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Judy Bello's blog


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Asma Kaisi speaks with the Corries from Gaza

Asma Kaisi speaks with the Corries from Gaza just after the cease-fire has taken hold in the latest Israeli aggression against Gaza and the people of Palestine.  Asma is married and has three daughters under the age of 5.   The conversation included Dr. Hakim Young with the Afghan Peace Volunteers in Kabul and was facilitated by Doug Mackey as part of the Global Days of Listening which occur on the 21st of each month.   Asma has participated in a series of weekly calls starting on the 21st of August.  This is the second call.  You can see the transcript of the first call in this blog.  Global Days of Listening are Live Streamed so that anyone can join in.  Go to the website to learn more.     ** You can hear a recording of this call here.

Transcript of conversation

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A Voice from Gaza: Living Under the Bombs

The Afghan Peace Volunteers have a Global Day of Listening call on the 21st Day of every month. People come on the call to network with other activists and people living in troubled areas around the globe.

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The Syrian Election and ISIS in Iraq

Earlier this month, I traveled with seven other westerners to Syria where we joined with 30-plus activists, journalists, and politicians from Asia, Africa, and South America to observe the Syria presidential election. Bashar Assad won 88% of the vote.

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FOR Panel Discussion on American Drone Wars

FOR hosted an Internet panel discussion on America’s Drone Wars at Vonvo.com, which combines live images of the speakers with a chat box for comments and questions.

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Under International Law, Drone Wars are Illegal

On January 31, I made the following argument before a Court in the town of DeWitt where I was charged with Disorderly Conduct for protesting the MQ9 Reaper drones flown from Hancock Base over Afghanistan. I argue that the War on Terror is illegal under International Law and drone attacks in particular violate both Human Rights Law and Humanitarian Law.

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Drone Killing and Wars of Aggression are ILLEGAL!

Closing Argument in the Case of Hancock Protesters from October 25, 2012

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Testimony with Witness of APV Youth, Raz Mohammad

Testimony in the Case of Hancock Protesters from October 25, 2012

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Wounds Of Waziristan (film embedded below)

I am very excited to preview Wounds of Waziristan, a film by Pakistani-American Journalist Madiha Tahir  here.

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Obama-Rouhani Dialog at the UNGA

I’ve taken US President Obama’s speech [1] at the UN General Assembly and Iranian President Rouhani’s speech [2] at the UN General Assembly and interwoven them as a dialog of sorts.   It appears that President Rouhani did not attend President Obama’s speech, but he says that he did listen to it.   Perhaps he sat outside the group so he could take notes and confer with his staff.

I cut some of the blather and redundancies.  You can read the full transcripts if you are interested.  The links are at the bottom of this page.    I highlighted phrases I thought were interesting and more interesting.    But I didn’t annotate.   You can draw your own conclusions. 


Obama:   For most of recorded history, individual aspirations were subject to the whims of tyrants and empires. Divisions of race and religion and tribe were settled through the sword and the clash of armies. The idea that nations and peoples could come together in peace to solve their disputes and advance a common prosperity seemed unimaginable.

It took the awful carnage of two world wars to shift our thinking. The leaders who built the United Nations were not naïve; they did not think this body could eradicate all wars. But in the wake of millions dead and continents in rubble, and with the development of nuclear weapons that could annihilate a planet, they understood that humanity could not survive the course it was on.   And so they gave us this institution, believing that it could allow us to resolve conflicts, enforce rules of behavior, and build habits of cooperation that would grow stronger over time.  [ snip ]

Rouhani:   Our world today is replete with fear and hope; fear of war and hostile regional and global relations; fear of deadly confrontation of religious, ethnic and national identities; fear of institutionalization of violence and extremism; fear of poverty and destructive discrimination; fear of decay and destruction of life-sustaining resources; fear of disregard for human dignity and rights; and fear of neglect of morality. Alongside these fears, however, there are new hopes; the hope of universal acceptance by the people and the elite all across the globe of “yes to peace and no to war”; and the hope of preference of dialogue over conflict and moderation over extremism.

The recent elections in Iran represent a clear, living example of the wise choice of hope, rationality and moderation by the great people of Iran. The realization of democracy consistent with religion and the peaceful transfer of executive power manifested that Iran is the anchor of stability in an otherwise ocean of regional instabilities. The firm belief of our people and government in enduring peace, stability, tranquility, peaceful resolution of disputes and reliance on the ballot box as the basis of power, public acceptance and legitimacy, has indeed played a key role in creating such a safe environment.   

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New Iranian President Elected

The Iranian presidential election seems to have been implemented smoothly and the people have elected a moderate-reformist cleric named Hassan Rouhani. Use of the terms ‘moderate’ and ‘reformist’ can be confusing to us over here as a number of candidates have either changed camps since the early post-revolutionary period, or are not a perfect fit in any category.