!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> Rolla Peace Newsletter, November 10, 2015

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Rolla Peace News

November 10, 2015


Dear Friends:

          In this newsletter is:

3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) The “Laws” of War
          b) Armistice Day
          c) Gender Identity



We vigil for peace in front of the Rolla Post Office THIS THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2015, (and all subsequent Thursdays until peace is established) from Noon to 1:00 PM. Please try to join us. The temperature is predicted to be in the 50s. If you do not feel comfortable standing with us in front of the Post Office, please consider driving by and showing your support for our message by honking your horn and flashing a peace sign.


In response to my comments about Robert Reich's article of last week, a reader writes: “Reich was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, so maybe he's loath to criticize Hillary. That said, in his October 18th column he compares Bernie's and Hilary's solution to the problem of big banks, and comes down in favor of Bernie's. Bernie appeared to favor reinstating Glass-Steagall while Hillary just wanted to do a little tweaking.” That's a big difference, and points up Hillary's connections to Wall Street and big money. I think this might be the article referred to above.

Another area in which they differ is the Israel/Palestine situation. Hillary apparently believes that everything is just fine the way it is. She doesn't seem to have any problem with Israel bombing children, bulldozing people's homes, and denying the Palestinians the essentials of life. This article gives you an idea of Hillary's stance on Israel (and, more importantly, her motivation).

Bernie, while not as radical as some of us would like, has this to say: “…the bottom line is that Israel must have the right to exist in peace and security, just as the Palestinians must have the right to a homeland in which they and they alone control their political system and their economy.” He hopes that the United States will help broker a two-state solution and work with the international community to end the blockade of Gaza, resolve the dispute over the borders of the West Bank, and allow “both the Israeli and Palestinian people to live in peace.” Bernie condemns the use of violence by both sides to gain an upperhand in peace negotiations.

Issue by issue, the difference between the two candidates is the difference between someone who will represent all the people, and one who will always cater to the wealthy and powerful.

3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          a) The “Laws” of War
          b) Armistice Day
          c) Gender Identity

“The laws of war protect enemies of the same race, class, and culture. The laws of war leave the foreign and the alien without protection. When is one allowed to wage war against savages and barbarians? Answer: always. What is permissible in war against savages and barbarians? Answer: anything.” —Sven Lindqvist (A History of Bombing, p2)
Doctors without Borders has released a preliminary report on the October 3rd bombing of its hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. It's well worth reading — all 13 pages of it. Some of the highlights: US command was aware that they were bombing a protected hospital, but continued the bombardment for over an hour. At least 30 doctors, patients and staff died in this unprovoked attack. Patients, including children, burned to death in their beds and on the operating table. Some who tried to flee were shot from a gunship as they ran from the carnage. The only functioning hospital in the area of Kunduz was destroyed and is now unable to function.

Attacking hospitals, healthcare workers and healthcare facilities is nothing new for the US military. It was scarcely noticed, except by the Iraqis, when US forces demolished the Nazzal Emergency Hospital in Fallujah 11 years ago. Nor did the destruction and occupation of other hospitals and healthcare facilities in Iraq receive much attention. The difference here seems to be simply that Doctors Without Borders is a Western organization run by Western doctors and healthcare professionals. Perhaps, the Pentagon was safe as long as it attacked only local healthcare facilities. It may have crossed the line into committing war crimes by bombing a hospital belonging to a Western relief organization.


Tomorrow is Armistice Day — the day soldiers on both sides lay down their arms bringing to an end the First World War, which was at the time thought to be “The War To End All Wars.” Instead of a day to celebrate peace, Armistice Day has become Veterans Day, a day to celebrate war: past, present and future. Let's revive the original meaning of Armistice Day and spend the coming year working to end all war.


Last week, I linked to my rather frivolous cartoon and myth about Gender Identity. Since then I've added a somewhat serious discussion of the subject.


Rolla Peace News is distributed by email once a week on Tuesday evenings (except on rare occasions) and is posted on the web at http://tomsager.org (click on Grassroots Rolla: top of rightmost column).

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Wage peace,

helenm (at) fidnet.com