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Author Archives: Medea Benjamin
It seems the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is starting to lose its iron-clad grip on our policymakers, but it’s certainly not time to sound the death knell. AIPAC still has a lot of muscle and will keep trying to flex it. Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin runs down what we have to look forward to coming out of the 2014 AIPAC policy conference.
“We will put pressure on America, and our protest will continue if drone attacks are not stopped,” said an angry Imran Khan, leader of Pakistan’s third largest political party, the PTI (the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf). He was speaking on Saturday, November 23, to a crowd of over 10,000 protesters who blocked the highway used by NATO supply trucks taking goods in and out of Afghanistan. The latest protests in Pakistan show that even when the US hits its mark, as in the case of the last two strikes in Pakistan that killed key leaders of two extremist cells, they’re still counterproductive.
The media has failed to do its job of humanizing the civilian casualties that accompany President Obama’s deadly drone program. But that’s beginning to change. New films, reports and media coverage are finally giving the American public a taste of the personal tragedies involved. And on October 29, the Rehman family—a father with his two children—came all the way from the Pakistani tribal territory of North Waziristan to the US Capitol to tell the heart-wrenching story of the death of the children’s beloved 67-year-old grandmother.
The peace group CODEPINK recently discovered that every year for the past four years, a pot of $10 million has been allocated for Pakistani drone strike victims. However, instead of going to victims of drones, the funds are getting farmed out to US-based non-governmental organizations to provide humanitarian assistance for Pakistanis who are not drone victims and are not even living in the tribal areas of Waziristan where the US is carrying out the strikes.
Israel’s handwringing about Iran’s nuclear program is ironic in light of Israel’s own nuclear-weapons program — often called the world’s “worst-kept secret” because of the taboo surrounding any public discussion of its existence.
Medea Benjamin presents a 10-point plan would significantly reduce terrorist threats, save U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars and make Americans more admired in the world. After a decade of wielding the military stick, it’s time for some carrots.
“The new regimes want constitutions to be more religious, and women all over the region are taking a stand against this,” said Hamouda Soubhi from Morocco at the World Social Forum
Following Rand Paul’s historic filibuster there is room for common cause in challenging killer drones
While progressives have all sorts of reasons to dislike Rand Paul’s Tea Party, small government libertarian views, killer drones is one issue on which progressives should make common cause with Paul and his growing legions of supporters. After all, it’s not about the messenger but the message. And compared to the Democratic Senators who have, with few exceptions, remained either silent or support of President Obama’s killer drones, Rand made a heroic stand. In gratitude, progressives should “Stand with Rand.”
John Brennan’s confirmation hearing to become head of the CIA will take place at the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, February 7. If CODEPINK had a chance to question John Brennan as his hearing on Thursday, here are some questions we would ask.
The man Obama wants for CIA director is the architect of a drone program that has killed hundreds of innocents
Medea Benjamin reports from a delegation to Gaza. Jamal Dalu, the shopkeeper whose home in Gaza City was demolished by an Israeli bomb that left 12 dead, including his wife and four children asked, “Obama, you say you want to teach us about democracy and the rule of law. Is this what you mean by democracy? Is this the rule of law?”
Foreign policy played a minor role in a presidential election that focused on jobs, jobs, jobs. But like it or not, the United States is part of a global community in turmoil, and U.S. policies often help fuel that turmoil. The peace movement, decimated during the first Obama term because so many people were unwilling to be critical of President Obama, has a challenge today to re-activate itself, and to increase its effectiveness by forming coalitions with other sectors of the progressive movement. Over the next four years, this movement must grapple with key issues such as the Afghan war, killer drone attacks, maintaining peace with Iran, US policy vis-a-vis Israel and Palestine, and the bloated Pentagon budget.
Medea Benjamin visits Obama’s counterterrorism chief John Brennan at home to talk with him about her recent trip to Pakistan and the effects of US drones.
CODEPINK activist Rae Abileah and her lawyers settle a case against with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) volunteer lobbyist, Stanley Shulster, who violently attacked Abileah at Occupy AIPAC in March 2011.
Counterterrorism adviser John Brennan spoke at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington DC on April 30 to mark the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden. It was the first time a high level member of the Obama Administration spoke at length about the U.S. drone strikes that the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command have been carrying out in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
Occupy AIPAC is taking place this upcoming weekend in Washington DC. Medea Benjamin explains how AIPAC’s clout helps fuel a never-ending cycle of violence in the Middle East.
American-made teargas is killing Bahrainis in villages targeted for collective punishment of Arab spring protests
The ceremonies for the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington DC were kicked off on August 24 at an event billed as Honoring Global Leaders for Peace. But some of those honored are a far cry from King’s … Continue reading
In this time of economic austerity, when jobs are being slashed and Americans are fearful about their future, the Congressional recess is the time for our elected representatives to be home in their districts, reaching out to their constituents and … Continue reading
Yesterday we had a great international press conference. There were representatives from Greece, Sweden, France, Norway, Canada, Spain, Turkey and of course, the U.S. The room was packed with press and passengers; there was really a feeling that we are … Continue reading
Medea Benjamin of Code Pink writes: Over 1,300 delegates from 42 countries have signed up to participate in the December 31 Gaza Freedom March that will mark the one-year anniversary of the Israeli invasion and call for an end to … Continue reading