Batch's Blog

Nathanial Batchelder (click image to read news and views from Peace House OK's Director, Nathaniel Batchelder)

Sieze the moment with Iran!

Let us all tell the White House and Congress that NOW is the time to improve diplomatic relations between the US and Iran. Newly elected Iranian president Hassan Rouhani has pledged better relations with the west. He has appointed a pro-western, US-educated foreign minister, Javad Zarif. Additionally, Rouhani has expressed openness to negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programs, which are currently most likely all for peaceful electrical and medical needs according to the IAEA. Enhanced inspections could settle any doubts. (For contact info for the White House and/or Oklahoma Congress members, go to our Advocacy page.)

Considering Middle East tensions and violence right now, Iran could be a natural ally of the US and Israel toward stability in the region. Iran has the highest population of Jews in the Middle East outside of Israel.

It is counter-productive to US interests to marginalize Iran with extremist characterizations, military threats, and talk of more stringent sanctions. Iran needs oil revenues for food, medicine and other human needs, so there is an opening for dialogue beneficial to the interests of peace.

Improved relations with Iran could be a great legacy of our time. Let us all encourage and support the administration in pursuing improved relations with Iran in the best interests of the USA.

July-August 2013 issue of Peace Strategy News now online

In this issue:

  • GOP Governors Accept Obamacare p. 2
  • Block US Intervention in Syria p. 5
  • Guatemala’s Rios Montt Guilty! p. 6
  • Global Warming Updates p. 8
  • PKC Pride 2013 Report p. 9
  • Low Taxes Hurt Entire Economy p. 14
  • UN Poverty Goals Progress p. 15

Download PDF

Hard copies are also available in outlets throughout central Oklahoma, or by contacting the Peace House.

Oklahoma Peace Strategy News publishing schedule adjusted for Summer 2013 issue

OPS Newsletter mastheadThe May/June and July/August issues of the Oklahoma Peace Strategy News will be combined for a special Summer 2013 issue to be published in early June.

We will soon be mailing out a special bulletin to our supporters that will include a survey about what you like and don’t like about OPS. Please look for it and be sure to promptly fill it out and mail back in. There will also be a link to complete the survey online if you prefer.

If you are not on the OPS mailing list, and want to be (or want to get the digital edition sent to your email inbox), please provide the relevant info on this contact form.

Please send your announcements and press releases accordingly. Thanks to all our friends and supporters for your understanding and assistance.

March-April 2013 issue of Peace Strategy News now online

In this issue:

  • IRAN: The US Choice is Diplomacy or War P. 13
  • The Wisdom of Peace P. 2
  • Medicaid Expansion A Benefit to Oklahoma P. 4
  • VAWA and other Alerts P. 5
  • Sierra Club Climate Conversation P. 9
  • Why We Resist the KXL Pipeline P. 10
  • Cheyenne Peace Chief to be Honored P. 16

Hard copies are also available in outlets throughout central Oklahoma, or by contacting the Peace House.

Oklahoma Needs Medicaid Expansion

Sent the following letter to eight newspapers in Oklahoma. Hope you will call the Governor about this.

Oklahoma needs the federally-funded expansion of Medicaid that Governor Mary Fallin is refusing. It would extend Medicaid to some 150,000 Sooners currently not insured. She says Oklahoma cannot afford it, but it is 100% federally funded the first three years, then Oklahoma begins to pick up a maximum of 10% of the cost. Oklahoma will benefit from a half billion dollars every year by investing only 10% of the federal cost.

Others say Oklahoma should not encumber the federal government the half billion dollars a year to fund it. But Oklahoma already receives $25 billion from the federal government every year for highways, military bases, public education, etc., etc. Nobody suggests refusing that. Medicaid expansion is a national program to benefit every state, and Oklahoma should be one of them.

If we don’t take Medicaid expansion, Oklahoma taxes will pay for other states that do take it. It is an offer we can’t refuse. Governor Fallin needs to hear from the people that she should change her mind. Call her at 405-521-2342.

Nathaniel Batchelder, Oklahoma City

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson visit to Oklahoma focuses on peaceful solutions to international issues

Lawrence Wilkerson with Hal Spake and Nathaniel Batchelder

Lawrence Wilkerson with Hal Spake and Nathaniel Batchelder

On Feb. 5 and 6, Col Wilkerson visited Central Oklahoma, speaking at several events.

On Feb. 5, he was the guest of the University of Central Oklahoma, and his speech at the Nigh University Center, attended by over 100 students and local residents, was entitled “We Need Not be Enemies: Iran the the U.S. in the 21st Century.”

The talk was followed by a lively question and answer period. The talk was filmed by UCO and is provided here courtesy on the school’s Youtube channel.

Speech by Col. Larry Wilkerson at UCO on Feb. 5, 2013

On Wednesday, Feb. 6 Col. Wilkerson joined members of Americans Against the Next War for a morning press conference at the Oklahoma State Capitol, emceed by AANW’s Nathaniel Batchelder of the Oklahoma City Peace House. His remarks about U. S. foreign policy in the Middle East and around the world serve as a call for a new perspective by Americans, whose spirits and coffers are drained by more than 10 years of ceaseless war. A different future is possible, if we heed that call.

The following photo montage and audio recording of the press conference was produced by AANW member Rena Guay, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Center for Conscience and Peace Research.

At noon on Wednesday, he made visit to the OU campus for a lunchtime discussion with students, and locals yet more of his experience on the world scene and hard-earned wisdom of politics and diplomacy. That event was sponsored by the College of International Studies and the OU Iranian Studied Program.

Col. Wilkerson jokingly remarked during his visit that Oklahomans sure know how to get their money’s worth out of a speaker. But throughout the visit to our area, the Colonel was forthcoming — seeming to be more than happy to tell his story and share his opinions. Those of us who attended any of his events learned a good deal, and were heartened that his strong voice calling for peace and mutual cooperation, instead of war and threats, was so widely available to us.

Col. Wilkerson is part of The Iran Project, and invites those interested to use the reports and other resources on the project’s web site.

Originally posted at AANW site.

Rachel Maddow will examine the build up to the Iraq war in new documentary

Hubris: Selling the Iraq War, a documentary with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow will premiere on Monday, Feb. 18 at 8pm Central Time.

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