MEMORANDUM FOR: Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Ukraine and NATO

We the undersigned are long-time veterans of U.S. intelligence. We take the unusual step of writing this open letter to you to ensure that you have an opportunity to be briefed on our views prior to the NATO summit on September 4-5.

You need to know, for example, that accusations of a major Russian "invasion" of Ukraine appear not to be supported by reliable intelligence. Rather, the "intelligence" seems to be of the same dubious, politically "fixed" kind used 12 years ago to "justify" the U.S.-led attack on Iraq. We saw no credible evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq then; we see no credible evidence of a Russian invasion now. Twelve years ago, former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, mindful of the flimsiness of the evidence on Iraqi WMD, refused to join in the attack on Iraq. In our view, you should be appropriately suspicious of charges made by the U.S. State Department and NATO officials alleging a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

President Barack Obama tried yesterday to cool the rhetoric of his own senior diplomats and the corporate media, when he publicly described recent activity in the Ukraine, as "a continuation of what's been taking place for months now ... it's not really a shift."

Obama, however, has only tenuous control over the policymakers in his administration -- who, sadly, lack much sense of history, know little of war, and substitute anti-Russian invective for a policy. One year ago, hawkish State Department officials and their friends in the media very nearly got Mr. Obama to launch a major attack on Syria based, once again, on "intelligence" that was dubious, at best.

Largely because of the growing prominence of, and apparent reliance on, intelligence we believe to be spurious, we think the possibility of hostilities escalating beyond the borders of Ukraine has increased significantly over the past several days. More important, we believe that this likelihood can be avoided, depending on the degree of judicious skepticism you and other European leaders bring to the NATO summit next week.

Experience With Untruth

Hopefully, your advisers have reminded you of NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen's checkered record for credibility. It appears to us that Rasmussen's speeches continue to be drafted by Washington. This was abundantly clear on the day before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq when, as Danish Prime Minister, he told his Parliament: "Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. This is not something we just believe. We know."

Photos can be worth a thousand words; they can also deceive. We have considerable experience collecting, analyzing, and reporting on all kinds of satellite and other imagery, as well as other kinds of intelligence. Suffice it to say that the images released by NATO on August 28 provide a very flimsy basis on which to charge Russia with invading Ukraine. Sadly, they bear a strong resemblance to the images shown by Colin Powell at the UN on February 5, 2003 that, likewise, proved nothing.

That same day, we warned President Bush that our former colleague analysts were "increasingly distressed at the politicization of intelligence" and told him flatly, "Powell's presentation does not come close" to justifying war. We urged Mr. Bush to "widen the discussion ... beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic."

Consider Iraq today. Worse than catastrophic. Although President Vladimir Putin has until now showed considerable reserve on the conflict in the Ukraine, it behooves us to remember that Russia, too, can "shock and awe." In our view, if there is the slightest chance of that kind of thing eventually happening to Europe because of Ukraine, sober-minded leaders need to think this through very carefully.

If the photos that NATO and the U.S. have released represent the best available "proof" of an invasion from Russia, our suspicions increase that a major effort is under way to fortify arguments for the NATO summit to approve actions that Russia is sure to regard as provocative. Caveat emptor is an expression with which you are no doubt familiar. Suffice it to add that one should be very cautious regarding what Mr. Rasmussen, or even Secretary of State John Kerry, are peddling.

We trust that your advisers have kept you informed regarding the crisis in Ukraine from the beginning of 2014, and how the possibility that Ukraine would become a member of NATO is anathema to the Kremlin. According to a February 1, 2008 cable (published by WikiLeaks) from the U.S. embassy in Moscow to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, U.S. Ambassador William Burns was called in by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who explained Russia's strong opposition to NATO membership for Ukraine.

Lavrov warned pointedly of "fears that the issue could potentially split the country in two, leading to violence or even, some claim, civil war, which would force Russia to decide whether to intervene." Burns gave his cable the unusual title, "NYET MEANS NYET: RUSSIA'S NATO ENLARGEMENT REDLINES," and sent it off to Washington with IMMEDIATE precedence. Two months later, at their summit in Bucharest NATO leaders issued a formal declaration that "Georgia and Ukraine will be in NATO."

Just yesterday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk used his Facebook page to claim that, with the approval of Parliament that he has requested, the path to NATO membership is open. Yatsenyuk, of course, was Washington's favorite pick to become prime minister after the February 22 coup d'etat in Kiev. "Yats is the guy," said Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland a few weeks before the coup, in an intercepted telephone conversation with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. You may recall that this is the same conversation in which Nuland said, "f*ck the EU."

Timing of the Russian "Invasion"

The conventional wisdom promoted by Kiev just a few weeks ago was that Ukrainian forces had the upper hand in fighting the anti-coup federalists in southeastern Ukraine, in what was largely portrayed as a mop-up operation. But that picture of the offensive originated almost solely from official government sources in Kiev. There were very few reports coming from the ground in southeastern Ukraine. There was one, however, quoting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, that raised doubt about the reliability of the government's portrayal.

According to the "press service of the President of Ukraine" on August 18, Poroshenko called for a "regrouping of Ukrainian military units involved in the operation of power in the East of the country. ... Today we need to do the rearrangement of forces that will defend our territory and continued army offensives," said Poroshenko, adding, "we need to consider a new military operation in the new circumstances."

If the "new circumstances" meant successful advances by Ukrainian government forces, why would it be necessary to "regroup," to "rearrange" the forces? At about this time, sources on the ground began to report a string of successful attacks by the anti-coup federalists against government forces. According to these sources, it was the government army that was starting to take heavy casualties and lose ground, largely because of ineptitude and poor leadership.

Ten days later, as they became encircled and/or retreated, a ready-made excuse for this was to be found in the "Russian invasion." That is precisely when the fuzzy photos were released by NATO and reporters like the New York Times' Michael Gordon were set loose to spread the word that "the Russians are coming." (Michael Gordon was one of the most egregious propagandists promoting the war on Iraq.)

No Invasion -- But Plenty Other Russian Support

The anti-coup federalists in southeastern Ukraine enjoy considerable local support, partly as a result of government artillery strikes on major population centers. And we believe that Russian support probably has been pouring across the border and includes, significantly, excellent battlefield intelligence. But it is far from clear that this support includes tanks and artillery at this point -- mostly because the federalists have been better led and surprisingly successful in pinning down government forces.

At the same time, we have little doubt that, if and when the federalists need them, the Russian tanks will come.

This is precisely why the situation demands a concerted effort for a ceasefire, which you know Kiev has so far been delaying. What is to be done at this point? In our view, Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk need to be told flat-out that membership in NATO is not in the cards -- and that NATO has no intention of waging a proxy war with Russia -- and especially not in support of the rag-tag army of Ukraine. Other members of NATO need to be told the same thing.

For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)

Larry Johnson, CIA & State Department (ret.)

David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council (ret.)

Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)

Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East (ret.)

Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (Ret.)

Coleen Rowley, Division Counsel & Special Agent, FBI (ret.)

Ann Wright, Col., US Army (ret.); Foreign Service Officer (resigned)

Ukraine News - Sep 2, 2014


Rebels no longer demanding full independence, say they will respect Ukraine's sovereignty in exchange for autonomy - AP


Donetsk, Luhansk ‘republics' present list of demands ahead of the meeting of the Contact Group  - ITAR-TASS


Excerpts: Pro-Russia ‘republics’ outline demands in swap for peace ahead of Minsk talks - EUROMAIDAN PRESS


Next session of Contact Group on Ukraine due on Friday - ITAR-TASS


Talks with Ukraine in Contact Group may get official status - ITAR-TASS


Moscow Hopes Minsk Talks on Settling Situation in Ukraine to Be About Ceasefire: Lavrov - RIA Novosti


VIDEO: Putin responds to BBC doorstep: Kiev authorities refuse to hold substantial dialogue with Ukraine’s southeast - YouTube


Russia: Demonstrators Against War in Ukraine Arrested - The Interpreter


NATO plans high-readiness 'spearhead' with troops, jets, and ships in East Europe - CSMonitor.com


Military option on Ukraine 'does not exist', says new EU chief - Telegraph


Europe drafts emergency energy plan with eye on Russia gas shut-down - irishtimes.com


Ukraine negotiates gas supplies bypassing Russia: Poroshenko - ITAR-TASS


Reverse-flow gas ‘trial run’ from Slovakia to Ukraine successful - ITAR-TASS


Russian ruble slides to all-time low as new sanctions loom - CNN


Putin Faces Debt to Import Curbs as EU Weighs Sanctions - Businessweek


---------------------------------------------------

Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes with 'Russian tank column’: Kiev - France 24


Ukraine Border Gateway Seized by Rebels as War-Weary Locals Pray for Peace - VICE News


Ukrainian officials say nearly 700 soldiers had been taken prisoner since the rebel offensive began - BBC


VIDEO: Rebels capture more govt forces in Eastern Ukraine - LiveLeak.com


VIDEO (Russian): DPR 'Prime Minister' Zakharchenko met captive Ukrainian troops before releasing them home - YouTube


At Least Four Tactical Battalions of Russian Federation Armed Forces in Ukraine: Andrey Lysenko, military spokesman - Interpreter_Mag


US Official Confirms That Russian Military Has Sent SA-22 SAM Systems Into Ukraine - Interpreter_Mag


VIDEO (English) - Press Conference of Ukraine Military Spokesman Lysenko, Sep 1 - Ukraine Crisis Media Center


Ukraine war pulls in foreign fighters - BBC News


Ukrainian Woman, Held Up to Public Abuse, Is Released - NYTimes.com


Ukrainian Woman Tells Of Public Abuse At Hands Of Pro-Moscow Separatists - rferl.org


INTERVIEW (Russian): Ukrainian Woman Tells Of Public Abuse At Hands Of Pro-Moscow Separatists - svoboda.org


Iryna Dovhan, the woman humiliated by terrorists in Donetsk, speaks of her ordeal (Excerpts) - EUROMAIDAN PRESS

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

Alkhawaja on hunger strike to force Saudi-backed regime to give way to democracy

Prominent human rights defender Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja has declared an open hunger strike “in protest against the continuation of arbitrary arrest and detention.” In a statement made to members of his immediate family during a visit on Sunday 24th August, Mr. AlKhawaja declared that he would refuse all food and liquids with the exception of water. He also informed his family that due to the drugging, force feeding, and the forced ending of his 110 day hunger strike in 2012, he will refuse to be taken to any hospital, the prison clinic, or to receive any IV treatment during his strike. Almost all international human rights bodies have called for the immediate and unconditional release of Bahrain 13, the leaders of the Revolution who are languishing in the tribal jails of the Alkhalifa.

The Bahraini regime has been humiliated into accepting a visit by Tom Malinowski, the US Under-Secretary of State for Human Rights, Democracy and Labour. Last month the dictator ordered his removal from Bahrain after 24 hours of his arrival, because he had a meeting with an opposition group. Washington re-scheduled the visit by Mr Malinowski who is returning to Bahrain soon, under Washington’s terms. Yesterday, the US State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki said: Our view is that the Government of Bahrain has much to do in order to meet its own commitments to reform. It’s unfortunate that they have not taken advantage of opportunities to hear from outside observers. There are steps that the government has taken in the right direction, including establishing an ombudsman office in the ministry of interior, reestablishing the national institution on human rights, rescinding the national security agency’s arrest capabilities, training police on human rights standards. But there are still remaining concerns we have: lack of accountability, for instance, of abuse by security forces; ongoing harassment and imprisonment of persons exercising their rights of freedom of expression; continuing reports of ill-treatment and torture in detention facilities. And obviously, there’s more that they can do to show the international community that they want to keep taking steps forward when it comes to reform. On Assistant Secretary Malinowski, he has received an invitation to return to Bahrain. There’s a trip that’s currently being planned.

On another level the Alkhalifa have refused entry to US Congressman Rep. James McGovern because he had previously criticised their dictatorship.

As a Manama court prepares to rule on internationally-renowned photographer Ahmed Humeidan’s appeal on 25 August, Reporters Without Borders has prepared the following overview of these 12 detainees. The youngest is 15. Eight are photographers or video reporters and four are online activists. Eight have been given prison sentences ranging from three months to life. RWB calls for their release and withdrawal of all charges or the quashing of the convictions of those already sentenced. The Bahraini authorities arbitrarily arrest news providers and peaceful civil society activists in an attempt to suppress dissent. Bahrain is ranked 163rd out of 180 countries in the

Among the latest journalists criminalised for doing their job is Ammar Abdul Rasool. He has been detained and tortured for taking a photo in March 2011 for which he received several awards. Last week he said that he had been forced to remain standing for three days, shackled with closed eyes. He was subjected to severe beating, swearing and humiliation. He was prevented from praying. He added: “They stripped me of my clothes, abused me and threatened to use electric shocks. They also threatened to assault my wife and baby (Fatima) to force me to sign pre-prepared “confession”. When I lost all my energy I had no alternative but to sign the false statement.

Reports from the notorious Jaw prison confirmed that prominent human rights activist, Naji Fateel, has been transferred to solitary confinement for demanding treatment of sick prisoners. Among them are: Mohammad Fadhl who suffers from asthma but is denied medication and Hussain Khalteet. Other prisoners have been denied family visits.

The prisoners at the Dry Dock prison have gone on hunger strike and several of them have fallen unconscious. Some are being treated with IV feeding. Among those who slipped into coma are Hussain Mash’al, Detainees of Wing 10 at Jaw prison had been denied family visits or medical care. Their cells are over-crowded as the dictator orders more arrests among Bahraini natives.

Bahrain Freedom Movement

Three World Leaders Speak on the Future of Israel and Palestine



By Ann Wright

Three of the world’s leaders, members of the group called “The Elders,” spoke on the conflict between Israeli and Palestine over the weekend in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Each of the Elders has had extensive experience with Israeli-Palestinian issues.
 
As the first woman Prime Minister of Norway, and its youngest Prime Minister at age 41, Gro Harlem Brundtland directed her government to conduct secret talks with the Israeli government and Palestinian leadership which led to the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993.
 
As a human rights lawyer in Pakistan, Hina Jilani created the first all woman law firm and established the first Human Rights commission in her country.  She was the UN Special Representative on Human Rights Defenders from 2000 to 2008 and appointed to United Nations committees to investigate violations of international law in conflicts in Dafur and Gaza.
 
Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a leader in the movement against apartheid in South Africa, advocating boycott, divestment and sanctions against the South African government and has been a vocal critic of Israeli apartheid actions in the West Bank and Gaza.
 
The Elders, are a group of leaders who were brought together in 2007 by Nelson Mandela to use their “independent, collective experience and influence to work for peace, poverty eradication, a sustainable planet, justice and human rights, working bot publicly and through private diplomacy to engage with global leaders and civil society to resolve conflict and address its root causes, to challenge injustice, and to promote ethical leadership and good governance.” 
 
The Elders include former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, former President of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Brazil Fernando Henrique Cardoso, grassroots organizer and head of the Self-Employed Women’s Association from India Ela Bhatt, former Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs and United Nations Special Representative for Afghanistan and Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and Grace Machel, former Mozambique Minister of Education,  United Nations investigation of children in war and co-founder of The Elders with her husband Nelson Mandela.  
 
During their speaking engagements August 29-31, 2014 in Honolulu, the three Elders spoke directly about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Archbishop Desmond Tutu said when he goes to Israel and then through the checkpoints to get into the West Bank, his heart aches at the parallels between Israel and apartheid South Africa.  He noted, “Have I been caught in a time warp?  This is what we experienced in South Africa.”  With emotion he said, “My anguish is what the Israelis are doing to themselves.  Through the truth and reconciliation process in South Africa, we found that when you carry out unjust laws, dehumanizing laws, the perpetrator or the enforcer of those laws is dehumanized.  I weep for the Israelis as they have ended up not seeing the victims of their actions as human as they are.”
 
In 2009, Hina Jilani was a member of the United Nations investigative team on the 22 Israeli attack on Gaza that was documented through the Goldstone Report.  Jiliani, who also investigated military actions in the Dafur, said, “The real problem is the occupation of Gaza.  There have been three offensive actions by Israel against Gaza in the past five years, each bloody and destroying the civil infrastructure need for the survival of the people of Gaza.  No one party can use the right of self-defense to avoid international laws.  There can be no peace without justice for the Palestinians.  Justice is the goal to achieve peace.”
 
 Jilani said the international community must keep the Israelis and Palestinians engaged in talks so hopefully neither side will kill more persons.  She added that the international community must also give strong statements that violations of international law with impunity will not be allowed-international accountability is demanded . Jilani said there are three parts to ending the conflict between Israel and Palestine.  First, the occupation of Gaza must end. Second, there must be an Israeli commitment to have a viable Palestinian state.  Third, both sides must be made to feel that their security is protected.  Jilani added that “Both sides must comport to the norms of international conduct.”
 
Dr. Gro Brundtland said that in 1992 when she was Prime Minister of Norway, she instructed her government to have secret talks with the Israelis and Palestinians that resulted in the Oslo Accords, sealed with a handshake between Israeli Prime Minister Rabin and PLO chief Arafat in the Rose Garden of the White House.  Brundtland said, “Now 22 years later, the tragedy is what NOT has happened.”  The Palestinian state has not been allowed to be established, but instead Gaza has been blockaded by Israel and the West Bank occupied by Israel.  Brundtland added. “There is no solution except a two state solution in which Israelis realize that Palestinians have a right to their own state.”
 
Two other Elders deeply concerned about the Israeli actions against Palestinians have spoken out again.  Elders former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Mary Robinson, wrote in recent article in Foreign Policy titled “ Gaza: A Cycle of Violence That Can Be Broken” (http://www.theelders.org/article/gaza-cycle-violence-can-be-broken), “This tragedy (of the third conflict in six years) results from the deliberate obstruction of a promising move toward peace in the region, when a reconciliation agreement among the Palestinian factions was announced in April. This was a major concession by Hamas, in opening Gaza to joint control under a technocratic government that did not include any Hamas members. The new government also pledged to adopt the three basic principles demanded by the Middle East Quartet comprised of the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Russia: nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and adherence to past agreements. Tragically, Israel rejected this opportunity for peace and has succeeded in preventing the new government's deployment in Gaza.”

 
Carter and Robinson strongly condemned Israeli use of force on civilians. “There is no humane or legal justification for the way the Israeli Defense Forces are conducting this war. Israeli bombs, missiles, and artillery have pulverised large parts of Gaza, including thousands of homes, schools, and hospitals. More than 250,000 people have been displaced from their homes in Gaza. Hundreds of Palestinian noncombatants have been killed. Much of Gaza has lost access to water and electricity completely. This is a humanitarian catastrophe.
There is never an excuse for deliberate attacks on civilians in conflict. These are war crimes. This is true for both sides. Hamas's indiscriminate targeting of Israeli civilians is equally unacceptable. However, three Israeli civilians have been killed by Palestinian rockets, while an overwhelming majority of the 1,600 Palestinians killed have been civilians, including more than 330 children. The need for international judicial proceedings to investigate and end these violations of international law should be taken very seriously.”
Carter and Robinson suggest the European Union Border Assistance Mission, an international effort to help monitor border crossings that was launched in 2005 and suspended in 2007, should return to Gaza. They note that EU High Representative Catherine Ashton has already offered to reinstate the program, covering Rafah and all of Gaza's crossings. They add that, “The international community's initial goal should be the full restoration of the free movement of people and goods to and from Gaza through Israel, Egypt, and the sea. Concurrently, the United States and EU should recognize that Hamas is not just a military but also a political force. Hamas cannot be wished away, nor will it cooperate in its own demise. Only by recognizing its legitimacy as a political actor – one that represents a substantial portion of the Palestinian people – can the West begin to provide the right incentives for Hamas to lay down its weapons. Ever since the internationally monitored 2006 elections that brought Hamas to power in Palestine, the West's approach has manifestly contributed to the opposite result.”
The speaking events in Hawai’i were sponsored by Pillars of Peace and the Hawai’i Community Foundation. 
 
The collective experience of The Elders and their independence from governments’ political agendas, offer the world avenues to peace and justice—but only if citizens force their governments to listen!

About the Author:  Ann Wright served 29 years in the U.S. Army/Army Reserves and retired as a Colonel.  She also served 16 years as a U.S. diplomat and resigned in 2003 in opposition to the Iraq war.  She is the co-author of “Dissent: Voices of Conscience.”

U.S. Bombs, Which Helped Spawn ISIS, Can’t Crush It

By John Horgan

Once again, U.S. leaders are beating the war drums–or rather, beating them harder, because when in recent memory have the drums fallen silent? Aspiring President Hillary Clinton and Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham are all urging President Obama to take stronger military measures against ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which has seized large chunks of Iraq and Syria. So are the Washington Post and other influential publications. The U.S. is already attacking ISIS directly—with U.S. bombs and special forces–and indirectly, by arming its alleged opponents, but Clinton et al want Obama to escalate U.S. force.

READ THE REST.

A New Calendar of Holidays

calendarcoverA new calendar of peace holidays has just been published. And none too soon, if you’ve noticed the epidemic of military holidays around us.

I can understand that Catholics have a saint for every day of the year. And I’m not shocked that various ancient religions have holidays for a high proportion of the year’s days. But what to make of the United States, which now has a military holiday for at least 66 separate days, including Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and lesser known days like the just passed Marine Corps Reserve Birthday?

In the coming weeks we have V-J Day, 9/11 Remembrance Day / Patriot Day, the U.S. Air Force Birthday, National POW / MIA Recognition Day, and Gold Star Mother’s Day. There are, in addition, six week-long military holidays and three month-long ones. May, for example, is National Military Appreciation Month.

The military memorializes past war lies (Remember the Maine Day), cultural depravity normalized by eternal war (Month of the Military Child), and past crimes like attacking Cuba and killing a mule (Mantanzas Mule Day). This website even — wonderfully and accidentally — includes the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, which is a day dedicated to opposing militarism. The same website — disgustingly and inappropriately — includes Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday as a military holiday.

Still, the general pattern is this: in the United States there are holidays to celebrate militarism just about every week, and increasingly one hears about them on the radio, at public events, and in corporate advertising that apparently believes militarism sells.

What would a calendar of peace holidays look like? At WorldBeyondWar we believe it would look something like this.

We’re making it available for free as a PDF that you can print out and make use of: PDF, Word.

We’re also displaying on the front page of WorldBeyondWar.org the holiday, if any, to be marked or celebrated on whatever day it happens to be at the time. So you can always just check there.

We think that part of developing a peace culture is marking great peace moments from the past. Knowing what peace holiday any given day is, or what holidays are coming up soon, can be very useful in creating and promoting events, writing op-eds, and interesting the corporate media in something that is otherwise too important and news worthy to be touched.

World peace holidays can build unity among activists. They can be used for education (celebrating the Hague Peace Conference of 1899 on May 18th could cause someone to want to know what that conference was). And they can be used for encouragement and inspiration (on a gloomy March 20th it might be nice to know that “on this day in 1983, 150,000 peace rallies were held in Australia”).

In this initial draft of the World Beyond War Calendar we’ve included 154 holidays, all of them days — no weeks or months. We could have included a significant peace event for 365 days a year but chose to be selective. It’s a tightly held secret, of course, but there has been a lot more peace than war in the world.

Some of the days are also military days re-purposed. For example:

September 11. On this day in 1973 the United States backed a coup that overthrew the government of Chile. Also on this day in 2001 terrorists attacked in the United States using hijacked airplanes. This is a good day to oppose violence and nationalism and revenge.

Others are military days the military doesn’t celebrate. For example:

January 11. On this day in 2002 the United States opened its notorious prison in Guantanamo. This is a good day to oppose all imprisonment without trial.

August 6. On this day in 1945 the U.S. dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, killing some 140,000 men, women, and children. President Truman went on the radio to justify this as revenge and lie that Hiroshima was a military base rather than a city. This is a very good day to oppose nuclear weapons.

Others are well-known days reclaimed for peace. For example:

January 15. On this day in 1929 Martin Luther King Jr. was born. The holiday, however, is celebrated on the third Monday of January. These are good opportunities to recall King’s work against militarism, extreme materialism, and racism.

Mothers Day is celebrated on different dates around the world. In many places it is the second Sunday in May. This is a good day to read the Mother’s Day Proclamation and rededicate the day to peace.

December 25. This is Christmas, traditionally a holiday of peace for Christians. On this day in 1776, George Washington led a surprise night crossing of the Delaware River and pre-dawn raid on unarmed hung-over-from-Christmas troops still in their underwear — a founding act of violence for the new nation. Also on this day in 1875 Jessie Wallace Hughan, founder of the War Resisters League, was born. Also on this day in 1914, soldiers on both sides of the trenches of World War I took part in a Christmas Truce. This is a good day to work for peace on earth.

Other days are new to most people. For example:

August 27. This is Kellogg-Briand Day. On this day in 1928, in what was the biggest news story of the year, the major nations of the world gathered in Paris, France, to sign the Kellogg-Briand Pact banning all war. The treaty remains on the books today. The day is increasingly being recognized and celebrated as a holiday.

November 5. On this day in 1855 Eugene V. Debs was born. Also on this day in 1968 Richard Nixon was elected U.S. president after secretly and treasonously sending Anna Chennault to sabotage Vietnam peace talks, campaigning on a nonexistent secret plan for peace, and actually planning to continue the war, as he did once elected. This is a good day to think about who our real leaders are.

November 6. This is the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict.

Here’s the web version.

Here’s the PDF.

Here’s the Word.

The calendar is a first of what we expect to be many editions. In fact, it will be constantly updated. So please send additions and corrections to info@worldbeyondwar.org.

Ukraine News - Sep 1, 2014


Putin Calls for Talks on East Ukraine “Statehood", But Not Independence - newsweek.com


Putin's statement is not referring to giving “statehood" to Novorossia as it is Ukraine’s internal affair: Kremlin spokesman - ITAR-TASS


VIDEO: Putin urges immediate talks on "statehood" in east Ukraine - YouTube


Ukrainian govt should not fear federalization: Putin - Russia Beyond The Headlines


Putin calls Poroshenko partner with whom dialogue can be conducted - Russia Beyond The Headlines


POLL: Putin faces limited opposition from Russian public on Ukraine - Pew Research Center


VIDEO: Putin: 'Don’t Mess With Russia...I want to remind you that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers’ - Headlines & Global News


VIDEO (English): Putin talks Ukraine, NATO, Crimea at two hours Q&A with Russian youth (FULL) - YouTube


Ukraine Crisis: Gorbachev Warns of 'Terrible Slaughter' in Europe, "If our country intervenes, such a fire could break out that the whole world wouldn't be able to put it out" - Yahoo News UK


U.S. lawmakers call for arming Ukraine government - Yahoo News


POLL: HuffPost/YouGov Poll Shows Few Americans Think The U.S. Has An Obligation To Defend Ukraine - huffingtonpost.com


POLL: HuffPost/YouGov Poll Results: Ukraine - yougov.com


Merkel says she's against arming Ukraine, but sanctions are coming - kyivpost.com


Arms deliveries to Ukraine useless, will further expand confrontation: Hollande - ITAR-TASS


EU gives Russia ultimatum over Ukraine crisis, orders preparation of 'urgent' Russia sanctions - Fox News


Britain to spearhead 10,000-strong Nato rapid reaction force with mission to halt Putin's 'Tsarist expansionism' - Mail Online


NATO plans to deploy five bases in Eastern Europe: newspaper - ITAR-TASS


Poroshenko calls for soonest possible start of Contact Group talks, “The situation has reached the point where nothing can be changed’, therefore the sides must begin negotiations” - DWDD


Rebel number two to join Ukraine contact group talks on Monday - Reuters


-------------------------------------------------

Ukraine: Pro-Russia rebels confident after making gains - AP


Ukrainian forces in port city of Mariupol prepare for 'Russian-led' assault of the separatists - GlobalPost


VIDEO: Mariupol residents form human chain against pro-Russian fighters - YouTube


VIDEO: Local Civilians step up to protect Mariupol from attack - YouTube


VIDEO: Ukraine crisis: Many leave threatened city of Mariupol - BBC News


Zakharchenko: “We’re Preparing a Second Large-Scale Offensive” - Voices from Russia


Assassination Attempt Made on Zakharchenko, PM of 'Donetsk People's Republic’ - Submariners World


Moscow Military Review Lists Seven ‘Probable’ Targets in ‘Novorossiya’ - Johnson's Russia List


Rescue under way after separatists claim first attack on Ukrainian ship - Reuters


VIDEO: Boat of Ukrainian board guards hit in the sea several kilometers away from Mariupol - LiveLeak.com


Russia and Ukraine trade soldiers at border: Russian news agencies - Firstpost


Russia and Ukraine swap captured soldiers - YouTube


VIDEOS: The battle for Ilovaisk turns out to become one of the hardest fought with several Ukrainian volunteer battalions being surrounded and facing annihilation - Ukraine@war


VIDEO (Ukrainian): Rebels interview Ukraine prisoners at Ilovayask - LiveLeak.com


VIDEO (English subtitles): Ukrainian troops surrendered near Starobeshevo - LiveLeak.com


Second Russian Humanitarian Convoy at Ukrainian Border - Interpreter_Mag


Russia ready to implement Poroshenko's plan of humanitarian relief to Lugansk and Donetsk: Putin - Russia Beyond The Headlines


Only 300,000 People Out of Population of 900,000 Remain in Donetsk: DPR - RIA Novosti

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

IRELAND: US Airforce Uses Major Sports Event For War Proganda

Photo: 2 F 16s flying over peaceful Dublin on a quiet Saturday afternoon, source

 

It is a Saturday afternoon in supposedly neutral Ireland. A quiet Saturday afternoon in Dublin.

In Croke Park, the national stadium of the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association / Cumann Lúthchleas Gael) which is Ireland’s largest sporting organisation and is celebrated as one of the great amateur sporting associations in the world today a match is played. Penn State  v/s UCF.

Protest Increased Airstrikes on Iraq & Syria

Dangerous arguments and actions came this week from both President Obama, who plans to increase airstrikes on Iraq & Syria and announced drone surveillance (as if that has not been happening for years), and from John McCain, leader of the “US has to get back in Iraq” cabal.“Limited” airstrikes by the world's most powerful military combined with U.S.

Nisteling: The Art of Deep Listening

The word ‘listening’ has many meanings and the context in which it is done will often determine the level of concentration that is required for one to be considered to be listening.

Let’s get reimbursed!: Time-Warner Customers of the World Unite!

By Alfredo Lopez


Are you a Time-Warner Internet customer? Have you ever experienced an outage? Have you called the company for a reimbursement? Most people would probably answer "no" to that last question. In fact, most company customers don't realize that these companies aren't required to reimburse and, in Time Warner's case, they usually don't. You have to call them.

Maybe it's time to make this sensitive movement for Time Warner a bit more sensitive.

Get a grip America: Who’s the Real Aggressor in Ukraine? (Hint: It’s Not Russia)

By Dave Lindorff

 

            The US corporate media are awash in fevered articles and news stories about a Russian “invasion” of Ukraine, as though it was 1938, with German troops marching into Sedetenland and Austria. But let’s step back and look at what’s going on, calmly and rationally.

 

Why is the TSA confiscating people’s medications?

 

Several stories have been circulating recently about people’s medications being confiscated by the TSA. In some cases, these are potentially lifesaving medications, such as nitroglycerin for heart patients or insulin for diabetics.  

Why We Hurt Each Other: Tolstoy’s Letters to Gandhi on Love, Violence, and the Truth of the Human Spirit

by Maria Popova published on Brainpickings

 

 

“Love is the only way to rescue humanity from all ills.”

 

Where even the reality cop shows are boring: Smart Social Policies in Finland, Dumb Ones in the US

By Dave Lindorff

 

            Kuopio -- Finland can be a shock to a visitor from America. The cities are clean, the highways and byways are smoothly paved and pothole-free despite the punishing winter climate faced by a country that straddles the Arctic Circle, schools look shiny and new, and it’s hard to see anyone who looks destitute.

 

Ukraine News - Aug 29, 2014

 

NATO: More than 1,000 Russian troops are in Ukraine, with air defense systems, artillery and tanks transferred to separatist forces - Yahoo News


NATO: These new satellite images show Russian troops in and around Ukraine (PHOTOS) - The Washington Post


VIDEO: NATO spokesman statement on satellite imagery showing Russian combat troops inside Ukraine - YouTube


3000-4000 Russian volunteers including soldiers on leave fighting Ukrainian troops alongside rebels, separatist leader says - Telegraph


Russia’s Version of the Navy SEALs May Be Fighting in Ukraine (PHOTOS) - bellingcat


Revealed: Around 40 Russian Troops from Pskov Died in the Ukraine, Reinforcement Sent In (PHOTOS) - bellingcat


Analysts Confirm Presence of Russian Army Tanks in Ukraine (VIDEO) - Interpreter_Mag


VIDEO: Ukraine releases video of purported Russian tank in Novoazovsk - YouTube


VIDEO: Ukrainian army captured tank T 72 with Russian documents - YouTube


VIDEO: Russian Military Convoy Reported Heading Toward Lugansk - Interpreter_Mag


Defense official says Pentagon has evidence Russia firing missiles inside Ukraine - Fox News


Russians call for probe of soldiers' deaths near Ukraine - usatoday.com


Russian village's graves may tie Kremlin to fighting in Ukraine - Reuters


Paratroopers' Grave Markings Vanish as Rumors Circulate They Were Killed in Ukraine - freerepublic.com


VIDEO (English subtitles): Wives of Russian soldiers protest against the policy of disinformation of the authorities -  LiveLeak.com


VIDEO (English Subtitles): RFE/RL's Russian Service spoke to relatives of the Russian paratroopers detained in Ukraine - RFE/RL


VIDEO (Russian): Russian TV Journalist About Official Causes of Death of Russian Soldiers: Paratroopers Died from Heart Attacks and Strokes - Censor.NET


-------------------------------------------------------

Russian-Backed Separatists Enter Novoazovsk In Southeastern Ukraine - huffingtonpost


Ukraine rebel leader says targeting strategic port of Mariupol - Reuters


Ukraine crisis: All eyes turn to Mariupol as separatist showdown looms - The Independent


Ukraine: is Mariupol the new front in separatist war? - Alex Thomson's View


Protesters in Mariupol gather to display their anger over Russian military presence near their hometown (PHOTOS) - Interpreter_Mag


VIDEO: Protesters in Mariupol gather to display their anger over Russian military presence near their hometown - YouTube


Demonstration in Kharkiv Against Russian Invasion - Interpreter_Mag


Four Hundred Ukrainian Soldiers Desert Battlefield - Interpreter_Mag


VIDEO: 400 armed Ukrainian troopers, who had abandoned their positions in the ATO zone, attempted to pass the block-post in Zaporizhzhia - LiveLeak.com


Ukraine president blames military failure on deserting commanders, soldiers and their relatives accuse Kiev of neglect - RT News


As Pro-Russia Forces Gain Ground Ukraine’s Volunteer Battalions Decry Kiev Leaders - VICE News


Donetsk Militia Forces Claim They Take Nearly 90 Ukrainian Servicemen Captive in One Day - RIA Novosti


Putin calls on pro-Russian rebels 'to open a humanitarian corridor for encircled Ukraine servicemen in order to avoid pointless victims’ - Reuters


Ukrainian Service Woman Nadezhda Savchenko To Be Transferred To Psychiatric Hospital In Russia - Interpreter_Mag


Separatist Leader says DPR leaves Ukraine never to return, "Novorossiya no longer agrees not only to federalization, but to the preservation of Ukraine as such” - ITAR-TASS


VIDEO ARCHIVE: Press Conference of Separatist Leader Zakharchenko on the Counteroffensive, 24 Aug 2014 - YouTube


-------------------------------------------------------

President Barack Obama again rules out U.S. military action in Ukraine, says there must be a diplomatic solution - Reuters


VIDEO: Obama: No US Military Action in Ukraine - YouTube


VIDEO: Full Press Conference of President Obama on the Economy, Iraq, and Ukraine - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT: President Obama’s Aug. 28 remarks on Ukraine, Syria and the economy - The Washington Post


US warns of more sanctions against Russia over Ukraine - Yahoo News


Merkel says EU to discuss further Russia sanctions - Yahoo News


VIDEO (German): Merkel warns Russia to expect more sanctions from Europe - YouTube


Russia Wants Say in EU-Ukraine Association Deal, Propose Three Amendments - The Moscow Times


Merkel Tells Putin She Supports Three-Way Talks on Ukraine’s EU Association: Kremlin - RIA Novosti


Russian, Ukrainian experts to analyze Ukraine-EU deal: minister - ITAR-TASS


Ukrainian parliament to consider ratification of EU association agreement September 16 - ITAR-TASS


Poroshenko signs decree banning exports of military, dual-use items to Russia - ITAR-TASS


Ukraine's Bonds Fall Most in Four Months as Fighting Intensifies - moneynews.com


Ukrainian Finance Ministry to sell $340 mln to National Bank to stabilize exchange rate: PM Yatseniuk - interfax.com


German Economy 2014: GDP Stumbles On Lower Sentiment Surrounding Ukraine Crisis - ibtimes.com


Wall Street loses ground on Ukraine worry - Reuters

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

Monty Python State Department

Scene:  A cafe.  One table is occupied by a group of Vikings wearing horned helmets. 

Whenever the word "war" is repeated, they begin singing and/or chanting. 

A man and woman enter.  The man is played by Eric Idle, the woman is played by Graham Chapman (in drag), and the Secretary of State is played by Terry Jones, also in drag.

Man:   You sit here, dear.    

Woman:          All right.

Man:   Morning!

Secretary of State:     Morning!

Man:   Well, what've you got?

Secretary of State:     Well, there's sanctions and prosecutions; sanctions drone strikes and prosecutions; sanctions and war; sanctions prosecutions and war; sanctions prosecutions drone strikes and war; war prosecutions drone strikes and war; war sanctions war war prosecutions and war; war drone strikes war war prosecutions war cyber war and war;

Vikings:           War war war war...

Secretary of State:     ...war war war sanctions and war; war war war war war war targeted assassinations war war war...

Vikings:           War! Lovely war! Lovely war!

Secretary of State:     ...or a United Nations resolution combined with infiltration, a USAID fake Twitter application, a CIA overthrow, trained enhanced interrogators and with crippling sanctions on top and war.

Woman:          Have you got anything without war?

Secretary of State:     Well, there's war sanctions drone strikes and war, that's not got much war in it.

Woman:          I don't want ANY war!

Man:   Why can't she have sanctions prosecutions war and drone strikes?

Woman:          THAT'S got war in it!

Man:   Hasn't got as much war in it as war sanctions drone strikes and war, has it?

Vikings:           War war war war... (Crescendo through next few lines...)

Woman:          Could you do the sanctions prosecutions war and drone strikes without the war then?

Secretary of State:     Urgghh!

Woman:          What do you mean 'Urgghh'? I don't like war!

Vikings:           Lovely war! Wonderful war!

Secretary of State:     Shut up!

Vikings:           Lovely war! Wonderful war!

Secretary of State:     Shut up! (Vikings stop) Bloody Vikings! You can't have sanctions prosecutions war and drone strikes without the war.

Woman:          I don't like war!

Man:   Sshh, dear, don't cause a fuss. I'll have your war. I love it. I'm having war war war war war war war targeted assassinations war war war and war!

Vikings:           War war war war. Lovely war! Wonderful war!

Secretary of State:     Shut up!! Targeted assassinations are off.

Man:   Well could I have her war instead of the targeted assassinations then?

Secretary of State:     You mean war war war war war war... (but it is too late and the Vikings drown her words)

Vikings:           (Singing elaborately...) War war war war. Lovely war! Wonderful war! War w-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-r war w-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-r war. Lovely war! Lovely war! Lovely war! Lovely war! Lovely war! War war war war!

 

 

No actual diplomats were harmed in the making of this production.

Stop Israel’s Ongoing War Crimes Against the People of Gaza

On August 5, World Can't Wait put out a call to Stop Israel's War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity on the People of Gaza.The mission was to bring the reality of what Operation "Protective Edge" did to the people of Gaza, and why this rose to the level of "war crimes;" to expose the role of the United States in fully backing Israel politically and militarily; and to challenge all watching to bring forth resistance to stop these crimes that is much more broad, diverse, and determined.

Obama Opened Floodgates for Offshore Fracking in Recent Gulf of Mexico Lease

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

In little-noticed news arising out of a recent Gulf of Mexico offshore oil and gas lease held by the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the floodgates have opened for Gulf offshore hydraulic fracturing ("fracking").

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Good & Surprising News from Bagram Prison

August 26, 2014, New York, NY.  The International Justice Network (IJN) is delighted to announce that two of its clients, Fadi al-Maqaleh and Amin al-Bakri, have been released from Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, were they had been imprisoned without charge for over a decade. On the evening of August 25, 2014, the U.S. government transferred the two Yemeni nationals to the custody and control of the Yemeni government.  The transfer is the first time that a detainee has been transferred from U.S. military custody to Yemen since 2010. 

Protest U.S. Bombing of Iraq

by Debra Sweet      Dangerous arguments and actions came this week from both President Obama, who plans to increase airstrikes on Iraq & Syria and announced drone surveillance (as if that has not been happening for years), and from John McCain, leader of the “US has to get back in Iraq” cabal.“Limited” airstrikes by the world's most powerful military combined with U.S. more troops going into this extremely volatile region will not bring peace, stability, or safety.

Dave Lindorff and David Swanson Try to Count the Current Wars

Host Dave Lindorff interviews David Swanson, labor and peace activist, author of the book “War No More: The Case for Abolition” and the website warisacrime.org, about the rapidly expanding crises that the US has been promoting in RUSSIA-HISTORY-WWII-PARADE-REHEARSALUkraine, Syria, Iraq, the Persian Gulf, and the many countries where the US is using attack drones. Swanson argues that the US has been working hard to make Russia into an enemy again, that after portraying Syrian leader Bushar al Assad as a “Hitler” and arming and training his islamic rebel enemies, now a year later, Washington sees Assad as the “good guy” and is gearing up to bomb and kill the rebels, both in Syria and in Iraq, where they have expanded their rebellion. At least two of the crises, in Ukraine and the Persian Gulf, where a Coast Guard vessel has fired at an Iranian vessel, there is a real risk of war, either against Russia or Iran, Swanson warns.

From THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING

Keep Space for Peace Week

October 4-11, 2014

 

Keep Space for Peace Week

International Week of Protest to

Stop the Militarization of Space

 

 

Stop Drones Surveillance & Killing

No Missile Defense

No to NATO Expansion

End Corporate Domination of Foreign/Military Policy

Convert the Military Industrial Complex

Deal with climate change and global poverty

 

 

List in formation

 

 

  • Aberporth, West Wales (Sept 21) CND Cymru has a demonstration at the drones testing centre totally in the spirit of Keep Space for Peace Week. heddwch@cndcymru.org

 

  • Andover, Massachusetts (Oct 9) Vigil in front of Raytheon, 350 Lowell St (Rte 133) 7:00-8:00 am. Merrimack Valley People for Peace brian@quirk.ws

 

  • Bath Iron Works, Maine (Oct 4) Vigil across from administration building on Washington Street (Navy Aegis destroyers outfitted with “missile defense” systems built at BIW) 11:30-12:30 am   Smilin’ Trees Disarmament Farm (207) 763-4062

 

  • Berlin, Germany (Oct 4) Fly Kites, Not Drones! Gather in front of the German Parliament at 11:00 am and fly kites to make clear that we do not want to be threatened by drones and we do not want people anywhere to be threatened by drones. Then at 15:00, we will meet in parks throughout the city and fly kites to continue our protest. kampfdrohnen.aechten.berlin@gmx.de

 

< >Berlin, Germany (Oct 3-5) Anti-War Conference Berlin at Haus der Demokratie und Menschenrechte. An initiative of scientists and journalists against militarization in Germany and in the member states of European Union and NATO. The conference will focus on new dimensions in the preparation and conduct of war through the use of information technology, media propaganda and recently developed weapons such as drones. http://antikriegskonferenz.de/RAF Croughton, England (Oct 5) Rally at U.S. satellite communication base, March to main gate 1 mile - starts Croughton village 12.00 midday, Returns 3:00 pm, Oxfordshire Peace Campaign, oxonpeace@yahoo.co.uk   Davis-Monthan AFB, Tucson Arizona (Oct 4) Vigil at this drone base at 10:00 a.m. (Craycroft gate at Golf Links Rd.) Contact Felice or Jack Cohen-Joppa at nukeresister@igc.org  (520)323-8697Indore, India (Oct 9) Protest meeting “Space for Peace and Not for War” at Indore in the State of Madhya Pradesh by Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development Studies. Dr.Tapan Bhattacharya will be the Organiser.  jnrao193636@gmail.comKing of Prussia, PA (Oct 11) Noon - 3pm, large MQ-9 Reaper Drone Replica Display and kite flying in front of Lockheed Martin (L-M) at intersection of Mall & Goddard Boulevards.   L-M is making a killing in drone war and surveillance technology, building the remote-controlled unmanned planes and satellites that direct the drones and launch their deadly Hellfire missiles which L-M also builds. For more info Brandywine Peace Community, (610) 544-1818 brandywine@juno.com  or www.brandywinepeace.com   Maine Walk for Peace & a Sustainable Future (Oct 11-20) Peace walk led by Nipponzan Myohoji from Rangeley to North Berwick. The walk will protest the growing militarization of the Maine economy and will call for conversion to sustainable production to help deal with climate change. Sponsored by Maine Veterans For Peace.   www.vfpmaine.org  Menwith Hill, England(Oct 11) Demonstration at NSA Spy Base in Yorkshire focused on drones in particular and US missile defense in general. 6-8 pm.   Sponsored by CAAB  mail@caab.corner.org.uk  or 01423 884076Nagpur, India (Oct 4) Demonstration “Space for Peace and Not for War” by the students of Matru Sewa Sangh Institute of Social Work. Nagpur, Maharashtra State. Prof. Jyoti Niswade will be the organizer  jnrao193636@gmail.comNagpur, India (Oct 5) Mass Squatting (sitting in protest) “Space for Peace and Not for War” by the S.E.C. Rly Pensioners Assn and Progressive Railway Women's Organisation at Nagpur, State of Maharashtra. (Ms. Seema Sondiya and Mrs. J. Saraswati are the organizers)  jnrao193636@gmail.comNagpur, India (Oct 6) “Space for Peace and Not for War” Rally of students of National Institute of Social Work, Nagpur in the State of Maharashtra. jnrao193636@gmail.comOlympia, Washington (Sept 27) Holly Gwinn Graham in concert at Traditions Cafe informing about space week and inviting actions and participation in vigiling during the week  tohollygg@comcast.netStockholm, Sweden (Oct 4) Standing demo in front of parliament, Mynttorget. 11.00-13.00 Banners and handing out leaflets against ‘nEUROn’ drone which will be launched in 2015 in the north of Sweden at North European Aerospace Test Range. nEUROn is an experimental Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle being developed with international cooperation, led by the French company Dassault Aviation along with Switzerland, Spain, and Greece. Contact: Agneta Norberg lappland.norberg@gmail.comStuttgart, Germany (Oct 4) Protest against Drones and AFRICOM  at 02:00 pm at AFRICOM Headquarters. More information to come!  Oct 1) Vigil at space warfare base from 3:30 to 4:45.  Contact Dennis Apel at  (805) 343-6322

 

 

·       Volk Field, Wisconsin(Oct 4) Air National Guard Base 90 minutes north of Madison.  They train pilots to fly Shadow drones used for surveillance and target acquisition.  Vigiling at the gates for 2 1/2 years.  Plan to go to a rest area on Interstate about 10 miles south of Volk Field.  There is a lot of traffic there and we will leaflet and talk to people about what is happening at Volk Field.  Joyfirst5@gmail.com

 

·       Weld County, Colorado (Oct 4) Protest vigil at N8 nuclear missile silo on the 12th Anniversary of our Sacred Earth and Space Plowshares II, 2002.  We join all the other lovers of space, land, water and air people and creatures who know and trust that peace is possible.

 

 

-       Keep Space for Peace Weekis co-sponsored by the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom, KnowDrones.com and the Drone Campaign Network (UK)

 

-       October 4 is also a Global Action Day Against the Use of Drones for Surveillance & Killingand is being sponsored by a host of groups around the world.  See more at http://globaldayofaction.nationbuilder.com/

 

Resources:

 

·        Download our full-size space week poster at:  http://www.space4peace.org/actions/Keep%20Space%20for%20Peacer%20Poster%202014.pdf

 

NATO Forces in Eastern Europe May Lead to Endless War, Hostilities - Expert

RIANOVOSTI

WASHINGTON, August 28 (RIA Novosti), Lyudmila Chernova – The deployment of NATO forces to new bases in Eastern Europe opens new possibilities for endless war and hostilities, New York director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF) Alice Slater told RIA Novosti.

The disturbing saber rattling from NATO chief Anders Rasmussen announcing that NATO will deploy troops for the first time in Eastern Europe since the Cold War ended, build a “readiness action plan,” boost Ukraine’s military capacity so that “in the future you will see a more visible NATO presence in the east,” while withdrawing Russia’s invitation to an upcoming NATO meeting in Wales, “opens new possibilities for endless war and hostilities,” Slater said.

The NATO secretary-general told European journalists that the alliance was to deploy its forces in Eastern Europe in response to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and to counter the threat posed by Russia to the former Soviet Baltic republics.

"It is ironic, that at this moment in history when so many people and nations around the world are acknowledging the 100th anniversary of our planet’s hapless stumble into World War I, great powers and their allies are once again provoking new dangers where governments appear to be sleepwalking towards a restoration of old Cold War battles,” Slater said.

"A barrage of conflicting information is broadcast in the various national and nationalistic media with alternative versions of reality that provoke and stoke new enmities and rivalries across national borders," the expert added.

The nongovernmental organization director noted that with the United States and Russia in possession of more than 15,000 of the world’s 16,400 nuclear weapons, humanity can ill-afford to stand by and permit such conflicting views of history and that opposing assessments of the facts on the ground can lead to a 21st century military confrontation between the great powers and their allies.

"While sadly acknowledging the trauma suffered by the countries of Eastern Europe from years of Soviet occupation, and understanding their desire for the protection of the NATO military alliance, we must remember that the Russian people lost 20 million people during World War II to the Nazi onslaught and are understandably wary of NATO expansion to their borders in a hostile environment," she explained.

"This, despite a promise to Gorbachev when the wall came down peacefully and the Soviet Union ended its post WWII occupation of Eastern Europe, that NATO would not be expanded eastward, beyond the incorporation of East Germany into that rusty Cold War alliance," Slater added.

"Russia has lost the protection of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which the US abandoned in 2001, and warily observes missile bases metastasizing ever closer to its borders in new NATO member states, while the US rejects repeated Russian efforts for negotiations on a treaty to ban weapons in space, or Russia’s prior application for membership in NATO," Slater concluded.

Germany’s Der Spiegel reported Sunday that Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia felt threatened by Russia's intervention in Ukraine and feared of what they described as Russian aggression.

NATO members are scheduled to meet in Wales to discuss the alliance's response to Russia, which it accuses of interfering in Ukrainian affairs.

Ahead of the NATO summit at the end of next week, the four countries have urged the military bloc to mention Moscow as a potential aggressor in its summit communique.

Russia’s Permanent Mission to NATO told RIA Novosti on Monday that Moscow has no plans to participate in any activities during the NATO summit in Wales.

86th Anniversary of Kellogg-Briand Pact Marked by Vets For Peace in Twin Cities

Stephen McKeown reports:

We had a good turnout at the Bridge Peace Vigil today to commemorate the the 86th anniv. of the KBP.  About 70 people with 30 VFP members held signs and VFP flags.  VFp rang Armistice bells 11 times on all 4 corners of the bridge...bells that we made ourselves.  Fourteen people then walked the 6 miles to the Science Center on Kellogg Boulevard and claimed the Blvd for Peace again.  We rang the bells again. There were not a lot of spring chickens in the walk.  It was a good day...Steve

Learn what it's all about at http://davidswanson.org/outlawry

53 National Religious Groups, Academics, and Ministers Urge Alternatives to U.S. Military Action in Iraq

August 27, 2014

Dear President Obama:

As religious communities, leaders, and academics, we write to express our deep concern over the

recent escalation of U.S. military action in Iraq. While the dire plight of Iraqi civilians should

compel the international community to respond in some way, U.S. military action is not the

answer. Lethal weapons and airstrikes will not remove the threat to a just peace in Iraq. As

difficult as it might be, in the face of this great challenge, we believe that the way to address the

crisis is through long-term investments in supporting inclusive governance and diplomacy,

nonviolent resistance, sustainable development, and community-level peace and reconciliation

Pope Francis has affirmed that “peacemaking is more courageous than warfare,” and more

recently said that “it is licit to stop the unjust aggressor. I underscore the verb ‘stop;’ I don’t say

bomb, make war---stop him.” But how we ask?

What to Do About ISIS

John Horgan asked me for a paragraph on what to do about ISIS. I sent him this:

I'd say start by recognizing where ISIS came from. The U.S. and its junior partners destroyed Iraq, left a sectarian division, poverty, desperation, and an illegitimate government in Baghdad that did not represent Sunnis or other groups. Then the U.S. armed and trained ISIS and allied groups in Syria, while continuing to prop up the Baghdad government, providing Hellfire missiles with which to attack Iraqis in Fallujah and elsewhere. ISIS has religious adherents but also opportunistic supporters who see it as the force resisting an unwanted rule from Baghdad and who increasingly see it as resisting the United States. It is in possession of U.S. weaponry provided directly to it in Syria and siezed from the Iraqi government. At last count by the U.S. government, 79% of weapons transfered to Middle Eastern governments come from the United States, not counting transfers to groups like ISIS, and not counting weapons in the possession of the United States. So, the first thing to do differently going forward: stop bombing nations into ruins, and stop shipping weapons into the area you've left in chaos.  Libya is of course another example of the disasters that U.S. wars leave behind them -- a war, by the way, with U.S. weapons used on boith sides, and a war launched on the pretext of a claim well documented to have been false that Gadaffi was threatening to massacre civilians.  So, here's the next thing to do: be very sceptical of humanitarian claims.  The U.S. bombing around Erbil to protect Kurdish and U.S. oil interests was initially justified as bombing to protect people on a mountain.  But most of those people on the mountain were in no need of rescue, and that justification has now been set aside, just as Benghazi was.  Recall also that Obama was forced to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq when he couldn't get the Iraqi government to give them immunity for crimes they commit.  He has now obtained that immunity and back in they go, the crimes preceding them in the form of 500 pound bombs.  While trying to rescue hostages and discovering an empty house, and racing to a mountain to save 30,000 people but finding 3,000 and most of those not wanting to leave, the U.S. claims to know exactly whom the 500-pound bombs are killing.  But whoever they are killing, they are generating more enemies, and they are building support for ISIS, not diminishing it.  So, now the U.S. finds itself on the opposite side of the war in Syria, so what does it do? Flip sides!  Now the great moral imperative is not to bomb Assad but to bomb in defense of Assad, the only consistent point being that "something must be done" and the only conceivable something is to pick some party and bomb it. But why is that the only conceivable thing to be done? I can think of some others:

1. Apologize for brutalizing the leader of ISIS in Abu Ghraib and to every other prisoner victimized under U.S. occupation

2. Apologize for destroying the nation of Iraq and to every family there

3. Begin making restitution by delivering aid (not "military aid" but actual aid, food, medicine) to the entire nation of Iraq

4. Apologize for role in war in Syria

5. Begin making restitution by delivering actual aid to Syria

6. Announce a commitment not to provide weapons to Iraq or Syria or Israel or Jordan or Egypt or Bahrain or any other nation anywhere on earth and to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from foreign territories and seas, including Afghanistan. (The U.S. Coast Guard in the Persian Gulf has clearly forgotten where the coast of the U.S. is!)

7. Announce a commitment to invest heavily in solar, wind, and other green energy and to provide the same to democratic representative governments.

8. Begin providing Iran with free wind and solar technologies -- at much lower cost of course than what it is costing the U.S. and Israel to threaten Iran over a nonexistent nuclear weapons program.

9. End economic sanctions.

10. Send diplomats to Baghdad and Damascus to negotiate aid and to encourage serious reforms.

11. Send journalists, aid workers, peaceworkers, human shields, and negotiators into crisis zones, understanding that this means risking lives, but fewer lives than further militarization risks.

12. Empower people with agricultural assistance, education, cameras, and internet access.

13. Launch a communications campaign in the United States to replace military recruitment campaigns, focused on building sympathy and desire to serve as critical aid workers, persuading doctors and engineers to volunteer their time to travel to and visit these areas of crisis.

14. Work through the United Nations on all of this.

15. Sign the United States on to the International Criminal Court and voluntarily propose the prosecution of top U.S. officials of this and the preceding regimes for their crimes.

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