the battle against endless war--support those who speak up for human rights and peace!

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From RootsAction.org:

President Trump has announced plans to withdraw the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), a key nuclear disarmament pact with Russia signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1987 and approved by the U.S. Senate.

Congress should take action to keep the United States in the treaty. And either house of Congress alone has the power to refuse to fund any weapons prohibited by the treaty.

Click here to email your Representative and your two Senators.

Some members of Congress are already indicating an interest in taking action.

Congressman Ro Khanna has tweeted: "I am alarmed that President Trump is withdrawing from the INF treaty with Russia. This action plunges us back into a nuclear arms race and endangers our troops, allies, & the world, while wasting taxpayer dollars to prepare for a nuclear war that must never be fought."

The INF prohibits the United States and Russia from deploying both nuclear and conventional missiles with ranges between 310 and 3,420 miles. These are among the weapons most likely to lead to miscalculation or misadventure in a crisis.

Following ratification of the INF, the United States destroyed almost 1,000 missiles, and the Soviet Union almost 2,000. "But," writes Jon Schwarz at The Intercept, "arms control treaties are never about weapons and numbers alone. They can help enemy nations create virtuous circles, both between them and within themselves. Verification requires constant communication and the establishment of trust; it creates constituencies for peace inside governments and in the general public; this reduces on both sides the power of the paranoid, reactionary wing that exists in every country; this creates space for further progress; and so on."

Conversely, withdrawal from arms control treaties can feed vicious cycles of distrust, animosity, and militarization.

Click here to stop this disaster in its tracks.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which now shows the Doomsday Clock at two minutes to midnight, points out: "The INF withdrawal is part of a pattern. It is not the first nuclear treaty the U.S. has terminated; at the end of 2001 the United States walked out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty it had signed with the Soviet Union in 1972."

Both the United States and Russia currently accuse each other of violating the INF Treaty. Wherever the truth lies, the solution is not to pull out of the treaty, but to redouble diplomatic efforts to resolve the allegations. 

The United States and Russia control more than 90 percent of the world’s nearly 15,000 nuclear weapons. It is unlikely that any of the other nuclear-armed powers will be willing to engage in negotiations to control or eliminate these extraordinarily dangerous armaments if the United States abandons arms control.

A ratified treaty is a part of the “supreme law of the land,” former Senator Russell Feingold has noted — “which should logically mean that it could only be undone by Congress and the President, or at least by a vote of the Senate.”

Tell the first branch of government in the U.S. Constitution to step up and do its job.

After signing the petition, please use the tools on the next webpage to share it with your friends.

-- The RootsAction.org Team

>> David Cortright, The Nation: “The Peace Movement Won the INF Treaty. We Must Fight to Preserve It.”
>> Russell Feingold, NBCnews.com: “Donald Trump can unilaterally withdraw from treaties because Congress abdicated responsibility”
>> Zia Mian, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: “The INF Treaty and the crises of arms control”
>> Jon Schwarz, The Intercept: “What Trump and John Bolton Don’t Understand About Nuclear War
>> Ira Helfand, CNN.com: “Sheer Luck Has Helped Us Avoid Nuclear War So Far – Now We Need to Take Action”


  1. I think the First World War showed the arms manufacturers just how much filthy money they could make out of human death and suffering. Since then they've been conscientious about promoting war at all levels short of intercontinental nuclear war, which even they probably think is bad for business. It's no secret either that they established at least one weapons manufacturing plant in every state, the better to browbeat the senators of that state with threatened job and tax revenue losses if they ever vote against the perpetual war. It takes guts to stand up to these people, and Bernie Sanders has that resolve.

    1. Yes, setting up a weapons plant in each state is a great "divide and conquer" tactic on the MIC's part. They know they'll never get a politician to go against them by shutting it down because it would mean fewer votes and less corporate pay-offs. One would hope Bernie is above this sort of blackmail and even if they did shut down the Vermont airplane factory he'd still stick by his bill and put an end to the Yemen War and all wars in time.


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