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Peace Action has chapters in 22 states and 6 counties in Maryland.  The Baltimore Chapter started with 40 signers on our email list at the Conference Against Foreign Military Bases on January 13, 2018.  We're growing, join us!

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© 2018 by Peace Action Baltimore

No Coup, No Sanctions, No War on Venezuela

Oppose Intervention in Venezuela,Support Diplomacy and Aid

 

A Military Intervention in Venezuela Would be Disastrous:

 

• Any military intervention could exponentially increase the suffering in Venezuela. A U.S. military intervention would likely include either an airstrike-focused campaign (as in Libya) or a full scale invasion (as in Iraq) and could kill thousands of civilians. Previous U.S. interventions in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria have amply demonstrated the impossibility of fully protecting civilian lives once the bombing starts.

 

• Real democracy can not be imposed by military force. A majority of Venezuelans oppose military intervention, preferring a negotiated solution to the crisis. If the U.S. intervenes, it will do so over the objection of most Venezuelans — an inherently anti-democratic move.

 

• As previous U.S. interventions have shown, getting into a war is far easier than getting out of one. Given the weak state of the economy in Venezuela, the U.S. would likely have to be in Venezuela rebuilding and stabilizing for years. Or alternatively, it might leave Venezuela in chaos as was the case with Libya. Congress must learn the tragic lessons of engaging in regime change wars

 

Sanctions Are Making the Humanitarian Situation Worse:

 

• U.S. sanctions are increasing the suffering of the Venezuelan people. Economist Marc Weisbrot points out that, “Though the government’s economic policies have played a role in Venezuela’s woes, the Trump sanctions have made things considerably worse since August 2017, decimating the oil industry and worsening shortages of medicine that have killed many Venezuelans. The Trump sanctions also make it nearly impossible for the government to take the necessary measures to exit from hyperinflation and depression.”

 

• A recent Congressional Research Service report acknowledges that “some analysts are concerned that the stronger sanctions on PdVSA [i.e. the January administration sanctions on the state-owned oil company] will further exacerbate Venezuela’s difficult humanitarian crisis, already marked by shortages of food and medicines and mass migration, by limiting the country’s key source of revenue.”

 

• As with military intervention, a majority of Venezuelans oppose sanctions targeting their nation.

 

Humanitarian Aid is Good, Politicizing Aid is Not:

 

• It is a core principle of humanitarian aid efforts that they be neutral, impartial and apolitical. The administration’s politicizing of humanitarian in order to create a dangerous stand-off at the border between pro-Maduro and anti-Maduro forces in unconscionable and sets a horrible precedent.

• The Obama administration’s director of foreign disaster assistance at USAID recently wrote about how to address the humanitarian crisis: “There are several immediate priorities. First, the United States should explicitly commit to impartial aid and stop tying the relief effort to its political aims. ... Second, to depoliticize aid deliveries, the United States and other donors should cede leadership of the relief effort to more neutral players such as the U.N., the Red Cross, and NGOs. ... Finally, the U.N. should ambitiously scale up its relief efforts.”

A Peaceful Diplomatic Approach Should be Led by Venezuelans:

 

• The long history of bloody U.S. interventions in Latin America should make the U.S. cautious about acting — or appearing to act — in a way that imposes its political will on Venezuela. The installation of Juan Guaido as self-appointed interim leader came after talks between Guaido and the U.S, and after behind the scenes planning by elements of the Trump administration known for their hawkish positions on Venezuela. Even administration officials acknowledged that the heavy hand of the U.S. behind Guaido’s move could “divide the region.”

 

• Ongoing efforts to create a parallel government either through showdowns at the border over aid, or the recent seizing of diplomatic offices in the U.S., risks tipping the current polarization in Venezuela into a civil war. Instead the U.S.should support the dialogue called for by the UN that would include multiple factions coming to the negotiating table.

 

Steps Members of Congress Can Take:

 

• Co-sponsor S.J.Res. 11 introduced by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), or H.R. 1004introduced by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), to prohibit the use of funds for military action in Venezuela without congressional approval.

 

• Make statements opposing military intervention in Venezuela, opposing sanctions that harm the general population of Venezuela, and supporting diplomatic efforts to resolve the political standoff in Venezuela

Bi-partisan Congress pressures Trump for war in Syria

May 25, 2019  -  Is the Democrat leadership and Deep State more warlike than Trump?

 

ALL of Maryland's Representatives and Senators signed for war in Syria, including JAMIE RASKIN! (thankfully not Sanders or Gabbard)

See  text of letter and list of signers:

 

https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/_cache/files/9/c/9cd4bda2-ca38-4d10-8099-55ec0f48e358/9FBE011D413F4AE806806A3F5F5E5181.syria-letter-final.pdf

 

Here are excerpts from the letter:

“At a time of grave insecurity in the Middle East, we are deeply concerned about the role that terrorist and extremist groups and U.S. adversaries continue to play, particularly in Syria.  As some of our closest allies in the region are being threatened, American leadership and support are as crucial as ever.  To this end, we recommend several specific steps to advance our regional security priorities, including assisting our ally, Israel, in defending itself in the face of growing threats, including on its northern border.

“Pockets of ungoverned space have allowed terrorist groups, such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and their affiliates, to keep parts of Syria in their stranglehold ... they retain the ability and will to plan and implement attacks against Western targets, our allies and partners, and the U.S. homeland ... 

“Iran continues its program to pursue a direct overland route from Iran to Lebanon.  That connection would better facilitate Iran’s supplying of Hezbollah terrorists and other Iranian-backed militias with deadly weapons.  While our nation has encouraged more stable and inclusive political systems in the Middle East, the regime in Tehran has spread its influence and destabilized its neighbors for its own gain.

“Like Iran, Russia is also working to secure a permanent presence in Syria, beyond its naval facility at Tartus. Russia has changed the arc of Syria’s civil war at the expense of Syria’s people ... Furthermore, in providing Damascus with advanced weapons like the S-300 anti-aircraft system, Moscow is complicating Israel’s ability to defend itself from hostile action emanating from Syria.  Russia’s destabilizing role only complements that of Iran ... Underscore Israel’s right to self-defense.  It is longstanding U.S. policy to support Israel’s ability to defend itself by itself and support its qualitative military edge ... Understanding between the United States and Israel and to ensure that Israel has access to the resources and materiel it needs to defend itself against the threats it faces on its northern border ...

Increase pressure on Iran and Russia with respect to activities in Syria ... [counter] Russia’s support for the brutal Assad regime.  We encourage full implementation of sanctions authorized in the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) ... our only choice is to advance policies that can stop the growing threats to U.S. interests, Israel, and regional security and stability. This strategy requires American leadership.”  

 

It may be no coincidence that this letter was sent to Trump at the same time he complained that the M-I Complex is pressuring him into a war with Iran. Most of the following Real News video is of Col. Larry Wilkerson explaining how such a war would be an unmitigated disaster and cannot accomplish the strategic goals of anyone.  That convinced me that a direct war on Iran will not happen:

https://therealnews.com/stories/trump-says-the-military-industrial-complex-is-pressuring-him-into-a-war-with-iran

 

Therefore, since bombing or invading Iran is probably ruled out, it seems the Deep State (including most of Congress and the mass media, reading off the same script) has decided to re-invade Syria to weaken Iran indirectly.  Congress may be trying to thwart a suicidal attack on Iran by throwing the M-I Complex its pound of flesh in Syria.  That is my theory. -- Richard Ochs

 

Subject: Bi-partisan Congress pressures Trump for war in Syria

 

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/05/22/iran-m22.html

 

excerpts: 

“In the midst of the provocative military threats against both Syria and Iran, a bipartisan Congressional group comprising the majority of both the House and the Senate signed a letter to President Trump urging an even more aggressive policy in the region and in particular in Syria.

The letter amounted to a demand that the Trump administration maintain a strong military presence in Syria, escalating confrontation with the government of President Bashar al-Assad as well as Iran and Russia and unconditionally supporting Israeli attacks on the country.

It was signed by nearly 400 members of Congress, including leading Democrats in both the House and Senate. The letter was issued in the names of the Representatives Eliot Engel and Michael McCaul, the chairman and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Senators James Risch and Bob Menendez, chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

While briefly referring to the continued presence of Al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria, the letter centered on charges concerning the “Iranian regime’s threatening behavior” and “Russia’s destabilizing role” in the country. It demanded that the administration “increase pressure on Iran and Russia with respect to activities in Syria” in order to “stop the growing threats to US interests, Israel, and regional security and stability.”

The letter is a bipartisan demand that the Trump administration maintain the US troop presence in Syria, which officially has been stated at 2,000, but is undoubtedly significantly higher. While last December, Trump announced that he was withdrawing all US forces from the country, within weeks the administration backed off this position and indicated that several hundred troops would remain.

Whatever criticisms have been leveled by Democrats over Trump’s reckless tweets, the Congressional letter only confirms that the war drive against Iran is the working out of a bipartisan policy that has been pursued for decades by successive administrations, Democratic and Republican alike, to militarily assert US hegemony over the Persian Gulf and its vast energy resources, at the cost of millions of lives”.

 

https://stephenlendman.org/2019/02/council-on-foreign-relations-head-promotes-war-on-venezuela/

Richard Ochs

War profits are looking for a place to happen

Where will it be?  The Military-Industrial Complex is salivating for its next meal.  War jobs need to be secured.  Politicians seek war bribes.

Will it be against North Korea?  Iran?  Venezuela? Will it continue in Syria?  Yemen? 

 

Nuclear bombs want to reproduce.  They have a life of their own.  Humans are in the way.  With your help, we plan to stay in the way.  see:  www.preventnuclearwarmd.org

Are we like a deer in the headlights?  Every day brings another outrage, so many folks do not know where to begin.  We began by lobbing Congress, demonstrating and bannering on a JFX overpass.

First, we want the U.S. out of Syria before an incident with Russians there escalates into a nuclear war! 

 

Then, we want to stop the U.S.-Saudi bombing assault on Yemen which has resulted in mass starvation and disease.

 

After the Olympics, we support a peace treaty between North and South Korea.

 

We will build popular demand to save the Iran Agreement, in spite of Trump’s threats. 

 

Finally, we will mobilize ripped-off citizens to stop the planned $1.5 Trillion nuclear weapons upgrade.

 

We can only be done with your help!  Join us!

Trial Victory 

The “Hoyer Yemen Seven” were defendants who stayed past closing time on Jan. 12, 2018, in the DC office of Maryland Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer in pursuit of a meeting to oppose U.S. arms to Saudi Arabian bombing and blockading of Yemen. We were not promised an appointment with staff  even though we requested a meeting weeks in advance and waited 4 hours in his office for such promise.  The judge dropped the charges when we explained we could not get an appointment.  We finally got an appointment with Hoyer's Foreign Policy adviser.  Then Hoyer decided to co-sponsor a bill to cut off military weapons to Saudi Arabia.  That was a victory because the “Whip” Hoyer advises other Democratic representative how to vote.   Thousands of children are dying of starvation and cholera from the blockade of food and medicine to Yemen.  However, as of May 26, 2019, the U.S. aid to Saudi bombing has not stopped.

Past Actions

Members of Peace Action Baltimore and others visited Maryland Senators and Representatives in January, May, July and September to express our opposition to U.S. military aggression and threats to Syria, Yemen, North Korea and Iran.

 

We also expressed our support for the Five Points of "Back from the Brink" which are:

  1. Renouncing the option of using nuclear weapons first
     

  2. Ending the sole, unchecked authority of any U.S. president to launch a nuclear attack
     

  3. Taking U.S. nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert
     

  4. Cancelling the plan to replace its entire nuclear arsenal with enhanced weapons
     

  5. Actively pursuing a verifiable agreement among nuclear-armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals

On Monday Labor Day, Sept. 3, 2018, we protested U.S. bombs for Saudi Arabia’s massacres in Yemen at Lockheed-Martin offices in Bethesda, MD

 

 

 

 

Initiated by Peace Action Baltimore and the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, the protest was co-sponsored by CODE PINK, Peace Action Montgomery County, and Prince George's Peace and Justice Coalition.

Here are 3 short videos of the protest:

39 seconds:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgsVqkQrpOs

1 min, 59 sec:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apb8Het1Ut0

1 min, 41 sec:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-oGzLYe7FQ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Child holds a fragment of a MK-82 bomb, jointly manufactured by U.S. weapons companies Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics, which hit a school bus on Aug. 9 and killed 50 and wounded 60.

https://www.mintpressnews.com/bomb-yemen-school-bus-lockheed-martin/247536/