Free Nonviolent Struggle Guide and other resources

I went looking for a list of nonviolent struggles in the world and found the Center for Applied NonViolent Action and Strategies.  They were formed by some of the people who organized the overthrow of Milosevic in Serbia in 2000.  They have a useful (and free) guide for waging Nonviolent Struggle. 

A few more good sites are:

I make no claim as to the ideology of these groups only that they have some useful information on practicing strategic nonviolent action.

Nonviolent action game update

A quick update on the game.  I am in the midst of rewriting it and have the key game mechanics done.  I borrowed some of the game mechanics from Crossfire, an innovative World War II company level miniatures combat game.  The key things I borrowed from it are:

  1. No fixed turns.  Players can continue to act while they have the initiative.  When they lose the initiative, turn passes to the other player (or team of players).
  2. No measuring.  Units move from feature to feature (street intersections for example) rather than fixed distances.  Some units will be able to move more than one feature each time (i.e. vehicles).

My game also focuses much more on command and control than the previous version.

I also decided to change the title from With Weapons of Will to By Will Alone, though that isn't a definite.

I hope to start playtesting it in limited venues before January with larger play tests in January.  I want to have a game ready for Havoc, a miniature gaming convention in Massachusetts in March.

Lakey on spontaneous nonviolence

Here's a note from nonviolent activist George Lakey about the Palestinian tactic of nonviolently stopping Israeli aircraft from bombing Palestinian leaders and activists (reported ).  Matt Guynn posted it:

It's a great example of NV defense, though, innovative, and the kind of thing which, if I advocated as a US'er to some Palestinians I've known they would laugh it off as ridiculous because it wouldn't deter the IDF.

I love these spontaneous things that people come up with in the midst of struggle, even people basically committed to violent struggle, when they realize that (once again) nonviolent means are often more powerful than violent means.

Can we impeach Bush yet?

We know from the Downing Street Memo that Bush was looking for an excuse to invade Iraq.  Here is more evidence:

Bush Ignored Intelligence on Iraqi Weapons, Says Ex-CIA Officer

By Dan Glaister
The Guardian UK

Monday 24 April 2006

A former leading CIA official said yesterday that the White House deliberately
  ignored intelligence that showed that there were no weapons of mass destruction
  in the run-up to the war in Iraq.

Tyler Drumheller, who was once the highest-ranking CIA officer in Europe, told
  CBS’s 60 Minutes programme that the White House shifted its focus to regime
  change in the months before the invasion.

"The policy was set. The war in Iraq was coming and they were looking
  for intelligence to fit into the policy," Mr Drumheller said.

Meanwhile a leaked Pentagon document showed that Donald Rumsfeld, the defence
  secretary, is pressing ahead with plans to reshape the armed forces despite
  recent criticism of his stewardship from several retired military officers.
  Plans approved last month by Mr Rumsfeld and leaked to the Washington Post revealed
  the increasing use of special forces and an increased role for the military
  in areas that have been the domain of the CIA.

Mr Drumheller, who had a senior role in the run-up to the war, told 60 Minutes
  that the CIA provided the White House with information from Iraq’s then foreign
  minister, Naji Sabri, who had reportedly made a deal with the US.

"[The source] told us that there were no active weapons of mass destruction
  programmes," Mr Drumheller said. He said that the then-CIA director, George
  Tenet, passed the information on to George Bush, Dick Cheney, the vice-president,
  and other senior officials, who were initially excited. But that changed, he
  said.

"The [White House] group that was dealing with preparation for the Iraq
  war came back and said they were no longer interested. And we said ‘Well, what
  about the intel?’ And they said ‘Well, this isn’t about intel anymore. This
  is about regime change.’"

Mr Drumheller said the decision to invade Iraq would be remembered as a grave
  mistake. "It just sticks in my craw every time I hear them say it’s an
  intelligence failure … This was a policy failure … I think, over time, people
  will look back on this and see this is going to be one of the great, I think,
  policy mistakes of all time," he said.

A Force More Powerful Game Available

A FORCE MORE POWERFUL – The Game of NONVIOLENT Strategy is now available.

It is a computer game that allows people to try their hand at defeating dictators, military occupiers, and
corrupt rulers–not with laser rays and AK47s–but with a non-military strategy
and nonviolent weapons.

It is only $19.95 plus shipping/handling.

It looks really cool and will be quite a useful tool for teaching nonviolent strategy.

Now if it had a US scenario.

State of North Pole Sea Ice

Mom and I got to talking about climate change and I pointed out that the area of the North Pole sea ice is receeding.  She was skeptical of the rate of decrease, so I decided to go looking.  NOAA’s Arctic Change site has some good facts and pictures.  2002-2005 has seen near record minimums for the amount of North Pole sea ice.

While the melting of the the sea ice would certainly open up shipping lanes between Canada and Russia, it could result in the extinction of polar bears as the Sunday Times and Wall Street Journal reported in December 2005 and the Washington Post reported in 2004, among problems.

The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment report has some useful information.

The musings of Jamie O'Keefe: pirate party activist, geek, father and gamer.