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What Is America Doing in the Middle East?
VIDEO Institute for Policy Studies, Oct. 23, 2018

Speaking at the Alworth Center for Peace and Justice, Phyllis Bennis presents on Palestine-Israel, human rights, and the U.S.’s role in the region.

Did bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki save lives?
By Ward Wilson, Beyond Nuclear, Aug. 13, 2018

The myth that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki “won the war” has given false credence to the illusion of nuclear deterrence, argues author Ward Wilson.

America Should Use Latest Tragedy in Syria to End the War, Not Escalate It
By Ann Wright and Medea Benjamin, Alternet, April  6, 2017

We’re in danger of entering yet another needless, endless war.

Trump, Syria, and Chemical Weapons: What We Know, What We Don’t, and the Dangers Ahead
By Phyllis Bennis, Common Dreams, April 6, 2017

Further military engagement by the U.S. is not the way to end the horrific carnage

Pax Christi International Statement on the Situation in Syria
By Pax Christi International, April, 2017

Amidst endless war crimes and enormous human suffering, the people of Syria are in need of justice and peaceful support.

Advent Reflection Guide: A Season to Embrace Gospel Nonviolence
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Nov. 2016

This guide contains reflections, questions, prayers, and actions based on each week’s Gospel reading and the discussions by Catholic peacemakers who attended the landmark Nonviolence and Just Peace conference in Rome in April 2016.

Jubilee USA Network

Jubilee USA Network brings together people by active solidarity with partners worldwide, targeted and timely advocacy strategies and educational outreach.

Voice for Justice – April 2016
By BJ Schlacter, IHM Associate, St. John Fisher Parish Justice and Peace Ministry

This issue focuses on Syrian refugees.

Beyond ISIS: The Folly of World War IV
By Andrew J. Bacevich, TomDispatch, Dec. 5, 2015

For a rich and powerful nation to conclude that it has no choice but to engage in quasi-permanent armed conflict in the far reaches of the planet represents the height of folly. As citizens, we must resist with all our might, arguments that deny the existence of choice when it comes to war.

Human … and Kind
By George Monbiot, Common Dreams, Oct. 14, 2015

Fascinating new lines of research suggest that we are good people, tolerating bad things.

Supporters of Diplomacy over War Must Speak Up
By Phyllis Bennis and Kevin Martin, Institute for Policy Studies, Aug. 5, 2015

Lawmakers need to hear from their constituents who support the nuclear deal with Iran.

29 U.S. Scientists Praise Iran Nuclear Deal in Letter to Obama
By William J. Broad, New York Times, Aug. 8, 2015

This letter, from some of the world’s most knowledgeable experts in nuclear weapons and arms control, calls the agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program innovative and stringent.

The Iran Nuclear Deal: The Forest and the Trees
By Lisbeth Gronlund, Union of Concerned Scientists, Aug. 5, 2015

Concisely lays out why the Iran nuclear deal is an important step forward in curbing Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear weapon.

“Weapons of the Devil”: Hibakusha’s Call for a World Without Nuclear Weapons
By Michiko Kodama, American Friends Service Committee, Aug. 5, 2015

Michiko Kodama, a Hibakusha (survivor of the first nuclear war) wrote this reflection for the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. In it, she calls for abolition of what she refers to as “weapons of the devil.”

The Bombs of August
By Howard Zinn, Common Dreams, July 30, 2000

A re-print of Zinn’s 2000 reflection on the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

The Urgency of Now: A Pastoral Letter on Nuclear Weapons Production in Our Community
Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, Aug. 3, 2015

More than 24 clergy and lay leaders of religious communities in East Tennessee joined to issue The Urgency of Now: A Pastoral Letter on Nuclear Weapons Production in Our Community. The letter, released in the week of the 70th observance of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombings calls for people of faith to engage the morality of the ongoing production of nuclear weapons in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Our 70th Anniversary Homework: Confronting the Myths and Learning the Lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
By Joseph Gerson, Common Dreams, July 31, 2015

The myths that the A-bombings were necessary to end the war against Japan and that they saved the lives of half a million U.S. troops remain widely believed.

The US Should Eliminate Its Nuclear Arsenal – Not “Modernize” It
David Krieger, Truthout, Aug. 1, 2015

On the 70th anniversary of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it is past time for the United States to lead the world in negotiations to achieve the elimination of nuclear weapons, rather than pursue current plans to modernize its nuclear arsenal.

Drone Warfare: Death Delivered From a Location Near You
by Brandon Toy, Common Dreams, March 21, 2015

In 2013, Brandon Toy publicly resigned his position at General Dynamics Land Systems where he had worked for five years as an engineering project manager on the Stryker Combat Vehicle Program. He is a metro-Detroit resident, an Army Veteran who was deployed as a Military Policeman in Bagdhad and an outspoken opponent of militarized drones.

Leaked Internal CIA Document Admits US Drone Program “Counterproductive”
Jon Queally, Common Dreams, Dec. 18, 2014

Document published by Wikileaks reveals agency’s own internal review found key counter-terrorism strategy “may increase support” for the groups it targets

A Year After Congressional Testimony, Drone Strike Victims Still Searching for Justice
Candice Bernd, Truthout, Nov. 28, 2014

Despite a recent finding that fewer than four percent of drone strike casualties in Pakistan have been confirmed as members of al-Qaeda, critics fear the program will continue with impunity and even be boosted to combat the Islamic state.

Dominican Sisters Iraq Update
Adrian Dominican Sisters, Aug. 23,  2014

On Aug. 23, the Adrian Dominican Sisters received an email from their Dominican Sisters in Iraq, on their continued struggle as refugees.

Islamic Authority: Extremists no ‘Islamic State
By Sarah El Deeb, Associated Press, Aug, 24, 2014

The top Islamic authority in Egypt, revered by many Muslims worldwide, launched an Internet-based campaign challenging an extremist group in Syria and Iraq by saying it should not be called an “Islamic State.”

Prayer for an End to Violence, War and Senseless Death
By James E. Hug, S.J., Education for Justice,  Aug. 4, 2014

In a time of violence around the world, James E. Hug, S.J., invites us to pray for peace and for the embrace of God’s love, especially for all those who suffer in conflicts.

We Have Lost So Many That We Love: A View from Gaza
by Mona El-Farra, Common  Dreams, Aug. 5, 2014

My family is no different from any other in the Gaza Strip.  Part of my family has been erased.   We are always wondering, “Who will be next?”

In Gaza, International Law is Up in Flames
Phyllis Bennis, Foreign Policy in Focus, July 30, 2014

In violation of international law, Israel’s assault on Gaza has killed hundreds of civilians and devastated civilian infrastructure.

Pax Christi USA Offical Statement on Gaza
Pax Christi USA, July 24, 2014

The statement calls for an immediate cease-fire to end the violence and address the underlying causes which fuel the decades-long tragedy.

Andrew Bacevich: Chaos in Iraq
Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company, June 29, 2014

While armchair warriors in Washington cry “back to Iraq,” former combat veteran and military historian Andrew Bacevich says no way. “Our foreign policy establishment does not take war seriously,” he said. “It assumes that the creation of precision guided weapons makes war manageable.”

War, Iraq, Enlightenment
by Marianne Williamson, Common Dreams, June 19, 2014

“War is not just an external event; it is a field of fear-based consciousness that needs to be addressed on internal as well as external levels. And that will take all of our efforts.”

IRAQ: Diplomacy, Not More Arms, Needed in Iraq and Syria
By David Cortwright, Pax Christi USA, June 16, 2014

Debates about the past are important but do not address the problem of what can be done now to stem the spread of violence and instability in Iraq. The United States and other external actors have very few options. Here are some considerations to keep in mind as the debate unfolds.

VIDEO: As Obama Considers Drone Strikes in Iraq, Could U.S. Military Action Worsen Sectarian Conflict?
Democracy Now, June 16, 2014

Interview with Iraqi-American political analyst Raed Jarrar.

Pax Christi USA Official Statement on the Crisis in Iraq
Pax Christi USA, June 17, 2014

Pax Christi USA calls for a fully inclusive international diplomatic process to address the current crisis in Iraq.

Pope Francis in Palestine
Phyllis Bennis, Foreign Policy In Focus, May 31,  2014

Pope Francis’ seemingly impromptu prayer at Israel’s apartheid wall hinted at a radical critique of Israel in an otherwise carefully-orchestrated trip.

The Killing Machines: How to Think About Drones
Mark Bowden, The Atlantic, Aug. 14, 2013

“Drone strikes are a far cry from the atomic vaporizing of whole cities, but the horror of war doesn’t seem to diminish when it is reduced in scale. If anything, the act of willfully pinpointing a human being and summarily executing him from afar distills war to a single ghastly act.”

Strike! Dance! Rise!
Shambhala Sun, March 2014

An interview with Eve Ensler and bell hooks on fighting domination and finding love

Obama Reframes Syria: Metaphor and War Revisited

Linguist George Lakoff explores the connection between metaphor and President Obama’s rhetoric on Syria.

“Crossing the Line”
Stephen Coll, The New Yorker, Sept. 9, 2013

Since the costs of even a limited military intervention in Syria might be very high, in credibility and in lives, it is reasonable to ask whether the cause of punishing and deterring the use of chemical weapons is worth the risks.

Pope Francis’ Declaration of a Day of Prayer and Fasting for Syria
The Vatican, Sept. 1, 2013

The transcript of Pope Francis’  statement calling for a day of prayer and fasting for Syria

Resources from the U.S.C.C.B on Syria

Up-to-date news releases, articles and prayers from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops concerning the crisis in Syria

“What Moral Theologians Say about Getting Involved in Syria”
Thomas Reese, National Catholic Reporter, Sept. 3, 2013

This article examines the views of moral theologians about whether intervention in Syria fits the criteria of a just war. Links are provided to the more complete thoughts of each expert.

“War is Still a Defeat for Humanity”
Pax Christi USA, Aug. 31, 2013

The national Catholic peace group’s official statement on Syria

“Moral Obscenities in Syria”
Phyllis Bennis and David Wildman,  Foreign Policy in Focus, Aug. 28, 2013

The authors argue that a U.S. military attack on Syria will not be to protect civilians—it will mean taking sides once again in a bloody, complicated civil war.

“The Suffering Grasses: Remembering the Other Syria”
Peter Certo,  Foreign Policy in Focus, Aug. 30, 2013

A review of Iara Lee’s film, The Suffering Grasses, which captures Syrians explaining their struggle in their own words.

Imagine if We Were Number One
Laura Finley, Common Dreams, June 13, 2013

What if the U.S. became hyper-focused on becoming the most peaceful nation on earth?

 U.S. Preoccupation with Guns is the Enemy Within
Joan Chittister, OSB, National Catholic Reporter, Jan. 11, 2013

An analysis of a U.S. culture that glorifies gun ownership

Voices of the Debate: An Interactive Focus on Gun Violence
Education for Justice, 2013

An interactive lesson plan on gun-violence

Election Spurred a Move to Codify U.S. Drone Policy
Scott Shane, New York Times, Nov. 24, 2012

Facing the possibility that he might not win a second term, President Obama accelerated work in the weeks before the election to develop explicit rules for the targeted killing of terrorists by unmanned drones.

Just War Theory is Obsolete
Joan Chittister, OSB, from Becoming Full Human, The Greatest Glory of God (Erie, Pa.: Benetvision. 2005)

Since Augustine developed just war theory, the nature of weapons has changed bringing into question these criteria for war.

Called to Global Solidarity: International Challenges for U.S. Parishes
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Nov. 12, 1997

The USCCB  reflects upon the opportunities and responsibilities that  U.S. Catholics have to promote global solidarity as both members of the universal Church and as citizens of a powerful democracy with tremendous  global influence.

Videos and Interactive Resources

Beyond the Drone Debate: Should US Military and CIA Be Judge, Jury and Executioner?
Adam Hudson, Truthout, June 2, 2015

Public debate on drones has centered on the method of targeted killing rather than whether assassination is legal, moral or effective policy.

Count All Lives Taken By Drone War, Not Just Western Ones
By Sarah Lazare, Common Dreams, May 13, 2015

Human rights organizations including Reprieve and Center for Constitutional Rights write open letter to President Barack Obama.

VIDEO: #GazaNames

In this powerful short video produced by Jewish Voice for Peace, prominent Jews and Palestinians hold  signs with the names and ages of Palestinian civilians recently killed in Gaza

One Billion Rising

One Billion Rising for Justice is a global call to women survivors of violence and those who love them to  break the silence and release their stories – politically, spiritually, outrageously – through art, dance, marches, ritual, song, spoken word, testimonies and whatever way feels right.

Songs of Peace and Protest: Six Essential Cuts from Pete Seeger
Megan Gibson, Time Magazine, Jan. 28, 2014

In honor of the folk singer’s passing, revisit six of his most memorable songs

Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Pitch Interactive, 2013

This powerful, interactive graphic tracks every drone strike the United States has carried out in Pakistan since 2004.

Israel and Palestine – A Very Short Introduction

A short video primer about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict

Web Links

LCWR Joins Iraqi Sisters in a call for prayer

Facing imminent danger, the leader of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Sienna in Mosul, Iraq has called her sisters throughout Iraq to a time of intense prayer and retreat to beg God for the protection of the Iraqi people, especially the minority Christian community.

Loretto Community Prayer and Fact Sheets on Drones

Sisters of Loretto,  May 20, 2014

American Friends Service Committee

AFSC’s work is based on the Quaker belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice

Fellowship of Reconciliation

Sponsors programs and educational projects concerned with domestic and international peace and justice, nonviolent alternatives to conflict and the rights of conscience

Foreign Policy in Focus

A think-tank for research, analysis and action that brings together scholars, advocates and activists who strive to make the United States a more responsible global partner

Institute for Policy Studies

Research and analysis on global and national current events and issues

Nobel Women’s Initiative

Spotlights and promotes the efforts of women’s rights activists, researchers and organizations working to advance peace, justice and equality

Pax Christi USA

Committed to peace education and promoting the gospel imperative of peacemaking as a priority in the Catholic Church in the United States

Peace Action

The nation’s largest grassroots peace group

Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace

The official website of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace

School of the Americas Watch

An independent organization seeking to close the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (formerly the School of the Americas) through nonviolent protest, as well as media and legislative work