Left in the Dark: $2 Trillion and Counting…

In the early hours of Friday morning, US troops departed Bagram Air Force base in Afghanistan. They turned off the electricity and lights before leaving; it appears as though members of the Afghan government were left in the dark about the departure of US troops. Biden has been clear about a formal departure on September 11th of this year but with the definitive closure of the airbase last week, the US has completed 90% of the troop withdrawal.  In the New York Times article The Salvaged Relics of a Very Long War: Shops Near Vacated Afghanistan Base Sell Vestiges of US Presence describes how Bagram, surrounded by grape vineyards, has an economy based on the refuse of two superpowers over […]

Two Sides of the Coin

light pink background with 6 darker pink horizontal lines with a blue image of a bomb in background with a quote of Albert Camus

The Costs of War Project with the Watson Institute at Brown University recently published a report on the high suicide rates of military members and veterans of the post 9/11 wars. Their study repeated what has been known for some time, that members of the military are 4 times more likely to die by suicide than in combat. While suicide in the military had been lower than the general population in the past, the trend has reversed over the past 20 years and parallels the longest running foreign war in U.S. history in Afghanistan.   While advances in medical technology has led to less people being killed on the battlefield it has also created a situation of more military members living […]

A New Path: Dare, Risk and Dream

World Beyond War is hosting their annual conference beginning on Friday, June 4th. NWTRCC Coordinator Lincoln Rice will be presenting on war tax resistance. At this international conference Lincoln will be joined by colleagues at Conscience and Peace Tax International/ Conscience UK as well as Conscience Canada. The session on War Tax Resistance will be held at 18:00 EDT.  You can register for the conference From Weapons Fairs to War Zones: Unraveling the War Machine by following the link.  Some of the other sessions include How to Shut down a Military Base, Corporate Research for Taking Action Against Wars and Militarism and a panel discussion The Shadow World-Inside the Global Arms Trade. I look forward to hearing from war tax […]

Report from NWTRCC’s Third Online Conference

NWTRCC held its third online conference the weekend of April 30 – May 2, 2021. More than 40 people attended some portion of the conference, which began the evening of Friday April 30 with a social hour. For the social hour, we broke out twice into random groups of six for 30 minutes. It was chance for old friends to chat, but also to meet new friends. Saturday featured two panels. The first was a “Panel on the New Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons & Paths Forward for Resistance,” featuring Mari Inoue (attorney and cofounder of the Manhattan Project for a Nuclear-Free World), Dr. Linda Richards (historian of science and a grassroots activist since the 1986 Great Peace […]

The Graveyards of Empire

Addicted to War book cover with cartoon image of man holding missiles and tanks in his arms

Later this year the U.S. will enter into its 3rd decade of war in Afghanistan. It has been the longest ongoing foreign war in US history with some of those fighting in the war not even born when the US began bombing on October 7th, 2001. In the early years Afghanistan was referred to as “the good war” to distinguish it from the war in Iraq, the “dumb war.” In more recent years both are referenced by their country name with less emphasis on the war and all of the destruction the U.S. has caused. These countries seem to hold a higher concentration of U.S. military bases among the 800 worldwide with the wars serving as justification for more bases […]

A ‘War Story’ and a ‘New Start’: How I learned to Oppose War and Stop Paying for the Bomb

We each come into this work in our own ways. The first war I was aware of was the amorphous Cold War. I did not know much about it other than it was between the U.S. and USSR. I was oblivious of nuclear weapons and the oblivion they could cause to the Earth. How we frame war and the stories we tell greatly impact people’s ability to relate to the stories.   I was reminded that with the 30th anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Iraq recently. The anniversary did not register for me at the time of the bombing. I was still in elementary school and my exposure to the war was having a classmate’s sister who was in the […]

Militarism Sinks Social Progress

Tax Day July 2020 NYC

Tax season is here — well, almost, since the IRS announced that filing can start on Feb. 12. Now is the time when many of you start asking War Resisters League when the new pie chart flyer  will be ready. Hopefully you will be making plans for a safe and socially distanced public presence of some sort on tax day 2021, still expected to be Thursday, April 15. As you may recall, tax day 2020 was moved to July 15, and WRL ended up with lots of leftover pie charts because leafleting was limited or curtailed by pandemic concerns. Note that the back of last year’s pie chart was a call to Abolish Nuclear Weapons to mark the 75th anniversary […]

Hindsight, Looking Forward with 2020 Vision

As 2020 comes to a close, it seems like a good time to look back to where we have been; have clear eyes about where we are headed in order to forge a new path. By January 15th 2021, 5,ooo total U.S. troops are poised to remain in Iraq and Afghanistan.  After a height of 170,000 troops in Iraq and 100,000 troops in Afghanistan and over 19 years of war this appears to be welcome news to the longest ongoing war in U.S. history. A former Marine captain wrote “Two Costly Wars and a Legacy of Shame” in the New York Times that the US Defense Department alone spent $6 trillion dollars “costing each American taxpayer an estimate more than […]

Note to Self: Change Can Come

Yesterday I had a lovely swim in the ocean with friends who had rented a beach house for a couple weeks. What a privilege to float on my back looking up at the blue sky or to watch the sanderlings skittering along the perfect sand beach. Nature is awe-inspiring. Today I’m back at the computer, starting the day off with a dose of a different reality from Democracy Now and other news sources. In the face of all that… …I’m thinking about the courage of so many nonviolent activists who are out there in the streets, across the country, day after day demanding change in the face of many dangers — now including the guns of white supremacists. …I’m looking […]

Doomsday 2020

At the start of 2020, the Doomsday Clock was moved to 100 Seconds to Midnight. This is the closest the clock has been to a nuclear catastrophe (midnight) since its inception in 1947 as a project of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. When the hands were moved in January, three reasons were cited: (1) decrease in regulation of nuclear weapons, (2) climate change, and (3) increase in cyber-based disinformation. It appears that concerns in these areas have only increased as the year has progressed.  It was 75 years ago at 8:15 in the morning on August 6th, when the U.S. warplane Enola Gay released “Little Boy,” the first atomic weapon, on the people of  Hiroshima. Three days later Nagaski was […]

Bringing the Troops Home to Use on US Citizens

two people holding signs and wearing masks

The president had a very isolating weekend, beginning with descending into an underground bunker at the White House and concluding with global leaders stating they would not be traveling to DC for the G-7 summit. Also, with the highest number of fatalities and cases of COVID-19, the U.S. was pulling out of the World Health Organization.  All week people were coming together to express their outrage at the brutal killing of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin of the Minneapolis police. The very protests emerging throughout the U.S. that were calling attention to police brutality as well as the 400+ year legacy of racism were met with increased militarization by the police and national guard.  The commander in chief was sending […]

Origins of Mother’s Day

Image of a peace sign drawn in white sand

150 years ago, Julia Ward Howe wrote what later came to be known as the “Mother’s Day Proclamation.” Ward wrote this proclamation as her push to establish a Mother’s Day for Peace following the  US Civil War. Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or of tears! Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies, our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. “Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to […]