Fighting Terrorism at Home & Abroad

November 30, 2007

When we talk about “Real Security through International Cooperation and the Funding of Human Needs” it is sometimes hard to understand what that means in terms of our daily lives. 

On my way home I often pass a family saying hello and usually exchanging brief pleasantries. Normally, the father and sometimes the mother sit on the front stoop watching the baby play.  Last night, however, as I rounded the corner something was very different.  All the contents of their house had been dumped haphazardly onto the sidewalk; they were not sitting on the porch but rather on the street near their clothes.  They had been “put out of their house.”  They could not make the rent for this month and so this family of three (with a toddler) was homeless, sitting in the dark and cold with no place to go.  They had left that morning for work and daycare with a small sense of security, only to arrive that night vulnerable and in genuine danger.  How is it, in the richest democracy in the world, we can put a family out?  

My neighborhood is known for gang activity.  I myself, have witnessed 3 shootings; none of which, thankfully, resulted in death or injury; but they were scary. I can’t imagine being a toddler on the street hearing those booming noises echo only feet away from me.  I have lots of Libertarian friends who don’t believe the government could solve these problems even if it did have a billion dollars.  I might agree if we ever had a chance to test the theory.  The money spent on militarism represents more than 70% of our Federal budget.  The money for social programs is less than 5%.  Where are our priorities?  Why have we, for decades, chosen bombs over people?

Again, I turn to my Libertarian friends who claim the ONLY function of a Federal government is the protection of national boarders from foreign invaders.  I would like to see a more comprehensive idea of ‘foreign invaders.’ I think hunger and frost bite should be counted among the terrorists affecting our world.

It strikes me that these terrorists are potently killing people all over the world on a daily basis – and U.S. investment in militarism only compounds the problem.  I lived in Kosova for a time about a year ago.  The people there are so grateful to the U.S. for ending the genocide perpetuated by Milosevic.  They have a picture of Bill Clinton or Gen. Wesley Clark on nearly every street; including a giant mural on Bill Clinton bvld in downtown Prishtina.  Of course there is another side to this gratitude.  On Bill Clinton blvd there are still apartment buildings bombed out from U.S. strikes in 1999.  People are still living in homes exposed to the elements with no water or electricity.  The unemployment rate is staggering and the thousands of ‘missing’ are still unaccounted for.  The political status of Kosova is still in flux between a Serbian territory and an independent state.  Neither Europe nor the U.S. has invested enough money and time into the rebuilding of Kosova.  We saved them from genocide and then condemned them to poverty through our inaction. 

There is a similar story happening all over the world:  in Ethiopia & Eutria; in Pakistan & Afghanistan; in Burma & S. Korea; in Sudan, in Sri Lanka, in Palestine, in Columbia, in Morocco, in every continent.   Real security, internationally, means investing in the health and well being of all humans; knowing that persons whose security needs are met will never strap a bomb to their back and then board a train.

Terrorism, both the Islamic kind and the gang kind, can only be stopped by meeting our human needs as a global community.  The U.S. is in a unique position to take leadership in this endeavor, and we have historically.  Although now contentious, the IMF and World Bank served their original purpose after WWII.  The funding provided by these international organizations rebuilt Europe after the devastation and renewed the historic cities to their former glory.  We have lost the philanthropy which launched us into a global super power.  Now we face our challenges with bombs and empty promises.  Ours is a path of destruction and destitution.  We must regain our conscious and expand our sense of community if we are ever to realize a peaceful world.


November 28, 2007

Those who died in Iraq from Nov 18 to 24:

Cpl Christopher Nelson  22  Rochester WA

Cpl Jason Lee  26  Fruitport MI

Pvt Marius Ferrer  23  Miami FL

Sgt Alejandro Ayala  26  Riverside CA

2 UK air service personnel

Sgt Alfred Paredez Jr  32  Las Vegas NV

Spc Melvin Henley Jr  26  Jackson MS

Sgt Johnathon Martin  33  Bellevue OH

40 were seriously wounded and maimed.

12 were returned to kill fields.

303 Iraqi brothers and sisters were killed.


Iraq Toll

November 24, 2007

Those who died in Iraq from Nov 11 to 17:

Sgt Joseph Vanek  22  Elmhurst IL

Spc Ashley Sietsema  20  Melrose Park IL

Spc Peter Schmidt  30  Eureka CA

Sgt Christopher Kruse  23  Emporia KS

Pvt Casey Mason  22  Michigan

Sgt Steven Ganczewski  22  Niagara Falls NY

Sgt Kenneth Brooker  25  Vevay IN

Spc Derek Banks  24  Newport News VA

Ltn Peter Burks  26  Dallas TX

Sgt Mason Lewis  26  Gloucester VA

93 wounded were returned to occupation.

165 Iraqi brothers and sisters were killed.


Iraq Toll

November 14, 2007

Those who died in Iraq from November 4 to 10:

Pvt Adam Muller  21  Underhill VT

Sgt Derek Stenroos  24  North Pole AK

Sgt John Linde  30  New York NY

Sgt Carletta Davis  34  Anchorage AK

PO Kevin Bewley  27  Hector AR

Sgt Daniel Shaw  23  West Seneca NY

Spc Christine Ndururi  21  Dracut MA

Sgt Lui Tumanuvao  29  Fagaalu Samoa

Cap  Benjamin Tiffner  31  West Virginia

Spc Jermaine Franklin  22  Arlington TX

251 Iraqi sisters and brothers were killed.



November 9, 2007

I don’t have a lot of time to make a proper analysis of the situation in Pakistan today but I wanted to take some space here to reflect on Democracy.  How is it that our President claims to have invaded Iraq to unseat a military dictator who does not believe in Democracy AND YET will support Musharraf  in his bid to overrun democracy in Pakistan.

Now the unpopular Pakistani strongman has imposed a state of emergency, disbanding the Supreme Court, shutting down the media and basic freedoms, and imprisoning democratic opposition leaders and activists. The ‘Emergency” is a cover to buy the time for backroom deals to ensure Musharraf’s political survival.   All the while the populist former PM, Benazir Bhutto is blockaded into her home by the military and prevented from attending the opposition rally. 

Peace Action is asking you to join with other peace activists:

Call the Pakistan Embassy (202.243.6500) and tell them the international community is watching and expects the rule of law to be restored; 

Contact the State Department and say “Stop sending military and security funding to Pakistan until the constitution is restored and free, fair elections are ensured.” Call 202.647.6575 and press 1 to leave your comment.


November 7, 2007

Those who died in Iraq from Oct 28 to Nov 3:

Pvt Rush Jenkins  22  Clarksville TN

Pvt Cody Carver  19  Haskell OK

Sgt Daniel McCall  24  Pace FL

Spc Brandon Smitherman  21  Conroe TX

Cap Timothy McGovern  28  Indiana

Sgt Louis Griese  30  Sturgeon Bay WI

Nathan Schuldheiss  27  Newport RI

Sgt David Wieger  28  N Huntingdon PA

Sgt Thomas Crowell  36  Neosho MO

Ltn Tracy Alger  30  New Auburn WI

Cpl Andrzej Filipek  31  Sporniak Poland

Pvt Dwane Covert Jr  20  Tonawanda NY

146 were seriously wounded.

242 Iraqi brothers and sisters were killed.



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