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Remembering Tomas Young and his fight for peace

Photo: jbach/flickr

There were 8,920,000 military veterans in the United States as of last June, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Sometime last Sunday or Monday, hours before Veterans Day began, that number dropped by one, when Tomas Young died at home in Seattle, with his wife by his side. He was one of many soldiers who were sent to Iraq and were grievously injured there.

The public may know more about Tomas Young than about most veterans, thanks to the remarkable documentary Body of War, directed and produced by legendary talk-show host Phil Donahue and filmmaker Ellen Spiro. His journey, his struggle and now his death follow an arc along the tragic U.S. wars and occupations in this post-9/11 world.

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Watch: Canadians rally to oppose Harper's war

This four-video series of the Rally to Stop Harper's War, organized by Toronto Coalition to Stop the War, focuses on specific talks.

Sid Lacombe discusses the Ottawa shootings, increased repression of dissent and the "Australia Model."

Carolyn Egan discusses the dangers of Islamophobia ,linking the war to how Islamophobia played itself out in Ausma Malik's campaign for school board trustee.

Rajean, President of Ryerson Student Union, and James Campbell, a teacher gave their views on why educators should oppose the war.

And finally, Ali Mallah talked of the United States' collusion with the dictators they sought to overthrow.

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Image: rabble.ca
| October 24, 2014
Columnists

From World War I to Gaza, war is not the answer

Photo: Live4Soccer(L4S)/flickr

In her epic, Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Guns of August, historian Barbara Tuchman detailed how the First World War began in 1914, and how the belligerence, vanity and poor policies of powerful leaders led millions to gory deaths in that four-year conflagration. Before people realized world wars had to be numbered, the First World War was called "The Great War" or "The War to End All Wars," which it wasn't. It was the first modern war with massive, mechanized slaughter on land, sea and in the air. We can look at that war in retrospect, now 100 years after it started, as if through a distant mirror. The reflection, where we are today, is grim from within the greatest war-making nation in human history, the United States.

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Columnists

Harper and the taste for war

Peacekeepers Memorial. Photo: Bob Linsdell/flickr

In this skill-testing exercise, see if you can spot the one who doesn't belong:

-  Patrick Brazeau

-  Mike Duffy

-  Douglas Roche

-  Pamela Wallin

Long-time Ottawa observers will have figured out that Douglas Roche is the one least likely to appear in an RCMP line-up. Certainly he has few of the behavioural traits we've come to associate with Conservative senators (even though he was one from 1998 to 2004).

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Tony Benn, radical champion for democracy in the UK, dies at 88

Photo: wikimedia commons

There are two things you need to know about Tony Benn. The first is that he always saw his primary role, as a politician, as that of an educator who was engaged in developing popular democratic ambitions and capacities. The second is that, again unlike most politicians, he actually took democracy seriously in terms of its potential for changing the world. These two rare qualities explain why he was among very few political leaders of the 20th century who became more rather than less radical over the course of their careers.

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'The Dogs Are Eating Them Now' begs for our collective attention

The Dogs are Eating them Now

by Graeme Smith
(Knopf Canada,
2013;
$32.00)

Canada will officially end its military engagement in Afghanistan in March 2014 after losing 158 Canadian Forces personnel and spending billions of dollars on the war effort. So, was it worth it?

You won't find the answer in Graeme Smith's award-winning retrospective The Dogs Are Eating Them Now on his time as a foreign correspondent for the Globe and Mail. In fact, you'll only find more questions that beg for answers -- and our collective attention.

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Redeye

Examining the rationales for war

November 18, 2013
| In the first of two interviews, Derrick O'Keefe critiques the notion of humanitarian war and similar rationales for aggression against other countries from Yugoslavia to Libya.
Length: 15:31 minutes (14.22 MB)
Columnists

U.S. public says 'no' to war on Syria

Photo: The Eyes Of New York/flickr

The likelihood of peace in Syria remains distant, as the civil war there rages on. But the grim prospect of a U.S. strike has been forestalled, if only temporarily, preventing a catastrophic deepening of the crisis there. The American people stood up for peace, and for once, the politicians listened. Across the political spectrum, citizens in the U.S. weighed in against the planned military strike. Members of Congress, Democrat and Republican, were inundated with calls and emails demanding they vote "no" on any military authorization.

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On the surprising outburst of democracy that helped hold off U.S. attack on Syria

In a world in which what's happening is analyzed and dissected, chewed up and spat out, before it even happens, there is, in fact, a surprising amount of surprise.

Consider recent days. With the U.S. poised to strike Syria for its government's alleged and apparent use of chemical weapons, suddenly we learn that the British House of Commons has denied the British government authorization to join the U.S. in the strike, a virtually unheard of event. No one, at least on this side of the pond, seems to have told the Obama administration that a possibility was actually a probability.

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