Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Rape Was Rampant During the Vietnam War. Why Doesn’t US History Remember This?

Published by VIETNAM FULL DISCLOSURE: January 1, 2018

This story first appeared on the TomDispatch  website.

By Nick Turse.

“…War is obscene. I mean that in every sense of the word. Some veterans will tell you that you can’t know war if you haven’t served in one, if you haven’t seen combat. These are often the same guys who won’t tell you the truths that they know about war and who never think to blame themselves in any way for our collective ignorance. The truth is, you actually can know a lot about war without fighting in one. It just isn’t the sort of knowledge that’s easy to come by.

There are more than 30,000 books on the Vietnam War in printif you read a few dozen of the best of them, you can get a fairly good idea about what that war was really like… and, if you pay special attention to the few real truths buried in all the run-of-the-mill war stories, you’ll still get some feeling for war American-style.

The main problem with most of those books is the complete lack of Vietnamese voices. The Vietnam War killed more than 58,000 Americans. That’s a lot of people and a lot of heartache. It deserves attention. But it killed several million Vietnamese and severely affected—and I mean severely—the lives of many millions more. That deserves a whole lot more focus…

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Given the stigma attached to rape, especially decades ago, and the added stigma attached to male rape victims, it’s shocking that the case ever became public, no less that it went to trial in a military court, or that the victim gave clear, graphic, painful testimony. 

The truth was out there, but no one ever told this story to the wider world—neither the victim, the perpetrators, the witnesses, the lawyers, the judge, the commanders at the base, nor a historian.

You could read thousands of books on the Vietnam War—even books devoted to hidden histories, secrets, and the like—and never know that, in addition to rifles and rice paddies, war is also about rape, even male-on-male rape, even GI-on-GI rape. Just how many such rapes occurred, we’ll never know, because such acts were and generally still are kept secret.

Veterans don’t tell these stories. They almost never offer up accounts of murder, assault, torture, or rape unsolicited. They don’t want you to know. Such realities need to be mined out of them. I’ve done it for the last 10 years, and believe me, it can be exhausting…

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On a single day in August 1969, on one base, three GIs raped a fellow American soldier. Three rapes. One day. What does that mean? What does it say about men? About the military? About war? We can’t know for sure because we’ll never know the whole truth of sexual assault in Vietnam. 

The men involved in wartime sex crimes—in raping Vietnamese women, in sodomizing them, in violating them with bottles and rifle muzzles, in sexually assaulting American women, in raping American men—have mostly remained silent about it.

One of the rapists in this case may have passed away, but at least one is still apparently alive in the United States. Maybe even on your street. For decades we knew nothing of their crimes, so we know less than we should about the Vietnam War and about war in general.

Maybe it’s time to start asking questions of our veterans. Hard questions. They shouldn’t be the only ones with the knowledge of what goes on in armies and in war zones. They didn’t get to Vietnam (or Iraq or Afghanistan) on their own and they shouldn’t shoulder the blame or the truth alone and in silence. We all bear it. We all need to hear it. The sooner, the better.”

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Nick Turse is the managing editor of TomDispatch.com and a fellow at the Nation Institute. An award-winning journalist, his work has appeared in the Los Angeles Timesthe Nationand regularly at TomDispatch. He is the author most recently of the New York Times bestseller Kill Anything that Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam(The American Empire Project, Metropolitan Books). You can watch his recent conversation with Bill Moyers about that book by clicking here. His website is NickTurse.com. You can follow him on Tumblr and on Facebook.

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Read the complete story, and other excellent articles here:

and here:

Friday, December 29, 2017

How Cheney and His Allies Created the North Korea Nuclear Missile Crisis

By Gareth PorterTruthout | News Analysis

“The Trump administration has been telling people for months that the crisis with North Korea is the result of North Korea’s relentless pursuit of a nuclear threat to the US homeland and past North Korean cheating on diplomatic  agreements. 

However, North Korea reached agreements with both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations that could have averted that threat, had they been completed.

Instead, a group of Bush administration officials led by then-Vice President Dick Cheney sabotaged both agreements, and Pyongyang went on to make rapid strides on both nuclear and missile development, leading ultimately to the successful late November 2017 North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test.

The record shows, moreover, that Cheney and his allies derailed diplomatic efforts to curb North Korean nuclear and missile development, not because they opposed “arms control” (after all, the agreements that were negotiated would have limited only North Korean arms), but because those agreements would have been a political obstacle to fielding the group’s main interest: funding and fielding a national missile defense system as quickly as possible. 

The story of Cheney’s maneuvering to kill two agreements shows how a real US national security interest was sacrificed to a massive military boondoggle that served only the interests of the powerful contractors behind it…”

Read the complete article:


Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist and historian writing on US national security policy. He received the UK-based Gellhorn Prize for journalism for 2011 for articles on the U.S. war in Afghanistan. His latest book, Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, was published in February of 2014. Follow him on Twitter: @GarethPorter.


By Staff, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation | Op-Ed
By Linda Pentz Gunter, Truthout | Op-Ed
By Medea Benjamin, PINK Tank | Op-Ed

Read more by Gareth Porter: 

·         Israel’s Ploy Selling a Syrian Nuke Strike – November 19th, 2017
·         Exposing a Shoddy Sarin Attack Narrative – October 6th, 2017
·         Can the US and North Korea Move From Threats to Negotiations? – August 28th, 2017

·         Foisting Blame for Cyber-Hacking on Russia – July 3rd, 2017

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Community Radio 3CR  -
      CICD's 'Alternative News' 
      Every Sunday, 9:15 – 9:30 am.

'Alternative News' program celebrated its 40th Anniversary on Melbourne's Community Radio 3CR on November 12, 2017.

A brief history of the Campaign for International 
Co-operation & Disarmament 

The Australian and New Zealand Congress for International Co-operation and Disarmament, later known as the Congress for International Cooperation and Disarmament (CICD), and after circa 1987 as the Campaign for International Co-operation and Disarmament, was established at an international Peace Congress in Melbourne in 1959.

It was set up to support the ideals of the World Congress for Disarmament and International Co-operation held in Stockholm in 1958. The ANZCICD congress of 1959 was the broadest-based peace congress up to that time, and laid the foundation for an ongoing organisation tapping new avenues of support.

In Victoria, there had been a long history of peace activities and campaigns including those against conscription during the First World War and the Council against War and Fascism before the Second World War. 

One such organisation was the Victorian Peace Council which was instrumental in organising the ANZCICD congress. VPC disbanded soon after, leaving only its Research and Information Centre which existed until 1964. 

Since 1959, CICD has been playing an outstanding role in the struggle for peace, against nuclear weapons and for disarmament, acting most notably as a co-ordinating facility for anti-Vietnam war protests, especially the 1970-1972 Moratorium Campaigns.

Its members have also been active in campaigns as extensive as the anti-Omega military base protests, against French nuclear testing in the Pacific and for nuclear-free Pacific campaigns, Hiroshima (CICD was also the hub of the "No More Hiroshimas" Coalition in the 1990s), Palm Sunday, anti-Cold War, and supporting the peoples of Bougainville, East Timor and West Papua, and others. 

CICD seeks to foster an informed and active public opinion on issues relating to peace and international co-operation, and continues its campaign for an independent foreign policy for Australia, removal of foreign bases from Australian soil and around the world, a world without war, disarmament and social justice.

CICD has always relied on the support of many hundreds of members and affiliated organisations (trade unions, local peace groups, church, women’s and student groups).

CICD’s radio program Alternative News has been one of our principle campaign tools, starting on ABC Access Radio 3ZZ in 1975. 

The beginning of ethnic broadcasting in Australia goes back to 1973. In 1974 the Whitlam Labour government’s Media Department put forward a couple of proposals for establishing ethnic-only radio stations.

In a related experiment the ABC was licensed in 1975 to run two experimental stations - 2JJ in Sydney as a youth music station and 3ZZ in Melbourne as a community access station. 

Access Radio station 3ZZ commenced transmission on 12 May 1975. 3ZZ started broadcasting in over 40 languages and had ridden many storms that threatened its survival.

Alternative News began in the first week of 3ZZ’s transmission and was one of the longest-running weekly programmes. It consistently rated very highly for the station.

Ann Baker co-produced Alternative News with Bruce McPhie for a year on 3ZZ. Pauline Mitchell joined Bruce on 3ZZ when Ann left in 1976.  Pauline and Bruce did Alternative News for a year when it went over to 3CR in 1977.  Bruce left in 1978 and Pauline continued it on her own.

Bruce was the CICD representative on the English language programming board when Alternative News was on 3ZZ.

3CR was broadcasting concurrently with 3ZZ for a year. 3CR commenced full-scale operation on 3 July 1976 and 3ZZ went off the air on the morning of 16 July 1977.

3ZZ and 3CR shared content including Alternative News.  When 3ZZ faced closure 3CR lobbied on its behalf, broadcasting protest meetings and special events in support of it remaining on air.

ABC Commissioner Concetta Benn commented that the Fraser government shut the station down “because of 3ZZ’s role in uniting and providing resources to community groups, and because ordinary people began to believe they could produce change in society…”   3ZZ did its job too well!

3ZZ was closed against the wishes of the community, the State Government, the ABC and the users of the station.

The ethnic communities from across the socio-political spectrum vigorously protested the closure of 3ZZ by the Fraser government in 1977.

The depth and passion of the ethnic communities for 3ZZ, and in general for ethnic broadcasting can be illustrated by the thousands who joined up as members, hundreds who served as broadcasters and committee members, hundreds of thousands of dollars contributed to radiothons and campaigns to protect and develop ethnic broadcasting.

3ZZ became an everyday issue and concern for the ethnic community. Excitement and expectation were very high. With the closure of 3ZZ, the community worked tirelessly to accommodate ethnic programs in 3CR, and later played a significant role in the establishment of 3ZZZ whilst fighting to maintain and democratise SBS Radio.

3ZZ had set the foundations for community involvement and management that ultimately carried through to 3ZZZ and all community broadcasting.

Bruce McPhie is a multi-talented activist and was a hardworking and valuable asset to CICD when he was working there (1972-1978).  He had considerable graphic design and writing skills, and was a natural on radio.  When he moved to the country he continued on radio on Omeo Community Access Radio in 1992.

His political understanding of the world was, and is, outstanding and advanced the antiimperialist peace aims of CICD.

Bruce continues to be an asset to CICD via his prolific blog writing on the state of the world. CICD shares many of his blogs and Facebook posts on its social media and in its newsletters.  Bruce and CICD are in regular contact and Bruce’s opinions are often sought and valued by the CICD Committee.

Pauline presented Alternative News on 3ZZ with Bruce and then 3CR from 1976 until her death on Wednesday 20th March 2013. On the Wednesday that she died, Pauline was researching for the next program.  

In the 37 years that Alternative News went to air, Pauline rarely missed a broadcast – even when she was sick or tired.  

Jan Bartlett interviewed Pauline Mitchell for CICD’s 50th anniversary in 2009 which was aired again over a period of time after Pauline’s passing.  It’s available on 3CR’s website.

Alternative News was also broadcast for a time on a Gippsland radio station on a regular basis in 1989.
When live web streaming was introduced in 3CR in 2007, Alternative News was one of the first four programs chosen to be podcast.

Alternative News re-started broadcasting on a weekly basis with new presenters Romina Beitseen and Andrew Irving from 22 December 2013.

The first program relaunched by CICD’s Secretary Romina on 22 December was dedicated in memory of Pauline. Kisten McCandless (Pauline’s daughter), was invited to talk about her mother’s lifelong commitment and contribution to the peace movement and her remarkable job producing and presenting Alternative News over the decades.

The complete collection of transcripts of Alternative News from 1975 to March 2013 in the University of Melbourne Archives show a snapshot of the world, especially the evolution of Australia’s protest movements, during that period.  It is a rich and thorough reportage of social and radical issues of the time.

Alternative News continues to present news and views on a diverse range of issues - news that is not covered by the mainstream media. 

Campaign International 
Co-operation and Disarmament (C.I.C.D.): 
Box 66, 54 Victoria Street, Trades Hall - Carlton South, 3053 Australia.
Tel: (03) 9663 3677,   

peacecenter@cicd.org.au    www.cicd.org.au

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Trump’s War on the North Korean People

By Gregory Elich, September 21, 2017
“…In a sense, the policy is a continuation of the Obama administration’s ‘strategic patience’ on steroids, in that it couples a refusal to engage in diplomacy with the piling on of sanctions that constitute collective punishment of the entire North Korean population… 

The sanctions are an expression of pure malevolence. Vengeance is hitting every citizen of North Korea to further the U.S. goal of geopolitical domination of the Asia-Pacific.

Like North Korea, India, Pakistan, and Israel are non-signatories to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and have nuclear and missile arsenals. India and Pakistan launched ICBMs earlier in the year. North Korea is singled out for punishment, while the others receive U.S. aid. There is no principle at stake here.

For that matter, there is something unseemly in the United States, with over one thousand nuclear tests, denouncing North Korea for its six. The U.S., having launched four ICBMs this year, condemns the DPRK for launching half that many.

Is it not absurd that the United States, with its long record in recent years of bombing, invading, threatening, and overthrowing other nations, accuses North Korea, which has been at peace for several decades, of being an international threat?

North Korea observed the fate of Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Libya, and concluded that only a nuclear deterrent could stop the United States from attacking. It is the “threat” of North Korea being able to defend itself that has aroused U.S. ire on a spectacular scale…

The U.S. war on the North Korean people does not stop with UN sanctions…

The U.S. Justice Department blacklisted Russia’s Independent Petroleum Company in June, along with associated individuals and companies, for having shipped oil to North Korea. Despite the fact that there was no UN resolution at that time which forbade such trade, the U.S. seized nearly $7 million belonging to the company and its partners…

There is nothing illegal or forbidden in a nation trading with North Korea in non-prohibited commodities. Yet, a total trade blockade is what Washington is after. U.S. officials are preparing sanctions against foreign banks and companies that do business with North Korea…

In essence, Washington is running an international protection racket: give us what we demand, or we will hurt you. This is gangsterism as foreign policy…

Washington’s threats prompted China to implement steps in the financial realm that exceed what is called for by the UN Security Council resolutions. China’s largest banks have banned North Korean individuals and entities from opening new accounts, and some firms are not allowing deposits in existing accounts. There is no UN prohibition on North Koreans opening accounts abroad, so the action is regarded as a proactive measure by Chinese banks to avoid becoming the target of U.S. sanctions…

U.S. officials are fanning out across the globe, seeking to cajole or threaten other nations to join the anti-DPRK crusade. Since most nations stand to lose far more by displeasing the U.S. than in ending a longstanding relationship with the DPRK, the campaign is having an effect…

Many African nations have warm relations with the DPRK, dating back to the period of the continent’s liberation struggles. U.S. officials are focusing particular attention on Africa… The demand to cut relations with North Korea is not an easy sell for Washington, as Africans remember the U.S. for having backed apartheid regimes, while the DPRK had supported African liberation.

“Our world outlook was determined by who was on our side during the most crucial time of our struggle, and North Korea was there for us,” says Tuliameni Kalomoh, an official in Namibia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is not the kind of language Washington likes to hear. U.S. economic power is sufficient to ruin any small nation, and with little choice in the matter, Namibia cancelled all contracts with North Korean firms…

Outside of the United Nations, the Trump administration is systematically erecting a total trade blockade against North Korea. Through this means, the U.S. hopes that North Korea will capitulate. That aim is premised on a serious misjudgment of the North Korean character.

The Trump administration claims that UN sanctions and its policy of maximum pressure are intended to bring North Korea to the negotiating table. But it is not the DPRK that needs to be persuaded to talk… 

The demand for North Korea to give the United States everything it wants upfront, without receiving anything in return, as a precondition for talks is such an obvious nonstarter that it has to be regarded as a recipe for avoiding diplomacy…

North Korea contacted the Obama administration on several occasions and requested talks, only to be rebuffed each time and told it needed to denuclearize. This sad disconnect continues under Trump.

In May, the DPRK informed the United States that it would stop nuclear testing and missile launches if the U.S. would drop its hostile policy and sanctions, as well as sign a peace treaty ending the Korean War. 

The U.S. may not have cared for the conditions, but it could have suggested adjustments, had it been so inclined. Certainly, it was an opening that could have led to dialogue.

It is not diplomacy that the Trump administration seeks, but to crush North Korea. If the ostensible reason for UN sanctions is to persuade a reluctant party to negotiate, then one can only conclude that the wrong nation is being sanctioned.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying was scathing in her criticism of American and British leaders: 

“They are the loudest when it comes to sanctions, but nowhere to be found when it comes to making efforts to promote peace talks. They want nothing to do with responsibility.”

The months ahead look bleak. Unless China and Russia can find a way to oppose U.S. designs without becoming targets themselves, the North Korean people will stand alone and bear the burden of Trump’s malice. It says something for their character that they refuse to be cowed.”