United for Peace of Pierce County, WA - We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy.

NEWS: Erdogan intensifies crackdown in aftermath of failed Turkish coup

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In the aftermath of the failed Jul. 15-16 coup attempt, on Jul. 20 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared a three-month state of emergency.  --  With his new powers he promised to purge the military of the "virus" of subversion and will certainly extend the crackdown on political opponents that has already been underway for several days.  --  The secular education establishment is one of his chief targets.  --  "Turkey also said it would close more than 600 private schools and dormitories following the attempted coup, spurring fears that the state's move against perceived enemies is undermining key institutions in the country," the Associated Press said.[1]  --  "Erdogan's government said it has fired nearly 22,000 education ministry workers, mostly teachers, taken steps to revoke the licenses of 21,000 other teachers at private schools, and sacked or detained half a dozen university presidents. . . . 50,000 civil service employees have been fired in the purges, which have reached Turkey's national intelligence service and the prime minister's office," and "9,000 people -- including 115 generals, 350 officers, 4,800 other military personnel, and 60 military high school students -- [have been rounded up] for alleged involvement in the coup attempt."  --  (It is worth nothing that before the coup the number of of people in Turkish prisons, whose fearsomeness is notorious, had already tripled in the decade Erdogan has been in power, from about 58,000 to 158,000.  --  In 2012, the film "F-Type" called attention to the harsh conditions in Turkish prisons, taking its name from the special prisons that house many political prisoners.)  -- Reuters reported Wednesday that "Academics were banned from traveling abroad on Wednesday in what a Turkish official said was a temporary measure to prevent the risk of alleged coup plotters in universities from fleeing."[2]  --  "Erdogan's spokesman said on Tuesday the government was preparing a formal request to the United States for the extradition of Gulen," Asli Kandemir and Gareth Jones said.  --  "U.S. President Barack Obama discussed the status of Gulen in a telephone call with Erdogan on Tuesday, the White House said, urging Ankara to show restraint as it pursues those responsible for the failed coup." ...

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 July 2016 00:40 Read more...
 

ANALYSIS: WSWS blames 'Left Leave' vote for fueling virulent nationalism

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In its analysis of the Brexit vote, WSWS observed that "The implications of [Great Britain's] departure from the E.U. are widely seen as potentially precipitating [the European Union's] break-up, with France, the Netherlands, Spain, Greece, and even Italy registering majorities for exiting the euro in polls."[1]  --  Particularly grave is the constitutional crisis ahead for the United Kingdom, two of whose four constituent parts (Scotland and Northern Ireland) votes heavily to remain in the E.U.  --  Within England, "London was the only region to vote for Remain, by 60 to 40 percent," Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland noted.  --  "Every other region went to Leave, by 58 percent in Yorkshire and Humberside, 54 percent in the North West, 59 percent in the West Midlands, and more than 50 percent in both the South East and South West."  --  "The most significant exception to this voting pattern was among those under the age of 24, where the Remain vote was 75 percent in favor."  --  As for the political explanation for the event, the WSWS analysts believe that "There is a large element of social protest involved in the result, which led to a significant increase in turnout in working class areas.  --  Disaffection with the Tory government and the Labor Party was combined with hostility to the E.U. to ensure an overwhelming Leave vote -- especially among those earning less than £15,000 per annum.  --  However, anger has been successfully channelled behind right-wing political tendencies deeply hostile to the working class, in a campaign characterized by nationalism and anti-immigrant xenophobia."  --  Marsden and Hyland reserved special scorn for "George Galloway, the Socialist Workers Party, the Socialist Party, Counterfire, and the Communist Party," who stood accused of "urging a 'Left Leave' vote [that] helped subordinate workers to a right-wing initiative aimed at shifting political life even further along a nationalist trajectory." ...

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COMMENT: Brexit vote 'changed everything'

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After June 23's historic Brexit referendum, in which Britons voted by a margin of about one million votes to leave the European Union, Philip Stephens, the chief political commentator of the Financial Times of London, said that the vote "changed everything."  --  Stephens said it was hard to overestimate its significance:  "Economic and foreign policies crafted over nearly half a century overturned in the course of a single night.  --  A political establishment shattered by an insurgency against the  élites.  --  The nations of the United Kingdom divided; and England split between its metropolitan cities and post-industrial provinces.  --  A vote against globalization.  --  A decision that weakens Europe and the West.  --  Political earthquake is an understatement."[1]  --  In a Los Angeles Times Op-Ed, two European academics called the vote a "catastrophe" in which "British voters willfully walked off a cliff."[2]  --  They said that the American voters will have an opportunity to "make the same mistake by voting for a Trump presidency come November."

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COMMENTARY: Little-noted Muslim responses to Orlando mass shooting

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On Monday a site managed by the Duke Islamic Studies Center posted a piece on Muslim responses to the massacre that took place on Sunday in Orlando, Florida.[1]  --  Observing that "mainstream news media only gives scant coverage" to statements from Muslim groups, Ray Hanania of the Arab Daily News also compiled on Monday seven such statements denouncing the atrocity.[2]  --  On Tuesday, Abdul Cader Asmal, a Muslim affiliated with the Islamic Council of New England, wrote in the Arlington (MA) Advocate that Muslims "condemn this vile act" and affirmed that "Muslims remain committed to the extermination of such hatred within and without our country."[3] ...

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COMMENTARY: On the US failure to reform the 'Iraqi' army

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It is a convention of U.S. mainstream media to report what has happened as what might happen, when what has happened is unpalatable to the powers that be.  --  This time-honored convention was on display again this week in a piece co-authored by Jonathan Landay of Reuters.  --  Landay reported that the weakness of the so-called Iraqi army "could" impede the struggle against ISIS, and also that the Sunni-Shiite divide "threatens" to split the country.[1]  --  Yet it was almost ten years ago that we pointed out the obvious -- that this split had already occurred.  --  Recognizing the obvious is not permitted in mainstream media when state interests dictate otherwise, however.  -- COMMENT:  Donald Trump's willingness to express the inexpressible is one of the many reasons he is anathema to the American political establishment.   --  In July 2015, for example, Trump said on CNN:  "There is no Iraq.  There are no Iraqis -- they’re broken up into so many different factions."  --  Hillary Clinton, in a major speech yesterday, tried to convince her listeners that Trump is a deranged lunatic living in a fantasy world, but it Clinton's assertion on Thursday that "We need to . . . close Iraq's sectarian divide" that strikes us as a dangerous fantasy.[2]   --  "It’s clear [Donald Trump] doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about," she said mockingly, but it's even clearer that Hillary Clinton knows more than she's saying.  --  It is also clear that the presumptive Democratic nominee is more of a hawk than the presumptive Republican nominee, and Susan Sarandon, for one, was quick to say so:  --  "I believe in a way [Hillary Clinton] is more dangerous.  --  She did not learn from Iraq, and she is an interventionist, and she has done horrible things, and very callously, I don’t know if she is overcompensating or what her trip is."[3] ...

Last Updated on Saturday, 04 June 2016 06:59 Read more...
 

COMMENTARY: 'This is not an election. What is it? I have no idea'

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Tom Engelhardt's confession of ignorance, published yesterday (Mar. 29), arrived at this conclusion:  "This is not war as we knew it, nor government as we once understood it, nor are these elections as we once imagined them, nor is this democracy as it used to be conceived of, nor is this journalism of a kind ever taught in a journalism school.  --  This is the definition of uncharted territory.  --  It’s a genuine American terra incognita and yet in some fashion that unknown landscape is already part of our sense of ourselves and our world.  --  In this 'election' season, many remain shocked that a leading candidate for the presidency is a demagogue with a visible authoritarian side and what looks like an autocratic bent.  --  All such labels are pinned on Donald Trump, but the new American system that’s been emerging from its chrysalis in these years already has just those tendencies.  --  So don’t blame it all on Donald Trump.  --  He should be far less of a shock to this country than he continues to be.  --  After all, a Trumpian world-in-formation has paved the way for him.  --  Who knows?  --  Perhaps what we’re watching is the new iteration of a very old story:  a twenty-first-century version of an ancient tale of a great imperial power, perhaps the greatest ever -- the 'lone superpower' -- sinking into decline.   --  It’s a tale humanity has experienced often enough in the course of our long history.   --  But lest you think once again that there’s nothing new under the sun, the context for all of this, for everything now happening in our world, is so new as to be quite literally outside of thousands of years of human experience.  --  As the latest heat records indicate, we are, for the first time, on a planet in decline.  --  And if that isn’t uncharted territory, what is?"[1] ...

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 March 2016 20:20 Read more...
 
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United for Peace of Pierce County meets 7:00-8:30 p.m. on the first and third Thursdays of every month at First United Methodist Church in Tacoma (621 Tacoma Avenue South).