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Peace & Life Connections #223
August 15, 2014

Nonviolent Action in Iraq
        While the cycles of violence continue, we report that Iraq has its own Muslim Peacemaker Teams. From their web page: “The Muslim Peacemaker Teams (MPT) is an Iraq-registered nonprofit organization. MPT began in January of 2005 in response to the violence that had erupted in Iraq since the US-led invasion in 2003. MPT has no political ambition or religious agenda, though it was inspired by the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), which have been active in Iraq since 2002.”
                As more examples of how direct nonviolent action can serve as alternatives to armies in international crisis situations, we’ll also mention the Nonviolent Peace Force and Peace Brigades International. Resources spent on such efforts are likely to lead to more lasting solutions. Violence is at best temporary and at worst fuels retaliatory violence in unending cycles, but nonviolent techniques are proving effective with better outcomes.
        See also the thoughts of a Quaker lobbying group (FNCL) on this immediate crisis, and CL supporter Stephen Zunes’ June 20 article on the rise of ISIS in Iraq.  


The New Civil War
        Poet Shawn Welcome has posted to YouTube a powerful four-minute video, “The New Civil War,” poetry that combines issues of war, abortion, slavery, and abortion. It ends with the powerful words: “Worse than words from my enemies is the silence from my friends.”
 223 poet 2

Hypocrisy Both Ways
       Marilyn Kopp makes this point in a letter to the editor (see full letter here):
        While it may be true, as Ziebro asserts, that pro-lifers who support the death penalty are hypocritical, it is also true opponents of the death penalty who defend abortion are equally hypocritical. Contrary to public perception, studies in Psychology Today have shown pro-lifers are actually less likely to support the death penalty than pro-choicers are. This is not surprising. Supporters of both capital punishment and abortion view certain life as dispensable if it's burdensome or inconvenient. Both seek to kill that which one can't control. Opposition to both reflects a more consistent life ethic.
Another Young Addition to the CL Community
        It always gives us joy to announce births, so here’s one that happened August 8. Below are photos of Joshua Joseph Arner and family. Father Rob Arner on the CL Board and baby’s brother Luke Elias are not pictured; mother Lori and 4-year-old sister Grace Emily are.
223 baby
Quotation of the Week
Ryan Herring
When Terror Wears a Badge, August 14, 2014, Sojourners
(discussing shooting death of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9)
        The terror that I experience as a black person in 21st century America is nothing new. Black people have been exposed to domestic terrorism for centuries. Slavery was a form of terrorism. Jim Crow was a form of terrorism. Lynching was a form of terrorism. The prison industrial complex/mass incarceration is a form of terrorism. Police brutality is a form of terrorism.
        More Americans have lost their lives at the hands of police since 9/11 than in acts officially classified as terrorism. A recent study showed that one black man was killed every 28 hours by police, security guards, or self-appointed vigilantes in 2012.
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