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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.
U.S. Government Deports U.S. Military Veterans And Lowers Standards for Recruits
The newest chapter of Veterans for Peace is composed of U.S. military veterans recruited from 30 other countries. These U.S. military veterans did not attain U.S. citizenship that was promised when they were recruited for U.S. military service. After their service in the U.S. military they ran afoul of law enforcement in some manner and were deported despite their willingness to die for this country.
Countering Islamic Extremism in the Muslim World
The Sultan described peace as not just the absence of war, but also the absence of want and fear, religious freedom and respect for different cultures, and the acceptance, understanding and celebration of diversity. He emphasized that a "truly peaceful world is characterized by two important Islamic values -- trust and inclusivity and to learn to live together by showing mercy."
In Guantanamo, Cuba, International Peacemakers Say No to Foreign Military Bases
The symposium included a trip to the village of Caimanera which is located on the fence-line of the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay. It has been in existence for 117 years and, since the Cuban Revolution in 1959, the U.S. has issued a check each year for $4,085 for annual payment for the base -- checks which the Cuban government has not cashed.
Killer Drones and the Militarization of U.S. Foreign Policy
In the eyes of many around the world, diplomacy has taken a back seat to military operations in U.S. foreign policy. The drone program is a prime example.
Continuing the use of drone warfare to carry out assassinations will only exacerbate foreign distrust of American intentions and trustworthiness. It thereby plays into the hands of the very opponents we are trying to defeat.
Why I Support Tulsi Gabbard Going To Syria
It is important that we have representatives in our government who will go to countries where the United States is either killing citizens directly by U.S. intervention or indirectly by support of militia groups or by sanctions. We need representatives to sift through our government and media reports to find out for themselves the truth, the shades of truth and the untruths.
Arrested in the US Senate for Speaking Against Jeff Sessions as Attorney General
I was arrested in the U.S. Senate's Intelligence Committee hearing on the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. I was charged with "Disruption of Congress.
"Like so many who have been arrested during the confirmation hearings of virtually every nominee of President Trump for every Cabinet position, I felt I had to express my deep concern about Jeff Sessions becoming the US Attorney General.
Nine Years of Challenging Obama Policies at His Hawaii Vacation Home
Neither President Obama nor First Lady Michelle have stopped to talk with our small, but persistent group about our concerns. With only two days left in his Hawaii holiday before he leaves office in mid-January, we hope he will stop and talk this year, the 9th year he will have seen us.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016(17 comments)
Attempting to Curtail Dissent of Seniors by Stopping Social Security Checks
Someone submitted my name and social security number to SSA as a person who has been confined in a jail since September 2016. Without any notification to me of this allegation that would disrupt for months my Social Security benefits, SSA ordered that for my "criminal conviction and confinement in a correctional institution for more than 30 days, we cannot pay your monthly Social Security payment."
Women Call for Israel-Palestine Peace
Though the Israel-Palestine conflict has been mostly off the mainstream media's radar recently, this long-running crisis drew the attention this month of two women Nobel Peace Prize winners, reports Ann Wright.
Sunday, October 9, 2016(3 comments)
Women's Boat to Gaza Participants See the Israeli Imposed Perpetual Darkness on Gaza
The long voyage of the Women's Boat to Gaza was to bring hope to the people of Gaza that they are not forgotten by the international community. The women and men supporting the Women's Boat to Gaza are committed to continuing their efforts by sending international delegations by boat to Gaza to put international pressure on the Israeli government to change its policies toward Gaza.
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?"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.