Ukraine News - Apr 18, 2014

 

Diplomats reach deal on defusing Ukraine crisis - The Washington Post


Joint Geneva Statement on Ukraine from April 17: The full text - The Washington Post


VIDEO: Kerry Says Parties Agree to De-Escalate in Ukraine - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT: Kerry and Ashton on April 17 Geneva deal on Ukraine - The Washington Post


Geneva talks urge all-Ukraine dialogue on constitutional reform: Russian FM Lavrov - The Voice of Russia


VIDEO: Lavrov: Russia, US, EU, Ukraine agree on de-escalation roadmap - YouTube


Ukraine crisis: Putin does not rule out sending in Russian troops - chicagotribune.com


NATO Commander Offers Evidence of Russian Troops in Ukraine - ABC News

 

Ukraine is holding about 10 suspected Russian intelligence agents: state security - Reuters

 

Kyiv: Russian Banks Fund Separatists - VOA

 

Putin admits Russian soliders sent to Crimea - Stuff.co.nz

 

Russian Defense Ministry Placed $140 Million Order at Crimean Shipyard: Putin - RIA Novosti

 

US to send 'non-lethal' military aid to Ukraine: Hagel - Yahoo News

 

EU agrees to Putin's call for gas security talks - Reuters

 

Pre-payment for gas to Ukraine if current bills not met: Putin - RT Business

 

Ukraine-EU free trade zone can start working from November 1: EU envoy - ITAR-TASS

 

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

 

Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine not about to end sit-ins after international accord to defuse the crisis - GlobalPost


Anti-Kiev protest in east after Ukraine soldiers kill attackers - AFP


VIDEO: Tensions Rise in Eastern Ukraine after 3 Militants Killed in Mariupol - ABC News


VIDEO (Live footage): Three pro-Russian militants killed in Mariupol clashes - YouTube


Anti-govt activists take control of TV tower in Donetsk region - RT News


Thousands gather for peaceful demonstrations in at least four eastern cities to denounce Russia for its perceived meddling in Ukrainian affairs - The Washington Post

 

VIDEO: Students in Lugansk rally in support of Kiev government - YouTube

 

PHOTOS: Pro-Ukraine rally held in Donetsk - washingtonpost.com

 

Head of local administration elected by protesters kidnapped in Donetsk region - ITAR-TASS

 

Income Ministry: Donetsk region accounts for 9 percent of consolidated budget revenues - kyivpost.com

 

Party of Regions refuses to vote at Rada until its demands met - ITAR-TASS

 

VIDEO: OSCE in Lugansk for talks with pro-federalists - YouTube

 

Flier calling on Donetsk Jews to register now widely seen as fake - Haaretz

 

Translation of the flier ordering Jews to register or face forcible expulsion and the confiscation of property - interpretermag.com

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Interview: "Big Men" Director Rachel Boynton on Oil, Ghana and Capitalism

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

The subtitle of the newly released documentary film Big Men is "everyone wants to be big" and to say the film covers a "big" topic is to put it mildly.

Executive produced by Brad Pitt and directed by Rachel Boynton, the film cuts to the heart of how the oil and gas industry works and pushes film-watchers to think about why that's the case. Ghana's burgeoning offshore fields — in particular, the Jubilee Field discovered in 2007 by Kosmos Energy — serve as the film's case study.

United We Stand

More Pre-Check propaganda and more TSA fraud

Another bs article about the bs program that is Pre-Check. And, of course, a discussion thread full of comments by the Special People o-woe-is-me-ing their fate.

Ukraine News - Apr 17, 2014

 

Ukraine’s Offensive Falters as Elite Units Defect to Pro-Russia Side, Armored vehicles seen flying Russian flags and carrying defected troops - ABC News


Anti-govt protesters seize Ukrainian APCs, army units 'switch sides' (VIDEOS) - RT News


VIDEO: BBC witnesses "surrender” of Ukrainian soldiers in Sloviansk - BBC News


VIDEO: Crowd cheering Ukraine Armored Vehicles Carrying Defected troops - VOA


VIDEO: Donetsk mayor’s office seized by gunmen - euronews


VIDEO: Government building seized in Slaviansk - euronews


One dead, 12 injured as anti-govt protesters rally near Ukrainian military base in Mariupol: reports (VIDEO) - RT News


Federalization proponents push for referendum on Donetsk region status for May 11, to vote on whether be an independent state, remain part of Ukraine, or become part of Russia - The Voice of Russia

 

Protesters hoist Donetsk People's Republic's flag in Novoazovsk, Krasnoarmeisk - ITAR-TASS

 

Protesters control administrative offices in 8 cities of Donetsk Oblast - ITAR-TASS

 

Crucial railway in Ukraine’s Donetsk region blocked by unknown people - ITAR-TASS

 

Unknown People Capture 2 Ukrainian Servicemen In Luhansk Region - Ukranian News

 

Cable TV operators and providers in eastern Ukraine restore Russian TV channels broadcasts - ITAR-TASS

 

Right Sector weapons depot discovered in Odessa: local media - ITAR-TASS

 

Interview: Tymoshenko Calls For National Resistance Movement Against Russian 'War' (VIDEO) - rferl.org

 

A proposal made by Tymoshenko to establish public resistance headquarters might provoke further destabilization of the situation in Ukraine: presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko - ITAR-TASS

 

Overall wage arrears in Ukraine reach $70 mln - ITAR-TASS

 

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Obama: Russia doesn’t want ‘any kind of military confrontation with us’ - washingtonpost.com


VIDEO: Obama says Russia will face "consequences" over actions in Ukraine - CBS News


US Working on Non-Lethal Aid Package for Ukraine - ABC News


U.S. State Dept demands halt to Russian 'provocation' in Ukraine - Yahoo News


Russia blasts US assessment of events in Ukraine’s southeast - ITAR-TASS


Russia's Plans for Four-Party Talks on Ukraine Still on Agenda: Lavrov - RIA Novosti


Ukraine PM Says Russia Exports Terror as Offensive Stalls - Bloomberg

 

Ukraine submits proof of Russian covert action - EurActiv

 

Bank of Ukraine denies that Russian bank finances supporters of federalism in Ukraine - ITAR-TASS

 

Citing Russian Moves, NATO Plans New Deployments - NYTimes.com

 

Russian Economy Hit by Ukraine Turmoil, Sees Serious Capital Flight - ABC News

 

Russian gas high on agenda at Geneva summit - Anadolu Agency

 

Gazprom may use its right to switch Ukraine over to prepayment for May deliveries of gas - ITAR-TASS

 

Slovakia-Ukraine reverse gas flow deal still unsigned - The Slovak Spectator

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

9 courageous anti-drone activists arrested at Creech AFB

On Wednesday, April 16, 2014, at about 8:10 AM, 9 courageous anti-war activists were arrested at Creech AFB when attempting to serve a War Crimes Indictment (indictment below) to  Creech AFB Commander Col. Jim Cluff.  The 9 are members of the 2014 NDE Sacred Peace Walk which will end at the Nevada National Security Site on Friday, April 18, 2014.

The illegality of  the CIA “secretive cluster of units within the wing call the 732nd Operations Group" can no longer be denied or covered up.  Hundreds of children have been murdered along with thousands of innocent men and women. The CIA is using Creech Air Force Pilots to carry out drone strikes in Pakistan. The War Indictment could not be delivered  at a more timely moment. 

The 9 courageous activists arrested today are:

Vera Anderson, Las Vegas, NV
Barry Bink Sacramento, CA

Darcy Ike, San Diego, CA

Seamus Knight, Los Angeles, CA
Robert Majors, las Vegas, NV
Margaret McChesney, Phoenix, AZ
Marcus Page, Sheep Ranch, CA
Dan Shay, Santa Rosa, CA
Brian Terrell, Maloy, Iowa
 
Attached photo: Closing the gate on war crimes at Creech AFB. The 9 anti-drone activists arrested from LTR are
Vera, Anderson, Marcus Page, Robert Majors, Margaret McChesney, Brian Terrell, Seamus Knight, Barry Binks, Dan Shay and Darcy Ike in front. 


NDE volunteer John Amidon said, "The unconscionable killing of so many innocent people by drone strikes will forever be a stain on the USAF."


###



WAR CRIMES INDICTMENT
Colonel Jim Cluff 
Creech Air Force Base
Indian Springs, Nevada
April 16, 2014

To President Obama, to Secretary of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, to the full Military Chain of the Command, including Commander Colonel Jim Cluff, to all Service Members and civilian staff of Creech Air Base, and to the local police and Sheriffs Department of the Clark County, Nevada:
Each one of you, when you became a public servant, serving in a government position or when you joined the United States Armed Forces or police, you publicly promised to uphold the United States Constitution. We take this opportunity to call your attention to Article VI of the US Constitution, which states:
“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary not with standing.”
This clause is known as the Supremacy Clause because it provides that the Constitution and laws of the U.S., including treaties made under authority of the U.S. shall be supreme law of the land.
The Supremacy Clause provides part of the Supreme Law of the Land.
One Treaty duly ratified by the U.S. is the United Nations Charter. It was ratified by a vote of 89 to 2 in the U.S. Senate, and signed by the President in 1945. It remains in effect today. As such, it is part of supreme law of the land.
The Preamble of the U.N. Charter states that its purpose is to “save future generation from the scourge of war” and it further states, “all nations shall refrain from the use of force against another nation.”
This Treaty applies both collectively and individually to all three branches of government, on all levels, U.S. federal, state and local governments, starting with the executive branch: the U.S. President and the executive staff; the judicial branch: all judges and staff members of the judiciary; the legislative branch: all members of the U.S. Armed Forces and all departments of Law Enforcement and all civilian staff, who have sworn to uphold the Constitution, which includes Article VI.
Under the U.N. Charter and long established international laws, anyone--civilian, military, government officials, or judge- who knowingly participates in or supports illegal use of force against another nation or its people is committing a war crime.
Today you must recognize that when you promised to uphold the Constitution, you promised to obey Treaties and International Law – as part of the Supreme Law of the Land and furthermore, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice of the U.S., you are required to disobey any clearly unlawful order from a superior.
Based on all the above,
WE, THE PEOPLE, CHARGE THE UNITED STATES PRESIDENT, BARAK OBAMA AND THE FULL MILITARY CHAIN OF COMMAND TO COMMANDER COLONEL JIM CLUFF, EVERY DRONE CREW, AND SERVICE MEMBERS at CREECH AIR BASE, WITH CRIMES AGAINST PEACE & CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, WITH VIOLATIONS OF PART OF THE SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND, EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS, VIOLATION OF DUE PROCESS, WARS OF AGGRESSION, VIOLATION OF NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY, AND KILLING OF INNOCENT CIVILIANS.
We charge that the United States Air Force, headquartered at Creech Air Force Base, home of the of the 432nd Wing and 432nd Air Expeditionary Wing, Commander Colonel Jim Cluff, is maintaining and deploying the MQ-9 Reaper robotic aircraft, called drones. These drones are being used not only in combat situations for the purpose of assassinations but also for killings far removed from combat zones without military defense, to assassinate individuals and groups far removed from military action.
Extra judicial killings, such as those the U.S. carries out by drones are intentional, premeditated, and deliberate use of lethal force to commit murder in violation of U.S. and International Law.
It is a matter of public record that the US Military has used drones in Afghanistan and in Iraq for targeted killings to target specific individuals which has nearly always resulted in the deaths of many other non-targeted innocents. Recent evidence has come forth indicating the personnel at Creech AFB also have used drones similarly in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia for the C.I.A. 
There is no legal basis for defining the scope of area where drones can or cannot be used, no legal criteria for deciding which people can be targeted for killing, no procedural safeguards to ensure the legality of the decision to kill and the accuracy of the assassinations.
In support of this indictment we cite the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, who has said that the use of drones creates “a highly problematic blurring and the law applicable to the use of inter-state force.... The result has been the displacement of clear legal standards with a vaguely defined license to kill, and the creation of a major accountability vacuum.... In terms of the legal framework, many of these practices violate straightforward applicable legal rules.” See United Nations General Assembly Human Rights Council Study on Targeted Killings, 28, May 2010.
The drone attacks either originating at Creech or supported here are a deliberate illegal use of force against another nation, and as such are a felonious violation of Article VI of the US Constitution.
By giving material support to the drone program, you as individuals are violating the Constitution, dishonoring your oath, and committing warcrimes.                                                                                         
We demand that you stop participating in any part of the operations of MQ-9 drones immediately, being accountable to the people of United States and Afghanistan.
As citizens of this nation, which maintains over 700 military bases around the globe, and the largest, most deadly military arsenal in the world, we believe these words of Martin Luther King still hold true, ”the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today is my own government”.
There is hope for a better world when WE, THE PEOPLE, hold our government accountable to the laws and treaties that govern the use of lethal force and war. To the extent that we ignore our laws and constitution and allow for the unchecked use of lethal force by our government, allowing the government to kill who ever it wants, where ever it wants, how ever it wants with no accountability, we make the world less safe for children everywhere.
We appeal to all United States citizens, military and civilian, and to all public officials, to do as required by the Nuremburg Principles I-VII, and by Conscience, to refuse to participate in these crimes, to denounce them, and to resist them nonviolently.
Signed by:
Marcus Page
John Amidon
 Nevada Desert Experience

The bigger threat is the National Security Agency: Despite Heart Bleed, the Internet’s Alive and Well!

By Alfredo Lopez


Some are calling it a "worst nightmare". There have been dire predictions that it represents the end of the Internet or that there is, in fact, no real Internet security or that Free and Open Source Software is dangerous to use.

One thing is sure. The week-old saga of the Heart Bleed flaw (or bug) and its potential exploits has shown more light on the Internet and its security issues than anything else in recent memory.

Video: Launch of Irish Stop Killer Robots Campaign

by AFRI (Action from Ireland)

 

 

The Loss of John Judge Hits Hard

Our society has lost a great activist today with the death of John Judge.  No one spoke more clearly, strongly, and informedly on political power, militarism, and activism for positive change.  While John lived nextdoor to Dennis Kucinich -- and with one of the best views and one of the best collections of political books and documents -- in Washington, D.C., it was as staff person for Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney that he advanced numerous causes of peace and justice and accountability for the powerful on Capitol Hill.  On impeaching Bush and Cheney he was there first.  John's expertise reached back into history and across continents.  From the Kennedy assassination to conscientious objection to how-a-bill-becomes-a-law, he was a person to turn to for information and wisdom who was never anything but helpful, friendly, cheerful, and energetic.  He could describe the hiring of Nazis in Operation Paperclip and the creation of the Cold War and then suggest that perhaps the Nazis actually won World War II.  He could explain the creation of standing armies in such a manner that you knew without a doubt that either our society was insane or you were.  He could get you thinking and get you active.  And always with complete humility and good will.  He will be missed.

I just opened this small selection of videos of John all at once, and it wasn't enough:

TSA anticipates matzo transportation spree

The Jewish holiday of Passover is here (April 14th-22nd). And rest assured: the crack teams of the TSA are ready for it. Since we all know how respectful the TSA is of people’s private belongingsdignity, and integrity, you can count on safe passage for your religious artifacts.  

Ukraine News - Apr 16, 2014

 

Ukraine President Says Anti-Terror Operation Under Way in Donetsk Region, It will be “conducted step by step, responsibly, cautiously” - FOX17online.com

 

VIDEO: Ukraine President Turchynov announces start of anti-terror operation in eastern Ukraine - YouTube


Ukraine Military secures Kramatorsk airport from attack (VIDEO) - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Ukrainian general came out of the Kramatorsk airbase to address the crowd and was roughed up by the demonstrators - YouTube


VIDEO: Ukraine crisis: Pro-Russian crowds confront troops - BBC News


VIDEO: Ukraine troops launch mission to retake Slavyansk from pro-Russian militants - YouTube

 

Ukrainian forces reportedly surround city of Slavyansk: Pro-Russian commander and acting mayor - ITAR-TASS

 

VIDEO: Slavyansk Crowd Chanting by Barricades - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Watch As Donetsk Locals Stop A Ukraine Tank - Zero Hedge

 

Ukraine Charges Pro-Federalization Presidential Candidate With Attack on Sovereignty - RIA Novosti

 

Ukraine pro-Russian presidential candidates attacked in Kiev (VIDEOS) - RT News

 

VIDEO (Ukrainian): Interview with pro-Russian presidential candidate Tsarov which was attacked in Kiev - YouTube

 

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

 

US open to some military assistance to Ukraine while ruling out providing arms or other ‘‘lethal’’ aid at this time  - The Boston Globe


US sends specialists to Ukraine to coordinate activity of its state structures: source - ITAR-TASS


VIDEO: White House Press Briefing: US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions - YouTube


Ukraine on Verge of Civil War: Russia’s Medvedev - RIA Novosti


'Criminal' use of force by Ukraine would imperil talks: Lavrov - Yahoo News


Lavrov: Yatsenyuk's statements Kiev is ready for talks with South-East correct but late - ITAR-TASS


Ukrainian Authorities: Russian Bank 'Paid Terrorists $3.75m ahead of Luhansk Building Occupation’ - ibtimes.co.uk

 

Ukrainian Intelligence Names Russian GRU Officer in Slavyansk - Institute for War and Peace Reporting

 

UN’s Geneva-based human rights office says no evidence of “widespread nor systemic” persecution of the nation’s ethnic Russian minority - bloomberg.com

 

REPORT: UN human rights report on Ukraine: Misinformation, propaganda and incitement to hatred need to be urgently countered - ohchr.org

 

Germany's RWE  to deliver reverse gas supplies to Ukraine via Poland - DW.DE

 

Slovakia offers way to send Ukraine some gas if Russia cuts supply - Reuters

 

Medvedev says Ukraine saved hundreds of billions of dollars on Russian gas discounts - ITAR-TASS

 

Ukraine's Economy Is Nearing Collapse - Forbes

 

CHARTS: Five charts that show just how bad Ukraine's economy really is: GDP growth, GDP per capita, Population, Unemployment, Debt repayments - managementtoday.co.uk

 

CHARTS: Ukraine’s financial crisis in six charts - Money Supply

 

Ukraine crisis could hit Russian GDP - BBC News

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

 

Nevada Desert Experience to serve Creech AFB with a War Crimes Indictment on Wednesday, April 16, 2014

On Wednesday, April 16, 2014, between 6:30 and 8:00 AM, the Nevada Desert Experience (NDE) Sacred Peace Walk will serve  Creech AFB Commander Col. Jim Cluff with a War Crimes Indictment. ( War Crimes Indictment below) Arrests seem likely when Sacred Peace Walk Representatives attempt to deliver this indictment in person. There will also be a vigil in front of the base.

In light of today’s breaking revelations about  the “secretive cluster of units with the wing call the 732nd Operations Group", where the CIA is using Creech Air Force Pilots to carry out drone strikes in Pakistan, the War Indictment could not be delivered  at a more timely moment. Clearly the  illegality of the largest targeted drone killing program  can no longer be denied or covered up. 

“We are also here to call upon the airmen and airwomen to consider the spiritual impact of the horrifying physical violence conducted by Creech AFB, said Marcus Page-Collonge, NDE council member. 


###


What if they gave a war and nobody paid?

By David Hartsough, WagingNonviolence"Considering the Tax Shelter." (Flickr/JD Hancock)

As April 15 approaches, make no mistake: The tax money that many of us will be sending to the U.S. government pays for drones that are killing innocent civilians, for “better” nuclear weapons that could put an end of human life on our planet, for building and operating more than 760 military bases in over 130 countries all over the world. We are asked by our government to give moral and financial support to cutting federal spending for our children’s schools, Head Start programs, job training, environmental protection and cleanup, programs for the elderly, and medical care for all so that this same government can spend 50 percent of all our tax dollars on wars and other military expenditures.

My wife Jan and I have been war tax resisters since the war in Vietnam. We cannot in good conscience pay for killing people in other parts of the world.

Does it make sense to work every day for peace and justice and then contribute one day’s pay each week for war and war-making? In order to wage wars, governments need young men and women willing to fight and kill, and they need the rest of us to pay our taxes to cover the cost of soldiers, bombs, guns, ammunition, planes and aircraft carriers. The cost of just the wars being fought now is in the trillions of dollars.

Increasingly, we are able to recognize that most wars are based on lies — weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam, and now al-Qaeda behind every bush and in every country our government wants to attack.

As our government uses drones that kill thousands of innocent people, we create ever more enemies, thus assuring that we will have wars to fight in perpetuity. The war against communism used to be the rationale for all our military expenditures. Now it is the war on terror. But the problem is that all war is terrorism. It just depends which end of the gun or bomb you are on. One person’s freedom fighter is another person’s terrorist.

At what point do we the people refuse to cooperate with these immoral, illegal and senseless wars? The government cannot fight these wars without our tax dollars and our moral support. And I bet that if the Pentagon sent people out door to door to ask us to contribute to its wars, aircraft carriers, drones and new fighter jets, most of us would not contribute.

Some people argue that the Internal Revenue Service is so powerful that it will get the money anyway from our paychecks or bank accounts, so what good does it do to refuse to pay the 50 percent of our taxes that go for war? My response is that if the Pentagon has to take the money we were planning to contribute to schools and organizations working for peace and justice, at least we aren’t paying for the wars voluntarily. And if millions of us refused to pay our war taxes, the government would have a real crisis on its hands. It would be forced to listen.

As President Nixon’s chief of staff Alexander Haig looked out the White House window and saw more than 200,000 anti-war demonstrators marching by, he said, “Let them march all they want to as long as they pay their taxes.”

If our country put even 10 percent of the money we presently spend on wars and military expenditures into building a world where every person has shelter, enough to eat, an opportunity for education and access to medical care, we could be the most loved country in the world — and the most secure. But perhaps even more pressing is the question of whether we can in conscience continue to pay for the killing of other human beings and perpetuate the war system for all the world’s children.

The choice is ours. Hopefully many of us will join the increasing number of people who are refusing to pay the portion of taxes that pay for war and are redirecting their refused taxes to funding human and environmental needs.

My wife and I engage in war tax resistance by simply deducting 50 percent of the taxes we owe and depositing it in the People’s Life Fund. The fund keeps the money in case the IRS seizes our bank account or paycheck and will return it to us so we have the funds to replenish what the IRS has taken. Interest on the money in the People’s Life Fund is contributed to peace and justice organizations and programs addressing the needs of people in our communities. That way, as long as the IRS leaves us alone, the funds we refuse to pay go to the places we would like to see it go. The IRS may add penalties and interest on what we owe, but for me that is a small price to pay for refusing to voluntarily pay for wars and the American empire.

Someday, we hope to see a special fund set up by the government itself for those who cannot in good conscience allow their money to be used for war, such as the one that the National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund has outlined. In the meantime, there are more resources about tax resistance available through the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee.

If your conscience so directs you, refuse to pay $1, $10, $100 or 50 percent of the taxes you owe, and send letters to your elected representatives and your local newspaper explaining why you are doing so. For the 50 percent of our taxes that my wife and I do pay, we make out a check to the Department of Health and Human Services instead of to the IRS and send it along with our 1040 form. We ask the IRS to allocate all the funds we pay to programs for health, education and human services.

For acts like this to become truly powerful, however, we need to make war tax resistance a mass movement. We need to reach out to all people who want to help build a more peaceful and just world, people who don’t believe in killing other people, people who are hurting because of the massive cuts in programs aimed at meeting human needs while the military gets the lion’s share, and people who are tired of living in the center of an empire that inflicts death and destruction on those who stand in the way. If all or even many of the people who feel this way were to refuse to pay the war and military portion of their taxes, we would have a mass movement that couldn’t be stopped.

The Climate Is Invading the Earth!

If an alien invader with a face were attacking the earth, the difficulties that governments have getting populations to support wars on other humans would be multiplied a thousand fold.  The most common response to officials calling some petty foreign despot "a new Hitler" would shift from "yeah, right" to "who cares?" The people of the world would unite in common defense against the hostile alien.

If only it had a face.  And what's a face anyway?  Doctors can create faces now.  You'd still love your loved ones if they lost their faces.  And I hear there's a movie in which a guy falls in love with his faceless computer.

The point is that there is an alien invader attacking the earth.  Its name is climate change.  And Uncle Sam wants YOU to fight it, as does Uncle Boris and Aunt Hannah and Cousin Juan and Brother Feng.  The whole family is in agreement on this one, and we are a family now all of a sudden.

Climate change breathes fire on our land and roasts it, killing crops, drying up water supplies, breeding dangerous diseases and infestations.  Climate change circles over the oceans and blows tidal waves toward our coasts.  It melts the icebergs in its evil claws and sinks our beach resorts beneath the sea.

How do we fight back?  We organize quickly, as only humans can.  We grab the $2 trillion that we spend on wars among ourselves each year, plus a few trillion more from some multi-billionaires who suddenly realize they don't have another planet to spend it on.  We start coating the rooftops with solar panels, aimed right at the face of the monster.  We put up windmills that will turn his nasty breath against himself. 

And we hit him where it really hurts, we cut off his supplies with crippling sanctions: we stop buying and making and consuming and discarding such incredible piles of crap every day.  Consumerism becomes rapidly understood as planetary treason, support for the Evil One.  We put a stop to its worst excesses and begin reining it in systematically -- working together as we never have before.

Ah, but the dark lord of the heat is subtle.  He has cells of loyalists among us.  They push fossil fuels on us and tell us comforting lies.  No longer!  We will drag them before the House UnEarthly Activities Committee.  "Are you now or have you ever been a promoter of oil, gas, or coal consumption?"  They'll crumble under the pressure.

Imagine how we could unite for this battle, what wits and courage and self-sacrifice we could put into it, what inspiring acts of bravery, what stunning creations of intellect!

Ah, but climate change is not a person, so forget the whole thing.  Did you ever notice what a funny grin Vladimir Putin has?  It's beginning to get on my nerves.

Talk Nation Radio: Winslow Myers on Living Beyond War

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-winslow-myers-on-living-beyond-war

Winslow Myers is an artist and activist who lives in mid-Coast Maine. For ten years he coordinated events and activities for Beyond War in central Massachusetts and led many seminars on personal and social change. Later he served on the board of Beyond War while it was based in Portland OR. He has written over a hundred opinion-editorial pieces on the subject of the prevention of war and building a world beyond war, some of which have seen print in national newspapers like the Christian Science Monitor, the San Jose Mercury News, and the San Francisco Chronicle, and all of which have been published online. He is the author of Living Beyond War: A Citizen’s Guide. He serves on the Advisory Board of the War Prevention Initiative, and is active in WorldBeyondWar.org.  His website is WinslowMyers.com.

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download from Archive or LetsTryDemocracy.

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Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

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Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at
http://davidswanson.org/talknationradio

Washington Fights Fire With Fire in Libya

How Not to End Violence in a War-Torn Land 
By Nick Turse, TomDispatch.com

Is the U.S. secretly training Libyan militiamen in the Canary Islands? And if not, are they planning to?

That’s what I asked a spokesman for U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). “I am surprised by your mentioning the Canary Islands,” he responded by email.  “I have not heard this before, and wonder where you heard this.”

As it happens, mention of this shadowy mission on the Spanish archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa was revealed in an official briefing prepared for AFRICOM chief General David Rodriguez in the fall of 2013.  In the months since, the plan may have been permanently shelved in favor of a training mission carried out entirely in Bulgaria.  The document nonetheless highlights the U.S. military’s penchant for simple solutions to complex problems -- with a well-documented potential for blowback in Africa and beyond.  It also raises serious questions about the recurring methods employed by the U.S. to stop the violence its actions helped spark in the first place.   

Ever since the U.S. helped oust dictator Muammar Gaddafi, with air and missile strikes against regime targets and major logistical and surveillance support to coalition partners, Libya has been sliding into increasing chaos.  Militias, some of them jihadist, have sprung up across the country, carving out fiefdoms while carrying out increasing numbers of assassinations and other types of attacks.  The solution seized upon by the U.S. and its allies in response to the devolving situation there: introduce yet another armed group into a country already rife with them.   

Ukraine News - Apr 15, 2014

 

Separatists tighten grip on east Ukraine, No signs of military crackdown by the Kiev government - Reuters


Ukraine ultimatum to separatists fails to materialize after local police apparently refused to take part in the proclaimed "anti-terrorist operation" - latimes.com


Massive protests pass in 9 cities of eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region over past day - ITAR-TASS


VIDEO- Pro-Russian supporters attack a police HQ in Horlivka while hundreds of onlookers cheered them on - YouTube


VIDEO: Injuries reported in pro-Russia attack at Horlivka police HQ in east Ukraine - euronews


VIDEO: Pro Russian protesters seize Slovyansk airport - YouTube


Militia in Slavyansk gets weapons back, starts patrolling city streets: acting mayor - ITAR-TASS

 

Protesters in Luhansk demand that regional administration disobeys Kiev authorities - ITAR-TASS

 

Zaporozhye police release over 180 supporters of Ukraine federalization - ITAR-TASS

 

Ukraine President: We are not against holding a national referendum on federalization, but pro-Kremlin militias who have seized government buildings are demanding local referendums - AFP

 

Russia says east Ukraine must have say in preparing referendum - The Voice of Russia

 

Exclusive: U.N. Hints Russia and Its Allies Rigged Crimea's Referendum Vote - foreignpolicy.com

 

Ukraine Currency Continues to Slide - WSJ.com

 

Ukrainians start withdrawing money from banks: news portal - ITAR-TASS

 

VIDEO: Ukraine’s Economy Is in Free-Fall: Komileva - Businessweek

 

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

 

Obama speaks to Putin about violence in Ukraine - usatoday.com


Remarks by US Ambassador Samantha Power at a UN Security Council Meeting on Ukraine - usun.state.gov


Statement of Russia's Ambassador Vitalii Churkin to UNSC on Ukraine - Scoop News


CIA Denies Director Brennan’s Role in Protest Crackdown in Ukraine - RIA Novosti

 

Russian jet passes at close range over US warship in Black Sea - Fox News

 

Russian assets down sharply on Ukraine conflict fears - Reuters

 

Growing Tensions in Ukraine Push European Stocks Down - RIA Novosti

 

Europe speeds up gas storage to prepare for Russian cut - Reuters

 

Ukraine ready to pay $386 per 1,000 cubic metres of gas - ITAR-TASS

 

Ukrainian Supreme Court closes Tymoshenko’s ‘gas case’ - ITAR-TASS

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Rumsfeld Film Screening in Norfolk VA

Wednesday, April 30 at 7:15pm at Naro Cinema
THE UNKNOWN KNOWN Academy Award winning director Errol Morris (The Fog of War) offers a portrait of Donald Rumsfeld, one of the key architects of the Iraq War, and a larger-than-life character who provoked equal levels of fury and adulation from the American public. (103 mins)
 
"The film is a cat-and-mouse game in which each player thinks he's the cat, making it both thrilling and disconcerting to watch. It is also a nature documentary about behavior at the very top of the imperial food chain and a detective story about the search for a mystery that is hidden in plain sight." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
 
Post-Film Speaker and discussion:
David Swanson is an author, speaker, radio host, and activist. His books include War No More: The Case for Abolition, Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency, and When The World Outlawed War. He is founder of the organization and movement http://worldbeyondwar.org

For more info visit http://www.narocinema.com

Your Doctors Are Worried

Your doctors are worried about your health―in fact, about your very survival.

No, they’re not necessarily your own personal physicians, but, rather, medical doctors around the world, represented by groups like International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW).  As you might recall, that organization, composed of many thousands of medical professionals from all across the globe, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985 for exposing the catastrophic effects of nuclear weapons.

Well, what seems to be the problem today?

Pay Your Taxes, Go to Gitmo?

Pay Your Taxes, Go to Gitmo?

Does Paying Taxes Violate the Law against Providing Aid and Support to a Terrorist Organization?

Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War (www.envirosagainstwar.org)

(April 13, 2014) -- With April 15 fast approaching, I have just finished mailing my 1040. This year, I didn't owe taxes and, boy, am I relieved. Not because I can't afford to cut a check, it's just that I don't want to spend the next six years in a federal prison for violating the provisions of US Code Title 18 -- Crimes and Criminal Procedures.

That's exactly what happened to Ahmed Taalil Mohamud, a cab driver in Anaheim, California, who was sentenced to six years in prison for, as the Associated Press put it, "funneling thousands of dollars to a terrorist organization" in Somalia.

Obama's A-Bomb Budget: Cutting Disarmament Programs to Pay for New Nukes

Obama's A-bomb Budget:

At The Hague, Obama Decries the Nuclear Threat;

At Home His New Budget Stokes the Atomic Furnace

Gar Smith

Bahrain: Saudi-backed Alkhalifa cornered as they escalate repression

Today marks three years of Abdul Hadi Al Khawaja’s incarceration. He is the most prominent Bahraini human rights activist. He was severely tortured and needed two operations to repair his broken jaws. Thirty international NGOs have signed a petition calling for his immediate release. They said: “The undersigned civil society organizations call for the immediate and unconditional release of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja as well as immediate access to independent medical examination and treatment. In addition, we urge the Bahraini authorities to cease harassment and persecution of human rights defenders including unwarranted defamation campaigns.”

Yesterday Frontline Defenders called for the immediate release of Dr Saeed Al Samaheeji, who was severely persecuted for helping the injured Bahrainis. On 3rd April Alkhalifa judiciary upheld a one-year jail sentence they had imposed on him last year. Front Line Defenders expresses concern at the sentencing of Dr Saeed Al Samahiji and at the continued targeting of human rights defenders through prosecutions. Front Line Defenders is concerned that the prison sentence is solely related to Dr Saeed Al Samahiji's legitimate exercise of the right of freedom of expression and his human rights work.

The wave of mass arrests and torture has continued.  Today scores of Bahrainis have been arrested; Hani Abbas Abdul Wahab from Dar Kulaib, Essa Ra’id from El Eker and 15 years old Mohammad Manoor Abdul Hussain from Bani Jamra. From the District of Mahooz nine people were arrested in the early hours of 9th April: Maytham Hassan Abbas, Nasser Salah Mansoor, Mohammed Jaffar Radhi, Ali Abdulla Abbas Anan, Mohammed Saleh Hassan Anan, Nasser Saleh Hassan Anan, Jassem Saleh Hassan Anan. Ali Hussain Al Saleh and Ali Salah Manoor. On 7th April Mirza Abdul Hussain Al Saffar was arrested at a checkpoint.

The regime has sentenced a blogger, Ali Jassim Me’raj, from Nuwaidrat Town,  to two and a half years for “insulting the king”. It is now a crime to criticise Bahrain’s dictator in any way or form.

On commenting on the Alkhalifa violations of human rights in relation to the Formula 1 race, The Committee to Protect Journalists said Bahrain ranks 2nd for most journalists imprisoned per capita in the world

On 4th April the renowned American writer, Toby Jones, wrote an article entitled: “Bahrain oil, American water” in which he said: “Bahrain is now an apartheid state, with roving bands of security forces curtailing Shiite movements, routinely cloaking villages in tear gas, and rounding up protesters. Police have detained hundreds of people, most of them young boys who pass their time with an eye toward every evening’s nine o’clock clash with the police. He said that President Obama had not raised the case of Bahrain with his Saudi hosts last week, and re-iterated that Formula 1 race organizers said human rights abuses are not their business. But then he narrated a personal story: “Last week I received an email from the father of Abdallah Madan, a 17-year-old Bahraini-American citizen, who was arrested for protesting in early March. He has been beaten, his nose has been broken, and there is no sign of his being released any time soon. US embassy offi cials were made to wait three weeks before being allowed to see him, and have so far not made his case a priority. Meanwhile, Abdallah has asked his father to take up the cause of more than 450 other children languishing in Manama’s prisons for standing up to autocracy.”

Jordanian activists have launched an electronic petition through Avaaz website in which they blamed the Jordanian government for sending troops to participate in the crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Bahrain. They said: “The batons that left their marks on the backs of your sons in Bahrain streets had left their marks on the backs of our sons in the streets of Jordan, the hands that silence you are the same as the ones that had silenced us. Your sons are our sons, your blood is our blood and our freedom is one” It ended saying: “The participation of the police forces in security duties in Bahrain is the responsibility of the Jordanian authorities before anyone else. This authority that caused the poverty of its citizens and concentration of wealth and authority in the hands of the few is to be blamed for dragging the sons of Jordan to Bahrain to participate in repressing their brothers in return for being able to support their families. The authorities have extended supporting hands to whip the Bahraini citizens without consulting with anyone”

Bahrain Freedom Movement
9th April 2014

We Don't Want You to Swim in the River

By Kathy Kelly

In early April, 2014, the U.S. Navy unveiled its Mach 7 Magnetic Mangler, “a railgun straight out of Star Trek that can take out targets at 100 miles with a projectile flying at nearly 7,000 feet per second.”  So far, the U.S. military has spent $240 million developing the railgun over a period of ten years. CBS News reports that the railgun won’t go to sea until 2016, but one article, published in The Gazette, suggests that the U.S. military may have decided to show off the Magnetic Mangler in order to send a message to the Russian government. 

While the American public gets to see the weapon, so do America’s enemies.The military in recent years has timed the unveiling of new technology to global events.

The last time North Korea got frisky, the Navy showed off an anti-missile laser.

Now, with the crisis continuing in the Ukraine, the Navy is showing off something even scarier.

In advance of the University of Wisconsin's recent “Resources for Peace” conference, a professor friend asked participants to consider whether the increasing competition for depleted global resources, for goods to meet essential human needs, would tend inevitably to make people less humane.  She was thinking particularly about what she termed “the shrinking humanism” seen in dystopian novels and films that portray cruelty and violence among people who fear for their survival.

I posed her question to Buddy Bell, one of my young friends here at Voices, who has traveled to several war zones and has worked steadily among people suffering displacement and poverty in the United States.  “Well,” he said, after a long pause, “there are precedents for dramatic and selfless service on behalf of sustaining a community, even in a time of desperation and war.”  Then he went to his room and got me a CD.  “Listen to the story Utah Phillips tells on Track 3,” he said. 

Utah Phillips, a folksinger and storyteller, had been a U.S. soldier in Korea.  His son asked if he had ever shot anyone.  He said he didn’t know, but that whether or not he shot anyone wasn’t the story.  He told his son about a day when he was longing to take a swim in the Imjin River.  His clothes and boots were rotting, and he had mold growing on his body.  Chinese soldiers on the other side were having a wonderful time swimming.  Why, then, were the local Koreans insisting he must not swim in the river? “A young Korean told me, ‘You know, when we get married here, the young married couple moves in with the elders, they move in with the grandparents, but there’s nothing growing!  Everything’s been destroyed, there’s no food.  So, the first baby that’s born, the oldest, the old man, goes out with a jug of water and a blanket, sits on the bank of the river and waits to die.  Then, when he dies, he’ll roll over the bank and into the Imjin River and his body will be carried out to sea.  And we don’t want you to swim in the river because our elders are floating out to sea.”

Utah Phillips seemed to want his son to understand that leaving people with nothing when you have everything is as serious a crime as shooting them.  Utah Phillips, at least, consented not to use a resource he could have decided was free to everyone, out of respect for the cost his use would impose on people already giving up everything so that their young could survive with next to nothing. 

The tradition of selfless and benevolent behavior continues in Korea’s Jeju Island.  Last week, we said goodbye to Joyakjol, a young South Korean activist who is part of the intergenerational campaign to protest construction of a U.S. military base on the pristine shores of Jeju Island.  Every morning, activists commit civil disobedience at the gates, risking arrest to block the trucks, and construction equipment that comes to tear apart their land.  

People living in landlocked Afghanistan  also struggle to cope with consequences of interventionary struggles. They face mounting costs in lives and resources.  Kevin Seiff, reporting for the Washington Post, has written several articles about risks to Afghan civilians, especially children, posed by undetonated grenades, rockets and mortar shells the U.S. military leaves behind as it vacates scores of firing ranges in Afghanistan.  

Dozens of children have been killed or wounded as they have stumbled upon the ordnance at the sites, which are often poorly marked. Casualties are likely to increase sharply; the U.S. military has removed the munitions from only 3 percent of the territory covered by its sprawling ranges, officials said.

Clearing the rest of the contaminated land — which in total is twice as big as New York City — could take two to five years. U.S. military officials say they intend to clean up the ranges. But because of a lack of planning, officials say, funding has not yet been approved for the monumental effort, which is expected to cost $250 million.

According to the Mine Action Program in Afghanistan, most of the  land requiring clearance would otherwise be used for agriculture,a “significant obstacle in a country where 70% of the labour force earns an income through farming or animal husbandry.”

Among the main casualties of war are those who starve and fall ill when valuable farmland is left as minefields.

Some people pull together in the face of scarcity; some demand everything even when others have nothing.  Today's crop of grim, dystopian novels and films, the concern of my professor friend, may at times ignore the kindness and solidarity that can occur among the dispossessed.

When many impoverished people, worldwide, don’t want “the haves”  to invade them, when, as  “have-nots,”  they say,  'please, this is ours, it is almost all that we have, we cannot have you storming in and claiming it because you can,' we are astonishingly ill-equipped to understand their objection and honor their need. 

These weapons we tout aren't futuristic; they announce our lack of a future.  But everywhere around us, we can spot people who are volunteering to live simply so that others can simply live.   And that choice is, in reality, open to each of us.

Kathy Kelly (Kathy@vcnv.org) co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence
www.vcnv.org   and is active with the World Beyond War campaign www.WorldBeyondWar.org     When in Afghanistan, she is a guest of the Afghan Peace Volunteers (ourjournetytosmile.com)

Torture is Mainstream Now

As Rebecca Gordon notes in her new book, Mainstreaming Torture, polls find greater support in the United States for torture now than when Bush was president.  And it's not hard to see why that would be the case.

Fifteen years ago, it was possible to pretend the U.S. government opposed torture.  Then it became widely known that the government tortured.  And it was believed (with whatever accuracy) that officials had tried to keep the torturing secret.  Next it became clear that nobody would be punished, that in fact top officials responsible for torture would be permitted to openly defend what they had done as good and noble. 

The idea was spread around that the torture was stopping, but the cynical could imagine it must be continuing in secret, the partisan could suppose the halt was only temporary, the trusting could assume torture would be brought back as needed, and the attentive could be and have been aware that the government has gone right on torturing to this day with no end in sight. 

Anyone who bases their morality on what their government does (or how Hollywood supports it) might be predicted to have moved in the direction of supporting torture.

Gordon's book, like most others, speaks of torture as being largely in the past -- even while admitting that it isn't really.  "Bush administration-era policies" are acknowledged to be ongoing, and yet somehow they retain the name "Bush administration-era policies," and discussion of their possible prosecution in a court of law does not consider the control that the current chief perpetrator has over law enforcement and his obvious preference not to see a predecessor prosecuted for something he's doing. 

President Elect Obama made clear in January 2009 that he would not allow torturers to be prosecuted and would be "looking forward" instead of (what all law enforcement outside of science fiction requires) backward.  By February 2009, reports were coming in that torture at Guantanamo was worsening rather than ceasing, and included: "beatings, the dislocation of limbs, spraying of pepper spray into closed cells, applying pepper spray to toilet paper and over-forcefeeding detainees who are on hunger strike."  In April 2009 a Guantanamo prisoner phoneda media outlet to report being tortured.  As time went by the reports kept coming, as the military's written policywould lead one to expect.

In May 2009, former vice president Dick Cheney forced into the news the fact that, even though Obama had "banned torture" by executive order (torture being a felony and a treaty violation before and after the "banning") Obama maintained the power to use torture as needed. Cheney saidthat Obama's continued claim of the power to torture vindicated his own (Cheney's) authorization of torture.  David Axelrod, White House Senior Advisor, refused repeatedly, to dispute Cheney's assertion -- also supported by Leon Panetta's confirmation hearing for CIA director, at which he said the president had the power to torture and noted that rendition would continue.  In fact, it did.  The New York Times quickly reportedthat the U.S. was now outsourcing more torture to other countries.  The Obama administration announced a new policy on renditions that kept them in place, and a new policy on lawless permanent imprisonment that kept it in place but formalized it, mainstreamed it.  Before long Obama-era rendition victims were alleging torture.

As the Obama White House continued and sought to extend the occupation of Iraq, torture continued to be an Iraqi policy, as it has post-occupation.  It has also remained a U.S. and Afghan policy in Afghanistan, with no end in sight.  The U.S. military has continued to use the same personnel as part of its torture infrastructure.  And secret CIA torture prisons have continued to pop into the news even though the CIA was falsely said to have abandoned that practice.  While the Obama administration has claimed unprecedented powers to block civil suits against torturers, it has also used, in court, testimony produced by torture, something that used to be illegal (and still is if you go by written laws). 

"Look at the current situation," Obama said in 2013, "where we are force-feeding detainees who are being held on a hunger strike . . . Is this who we are?"  Well, it is certainly who some of us have become, including Obama, the senior authority in charge of the soldiers doing the force-feeding, and a human chameleon able to express outrage at his own policies, a trick that is perhaps more central to the mainstreaming of vicious and sadistic practices than we always care to acknowledge. 

The mainstreaming of torture in U.S. policy and entertainment has stimulated a burst of torture use around the globe, even as the U.S. State Department has never stopped claiming to oppose torture when it's engaged in by anyone other than the U.S. government.  If "Bush-era policies" is taken to refer to public relations policies, then there really is something to discuss.  The U.S. government tortured before, during, and after Bush and Cheney ran the show.  But it was during those years that people talked about it, and it is with regard to those years that people still talk about it.

As Rebecca Gordon's book, Mainstreaming Torture: Ethical Approaches in the Post-9/11 United States, recounts well, torture has been around.  Native Americans and enslaved African Americans were tortured.  The CIA has always tortured.  The School of the Americas has long trained torturers.  The war on Vietnam was a war of mass-murder and mass-torture.  Torture is standard practice in U.S. prisons, where the torture of Muslims began post-9-11, where some techniques originated and some prison guards came from via the National Guard who brought their torturing to an international set of victims for the Bush-Obama era.

One of Gordon's central points, and an important one, is that torture is not an isolated incident.  Rather it is an institution, a practice, a collective endeavor that requires planning and organization.  Defenders of torture often defend a widespread practice of purely vicious evil by reference to a single imaginary incident in which it would make sense to torture someone.  Imagine, they say, that you knew for certain (as of course you would not) that many people were about to be killed unless a particular person revealed something.  Imagine you were certain (as of course you would not be) that you had found that person.  Imagine that contrary to accumulated wisdom you believed the best way to elicit the information was through torture, and that you were sure (as of course you would not be) that the information would be revealed, that it would be accurate (nobody EVER lies under torture), and that it would prevent the greater tragedy (and not just delay it or move it), with no horrible side-effects or lasting results.  Then, in that impossible scenario, wouldn't you agree to torture the person?

And doesn't that fantasy justify having thousands of people prepared to engage in torture even though they'll inevitably torture in all sorts of other situations that actually exist, and even though many thousands of people will be driven to hate the nation responsible? And doesn't it justify training a whole culture to support the maintenance of an apparatus of torture, even though uses of torture outside the fantasized scenario will spread like wildfire through local police and individual vigilantes and allied governments?

Of course not.  And that's why I'm glad Gordon has tackled torture as a matter of ethics, although her book seems a bit weighed down by academic jargon.  I come at this as someone who got a master's degree in philosophy, focusing on ethics, back before 9-11, back when torture was used as an example of something evil in philosophy classes.  Even then, people sometimes referred to "recreational torture," although I never imagined they meant that any other type of torture was good, only that it was slightly less evil.  Even today, the polls that show rising -- still minority -- support for torture, show stronger -- majority -- support for murder, that is for a president going through a list of men, women, and children, picking which ones to have murdered, and having them murdered, usually with a missile from a drone -- as long as nobody tortures them. 

While many people would rather be tortured than killed, few people oppose the killing of others as strongly as they oppose torturing them.  In part this may be because of the difficulty of torturing for the torturers.  If foreigners or enemies are valued at little or nothing, and if killing them is easier than torturing them, then why not think of killing as "cleaner" just as the Obama administration does?  That's one ethical question I'd like to see taken up even more than that of torture alone.  Another is the question of whether we don't have a duty to put everything we have into opposing the evil of the whole -- that being the Nuremberg phrase for war, an institution that brings with it murder, imprisonment, torture, rape, injury, trauma, hatred, and deceit. 

If you are going to take on the ethics of torture alone, Mainstreaming Torture provides an excellent summary of how philosophy departments now talk about it.  First they try to decide whether to be consequentialist or deontological or virtue-based.  This is where the jargon takes over.  A consequentialist ethics is one that decides on the propriety of actions based on what their likely consequences will be.  A deontological ethics declares certain actions good or bad apart from their consequences.  And an ethics of virtues looks at the type of life created by someone who behaves in various ways, and whether that person is made more virtuous in terms of any of a long list of possible virtues. 

A competition between these types of ethics quickly becomes silly, while an appreciation of them as a collection of insights proves valuable.  A consequentialist or utilitarian ethics is easily parodied and denounced, in particular because supporters of torture volunteer such arguments.  Would you torture one person to save the lives of two people?  Say yes, and you're a simple-minded consequentialist with no soul.  But say no and you're demonstrably evil.  The correct answer is of course that it's a bad question.  You'll never face such a situation, and fantasizing about it is no guide to whether your government should fund an ongoing torture program the real aim and results of which are to generate war propaganda, scare people, and consolidate power. 

A careful consideration of all consequences, short- and long-term, structural and subtle, is harder to parody and tends to encompass much of what is imagined to lie outside the purview of the utilitarian simpleton (or corporate columnist).  The idea of an ethics that is not based on consequences appeals to people who want to base their ethics on obedience to a god or other such delusion, but the discussions of deontological ethicists are quite helpful nonetheless.  In identifying exactly how and why torture is as incredibly offensive as it is, these writers clarify the problem and move people against any support for torture.

The idea of an ethics based entirely on how actions impact the character of the actor is self-indulgent and arbitrary, and yet the discussion of virtues (and their opposite) is terrifically illuminating -- in particular as to the level of cowardice being promoted by the policy of employing torture and any other evil practice in hopes of being kept safe. 

I think these last two types of ethics, deontological and virtue -- that is, ongoing discussion in their terms -- have good consequences.  And I think that consequentialism and principled integrity are virtues, while engaging in consequentialism and virtue ethics lead to better deontological talk as well as fulfillment of the better imperatives declared by the deontologists.  So, the question should not be finding the proper ethical theory but finding the proper ethical behavior.  How do you get someone who opposes torturing Americans to oppose torturing human beings?  How do you get someone who wants desperately to believe that torture has in fact saved lives to look at the facts?  How do you get someone who believes that anyone who is tortured deserves it to consider the evidence, and to face the possibility that the torture is used in part to make us see certain people as evil, rather than their evilness actually preceding and justifying the torture?  How do you get Republicans loyal to Bush or Democrats loyal to Obama to put human rights above their loyalty?

As Gordon recounts, torture in reality has generated desired falsehoods to support wars, created lots of enemies rather than eliminating them, encouraged and directly trained more torturers, promoted cowardice rather than courage, degraded our ability to think of others as fully human,  perverted our ideas of justice, and trained us all to pretend not to know something is going on while silently supporting its continued practice.  None of that can help us much in any other ethical pursuit.

Ukraine News - Apr 14, 2014

 

Pro-federalization activists take over govt buildings across Eastern Ukraine, Berkut Special Forces side with Donetsk pro-Russians (VIDEOS) - RT News


Ukraine to deploy troops in “large-scale anti-terrorist operation” to resist attacks by armed pro-Russian forces: President Turchynov - Washington Post


VIDEO: Ukraine President Turchynov announces "anti terror operation" - BBC News 


Ukraine Forces and Pro-Russian Militants Battle Over Local Police Station in Slovyansk - NYTimes.com


VIDEO: Ukrainian Forces Launch 'Anti-Terrorist' Operation in Slavyansk, Part 1 - YouTube


VIDEO: Ukrainian Forces Launch 'Anti-Terrorist' Operation in Slavyansk, Part 2 - YouTube


VIDEO: Behind the scenes at anti-Maidan barricades in Slavyansk - YouTube


VIDEO: Pro Russian militants seize second building in Slavyansk - YouTube


VIDEO: Helicopters With Ukraine Special Force in Slavyansk - YouTube

 

VIDEO (Russian): Interview with pro-Russia armed protester in Slavyansk - YouTube

 

Pro-federalization protesters say one their activist and two members of the ultra-nationalist Right Sector group were killed in Ukraine's Slavyansk - The Voice of Russia

 

VIDEO: In the video posted on April 13, one man was wounded while another was apparently killed near the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk. Cars with bullet holes sat nearby - rferl.org

 

Donetsk special-purpose police refuse to go to Slavyansk - ITAR-TASS

 

Uniformed men of Ukraine’s now-defunct riot police occupy Donetsk police HQ - The Washington Post

 

VIDEO: Uniformed men of Ukraine’s now-defunct riot police occupy Donetsk police HQ - The Washington Post

 

VIDEO: Pro-Russian protesters demonstrate at the Donetsk police HQ - euronews

 

Internal Ministry Donetsk Region Division Chief Pozhidayev Resigns Under Pressure Of Pro-Russian Activists, Their demands were supported by special force staff (former Berkut) - Ukranian News

 

Several dozen people form living shield to lock in police in Donetsk - ITAR-TASS

 

Unknown people get into Donetsk regional prosecutor's office overnight - ITAR-TASS

 

50 injured in clashes in Kharkov between pro-federalization activists and forces loyal to the government: Ukraine's Interior Ministry - The Voice of Russia

 

VIDEO: 50 wounded in violent Kharkiv clashes, In another eastern town, Zaporizhya, scuffles broke out between rival demonstrators - euronews

 

VIDEO: Pro Russia activists seize Kramatorsk Interior Ministry building - YouTube

 

PM Yatsenyuk: Ukraine’s new constitution to be sent to Venice Commission before presidential polls - ITAR-TASS

 

Executive power in Ukrainian regions should be appointed by the regions themselves: Timoshenko - ITAR-TASS

 

Ukraine's authorities 'crossed line' at eastern Ukraine protests: presidential candidate Tsarev - The Voice of Russia

 

Presidential Candidate Tigipko: situation in southeast of Ukraine cannot be resolved by force - ITAR-TASS

 

Ukraine’s far-right leader calls for Right Sector’s total mobilization - RT News

 

VIDEO: Appeal Of The Right Sector Leader Dmytro Yarosh To The People Of Ukraine - Euromaidan PR

 

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Biden to Head for Ukraine on Stabilization Mission, will assist on constitutional reform, decentralization, anti-corruption, and free elections - NBC News


Kiev’s use of force in south-eastern Ukraine will foil four-party meeting plan: Lavrov - ITAR-TASS


Lavrov: "Kiev’s constant threats to start storming the buildings occupied by protesters in Donetsk and Lugansk are unacceptable” - ITAR-TASS


Is satellite imagery revealing a Russian military buildup on Ukraine’s borders (PHOTOS)?

 

‘Only widens gap’: Outrage as 20+ Russian journalists barred from entering Ukraine (VIDEO) - RT News

 

Ukraine suspends gas payments to Russia until talks conclude - Reuters

 

Naftogaz of Ukraine CEO offers two solutions to gas problem with Russia - ITAR-TASS

 

Russia sets 4 conditions in return for aid to Ukraine - RT News

 

U.S.-Ukraine Economic and Finance Working Group - state.gov

 

Ukraine, Sweden extend contract on nuclear fuel supplies for Ukrainian NPP - ITAR-TASS

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Ukraine News - Apr 12, 2014

 

Kiev hands over autonomous powers to regional governments to defuse the crisis in pro-Russian east - Telegraph


PM Arseny Yatsenyuk pledged to push through a law allowing regional referendums in the country - RT


PM Yatseniuk: Constitutional reform aims to give more powers to the regions - nrcu.gov.ua


VIDEO (English): Ukrainian PM says government is ready for dialogue with eastern regions - theguardian.com


Yatsenyuk says he wants to have ‘good relations’ with Moscow - ITAR-TASS


Alfa anti-riot police refuses to storm protesters-occupied buildings in the east Ukrainian cities of Donetsk and Luhansk: the local media  - ITAR-TASS

 

Pro-Russia miners take to Donetsk streets in uprising that mimics Kyiv protests - canada.com

 

VIDEO: Pro-Russia miners reinforce frontline in Donetsk - YouTube

 

VIDEO (English Subtitles): Woman’s desperate protest in Luhansk - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Protest Leader Brandishes AK-47 At Pro-Russian Rally In Luhansk - rferl.org

 

Clashes, disappearance mar Party of Regions presidential hopeful’s campaign in Odessa (VIDEOS) - RT News

 

VIDEO: Pro and anti-Russian protesters violently clash in Odessa after pro-EU demonstrators try to prevent a Party of Regions presidential candidate from leaving his hotel - YouTube

 

Pro-federalization rally continues in Kharkov - The Voice of Russia

 

Mystery Surrounds Death of Fiery Ukrainian Activist of the Nationalist Group Right Sector - NYTimes.com

 

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Four-way Ukraine talks between the United States, EU, Russia and Ukrainian government set for April 17 - AFP


Russia has no desire to take over eastern Ukraine, No soldiers or spies there: Lavrov - AFP


Russia supports keeping Ukraine's current borders: Lavrov - The Voice of Russia


Rising anti-Russia sentiment threatens Europe stability: Moscow - Yahoo News

 

Russia calls on US to persuade Ukraine authorities not to use force - Voice of Russia

 

Exclusive: Key General Splits With Obama Over Ukraine - The Daily Beast

 

US, French Warships Have Entered Black Sea - RIA Novosti

 

State Department Again Denies Presence of US Mercenaries in Ukraine - RIA Novosti

 

US sanctions Crimea's breakaway leaders - Sky News Australia

 

Lions, tigers could starve due to Ukraine-Russia conflict, Animals at a Crimean safari park face starvation as Ukrainian banks have blocked the park's accounts - The Washington Post

 

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

 

Hints of possible deal on Ukraine gas emerge at G20 - Yahoo News


EU set to help Ukraine pay gas bills: Oettinger - Yahoo News


Putin: Russia guarantees gas commitments to European countries, will not stop gas to Ukraine but will have to switch to advance payments - ITAR-TASS


Ukraine pays too high price for Russian gas, State Department says - nrcu.gov.ua

 

Ukraine prepares to sue Gazprom in Stockholm arbitration - nrcu.gov.ua

 

Ukraine turns to Germany and France for gas - France 24

 

Ukraine Sees $7 Billion IMF Funding This Year - Bloomberg

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

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