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Peace News log archive: July 2016

Articles from the Peace News log.
For archive articles from the whole site, look here

A member of the 'Jilted Generation' sees five factors re-shaping young people's sense of national identity....

In the wake of the June referendum result, newspapers of right and left are reporting that Britain has an identity crisis. As the demographic breakdowns of who voted what show, we are deeply divided in our attitudes, by class, by region, by nation, by colour, and by age.

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A comic preacher from New York responds to the Brexit debate and vote - Earthalujah!

It sure is strong. Brexit pulls us in. My first response to the vote was to be glad – because we have been fighting for local power for decades here in New York. But Washington is not the same as Brussels. I got my localism confused with the complex struggle of the people the EU left out long ago. And I was (and am) moved by the UK youth who voted three to one to stay in, which has its parallel con-job here in the states. And then from there I exploded into 50 positions. Brexit is a potent tabula rasa.

It has succeeded as a pop phenomenon because it teases up in our souls the idea that we are facing a life-and-death question; except that the debate is led by clowns speaking in tongues. It turns us into over-heated Hamlets who go up on our lines at the point of 'To Be…' We’re doing this everywhere, repeating the question – 'Where do I live and where do you live?' but we know we’re getting it wrong. We sense that there is a far more crucial vote that we know we must soon face… Spoiler alert: The fact is that we can’t stay and we can’t leave.

Brexit has been fun to watch; has it out-polled the Game of Thrones? The nationalists love the sensation of being over-prepared for war, or even minor insults, while the EU business suits create blast-zones of identical details, all humor and music smoothed to consume. The Leaves want a wall to exercise their paranoia and they use that wall like a mirror preening like puffed-up Trumpish drag queens whiles the Remains use walls for 70 ft tall supermodels who look back at you like you just had nasty sex with them or are about to. Borders.

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A call from a Center for Citizen Initiatives delegation as it visited Russia

On June 16, the New York Times reported :

'More than 50 State Department diplomats have signed an internal memo sharply critical of the Obama administration’s policy in Syria, urging the United States to carry out military strikes against the government of President Bashar al-Assad to stop its persistent violations of a cease-fire in the country’s five-year-old civil war.

The memo, a draft of which was provided to The New York Times by a State Department official, says American policy has been "overwhelmed" by the unrelenting violence in Syria. It calls for "a judicious use of stand-off and air weapons, which would undergird and drive a more focused and hard-nosed U.S.-led diplomatic process".'

We are a group of concerned U.S. citizens currently (20 June) visiting Russia with the goal of increasing understanding and reducing international tension and conflict. We are appalled by this call for direct U.S. aggression against Syria, and believe it points to the urgent need for open public debate on U.S. foreign policy.

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A thoughtful review of The Truth About Trident: Disarming the Nuclear Argument by Tim Wallis

The Truth About Trident sets out a blow-by-blow detailed analysis in advance of the forthcoming parliamentary debate about the renewal of Britain’s nuclear weapons’ system known as the ‘main gate’ decision later this year.

Despite the slightly disingenuous claim of the book that it will act as an objective ‘trial’ of the 30-year-old weapons system, Tim Wallis’s credentials as a leading peace activist reverses this expectation. As he states his intention is that ‘the moral case [will] outweigh lesser arguments based on finances, jobs, politics, strategic interests and deterrence and so on.’Mock Trident submarine protests at AWE Burghfield, June 2016

Laid out in a reader-friendly way, the book steers us through key headings such as, What is Trident? What is Radiation? Have Nuclear Weapons kept the peace? Is Trident Affordable? But Wallis does sum up the conclusion of the book in the introduction. ‘What we are left with is a weapon system that is not powerful at all but is extremely dangerous.’

Wallis’ approach is to pick apart the main shibboleths of the Trident argument and in doing so, he hopes to reveal the irrationality of arguing, for instance, that nuclear weapons have kept the peace for the past 70 years.

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With the publication of the Chilcot report, watch the trailer for "A Letter to the Prime Minister", made during the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq, and sign up on the website to see the entire feature length film.