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News :: War and Militarism
Brookline PeaceWorks Celebrates Fifth Anniversary
22 May 2007
On Tuesday, May 15, 2007, Brookline PeaceWorks celebrated its fifth anniversary of activism and hosted James Carroll, Globe Columnist, and National Book Award winner, to a huge turnout at the ‘All Saints Parish’ on Beacon Road.

Mr. Carroll was introduced by his longtime friend Dr. David Killian, pastor of All Saints Parish. Their reminiscences about their student days and activism in opposing the Vietnam war made a warm beginning to the evening. They mentioned a night they spent together in a DC jail, a result of their Vietnam activism, as a unique experience.
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James Carroll spoke on “How We Got into the War on Iraq,” based on his book The House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power.

He takes a long view of the power structures that have led to the situation we find ourselves in, by tracing the proliferation of nuclear arms starting with Truman and continuing through the Freeze movement in the early 80s to Reagan's botched opportunity to reach a treaty with the USSR at Reykjavik summit. Instead of reaching a treaty, the US nuclear arsenal grew from 200 A bombs in 1950 to 19,000 in 1960, to 100,000 bombs made by the US and USSR when Carter was in office.

Carroll says "...we have not begun to reckon at all with the nonsense of American policies toward nuclear weapons today -- the fact that we're resuming their production even now, that we continue to threaten their use even now. How can these questions be so unreckoned with?”

He argues that "in the nuclear age, civilian oversight of American military policy had become largely mythical," that the Pentagon had "Congress in its thrall and presidents at its mercy." He notes that "...today, though we no longer face an enemy that poses an existential threat to the nation, we’re needlessly maintaining a military force that is more dangerous than any other force in the world, capable of instantly destroying all life on the planet."

Mr. Carroll's historical presentation with his insights and analyses concluded with his assertion that we, all of us, need to work on bringing about a shift in the seemingly long established unconscious mindset on how the US deals with problems - of all sorts - international and domestic, political, economic and social. Nonviolence was the simple aim - a complex assignment, but one in which each individual’s effort can make a difference.

Afterwards, there was a long queue of those with credit cards in hand to buy his book, which he graciously signed at the reception, while all enjoyed a sumptuous buffet and cake commemorating Brookline PeaceWorks' five years of activism.

ABOUT BROOKLINE PEACEWORKS:
Brookline PeaceWorks has written a leaflet to be distributed at noon on Saturdays at Coolidge Corner, every week for the last five years. It also offers an email announcement service that reaches more than 1000 members. We encourage, organize, and arrange buses to demonstrations here, in NYC and in DC.

-- We sponsored an international demonstration in October 2002, where people in nineteen cities worldwide joined demonstrations in NYC and SF to try to stop the war on Iraq; We worked for Randall Forsberg's write-in campaign for Senate when she opposed John Kerry, as a way of expressing our opposition to his voting for the War Powers Act

-- We initiated a successful referendum questions, (Should US funds be spent on the Colombian Military or here on healthcare— and Should the National Guard be brought home immediately) Both questions passed with huge margins.

-- We organized three September 11 Peace Concerts at Harvard and MIT

-- We Sponsored forums on `Stop the BU Bioweapons Lab'; in 2004 on the possibility of a stolen election by the author of Nation cover article on the subject, Ronnie Dugger; on Global Warming, with Ross Gelbspan, Pulitzer Prize winning author; we sponsored

Dahr Jamail, unembedded journalist in Iraq; John Bonifaz, Barney Frank, and Gloria Fox on the Downing Street Memos and impeachment; Bush War Crimes with Jeremy Brecher; Janis Karpinski, Craig Murray and others on Bush War Crimes; Guantanamo demonstration and talks by Center for Constitutional Rights Lawyer Jeffrey Gleason, and more...

Our Concerns: Besides ending the Iraq war, and other examples of US aggression, we are concerned about the disappearing rule of law nationally and internationally-- we are concerned about torture, Guantanamo, the Military Commissions Act and more; Reducing US “defense” spending and ending the international system of 700 bases and secret prisons; in Stopping the Bioweapons lab now being built in Boston; We advocate for equal rights for all in Israel/Palestine; and we are concerned about Climate Change and in advocating for US policies that represent the best interests of all world citizens.

PeaceWorks welcomes new members to help plan new actions. For more information on joining Brookline PeaceWorks or to hear about future events, email Amy Hendrickson at peace (at) texnology.com or call 617 738-8029.

Come work with us and help plan our next set of actions!

This work is in the public domain.
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