Monday, November 19, 2012


Hal Pepinsky,,
November 19, 2012
Dear Mr. President,
                I was pleased to see you standing by An San Suu Kyi this morning as her guest in Myanmar.  Thank you for this historic tribute to making global peace by making Southeast Asia a safe buffer between us and East Asia, committed to making it safe for Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, indigenous peoples like the Karin, and welcoming to a president who represents crossing the color line, on this your first trip abroad since reelection.  I take you at your word that in your lame duck term, you want historians to remember you well for steering our government well through turbulent, politically polarized times.  And I thank you.
                I felt slapped when I heard your unqualified defense of Israelis’ right to counterattack when missiles have killed their civilians.  Are you saying that because Palestine/Gaza is not a country, its people have no right to complain about a disproportionate, still escalating counterbombardment by Isrealis?  Are you saying that the Israeli government was entitled to broadcast its assassination of Gaza Hamas military leader Jabari, who was ready to sign a truce, because Gaza doesn’t belong to any country and Hamas is therefore not a government?  And when Prime Minister Sharon’s son has a column published proclaiming that Gaza ought to be razed, is that not a call to genocide because the USG doesn’t recognize that Gazans have any nationality?  Can no prolonged killing and burning of Gazan children by Israeli forces ever become a war crime, become terrorism, because Gazans have no nationhood?
                In 1967, Secretary of State Rusk told a small group of legal interns I was among that the primary reason to fight another war to the end was not to appease Communist invasion of South Vietnam as Chamberlain had appeased Hitler’s invasion of the Sudetenland.  I don’t buy the analogy, but I am wary of appeasement.  Ironically, as Chamberlain’s appeasement morphed into a Jewish genocide, so, sir, I fear that your continued appeasement of the Israeli government only feeds the blood lust of a government that presumes to speak in defense of Judaism.  I trust that you don’t want military appeasement of an outlaw government to remain a legacy of your entire time in office.  The Israeli government sure has a way of undecutting your Southeast Asian peace initiative.  They piss me off.  How about you?  Love and peace—Hal Pepinsky 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Something to Celebrate on Election Eve

AN ELECTION EVE GIFT: Live from NY on Democracy Now!
Hal Pepinsky,,
November 5, 2012
                I just received a gift, of the need for public service, from Amy Goodman and the intrepid local news staff of Democracy Now!--a chance to see live, from Rockaway and Staten Island, New York, human life in Sandy’s wake.  The only outside group from anywhere either place came immediately as the storm subsided to Rockaway from Occupy Wall Street.  A coordinator in that group invites anyone to show up to help, but only if one brings one’s own supplies, as for cleaning.
                See and hear Mayor Bloomberg  facing  angry  residents with a promise that bottled water was on its way.
                I wonder:  What kind of a country do we live in, where presidents and governors and local officials haven’t mobilized police, fighter fighters, military academy cadets, national guard, and active duty military personnel and local government workers, to put away their fighting gear and bring supplies and simple door-to-door service to the people of the New York region?
                 Locally long term, how about applying lessons from Sandy into broadening our definition of law enforcement in areas threatened by poverty and street violence, to include working side by side with residents while on duty as by checking in on seniors?  Wouldn’t that enhance trust and cooperation between police and residents in troubled neighborhoods and keep violence off the streets?
                Gifts are of value only if they are received.  If you look at Democracy Now! from today and from lower Manhattan yesterday, you’ll see things are bad across the region.  Isn’t our mishandling of this disaster as crucial a political matter as any you might be voting for?  I want friends abroad to call us to account for national political indifference to the most acute needs of our own people.  I am sorry for the state of political affairs in my country.  I celebrate the heroism of those on the New York disaster scene, for they too are my people.  Insofar as we learn from disaster victims at the heart of global capital at this “crucial” national political hour, I have at least one story of heroic peacemaking to share with my compatriots to share.  I’m posting this blog to the folks at Democracy Now! to thank them for yet another profound national wake-up call.  love and peace, Hal