Tag Archives: Phyllis Bennis

ON THE LINE: February edition features anti-drone activism, anti-torture op-ed, calendar items and more!

Compiled by Johnny Zokovitch

Each month, “On The Line” features news items and announcements from around the nation featuring Pax Christi members, local groups, regions and partners. These are gleaned from articles in local newspapers, websites, magazines, and elsewhere.

PAX CHRISTI MEMPHIS HOSTS TALK ON DRONES: From the University of Memphis’ school newspaper, The Daily Helmsman – “The University of Memphis Catholic Center will play host to a discussion on the controversial use of unmanned aerial vehicles in the U.S. military on Tuesday. Pax Christi Memphis, the local branch of Pax Christi International, a non-profit Catholic peace movement that advocates against violence and war, is hosting the discussion. Judy Bettice, coordinator for Pax Christi Memphis, hopes this discussion will open people’s eyes to the moral implications of targeted killing and surveillance. “I hope that people will be more engaged in examining the moral implications of targeted surveillance of civilians and the killing of ‘bad guys,’” said Bettice. “I think the discussion has only been in politics and not in morality.” Read the whole article here: http://www.dailyhelmsman.com/pax-christi-to-speak-about-drone-warfare-1.2984920#.UR0Dh6XCaSo

PAX CHRISTI INTERNATIONAL CO-PRESIDENT SPEAKS AT CODEPINK PRESS CONFERENCE: In a February 4th press conference hosted by CodePink, Marie Denis, President of Pax Christi International and Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace spoke out against CIA Director nominee John Brennan and the use of drone warfare. She represented over one hundred faith-based leaders that called for a rejection of Brennan’s nomination as Director of the CIA. See the YouTube video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJCaFXb6QPc

Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace Rev. Joe Nangle, ofm, leads an Ash Wednesday witness outside the White House with other Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore members, member of the PCUSA National Staff, and others.

Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace Rev. Joe Nangle, ofm, leads an Ash Wednesday witness outside the White House with other Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore members, member of the PCUSA National Staff, and others.

PAX CHRISTI USA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR INTERVIEWED IN WISDOM VOICES: From Wisdom Voices blog – “Blessed are the peacemakers.”  We all know that phrase from the Bible, the Beatitudes.  But how many of us center our personal, much less our professional lives on working to create a world in which peace is the dominant factor. It’s not hard to argue that the word “peace” has somewhat disappeared from the national conversation. Drones, guns, war, military intervention, political polarization, bullying, hate talk. But for Sister Patricia Chappell SNDdeN , Executive Director of Pax Christi USA, peace and what it means in the 21st century is the cornerstone of her daily personal and professional life. “We may not be using the actual word ‘peace’ in today’s social justice and peace movement, but all of our efforts are centered around trying to provide peace and to bring peace in a non-violent way,” Chappell said in a recent interview with Wisdom Voices. Click on this link to read the full interview: http://paxchristiusa.org/2013/02/04/interview-wisdom-voices-interviews-sr-patty-chappell-on-pax-christi-usa-peace/

PAX CHRISTI ANTI-TORTURE ACTIVIST PUBLISHES OP-ED IN THE HILL: Susan Kerin of Pax Christi at St. Francis Parish (MD), had the following op-ed posted in the Congressional newspaper The Hill: “This month marks the 11th anniversary of the arrival of the first prisoners at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. Coupled with the theatrical opening of the torture-justifying film, ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’ the debate on torture has risen to the forefront, and this week, I join the National Religious Campaign Against Torture in its efforts to tell the truth about torture in opposition to the new film and to ensure that the public realizes that President Obama vowed to close the Guantanamo prison, but has reneged on his promise – leaving the United States in a moral lurch. Like most people, much of my opinion on the matter is shaped by my personal experiences and values. Torture is a moral issue. As a person of faith, I was taught that all humans are created in His image. As a Christian, I know that Jesus was a victim himself of torture and informed his followers that ‘what you do to the least of my brethren, you do to me.’ Read the entire op-ed here: http://paxchristiusa.org/2013/01/25/torture-the-problem-with-torture/

PCUSA DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS PUBLISHES PIECE ON GUN VIOLENCE: The following article by Pax Christi USA Director of Programs Sr. Anne-Louise Nadeau, SNDdeN, was featured in JustFaith Ministries Voices newsletter  – “Oh, when will they ever learn…” These are the haunting and plaintive lines from a 1955 Pete Seeger song ‘Where have all the Flowers gone?’ that have been a recurring loop since the December 14, 2012 massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. On that day those who experienced and heard of this event concluded that madness had reared its evil and ugly head. In a country that boasts of a foundational principle of ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,’ there also exists a madness where we choose to sacrifice our children, our sisters, our brothers, our mothers and fathers instead of placing limits on our right to bear arms. When will we awaken from this madness, this sickness that feeds our desire to own any type of weapon—without limit or restraint of any kind—over the safety and well-being of our children and of one another? The topic at hand is not whether the Constitution gives us the right as citizens to bear arms. The issue is whether we as a society value each other enough to place common-sense, reasonable restrictions on that right… Read the entire article here: http://paxchristiusa.org/2013/01/13/reflection-oh-when-will-they-ever-learn/

Upcoming or Ongoing Events:

Feb. 23 – Regional Dialogue in Minnesota: http://paxchristiusa.org/programs/regional-dialogues-2012-13/

Mar. 1-3 – Pax Christi Metro New York’s retreat, “Have this mind in you which was in Christ Jesus…Conversion to the active love of Jesus by praying Sacred Scripture,” with Bishop Thomas Gumbleton: http://www.nypaxchristi.org/events.html

Mar. 1-4 – Pacific Life Community Faith and Resistance Retreat: http://pacificlifecommunity.wordpress.com/

Mar. 2 – Pax Christi Twin Cities and Call to Action are hosting their winter gathering with Sr. Simone Campbell: http://www.paxchristimn.org/2013/01/18/winter-gathering-with-sr-simone-campbell/

Mar. 9 – Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore hosts an anti-drone protest at CIA Headquarters: http://www.paxchristimetrodc.org/2013/01/stop-cia-killer-drones/

Mar. 10 – Regional Dialogue in Richmond, VA: http://paxchristiusa.org/programs/regional-dialogues-2012-13/

Mar. 23 – Regional Dialogue for Pax Christi Metro New York and Long Island: http://paxchristiusa.org/programs/regional-dialogues-2012-13/

Mar. 23 – Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore’s annual Spring Assembly, “Drone Killings—Not in Our Name!” with Medea Benjamin, Ray McGovern and Phyllis Bennis: http://www.paxchristimetrodc.org/

April 6-7 – Pax Christi Florida Spring Retreat, “The Spirituality of Intentional Communities: An Evolving Vision”, with Christine Vladimiroff, osb: http://paxchristiflorida.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/2013-pcf-retreat-brochure.pdf

April 7 – Regional Dialogue for Pax Christi Texas: http://paxchristiusa.org/programs/regional-dialogues-2012-13/

April 15 – Global Day of Action Against Military Spending: http://www.paxchristi.net/international/eng/news.php?id=2233&wat=show

April 20 – Regional Dialogue for Pax Christi Maine: http://paxchristiusa.org/programs/regional-dialogues-2012-13/

April 20 – Pax Christi Michigan State Conference, “Prophetic Leadership of Women: Justice from the Margins,” with Elizabeth Walters, IHM, and Barbara Reid, OP: http://www.paxchristimi.org/2013_state_conference.htm

Quicklinks:

Pax Christi International has launched the Bread is Life campaign, a fast for a just peace in Syria … Pax Christi Florida member Joseph Mahon publishes a blog, ChristFaithPower, dedicated to promoting issues related to peace and justice based on the witness of Cistercian monk, Thomas Merton … Read the latest news from Pax Christi Tampa Bay (FL) in their newsletterPax Christi Burlington (VT) member and PCUSA Ambassador of Peace Beatrice Parwatikar posted this piece on economic justicePax Christi Southern California holds a monthly peace and justice Mass every third Sunday … Pax Christi El Paso recently screened the documentary “The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till”Pax Christi Virginia recently hosted several talks by Paul K. Chappell, Iraq War veteran and director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation … Pax Christi Birmingham coordinator and PCUSA Teacher of Peace Shelley Douglass wrote this piece on having a new perspective for the Bread for the Journey blog … Pax Christi UK recently published a statement on drones … See more local and regional updates in the Spring 2013 edition of The Peace Current

IRAN: We’ve seen the threats against Iran before

by Phyllis Bennis

Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Here we go again with the Iran hysteria. It is tempting to think this time will be just like previous periods of sabre rattling against Iran. But there are significant new dangers. The Arab Spring, Israel’s position, changes in the regional and global balance of forces, and national election campaigns, all point to this round of anti-Iranian hysteria posing potentially graver risks than five or six years ago.

We have seen all this before. The US ratchets up its rhetoric, Israel threatens a military attack, escalating sanctions bite harder on the Iranian people, Iran refuses to back down on uranium enrichment. But at the same time, top US military and intelligence officials actually admit Iran does not have a nuclear weapon, is not building a nuclear weapon, and has not decided whether to even begin a building process.

There is certainly a big dose of déjà vu. In 2004 Israel’s prime minister denounced the international community for not doing enough to stop Iran from building a nuclear weapon. In 2005 the Israeli military was reported to “be ready by the end of March for possible strikes on secret uranium enrichment sites in Iran”. In 2006 the House Armed Services Committee issued a report drafted by one congressional staffer (an aide to hard-line pro-war John Bolton, then US ambassador to the UN), claiming that Iran was enriching uranium to weapons-grade 90 per cent. That same year a different Israeli prime minister publicly threatened a military strike against Iran. In 2008, George W Bush visited Israel to reassure them that “all options” remained on the table.

To read the entire article, click here.