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Ann Wright is a 29-year US Army/Army Reserves veteran, a retired United States Army colonel and retired U.S. State Department official, known for her outspoken opposition to the Iraq War. She received the State Department Award for Heroism in 1997, after helping to evacuate several thousand people during the civil war in Sierra Leone. She is most noted for having been one of three State Department officials to publicly resign in direct protest of the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. Wright was also a passenger on the Challenger 1, which along with the Mavi Marmara, was part of the Gaza flotilla. She served in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia and Mongolia. In December, 2001 she was on the small team that reopened the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. She is the co-author of the book "Dissent: Voices of Conscience." She has written frequently on rape in the military.
Thursday, August 25, 2016(2 comments)
When Boats Brought Hope to Gaza
Israel continues to cut off the 1.8 million people of Gaza from receiving relief supplies from sea, an illegal blockade that will be challenged again this year by the Women's Boat to Gaza, that will sail in mid-September to again demonstrate that we do care about the people of Gaza writes retired Col. Ann Wright.
Friday, July 15, 2016(2 comments)
US and EU Isolate Crimea for its vote to Reunite with Russia
The sanctions have been successful in destroying the tourism business in Crimea. Most visitors have come to Crimea by cruise ships from Turkey and Greece through the Bosphorus Straits into the Black Sea to the ports of Yalta or Sevastopol. Annually, over 260 cruise ships dock in Crimea, but for the past two years none have arrived, thereby decimating the international tourist industry.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016(6 comments)
NATO Actions Destablizing Europe
The coup against the pro-Russian government in the Ukraine and the Russian response of annexation of Crimea to has given governments -- US, Russia, and NATO countries -- the opportunity to spend more on war weapons and create a very hostile climate for any opposition to their actions. In Poland, opposition to NATO is characterized as communist-inspired, crazy, Russian loving, West-hating people.
Monday, July 11, 2016(8 comments)
Next Step, Local Police Use Aerial Assassin Drones
The decision of David O. Brown, the local city police chief, to remotely assassinate the cornered suspect rather than make an attempt to incapacitate him is a stark continuation of what appears to be a U.S. military and police tactic of kill rather than capture.
Thursday, July 7, 2016 Two Years Ago Israel Attacked Gaza for 51 Days as Drone Warfare Becomes the Norm
The 51-day Israeli attack on Gaza should not be characterized as a war between opposing forces but rather as a massive one-sided attack on Palestinians made at the choosing of Israel with its overwhelming military air, sea and land forces backed up with endless military supplies and equipment from the United States, including the missile system called the "Iron Dome."
Monday, July 4, 2016(5 comments)
Russians Ask "Why Do You Demonize Us When We Are So Much Like You?"
After visiting cities in four regions of Russia. The one question that was asked over and over was, "Why does America hate us? Why do you demonize us?" Most would add a caveat -- "I like American people and I think YOU like us individually but why does the American government hate our government?"
Wednesday, June 15, 2016(6 comments)
Building Bridges of Peace instead of Fear-Citizen Diplomacy with Russia
We go to Russia to talk with the Russian people about the hopes, dreams and fears of the American people and to call for a peaceful resolution to current tensions between the US/NATO and Russia. And we will return to the United States to share our first-hand impressions of the hopes, dreams and fears of the Russian people.
Tuesday, June 7, 2016(2 comments)
US Military Bases on Okinawa are Dangerous Places
The very unbalanced, unequal Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) allows the U.S. military to pollute Okinawan lands and not be required to report the pollution to local authorities nor be required to clean up the damage. The SOFA does not require the US military to report criminal acts committed on US military bases thereby hiding the numbers of violent acts perpetrated there.
Saturday, May 14, 2016(1 comments)
Five Refugee Camps in Mud on the Greek-Macedonia Border
Millions of refugees await their fate and future in Greece, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan as the international community slowly decides how to handle the flood of people fleeing chaos in their countries caused by military operations. Millions of others hope that their arrival in Europe will provide them an opportunity for a life without conflict until they can return home.
Friday, May 13, 2016(4 comments)
Army Chaplain Resigns over Drone Wars
The U.S. government's reliance on drones to sustain perpetual war in the Mideast is meeting resistance from some assigned to carry out and justify these tactics, including a U.S. Army chaplain who resigned in protest, writes Ann Wright.
Saturday, April 23, 2016 Visiting Refugee Camps in Athens and Facilities in Germany
While the United States has closed its borders to persons fleeing the chaos caused in great measure by its war on Iraq, the countries of Europe deal with the human crisis as best they can -- not perfectly, but certainly with more humanity than the government of the United States.
Friday, February 19, 2016(2 comments)
Israeli pressure to rescind award to CODEPINK from German City
CODEPINK is much more than its work to educate about Israeli policies. Our work led by women to stop wars, end assassin drones, stop police brutality and end militarism has been a thorn in the side of governments and will continue to be as we will not back down from attempts to silence us.
Friday, December 18, 2015(3 comments)
Abolition of United States Military Bases Around the World
The United States has built permanent base infrastructure in every Persian Gulf country except one -- Iran. The U.S. government gets agreements with undemocratic and often despotic states like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain to build bases and in return remains silent to their human rights violations.
Friday, December 4, 2015(2 comments)
Presentation for the 4th International Seminar for Peace and Abolition of Foreign Military Bases
The sordid history of the past 14 years of the United States imprisoning 779 persons from 48 countries on a U.S. military base in Cuba as a part of its global war "on terror" reflects the mentality of those who govern the United States -- global intervention for political or economic reasons, invasion, occupation other countries and leaving its military bases in those countries for decades.
Friday, November 20, 2015(3 comments)
U.S. Delegations Attend International Conference in Guantanamo, Cuba on Abolition of Foreign Military Bases
Three delegations from U.S. organizations will attend the 4th International Conference on Abolition of Foreign Military Bases Nov 23-25. The conference is held in Guantanamo, Cuba, the site of one of the most contentious U.S. military bases. The CODEPINK delegation calls for the United States to close the prison, end its 112-year occupation of the U.S. Naval Base and return the land to the people of Cuba.
Thursday, November 12, 2015(4 comments)
Will Obama Give Israel even more American Weapons and Dollars to Kill Palestinians?
As it stands now, more that half of the U.S. foreign military spending for 2016 goes to Israel. As in all things, Israel gets special treatment by the U.S., allowing Israel to spend 25% of its gift from the U.S. to pay itself for buying weapons from its own weapons industry! According to a recent congressional report, Israel has received $124.3 billion in military assistance from the US since its founding in 1948.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015(1 comments)
Lawsuit Filed in US Court Against Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak
A lawsuit in the United States has been filed against former Israeli Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak for his role in the 2010 Israeli commando attack upon the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in which eight Turkish citizens and one American citizen were executed by Israeli forces and over 50 Turkish passengers were wounded.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 Recent WomenCross DMZ Activity
On May 24, 30 feminist peace activists with truly remarkable peace-building qualifications crossed the heavily fortified inter-Korean border in protest of the state of war. Christine Ahn, co-organizer of WomenCross DMZ (WC), stresses their "enormous collective experience in conflict resolution, human rights, foreign policy, international relations and de-militarization."
Tuesday, July 14, 2015(2 comments)
Knives Are Out for Those Who Challenge Militarization of the Korean Peninsula
That's why we walked in North Korea and South Korea -- and crossed the DMZ -- calling for an end of the state of war on the Korean peninsula with a peace treaty to finally end the 63-year old Korean War. And that's why we will remain engaged no matter what the pundits write, because in the end, if groups like ours don't push for peace, our governments are prone to go to war.
Friday, July 3, 2015(2 comments)
Sailing -- Again -- to Break the Israeli Naval Blockade of Gaza
The physical act of being captured and put in prison by the State of Israel is not the most important part of our activism. The fact that we have come together again in another action to bring international attention to the Israeli siege of Gaza is the goal -- and we will continue these actions until the Israeli government ends the blockade of Gaza.
Thursday, July 2, 2015(4 comments)
Why I Am On Gaza Freedom Flotilla 3
I am horrified by the brutal 55-day Israeli attack on Gaza in 2014 that left over 2,200 dead and 10,000 wounded and much of the country in ruins. I am equally horrified by the lack of international assistance for the people of Gaza during this past year and by the impunity that Israel has in the international community for the criminal acts it has committed on the people of Gaza and the West Bank.
Thursday, June 11, 2015(4 comments)
Dangerous Military Buildup in Asia and Pacific
The Chinese see the expansion of the United States military forces and capabilities in their front yard and are constructing their own projections of power on the tiny disputed islands and atolls off their coast. Neither the United States nor China need any of these bases as both have more than enough air capability in the form of aircraft or missiles to initiate or counter any military move by the other.
Monday, May 18, 2015 Where your conscience can take you: North Korea
On 24 May, 30 women peacebuilders will walk across the De-Militarized Zone that separates Korean families. Ann Wright describes her journey from serving in the US Army to citizen diplomat walking for peace. She says "We will hold international peace symposiums in Pyongyang and Seoul where we can listen to Korean women and share our experiences and ideas of mobilizing women to bring an end to violent conflict."
Sunday, March 1, 2015 Will the US take Cuba Off the State Sponsored Terrorism List in 2015?
With the December 17, 2014 announcement of opening of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, removing Cuba from the State Sponsored Terrorism List is the next logical step followed by lifting the onerous restrictions of the U.S. Blockade of Cuba. But logic has not been a part of U.S. geo-political dealings with Cuba.
Friday, February 27, 2015(13 comments)
Cuba Joins One Billion Rising To End Violence Against Women
On February 14, called "The Day of Friendship" in Cuba, there were tens of thousands attending the fair. We were asked to dance at the scenic main stage with Old Havana as a backdrop. Facing thousands of Cubans, our group joined Cubans and took the stage and danced for 10 minutes to the universal song to end violence against women.
Sunday, January 25, 2015 Smaller Army here a chance to blossom anew
To revise the recycling slogan, we urge officials to: Reduce the Army presence in Hawaii, Reimagine our futures, and support the Rebirth of a more diversified and vibrant local economy. Let's work together to find economically and environmentally sustainable alternatives to dependence on large-scale military presence on the islands.
Monday, October 20, 2014 "Stop Killing Us" Say Strong Youth Leaders in Ferguson, Missouri's Weekend of Resistance to Police Brutality
On Friday, Oct 10, despite an intense rainstorm, hundreds marched in Clayton, Missouri demanding that the county prosecutor step down. On Saturday, Oct 11, thousands marched in St. Louis, challenging police brutality and racism, and in the evening marched from Michael Brown's memorial to the Ferguson police station. On Sunday, October 12, 150 women gathered to share stories of social injustice in the St. Louis area.
Thursday, September 25, 2014(4 comments)
John Kerry Attempts to Bully CODEPINK into Silence
Rather than trying to bully CODEPINK to stop protesting Obama-Kerry policies, we suggest that Secretary Kerry focus his energies on getting the Obama administration "allies" to stop aiding and supporting ISIS and its brutal regime of terror on civilian communities.
Monday, September 15, 2014(2 comments)
16th Anniversary of the Imprisonment of the Cuban Five
Despite its lofty pronouncements of protection of human rights around the world, the United States government seldom holds itself accountable for its well-known abuses. Without international and domestic pressure, such as this forum and other important conferences of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five, to hold the US government accountable for its actions, accountability will not happen.
Friday, September 5, 2014(8 comments)
Renowned World Leaders and Activists Say "Don't Give Up!"
The Elders are a group of leaders who were brought together in 2007 by Nelson Mandela to use their "independent, collective experience and influence to work for peace, poverty eradication, a sustainable planet, justice and human rights, working both publicly and through private diplomacy to engage with global leaders and civil society to resolve conflict.
Sunday, August 31, 2014(2 comments)
Three World Leaders Speak on the Future of Israel and Palestine
The Elders are a group of leaders who were brought together in 2007 by Nelson Mandela to use their "independent, collective experience and influence to work for peace, poverty eradication, a sustainable planet, justice and human rights, working both publicly and through private diplomacy to engage with global leaders and civil society to resolve conflict and address its root causes.
Thursday, June 5, 2014 Karma Of Dissent: An Interview With Ann Wright
After many years in the U.S. military followed by the Foreign Service, Ann Wright is now a peace activist whose pivotal resignation from the U.S. State Department was influenced by Buddhist teachings. She is a unique voice on issues of war and peace. Wright served 13 years of active duty in the U.S. Army and 16 years in the Army Reserves, rising to the rank of colonel.
Thursday, May 1, 2014(11 comments)
Curing Infectious CLAP -- a Mega-Injection of Truth and Transparency
The Senate has re-infected itself with a case of the CLAP, again bending to the pleas of James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, and President Obama's intelligence agencies, to keep secret the number of assassin drone strikes and the number of innocent civilians killed by those drones.
Saturday, March 8, 2014(1 comments)
Celebrating International Women's Day with the Women of Gaza, Not in Gaza, but in Cairo
Today, on International Women's Day, 16 of our 100 delegates are celebrating International Women's Day in Cairo, Egypt, not Gaza. However, 62 of our delegates were refused entry into Egypt by immigration authorities and are sending their greetings from their home countries of France, Belgium, the United States, Algeria, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Australia.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 Nuclear Submarines, Whales and Tourists Don't Mix
In late January, 2014, the National Resources Defense Council filed a lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service for violation of multiple federal laws by allowing the Navy to increase sonar and live-fire training in Hawaii and California for the next five years.
Friday, December 20, 2013(1 comments)
12 Years a Slave vs. 12 Years a Prisoner... in Guantanamo
12 years later, 158 prisoners are still imprisoned in Guantanamo: seven have been convicted by a US military commission of criminal acts against the United States, six are facing trial by US military commission and 46 have been designated for indefinite detention, without charge or trial. I hope that Obama will finally order the infamous Guantanamo Prison to be closed... 12 years later.
Friday, November 8, 2013(2 comments)
Japanese Prime Minister Abe and President Obama Want Japan to be able to Wage War
In the Philippines, the United States is in the midst of negotiations for broader access to military bases. A new security accord, called the Increased Rotational Presence (IRP) Agreement, would permit American forces to regularly rotate through the Philippines for joint U.S.-Philippine military exercises.
Thursday, October 17, 2013(3 comments)
America's Destructive Pivot to Asia
The Japanese people are angry that the US is urging the government of Japan to renounce the "No War" article of their constitution so the US will have another financial ally in wars of choice. So far, just as the US pivot to the Middle East 12 years ago destabilized the region, the US pivot to Asia seems to already be having the same dangerous effect.
Thursday, September 19, 2013(2 comments)
Acceptance speech for the Sean MacBride Peace Award for Chelsea Manning
While Chelsea Manning faces many years in prison for the public disclosure of documents to WikiLeaks, numerous high-level officials have never been held accountable for the grave human rights violations committed during the United States war on terror including kidnapping, extraordinary rendition, indefinite detention and torture.
Thursday, September 12, 2013(4 comments)
Don't Forget the Prisoners in Guantanamo and Those in Solidarity with Them
Solidarity actions for the prisoners have taken place around the world citing indefinite detention without trial, no release for years after prisoners are cleared for release and painful forced nasal-gastric feeding tubes shoved up the nose of prisoners on long-term hunger strikers and dangerously pushed down into their stomachs.
Saturday, August 31, 2013(1 comments)
Possible Consequences of a U.S. Military Attack on Syria
At this time of crisis, it is worth remembering another time, 30 years ago in October, 1983 when U.S. warships bombarded Lebanon, the country located next to Syria. Within weeks, the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by a massive truck bomb that killed 241 American servicemen: 220 Marines, 18 sailors and three soldiers.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013(3 comments)
The Role of Dissent in National Security, Law and Conscience
We now know the lengths to which Bush administration officials went to ensure the silence of those who opposed their policies, by classifying controversial and illegal policies and operations. As a result, anyone trying to challenge those policies in public automatically risked being charged with revealing classified information.
Sunday, June 23, 2013(2 comments)
In Yemen, Most Al Qaeda can be Captured, but Killing is Easier
High unemployment and feelings of injustice for the killing of people in their area by drones and Yemeni air strikes provide a fertile recruiting ground for al Qaeda in Yemen. Yemen prisons in which young people have been detained and imprisoned for months and years without trial by the Government of Yemen is a key place where radicalization for armed groups, including al Qaeda, occurs.
Monday, May 27, 2013(3 comments)
Nobel Women's Initiative Conference: Women Mobilizing for Peace in Conflict
Six women Nobel Peace Laureates and 80 women from around the world are gathering at the Nobel Women's Initiative, "Moving Beyond Militarism and War," May 28-30, 2013 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to discuss the weighty and seeming insolvable problem of getting past the militarism of our world and the financial need of politicians and corporations to wage war.
Friday, May 24, 2013(2 comments)
Landmark Case In U.S. Civil Court On Rape By U.S. Military In Japan Eleven Years Ago
While one in three women in the military are raped by fellow servicemen during their service, many civilian women living near US military bases in the United States and in other countries are also raped by US military personnel. This case gives hope for those living in other countries who have never been able to hold the rapist accountable because he has been able to leave the country.
Friday, April 5, 2013(1 comments)
An Israeli Apology Means Little
Eight Turkish citizens and one American citizen were murdered by Israeli commandos. While President Obama recently cajoled Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to apologize to the Turkish government for the deaths of their citizens, he apparently did not ask for a public apology for the death of the American citizen, 19-year-old Furkan Dogan.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013(8 comments)
10 Years Later And I'm Still Protesting War
A decade after I stepped down as the deputy ambassador in the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia, the war in Iraq is over for Americans, but continues for Iraqis. The whirlwind of sectarian violence brought on by the U.S. invasion and occupation continues to blow there.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013(4 comments)
Israeli Drone Strikes in Gaza in November 2012 Attack: Two-Thirds Killed Were Civilians
Two-thirds of Palestinians killed by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) drones in the November, 2012 attack on Gaza were civilians. This statistic means that for the residents of Gaza, the ground-breaking investigation by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights into the civilian impact and human rights implications of the use of drones and other forms of targeted killing is very important.
Sunday, January 13, 2013(5 comments)
11 Years of Infamy -- US Actions at Guantanamo Prison
Despite his January 22, 2009 executive order closing Guantanamo Prison in one year, President Obama ensured the continued operation of Guantanamo for another year by signing the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, and refused to challenge the Congressional mandated ban on transfers from Guantánamo to the federal court and prison system in the United States.