BWW Discussion Meeting: Thursday December 2nd

This Thursday December the 2nd at 7pm (via zoom) Brown War Watch welcomes to our discussion of the coup in Sudan Marine Alneel, Mental Health Professional, and social and political activist, founder and President of Afia Institute for Community and Psychological Wellness Services and Studies. If you have any questions or would like the Zoom address please write to us at brownwarwatch@brown.edu

Marine is a Sudanese national living in New York who has been part of the protests in Sudan to establish civilian rule for years. In 2019, she was interviewed by Hassan Minhaj as part of the Netflix show Patriot Act, discussing her experiences and predictions for the future of the movement.

Since then, much progress was made until a recent coup undermined the transition to civilian rule and cast the future of Sudan into uncertainty once more. With internet and media blackout engulfing the country, it is difficult to find reliable information about the current state of affairs. Therefore, we are excited to receive up-to-date information from Marine and learn more about how we may aid the revolutionaries in Sudan by amplifying the voices of Neighborhood Resistance Committees.

The video linked above provides helpful information about the background of the protests until 2019. For more in depth overviews of the history as well as the more recent events, please see the following articles: 

https://africanarguments.org/2021/11/creatures-of-the-deposed-connecting-sudans-rural-and-urban-struggles/

https://longreads.tni.org/why-it-hasnt-fallen-yet-lessons-from-the-sudanese-revolution



BWW FALL SEMESTER INFORMATION

Brown War Watch meets every Thursday night at 7pm for the Fall Semester.

We alternate weekly meetings between in-person, where we meet in Brown Campus Room BioMed 212, and online meetings (via Zoom). If you have any questions about our weekly meeting, or would like the Zoom address please write to us at brownwarwatch at brown dot edu .

UPCOMING BWW DISCUSSANTS:

Brown War Watch is honored to host the following experts in discussion:

THURSDAY NOV 4th 7pm (VIRTUAL): BWW hosts Costs of War Co-Director Dr Stephanie Savell. Dr Savell joins us to discuss the ongoing and devastating War on Terror in Africa with a focus on the Sahel region, and Burkina Faso specifically, where she has recently completed field research.

MONDAY NOV 15th 12 noon (VIRTUAL): BWW hosts Associate Professor Ieva Jusionyte of the Watson Institute. Dr Jusionyte joins us to discuss violence at the Mexican Border, as well as her current research project on the circulation of firearms between the US and Mexico.

WE HOPE YOU WILL JOIN US FOR THESE COMPELLING AND URGENTLY CONTEMPORARY DISCUSSIONS!

BWW Discussion Meeting: Thursday October 7th



Brown War Watch will meet online this Thursday evening at 7pm to discuss ongoing conflicts, developments in the military industrial complex, tension amongst superpowers, and pathways to peace.

All political and spiritual beliefs welcome, united in the quest for a more peaceful planet. End the Endless Wars!

Please email brownwarwatch@brown.edu for the Zoom link.

Also please note the time change! Our discussion meetings will be 7PM this semester!

THIS WEEK’S DISCUSSION: US military industrial complex

We will be joined this week by special guest Christian Sorenson.

Christian will be speaking about his new work on how US military corporations foster and encourage the development of myriad fascisms, fascistic structures and processes in American society. As always – there will be lots of time for Q & A. 

Christian is a preeminent expert and reporter on the Military Industrial Complex, Brown & BWW alum, and military veteran. He is the author of the recently published “Understanding the War Industry,” by Clarity Press.

His work can be found at https://warindustrymuster.com .You’ll recall the robust and enlightening discussion that ensued the last time Christian joined us – we hope you can make it to the discussion Thursday night for his return!:crossed_fingers:

BWW Discussion Meeting: Thursday September 23rd



Brown War Watch will meet online this Thursday evening at 8pm to discuss ongoing conflicts, developments in the military industrial complex, tension amongst superpowers, and pathways to peace.

All political and spiritual beliefs welcome, united in the quest for a more peaceful planet. End the Endless Wars!

Please email brownwarwatch@brown.edu for the Zoom link.

THIS WEEK’S DISCUSSION: Nuclear

So much to talk about, here is some of the stuff we’ve been looking

Nuclear Modernization:

On the costs of nuclear modernization (a bit sanitized but has some useful info):
https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/USNuclearModernization

https://thebulletin.org/2021/02/why-is-america-getting-a-new-100-billion-nuclear-weapon/

The nuclear club – who’s in it and who is not:

The world’s nuclear arsenal:
https://www.icanw.org/nuclear_arsenals

On Iran: Iran nuclear program timeline (similarly sanitized but has useful info):
https://kesq.com/news/2021/09/22/irans-nuclear-capabilities-fast-facts-2/

Why doesn’t the US want Iran to have nukes?
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/oct/02/iran-nukes-deterrence (the real reasons)
https://www.adl.org/resources/fact-sheets/the-iranian-nuclear-threat-why-it-matters (the mainstream narrative if you can stomach an ADL piece)

Israel/Iran tensions (related to what I think is the real reason the US won’t let Iran have nukes, they don’t want Iran to be protected from attack by the US or Israel):
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/20/world/middleeast/iran-israeli-attacks.html
https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-business-iran-middle-east-united-nations-16666e8d97ed6e4571ae6d01785c00fc



US recklessness/Broken Arrows:

US “Broken arrow” incidents:
https://www.atomicarchive.com/almanac/broken-arrows/index.html

Historic and Ongoing Environmental and Human Destruction:
https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2020-07-01/us-says-nuclear-waste-safe-marshall-islands-runit-dome
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QcFRHk8ZOU&t=1s

The UN ban of nuclear weapons:
https://www.un.org/disarmament/wmd/nuclear/tpnw/

Online Resources on the Nuclear Issue:
https://isis-online.org
https://www.ctbto.org/nuclear-testing/history-of-nuclear-testing/world-overview
https://www.icanw.org
https://www.wjperryproject.org

Nuclear Arms Race – China & Russia (especially the quest for “small” or “low-yield” nuclear warheads:
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/26/us/politics/china-nuclear-weapons.html?referringSource=articleShare
https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/561786-why-nuclear-arms-control-is-dead?rl=1
https://www.npr.org/2019/01/28/689510716/trump-administration-begins-production-of-a-new-nuclear-weapon
A bit more historical: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLCF7vPanrY
Russia: https://carnegieendowment.org/2020/01/29/russia-is-updating-their-nuclear-weapons-what-does-that-mean-for-rest-of-us-pub-80895

BWW Discussion Meeting: Thursday August 19th

Brown War Watch will meet online this Thursday evening at 8pm to discuss ongoing conflicts, developments in the military industrial complex, tension amongst superpowers, and pathways to peace.

All political and spiritual beliefs welcome, united in the quest for a more peaceful planet. End the Endless Wars!

Please email brownwarwatch@brown.edu for the Zoom link.

THIS WEEK’S DISCUSSION: Afghanistan

Much has been going on, and we’ve been reading a fair bit ourselves. Here is what we’ve been looking at. For a more manageable list of reading check out the pieces preceded by an “*”.

The collapse of the US backed government and the US withdrawal:

*Taliban enter Afghan capital as US diplomats evacuate by chopper (Reuters)


US failures and what went “wrong”:

Afghanistan Proves The US Military Needs Its Budget Slashed To Ribbons (Caitlin Johnstone)

Biden Must Stop Bombing Afghan Cities (LA Progressive)


The capital angle – how the IMF can keep money flowing, and how war profiteers lined their pockets:

Analysis: Taliban gains give investors cause for concern beyond Afghanistan (Reuters)

$10,000 INVESTED IN DEFENSE STOCKS WHEN AFGHANISTAN WAR BEGAN NOW WORTH ALMOST $100,000 (Intercept)


Implications:

Afghanistan is now part of the post-American world ($ Financial Times)

*America leaves Afghanistan, and the regional geopolitics take over (Responsible Statecraft)

The Taliban leaders in line to become de facto rulers of Afghanistan (Guardian)

U.S. Military Left behind Biometric Tracking Technology. The Taliban Is Already Using It to Track Afghans (Leftvoice)

*Who are the Taliban and how will they govern Afghanistan this time?
 (Guardian)


For some extra reading here are some US media narratives shunting blame from the US  (guilty of 20 years of fomenting support for the Taliban through violent occupation and shameless war profiteering) onto Afghanistan itself and the beating of the drums of war:


The Afghan Military Was Built Over 20 Years. How Did It Collapse So Quickly? ($ NYT)

4 Reasons A Taliban Takeover In Afghanistan Matters To The World (NPR)

Disaster in Afghanistan Will Follow Us Home ($ NYT)

Film Screening: Occupation of the American Mind (4/15 7:00 PM)


Join East Bay Citizens for Peace, Brown War Watch, and Brown Students for Justice in Palestine for a virtual film screening of a 45 minute cut of the powerful and informative documentary “Occupation of the American Mind” this Thursday at 7:00 – 8:30 PM.

Register here for free to receive a link to this virtual event.

The film explores the many narratives surrounding Israel and Palestine, focusing on those generated with the intention to foment support for violence, occupation and militarism by the Israeli government at the expense of the Palestinian people.

The screening will be followed by a discussion of the films contents.

BWW Discussion Meeting: Thursday April 8th 2021

Brown War Watch meets online every Thursday at 7pm to discuss ongoing conflicts, developments in the military industrial complex, tension amongst superpowers, and pathways to peace.

All political and spiritual beliefs welcome, united in the quest for a more peaceful planet. End the Endless Wars!

Please email brownwarwatch@brown.edu for the Zoom link.

THIS WEEK’S DISCUSSION: Israel/Palestine

This week Brown War Watch welcomes to the discussion a guest from Brown University Students for Justice in Palestine, an undergraduate student group dedicated to standing in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for liberation.

On the heels of pushes to silence those that fight for the rights of the Palestinians, and coming up on a film screening (April 15th) of “Occupation of the American Mind” about Israeli propaganda efforts we hope this discussion will provide some perspective on Palestine and Israel that may often be obfuscated or underreported in the United States. What is happening there and how did we get to where we are now?

Much of the media coverage in the United States surrounding Palestine and Israel focuses on Israeli narratives, often specifically the narratives put forward by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), a military that frequently commits war crimes against the Palestinian people. These crimes include but are not limited to the killing of unarmed medics and children. Check out the powerful and moving film “Gaza fights for Freedom” for some examples and info about the March of Return protests and the infamous Israeli response.

Join us this Thursday for a bit of a primer on Israel/Palestine and next Thursday for an event more focused on warped media narratives.

Register for our film screening next week here!  

Email Brownwarwatch@brown.edu for a link to our discussion meeting.

We are looking forward to another compelling and rich discussion on topics that go largely ignored in the media.

BWW Discussion Meeting: Thursday March 25th 2021

Brown War Watch meets online every Thursday at 7pm to discuss ongoing conflicts, developments in the military industrial complex, tension amongst superpowers, and pathways to peace.

All political and spiritual beliefs welcome, united in the quest for a more peaceful planet. End the Endless Wars!

Please email brownwarwatch@brown.edu for the Zoom link.

THIS WEEK’S DISCUSSIONProfessor Catherine Lutz

This week – Thursday March 25th at 7pm –  we are honored to be joined in discussion by Professor Catherine Lutz  – the Thomas J. Watson, Jr. Family Professor of Anthropology and International Studies at the Watson Institute for International Studies, here at Brown University. Professor Lutz is also the co-Director of the COSTS OF WAR program, and on the board of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft

.:sparkles::sparkles::sparkles:We couldn’t be more excited!!:sparkles::sparkles::sparkles: 

Professor Lutz a national authority on war and society and a critical voice for the power in restraint. She is also an incredibly generous and supportive scholar within the Brown community.

The Costs of War Project has produced dozens of papers in the past decade from a diverse and expansive group of experts. These papers aim to provide authoritative empirical evidence on the true costs of American militarism – blood, treasure, and so much more. In recent years, they have broken through the propaganda wall, and are receiving widespread coverage in the US media –  making a considerable and vitally important difference, adding balance to the conversation in our War on Terror era.

In just this past year they have highlighted the true depth and breadth of American interventions through “counterterrorism” operations, the human suffering of our endless war in Afghanistan, the extent of the militarization of the US police force, and the opportunity costs of war in our age of climate crisis.  This is just a fraction of their critical, conversation-changing, and eye-opening work – we strongly encourage you to explore more of it –  here.

As well as speaking with Prof. Lutz about the current state of U.S militarism and its myriad costs, we will also be talking to her about developing career and research skills that challenge the war machine, how we might stay engaged with the CoW project, and where she sees possibilities for change in the current paradigm (and how we can get involved with it!).

It will surely be a rich and informative discussion, while ensuring plenty of time for your questions. BWW Discussion meetings are never to be missed – but this one should be extra special – we hope you’ll join us on Thursday night.

Please email brownwarwatch@brown.edu for the Zoom link.

SUPPORTING H 5755 : RESPECTFULLY URGING RHODE ISLAND’S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO REDUCE MILITARY SPENDING AND PRIORITIZE CLIMATE ACTION

Resolution 5755 will appear before the State Government and Elections Committee on Wednesday March 24 at 4pm and the Peace & Anti-war community of RI need your help! 

**READ THROUGH TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST FOR ACTION ITEMS TO HELP PRIORITIZE CLIMATE CHANGE RESILIANCE OVER MILITARY EXCESS – let’s get our priorities straight!**

Peace activists across Rhode Island, working with inspired legislators – including Representatives Brandon Potter, David Morales, Brianna Henries, and Senator Tiara Mack  are currently urging Rhode Island’s Congressional Delegation to prioritize climate resilience for our communities over military spending.

RI House Resolution H5755 RESPECTFULLY URGING RHODE ISLAND’S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO REDUCE MILITARY SPENDING AND PRIORITIZE CLIMATE ACTION – recognizes the egregious misallocation of our limited resources toward excess militarism at the dire expense of RI’s communities amid a global climate crisis.

Resolution 5755 will appear before the State Government and Elections Committee on Wednesday March 24 at 4pm and we need your help! 

FACTS

Please Consider the following: 

1) The military budget is off the charts:

  • The Department of Defense budget does not  include nuclear arsenal spending which is part of the Department of Energy budget. Nor does the Department of Defense include Veteran Affairs.  Add all such hidden costs to  the $741 billion 2021 Pentagon budget and the total military spending comes to $1.2 trillion;
  • That is more than $3,500 per year per person, young and old, about $275,000 over a lifetime; and
  • Rhode Island tax payers contributed $2.3 billion to the military in 2018.

2) Military spending crowds out spending on domestic needs:

  • 53% of federal discretionary spending goes to defense as opposed to 5% for education, 6% for health, 3% for transportation, 4% for energy and the environment and 1% for food and agriculture;
  • A 10% cut in the military budget could house a million homeless people or create a million good infrastructure jobs or a million well-paying green energy jobs or hire 900,000 new teachers or provide college education for two million students; and
  • In 2015, over 16,000 Rhode Island veterans, 23% of the state’s veteran population had  incomes below $35,000.

3) Funding the defense industry jobs is an inefficient way of creating jobs:

  • Compared to military spending, clean energy jobs provide 40% more bang for the buck; for health care it’s 70% more; for education it’s no less than 150%; and
  • The Pentagon has failed each of the three audits conducted since 2018. Weapons projects waste billions. It is predicted that it will take until the end of the decade before the Pentagon can pass an audit.
  • Weapons projects such as the F35,  waste trillions of dollars

4) The US global military presence is destabilizing:

  • We are on the verge of another nuclear arms race and the threat of an accidental nuclear exchange is greater than at any time since the Cuban missile crisis;
  • It has not made the world safer. Afghanistan is not closer to peace than it was in 2001. Syria, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon and Yemen and much of Africa are in chaos;
  • Surplus military equipment is given to local police forces, bringing the war military methods and training and military violence to our streets; and
  • From 2000 to 2014, RI law enforcement received at least $8.5 million in federal military equipment.

5) US military greenhouse gas pollution:

  • If the US military were a country, its fuel usage alone would make it—between Peru and Portugal—the 47th largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world; and
  • The United States insisted on an exemption for reporting military emissions in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. This loophole was closed by the Paris Accord; current status: unknown.

6) Military spending has not made us safe:

7) Intergenerational justice demands that we redirect federal military spending toward a Green New Deal;

  • In 2019 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change repeated its 2018 warning that “We will only be able to keep global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels if we effect unprecedented transitions in all aspects of society, including energy, land and ecosystems, urban and infrastructure as well as industry.”
  • There must be a just transition for those employed in the war economy with special attention to vulnerable and marginalized communities.

ACTION ITEMS

1. Send a thank you email to the hardworking legislators:

Representative Potter: rep-potter@rilegislature.gov 

Representative Morale: rep-morales@rilegislature.gov  

Representative Henries:rep-henries@rilegislature.gov  

– who have sponsored this peace legislation. We believe it is essential for legislators to know that when they carry legislation forward for the peace and anti-war community we have their back and appreciate their work. 

Here is a Script that you are welcome to use:

Dear Representative [Insert Name],

I write with heartfelt thanks for the hard work and support you have lent to the General Assembly Resolution H5755 – RESPECTFULLY URGING RHODE ISLAND’S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO REDUCE MILITARY SPENDING AND PRIORITIZE CLIMATE ACTION. 

As a member of the Rhode Island community I strongly believe in the power of this statement for peace. We must reverse overspending on the military and underspending on climate resilience! This shift in priorities will deliver important benefits for the people of RI and beyond. I look forward to working with you to see this initiative meet with success. 

Yours in Gratitude,

[Insert Your Name]  

2. Contact your local General Assembly representative and let them know you’d like them to support this initiative. 

We need to generate both a groundswell of support in the community and in the legislature to meet with success. The more Assembly reps we can get to sign on, sponsor and support this bill – the greater the chances of success. 

An information sheet on how to find who your representative is: HERE

Dear Representative [Insert Name],

I am a constituent of your district and I write seeking your support for an important RI General Assembly Resolution: H5755 – RESPECTFULLY URGING RHODE ISLAND’S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO REDUCE MILITARY SPENDING AND PRIORITIZE CLIMATE ACTION.

This resolution makes a clear and important statement for peace. Rhode Islanders see clearly how the military budget is crowding out investments in our communities and our social priorities including education, infrastructure, transportation, food and housing security. Amid a rapidly unfolding climate crisis we desperately need to prioritize investments in climate resilience. We know the impacts of climate change affect most those who can least afford it, compounding extant racial and social inequalities. Studies show conclusively that investing in industries such as health and education lead to far better employment outcomes for our state than military investment. This resolution addresses these facts.

For more information on this resolution, please see these three published Resolution Fact Sheets  put together by a concerned group of Rhode Island citizens.

We hope you can sponsor, support, and vote for this important bill.

Yours Sincerely

[Insert Your Name]  

3. Sign up for written or spoken testimony. 

**TIME SENSITIVE: Sign up for Verbal Testimony before 4:00 PM on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. Submit Written Testimony before 1pm on Wednesday, March 24, 2021.

To be successful we need citizens concerned about the out-of-control war industry to speak up and speak out. Reining in the military-industrial complex begins on the local level. Instructions for the State Government and Elections Committee are : here and below on how to register for both written and spoken testimony, and the specifics of Tuesday’s deadlines.  

Feel free to write something short – any and all statements help enormously. Above all we want to show that we have widespread support.These information sheets will help you to prepare a statement – we recommend cutting and pasting the part that speaks to you:

Resolution :

Talking Points & Supporting Facts  – here

Detailed Information – here

W/ Graphs – here

FURTHER INFORMATION ON HOW TO CONTRIBUTE WRITTEN and/or VERBAL TESTIMONY

The State House remains closed to in-person testimony. 

The meeting will be televised on Capitol Television, which can be seen on Cox Channels 15, and 61, in high definition on Cox Channel 1061, on Full Channel on Channel 15 and on Channel 34 by Verizon subscribers.
It will also be live streamed at http://rilegislature.gov/CapTV/Pages/default.aspx

WRITTEN TESTIMONY 

Written testimony is strongly encouraged and may be submitted via 

HouseStateGovernmentandElections@rilegislature.gov 

Indicate your name, bill number, and viewpoint (for/against/neither) at top of message. Due to high volume, clerks are not screening this inbox for verbal testimony requests. This inbox is for written testimony only. 

DEADLINE: Written testimony should be submitted no later than three (3) hours prior to the posted meeting time. Every effort will be made to share written testimony submitted before the deadline with committee members prior to the hearing. Testimony received after deadline will be sent to committee members and posted to the website as soon as possible. 

For faster processing, it is recommended that testimony is submitted as a PDF file. Testimony will be posted on the General Assembly website, 

http://www.rilegislature.gov/Special/comdoc/Pages/HSGE.aspx . 

VERBAL TESTIMONY 

Due to the extremely high volume of requests, and in order to accommodate as many constituents as possible, please take note of the revised procedure for verbal testimony:
*DEADLINE: Requests for verbal testimony must be submitted via the link, by 4:00 PM
on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. 

For verbal testimony requests, CLICK HERE
Verbal testimony accepted on any bill scheduled for “Hearing and/or Consideration” only 

The committee is unable to designate a specific time that you will be called. In the event you are unavailable when called, witnesses are urged to submit written testimony. 

Jill Cataldi
Committee Clerk
222-4435 HouseStateGovernmentandElections@rilegislature.gov 

A huge thank you to all engaged in this struggle to set our priorities straight!! We’ll win locally on our way to Washington!

Standing in Solidarity with our AAPI community members

Brown War Watch condemns in the strongest terms the murderous attacks on the East Asian community in Atlanta, and stands in solidarity with the affected, especially AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) womxn. This violence has clear roots in xenophobia, racism,  sexism, classism and other intersecting domains of oppression. We see the fight against such violence and the ideologies that engender it as central to our group’s mission, and commit to re-doubling our efforts in fighting it on all fronts. The violence against minorities within the United States is deeply connected to imperialistic rhetoric and policies issued by the U.S. government during past and present administrations.This rhetoric casts pandemics, economic downturns, global mistrust and many other negative outcomes of U.S. foreign policy as the fault of Asian entities. It is meant to sow hatred and mistrust of foreign populations, especially rising powers in Asia, in order to encourage the spending of sorely needed resources on the war industry, and reassert American hegemony abroad. 

This hate crime sits atop a long history of American imperialist and colonialist violence against Asian peoples and especially Asian womxn, including horrific wars in the Philippines, Korea, Vietnam, and Cambodia, as well as racist and violent policies towards Japanese Americans in World War II. 

We know that the difficult fight against racism and xenophobia in all of its forms can be won only through committed collaborations between forces targeting their various insidious manifestations. Therefore, we welcome all collaborations towards the dismantling of violence and violent ideology, within and without the United States. 

In Solidarity,

Brown War Watch