About Suffering: A Massacre of the Innocents in Yemen

In 1565, Pieter Bruegel the Elder created "The Massacre of the Innocents," a provocative masterpiece of religious art. The painting reworks a biblical narrative about King Herod’s order to slaughter all newborn boys in Bethlehem for fear that a messiah had been born there. Bruegel’s painting situates the atrocity in a contemporary setting, a 16th … Continue reading “About Suffering: A Massacre of the Innocents in Yemen”

Like a Rocket in the Garden: The Unending War in Afghanistan

Late last week, I learned from young Afghan Peace Volunteer friends in Kabul that an insurgent group firing rockets into the city center hit the home of one volunteer’s relatives. Everyone inside was killed. On November 24, word arrived of two bomb blasts in the marketplace city of Bamiyan, in central Afghanistan, killing at least … Continue reading “Like a Rocket in the Garden: The Unending War in Afghanistan”

Yemen: A Torrent of Suffering in a Time of Siege

"When evil-doing comes like falling rain, nobody calls out "stop!" When crimes begin to pile up they become invisible. When sufferings become unendurable, the cries are no longer heard. The cries, too, fall like rain in summer." ~ Bertolt Brecht In war-torn Yemen, the crimes pile up. Children who bear no responsibility for governance or … Continue reading “Yemen: A Torrent of Suffering in a Time of Siege”

Why the US Bears Responsibility for Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis

An entire generation of Yemeni children has suffered the traumas of war, many of them orphaned, maimed, malnourished, or displaced. The United Nations reports a death toll of 100,000 people in that nation’s ongoing war, with an additional 131,000 people dying from hunger, disease, and a lack of medical care. A report from Save the … Continue reading “Why the US Bears Responsibility for Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis”

The Glory and Duty of Beating Swords to Plowshares

Inscribed on a wall across from the United Nations in New York City are ancient words of incalculable yearning: “They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation,nor will they train for war anymore.” – Isaiah 2:4 I’ve stood with activists in front … Continue reading “The Glory and Duty of Beating Swords to Plowshares”

Vigil for Peace in Yemen, a New Norm

For the past three years, several dozen New Yorkers have gathered each Saturday at Union Square, at 11:00 a.m. to vigil for peace in Yemen. Now, however, due to the coronavirus, the vigil for peace is radically altered. Last week, in recognition of the city’s coming shelter in place program, participants were asked to hold … Continue reading “Vigil for Peace in Yemen, a New Norm”

Stop Tightening the Thumb Screws, A Humanitarian Message

U.S. sanctions against Iran, cruelly strengthened in March of 2018, continue a collective punishment of extremely vulnerable people. Presently, the US"maximum pressure" policy severely undermines Iranian efforts to cope with the ravages of COVID-19, causing hardship and tragedy while contributing to the global spread of the pandemic. On March 12, 2020, Iran’s Foreign Minister Jawad … Continue reading “Stop Tightening the Thumb Screws, A Humanitarian Message”

Camp Bucca, Abu Ghraib, and the Rise of Extremism in Iraq

Sunday morning, President Trump announced the death of Abu Bakr Al- Baghdadi and three of his children. President Trump said Al-Baghdadi, the founder of ISIS, was fleeing U.S. military forces, in a tunnel, and then killed himself by detonating a suicide vest he wore. In 2004, Al-Baghdadi had been captured by US forces and, for … Continue reading “Camp Bucca, Abu Ghraib, and the Rise of Extremism in Iraq”

The Plowshares 7 Found Guilty: Nuclear Weapons Are the Real Crime

On October 24, following a three-day trial in Brunswick, GA, seven Catholic Workers who acted to disarm a nuclear submarine base were convicted on three felony counts and one misdemeanor. The defendants face 20 years in prison, yet they emerged from their trial seeming quite ready for next steps in their ongoing witness. Steve Kelly, … Continue reading “The Plowshares 7 Found Guilty: Nuclear Weapons Are the Real Crime”

Death, Bloodshed, and Misery in Yemen

Writing about his visit to the world’s largest weapons bazaar, held in London in October, journalist Arron Merat describes reading the slogan emblazoned above Raytheon’s stall: "Strike With Creativity." Raytheon manufactures Paveway laser-guided bombs – produced in factories in the United States and the United Kingdom – fragments of which have been found in the … Continue reading “Death, Bloodshed, and Misery in Yemen”