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The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) is the largest trade association representing the unmanned systems — which includes air, ground and maritime systems — and robotics community. We are holding AUVSI Hill Day in conjunction with National Robotics Week on 9 April and we invite you to attend the celebration of the 4th annual National Robotics Week in the Cannon Caucus Room on Tuesday, 9 April from 5:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. (hors d'oeuvres and refreshments).
AUVSI members will display and demonstrate interactive robotic technologies for attendees. AUVSI coordinates this annual event with the House Robotic Caucus co-chairs Reps. Phil Gingrey and Mike Doyle.
This year’s event is sponsored by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, UAV Solutions and Carnegie Mellon University.
The reception in the Cannon Caucus Room is a widely attended event and is open to all Members and staff.
Why did the peace movement of the middle of the last decade not grow larger? Why did it shrink away? Why is it struggling now?
As has been documented, a huge factor in the shrinking away was partisan delusion. You put a different political party's name on the wars and they become good wars.
But that also means that what you had was a peace movement that believed in the possibility of good wars. In fact, much of it believed that Iraq was a bad war and Afghanistan a good war. Many people even went out of their way to display their "reasonableness" by declaring Afghanistan a good war without actually examining the war on Afghanistan; this was imagined to be a strategic way to prevent or scale back or end the war on Iraq.
Of course, when the bad war ends, and all that's left is the good war, those who are actually motivated by opposition to war must shift to opposing the former good war as the current bad war. And why would you listen to anyone who did that?
Many, of course, opposed the war on Afghanistan until the invasion of Iraq, and then switched to talking almost exclusively about Iraq. Afghanistan was labeled the good war once Iraq had happened, just as World War II was labeled the good war once Vietnam had happened. Our beliefs regarding contrasts between Iraq and Afghanistan are mostly false. The invasion of Afghanistan was no more legal or moral or honest or U.N.-authorized than the invasion of Iraq. The occupation of Afghanistan is no less of a vicious one-sided slaughter of helpless people who wished us no ill than the occupation of Iraq was.
But we aren't in the habit of talking about wars as one-sided slaughters of innocent men, women, and children. And we aren't in the habit precisely because that is the essential feature that all of our wars share in common.
When we chose to oppose the war on Iraq without opposing all wars, we were obliged to find a reason why. We were obliged to oppose the war . . .
· because Iraq had no weapons (as if a government's possessing weapons were grounds for its people being bombed -- a notion that could cost Iran dearly),
· or because Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11 (as if a government's association with a group affiliated with a party having once met with a wing of an organization connected to a group involved in 9-11 were grounds for being bombed -- a notion now costing the lives of drone strike victims by the thousands, not to mention sustaining the war on Afghanistan),
· or because the war in Iraq wasn't being won (a notion that helped escalate that war and later the occupation of Afghanistan as well),
· or because -- in fact -- the war on Iraq was a Republican Party war (as of course it was not; just check who controlled the U.S. Senate at the time -- remember the Senate, that body that long prevented President Obama from doing any of the wonderful things he'd like to have done in his secret, if not imaginary, heart of hearts? And look at what happens to opposition to Republican wars when a Democrat is put on the throne.)
A forthcoming book by Paul Chappell is even better than all of his other ones, and I highly recommend it, but it's marred by advocacy for appealing to people's patriotism and religion. I attended a peace conference recently at which some of the speakers claimed that the movement against the war on Iraq had been more strategic than that against the war on Vietnam, and had done so by appealing to patriotism, waving flags, avoiding disrespect for the U.S. military, and not opposing war in general. For several years now, peace groups have been preaching that it would be unstrategic, if not racist, to oppose President Obama. We must oppose Obama's wars, but not him or his political party, as that might turn people off. So we're told.
Often it's considered humble and inclusive to reach people "where they are" and nudge them ever so slightly toward where you'd like them to be. And most of our country is saturated with militarism. But if a peace-in-certain-circumstances movement does manage to turn out a crowd for a march or two, what remains behind when the marches are over? Certainly not an understanding of what's wrong with militarism. Not even an understanding of what the war was that was marched against.
A majority of Americans believes the war on Iraq benefitted Iraq but hurt the United States. A majority wanted that war ended, year after year, for several years, many motivated by selfishness -- by a desire to cease bestowing such philanthropy on the undeserving and ungrateful people of Iraq. A majority believes President George W. Bush lied the nation into the war, but not that all wars are begun with similar lies. And almost no one in the United States understands what was done to Iraq, that more Iraqis and a higher percentage of Iraqis were killed than were Americans in our civil war, or British or French or Japanese or Americans in World War II, or that three times that many Iraqis were made refugees, that towns and neighborhoods and populations were wiped out, infrastructure destroyed and never yet rebuilt, cancer and birth defects at record levels, civil rights worse than under Saddam Hussein's dictatorship, a nation devastated as totally as almost any other in history.
We opposed this without understanding a fraction of it, without educating others about it, and without displaying disrespect for the U.S. military. Is that an accomplishment to be truly proud of? How can counter-recruitment efforts possibly succeed in limiting the military's supply of cannon fodder if the peace movement doesn't disrespect the military? I think the simplemindedness here is not in the public we're so arrogantly trying to manipulate gently, but in ourselves. When we tried to impeach George W. Bush it was not with ill-will toward him, but with an eye on the future behavior of future presidents. When we treat membership in the U.S. military as respectable, how can we simultaneously convey to high school students the disgust we will feel for their action, should they choose to enlist? I said for their action, not for them. Are we not capable of recognizing the economic bind students are in and nonetheless stigmatizing participation in mass-murder? Or are we perhaps not even capable of recognizing mass-murder for what it is?
Here's a secret about people in this country: they don't support mass murder. Here's another: they're not stupid. So, when you force them to be aware that their government is committing mass murder and glorifying it, they get upset, angry, and often energized to make a change. And when you talk to them honestly, they know you're being honest even if they don't agree with you at first. And when you respectfully disagree, they are able to notice whether your position makes any sense. So, if you oppose wars because you oppose killing people, you have to explain to everyone you can that you oppose wars because they kill people. You can't say "I oppose this particular war because Paul Bremmer did something dumb," because everyone will fantasize about a future war that doesn't include the dumb thing. And once you've said that, you have to downplay the fact that the war is an act of mass-murder, because if it were, then why wouldn't you be opposing it for that reason? Why wouldn't your interlocutor as well? You have joined in a cooperative agreement to keep that matter secret as you turn the conversation to the WMD lies or the financial costs or the costs to the U.S. troops who made up 0.3% of the deaths.
On the train home from a recent peace conference, I spoke to a young woman who told me she was studying dentistry and would be in the Air Force. Couldn't she be a dentist without the military, I asked? No, she answered, not without $200,000 in debt. Yes, I replied, but without the Air Force, we could have free colleges and no debts. No, she replied . . . and, if you think for a moment, I know you'll know what she said next. It had nothing to do with the lies about Iraq, the financial cost of Iraq, the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq, or what war mongers the Republicans are. It had nothing to do with any of that. Think for a second, and you'll know.
Got it? She replied: if we didn't have the Air Force, North Korea would kill us.
Now, if you have a little education you probably realize that North Korea couldn't attack the United States without being completely obliterated, and that any nation on earth would scream angry threats if we pretended to drop nuclear bombs on it after having destroyed all of its cities, killed millions of its people, and threatened and antagonized it for over half a century through control of the military belonging to its former other half.
But if you'd just learned that the war on Iraq was a dumb war that cost too much, that nothing is more heroic than militarism, that even the peace movement should be led by soldiers, and that waving flags and valuing a particular 5% of humanity to a special degree are admirable values, where would you be? What would you know about militarism, where it exists, or how it functions?
There will always, always, always be another North Korea that's supposedly about to kill us. We don't need rapid-response fact corrections. We need citizens with some understanding of history, with knowledge of the Other 95%, with the capacity to resist terrorism-by-television, and capable of independent thought. To get there, we need a peace movement that moves us, at whatever pace it can, toward peace -- toward the popular demand for the absolute abolition of all war.
By Dave Lindorff
The history of third parties in America is pretty dismal. The system is rigged against them, for one thing. But equally problematic is the lack of focus that leads to infighting and splits whenever a third party is created.
Supporting Guantánamo Hunger Strikers and Bradley Manning
And Protesting DRONES
Event: Antiwar Protest at Barack Obama’s $32,500/plate dinner
When: 4 PM onward, Wednesday April 3, 2013
Where: Home of Gordon and Ann Getty
2870 Broadway (at Baker)
As President Obama speaks in Pacific Heights to Democratic Party donors at $32,500 per guest, others will stand and speak outside the hall. Beneath the shadow of a (1/5 scale) replica drone, antiwar activists will gather to noisily confront Obama over his wars, his torture and drones, and the prosecution of courageous whistleblower Bradley Manning.
These protesters were mobilized by World Can’t Wait, Code Pink, and the Bradley Manning Support Network. They will gather outside the entrance, standing in witness. They will speak out and demonstrate against key features of the war program over which Obama is presiding: drone spying and warfare, torture and Guantánamo, and the upcoming court martial of Bradley Manning.
April 2013 has been designated a month of action against drone spying and killing, an uprising of grassroots and other activism to demand that the U.S. stop its drone policies now. Drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia and unknown other countries by the US military and CIA drone programs have so far have killed 2,772-3,933 people there, including 170-199 known children
Also some protesters will wear the jumpsuits and hoods that have come to represent torture and Guantánamo, to mark the 57th day of the massive hunger strike now continuing there. According to lawyers for the striking prisoners, this hunger strike was partially triggered by incidents of religious disrespect by prison authorities against Muslim prisoners.– But more fundamentally, the prisoners launched their strike once it was clear – to the world, including to these prisoners themselves -- that the Obama administration intends to NEVER allow them to be EITHER charged and tried, or released; thus, a hunger strike bidding for world attention to this thoroughly illegal situation was an action of last resort.
April 11: A NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION TO SUPPORT THE GUANTÁNAMO HUNGER STRIKERS has just been announced by World Can’t Wait, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Amnesty International, and Witness Against Torture. Watch here for more info.
3 years after the release of the video Collateral Murder by Wikileaks, which did do much to focus attention on U.S. war crimes in Iraq, Bradley Manning faces life in prison for sharing it.
We will be on the phone with Kevin Gostzola, author of The Dissenter who covers Bradley Manning's case.
10pm EDT/ 7pm PDT.
Email email@example.com if you want to register for the call.
by Debra Sweet, Director, World Can't Wait Saturday was the first time it felt like spring in NYC, and crowds of people filled Union Square Park watching jugglers and musicians, and just hanging out. It was so heartbreakingly pleasant, one felt bad bearing the news to tourists that out of many things wrong in this class-divided world, we were about to challenge them to take notice of one very important thing. Ten of us put on orange jumpsuits to mark the 51st day of the potentially deadly hunger strike by men imprisoned by the U.S.
by Debra Sweet, World Can't Wait Director Starting this week, World Can't Wait and many other groups begin a month of impressively diverse actions aimed at stopping U.S. drone war and surveillance. We hope all supporters will find a way during this month to join in with planned actions. Set up your own, or find one of the many ways of making visible your opposition to:
This is an exciting month with several protests already planned, including a major series of events in Dallas around the Bush Library and an Obama demo in San Francisco. Check out what's happening in your area of the country or plan something yourselves. We'll be happy to help publicize your event. Posters and leaflets are available on our website.
"April Days" to Protest Drone Killing and Surveillance, Long Planned, Gets Boost From Opposition to Drone Use Inside the U.S.
What: Rallies, Protests, Visual Photo-ops
Where: Across U.S.
When: April, 2013
A nationwide, month-long campaign of counter-drone teach-ins, rallies and protest, called "April Days of Action" by its organizers, will challenge the escalated use of drones for targeted assassination by the Obama Administration as well as domestic surveillance by police agencies around the United States. The actions will call for a total halt to drone killing and surveillance.
Each year, the Fellowship of Reconciliation awards three peace prizes -- international, national, and local -- to individuals or organizations whose commitment to peace, justice, and reconciliation is recognized as extraordinary.
There is no requirement that you or the nominee have any affiliation with FOR, so please share this announcement with your networks of peace and justice advocates!
Awards are made in three categories -- you can browse the list of past winners to see who's won before.
International Pfeffer Peace Award: Established in 1989 by Leo and Freda Pfeffer, the award honors an individual or organization working globally for peace and justice.
Martin Luther King Jr. Award: Established by FOR in 1979, the award recognizes a person or group working in the United States in the tradition of Reverend Dr. King's nonviolent approach to transforming racial, social, and economic injustice.
Nyack-Area Peace Award: Established by FOR in 2006, the award honors an organization or individual involved in significant peace and justice work in the Nyack, New York area, where FOR's national headquarters is located.
Mark C. Johnson, Ph.D.
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Image: "Dove of Peace," 1727, presented by Pope John Paul II to the United Nations in 1979. (Wikimedia, public domain.)
Please join the Washington Peace Center for a dance party to celebrate our 50th year of working for peace and justice. Plus celebrate May Day with our community!
What: Dance party and celebration!
When: Sat, May 4th, 9pm-midnight
Where: St. Stephen's Church, 1525 Newton St NW (near Columbia Heights Metro -green/yellow line)
Tickets for the dance party are $5-50, sliding scale, payable at the door.
Dance the night away and celebrate 50 years of working for peace and justice. DJs, drinks and great company! View our interactive timeline of the past 50 years and record the moment in our photo booth.
Limited tickets for dinner and program earlier in the evening are available. Click here http://washingtonpeacecenter.
May Day is a holiday for all! Come celebrate with our community.
Click here to RSVP for the dance party on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/
Whistleblower Bradley Manning has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and he should receive it.
No individual has done more to push back against what Martin Luther King Jr. called "the madness of militarism" than Bradley Manning. The United States is the leading exporter of weapons and itself spends as much preparing for more wars as the rest of the world combined. Manning is the leading actor in opposition to U.S. warmaking, and therefore militarism around the world. What he has done has hurt the cause of violence in a number of other nations as well.
And right now, remaining in prison and facing relentless prosecution by the U.S. government, Manning is in need of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Alfred Nobel's will left funding for a prize to be awarded to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."
The intent of the prize was to fund this work. As a result of enormous legal expenses, Bradley Manning is in need of that funding, unlike some other peace prize recipients. In addition, his secret trial -- with a potential death sentence -- could use all the attention that can be shined on it.
The people of the United States and the rest of the world have learned more about the intentions of the U.S. government from Bradley Manning than from anyone else. "Thanks to Manning's alleged disclosures, we have a sense of what transpired in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have an image of how Washington operates in the world," author Chase Madar wrote in his book about Manning's whistleblowing.
"Thanks to those revelations we now know just how our government leaned on the Vatican to quell opposition to the Iraq War. We now know how Washington pressured the German government to block the prosecution of CIA agents who kidnapped an innocent man, Khaled El-Masri, while he was on vacation. We know how our State Department lobbied hard to prevent a minimum wage increase in Haiti, the hemisphere's poorest nation."
Manning revealed a secret U.S. war in Yemen, U.S. records of massive civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, video of a U.S. helicopter attack on civilians and their rescuers in Baghdad, and facts about the corruption of numerous governments including those of the United States, Tunisia, and Egypt. In those last two nations Manning's revelations contributed to nonviolent pro-democracy movements.
Among the revelations made by Manning through WikiLeaks is the extent of time and energy the U.S. State Department puts into marketing U.S. weapons to the world's governments. We all have a better understanding of the work that is needed for peace as a result of this exposure of "diplomacy" as consisting so greatly of weapons selling.
The Guardian newspaper and BBC Arabic detailed last week how the United States armed and trained Iraqi police commando units that ran torture centers and death squads. Maggie O'Kane, executive producer of the documentary, said: "I hope this film will be a legacy that actually says, 'If you want to go to war, this is what war means. It means 14-year-old boys being hung up and tortured. It means men being turned on spits. And that's called counter-insurgency. . . .' This would not be coming to light if it hadn't been for Bradley Manning."
Not only has Manning done the most to resist militarism, but he has done it for its own sake, and not by chance or for any ulterior motive. This is made clear by his recent statement in court and by his earlier communications in the chat logs that have long been a part of his case. Manning was horrified by crimes and abuses. He believed the public should know what was happening. He believed democracy was more important than blind subservience in the name of a "democracy."
Manning has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by the Movement in the Icelandic Parliament, the Pirates of the EU; representatives from the Swedish Pirate Party, and the former Secretary of State in Tunisia for Sport & Youth. The nomination states, in part: "These revelations have fueled democratic uprisings around the world, including a democratic revolution in Tunisia. According to journalists, his alleged actions helped motivate the democratic Arab Spring movements, shed light on secret corporate influence on the foreign and domestic policies of European nations, and most recently contributed to the Obama Administration agreeing to withdraw all U.S. troops from the occupation in Iraq."
The Norwegian Nobel Committee (send them a note) can either begin awarding the peace prize to opponents of war or continue on its current course -- one which already has many questioning, not whether Manning is worthy of the prize, but whether the prize is worthy of Manning.
March 21-28 Week of Action for Bahrain
Fast from March 24-30 in solidarity with those detained indefinitely and on hunger strike at Guantanamo. Vigils will take place in NYC, Washingt on DC, Chicago, Des Moines, and other cities on March 24. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
March 26-30 World Social Forum in Tunis
March - April, NY City, Festival of Conscience
April 4 Another Life with David Swanson
April 1-30 Fasting for the climate
April 4 - July 3 Tour de Peace across the country
April 5-7 Historians Against War in Baltimore, Md.
April 8-10 Washington, D.C., School of the Americas Watch
April 4-6 San Diego, protest drones
April 4-7 – Drone Manufacturing. Actions around the country directed at drone manufacturing facilities in region and calling for an end to manufacturing weaponized and surveillance drones. Coordinator: Joe Scarry – email@example.com
April 16-18 – Drone Research/Training. Actions/teach-ins, etc. at colleges & universities that do drone research or pilot training. Demand an end to research and training related to drone warfare. Coordinator: Marge Van Cleef firstname.lastname@example.org
April 27-28 – Drone Bases. Organize protests at bases in region. Hancock Reaper drone base protest organizers calling for large demonstrations there. Coordinator: Dave Soumis email@example.com
More April Anti-Drone-Kill Events
April 13 Anti-Drone Kills March on White House
April 13 Hyattsville, Md., "Building Bridges: Creating the Beloved Community"
April 15 Global Day of Action on Military Spending
April 20 Robin Hood Tax -- Noon Rally at Murrow Park (Pennsylvania Ave between 18th & 19th Streets) in Washington, DC, 12:30pm – March to IMF, World Bank, and US Treasury
April 22-26 Dallas, Texas, People's Response to George W. Bush Lie-Bury
March and Rally April 25th
May 1, MAY DAY
May 3-5 Asheville, NC, National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee
May 10-12 Labor Fight Back Conference at Rutgers
June 1 Fort Meade, Md., Rally for Bradley Manning
June 7-9 Left Forum in NYC
June 22 Little Rock, Ark., United We Stand Festival
August 3 Abolish It
August 7-11, 2013, Veterans For Peace Convention in Madison, WI
August 7-11, 2013, Democracy Convention in Madison, WI
August 18-19 Philadelphia, Penn., Marking 60 years since overthrow of Mossadegh
November 22 Occupy the Grassy Knoll