Ultrasound

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Coming as it did in time for International Women’s Day, the decision of legislators in Virginia, to require women seeking an abortion to undergo a vaginal probe and see ultrasound images of their unborn infants has aroused considerable outrage. And controversy. Some (mostly Democrats) see it as an invasion of women’s privacy, if not technically a kind of rape, while others (mostly Republicans) say, with the conservative Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, “This law is a victory for women and their unborn children. We thank Gov. McDonnell and Virginia’s pro-life legislators for their work to ensure that women have all the facts and will no longer be kept in the dark about their pregnancies.”

Author: Michael Nagler is the author of The Search for a Nonviolent Future and founder of the Metta Center for Nonviolence based in Petaluma, CA.
Published in: Counterpunch (at http://www.counterpunch.org)
Date: March 12, 2012

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The Rhetoric of Threat is Lethally Obsolete

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When President Obama spoke to the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) lobbying organization, he provided the required red meat—America’s support for Israel remains drum tight, and war on Iran to prevent their acquisition of nuclear weapons continues to be a viable option. Mr. Obama’s pandering (mitigated, in fairness, by his continued commitment to diplomacy) ignored Israel’s own nuclear weapons, and its government’s obdurate support for the settlements that keep eroding Palestinian territory. No doubt it seemed inappropriate to examine the ongoing suffering of the Palestinians with that particular audience—or even the potential suffering of people in Iran and Israel should the dogs of war let loose. He chose instead to use “us against them” language to strengthen his chances for election. Incumbents and candidates must do this in our polarized culture. Not only Jewish-American and Israeli conservatives but also Romney and friends will hold Obama’s feet to the fire.

Author: Winslow Myers, the author of “Living Beyond War: A Citizen’s Guide,” serves on the Board of Beyond War (www.beyondwar.org), a non-profit educational foundation whose mission is to explore, model and promote the means for humanity to live without war.
Published in: TalkGwinnett & The Gwinnett Gazette (at http://talkgwinnett.net/main/section/6-guests/2517-the-rhetoric-of-threat-is-lethally-obsolete); PulverMedia (at http://www.pulvermedia.com/th/the+rhetoric+of+threat+is+lethally+obsolete)
Date: March 6, 2012

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Syria and the U.N.

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Those who have systematically blocked structural reform at the United Nations indirectly have the blood of the Syrian opposition on their hands.

From its creation, the U.N. was set up to give power and special advantage to the victors of World War II, an event now almost seven decades behind us. Since then the growing family of nations has changed much in its geopolitical divisions, but infinitely more in the nature and number of its common security challenges. It is in the interest of the entire planet to prevent a descent into instability in the greater region of which Syria is a part. When China and Russia vetoed condemnation of the brutal Assad regime, they demonstrated the grotesque obsolescence of the way the U.N. is organized.

Author: Winslow Myers, the author of “Living Beyond War: A Citizen’s Guide,” serves on the Board of Beyond War (www.beyondwar.org), a non-profit educational foundation whose mission is to explore, model and promote the means for humanity to live without war.

Published in: Common Dreams (at http://www.commondreams.org/); Huntington News (at http://www.huntingtonnews.net/); Sentinel Standard(at http://www.sentinel-standard.com/); Palo Verde Valley Times (at http://www.paloverdevalleytimes.com/)
Date: March 3,4,7 2012

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Arab Spring Constitutional Democracy

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On Sunday, Syria held a referendum on a new constitution, the contents to which Syrians themselves had no input.

It is hard to believe that it has been over one year since citizen-driven uprisings began in predominantly Muslim nations of North Africa. Because stability in the region is critical to safety and security abroad, trepidation on the part of western democracies is natural, but misplaced. The concern is not what regimes result, but how they come to power. Much work remains for a complete and sustainable democratic transformation for Arab nations, including dialogue on government structure and the protection of human rights.

Author: Michael Wasco, Washington D.C., is an international lawyer
Published in: Huffington Post(at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/); KervinCorbett.com (at http://www.kevincorbett.com/); All Urban Radio (at http://www.allurbanradio.com/)
Date: February 28, 29 2012

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Our Trance of Separation

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“As we learned—or did we?—from fifty years of superpower cold war, pursuing security by threats and attempts at military dominance only increases separation—and the risk of regional and perhaps even planetary self-destruction. We can parse the esoteric strategies of nuclear war until the cows come home, and still the only meaning that emerges is mutual suicide.

“The only way to overcome the schizophrenic separation between “enemies” is to really see that the people of Iran, Israel and the U.S.—and Syria, and everyone else—are fundamentally the same in their longings for security and self-determination….”

Author: Winslow Myers, author of Living Beyond War: A Citizen’s Guide and on the board of Beyond War
Published in: HuntingtonNews.net (at http://www.huntingtonnews.net/)
Date: February 23, 2012

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