Saturday, 22 December 2012

Charlie's comments on the US war on the world's children

Weekly News—Wednesday, December 19, 2012

By Charley Bowman, Interim Director, Western New York Peace Center, Inc.


What can anyone say? 20 children dead plus 6 adults, all in the formerly
presumed safety of a modern school building located in a very leafy,
wealthy section of Connecticut. A place where billionaire hedge fund
operators like to live, frolic and send jobs overseas.

As yet, no one seems to know what caused Adam Lanza to do what he did with
his mother's M-16 style rifle, a rifle used by our troops in Afghanistan
and elsewhere, and available to Americans without question. Some say it's
harder to adopt a pet than get an M-16. At least we protect the tiny
little baby kittens.

The availability of such guns will likely become more difficult in the
near future, as it should. But what are the driving forces for committing
such violence?

Why would Adam Lanza do this?
Let us count the many ways the US promotes its War on the World's

1) When we commit an act of war on others, we say to Adam Lanza that
violence is the best way of righting a wrong.

2) When we supported UN sanctions against Iraq between 1991 and 1995,
570,000 Iraqi children died -- more children than died in Hiroshima atomic
bombing, we say to Adam Lanza that violence against children is the best

3) When our political leaders say the deaths of 570,000 Iraqi children
" worth it", as did Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in May
1996, we say to Adam Lanza that violence is best.

4) We have killed 176 children in Pakistan, and up to 3 children in
Somalia with our drones. We again say to Adam Lanza that children are

5) When we hold 20 children (ages 13 to 18 at time of imprisonment) in
Guantanamo Bay prison without charge for 10 years, we say to Adam Lanza
that children have no rights.

6) When we create policies that prevent 60 million Americans from
obtaining health insurance and that lack of health insurance results in
3,000 American deaths every 24 days, we say to Adam Lanza that profits are
more important than the lives of children and parents (the numbers aren't
yet in for Obamacare)

7) When Secretary of State Hilary Clinton jokes about the killing of
Muammar Gaddafi, we say to Adam Lanza that violence is the best way of
righting a wrong. (

8) When President Obama decides every Tuesday what names go on the list of
people to be executed by drone (NYT May 29, 2012), we say to Adam Lanza
that killing is the best way to solve your problems.

9) When Army Lt. Col. Marion Carrington of 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute
Infantry Regiment (in Afghanistan) says about our use of drones...“It kind
of opens our aperture. In addition to looking for military-age males, it’s
looking for children with potential hostile intent.”, we say to Adam Lanza
that violence against children is OK. (Tom McNamara, Counterpunch, Dec.
18, 2012)

10) When President Obama jokes about using drones to protect his daughters
from the Jonas Brothers, Obama says to Adam Lanza that violence is OK.

11) When each week, 11,000 individuals living in the Southern Tier of
Western NY visit pantries and shelters to receive food, we say to Adam
Lanza that money is better spent killing people than supporting Americans
at home.

12) When 12,482 households with children in Buffalo NY receive food
assistance each week, we say to Adam Lanza that money is better spent
killing people than supporting Americans at home.

13) When President George Bush II said on Sept 20, 2001 "Every nation, in
every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you
are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues
to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a
hostile regime. " He said to Adam Lanza that violence works best.

14) When we use ROTC to recruit children in colleges and universities, we
say to those children and Adam Lanza, that violence is a really good way
of settling arguments.

15) When Section 2340 of the Federal Code says "in order to constitute
torture, an act must be specifically intended to inflict sever physical or
mental pain", we say to Adam Lanza that torturing people is OK as long as
you didn't intend to do so. (Torture and Impunity, by Alfred McCoy, p.

These are the messages Adam Lanza received, the messages we all receive.
Why are we able to cope with this onslaught of government sponsored
violence, and not Adam?

RIP children and adults of Newtown CT...and Adam.

Vikki had a great letter to the Buffalo News today, Dec. 22:

We need to create a culture of peace

It is unthinkable, everyone says. It is a terrible, grievous tragedy, a trauma both devastating and far-reaching. But is it unthinkable? Violence is prevalent in much of our entertainment – films like “Saw” and “Friday the 13th” and video games such as “Manhunt” and “Call of Duty.” We show the blood and the “unthinkable” only subtly suggested in days gone by.

Sudden death is very thinkable in other parts of the world; in war zones and where drones strike – at home, in the mosque or market, on the road. Children and adults watch the skies in fear in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Pakistan, at least 168 children have died in U.S. drone attacks since 2004.

In Buffalo, it is heartbreakingly thinkable, too. We have had 44 homicides this year, and more shootings. Sometimes the killing is random, or the person killed was not the target.

When we combine automatic distrust, the “might is right” attitude, smoldering trauma and the pervasiveness and sometimes even glorification of violence in our culture with minimal gun control, we have the recipe for the disaster we see. At least three times as many people per 100,000 are shot and killed in this country as in other developed countries.

We desperately need serious gun control. We desperately need the determined promotion of peaceful conflict resolution training, especially for our children and youth. We need to make healing troubled hearts and minds a priority, and to create a culture of peace in our society. And we will all need to work together to do it.

Victoria B. Ross

Peaceful Conflict Resolution

Consultant, WNY Peace Center

Interfaith Peace Network

Thursday, 13 December 2012

At the "Fiscal Cliff"

WNY Peace Center, local labor organizations and the Buffalo Billionaires at Senator Schumer's office - making sure the Obama and the Dems. get the message that cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are not acceptable as part of some "Grand Bargain" on the "Fiscal Cliff"!

Oppose Fracking


WNY Drilling Defense and the Anti-Fracking Task Force of the WNY Peace
Center plus dozens of other environmental organizations request you write
Gov. Cuomo telling him why it’s a bad idea for NY State’s Department of
Environmental Conservation to set hydrofracking regulations in stone
before completing the review of the effects of hydrofracking on public
The regulatory cement is being poured and those impervious walls may
conflict with new regulations proposed at the conclusion of the now
on-going health study. OOPS! Even if hydrofracking kills the non-corporate
type of human beings who live near the rigs…. we will hydrofrack! The law
says we can, regardless of the consequences. RIP, and will your property
to the gas company.
Obviously the hydrofracking delays in NY State are causing rabid Wall St
profiteers to froth upon their bank statements smudging the many digits to
the left of the decimal point…. and they are calling upon Gov. Cuomo to
speed up things. By writing regs now, ENCON is throwing Wall St a bone and
the higher-ups in ENCON are securing a future job with a natural gas
company while collecting their NYS retirement.
Let’s keep the natural gas company CEOs tied up and supply Gov. Cuomo with
pooper scoopers in the form of many, many letters.
Details about how to do this are below…..start
writing…Dr. Sandra Steingraber who gave a wonderful lecture at the WNY
Peace Center’s annual dinner a few years ago, says you can do one letter a
day for the next 30 days.
There can be no better way to celebrate the holiday season, and welcome
the New Year.

Write to Gov. Cuomo:
*Here's what to do:*
#1: *Click here*
<> to
follow the simple guide to submit a comment today! Submit your comments
online easily or mail them to us and we'll deliver them for you.
#2: Be a super-commenter! Given that there are many, many dangers and fatal
issues to expose, Dr. Sandra Steingraber is leading a "Thirty Comments in
Thirty Days" initiative. It works like an Advent calendar: each day during
the thirty-day comment period, subscribers will receive information from
Sandra about a different critical issue to comment on.*Click here to join
her initiative!* <>
#3: *Forward the attached one-page document on how-to comment to your
contacts. You can also print it out and bring it to events in your
*Right now:* *Click here to write a
comment!*<> If
you only have a few minutes, submit a short one now. You can (and should!)
submit more in the days to come.


Dear Governor Cuomo Fracking Film Screening
Friday, December 14, 2012, 6:30 PM
Daemen College, 107 Schenck Science Building
2495 Main Street, Buffalo

This is the Buffalo premier of a new anti-fracking documentary. The film
premiered in October at the Woodstock Film Festival and it was a
tremendous hit. The film was made by award winning filmmaker Jon
Bowermaster and takes a look at the anti-fracking movement in New York. It
features Mark Ruffalo, Melissa Leo, Natalie Merchant, Joan Osborne, The
Felice Brothers, Medeski Martin & Wood, Sandra Steingraber, and many more
musicians and anti-fracking organizers from throughout the state.
Screening will feature filmmaker Jon Bowermaster and it is free of charge.
It will also feature expert panelists to take your questions and give
insight in to where fracking stands in New York right now.
Find out more details about this film screening and RSVP here: