Sunday, February 28, 2021

Sanders Warns Biden Attack on Syria Puts US on 'Path of Continuing the Forever War Instead of Ending It'

Friday, February 26, 2021

Sanders Warns Biden Attack on Syria Puts US on 'Path of Continuing the Forever War Instead of Ending It'

"Our Constitution is clear that it is Congress, not the president, who has the authority to declare war," the senator asserted.

Brett Wilkins, staff writer

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on February 26, 2021 expressed his serious concerns over the legality and consequences of U.S. airstrikes ordered by President Joe Biden against Iran-backed militants in eastern Syria. (Photo: Susan Walsh—Pool/Getty Images)

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Friday added his voice to a growing chorus of concern and condemnation after President Joe Biden ordered an attack Thursday on Iran-backed militants in eastern Syria without seeking congressional approval. 

"For far too long administrations of both parties have interpreted their authorities in an extremely expansive way to continue military interventions across the Middle East region and elsewhere."
—Sen. Bernie Sanders

In a statement, Sanders (I-Vt.) said he was "very concerned" that the U.S. attack—which according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights killed 22 Iraqi Hezbollah and Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces fighters—"puts our country on the path of continuing the Forever War instead of ending it." 

"This is the same path we've been on for almost two decades," said Sanders. "For far too long administrations of both parties have interpreted their authorities in an extremely expansive way to continue military interventions across the Middle East region and elsewhere. This must end." 

Sanders noted that "in 2019 Congress passed the first War Powers Resolution in history to end U.S. participation in the war in Yemen," and that lawmakers passed another resolution last year to prevent former President Donald Trump "from starting a war with Iran." 

"These were important and historic steps by Congress to reassert constitutional authority over the use of force, and we must continue to built on these efforts," Sanders said. "Our Constitution is clear that it is Congress, not the president, who has the authority to declare war." 

Earlier, other lawmakers said Biden should have sought congressional authorization for the strikes, which some legal experts say violated international law. While calling attacks by Iran-backed militants on Iraqi bases hosting U.S. troops "unacceptable," Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) stressed that "retaliatory strikes, not necessary to prevent an imminent threat, must fall within the definition of an existing congressional authorization of military force."

"Congress should hold this administration to the same standard it did prior administrations, and require clear legal justifications for military action, especially inside theaters like Syria, where Congress has not explicitly authorized any American military action," said Murphy.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) tweeted Friday that Democrats "ran on ending wars, not on escalating conflicts in the Middle East." It was the Democratic administration of then-President Barack Obama that first intervened in the Syrian civil war in 2014. 

While U.S. airstrikes have decreased dramatically since Biden took office, Thursday's attack—which followed a joint U.S.-Iraqi assassination of an Islamic State leader on January 27—was the second reported bombing of his tenure.

On Thursday, Common Dreams reported on a new study and interactive map from the Brown University Costs of War Project and USA Today detailing the U.S. military's so-called "counterterrorism" operations in 85 nations, part of the open-ended post-9/11 "War on Terror" that has seen over half a dozen countries attacked or invaded, hundreds of overseas American military bases built, hundreds of thousands of lives lost, and trillions of dollars spent—with no end in sight.

Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.

Donations can be sent to Max Obuszewski, Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 431 Notre Dame Lane, Apt. 206, Baltimore, MD 21212.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs



Baltimore Activist Alert -- March 1 - 2, 2021

23] Nuclear Remembrance Day – March 1

24] Healing the earth means healing our people. – March 1

25] Unwinding the “Remain in Mexico” Policy – March 1

26] Clean Air Baltimore Coalition bi weekly meeting -- March 1

27] Alarming rise of Sino phobia and anti-Chinese rhetoric in Canada – March 1

28] Get Money Out – Maryland – March 1

29] Bringing the World Back Home – March 1

30] National Organize to Win Call – March 1

31] Care Corner Food Pantry -- March 2

32] Protest JHU’s weapons research – March 2

33] Sunrise Movement hub meeting -- March 2

34] Take Action Tuesdays – March 2

35] International Women’s Day – March 2

36] Animal Bereavement Support Group – March 2

37] Peace with Cuba Calling Party – March 2


23] – You are cordially invited to join an inspiring dialogue between Youth Fusion Elders and young leaders from the peace, nuclear disarmament and climate action fields on Mon., March 1 from noon to 1:30 PM ET.  The event is being held in conjunction with World Future Day and Nuclear Remembrance Day. It will also include the launch of the Youth Fusion Elders initiative, a youth-led program to facilitate inter-generational dialogue, and to highlight the importance of youth learning from the experience of those who have been long-time and effective leaders in the peace and disarmament fields. Register at Check out the Facebook page --

24] – The Poor Peoples Campaign [] is promoting Healing the earth means healing our people. On Mon., March 1 at 3 PM ET, lift up struggles from across the nation to protect our land and freedom from the evils of ecological devastation, poverty wages, environmental racism and denial of health care. From the struggle to defend Apache sacred land in Oak Flats from a corporate mining giant to Cancer Alley in Louisiana to toxic factories in West Virginia and Chicago, to name just a few. Hear directly from communities that are fighting back and demanding economic and environmental justice. Tune in

25] – Join HIAS [] for Unwinding the “Remain in Mexico” Policy with Rep. Veronica Escobar‌ ‌on Mon., ‌March 1 from 4:30 to 5:30 PM ET.  For the Webinar, registration is required at In January 2019, the Migration Protection Protocols (MPP, or “Remain in Mexico”) were implemented at the U.S.-Mexico border. More than 70,000 asylum seekers have since been denied entry into the United States to pursue asylum. Rather, they were forced to wait for months and years along the border in Mexico, vulnerable to assault, kidnapping, extortion and even murder. HIAS is on the ground on both sides of the border.

26] – On Mon., March 1 from 5 to 6 PM, attend a Clean Air Baltimore Coalition bi weekly meeting.  The next meeting will be March 15. Anti-incinerator bills are gaining traction in Annapolis! The House Speaker is supportive of cleaning up the state's renewable energy mandate to stop feeding our ratepayer (electric bill) money to dirty energy sources. Right now, millions of dollars every year go to each of three trash incinerators (including Baltimore), as well as out-of-state paper mills, tree-burners, landfills, and other dirty sources instead of wind and solar.  How can we can help get legislation passed to move this money from polluters to clean energy?  Register here:

27] – Hearings in the extradition trial of Meng Wanzhou, CFO of Huawei, are scheduled to resume Mon., March 1. Her arrest was a colossal blunder by the Trudeau Government, motivated by Trump's political, economic, and security ambitions to create a new cold war with China. Panelists will discuss the alarming rise of Sino phobia and anti-Chinese rhetoric in Canada and the likelihood that Huawei will be illegally banned from participation in Canada's 5G network. Will anything change under Biden? Join the webinar on Mon., March 1 at 7 PM EST. Email, and check out

28] – There is a Get Money Out - Maryland BOARD MEETING on Mon., March 1 at 7:30 PM.  There is two ways to join the conference: 1) dial 1 301 715 8592 with a meeting ID: 931 3066 2622. The password is 173976 and 2} click on your device if you have downloaded the app from Zoom.  This is a GMOM Board strategy session. Observers are welcome. Visit

29] –  On Mon., March 1 from 7:30 to 9:30 PM EST, hear online about Bringing the World Back Home: How the Peace Corps Changed How I Live & See the World, hosted by  Lisa Martin and Silver Spring Town Center Inc. Go to There is a saying that people who served in the Peace Corps in Africa come home smiling; those who served in Asia come home meditating; and those who served in Latin America come back as revolutionaries. Wherever in the world one has served, every Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) would say they are forever changed by their experience. As the Peace Corps celebrates its 60th Anniversary this year, gather with an array of RPCVs who served across all regions and throughout all eras to reflect on how their Peace Corps experience changed their lives. How did one's experience in their country of service forever change their lives, lifestyles and world views? This program will be moderated by Korea RPCV Frances Holliday Alford.

Please help promote the event via social media using this Facebook event page:[%7B%22extra_data%22%3A%22%22%2C%22mechanism%22%3A%22surface%22%2C%22surface%22%3A%22edit_dialog%22%7D%2C%7B%22extra_data%22%3A%22%22%2C%22mechanism%22%3A%22surface%22%2C%22surface%22%3A%22permalink%22%7D%2C%7B%22extra_data%22%3A%22%22%2C%22mechanism%22%3A%22surface%22%2C%22surface%22%3A%22edit_dialog%22%7D]%7D. Here is the Zoom link: You do need to register in advance. Please make sure you have Zoom downloaded to your computer.

Hear from a volunteer who served in Mali, another in Zambia, two others in Brazil, another in Azerbaijan, another in Estonia, another in Mexico, another in Uzbekistan, another in Benin and another in Costa Rica.  Jay & Sharon Levy of Takoma Park were volunteers in Nordeste, Salvador, Brazil, 1966-68. Sharon worked at two hospitals doing speech therapy and gave a course in rudimentary aspects of speech pathology to a group of Brazilians. She continued in that field after Peace Corps and spent the last 25 work years as a speech/language pathologist for Montgomery County Public Schools. During Peace Corps service, Jay was doing community development work in the favela and also helping to promote tourism in the city. Through the Peace Corps, Jay landed a job with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization as a public affairs officer. His second career was as an ESOL teacher, also in the MCPS system, as well as at Montgomery College.

30] – Our Revolution [] invites you to this week’s National Organize to Win Call on Mon., March 1 from 8:30 to 9:30 PM! Join U.S. Rep Pramila Jayapal, North Chicago Treasurer-Elect Vance Wyatt, St. Louis Alderwoman Megan Green, and Our Revolution Board Chair Larry Cohen for the latest from the Congressional Progressive Caucus and local election updates from Illinois and Missouri. RSVP at

31] – On March 2 from 9:30 to 11:30 AM ET, get over to the Care Corner Food Pantry at the Pasadena United Methodist Church, 61 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena. This will continue each Tuesday through June 29.  Food bags are available for individuals and families in need. Food bags are first-come, first-served each week.  Volunteers are needed each week to help distribute the food. Sign up here: All COVID safety measures are followed, including outdoor distribution, mask-wearing and social distancing. 

32] – There is a Vigil to say "No Drone Research at JHU" at 33rd and N. Charles Sts. on Tuesdays from 5 to 6 PM. Contact Max at mobuszewski2001 at Comcast dot net or 410-323-1607.  You may consider contacting President Ron Daniels and telling him that the university should reject all military contracts, including those for killer drone and nuclear weapons research.  The president’s mailing address is Office of the President, 242 Garland Hall, The Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, Maryland 21218.  You can also reach his office by Phone: (410) 516-8068, Fax: (410) 516-6097 or email:

33] – The Sunrise Movement hub meeting will be on Tues., March 2 at 6:30 to 8 PM ET. Join in to build community, learn some skills, and catch up with what the hub is up to!  Register at

34] – The Women’s March Organizing Team [] has created Take Action Tuesdays from 7 to 8 PM ET— a weekly, virtual gathering of women focused on harnessing grassroots organizing power and fighting for meaningful progress in the post-Trump era. This will be a virtual space to share stories and experiences and take meaningful action around key women's issues in the first 100 days of the Biden-Harris Administration. For Tues., March 2, RSVP at 

35] –IFAW [] is inviting you to join online on Tues., March 2 at 7 PM ET for an International Women’s Day special—women in conservation. From Team Lioness, a group of all-female anti-poaching rangers in East Africa, to staff in our offices around the world, women play a critical role in accomplishing IFAW’s mission to help animals and people thrive together in the place we call home. RSVP at  This event will be also accessible via phone if you don’t have access to the internet. Please proceed with registering and your confirmation email will have the call-in information.

36] – On Tues., March 2 from 7 to 8:30 PM ET, get with the Animal Bereavement Support Group at the Baltimore Humane Society, 1601 Nicodemus Road, Reisterstown 21136. This will continue each Tuesday, through August 3. See  The loss of an animal can be a devastating blow. Our friends are often loved as a member of our family, and we believe their passing should be treated with the same respect. RSVP to 

37] – Marcy [] is reminding us about the next CODEPINK CONGRESS on Tues., March 2 at 8 PM ET: Peace with Cuba Calling Party. ‌ ‌‌RSVP for the Zoom link at  This CODEPINK CONGRESS will feature two guests: Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), who is urging Biden to normalize U.S.-Cuba relations, and Jose Pertierra, a Cuban attorney and political analyst. For decades, America has burdened Cuba with a cruel embargo, creating tremendous hardships for the Cuban people. This worsened during the Trump administrations, which applied even more sanctions, and so far, President Biden has done nothing to change course. How can we pressure the administration to take action via executive order? What are members of Congress doing? How can we counter the influence of the right-wing? Find out this Tuesday!  Following the guests’ presentations and Q & A, you will be asked to contact your Senators to support the U.S.-Cuba Trade Act of 2021, introduced by Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR), to lift the embargo on Cuba.

To be continued.

Donations can be sent to Max Obuszewski, Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 431 Notre Dame Lane, Apt. 206, Baltimore, MD 21212.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs  

Baltimore Activist Alert – February 28 – March 7, 2021

Baltimore Activist Alert – February 28 – March 7, 2021

"I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours." -Martin Luther King Jr.

Friends, this list and other email documents which I send out are done under the auspices of the Baltimore Nonviolence Center.  Go to

 If you appreciate this information and would like to make a donation, send contributions to Max Obuszewski, BNC, 431 Notre Dame Lane, Apt. 206, Baltimore, MD 21212.  Max Obuszewski can be reached at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski2001 [at]

1] Books, buttons and stickers

2] Web site for info on federal legislation

3] Get involved with NCNR   

4] Volunteer with a Catholic Worker house  

5] Free Prakash Churaman  

6] “Time Warps: The Pandemic’s Effect on Our Sense of Duration” Feb. 28

7] Coalition against U.S. Foreign Military Bases -- Feb. 28

8] Feed the Homeless -- Feb. 28

9] Weekly Seekers' BLM Witness – Feb. 28

10] Protesting U.S. Policy toward Cuba Feb. 28

11] Building Food Sovereignty in Nicaragua – Feb. 28

12] Healthcare Town Hall -- Feb. 28

13] Master Naturalist Outing – Feb. 28

14] Medicare 4 ALL Workgroup – Feb. 28

15] Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – Feb. 28

16] Protect Domestic Workers – Feb. 28

17] Services for Sister Dianna Ortiz -- Feb. 28, March 1 & 7

18] Apply to the Candidate Training Program – Feb. 28

19] Pentagon Peace Vigil – March 1

20] Quilts and Stories – March 1 - 12

21] Protest Haiti's U.S.-Backed Dictator – March 1

22] Food Rescue – March 1


1] – Buttons, bumperstickers and books are available.  “God Bless the Whole World, No Exceptions” stickers are in stock. Call Max at 410-323-1607.

2] –To obtain information how your federal legislators voted on particular bills, go to  Congressional toll-free numbers are 888-818-6641, 888-355-3588 or 800-426-8073. The White House Comment Email is accessible at

3] – THE ORGANIZING LIST will be the primary decision-making mechanism of the National Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR].  It will be augmented by conference calls and possibly in-person meetings as needed.  It will consist of 1 or 2 representatives from each local, regional, or national organization (not coalitions) that wishes to actively work to carry out the NCNR campaign of facilitating and organizing nonviolent resistance to U.S. wars.

To join the ORGANIZING List, please send your name, group affiliation, city and email address to mobuszewski2001 at Comcast dot net.  Different local chapters of a national organization are encouraged to subscribe.  

4] - Suzanne Fontanesi and Jeff Ross are in the beginning stages of renovating the basement of their house for purposes of bringing in a volunteer (targeting young adults in discernment mode), starting next fall. They are trying to grow a Catholic Worker House in Irvington (West Baltimore). In a nutshell, there is a lot that a volunteer could do in that neighborhood/Baltimore, in addition to prayer and daily community living and in addition to plugging into all the good work that people are already doing in and around Baltimore (and beyond).  If you think you might know of anyone who might be interested in starting a conversation with them about becoming such a volunteer/community member, please contact Jeff/Suzanne at 443-690-6872.

5] – Prakash Churaman was 15 when he was arrested and accused of murdering his best friend. NYPD detective Barry Brown coerced him into making a false confession over the course of hours in an interrogation room. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison by Judge Kenneth Holder, a former prosecutor. That conviction was overturned this summer and now for the first time he has a chance to come home if money can be raised for his bail. Here is the link to a video which tells his story: Here is the link to Gofundme: and another one to a petition:

6] – Usually, the Baltimore Ethical Society, 2521 St. Paul St., Baltimore 21218, meets on Sundays, and generally there is a speaker and discussion at 10:30 AM.  On Sun., Feb. 28, hear about “Time Warps: The Pandemic’s Effect on Our Sense of Duration.” The pandemic has done a lot to affect our perception of time, but not all people experience the warping the same way – for some time has moved slowly, for others quickly, and for many they feel both ways! What makes the minute hand move like molasses? What makes the days fly by? Hugh Taft-Morales explores various explanations for warped perceptions of time and offers some hints as to how to manage time in a way that supports full living. He serves as Leader of the Philadelphia Ethical Society and the Baltimore Ethical Society and is a member of the Ethical Action Committee of the American Ethical Union (AEU).  Email PRESIDENT@BMORETHICAL.ORG for the ZOOM LOGIN INFORMATION.

7] – The Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases [] is hosting an International Webinar on US/NATO Military Bases on the International Day of Action on Sun., Feb. 28 from 11 AM to 1 PM ET.  It will be bilingual in English and Spanish.  It is organized by the World Peace Council. Register at

8] – On Sun., Feb. 28 from noon to 3 PM EST, Feed the Homeless in downtown Baltimore, 550 Holliday St., at the intersection of Guilford Ave. & Centre St., 21202, hosted by Mark Grey. Skylyne Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Baltimore. The group currently raises funds & collect donations to benefit the homeless & less fortunate men, women & children. It accepts food trays of different hot foods & soups (on location) perishable items, can goods, cases of water & juice toiletries, hygiene products, feminine products, school supplies, coats & winter accessories, footwear, pillows, blankets, and so much more. Consider making a minimum donation of $5 or $10, or any amount you can contribute. Go to Email

9] – On Sun., Feb. 28 from 12:30 to 1:30 PM ET, join a BLM Witness at the Seekers Church, 276 Carroll St. NW, WDC 20012. Visit It is a wonderful opportunity to show up for racial justice and experience unity as passing drivers and pedestrians of all races and ethnicities wave and raise fists. Cars honk, bicyclists ring their little bike bells, and sometimes passers-by ask for a sign and join in. 

10] – Join the Car Caravan Protesting U.S. Policy toward Cuba on Sun., Feb. 28 at 1 PM. The DC Metro Coalition in Solidarity with the Cuban Revolution invites you, your co-workers, and family members to participate in this car caravan, designed to protest U.S. policy and actions toward Cuba, and specifically calls for a list of demands, including halting U.S. economic war against Cuba and getting the U.S. out of Guantanamo. Caravan vehicles will assemble on the street in front of the African American Civil War Museum, 1925 Vermont Ave. NW. The museum is located near the intersection of Vermont Ave. and U Street and close to the entrance to the U Street/African American Civil War Museum Metro station. Arrive by 12:45 PM to receive instructions on the route.

11] – Alliance for Global Justice [] is announcing a webinar Building Food Sovereignty in Nicaragua on Sun., Feb. 28 at 3 PM ET. Register at Nicaraguans are hard at work on a multi-faceted approach to ensure people's freedom from hunger and adequate nutrition.  The speakers in this webinar will discuss Nicaragua's efforts toward food sovereignty, including farmer associations like the ATC, agroecology projects, and government programs such as Zero Hunger and school meals.

12] – Join Progressive Democrats of America [] at its Healthcare Emergency Town Hall on Sun., Feb. 28 at 4 PM ET.  This weekly series of town halls address COVID 19 and seek to help make America a healthier place for all, in general. Register at  The featured guest speakers are the PDA National Congressional Liaison team, along with PDA activists from across the country sharing their stories of activism and success. 

13] – There is a Master Naturalist Outing on Sun., Feb. 28 at 4 PM ET. Swap tips for where to go for winter walks. What's your favorite place? What have you discovered there recently? A Maryland Master Naturalist will take you on a virtual excursion to a beautiful Maryland destination.  To join the virtual walk, contact Janet Gingold, Chair, Prince George's Sierra Club Group, at or (301) 814-1223. Each participant should register individually. Registrants will be sent the meeting link the day before the event.

14] – On Sun., Feb. 28 from 5 to 6 PM EST, get with a Medicare 4 ALL Workgroup Weekly Meeting, hosted by Metro D.C. Democratic Socialists of America.  These meetings will continue through April 25.   RSVP HERE FOR ZOOM: Democratic Socialists are fighting to make single-payer Medicare for All healthcare a reality.  Help fight to replace our fractured and broken health system with a unified Medicare for All system. Not a DSA member? Consider becoming a Member. Fees are on a sliding scale according to what you feel you can afford: 

15] – On Sun., Feb 28 from 5 to 6:30 PM, join the new Florida Peace & Justice Alliance for this special event with presentations by Dr. Lynn Ringenberg of Physicians for Social Responsibility-Florida and David Combs of the Union of Concerned Scientists! Talk about what the entry into force of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons means from a healthcare perspective.  They will also discuss the Back from the Brink campaign. Register for this webinar: "The journey to a world free of nuclear weapons – where we are and how you can get involved by emailing Al Mytty at

16] – The National Domestic Workers Alliance [] on Mon., March 1 at 7:30 PM ET is holding a webinar about how the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed all the cracks and breaks within our society: a fragile economy and an inadequate healthcare system. Millions of essential workers — most of whom are women of color — left without basic protections. In the face of this loss and confusion, there is an unprecedented opportunity to rebuild our economy and society with care for people, communities, and the planet at the center. Sign up at

17] – Funeral Arrangements for Sister Dianna Ortiz, OSU were planned at the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph’s Motherhouse, Maple Mount, KY.  Here is the link for Live-Stream participation during the Vigil Service on Sun., Feb.  28 at 7:30 to 8:30 PM ET:  Here is the link for the funeral on Mon., March 1 at 11:30 AM ET: In addition, Assisi Community invites you to join for a Mass to celebrate Dianna’s life on Sun., March 7 at 5 PM ET by Zoom at  If you have questions, contact Marie Dennis, Assisi Community, at 202-257-1583 or

18] – The Progressive Maryland Team [] is reminding you to Apply to the Candidate Training Program! Applications due by midnight on Sun., Feb. 28. Are you thinking about running for office this year or in 2022? Do you want to be part of a progressive wave of candidates sweeping into office across Maryland in the next few years? Maybe you want to get more involved in working on and running grassroots electoral campaigns? If the answer is yes to any of the above, hear is a terrific opportunity for you! The Maryland People’s Leadership Institute (MPLI) is an esteemed candidate campaign training school designed for progressive activists working to make Maryland a better state. The 2021 program runs (in a virtual setting) from mid-April to mid-June. Use the link below to learn more:

19] – There is a weekly Pentagon Peace Vigil from 7 to 8 AM on Mondays, since 1987, outside the Pentagon Metro stop.  The next vigil is March 1, and it is sponsored by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker.  Email or call 202-882-9649.  The vigil will be outside the Pentagon's south Metro entrance and in the designated "protest zone" behind bicycle fences across from the entrance to the Metro.  By Metro, take Yellow Line and get out at the "Pentagon" stop. Do not go to the Pentagon City stop! Go up south escalators and turn left and walk across to protest area. By car from D.C. area, take 395 South and get off at Exit 8A-Pentagon South Parking. Take slight right onto S. Rotary Rd. at end of ramp and right on S. Fern St. Then take left onto Army Navy Dr. You can "pay to park" on Army Navy Dr.,  and there is meter parking one block on right on Eads St. Payment for both of these spots begin at 8 AM.  No cameras are allowed on Pentagon grounds. Restrooms are located inside Marriott Residence Inn on corner of S. Fern and Army Navy Dr.  

20] – On Mon., March 1 through Mar., 12 from 10 AM to 4 PM EST, check out Quilts and the Stories They Tell at the Sandy Spring Museum. Capacity limitations will reflect the current Montgomery County guidelines. Reservations are encouraged. Go to Take a close look at a quilt and you can almost hear the words of the maker, the fabric, and the purpose of this utilitarian work of art. But while every quilt has a backstory, the story quilt starts with a message. A story quilt may include words, photos, non-traditional fabrics, and embellishments along with more standard quilting techniques and materials.

21] – On Mon., March 1 at 10 AM ET, join a Black Alliance for Peace Rally to Oppose Haiti's U.S.-Backed Dictator at the Haitian Embassy, 2311 Massachusetts Ave. NW, WDC 20008-2802.  Protest Jovenel Moïse’s refusal to leave office after his term as president ended on February 7, 2021. Moïse has unleashed violent gangs, the police and the military against protesters, who are demanding he respect the Constitution and step down. RSVP at

22] – On Mon., March 1  from noon to 1:30 PM EST, participate in Food Rescue at Land of Kush, 840 North Eutaw St., Baltimore.  This Food Rescue will continue until Mon., Apr. 26. Food Rescue Baltimore is proud to partner with The Land of Kush each and every Monday to bring free vegan and plant-based food to the community. Bring a bag, take what you want, while supplies last. #KeepItFreshDay #MeatlessMonday. See

To be continued.

Donations can be sent to Max Obuszewski, Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 431 Notre Dame Lane, Apt. 206, Baltimore, MD 21212.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Saturday, February 27, 2021

The National Security State Doesn’t Protect Us. Let’s Redefine Security for All.





The National Security State Doesn’t Protect Us. Let’s Redefine Security for All.

National Guard troops stand outside the U.S. Capitol on February 13, 2021, in Washington, D.C.


National Guard troops stand outside the U.S. Capitol on February 13, 2021, in Washington, D.C.WIN MCNAMEE / GETTY IMAGES

 Lindsay Koshgarian

 February 26, 2021

After the nation watched white supremacists take over the Capitol building, the failure of the national security state to appropriately recognize and address the threat became a national scandal. But this “failure” shouldn’t have surprised us. If there is one thing that the trillion-dollar national security apparatus is good at, it’s under-hyping and misinterpreting threats that aren’t based on threats from “outsiders,” while overhyping the threats that are.

It’s not just white supremacy that the national security state often overlooks. The downplayed threats are often those that aren’t suggestive of national security “solutions.” Everyone knows that bombs can’t stop climate change, a virus or a hurricane (with the exception of one former president). In the case of white supremacist violence, the failure to appreciate the danger reflects a reluctance to use the full violence of state power against white citizens, but the effects are similar. And when it isn’t ignoring them, the national security state co-opts these threats rather than relinquish power to other arms of government.

Of course, the bread and butter of the national security state is the idea that we need plenty of bombs (and ships, jets, troops and so on) to deal with threats posed by terrorists from “over there,” or countries that would threaten U.S. global primacy. The overhyping of a supposed threat posed by China is particularly insidious, as it threatens not only to ignite a new Cold War, but to drag climate negotiations, future pandemic preparations and the rest of the world down with it.

National security needs to be reimagined twice: once to refocus it on real threats like climate change, global pandemics and authoritarianism, and again to refocus the response to those crises away from a militarized response and toward real solutions. It will take significant outside pressure to make that happen.

Overhyped Threats and Military Overreach

The U.S. military reaches around the globe, with approximately 800 foreign military installations in nearly half the world’s countries, and takes up more than half the discretionary budget that Congress allocates each year. Every decade or two, there is a new rationale for all this, with a new threat.

In recent decades, the threats have shifted from Russia (the first time), to terrorists in the Middle East, to “rogue states” like North Korea and Iran, and most recently to economic and ideological rivals like China and Russia. Each of these overhyped threats has generated a military response out of all proportion to what might reasonably be deemed necessary, both because the U.S. military already has more capacity than it needs to rebuff any military threat, and because in most of these cases, the threat can’t be addressed through military means anyway.

Through the 1980s, the U.S. and Russia engaged in an arms race that led to the two countries possessing enough nuclear weapons to destroy each other, and the planet, many times over. The primary justification on the U.S. side was an ideological fear of communism — a problem (if you can call it that) without a military solution. To this day, no other country comes even close to the number of nuclear weapons these two nations still hold, and the national security state continues to demand more resources for nuclear weapons. The same fear of communism was used to justify the U.S. war in Vietnam.

The next big threat was terrorism. Twenty years after the “war on terror” began, the U.S. continues to fight aimlessly and at great cost in lives and riches. According to the Brown University Costs of War project, more than 800,000 people have died, 37 million people have been displaced, and the U.S. has spent $6.4 trillion on the war on terror to date. The continuing violence in the region has spread and mutated beyond what anyone imagined in 2001. The ongoing U.S. war against terror is a case of an overblown threat without a military solution. And yet many national security voices insist that the U.S. military must not abandon the cause.

Today, the new oversold threats come from China and Russia. Recent national security strategy has set “great power competition” as the newest raison d’être for U.S. military hegemony, and signs point to the Biden administration largely continuing on this track, at great peril to crucial diplomatic efforts on climate. However, despite some disturbingly hawkish signs from the new administration, President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, has acknowledged that the primary U.S. response to China must be domestic “economic renewal” — in other words, not primarily a beefed-up military, but rather, a rejuvenation of U.S. education and jobs. It’s not that there aren’t real problems associated with these countries. It’s just that those problems have little to do with the supposed threats to the U.S., and they certainly have no military solutions.

Fear the Neighbors and Feed the Security State

The national security state reaches inside the United States, too, with its own mythology to justify its continued growth. The national security state justifies its existence by overhyping the threat from crimes ranging from drug selling and possession to the act of crossing the border without the right papers.

Even before the Trump administration, we witnessed the deportation of millions of people, falsely justified by fictions about “crime.” Today, overhyped fears about rising crime rates and scaremongering around demands to defund the police are accompanied by new calls for increased securitization. The supposed “threats” that justify the growth of the security state inside the U.S. are mostly our own neighbors.

If You Can’t Ignore It, Militarize It

The national security state inflates threats that justify its existence, but it also downplays or co-opts threats that in a different world would be the sole province of government agencies for energy, the environment, health care and so on. Instead of solving our problems, the national security state co-opts them for more resources and power.

The most obvious and immediate threat, the COVID-19 pandemic, has now killed more people in the United States than every war except the Civil War — as many as 165 9/11s in a row. It is abundantly clear that the U.S. did not adequately prepare for a pandemic. While a pandemic plan developed by the national security apparatus during the Obama administration was famously thrown out by the last president, it also raised the question of whether the national security apparatus is where pandemic plans should come from in the first place.

Likewise, the National Guard has deployed for everything from the pandemic to an unprecedented storm in Texas (and of course, the siege in Washington, D.C.). The constant reliance on the National Guard reflects the extent to which the national security state is the only arm of government that is resourced well enough to attempt to tackle big problems. In a vicious cycle, this fact continues to draw even more resources into the national security state — resources which are often misused. In a twist that seems all too cruel, the CIA co-opting of a vaccination program in Pakistan may now contribute to vaccine hesitation around COVID-19.

With white supremacist extremism now harder to deny, the national security state is moving from an attitude of avoidance to securitizing the response there, too. The military and law enforcement have chosen to excuse blatant white supremacy in their own ranks: In fact, throughout history, white supremacy has driven and shaped the growth of police departments in the U.S. and around the world. But here too, the national security state adopts the problem by calling for new domestic terrorism laws and more enforcement — another expansion of the national security state. Of course, it’s all too easy to imagine enhanced domestic terrorism laws enacted ostensibly to fight white supremacy being used against Black and Brown peopleracial justice activistsenvironmental justice activists, and others.

Following the same pattern, the national security state alternately ignores, contributes to, and seeks to co-opt climate change. In military circles, climate change has long been recognized primarily as a “threat multiplier” — a factor that could increase conflict (and therefore opportunities for war) — and as a threat to military infrastructure like sea-level naval bases. The Pentagon has begun to recognize the problem with plans to “green” the military by reducing its own emissions, chasing an opportunity to burnish its own image in the process.

The Search for True Security

Living under COVID for the past year has driven home the reality that militarization doesn’t buy security. The new administration and Congress have an opportunity to redefine security, so that it encompasses justice, health, housing, food, education, civil rights and more. That’s a necessary step, but it’s not enough.

The next step has to be demilitarizing security by downsizing the massive security state. Movements like the Poor People’s CampaignDefund HateBlack Lives MatterDissenters, and People Over Pentagon have made real inroads at building power and accomplishing both, but the road ahead is long. The solution is to keep building power until these movements and others are strong enough to push back.

Copyright © Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

 Lindsay Koshgarian is program director of the National Priorities Project, working for a federal budget that prioritizes peace, shared prosperity and economic opportunity for all.

Donations can be sent to Max Obuszewski, Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 431 Notre Dame Lane, Apt. 206, Baltimore, MD 21212.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs