Tag Archives: militarism

Arctic conference in Maine to focus on state’s role in studying melting ice caps

Note: And by studying the melting ice caps, the Maine National Guard of course means figuring out how they might get a piece of the oil and gas pie under the Arctic. Sigh…

-The GJEP Team

By Nok-Noi Ricker, May 18, 2014. Source: Bangor Daily News

Dr. Paul Mayewski displays an ice core in this file photo. Mayewski is a guest speaker at the Arctic symposium in Bangor.  Photo: Kevin Bennet/BDN

Dr. Paul Mayewski displays an ice core in this file photo. Mayewski is a guest speaker at the Arctic symposium in Bangor. Photo: Kevin Bennet/BDN

Changing conditions in the Arctic, the role Maine might play in studying the ice cap and the potential for emerging industries will be the topic of a two-day symposium May 20-21 in Bangor, according to Lt. Col. Darryl Lyon of the Maine Army National Guard.

“Mainers thrive in the cold. Let’s leverage our cold weather hardiness and ingenuity to provide leadership where it’s needed — in the High North,” said Lyon, a member of the Maine Guard’s 11th Civil Support Team who helped organize the event.

The Maine National Guard and the University of Maine’s School of Policy and International Affairs are hosting the two-day event titled “Leadership in the High North” at the Regional Training Institute at 289 North Hildreth St. Participation is invitation only.

“The conference will explore the challenges and emerging opportunities arising from the significant increases in Arctic activity due to the diminishment of sea ice and the emergence of the new Arctic environment,” Maj. Michael Steinbuchel, spokesman for the Maine Army National Guard, said in a press release.

“This change is providing unique challenges and opportunities for everyone who has concerns about that change,” Lyon said in an email. “As ice melts and recedes, technology advances, and human curiosity peaks, indigenous cultures are affected, human activity is increasing, and interested parties are claiming their political positions.”

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Filed under Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Oceans, Oil

The cost of war includes at least 253,330 brain injuries and 1,700 amputations

By Spencer Ackerman, February 8, 2013.  Source: Wired

Neuroimaging techniques like this Siemens software display are used by Army doctors to examine and diagnose traumatic brain injuries. Photo: Siemens, via U.S. Army

Neuroimaging techniques like this Siemens software display are used by Army doctors to examine and diagnose traumatic brain injuries. Photo: Siemens, via U.S. Army

Here are indications of the lingering costs of 11 years of warfare. Nearly 130,000 U.S. troops have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and vastly more have experienced brain injuries. Over 1,700 have undergone life-changing limb amputations. Over 50,000 have been wounded in action. As of Wednesday, 6,656 U.S. troops and Defense Department civilians have died.

That updated data (.pdf) comes from a new Congressional Research Service report into military casualty statistics that can sometimes be difficult to find — and even more difficult for American society to fully appreciate. It almost certainly understates the extent of the costs of war.

Start with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Counting since 2001 across the U.S. military services, 129,731 U.S. troops have been diagnosed with the disorder since 2001. The vast majority of those, nearly 104,000, have come from deployed personnel.

But that’s the tip of the PTSD iceberg, since not all — and perhaps not even most — PTSD cases are diagnosed. The former vice chief of staff of the Army, retired Gen. Peter Chiarelli, has proposed dropping the “D” from PTSD so as not to stigmatize those who suffer from it — and, perhaps, encourage more veterans to seek diagnosis and treatment for it. (Not all veterans advocates agreewith Chiarelli.)
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Filed under Politics, Vietnam War, War

Protest NATO in Chicago: May 19 and 20!

   1.     Join UNAC on May 20 in Chicago

  2.    UNAC statement against police repression in Chicago

  3.    Protest NATO & Banks at Greek Consulate Sat, May  19 – 6:30 – 7:30pm

Join UNAC on May 20 in Chicago

Please join us at the Petrillo Bandshell (Corner of Jackson & Columbus) at 9 am on May 20 in Chicago.  We will need help with assembling placards, distributing them, carrying UNAC banners and distributing literature.  If you can not make it at 9 am, please look for our banner when you arrive to march with UNAC.  The rally will start at noon but there will be music and cultural activity from about 11am.

The rally will go from noon till 2 followed by a march lead by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Against the War.  At the end of the march, the vets will return their medals to NATO as the whole world watches

Please go to www.CANG8.org for more information.

UNAC statement against police repression in Chicago

Statement in Defense of Detained NATO Protesters

By United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)


UNAC condemns the Chicago Police department’s preemptive detention of anti-NATO protesters in the run-up to the demonstration against the NATO Summit. On Wednesday May 16, the police raided an apartment without probable cause, breaking down the door with guns drawn. They placed bags over the heads of startled activists, handcuffed them and detained them for hours without charges.

This act of political repression is a fundamental violation of our constitutionally protected civil rights and civil liberties. It conjures memories of Mubarak’s dictatorship in Egypt. Unfortunately, the U.S. Government and the Chicago City Government have increasingly turned to such acts against political activists across the country.

On May 19, headlines blared that three activists were facing terrorism charges, but according to their attorneys from the National Lawyers Guild, the three were simply NATO protesters who were staying in an apartment that had beer-making equipment when the police suddenly burst in.

Since 9/11, the U.S. has been shredding our civil liberties beginning with the Patriot Act and continuing with the National Defense Authorization Act. The principal targets of such attacks have been Arabs and Muslims who have been detained, interrogated, jailed, and deported without due process or probable cause. Such violations of civil rights and civil liberties are routine in the Black and immigrant communities in our country.

In this case, the City of Chicago has used this raid and similar ones that may happen in the run-up to and in the aftermath of the demonstration against NATO to intimidate activists and citizens at large from exercising their rights to organize, assemble and protest. They are also designed to criminalize dissent and cast suspicion on activists among wider layers of the population.

“We are shocked by the behavior of the Chicago Police,” said Joe Lombardo co-chair of UNAC. “We will not tolerate such attacks on our fellow activists. We stand shoulder to shoulder with them to defend them, their rights, and all of our rights that are so under threat today in America.”

UNAC demands the immediate release of any activists who are currently detained. We also demand the City issue a public apology and immediately put a stop to any further plans to harass protesters who have come to the city to protest the NATO Summit.

Protest NATO & Banks at Greek Consulate Sat, May 19 – 6:30 – 7:30pm


Emergency Protest at the Greek Consulate

Solidarity with Greek workers against EU Banks and & NATO austerity.

SATURDAY, May 19 6:30 to 7:30 pm

650 North St Clair, Chicago

(Corner of Erie St – Take Red Line to Grand)

Today as the NATO military alliance meets in Chicago, Greece faces an unprecedented political, social and economic crisis. The Greek people are refusing the UE bankers austerity measures. Events in Greece could have a domino effect throughout Europe.

Greece is the 4th largest importer of arms in the world. This means billions to U.S., French and German military corporations and mass poverty for Greek people. The bankers bail-out loans are structured to continue payments for still more weapons. It is paid with cutbacks, lay offs and austerity measures so extreme that it is literally starving the Greek people.

NATO from its foundation has been an aggressive U.S. dominated military alliance. A U.S./British military intervention against the revolutionary Greek workers created a bloody civil war in 1948 – 49 to force Greece into the western military alliance. In 1967 to 1974 with full NATO support a right-wing Greek general organized a brutal military dictatorship. Today NATO’s agenda is to once again back up the bankers and the rule of the 1%. As thousands of antiwar, anti-imperialist and anti-NATO activists gather in Chicago: Join an emergency action in solidarity with the resistance of the Greek people

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, Political Repression, War

Veterans Say No to NATO

by Amy Goodman, May 17, 2012

Cross-Posted from TruthDig

Veterans of the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan are now challenging the occupation of Chicago.

This week, NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is holding the largest meeting in its 63-year history there. Protests and rallies will confront the two-day summit, facing off against a massive armed police and military presence. The NATO gathering has been designated a “National Special Security Event” by the Department of Homeland Security, empowering the U.S. Secret Service to control much of central Chicago, and to employ unprecedented authority to suppress the public’s First Amendment right to dissent.

The focus of the summit will be Afghanistan. “Operation Enduring Freedom,” as the Afghanistan War was named by the Bush administration and continues to be called by the Obama administration, is officially a NATO operation. As the generals and government bureaucrats from around the world prepare to meet in Chicago, the number of NATO soldiers killed in Afghanistan since 2001 topped 3,000. First Lt. Alejo R. Thompson of Yuma, Ariz., was killed on May 11 this year, at the age of 30. He joined the military in 2000, and served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Shortly after his death, The Associated Press reported that Thompson would be receiving the Purple Heart medal posthumously and is “in line for a Bronze Star.” On Wednesday, President Barack Obama awarded, also posthumously, the Medal of Honor to Leslie H. Sabo Jr., killed in action in Cambodia in 1970.

While the president and the Pentagon are handing out posthumous medals, a number of veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan will be marching, in military formation, to McCormick Place in Chicago to hand their service medals back. Aaron Hughes left the University of Illinois in 2003 to join the military, and was deployed to Iraq and Kuwait. He served in the Illinois National Guard from 2000 to 2006. Since leaving active duty, Hughes has become a field organizer with the group Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). He explained why he is returning his medals: “Because every day in this country, 18 veterans are committing suicide. Seventeen percent of the individuals that are in combat in Afghanistan, my brothers and sisters, are on psychotropic medication. Twenty to 50 percent of the individuals that are getting deployed to Afghanistan are already diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, military sexual trauma or a traumatic brain injury. Currently one-third of the women in the military are sexually assaulted.”

IVAW’s Operation Recovery seeks increased support for veterans, and to stop the redeployment of traumatized troops. Hughes elaborated: “The only type of help that [veterans] can get is some type of medication like trazodone, Seroquel, Klonopin, medication that’s practically paralyzing, medication that doesn’t allow them to conduct themselves in any type of regular way. And that’s the standard operating procedures. Those are the same medications that service members are getting redeployed with and conducting military operations on.”

Another veteran—of the anti-war movement of the 1960s—and now a law professor at Northwestern University, longtime Chicago activist Bernardine Dohrn, also will be in the streets. She calls NATO the “militarized arm of the global 1 percent,” and criticizes Chicago Mayor and former Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel for misappropriating funds for the summit: “Suddenly we don’t have money here for community mental-health clinics. We don’t have money for public libraries or for schools. We don’t have money for public transportation. But somehow we have the millions of dollars necessary … to hold this event right here in the city of Chicago.”

Occupy Chicago, part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, has been focused on the NATO protests. The unprecedented police mobilization, which will include, in addition to the Chicago police, at least the Secret Service, federal agents, and the Illinois National Guard, also may include extensive surveillance and infiltration. Documents obtained through Freedom of Information requests by the activist legal organization Partnership for Civil Justice (PCJ) indicate what the group calls “a mass intelligence network including fusion centers, saturated with ‘anti-terrorism’ funding, that mobilizes thousands of local and federal officers and agents to investigate and monitor the social-justice movement.” PCJ says the documents clearly refute Department of Homeland Security claims that there was never a centralized, federal coordination of crackdowns on the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Aaron Hughes and the other vets understand armed security, having provided it themselves in the past. He told me the message he’ll carry to the military and the police deployed across Chicago: “Don’t stand with the global 1 percent. Don’t stand with these generals that continuously abuse their own service members and then talk about building democracy and promoting freedom.”
Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column.

Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 1,000 stations in North America. She is the author of “Breaking the Sound Barrier,” recently released in paperback and now a New York Times best-seller.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, Occupy Wall Street, Political Repression, Politics, War