Keeping Focus

This is the first drone organizer’s bulletin since the 2016 election, and before reporting on strictly drone-related events, I would like to offer a peace agenda that I have found very useful in helping me to keep focused regardless of who is president and of what other human and environmental problems are most immediately pressing.

PEACE AGENDA

  1. Stop all drone attacks and all targeted killing, by cruise missiles, special forces assault teams, and other means.  Seek and international ban on weaponized drones and sanctions for nations undertaking targeted killing. These attacks violate international law.
  2. Immediately remove all U.S. military forces from all foreign nations with reserves of oil, gas and minerals and from waterways used in the commerce of these resources.  At the same time reestablish the export ban on U.S. oil and gas.  
  3. Stop all U.S. commercial and military aid arms export, starting with those areas in which wars are underway.
  4. Immediate stand down of all nuclear weapons; cancel plans for nuclear weapons updating and progressive destruction of existing nuclear weapons.
  5. Establish truth and reconciliation commissions addressing the history and current reality of American native peoples and African-Americans.   Establish similar commissions to examine U.S. penetration of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Central America and Viet Nam.   The work of the commissions would be in preparation for payment of reparations.
  6. Closure of U.S. overseas military bases and payment of reparations to nations housing these bases for social, economic and environmental damage caused by the bases.
  7. Ban on campaign contributions and lobbying by any firm doing business with the Pentagon.
  8. Establish a war profits tax on all sales to the Pentagon.
  9. Demilitarize U.S. police.
  10. Discontinue domestic and international mass surveillance.

Most of us have had some or all of these goals for a number of years.  For others, this is new.  But at this moment, we all find ourselves drawn urgently to act to prevent suffering of our family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers as we see the Federal government now intensifying its unfairness in what a friend described as a “blitz” of actions that are fundamentally illegal and immoral.  In the midst of this maelstrom of fear and pain, our attention, even among peace workers, is naturally being drawn to our domestic, closest to home, alarms.

But David Swanson quite rightly points out in this petition https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/will-you-stand-for-peace , that it is absolutely critical at this time that we demand that stopping the U.S. wars and demilitarizing the U.S. culture and economy MUST be on our action agenda.

Both major political parties have led us to believe that we can build a safe, healthy, happy American society while at the same time the United States military is used overseas to support repression and attack indigenous people on behalf of the interests of transnational corporations.  Organizers working to halt climate change have, in my opinion, steered clear of challenges to U.S. wars fearing this might erode their base of support.  

We are at a point now where we can no longer risk entertaining the fundamentally immoral fantasy that we can live in a United States insulated against from the horror of war and its meaning, regardless of how much we are encouraged to do that.  This is especially true when the United States global ambitions are translating into war for millions.

I hope this agenda will help in enabling our organizing to embrace the whole of our global reality, which includes war.