JWE launching webinar series on Syria March 25
Just World Admin March 18, 2020
We are delighted to announce that on March 25, we’ll be launching a web-based educational program, “Commonsense on Syria.” This series of 10 webinar sessions aims to expand the discourse on Syria here in the United States (and elsewhere) by presenting interactive, web-based panel discussions among people with real expertise on Syria. Our panelists will represent a range of views, including views that have been un- or under-represented in Western corporate media over the past decade.
“Commonsense On Syria” will run biweekly, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, from March 25 through April 25. Each session will start at 1 pm New York Time and will last 45-60 minutes.
The full schedule of the 10 sessions is given below. Registration is required for each session: it is currently open for the first two sessions. Click on the links to register:
- Session 1, March 25: “Introduction to Syria, its people, and history pre-2011.” This session will feature Amb. Peter Ford and Prof. Joshua Landis. Shorts bios are below.
- Session 2, March 28: “The Syrian Uprising in the context of the Arab Spring.” This one will feature Prof. Richard Falk and Ms. Vanessa Beeley. Their bios are below.
Session 1, March 25:
The first session of the series, March 25, will be “Introduction to Syria, its people, and history pre-2011” and will feature two great experts:
** Amb. Peter Ford, who was the United Kingdom’s ambassador to Syria, 2003-2006. Ford went on from there to be the chief representative of the head of the UN agency UNRWA to the Arab world. In that capacity he traveled throughout the Arab world, including on a number of occasions to Syria, which is host to more than 500,000 UNRWA-registered Palestinian refugees.
** Prof. Joshua Landis, who is the Sandra Mackey Chair and Director, Center of Middle East Studies & Arabic at the University of Oklahoma. Landis has published widely on Syria and is the publisher of (and a frequent writer at) the “Syria Comment” blog.
JWE President Helena Cobban, who has also researched and written widely on Syria, will be moderating the discussion.
Session 2, March 28:
Session 2 will be “The Syrian Uprising in the context of the Arab Spring”, and will feature a probing discussion (moderated by Helena Cobban) between these two great panelists:
** Prof. Richard Falk, a world-renowned expert on international law who spent six years, 2008-14 as the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of the Palestinians of the Occupied Territories. (We are also proud that Falk is a member of the Just World Ed board.)
** Ms. Vanessa Beeley, a British journalist who has reported from Libya, Syria and elsewhere. Beeley was a finalist for the 2017 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism whose groundbreaking work from Syria has been endorsed by John Pilger and other leading investigative reporters.
Schedule for the whole series:
Details of the presenters for the other sessions in this webinar series will be posted as we are able to confirm them, but the basic schedule for the entire series is currently planned to be as follows. Check back here frequently to see details of the additional panelists as they are confirmed.
|Mar. 25||Introduction to Syria, its people, and history pre-2011|
|Mar. 28||The Syrian Uprising in the context of the Arab Spring|
|April 1||US policy toward Syria|
|April 4||Western media’s role, including on the chemical weapons issue|
|April 8||Israel’s role in Syria|
|April 11||Syria in the region|
|April 15||Syrian refugees & IDPs|
|April 18||Palestinian refugees in Syria|
|April 22||Sanctions & their effects on reconstruction|
|April 25||Negotiations over constitutional reform.|
On Feb 18th at noon, Congresswoman Gwen Moore has agreed to take a picture with peace activists standing under a peace billboard (see below) at Wells and James Lowell (7th St).
Billboard at Wells and James Lovell: 3% of U.S. Military Spending Could End Starvation on Earth
A billboard at the south-east corner of Wells and James Lovell (7th) Streets, across the street from the Milwaukee Public Museum through the month of February and again for the month of July when the Democratic National Convention is held nearby, reads:
"3% of U.S. Military Spending Could End Starvation on Earth"
Is it a joke?
Hardly. Milwaukeeans and others around the country with little money of their own to spare have been chipping in to put up billboards like this one in an effort to call attention to the biggest elephant in the American room -- even if, in political mascot terms, it's a hybrid elephant-donkey: the U.S. military budget.
Organizations that have contributed to this billboard include World BEYOND War, Milwaukee Veterans For Peace Chapter 102, and Progressive Democrats of America.
Paul Moriarity, president of Milwaukee Veterans For Peace remarked: "As veterans, we know that endless wars and the Pentagon's corporate handouts do nothing to make us safe. We waste hundreds of billions of dollars that would be better spent on pressing needs like education, health care, and averting catastrophic climate change. Educating and reminding people of the true costs of war is a primary mission of Veterans For Peace. We are happy to be a partner in this effort by World BEYOND War."
World BEYOND War has put up billboards in numerous cities. The organization's Executive Director David Swanson said the approach has helped create conversations that otherwise don't happen. "In the most recent presidential primary debate on CNN, as is typical," he said, "the moderators asked the candidates what various projects would cost and how they would be paid for, but lost all interest in cost when it came to questions of war. The single biggest item in the federal discretionary budget, taking up over half of it alone, is perhaps the least-discussed item: military spending."
Jim Carpenter, local contact for the Progressive Democrats of America, said he believes Senator Bernie Sanders is correct when he says we must "bring together the leaders of the major industrial nations with the goal of using the trillions of dollars our nations spend on misguided wars and weapons of mass destruction to instead work together internationally to combat our climate crises and take on the fossil fuel industry. We are uniquely positioned to lead the planet in a wholesale shift away from militarism."
As of 2019, the annual Pentagon base budget, plus war budget, plus nuclear weapons in the Department of Energy, plus military spending by the Department of Homeland Security, plus interest on deficit military spending, and other military spending totaled $1.25 trillion (as calculated by William Hartung and Many Smithberger).
The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors in 2019 passed a resolution that read in part:
"WHEREAS, according to the Political Economy Research Institute of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, spending $1 billion on domestic priorities produces 'substantially more jobs within the U.S. economy than would the same $1 billion spent on the military'; and
"WHEREAS, Congress should reallocate federal military outlays toward human and environmental needs: aid toward the goal of providing free, superior education from pre-school through college, end world hunger, convert the United States to clean energy, provide clean drinking water everywhere needed, build high speed trains between all major U.S. cities, finance a full-employment jobs program, and double non-military foreign aid."
"End world hunger," said Swanson, "is rightly only one small item in the list of what would be possible by redirecting a portion of destructive and counter-productive military spending. It would, however, constitute a major shift in foreign policy. Imagine what the world would think of the United States, if it were known as the country that ended world starvation. The decrease in hostility could be dramatic."
World BEYOND War explains the 3 percent figure this way:
In 2008, the United Nations said that $30 billion per year could end hunger on earth, as reported in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and many other outlets. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN FAO) tells us that number is still up to date. Thirty billion is only 2.4 percent of 1.25 trillion. So, 3 percent is a conservative estimate of what would be needed. As noted on the billboard, this is explained in some detail at worldbeyondwar.org/explained
On Tue, Nov 19, 2019 at 10:49 PM Erik Sperling of Just Foreign Policy <email@example.com> wrote:.
We are circulating a letter in Congress now. I've pasted those details below. We NEED people like Rashida Talib, Barbara Lee, Gwen Moore -- and any other champions that folks may be connected to -- on this letter. So anything you can do to do outreach to Congressional offices would be huge. To give you a sense of how horrific the climate is on the Hill right now around this, check out this pretty irritating article: https://thehill.com/policy/international/americas/471180-sanders-doubles-down-on-bolivia-coup-few-follow-suit
Getting a good turnout on this letter would really go a long way to change the narrative and support Bernie's terrific comments.We did two blasts to our list with petitions, one targeting the NYT for endorsing the coup, and one targeting members of Congress. Thanks
Related Legislative Issues
Emergency Rally! Against the Military Coup in Bolivia!
Special Stand for Peace
Saturday, Nov.16, Noon, at Martin Luther King, Jr. and Locusts St.
Party for Socialism & Liberation, Peace Action of WI, WI Bail Out the People Movement, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Veterans for Peace of Milwaukee-Chapter 102, and many other
National Call-in Day for Korea Peace
Tuesday, October 8, 2019.
The American Friends Service Committee, Korea Peace Network, Korea Peace Now! Grassroots Network, Peace Treaty Now, United for Peace and Justice, and Win Without War are jointly announcing a National Call-in Day for Korea Peace, on Tuesday, October 8, while our Congress members are back in their local District Offices.
On this important day, please take just 3 minutes to call your District Office and urge your House Representative to co-sponsor H. Res. (House Resolution) 152: Calling for a formal end to the Korean War. The Korean War -- now 70 years-old -- is the longest continuing US conflict in the world. It’s time to end it, and we need your help!
SUGGESTED SCRIPT A (For those who have not co-sponsored H Res 152
Hi, my name is ____, calling from ____(city/town)____. I’m calling to urge Representative _____ to co-sponsor House Resolution 152: Calling for a formal end to the Korean War.
You can use any (or all) of the following options for supporting arguments:
- The Korea issue is bigger than Donald Trump or Kim Jong-un. We should not lose sight of what’s at stake: the lives of 80 million Koreans in North and South Korea and 28,500 US troops in South Korea. Also, there are tens of thousands of Korean Americans who have family members in South and North Korea who will be impacted. For lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, we must end the Korean War with a formal peace agreement now, so that genuine diplomacy can begin. Please urge Representative __________to co-sponsor and support H.Res.152. Thank you.
- The American public is tired of endless wars. It’s time to shift our national priorities from war to jobs and human needs at home. The Korean War -- now 70 years-old -- is the longest US conflict in the world. Let’s finally end the Korean War so that genuine diplomacy can begin. Please urge Representative __________to co-sponsor and support H.Res.152. Thank you.
SUGGESTED SCRIPT B (For those who have already co-sponsored)
Hi, my name is ____, calling from ____(city/town)____. I want to thank Representative _________ for co-sponsoring House Resolution 152: Calling for a formal end to the Korean War. I appreciate (her/his) support very much and hope (she/he) will find opportunities to urge other colleagues in the House to do the same, as well as voice support for Korea peace in public statements and presentations whenever possible. We need more champions for peace in Korea! Thank you.
DEMONSTRATION AGAINST WAR
SEPT. 16, 2019, 5-6 PM
Milwaukee Lakefront- Bradford Beach Overpass
Sponsored by Peace Action of Wisconsin
Co-sponsors: Veterans for Peace, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Building Unity, United Nations Association of Milwaukee, Racine Coalition for Peace and Justice, Racine Central America Solidarity Coalition, Friends Committee on National Legislation- Milwaukee, Palestine Action Network- Milwaukee, WI Cuba Coalition, and more tba
For information: peaceactionwi.org, 414-269-9525