Debra Sweet

 Debra SweetDebra Sweet is the Director of World Can’t Wait, initiated in 2005 to “drive out the Bush regime” by repudiating its program, forcing it from office through a mass, independent movement and reversing the direction it had launched.  Based in New York City, she leads World Can’t Wait in its continuing efforts to stop the crimes of our government, including the unjust occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and the torture and detention codes, as well as reversing the fascist direction of U.S. society, from the surveillance state to the criminalization of abortion and immigrants.  She has worked with abortion providers for twenty-five years, organizing community support and helping them withstand anti-abortion violence.  Since the age of 19, when she confronted Richard Nixon during a face-to-face meeting and told him to stop the war in Vietnam, she has been a leader in the opposition to U.S. wars and invasions.  Debra says, “Stop thinking like an American, and start thinking about humanity!”

She can be reached at debrasweet (at) worldcantwait.org. You can read her writings at debra.worldcantwait.net.

Debra's Regular E-Newsletter

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A Proposal for Actions Against (Obama’s) War and Torture

 By Debra Sweet 

 Last week I asked you to hold the dates of Monday & Tuesday October 5 & 6 and Friday March 19, 2010. I reported on the unity of plans achieved at the Pittsburgh conference to end the occupations of Iraq & Afghanistan. See the message here.
 
World Can't Wait is not waiting for someone else to re-build the kind of resistance needed, in the face of horrors that must be stopped. We are eager to work with organizations and people who are not arguing to give President Obama "more time" but want to stick to anti-war principles now by visibly resisting the wars with the intention of stopping them.
 

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Re-Igniting the Anti War Movement

 By Debra Sweet

 ACTION required: Hundreds of people helped focus World Can't Wait's work over the next period by taking this SURVEY.  If you haven't, please take a few minutes.  We are compiling the responses, and will they will be used in the effort to re-ignite the antiwar movement.  Deadline: Friday, July 31.
 
Several people me this disturbing Associated Press story: Soldiers in Colorado slayings tell of Iraq horrors.  "Soldiers from an Army unit that had 10 infantrymen accused of murder, attempted murder or manslaughter after returning to civilian life described a breakdown in discipline during their Iraq deployment in which troops murdered civilians, a newspaper reported Sunday. 
 

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Needed: Political Protest that Breaks out of “Business as Usual”

 By Debra Sweet 

 Last Saturday, a portion of the World Can't Wait Steering Committee met with activists from New York City, Philadelphia, the Bay Area, Seattle, and Denver to formulate plans for the next several months. 
 
In the process, we looked at the direction being taken by the Obama administration, and what we've learned from the last six months of being out among people protesting the crimes of our government, speaking in classes, tabling, and through the survey hundreds of you took.  Here are some of the things we covered:
  • Barack Obama's presidency came about and rides on pent-up disgust with the Bush regime, and huge hope for change.  Now the Democrats control Congress....and there is no real change.  Instead, the war in Afghanistan is expanded, the war in Iraq is shifting, but not ending. The Obama administration is continuing Bush's "state secrets" argument to prevent lawsuits exposing rendition, is proposing preventive detention for anyone the president deems a future threat, and people here and around the world are paying a terrible price for the 'bailout' of US empire.
  • Going to the youth is tremendously important, as high school youth know only the horrors of the Bush years, and  vague promises that Obama will make things better.  The need to know the crimes being committed in the US military occupations, and and that they can play a crucial role in stopping those crimes by building a movement of resistance to stop military recruiters in the high schools.

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This is Where We Take Our Stand

 By Debra Sweet

 World Can't Wait recommends:
 
This is Where We Take Our Stand, the series that tells the riveting and timely story of the hundreds of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who testified at last year's Winter Soldier investigation, continues today. Tell friends, forward this email, spread the word and fan the debate. These stories must be heard.
 
Episode Three: Why We Fight available now.
 
Episode Three of the ground breaking web series, This is Where We Take Our Stand, is now live at http://www.thisiswherewetakeourstand.com. "Why We Fight" tells the story of the Iraq Veterans Against the War members' struggle to bring hundreds of veterans to Washington, DC, to tell their stories and reveal the true nature of these occupations. If you've watched the first two episodes, you won't want to miss this one. And if you haven't, WATCH THEM. This is Where We Take Our Stand is a series that can and should help push the debate about these wars back on to the table.
 

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War Crimes Should be Prosecuted!

By Debra Sweet

CIA Torture Report to be Released

 
The release of the long-anticipated CIA report, quashed since 2006 by the Bush regime, and then postponed several times by the Obama administration, is set for Monday August 24.  It's been leaked.  Newsweek and the Guardian UK, "Bombshell report on CIA interrogations is leaked" report the CIA used mock executions to terrorize detainees through threatening the use of pistols and electric drills. 
 
It's reported that the Attorney General will make a decision in the next few days on whether to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate allegations of torture.  The New York Times analyzed the problem Eric Holder is up against, having been instructed by Barack Obama not to look "backward" while saying "we do not torture":
 
"Mr. Holder has told associates he is weighing a narrow investigation, focusing only on C.I.A. interrogators and contract employees who clearly crossed the line and violated the Bush administration's guidelines and engaged in flagrantly abusive acts.  But in taking that route, Mr. Holder would run two risks. One is the political fallout if only a handful of low-level agents are prosecuted for what many critics see as a pattern of excess condoned at the top of the government. The other is that an aggressive prosecutor would not stop at the bottom, but would work up the chain of command, and end up with a full-blown criminal inquiry into the intelligence agencies - just the kind of broad, open-ended criminal investigation the Obama administration says it wants to avoid."
 
Clearly, the interests of the people living in this country who care about humanity are not conflicted at all.  The war crimes should be prosecuted!  The CIA agents, contractors, and the lawyers and "deciders" who were in the White House should all face justice.
 
CBS News also weighs the danger for the Obama administration in prosecuting, and in failing to prosecute.  Even the New York Times is now allowing a debate among lawyers on whether John Yoo should be prosecuted.  This issue is not dead.  Those of us who've been calling for an end to the US torture state are right, and we should be more insistent than ever.

 

War Crimes and War Criminals Must Be Prosecuted!

 By Debra Sweet 

 Holder Releases CIA Torture Report
 
The release of the long-anticipated CIA report, quashed since 2006 by the Bush regime, and then postponed several times by the Obama administration, finally came on August 24. 
 
Newsweek and the Guardian UK report that the CIA used mock executions to terrorize detainees, including through threatening the use of pistols and electric drills, and routinely threatened violent acts, including murder and rape, against the relatives of detainees. 

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We Don’t Need a Prosecutor to Find War Crimes!

 By Debra Sweet

Glenn Greenwald made a point last week that people living in this country "should be made to know" the details of what the CIA was directed to do toward detainees.  I agree with him.  See the still heavily redacted report.
 
One excerpt: "...debriefer, according to a [redacted] who was present, threatened Al-Nashiri by saying that if he did not talk, 'We could get your mother in here,' and, 'We can bring your family in here.' The [redacted] debriefer reported wanted Al-Nashiri to infer, for psychological reasons, that the debriefer might be [redacted] intelligence office based on his Arabic dialect, and that Al-Nashiri was in [redacted] custody because it was widely believed in Middle East circles that [redacted] interrogation technique involves sexually abusing female relatives in front of the detainee."
 
Last Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder appointed a prosecutor to look into whether there should be further investigation of the CIA.  What does that mean?
 

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The Future is Unwritten – Which One We Get is Up to Us!

 By Debra Sweet

 Within the next several weeks, President Obama will announce that up to 20,000 more troops will deploy to Afghanistan -  in addition to replacing up to 14,000 support troops with "trigger-pullers." This will only mean increasing the death and destruction brought to the Afghan people.
 
And U.S. involvement in Iraq is not only not over, but is becoming a permanent occupation.
 
We are beginning to see more people openly object to the US occupation of Afghanistan. And your help and money are needed!
 

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SIGN the petition to Shut Down the Army Experience Center

We'll carry the petition Saturday.

 

MAP to Franklin Mills Mall

 

Donations to I-Petition, above, do not go to World Can't Wait, which needs your support of our work to end the war, the torture, and the whole Bush era program. 

 

DONATE to World Can't Wait here with your tax deductible donation for our educational work, or direct donation for our political actions.

 

Anti-War Protest to Shut Down Army Experience Center at Philadelphia Mall

 

By Debra Sweet
 
When: 1:00 pm Saturday, September 12, 2009
Where: Franklin Mills Mall, Knights Road & Woodhaven Road, Philadelphia PA     
 
Franklin Mills Mall, Philadelphia, PA - Protesters will gather at the site of a pilot project where the U.S. Army uses violent video games and simulated war exercises to attract youth into military service. The Pentagon is committed to establishing Experience Centers in malls across the country. The $13 million, 14,500 square foot facility at Franklin Mills Mall boasts dozens of PCs and X-Boxes with various interactive, military-style shooting games as well as Apache helicopter and Humvee simulators that allow teens to simulate the killing of "Hajis" and "Ragheads," as local youth refer to "the enemy."  
At 1:00 pm, Pulitzer prize-winning war correspondent Chris Hedges, author of Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectaclewill address the crowd outside the mall on Knights and Woodhaven Roads. The renowned war correspondent released this statement, "War is not a game.  Weapons are not toys.  The essence of war is death.  The purpose of war is to extinguish all opposing living systems from the economic to the political, social, cultural and finally, familial.  Those who entice children to play with mock weapons of war will never allow these children to see what these weapons do to human bodies.  They hide from them the fundamental truth about violence and in this way socialize them to kill."  

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Army Experience Center Shut Down!

 Flash, from Debra Sweet

 “The Army Experience Center just got shut down! Got arrested. Report and more photos coming soon. Kudos to the hundreds who came out!”

 

About

World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.