Focus: Libya - Dec 5, 2016


IS loses Libya bastion Sirte in major blow to jihadists, almost seven months of fighting have left nearly 700 GNA fighters dead and 3,000 wounded - yahoo.com


US forces conduct 22 airstrikes against Daesh near Libya’s Sirte - Sputnik


With fall of Sirte IS down but not out in Libya, the group is likely to maintain a clandestine presence - Daily Mail Online


As fall of Sirte nears, female suicide bombers attack - US News


Abused, pregnant and behind bars: Women raped by IS are being held as suspects by forces of UN-backed government - Middle East Eye


Libyan forces capture 32 IS militants as they comb through last holdout in Sirte - Libyan Express


Last week Libya’s Tripoli saw worst militias clashes in 2 years - Inquirer News


Brigades from Al-Bunyan Al-Marsoos operation denounce murder and kidnap in Tripoli - The Libya Observer


Tripoli clashes halted after clashing armed groups reached ceasefire - The Libya Observer


Op-Ed: Mediation stops Tripoli militia clashes only temporarily - digitaljournal.com


UN envoy Martin Kobler: Extremely alarmed by fighting in Tripoli, calls for calm - Libya - ReliefWeb


US urges armed groups to cease fighting in Libyan capital immediately - Sputnik

 

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

 

Official: Haftar’s Libyan Army declares state of emergency, government institutions except for the house of representatives will suspend activities - Sputnik


Al-Gotrani proposes transitional government led by Haftar, Presidential Council shuns commenting - The Libya Observer


International community must be in contact with Beida (Tobruk) government if Libya’s problems are to be solved says its foreign minister Mohamed Dayri - libyaherald.com


Haftar's Libyan National Army forces threaten to bomb Canadian ship delivering aid to Islamist held area - digitaljournal.com


UN envoy Martin Kobler departs Tobruk after being prevented from going into city by protesters - The Libya Observer


Libya outgoing ambassador Dabbashi bows out of UN with bitter attack on UNSMIL chief Martin Kobler - libyaherald.com


Interview with UN envoy Kobler on Libya - libyaherald.com


Kerry and Gentiloni confirm working with regional states that have influence on the two main sides in Lybia: Egypt, the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia - libyaherald.com


Chairs the U.S. House Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: 'the status quo in Libya is unsustainable’ - Sunshine State News


Moscow wants Hafter involved in political process but will not give him arms, says it has political and economic interests in Libya 'but not military interests' - libyaherald.com


Will Egypt intervene in Libya? - Libya Prospect


A shift on policy towards Libya? On abandoning efforts to create a Libyan unity government and instead lending support to the Libyan National Army of Khalifa Haftar - atlanticcouncil.org


Libya sticks to plans to boost output by 50 per cent after OPEC deal - Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide


Libyan oil has to be depoliticized and demilitarized: NOC chairman Sanalla - libyaherald.com


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

New Rogue Anti-Russia Committee Created in "Intelligence" Act

I don't know why we didn't pick playing with live electrical wires and call that "intelligence" instead of the stuff we do. I think I'll stick with calling what the U.S. government does "counter-intelligence." So, here's the latest from the counter-intelligence community.

Section 501 of the Counter Intelligence Act creates a "Committee to Counter Active Measures by the Russian Federation to Exert Covert Influence Over Peoples and Governments."

This is followed by Section 502 which limits Russian and only Russian diplomats in the United States to traveling no more than 25 miles from their offices.

I suspect there may have been a Section 503 in an earlier draft that required CNN to show a photo of Vladimir Putin without his shirt and make fun of him at least once every 4 hours. If so, that section would have been stripped out as unnecessary.

The establishment wants more and more hostility with Russia. Trump wants to ever so slightly tweak the establishment and focus more hostility on China. That shift is obviously not one toward enlightenment. But when there is a chance for better relations between the U.S. and Russian governments, Congress should not be allowed to inject its counter-intelligence.

Of course countering active measures by the Russian Federation to exert covert influence over peoples and governments sounds like a good thing. But it's not a good thing if those active measures do not exist. This is like putting weapons in space to "counter" others doing it, when nobody else is. It's offense under the banner of defense. And offense will be taken.

It's also not a good thing if the active measures (real or imagined) are not countered in the wisest manner. One way to counter assassinations, for example, would be to expose them, prosecute them as crimes, and seek reconciliation. Another would be to empower a special committee to engage in "counter-assassinations."

Contrary to good liberal faith, there is zero public evidence that Russia has been engaging in these activities listed in the Counter Intelligence Act:

(A) Establishment or funding of a front group.
(B) Covert broadcasting.
(C) Media manipulation.
(D) Disinformation and forgeries.
(E) Funding agents of influence.
(F) Incitement and offensive counterintelligence.
(G) Assassinations.
(H) Terrorist acts.

Are there Russian front groups in the United States? Name one. Prove it. Is there covert broadcasting underway? Is that where you broadcast to nobody? Presumably it is where you create television and radio content purporting not to be Russian but actually serving the Russian government. Where is that? May we see a 30 second clip of it, please? Has the media been manipulated? [Apart from this failed effort?] By disinformation and forgeries? Expose one, for godsake, this is an emergency! Don't let those forgeries go on deceiving us a moment longer! "Funding agents of influence" sounds more like overt broadcasting. Russia does do that using Russian television and radio networks (something the United States would never ever engage in!) -- but how will this committee counter those? "Incitement" to what? "Offensive counterintelligence"? Offensive to whom? "Assassinations"? Of whom? Has someone been assassinated? "Terrorist acts"? Wouldn't we, almost by definition, have heard of these?

Now I realize that most people don't give a rat's ass about stirring up hostility with the other major nuclear nation. So, here's another problem with this bill that people may want to object to, as they should. This committee is empowered to do anything the president tells it to, and it sends occasional reports to Congress, not the public. Most, if not all, of the people it counter-intelligently counters will not have anything to do with the Russian government.

The Washington Post has already published a ludicrous but dangerous list of supposed Russian front group media outlets. If this committee does the same, and especially if it does so in secret, what recourse will the falsely accused have? This committee, selected by presidential appointees, will not be publicly accountable.

If the New-McCarthyite Anti-Russia Committee secretly labels you a Russian agent and accuses you of media manipulation, will it then manipulate the media to destroy your reputation? If it accuses you of "disinformation and forgeries" will it "counter" that with disinformation about you and forgeries incriminating you? Will it confiscate your funding as being that of an "agent of influence"? What will it do if it accuses you of assassinations? And will all the Russian agents of influence turn out to be Democrats during Republican presidencies, and vice versa?

Presumably the CIA hasn't challenged Congress to a duel over this new committee horning in on its territory because it's not technically supposed to spread its counter-intelligence domestically. Same with USAID and the rest. And the FBI is not supposed to be at war with foreign nations. But the lines between the military policing of the globe and the police militarization at home are ever blurring. And that's part of what's wrong with this bill. All's fair in war, meaning there is no requirement of fairness. Don't expect any. Resist instead.

Tomgram: Pratap Chatterjee, Obama's Last Chance

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Imagine this scenario: you’ve occupied an office for eight years and now you’re about to move out. You know who's going to move in and, by reputation, he’s a fellow with a minimal ability to control himself who might conceivably be a danger to others. So here’s one thing you undoubtedly wouldn’t do: leave a loaded revolver in the top desk drawer and a stash of extra ammunition in the closet.

However -- if you’ll excuse the analogy -- that seems to be exactly what President Obama and his national security team are doing when it comes to Donald Trump.

Media Complicity Is Key to Blacklisting Websites

By Norman Solomon

We still don’t have any sort of apology or retraction from the Washington Post for promoting “The List” -- the highly dangerous blacklist that got a huge boost from the newspaper’s fawning coverage on November 24. The project of smearing 200 websites with one broad brush wouldn’t have gotten far without the avid complicity of high-profile media outlets, starting with the Post.

On Thursday -- a week after the Post published its front-page news article hyping the blacklist that was put out by a group of unidentified people called PropOrNot -- I sent a petition statement to the newspaper’s executive editor Martin Baron.

“Smearing is not reporting,” the RootsAction petition says. “The Washington Post’s recent descent into McCarthyism -- promoting anonymous and shoddy claims that a vast range of some 200 websites are all accomplices or tools of the Russian government -- violates basic journalistic standards and does real harm to democratic discourse in our country. We urge the Washington Post to prominently retract the article and apologize for publishing it.”

Focus: Aleppo - Dec 4, 2016


Syrian army nears Aleppo's Old City, rebels tell U.S. they won't leave - Reuters


Syrian army regains control of access to Aleppo airport - SBS News


MAP: Syrian Army captures 60% of rebel-held Aleppo in the space of a week - almasdarnews.com


Syrian army tells rebels in Aleppo to leave or die - Fox News


Russia seeks full withdrawal of Aleppo rebels - Reuters


Syrian rebel commander recently appointed head of new military alliance 'Aleppo Army' seriously wounded, rebels say - Reuters


Over 2,500 Syrian militants granted amnesty over past week: Russia Reconciliation Center - RT News


Reconciliation agreements signed with 6 Syrian settlements, including two in Hama, two in Latakia, one in Damascus and one in Homs: Russian Defense Ministry - TASS


Syrian Army General Command calls on residents of Aleppo’s secured northeastern neighborhoods to return to their homes - Syrian TV


First buses home for Aleppo residents, traveled directly from the government-held west to recently recaptured neighborhoods in the east - THE DAILY STAR


VIDEO: Buses take residents back to their abandoned east Aleppo homes - YouTube


Russia delivers over 150 tonnes of aid to Aleppo residents - Sputnik


Syrian Army squeezes rebels in Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, as Russia prepares massive aerial campaign - almasdarnews.com


Syrian Army 5th Corps is new Shiite foreign legion: Israeli intelligence source - debka.com

 

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

 

Kerry: Assad is part of the transition. Ultimately, there is an election and the people of Syria make a decision about the future leadership - Sputnik


VIDEO: Kerry (at 2:20 min): Assad is part of the transition - socialfeed.info


EU offers cash to Assad regime for Syria peace deal, said to have accepted that previous western demands that Assad step down are unrealistic - The Times


Congress authorizes Trump to arm Syrian rebels with anti-aircraft missiles - al-monitor.com


Syria provisions in the FY2017 Defense Bill: House Bill, Senate Bill, Final Bill - al-monitor.com


Rep. Gabbard votes against Defense Bill: It contains the same deeply concerning and dangerous Syria train and equip measures including the transfer of Manpads - Hawaii 24/7


Media silent as House quietly passes possible no-fly zone over Syria - Freedom Outpost


Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2016: Assessment of potential effectiveness of and requirements for the establishment of safe zones or a no-fly zone in Syria - Congress.gov


US and UK explore possibility of aid airdrops to besieged rebel-held eastern Aleppo - The Guardian


Fearing abandonment by Trump, CIA-backed rebels in Syria mull alternatives - The Washington Post


All the rebel forces active in Aleppo have merged into a newly-formed military alliance 'Army of Aleppo' - almasdarnews.com


Lavrov: Creation of 'Army of Aleppo' could just be rebranding of al-Nusra Front - Tasnim News Agency


Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly al-Nusra) bomb Kurdish district amid mounting violence in Syria's Aleppo - ARA News


Aleppo: Fateh al-Sham (formerly al-Nusra) raids Islam Army's bastion in Kalaseh neighborhood, Aleppo - ZAMAN ALWSL


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)


Give Wes Bellamy a Break

Charlottesville City Council Member Wes Bellamy is being widely denounced for tweets he tweeted years ago. I think he should be given a break.

I don't know Bellamy well and have not communicated with him about this. I don't support everything he's done even in recent years. I have almost nothing but contempt for the Democratic Party. I don't believe Bellamy deserves more of a break than would anyone else from some other demographic. I don't sympathize in the least with the disgusting things he tweeted.

And yet I find this criticism of him outrageous. And I find it consistent with some disturbing trends that extend well beyond Charlottesville.

Bellamy speaking at a rally on the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville.

1. Privilege

The problem of unfair privilege here is not one of race or class or gender but of age and position. If you grew up before every Spring Break lunacy and adolescent pretense was enshrined forever on the internet (outside of wise European efforts to provide a Right to Be Forgotten), you must be very careful in criticizing those who have grown up since that underappreciated age. If you have not stuck your neck out into the fire of partisan politics, you must give careful consideration to what most-ugly and most-deeply-forgotten thing you would be at risk of becoming known for if you did.

Day 2: Iraq Tribunal

Focus: Trump's Carrier Deal - Dec 2, 2016


Trump warns of 'consequences' for companies leaving US, says firms can move from state to state but leaving the country will be 'very, very difficult' - Sky News


Trump defends direct negotiations with companies to keep jobs in U.S., says 'we’re going to have a lot of phone calls'  - The Washington Post


VIDEO: Donald Trump Carrier plant full speech in Indiana - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT: Donald Trump’s remarks at Carrier plant in Indiana - TIME


Several companies this year have announced plans to lay off workers and move production abroad, among them Caterpillar, Rexnord, Manitowoc and CTS - WSJ


Ford open to making deals with Trump on keeping jobs, CEO Says - Bloomberg


Trump’s Carrier talks up the ante for Ford, Auto maker is well on its way to spending $1.6 billion to build a new factory in Mexico - WSJ


Ford to be first automaker to import cars made in India to US - Sputnik


Trump Carrier deal worry US defense firms that may lose their contracts with the federal government because of outsourcing jobs abroad - CNBC


Donald Trump offers Apple’s Tim Cook incentives to make iPhone in U.S.: Tax cuts and less regulations - iTech Post


How much would the iPhone cost if manufactured in the U.S.? - valuewalk.com


Trump strikes deal with Carrier, Ford, what about Oreo? - Fox Business


State, local officials see pluses and minuses of Trump’s Carrier deal, While cheering effort to keep jobs some see increased competition between states - WSJ


Trump's Commerce pick: NAFTA likely starting point on Day 1 - CNN

 

‘Modernize’ NAFTA, Mexico’s new ambassador to US says in Tucson - Tucson Business News


As Trump prepares for office, concerns about Chinese trade intensify - The Washington Post


New York Times editorial: The Carrier deal on its own doesn’t offer a template to protect millions of workers whose futures are threatened by offshoring or technological change - The New York Times


Wall Street Journal editorial: Trump’s Carrier shakedown, Workers don’t prosper when politicians force companies to make noneconomic decisions. - WSJ


Bloomberg editorial: Trump’s Carrier victory is the economy's loss - Bloomberg View


Lawrence H. Summers: Trump’s Carrier deal could permanently damage American capitalism - The Washington Post


Conservatives are worried Trump's Carrier deal could set a bad precedent, 'American presidents aren’t supposed to interfere on behalf of individual companies' - Business Insider


Americans, not Mexicans, should worry about Trump, billionaire Slim says - Bloomberg


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)


Too busy getting rich to commit war crimes?: Is Trump’s Idea To Fix the ‘Rigged System’ by Appointing Crooks Who’ve Played It?

By Dave Lindorff

 

       Donald Trump’s cabinet choices are suggesting a governing philosophy along the lines of a corrupt municipal police force relying on gangsters to help it keep street crime held in check.

6 weeks Left for President Obama to Approve Clemency for U.S. Army Whistleblower Chelsea Manning

By Colonel (Retired) Ann Wright

At a vigil on November 20, 2016 outside the gates of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, speakers underscored the need for pressure in the next six weeks on President Obama, before he leaves office on January 19, 2017 to approve clemency for U.S. Army whistleblower Private First Class Chelsea Manning.  Manning’s lawyers filed a Petition for Clemency on November 10, 2016.

Chelsea Manning has been in prison for six and one-half years, three in pre-trial confinement and three since her 2013 conviction by court-martial of stealing and disseminating 750,000 pages of documents and videos to Wikileaks in what has been described as the largest leak of classified material in U.S. history. Manning was found guilty of 20 of the 22 charges against her, including violations of the US Espionage Act.

Manning was sentenced to thirty-five years in prison.

The speakers at the vigil in front of Fort Leavenworth included Chase Strangio, attorney and friend of Chelsea's; Christine Gibbs, founder of the Transgender Institute in Kansas City; Dr. Yolanda Huet-Vaughn, a former US Army doctor who refused to go to Gulf War I and who was court-martialed and sentenced to 30 months in prison, of which she spent 8 months in Leavenworth; Brian Terrell who spent six months in federal prison for challenging the US assassin drone program at Whiteman Air Force Base;
Peaceworks Kansas City peace activist and attorney Henry Stoever; and  Ann Wright, retired US Army Colonel (29 years in Army and Army Reserve) and former US diplomat who resigned in 2003 in opposition to Bush's war on Iraq.


lev3

The vigil was called after Chelsea’s second suicide attempt inside the Leavenworth military prison.  During the six and one-half years she has been imprisoned, Manning spent nearly a year in solitary confinement. A United Nations investigation into her isolation at Quantico Marine base, which involved being forced to strip naked every night, described her situation as "cruel, inhuman, and degrading."

In 2015, Manning was threatened with solitary confinement again after she was charged for violations including storing a tube of expired toothpaste in her cell and having a copy of Vanity Fair. More than 100,000 people signed a petition against those charges. Manning was found guilty but was not put in solitary; instead, she faced three weeks of restricted access to the gym, the library, and the outdoors.

Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Most Dangerous Country on Earth

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Was 11/8 a New 9/11?
The Election That Changed Everything and Could Prove History’s Deal-Breaker
By Tom Engelhardt

Standing Rock, TigerSwan and the Dawn of Officially Occupied America

[NOTE: The website for this blog post [ www.afriendlyletter.com ] abruptly disappeared from the web about 36 hours after it was posted. As of this writing, three days later, the site is still down; the host says only that it is “working on it.” This version has been pieced together for distribution by other means.]

Focus: Iran - Nov 30, 2016


Pressure mounts on Trump to keep the Iran nuclear deal, Foreign policy luminaries warn that scrapping the accord would create a huge mess - The Huffington Post


CIA's Brennan says tearing up Iran deal would be ‘folly’, because it would make it more likely that Iran and others in the region would acquire nuclear weapons - Reuters


Theresa May's officials to discuss Iran nuclear deal with Trump's camp: 'We firmly support the agreement...make sure that it is properly implemented' - Independent


No New Talks between Iran, US on JCPOA: FM spokesman - Tasnim News Agency


Iran will increase enrichment to 190k SWU if JCPOA breached: MP - campaigniran.org


Washington Post editorial: Trump shouldn’t rip up the Iran deal - The Washington Post


Alan M. Dershowitz: Don’t rip up the Iran deal, enforce it - The Boston Globe


Ellen Laipson: Will the Iran nuclear deal survive under Trump?, The costs of reverting to a confrontational approach to Iran would include more regional instability - worldpoliticsreview


Aaron Arnold: How Trump can strengthen US leverage against Iran, Scrapping the nuclear deal will backfire - thediplomat.com


Former IAEA Director: 'Very dishonest' to claim Iran violated the nuclear deal (VIDEO) - therealnews.com


Iran, Russia stress completion of 2 nuclear units in Bushehr - Mehr News Agency


Russia gets permission to use Iran's Hamadan air base for Syria airstrikes - UPI.com


Weapons seizures show Iran ‘arms pipeline’ to Yemen’s Houthi rebels - The National

 

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

 

Senate to vote on Iran sanctions bill - Washington Examiner


Iran ready to respond to US if sanctions renewed: Nuclear official - payvand.com


Iran's Khamenei slams Rouhani for being 'too open' toward West - Jerusalem Post


Democratic Senators fire back at Iran for retaliation threat over sanctions renewal - The Weekly Standard


Kerry urges Senate Democrats to back off Iran sanctions renewal - al-monitor.com


Reimposing sanctions on Iran would be difficult for the US - The National


The Iran Sanctions Extension Act: Enforcement overkill, international changes to monitoring Iran's nuclear program have made congressional action unnecessary - JURIST


U.S. grants second Airbus license to sell planes to Iran, after the House passed a bill to block the sale including also planes from Boeing - Reuters


Editorial: Congress shouldn’t kill Boeing’s sale to Iran Air - HeraldNet.com


OPEC Agrees first oil cuts in eight years, The deal overcame disagreements between the group’s three largest producers -- Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq - Bloomberg


Asia's October imports of Iranian oil more than double from year ago - Reuters


Scrapping the Iran deal: What it would mean for oil markets - Global Trade Magazine


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

75 Years of Pearl Harbor Lies

Pearl Harbor Day today is like Columbus Day 50 years ago. That is to say: most people still believe the hype. The myths are still maintained in their blissful unquestioned state. "New Pearl Harbors" are longed for by war makers, claimed, and exploited. Yet the original Pearl Harbor remains the most popular U.S. argument for all things military, including the long-delayed remilitarization of Japan -- not to mention the WWII internment of Japanese Americans as a model for targeting other groups today. Believers in Pearl Harbor imagine for their mythical event, in contrast to today, a greater U.S. innocence, a purer victimhood, a higher contrast of good and evil, and a total necessity of defensive war making.

The facts do not support the mythology. The United States government did not need to make Japan a junior partner in imperialism, did not need to fuel an arms race, did not need to support Nazism and fascism (as some of the biggest U.S. corporations did right through the war), did not need to provoke Japan, did not need to join the war in Asia or Europe, and was not surprised by the attack on Pearl Harbor. For support of each of these statements, keep reading.

This week I'm testifying at an Iraq Tribunal about the Downing Street Minutes. In U.S. thinking the 2003-2008 period of the decades-long war on Iraq is somehow worse than World War II. But when it comes to lies, bad decisions, and levels of death and destruction, there is just no comparison: World War II stands unchallenged as the worst thing humanity in general and the U.S. government in particular (as well as numerous other governments) have ever done. There's even a parallel to the Downing Street Minutes.

On August 18, 1941, Prime Minister Winston Churchill met with his cabinet at 10 Downing Street. The meeting had some similarity to the July 23, 2002, meeting at the same address, the minutes of which became known as the Downing Street Minutes. Both meetings revealed secret U.S. intentions to go to war. In the 1941 meeting, Churchill told his cabinet, according to the minutes: "The President had said he would wage war but not declare it." In addition, "Everything was to be done to force an incident."

Indeed, everything was done to force an incident, and the incident was Pearl Harbor.

Will Trump See Through Chump Petraeus?

 

 


Trump Ponders Petraeus for Senior Job

 

 

 

Exclusive: President-elect Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” of Washington seems forgotten — like so many political promises — as he meets with swamp creatures, such as disgraced Gen. David Petraeus, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

The news that President-elect Donald Trump called in disgraced retired Gen. David Petraeus for a job interview as possible Secretary of State tests whether Trump’s experience in hosting “The Celebrity Apprentice” honed his skills for spotting an incompetent phony or not.

Focus: Russia - Nov 29, 2016


Note: The next US Secretary of State should be one who has a deep knowledge of Russia, willing to engage in friendly talks with Moscow and build a partnership to foster world peace and security. In my opinion Russia is right in Syria, Ukraine and with regard to NATO.


11 NATO states take part in massive ‘Iron Sword’ drills in Lithuania - RT News


New Cold War: US Marines' war games on Norway-Russia border - CNN.com


VIDEO: US Marines in Lithuania - Exercise Iron Sword 16 - YouTube


German president visits NATO command center, reassures eastern members of Berlin's commitments, questions Trump campaign comments - DW.COM


Britain expects Donald Trump to 'stand up' to Russia and not treat it 'as any kind of equal partner’, UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon warns - telegraph.co.uk


Britain to send troops to Poland as NATO deployment against ‘increasing Russian aggressiveness’ - news.com.au


NATO should be acting as a bridge between Baltics & Russia, defuse tension: UK Tory MP - RT UK


France says lifting sanctions on Russia would be counterproductive - Reuters


Italian minister would welcome more openness to Russia from U.S. - Reuters


Peace talks in Minsk end without agreement, both Ukraine and Russia hardened their positions and there was no political agreement on holding local elections in Donbass - Reuters


Russian Senator warns Ukraine against missile-firing exercise in Crimea airspace - TASS


Does NATO need Montenegro? How does this tiny Balkan nation contribute to NATO’s collective security? The short answer is: It doesn’t. - The National Interest


Arms expert Joe Cirincione op-ed: Trump should halt US missile-defense plans in Europe - Defense One


GOP supporters of better Cuba relations warn Trump not to let Russia, China step in. - McClatchy DC


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

 

Russia fully deploys 2 new divisions near Western border - The Washington Post


Russia to deploy S-400 and nuclear-capable Iskander missile systems in Kaliningrad as "countermeasures" to NATO expansion - CBS News


Putin's robo-tank: New weapon is deployed to the Polish border to protect Russia's missile launchers from attack - Daily Mail Online


Moscow offered NATO to hold consultations on military flights over Baltic sea but the bloc refused - Sputnik


NATO drills in Georgia negatively affect regional safety: Russia Foreign Ministry - Sputnik


No sign of NATO giving up myth of 'Russian threat' in policymaking: Envoy - Sputnik


Russian diplomat says spending so much time on Russia-NATO Council agenda is pointless - TASS


Russia, Uzbekistan sign treaty on military-technical cooperation - TASS


Armenia is literally joining forces with Russia - Foreign Policy


Russia eyes supplying military hardware to the Philippines - ABC News


Philippines foreign affairs secretary: Duterte to visit Russia in 2017 - CNN Philippines


Libyan commander Haftar visits Russia to ask for help: 'We hope we will eliminate terrorism with your help in the nearest future' - Reuters


Russian top diplomat Lavrov praises Libyan army for its role in protecting state’s independence - TASS


VIDEO (Russian/Arabic): Lavrov and Libyan Marshal Haftar laud strong bilateral ties - YouTube


Putin orders mobile hospitals to be sent to residents of Aleppo, Syria - RT News


Russia to send 100,000 tons of wheat in humanitarian aid to Syria - THE DAILY STAR


Turkey entered Syria to end al-Assad’s rule: President Erdoğan - hurriyetdailynews.com


Turkish parliament endorse ratification of the Turkish-Russian stream pipeline deal - Sputnik


Turkish premier to visit Russia on December 6-7 - TASS


Are relations between Pakistan and Russia beginning to thaw? - Daily Mail Online


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)


Talk Nation Radio: George Lakey on Viking Economics

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-george-lakey-on-viking-economics

George Lakey recently retired from Swarthmore College where he was Eugene M. Lang Visiting Professor for Issues in Social Change and managed the Global Nonviolent Action Database research project. His first arrest was for a civil rights sit-in. He has served as an unarmed bodyguard for human rights defenders in Sri Lanka. Lakey has led over 1500 social change workshops on five continents, and founded and for fifteen years directed Training for Change. In 2010 he was named “Peace Educator of the Year” and published his authoritative text on adult education, Facilitating Group Learning. We discuss his ninth book, Viking Economics: How the Scandinavians Got it Right -- and How We Can Too.

Total run time: 29:00

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

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.

Pacifica stations can also download from Audioport.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

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

and at
https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/tracks

Our Chance to Hold War Makers Accountable

As the International Criminal Court loses any remaining credibility as a truly international and neutral body, it has finally claimed to be considering investigating certain war crimes of the world's greatest wager of war.

If the ICC hears from people all over the world, including from the United States, that we want U.S. war makers held accountable the same as any others, the ICC just might save itself and the idea of international justice along with it.


To: Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court

We encourage you to also prosecute war crimes by non-Africans including by U.S. war criminals. SIGN HERE.

Why is this important?

The ICC is degrading rather than enhancing the idea of international justice by giving a free pass to Western war makers. The United States has itself given a free pass to its war makers, kidnappers, torturers, and assassins. The U.S. president-elect and his advisors openly plan to violate laws against war, torture, and the targeting of civilians. The people of the United States and the world need the ICC to fulfill its mission and step in where domestic justice has failed.

Background:
> Preliminary ICC report on consideration of investigating U.S. crimes in Afghanistan and at secret sites in other countries.
> New York Times report.
> Congressman Ted Lieu on U.S. and Saudi war crimes in Yemen.
> John LaForge article.

ADD YOUR NAME.

*****


Watch the Iraq Tribunal Live Stream This Thursday

World Beyond War director David Swanson and many of our friends and allies will be testifying. Learn more about it now, and watch it live on both December 1st and December 2nd from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET (GMT-5) at
http://IraqTribunal.org

*****

On Giving Tuesday support the world-wide campaign to abolish all war! World Beyond War is now interviewing some outstanding candidates for the job of fulltime organizer. And we're about to launch a global campaign to divest public money from weapons dealers. We can only do this work with your generous support, needed now more than ever!

DONATE HERE.


*****

Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, The Swamp of War

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Drone Protesters Go on Trial

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                     Contact: Ellen Grady 607) 279-8303 cell
28 November 2016                                                    Ed Kinane  315) 478-451 home

FIVE DEFENDANTS TO BE TRIED BY JURY IN DEWITT TOWN COURT, 5400
BUTTERNUT DRIVE, 5 PM TUESDAY NOVEMBER 29 FOR THEIR 3/19/15
“BIG BOOKS” ANTI- WEAPONIZED DRONE ACTION AT HANCOCK AIRBASE…
PRESS CONFERENCE OUTSIDE COURT AT 4:30 PM

On March 19, 2015 on the 12th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, seven members of Upstate Drone Action Coalition/Ground the Drone and End

The Wars were arrested at Hancock Air Base for nonviolently protesting its lethal and illegal use of MQ9 Reaper drones over Afghanistan.

The seven deployed giant (seven by four feet) replicas of four books across the main entrance to Hancock AFB, the home of the 174th Attack Wing of the NY National Guard – a major hunter/killer Reaper drone hub. The books: the UN Charter; Jeremy Scahill’s “Dirty Wars”; NYU and Stanford Law School’s “Living Under Drones”; Reprieve’s human rights report “You Never Die Twice.”

Five of the seven, being tried tomorrow evening in Judge David S. Gideon’s court, are charged with trespass, disorderly conduct and obstructing Governmental Administration (a misdemeanor carrying a maximum one year sentence):

~ Daniel Burns, Ithaca, 607) 280-0369

~ Brian Hynes, the Bronx, 718)838-2636 cell

~ Ed Kinane, Syracuse, 315) 478-4571 home

~ Fr. Bill Pickard, Scranton, 570) 498-3789 cell

~ James Ricks, Ithaca, 607) 280-7794

Two other defendants, Julienne Oldfield of Syracuse and Bev Rice of New York City, will presumably be tried in 2017. The two women are also facing a contempt charge for allegedly violating an Order of Protection forbidding the women from exercising their First Amendment right to protest at Hancock.

Defendant Daniel Burns stated: “Drone warfare kills many innocents, including children. As a father of three beautiful children, I feel a moral obligation to try and stop drone warfare. Especially with Donald Trump preparing to assume the presidency, people of conscience must do everything in our power to stop such violations of human rights and international law.” ###

Focus: Aleppo - Nov 28, 2016


Syrian government drives rebels from northeast Aleppo, part of the area taken over by U.S.-backed Kurdish YPG - Reuters


Syrian forces capture major Aleppo neighborhood in blow to rebels, also reclaim a vital water pumping station - LA Times


Syrian Army & Kurdish YPG wave flags in Aleppo, government forces and Kurds have joint-control in Bustan al-Basha, al-Halek and Ayn al-Tell (PHOTO) - south front.org


MAP: 40% of rebel-held area captured by the Syrian army in Aleppo - Twitter


Fuel reserve in Syria's rebel-held east Aleppo exhausted: civil defense - Reuters


VIDEO: Thousands flee east Aleppo for Kurdish-controlled district on north edge of city - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Syrian rebels fire at civilians fleeing Aleppo's Al-Sakhour district - YouTube


PHOTO: Over 4000 civilians from Eastern Aleppo have arrived to the housing units prepared for them by the Syrian government in Western Aleppo today - Twitter


Russian carrier’s jets move to land base in Syria as Aleppo begins to fall - The Drive


Putin discusses with Russian Security Council Syrian Army’s advance in Aleppo eastern neighborhoods – Al-Manar TV Lebanon


Large build-up of Hezbollah, Iraqi forces in southern Aleppo - almasdarnews.com


Senior pro-Assad Palestinian paramilitary commander killed by rebel forces in Aleppo - almasdarnews.com


Truth and lies: the Twitter battle for Aleppo - Al Bawaba


Assad’s also winning in Damascus, taking several villages and suburbs in the last week alone - The Daily Beast

 

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

 

White House criticizes the Russians for supporting the Syrian government’s actions in Aleppo, says solutions are ‘frustratingly out of reach’ - freebeacon.com


VIDEO: White House criticizes the Russians for supporting the Syrian government’s actions in Aleppo, says solutions are ‘frustratingly out of reach' - YouTube


Inside Kerry’s race to stop the siege of Aleppo, to strike a deal with Russia in exchange for separating Syrian rebels from Nusra Front - Washington Post


Kerry making ‘unbelievable effort’ to save Syrian rebels from Trump, Russia confirms - RT News


Donald Trump presidency: A Russia reset? Maybe not yet, Officials in Congress and the Pentagon are ready to block any attempt to appease Putin - POLITICO


Qatar says will arm Syrian rebels even if Trump ends U.S. role, hits out at Egypt for siding with Assad - Reuters


Syria denounces Qatar for saying it will continue to back rebels: 'the Qatari regime is one of the sources of extremism, terrorism and takfiri thought' - Reuters


Saudi Arabia tells Egypt to dismiss its foreign minister after he claimed that Saudi Wahhabism is the source of terrorism – Middle East Monitor


Iran may seek naval bases in Yemen or Syria: chief of staff - Reuters


Putin and Rouhani agree to coordinate steps on oil market and interaction for Syria - TASS


France FM deeply concerned about Aleppo, urges 'Friends of Syria' meeting - Mo4ch News


Germany wary of French presidential candidate Fillon's cosy attitude to Russia - digitaljournal.com


4 ISIS fighters killed in first ever direct clashes with Israeli Defense Forces - ibtimes.co.in


Benjamin Netanyahu: Israel won't allow ISIS to open 'a front of terror' on the Golan - Jerusalem Post


ISIS files seized in Syria reveal terror plots against Europe - The Times

 

Daesh uses ‘chemical gas’ against Syrian rebels: Turkish media - Reuters


Russia looks into possible chains supplying toxic chemical substances to Syrian rebels from third countries - TASS


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)


Tomgram: Nick Turse, Life's No Picnic in Trump's Secret (Service) Garden

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Millennials Organize Gun Violence Prevention Intersectionality Summit

Millennials Organize Gun Violence Prevention Intersectionality Summit to Bring People Together Post-Election to Combat Divisiveness and Hate for a Day of Education, Organizing, Solidarity, and Art

Strength in Synergy Summit to be help December 10th at American University, DC

WASHINGTON, DC – On Saturday, December 10 from 9:30am - 7:30pm, a gun violence prevention summit organized by millennials will hold workshops, panel discussions, breakout grassroots organizing sessions, and conclude with a concert featuring local DC artists such as: Shepard Kings, Terry Gibson, and WERK for Peace. Workshops will be led by April Goggans (Black Lives Matter), Rachel Graber (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence), Miriam Pembleton (Institute for Policy Studies), and other significant members of gun violence prevention actions. To find more information about workshops and presenters click here.

Leading a workshops on intersections between domestic and foreign violence and racism will be David Swanson (World Beyond War and RootsAction.org), Jamani Montague (RootsAction.org), and Leah Muskin-Pierret.

Sign up: http://strengthinsynergy.com

“My host sister was murdered in Portland in 2008 by a man who bought a gun from a gun show with no background check; she was one of the many victims that would be alive today if we had a comprehensive, inclusive response to gun violence. Preventing the type of horror that affected my family is one of the most important issues to me. I recognize that gun violence is a deeply intersectional issue with the many oppressions that people face. With Trump’s violent and hateful rhetoric being quickly normalized, now is the time to bring our communities together.”
- Martha Durkee-Neuman, 20, CODEPINK.

Co-sponsoring/co-organizing organizations include: the Brady Campaign, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Black Lives Matter DC, the Institute for Policy Studies, the Pride Fund to End Gun Violence, CODEPINK, WERK For Peace, Gays Against Guns, the Coalition of Concerned Mothers, the Timothy Dawkins El Project, Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action, the DC Anti-Violence Project, and MomsRising.

Visit http://strengthinsynergy.com for more information,

or on Facebook: https://facebook.com/events/157950498008430


David Swanson at screening of National Bird in Norfolk on Dec 7

Wednesday, Dec 7 at 7:15pm
'New Non-Fiction Film'

NATIONAL BIRD  This incendiary new film was produced by legendary filmmakers Wim Wenders and Errol Morris. Three U.S. military veterans have recently become whistleblowers by breaking the silence surrounding America’s secret drone war. Tortured by guilt for their participation in the killing of faceless people in foreign countries, and despite the threat of being prosecuted under the Espionage Act, these three veterans offer an unprecedented look inside this secret program. Filmmaker Sonia Kennebeck follows one of the protagonists to war torn Afghanistan where she sees firsthand the human cost of America’s global drone strikes. Her journey gives some hope for peace and redemption.  (92 mins)

http://nationalbirdfilm.com

Post-film discussion:

David Swanson is the author of War Is A Lie and War Is Never Just. He is an activist, journalist, and public speaker. His previous books include When the World Outlawed War, and War No More: The Case forAbolition. Swanson serves as director of World Beyond War, and host of Talk Nation Radio. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He is based in Charlottesville, Va.

Read David Swanson's review of National Bird.  

And listen to a podcast of David Swanson's interview with filmmaker Sonia Kennebeck. 

Inline image 1

Visit http://narocinema.com

Seeking the True Path

One of the more subtle manifestations of the intimate link between (unconscious) human emotions and behaviour is illustrated by the simple concept of choice and how this is so often reduced to a dichotomy between two bad options. In such circumstances, most people choose whatever they consider to be ‘the lesser evil’.

But how often are there only two options, even if they appear ‘good’ and ‘bad’? Frankly, I cannot think of one circumstance in which my choices are limited to two, however good or bad they appear to be.

Focus: Cuba - Nov 27, 2016

 

I hope that Trump will reject regime change policies advocated by Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio regarding Cuba. It seems that they have not learned the tragic lessons of history: Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc. Cubans are poor but at least they are alive. The country’s literacy rate is at 100% and life expectancy parallels first world nations. There may be some limited food shortages but not famine. The two senators oppose the thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations which is a most positive legacy of Obama. At stake it is not only the normalization of the relations between US and Cuba opening economic and diplomatic ties with Havana. More important at stake it is the relations between US and Latin America where the left is influential whether it governs in countries such as Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, El Salvador and Nicaragua or is the opposition such as in Argentina or Brazil.

 

Note on the Secretary of State candidates: I hope that Trump will launch a new era in US foreign policy by selecting a Secretary of State that will chart a real new course. In my opinion Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani are not a good fit. Least of all, war-hawks John Bolton and David Petraeus. 

 

Cruz, Rubio want Trump to dial back U.S.-Cuba relations, say Obama's recent ties with the island should be reevaluated - POLITICO


VIDEO: Ted Cruz: U.S. foreign policy -- not just to Cuba -- should no longer be a policy of weakness, but instead using U.S. strength to force and press for change - YouTube


Ted Cruz op-ed: Change can come to Cuba, but only if America prevents Fidel’s successor from playing the same old tricks - National Review


Marco Rubio: Donald Trump's Cuba policy should 'pave the way' for democracy - CNNPolitics.com


VIDEO: Sen. Rubio calls for "democratic opening" in Cuba - YouTube


Rubio Statement: History will remember Fidel Castro as an evil, murderous dictator - U.S. Senator for Florida, Marco Rubio


Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz slam politicians for praising Fidel Castro, go after Trudeau and Obama - inquisitr.com


Statement by President Obama on the passing of Fidel Castro - whitehouse.gov


U.S. State Dept reaffirms its support for deepening engagement with Cuba - Business Standard News


President-Elect Trump statement on the passing of Fidel Castro - Capitol Hill Cubans


Priebus: Trump will void Cuba deal unless Castro regime moves to concessions - Fox News


VIDEO: Priebus: Trump will void Cuba deal unless Castro regime moves to concessions - YouTube


VIDEO: Sanders on Cuba: "Of Course their economy is terrible," but they have health care and education - RealClearPolitics


Trudeau defends comments on death of Fidel Castro, He referred to him as a 'legendary revolutionary' who made significant improvements to the education and health-care systems - coastreporter.net


Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro - Prime Minister of Canada


Cuba embargo must be lifted immediately after death of 'great figure' Fidel Castro, says French president - The Independent


On Fidel's death, Cuba and Puerto Rico, two paths intertwined - NBC News


Cuba's most prominent dissident group called off its weekly protest march for the first time in 13 years to avoid creating tensions: 'We respect the mourning of others' - Reuters


Castro's legacy and the envy of many nations: social care in Cuba, The country's literacy rate is at 100% and life expectancy parallels first world nations - The Guardian


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)


How I Produce Fake News for Russia

Apparently I've written "fake news" on behalf of Russia without ever receiving a dime from Russia or realizing what I was doing. It took the intrepid reporting of the Washington Post to alert me to what I have been engaged in. My "fake news" has been published in at least 18 Russian propaganda outlets included on the Washington Post-endorsed Enemies List.

They are ahtribune.com, off-guardian.org, opednews.com, antiwar.com, beforeitsnews.com, blackagendareport.com, ronpaulinstitute.org, rt.com (that one is actually Russian), consortiumnews.com, countercurrents.org, counterpunch.org, globalresearch.ca, truth-out.org, truthdig.com, informationclearinghouse.info, washingtonsblog.com, mintpressnews.com, and nakedcapitalism.com.

Since everything I write is also at davidswanson.org it's a safe bet that that's a Russian propaganda site as well, even though I hadn't realized it.

Speaking Events

January 10 and 11:
Events in Washington DC to present a petition telling president elect to end wars:
https://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=12501

January 20-21 Occupy the Inauguration
 
January 29 David Swanson speaking in Arlington, Va.
 
February David Swanson debating a war supporter in Boston, Mass.
 
April 21-23 UNAC's annual conference in Richmond, Va.

April 29 possible multi-issue protest in DC.

Find Events Here.

 

 

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