Published by Tom Hayden, The Peace Exchange Bulletin is a reader-supported journal, critically following the Pentagon's Long War in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, as well as the failed U.S. wars on drugs and gangs, and U.S. military responses to nationalism and poverty around the world.
The Urgency of Venezuela
It's difficult to grasp the facts behind the murky fog of Venezuelan crisis. Based more or less on intuitions, but also credible documents, some blame most of the crisis on the CIA. Some national security types, abhorring populism, claim that the Venezuela state is consolidating dictatorial power precisely by winning so many elections! Others, while friendly to Venezuela, blame the Caracas government for failing to address the problems of violent crime and economic malaise.
Famed Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel, director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is being pressured by anti-government forces to condemn the Maduro government in Caracas, a step that could force him to leave El Sistema, the national music program enrolling one half-million Venezuelan youth. The Los Angeles Times inaccurately reported that Dudamel directed a youth orchestra in Maracay on February 12 with President Nicolas Maduro attending, on the day when demonstrators were fatally shot. The Dudamel concert was in Caracas that day, two hours away.
The peace and justice movement should realize that we've played a role in undermining public support for direct US military interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, Egypt and Iran. In several cases we have helped galvanize congressional opposition -Iraq, Afghanistan - and seen AIPAC rebuffed by Obama over the crisis in Iran. US drone attacks have declined in part because of public resistance. While it's impossible for the peace forces to claim "victory" given the massive suffering and squandering of resources, it's important to realize that grass-roots activism has a relevance which is irritating to the self-anointed national security experts and clandestine services.
Spurred by persistent environmental campaigners, Governor Jerry Brown claimed, "we're on our way to a million electric vehicles," in his January State of the State address. The Brown initiative, likely to be followed up by legislation, asserts California's leadership in renewable energy, as the federal government remains paralyzed. The "million green cars" goal is certain to be copied by other states seeking to build a clean energy economy.
Tom has signed a petition demanding that The NorthFace stop endangering its workers in Bangladesh. The company is refusing to sign the Bangladesh Safety Accord, which would transform garment factories in Bangladesh from deathtraps to safe workplaces, despite NorthFace's dismal track record of worker deaths in factories that produce its apparel. Sign here!
Representative Waxman & The Voting Rights Amendment:
Tom just signed a petition to Rep. Henry Waxman (CA-33) urging him to become a co-sponsor of the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014. Sign the Petition Here!
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Published in The Nation, New York Times, Guardian,Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Harvard International Review,Chronicle of Higher Education, and dozens of weekly alternatives, Tom Hayden's op-ed articles and The Peace Exchange Bulletin are widely read by national security experts, correspondents, staffers, and progressives on Capitol Hill.
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