How Americans Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Guantanamo Prison

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

An interview with Jason Leopold.

There are many crimes committed in the pursuit of, or as an accessory to, the crimes of US Foreign Policy. I’m not exactly sure where to rank the operation of Guantanamo Bay on that list, but consider these numbers, compiled by the Center for Constitutional Rights:

779 men and boys have been imprisoned at Guantánamo since January 2002. 100% of them are Muslim.

Of the 149 who remain there, 78 have been cleared for release for years but are still imprisoned. President Obama’s Task Force has designated 38 men for indefinite detention without charge or trial.

Ukraine News - July 25, 2014


Rebel leader Khodakovsky backpedals after admitting separatists had Buk missile in Ukraine but comes short of an all-out denial - mashable


Russian-Backed Separatist Leader Khodakovsky Changes His Story to Reuters — or Does He? - The Interpreter


VIDEO (Russian): Khodakovsky dismisses the Reuters interview - LifeNews


VIDEO (English): Reuters releases the interview with Khodakovsky: «I knew that a BUK came from Luhansk at the time of MH17 downing» - YouTube


CONFIRMED the BUK that shot down MH17 has indeed been in Donetsk (PHOTO) - Ukraine@war


EXACT location pinpointed of MH17 missile launch site (VIDEO, PHOTOS) - Ukraine@war


More on the launch location detected of missile that brought down MH17 (VIDEO, PHOTOS) - Ukraine@war


Satellite images reveal how the BUK has been driving near the launch location (PHOTOS) - Ukraine@war


Russian transport of BUK into Ukraine on July 17 (VIDEO, PHOTO) - Ukraine@war


Transport of BUK that shot down MH17 OUT of Ukraine after the crash (VIDEO, PHOTOS) - Ukraine@war


Lang's alternative view of two-part Buk unit in Ukraine and Russia: It was a coordinated action between separatists and Russian Army’s anti-aircraft defense division - 3dblogger


Igor Strelkov: Russian War Reenactor Fights Real War in Ukraine - New Republic


Strelkov criticized Lugansk separatist leader Bolotov for the unwillingness to work for a common cause - Crazy Ivan Report


Denis Pushilin, Donetsk Rebel Leader Resigned After the MH17 Crash; Now in Moscow - theepochtimes.com


Malofeev: the Russian billionaire linking Moscow to the rebels - FT.com


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

U.S. says Russia firing artillery over border at Ukraine military, shipping heavy war equipment to separatists - Dallas Morning News


Russian soldiers VK-page shows Russia is shelling Ukraine with heavy artillery - Ukraine@war


Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine - Washington Times


Exclusive: Ukraine Asked U.S. for Tech to Counter Russia's Jet-Killers - The Daily Beast


Pentagon confirms 2 Ukrainian fighter jets shot down near Russia border - Fox News


VIDEO: Separatists Release Video of Su-25 Crash Site - Interpreter_Mag


Putin calls an emergency State Duma session regarding Ukraine - EUROMAIDAN PRESS


Ukrainian prime minister quits, parties force new election - Reuters

 

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

Elite Insanity on Display in Ukraine

For those of us interested in understanding what is driving the conflict in Ukraine, now seriously complicated by the shooting down of a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet – which has raised the potential of the conflict to explode into a nuclear war with devastating consequences for humanity – it is worth delving into the psychology of key parties to the conflict and particularly those elite individuals and their agents in politics, industry, academia and the media who are driving it.

The Palestinian Right and the American Left

Chris Hedges says that Palestinians have the right to self-defense in the form of rockets, without including any consideration of whether the rockets make the Palestinians more or less defended.  There is, after all, a reasonable argument that the rockets are counter-productive and endangering, rather than protecting, Palestine.

Legally, if we ignore the Kellogg-Briand Pact and stick to the U.N. Charter, much less its frequent abuse by the powerful nations of the world, there is no doubt that Hedges is correct.  If demolishing Iraqi or Afghan or Libyan or Pakistani or Yemeni homes is "defense" of the United States, then surely the people of Gaza, under actual attack, have the legal right to shoot rockets at Israel.  That's just basic Western consensus with the hypocrisy removed.

"[M]any Palestinians, especially young men trapped in overcrowded hovels where they have no work and little dignity," writes Hedges, "will risk immediate death to defy the slow, humiliating death of occupation. I cannot blame them."

Here are the false choices framed: either we blame the victims of Israel's vicious and massive assault on a trapped population, blame them for reacting as virtually anyone else in the so-called developed world would, or we advocate for the right to fight defensive wars -- regardless of whether it helps or hurts the situation.  Those are not the only options.

I'm not sure I can prove that the rockets hurt the situation, but to render the question inadmissible seems fatally flawed.  The justification that the U.S. Congress and White House use for arming Israel and seeking to shelter Israel from legal consequences is always and exclusively the rockets.  The justification that Israeli spokespeople use on television is likewise almost entirely the rockets.  In a world without the rockets, would other excuses prove successful? It's hard to say for sure.  But the rockets provide the public packaging for Israeli war-making, accomplish virtually nothing in military terms, and almost certainly do more to frighten and enrage the people of Israel than to bring Israelis around to sympathizing with the plight of their government's victims.

I've just spoken by phone with a smart writer in Gaza named Sarah Ali for an upcoming edition of Talk Nation Radio.  She explained to me quite eloquently how Israeli attacks on Gaza were generating support for Hamas and violence against Israel.  She described the emotional need to fight back.  So, I asked her if rocket attacks on Israel weren't likewise counterproductive. No, she said, she imagined that Israelis saw the rockets and began to understand the point of view of Palestinians.  In the absence of any evidence of that phenomenon, I can only say that I'll believe it when I see it.  In every case I'm aware of in which one nation has militarily attacked another, it has done far more to enrage than to stimulate sympathy in the people coming under attack.

Of course, I have no right to tell the people of Gaza what to do or not do from the comfort of my home in the heart of the imperial monster that is funding their apocalypse.  Of course I cannot know the situation as they know it.  But it's not clear to me that every Gazan has as deep a familiarity with Israelis or every Israeli with Gazans as one might imagine from their geographic vicinity.  The division between these two societies is extreme.  How else could Israelis imagine children as their enemies?  And how else could those children's parents imagine that firing rockets would win over hearts and minds?

Not Just the Atlantic: Obama Leasing Millions of Gulf Acres for Offshore Drilling

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Deploying the age-old "Friday news dump," President Barack Obama's Interior Department gave the green light on Friday, July 18 to companies to deploy seismic air guns to examine the scope of Atlantic Coast offshore oil-and-gas reserves.

This is the Israeli Military Calling: Civilizing War Has Failed

http://www.worldbeyondwar.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/voltaire.jpgProbably the biggest news story of 1928 was the war-making nations of the world coming together on August 27th and legally outlawing war.  It's a story that's not told in our history books, but it's not secret CIA history.  There was no CIA.  There was virtually no weapons industry as we know it.  There weren't two political parties in the United States uniting in support of war after war.  In fact, the four biggest political parties in the United States all backed abolishing war.

Cue whining, polysyllabic screech: "But it didn't wooooooooork!"

I wouldn't be bothering with it if it had.  In its defense, the Kellogg-Briand Pact (look it up or read my book) was used to prosecute the makers of war on the losing sides following World War II (an historic first), and -- for whatever combination of reasons (nukes? enlightenment? luck?) -- the armed nations of the world have not waged war on each other since, preferring to slaughter the world's poor instead. Significant compliance following the very first prosecution is a record that almost no other law can claim.

The Kellogg-Briand Pact has two chief values, as I see it.  First, it's the law of the land in 85 nations including the United States, and it bans all war-making.  For those who claim that the U.S. Constitution sanctions or requires wars regardless of treaty obligations, the Peace Pact is no more relevant than the U.N. Charter or the Geneva Conventions or the Anti-Torture Convention or any other treaty.  But for those who read the laws as they are written, beginning to comply with the Kellogg-Briand Pact makes far more sense than legalizing drone murders or torture or bribery or corporate personhood or imprisonment without trial or any of the other lovely practices we've been "legalizing" on the flimsiest of legal arguments.  I'm not against new national or international laws against war; ban it 1,000 times, by all means, if there's the slightest chance that one of them will stick. But there is, for what it's worth, already a law on the books if we care to acknowledge it.

Second, the movement that created the Pact of Paris grew out of a widespread mainstream international understanding that war must be abolished, as slavery and blood feuds and duelling and other institutions were being abolished.  While advocates of outlawing war believed other steps would be required: a change in the culture, demilitarization, the establishment of international authorities and nonviolent forms of conflict resolution, prosecutions and targeted sanctions against war-makers; while most believed this would be the work of generations; while the forces leading toward World War II were understood and protested against for decades; the explicit and successful intention was to make a start of it by outlawing and formally renouncing and rendering illegitimate all war, not aggressive war or unsanctioned war or inappropriate war, but war.

In the never-ending aftermath of World War II, the U.N. Charter has formalized and popularized a very different conception of war's legality.  I've just interviewed Ben Ferencz, aged 94, the last living Nuremberg prosecutor, for an upcoming edition of Talk Nation Radio.  He describes the Nuremberg prosecutions as happening under the framework of the U.N. Charter, or something identical to it, despite the chronological problem.  He believes that the U.S. invasion of Iraq was illegal.  But he claims not to know whether the U.S. invasion and ongoing over-12-year war on Afghanistan is legal or not.  Why? Not because it fits either of the two gaping loopholes opened up by the U.N. Charter, that is: not because it is U.N.-authorized or defensive, but -- as far as I can make out -- just because those loopholes exist and therefore wars might be legal and it's unpleasant to acknowledge that the wars waged by one's own nation are not.

Of course, plenty of people thought more or less like that in the 1920s and 1930s, but plenty of people also did not.  In the era of the United Nations, NATO, the CIA, and Lockheed Martin we have seen steady progress in the doomed attempt, not to eliminate war, but to civilize it.  The United States leads the way in arming the rest of the world, maintaining a military presence in most of the world, and launching wars.  Western allies and nations armed, free-of-charge, by the United States, including Israel, advance war-making and war-civilizing, not war-abolition.  The notion that war can be eliminated using the tool of war, making war on war-makers in order to teach them not to make war, has had a far longer run than the Kellogg-Briand Pact had prior to its supposed failure and the Truman Administration's remaking of the U.S. government into a permanent war machine in the cause of progress. 

Civilizing war for the benefit of the world has been an abysmal failure.  We now have wars launched on unarmed defenseless people thousands of miles away in the name of "defense."  We now have wars depicted as U.N.-authorized because the U.N. once passed a resolution related to the nation being destroyed.  And just seconds before the Israeli military blows up your house in Gaza, they ring you up on the telephone to give you a proper warning. 

I remember a comedy sketch from Steve Martin mocking the phony politeness of Los Angeles: a line of people waited their turn to withdraw cash from a bank machine, while a line of armed robbers waited their turn in a separate line to politely ask for and steal each person's money.  War is past the point of such parody.  There is no space left for satire.  Governments are phoning families to tell them they're about to be slaughtered, and then bombing the shelters they flee to if they manage to flee. 

Is mass-murder acceptable if done without rape or torture or excessive targeting of children or the use of particular types of chemical weapons, as long as the victims are telephoned first or the murderers are associated with a group of people harmed by war several decades back?

Here's a new initiative that says No, the abolition of the greatest evil needs a renaissance and completion: WorldBeyondWar.org.

MH-17 and ‘Operation Northwoods’

by R. Teichmann, this was first published on News-Beacon-Ireland.info

 

 

Image: Operation Northwoods front page. source
The entire document can be downloaded in pdf foramt here

 

Never Again to Us

By Robert C. Koehler

“Israel regrets every injury to civilians. I call on the residents of Gaza: Don’t stay there. Hamas wants you to die, we want you to be safe.”

This is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as quoted in the Jewish Daily Forward, cleansing the nation’s collective conscience. Is it really that easy to sweep away the moral sting of violent action? A captive population is being pummeled with missiles. Well over 500 Palestinians have died so far in Operation Protective Edge, three-quarters of them civilians and, of course, many of them children. But “we want you to be safe” and wish we didn’t have to do this.

Netanyahu, pushed into a public relations corner by global sympathy for the Palestinians, also made this slightly more cynical, less regret-tinged comment: “They want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can. They use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause. They want the more dead, the better.”

Glenn Greenwald compared this remark to a 1941 comment by Joseph Goebbels, belittling the Jews for plucking the sympathy strings of soft-hearted Germans: “One suddenly has the impression,” the Nazi propaganda minister wrote, “that the Berlin Jewish population consists only of little babies whose childish helplessness might move us, or else fragile old ladies.”

Violence begets violence in a never-ending cycle. And violence is almost always perpetrated against the powerless. The perpetrators have “interests” at stake but almost nothing to lose. Bombing a civilian population is the moral equivalent of torture. This is the story of Western civilization; it’s the story of “progress.” On and on it goes.

Writer Naomi Klein, who is Jewish-American, put it this way when she spoke in Israel in 2009, according to Haaretz: “The debate boils down to the question: ‘Never again to everyone, or never again to us?’”

Nations aren’t formed around the first possibility, which requires an evolutionary leap we haven’t made as a species: to build collective structures that honor the whole of humanity. Nations require enemies. Last week, writing about nationalism, I quoted historian Michael Howard, who wrote: “From the very beginning, the principle of nationalism was almost indissolubly linked, both in theory and practice, with the idea of war.”

Israel is the contemporary poster child of this principle.

In an open letter addressed to the United Nations and the nations of the world, 64 public figures — among them, seven Nobel Peace Prize recipients — called for an arms embargo against Israel, whose “ability to launch such devastating attacks with impunity largely stems from the vast international military cooperation and trade that it maintains with complicit governments across the world.”

This is the hegemonic complicity, one might say, that rules the world. Richard Falk, former U.N. special rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, called it “accountability for enemies of the West, impunity for the West and its friends.”

He went on: “Such double standards highlight the tensions between law and justice. There is currently no greater beneficiary of this deformed political culture of impunity than the political leadership and military command structure of Israel.”

The most chilling sentences in the open letter signed by the Nobel laureates and others were these: “Israel’s military technology is marketed as ‘field-tested’ and exported across the world. Military trade and joint military-related research relations with Israel embolden Israeli impunity in committing grave violations of international law and facilitate the entrenchment of Israel’s system of occupation, colonization and systematic denial of Palestinian rights.”

Field-tested? There’s more going on here than alleged self-defense, or even the pursuit of territorial interests. This is about business. Israel is one of the world’s leading arms exporters, ranking number six globally in 2012, behind the United States, Russia and France. Britain and Germany, according to IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly. Periodically bombing the Gaza Strip is apparently the way it field-tests its weapons and maintains a position of global respect among the international war-mongering and moneyed classes — which own the world, or at least assume they do.

Indeed, Israeli journalist Yotam Feldman is the director of a 2013 documentary called “The Lab,” which asserts that the occupied territories, whatever else they are, have become a lab for testing and showcasing Israel’s weapons systems.

There’s such a thing as self-defense, but there’s no such thing as a principled, or legitimate, war. Murder is always murder: a zero-sum game of winning and losing through sheer, violent domination.

As individuals, we can look at the carnage that our own and other governments wreak and cry, from the depth of our souls, “Never again.”

When we band together in armed groups, we link in fear and hatred and cheapen our salvation. “Never again to us (and only us)” is a battle cry of the lost, guaranteeing perpetual war and everyone’s ultimate demise — even the profiteers’.

Robert Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist and nationally syndicated writer. His book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound (Xenos Press), is still available. Contact him at koehlercw@gmail.com or visit his website at commonwonders.com.

© 2014 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, INC.

Seven Arrested at Hancock Air Base Calling a Halt to Drone War Crimes: Order of Protection Delivered for the Children of the World

Seven Arrested at Hancock Air Base 

Halt Drone War Crimes! 

Order of Protection Delivered for the Children of the World

Syracuse July 23, 2014   Earlier today eight Atlantic Life Community activists joined with Upstate Drone Action at the main gate of Hancock Air Base, in Syracuse, New York. Hancock is the home of the 174th Attack Wing of the New York State Air National Guard. The 174th Attack Wing pilots weaponized MQ9 Reaper drones over Afghanistan – killing and terrorizing an uncountable number of civilians.

`

The eight delivered a People’s War Crimes Indictment to the Hancock chain of command by affixing it to the fence after being refused by the base personnel.  Also delivered was an Order of Protection on behalf of the children of the world who are subject to U.S. drone surveillance and attack.

The eight issued a statement that began with a list of names of persons who have been killed by drone strikes; “Syed Wali Shah, 7 years old, killed by an American drone strike. Momina Bibi, mother and midwife, killed by an American drone strike. Tarik Aziz, 16, killed by an American drone strike…  This Must Stop!  We are a community of peacemakers who resist war, racism and greed. We stand … in solidarity with men, women and children being terrorized by US military aggression.”

The group blocked the entrance to the base and took up positions for vigil.  Brian Hynes, NYC Catholic Worker, was allowed to vigil on the side of the main entrance, usually prohibited.  Seven from the group – from Vermont, Maryland, New York City, and Ithaca were arrested.

The seven are being charged with Trespass. Two of the defendants, Clare Grady and Martha Hennessy were also charged with violation of an Order of Protection.  Liz McAlister and Erica Brock were charged with Disorderly Conduct. Clare Grady and Martha Hennessy are being held on $10,000 bail. Felton Davis, Erica Brock, and Joan Pleune are all being held on $2,500 bail.

Three of the arrested are grandmothers.  On July 10th, 2014, drone activist and grandmother, Mary Anne Grady Flores, was sentenced to one year in jail for violation of the same Order of Protection, taken out on behalf of the Colonel of the base.  She is currently out on $5,000 bail pending appeal. A higher court has found the order to be invalid.  

The Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Warswww.upstatedroneaction.org is made up of antiwar organizations and formed around resistance to the MQ-9 Reaper Drone program at Hancock Field Air Force Base.

 ###
 
 
 

Partial kinda sorta victory for Shoshana Hebshi

 

We’ve written about Shoshana Hebshi twice and about the hideous, Kafka-esque injustice she suffered at the hands of the United States government, via our friendly abusers at the TSA, Frontier Airlines, and law enforcement, aka the police.

Read the rest at ABombazine.

Gaza by David Rovics

Eight Activists Blockade Entrance Gate at Hancock Air Base, Syracuse, NY

Syed Wali Shah 7 years old, killed by an American Drone strike. Momina Bibi, mother and midwife, killed by an American drone strike. Tairk Aziz, 16, killed by an American drone strike…  This Must Stop!

We, members of the Atlantic Life Community, come to Hancock Air Force Base, the national maintenance and control center of the MQ9 Reaper Drone, to protest these lethal drones, the latest weapon being used in endless war.  We are a community of peacemakers who resist war, racism and greed. We stand here today in solidarity with the men, women and children being terrorized by US military aggression. Our witness mourns the senseless deaths of our brothers and sisters, victims of drone strikes from this base and adds our voice to all people of the world who cry for peace.

Today we deliver to the base two important documents central to our witness: a war crimes indictment addressed to President Obama, Secretary of Defense Charles Hagel, the full military chain of command, and the local police and Sheriffs Department of the Town of De Witt, NY. By continuing to protect the war crimes of drone warfare, these public officials perpetuate a legacy of violence and racism first imposed upon indigenous people on this land. The second document is a People’s Order of Protection, which asks the 174th Attack Wing of the Air National Guard to stay away from the Children of the World and their families, including their homes, schools, places of play and work.

The terror and bloodshed caused by the Reaper drones lies on all of our shoulders. As Thomas Merton once wrote, “if you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed – but hate these things in yourself, not in another.”  Therefore, we come to the gates today in atonement for our complicity in these crimes and to resist the atrocities of drones, to resist our nation’s endless wars and to cultivate a culture of love and not fear. 

Bill Ofenloch  NYC Catholic Worker 

Liz McAlister  Jonah House, MD

Felton Davis   NYC Catholic Worker 

Martha Hennessy   NYC Catholic Worker

Clare Grady   Ithaca Catholic Worker

Joan Pleune Granny Peace Brigade  

Erica Brock   NYC Catholic Worker

Ukraine News - July 23, 2014


Russian Defense Ministry publishes data regarding Malaysian Boeing crash - Embassy of the Russian Federation to the United States


Russia Shares MH17 Boeing Radar Data - Aviation Week


VIDEO (English): The Russian Defense Ministry holds a press conference on MH17 Boeing crash, shows radar data (Full Version) - YouTube


Su-25 fighter detected in close approach to MH17 before crash: Moscow (VIDEO) - RT News


10 more questions Russian military pose to Ukraine, US over MH17 crash - RT News


Updated: Geolocated Video Shows Suspected Buk Moving From Rebel Controlled MH17 Crash Site Towards Russia (VIDEO) - Interpreter_Mag


Locals Say Rebels Moved Missile Launcher Shortly Before Malaysian Plane Was Downed, Twitter photo apparently captures the trail of smoke from the rocket in Snizhne (VIDEO, PHOTO) - buzzfeed


Ukrainians report sightings of missile launcher in rebel controlled area on day of MH17 crash - theguardian.com


Satellite Trajectory Of Flight MH17 Released: Malaysia Airline's Flight Path And Missile Site Revealed (PHOTO) - ibtimes.com


Jet Wreckage Bears Signs of Impact by Supersonic Missile, Analysis Shows - NYTimes.com


MH17 and Moscow’s Magical Mystery Jets - The Interpreter


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

U.S. believes Ukrainian separatists shot down plane by mistake - LA Times


U.S. to release intelligence on Malaysian plane downing: State Department - Reuters


VIDEO: President Obama Remarks On Ukraine - C-SPAN.org


U.N. Security Council unanimously approves probe of crash in Ukraine - LA Times


Ukraine separatists apparently cut up, looted parts of Malaysia jet - chicagotribune.com


Pro-Russian rebels hand over MH17 black boxes to Malaysian investigators at last, days too late - Mail Online


MH17: Black Boxes on Malaysia Air Offer Limited Value in Ukraine Probe - Businessweek


Ukraine opens criminal cases against Russia’s defense minister and a businessman calling both “accomplices of terrorists” - NEWS.GNOM.ES


The Kremlin ‘Specialist for Creating New Independent States’ Moves to Eastern Ukraine - The Jamestown Foundation

 

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

Barbecuing the Palestinians: Once it was Nazis Leveling the Warsaw Ghetto, Now it’s Israel’s IDF Leveling Gaza

By Dave Lindorff


About six years ago, as part of his Bar Mitzvah, my son Jed did a project on the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, producing his own graphic novel about the undergound fighters who used courage, creativity and the city’s sewer system to, in some small way, offer resistance to the murderous program of the Nazis to exterminate Poland’s Jews. 


Talk Nation Radio: A Year in Prison for Protesting Drone Murders

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-a-year-in-prison-for-protesting-drone-murders

Mary Anne Grady Flores (pictured, far right) and Judy Bello have long been among those protesting drone murders in Afghanistan conducted at Hancock Air Base in Upstate New York.  Grady Flores is out on bail and facing a year behind bars for allegedly violating an Order of Protection, a legal order normally used to protect someone from domestic violence but currently used to "protect" the commanders of an Air Force base from some 50 nonviolent demonstrators.  Learn more:

http://upstatedroneaction.org

http://deconstructedglobe.com

Read this background:

Harassing the Drones, by Kathy Kelly.

Total run time: 29:00

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

Download from Archive or LetsTryDemocracy.

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://davidswanson.org/talknationradio

Independent Irish TDs (MP's) arrested and released after highlighting Irish Government's complicity in wars and torture

by R. Teichmann, first published on www.news-beacon-ireland.info

 

 

The history of the Irish government’s complicity in war and torture by inaction is long. For years the US military has  used Shannon Airport for transporting war materials and troops as well as for ‘rendition’ flights, i.e. transporting human beings to places where they are tortured.

 

This is not surprising as the red carpet is rolled out for any US-multinational corporation that comtemplates manufacturing or basing services here. In addition, in violation of the Irish constitution, which enshrines ‘neutrality’, succesive Irish governments have entered into military alliances through their participation in the so called ‘Partnership for Peace’ with NATO and through various treaties with the EU into the military structure of that construct.

 

Harassing the Drones

By Kathy Kelly, written for teleSUR English, which will launch on July 24

Kabul-- On July 10, 2014, in New York State, Judge David Gideon sentenced Mary Anne Grady Flores to a year in prison and fined her $1,000 for photographing a peaceful demonstration at the U.S. Air National Guard’s 174th Attack Wing at Hancock Field  (near Syracuse) where weaponized Reaper drones are remotely piloted in lethal flights over Afghanistan.  Dozens have been sentenced, previously, for peaceful protest there. But uniquely, the court convicted her under laws meant to punish stalkers, deciding that by taking pictures outside the heavily guarded base she violated a previous order of protection not to stalk or harass the commanding officer.

Mary Anne is a 58 year-old grandmother of three, from Ithaca, New York, where she is part of the Upstate Drone Action

Since late 2009 this grassroots group has persistently raised awareness about the consequences of drone attacks in Afghanistan, the global epicenter of U.S. drone warfare.  In December 2012, the U.S. Air Force revealed that U.S. drones had struck targets in Afghanistan 477 times during just the preceding year. Members of the Upstate Drone Action, alarmed by the proliferation of drones and the ease with which they kill suspects far from any battlefield, are troubled in general to live in a society that so automatically and heedlessly chooses warfare over other available solutions to its problems.

Hundreds have gathered in Syracuse, NY, for events the Coalition has organized, including nonviolent civil resistance at the Hancock base.  

Frustrated by the tenacity of war resisters willing to risk arrest, the commander at the base, Colonel Earl Evans, has sought and received an “Order of Protection Grant” - a restraining order - from the DeWitt Town judges, claiming that peace activists posed a threat to his personal safety as an individual when they protested there. 

At first, the thought of such an order imposed on nonviolent demonstrators seems merely laughable. These orders of protection are typically used in domestic violence cases, against stalkers, or to protect a victim of (or witnesses to) a crime.  How could a U.S. military commander, living in a fortified base, surrounded by advanced weaponry and the soldiers preparing to use it, be threatened by unarmed civilians like Mary Anne?  She, like most of her companions in the coalition, has worked throughout her adult life to prevent bloodshed and killing.

But De Witt courts have upheld Colonel Evans’s right to be protected from the peace activists, and so everyone with an OOP who crosses the boundary (which isn’t clearly marked) outside the military base risks being charged with contempt of court for violating the order.  Mary Anne had lingered for a few moments with the group she wanted to photograph to ask her sister, Ellen, something about the camera she was using.

During her court case and at her sentencing hearing, Mary Anne tried to help Judge Gideon understand that young people like the Afghan Peace Volunteers, (APVs), with whom I’m now living, here in Kabul, are threatened by the drones. She and other coalition members have already presented the court with a letter from Raz Mohammed, an APV whose brother-in-law was killed by a drone, asking that the U.S. courts issue a mandate protecting him and his family from sudden annihilation by remote control.

In Syracuse, NY, a Probation Department pre-sentencing report had recommended no jail time at all for Mary Anne, noting that she has been the major caregiver for her mother and that the infraction didn’t warrant incarceration.  But Judge Gideon worried aloud that if he didn’t jail Mary Anne, she might thumb her nose at the courts and again risk arrest. 

Judge Gideon has tried numerous peace activists in the De Witt Town Court for their actions protesting drone warfare.  “This has got to stop,” he declared, in a moment of exasperation following an earlier court hearing. It seems that he imposed this sentence on Mary Ann because he and other authorities want to deter activists from gathering peaceably to petition, as the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment phrases it, “for redress of grievances.” 

“I hope she feels proud,” said Abdulhai, a member of the APVs here in Kabul, when he learned that Mary Anne was sentenced to a year in prison.  “She has a good heart.  She thinks about other people far away.” Abdulhai’s smiling face appears on many of the posters carried by activists when they appear in court and when they demonstrate at the base.  In the photo, he’s wearing a blue scarf which the APVs use to symbolize the same blue sky shared by all humans. His sign says: “We want to live without war.”

Mary Anne Grady Flores wearing the blue scarf in court

“Laws should be made to protect human beings,” said Faiz, also part of the APV community.  “Laws shouldn’t protect ways to kill other people.  Here in Afghanistan, the U.S uses drones to kill children, moms, and ordinary people.  I hope the judge will think about this.”

At her sentencing hearing, Mary Anne told Judge Gideon that a series of judicial perversions brought her before him. “The final perversion,” she concluded, “is the reversal of who is the real victim here:  the commander of a military base whose drones kill innocent people halfway around the world, or those innocent people themselves who are the real ones in need of protection from the terror of US drone attacks?”

Is it a crime to take photos of peaceful protesters exercising their First Amendment right, or is it a crime to take multiple drone reconnaissance photos of private Afghan homes in villages and subsequently use the information to target and kill Afghans without detention or trial?

Mary Anne and the Upstate Drone Action activists have a deep grievance. They object to using Reaper drones to fire Hellfire missiles into homes and communities where Afghan civilians, including children, could be killed. They raise crucial questions about the likelihood of drone attacks exacerbating and prolonging wars, conflicts and other armed strife.  Aerial spies insertable anywhere, ready to kill suspects by missile strikes, make the entire world a battlefield where the U.S. is a combatant. What’s more,  this is a technology other nations and non-nation groups are seeking to acquire.  Blowback could cause spiraling levels of lethal exchanges. Even think-tanks like the Stimson Center, itself in part funded by weapons manufacturing corporations, have begun publicly questioning the effectiveness of drone warfare.

As peace activists, we should voice our concerns about the U.S. military’s accelerating reliance on weaponized robotics before every branch of government, including the judicial branch. 

The problem is not that Mary Anne lacks appreciation for the law of the land. She’s exercising her First Amendment right to assemble peaceably for redress of grievance. The problem is that Judge Gideon refuses to challenge military elites, some of whom never, ever want people of compassion and conscience to interfere with their use of threat, force, and even assassination to control people in other lands.

Mary Anne has appealed her case, and a NY judge has released her from prison until the appeal is resolved.  Another activist, Jack Gilroy, awaits sentencing, and in coming days and weeks, more activists will be tried on similar charges in the De Witt Town court. Judge Gideon and his fellow DeWitt Court Judge Robert Jokl have many more opportunities to think about these critical issues.  I hope they’ll be influenced by having encountered some of the finest people in the world as they hear the cases of peace activists in upstate New York.

Kathy Kelly (Kathy@vcnv.org) co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence (www.vcnv.org)

Kerry's Third Cousin Relationship With Truth


Empty Shirt's Unenviable Record for Veracity
By Ray McGovern
 

The last time major war loomed on the near horizon, Secretary of State John Kerry played fast and loose with the facts. On Aug. 30, 2013 he solemnly claimed, no fewer than 35 times, "We know" the government of Bashar al-Assad was responsible for chemical attacks outside Damascus on August 21.

The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions

All nonviolent struggles are conducted simultaneously in the political and strategic spheres, and these spheres, which are distinct, interact throughout. I have discussed this at length elsewhere: see The Strategy of Nonviolent Defense: A Gandhian Approach. Despite this, only rarely have nonviolent struggles been conducted with a conscious awareness of this vitally important relationship. Gandhi’s campaigns were very effective partly because he understood the distinction and relationship between politics and strategy in nonviolent struggle. And the failure of many campaigns can be attributed, in part, to the fact that most activists do not.

DRONES: Free Online Screening on July 30th -- You'll Want to See This

There's a chance to watch DRONES, the movie, online on July 30th and then to join a discussion with filmmakers and experts.  There's a preview video below. The movie's website is at http://dronesthefilm.com and the free screening is at http://demandprogress.tv/drones

I saw a screening of this film back in November at the drone summit in DC. It's wonderful. I was a bit put-off and staggered, to be frank, at the time, because someone involved with the film bragged about how inexpensively it had been made, and yet the budget was so unfathomably huge that I knew that if an anti-war organization had that kind of money we could hire organizers all over the world and quite possibly make the abolition of war a major mainstream force. 

And, of course, you can't simply ask if the money was well spent, because no one will say that it was spent to end the practice of drone murder.  The director and the cast, of course, say they wanted to make a socially important film about a serious issue, but not what they wanted to accomplish, beyond raising questions and being entertaining.  Everyone's always happy to say that a film opposes racism or cruelty to animals or bullying, but not war. 

But, you hundreds of millions of odd-balls who, like me, happen to give a damn whether your government is murdering people in your name with your money will, in fact, want to make this film a huge viral success.  I'm telling you, right now, it's a good one.  It is indeed entertaining.  It's not simple, predictable, pedantic, or preaching.  But neither is the film itself reluctant to face head-on the banal, evil, arrogant mass-murder engaged in by these young people who dress up in pilots suits to sit at desks in trailers taking orders from military bureaucrats and private contractors, and ultimately from a president who reviews a list of potential men, women, and children to murder on Tuesdays. 

Drones look like a golden opportunity to war makers who don't want to ask Congress or the U.N. or the public, don't want to send in armies, just want to target people and groups for death anywhere in the world and obliterate them with the push of a button from an air-conditioned -- or, sometimes not so air-conditioned -- office.

But drones also look like a golden opportunity to those of us who have been trying to point out that murder and war are distinguished only by scale.  I suspect that many who cannot see the bombing of a city as murder will see the drone-targeting of an individual as nothing else -- particularly if they watch this film.

If you can watch the film and not want to Ban Weaponized Drones, watch it again.

Libya News - July 22, 2014


In a week Libya clashes between rival militias over Tripoli airport kill 47 - Fox News


Libya Airlines Cut Operations 70% After Damage to Planes - Bloomberg


Libya: Airport battles lead to at least US$200-mln losses - asiainsurancereview.com


VIDEO: Tripoli airport destroyed by clashing militias - YouTube


VIDEO: Tripoli Airport: Afriqiyah Airways A330 plane explosion - YouTube


Libyan militias' battle for Tripoli airport forces hundreds of families to flee - The Guardian


Libyan air controllers strike to protest against airport shelling - Reuters


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

Seven killed in clashes between army and Islamic militants in Libya's Benghazi - Reuters


VIDEO: Army helicopter bombs Ansar Al- Sharia positions in Abu Atni Benghazi - YouTube


Militia Behead Filipino Construction Worker Allegedly Because He Was Non-Muslim, Philippines raises alert level 4 in Libya - ibtimes.com


U.N. mission pulls staff from Libya - usatoday.com


Update: Kidnappings, Ransoms and Stability In Libya - The Libyan Insider


Libya publishes parliamentary election results, Liberals Set to Oust Islamists in Libya Parliament - Naharnet


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

Rebels siphoning off Libya’s oil bring Tripoli to halt - The Times


Eni, Repsol Expatriates Evacuated from Libya - WSJ


Libya asks U.N. Security Council for help protecting oil, ports - Reuters


Libyan Turmoil Sends Oil Prices on a Roller Coaster - WSJ


Libya Has Resumed Oil Exports, But Will It Last? - oilprice.com


Recent Violence Will Hurt Libyan Economy, Oil Revenue, Experts Say - ibtimes.com


Reserves crisis jeopardizes Libya's future - Al-Monitor


Libya will exhaust monetary reserves in 5 years - Al-Monitor


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

Egyptian border guards killed at a military checkpoint near Libya, gunmen unknown - www.ajc.com


Algeria foils Ansar Sharia plan to assassinate Al-Sisi - Echorouk Online


Egyptians fear Islamist militants gathering on Libyan border - defenceWeb


Foreign ministry urges Egyptians in Libya to take measures of ‘extreme caution’ - Daily News Egypt


Algeria, Tunisia to carry out joint military operations against terrorism along the border - middleeastmonitor


Algeria's Sonatrach recalls workers from Libya - TVC NEWS


Tunisia arrests 63 terror suspects, tightens security around militant hideouts - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


Libyan jihadists in Syria and Iraq returning home to fight Haftar: security sources - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


Ex-Libyan rebel commander appeals ruling on British torture case - Reuters

 

 

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

Why Are Campus Administrators Making So Much Money?

Americans committed to better living for bosses can take heart at the fact that college and university administrators—unlike their faculty (increasingly reduced to rootless adjuncts) and students (saddled with ever more debt)―are thriving.

In 2011, the last year for which figures are available, 42 private college and university presidents received more than a million dollars each for their work.  Robert Zimmer (University of Chicago) was the best-paid, at $3,358,723.  At public colleges and universities, nine top administrators garnered more than $1 million each in 2012-2013, with the best-paid, E. Gordon Gee (Ohio State University), receiving $6,057,615.

What the TSA really thinks of you – as if you didn’t already know

It doesn’t take many brain cells to figure out that the TSA, institutionally and individually, holds us in contempt. In their eyes, we’re all potential terrorists. Also peons who have to be put in their place. Never mind that we pay their salaries, every penny of their $8-billion-a-year budget, and that they are supposed to facilitate flying, not impede it. 

Ukraine News - July 21, 2014

 

How Russia slipped Buk missile into Ukraine, Using intercepted calls and satellite imagery officials reconstruct sequence of events - The Times


How rebels in Ukraine built up their arsenal, it's unclear whether the Buk was stolen by rebels from a Ukrainian base or supplied by Russia - CNN


Russia may have trained Ukraine separatists to use Buk missiles, U.S. says - LA Times


MH17 crash: Ukraine officials reveal photo evidence of Buk missiles crossing border from Ukraine to Russia a day after the tragedy - The Star


Is this the Buk launcher that shot down MH17 being smuggled back to Russia? Motorist captures truck carrying Buk (VIDEOS) - Mail Online


VIDEO: Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs released a video it described as a Buk (with one missile missing) being transported in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border - YouTube


Geolocating The Video Of The 'Buk Headed Toward Russia’ (VIDEO) - Interpreter_Mag


High-tech spy satellites tracked missile's path to Malaysia Airlines jet - LA Times


TRANSCRIPTS: Ukrainian intelligence releases more intercepted calls between separatists and Russian intelligence agents discussing the location and disposition of Buk missiles in Donetsk - Forbes


The Kremlin man Kurginyan confirms separatists possess a Buk system - news.pn


VIDEO (Russian): Kremlin man Kurginyan confirm separatists having Buk missile  - YouTube


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

Integrity of jet wreckage site in Ukraine compromised, Malaysia says - LA Times


MH17: Ukraine accuses rebels of interfering with evidence at crash site - The Globe and Mail


Lavrov, Kerry agree on ICAO's leading role in MH17 crash probe - CCTV News


Rebels to give Malaysia Airlines black boxes to the ICAO - FOXdfw.com


VIDEO: Separatists says black boxes from Ukraine crash site under their control - Mail Online


AUDIO: Separatists Recorded Trying To Get The Black Boxes To Moscow - Interpreter_Mag


VIDEO: First video to show "black box" at Ukraine crash site - YouTube


VIDEO: Video showing the free fall of Malaysia Airlines MH17 after being hit - YouTube


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

Separatist Leader Bezler Confirms Audio Tape Authenticity, But Denies He Meant Malaysian Plane - Interpreter_Mag


Who was separatist Igor Bezler before he allegedly shot down MH-17? - Linux Beach


MH17: Rebel leader Bezler was sacked from job as undertaker for stealing - Telegraph


ARCHIVE: Itercepted conversation shows rebel commander Bezler involved in the killing of Ukrainian deputy Rybak (PHOTOS) - Ukraine Investigation

 

ARCHIVE: Alleged executions by rebel Igor Bezler - niqnaq

 

ARCHIVE: Some executions of hostages by Igor Bezler proved to be staged - stopfake.org

 

ARCHIVE: The story of separatist Igor Bezler extorting money from Ukrainian businessmen - Free Ukraine


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

Planning for a Day of Peace

A few years back, prior to the International Day of Peace on September 21st, a school board member here in Virginia said that he would back a resolution marking that day as long as everyone understood that in doing so he was not opposing any wars.

Wars for peace, like sex for virginity, appear contradictory to some. But what about militarism for peace? What about war preparations and peace? A so-called "defense" department that arms the world; can that be compatible with peace? 

We need our governments to begin planning for a day of peace. Instead of investing everything in planning for war, preparing for war, and proliferating enough weapons to fuel plenty of wars, governments could invest in alternatives to war, nonviolent means of conflict resolution, moves toward justice that reduce conflict, international standards of law that make negotiations and diplomacy effective.

One of the tools that we can use to move our cultures and our governments toward planning for a day of peace is to ourselves plan for a day celebrating peace -- peace understood precisely as the elimination of war.  September 21st, the International Day of Peace, is one such day.  WorldBeyondWar.org is organizing events here.  And here is a list of events in the U.S. arranged on a map by Campaign Nonviolence. 

Groups and individuals interested in planning events this September can work with Campaign Nonviolence and Global Movement for the Culture of Peace and Peace One Day and A Year Without War.  Advocates of peace and environmental sanity who grasp the connections between the two may want to participate in a People's Climate March in New York City, September 20-21, and bring this flyer: PDF.

Some resources that can be used to create events of various types are here:

Screen and discuss the World Beyond War video.

Bring speakers from this Speakers Bureau.

Use this Prezi (similar to a Power Point) to present at a public forum. (Here's the same presentation as a PDF. Here's all the info to help you in a PDF.)

Here's a Power Point created by Russ Faure-Brac. (Also in older version of Power Point.)

And a Power Point by Coleen Rowley. (Also in older version of Power Point.)

Wear sky blue scarves and bracelets.

Use these flyers, sign-up cards, sign-up sheets.

Wear the message on shirts, stickers, cups, etc.

Listen to this music.

Videos, Articles, Books, etc.

At some events already planned for September 21, 2014, people will begin marking 100 years since the Christmas Truces of World War I.  You can find great information on World War I at 100 on NoGlory.org

You may want to screen Joyeux Noel: a film about the 1914 Christmas truce.  Or use this script for reenactment of a Christmas Truce: PDF. Here's more Christmas Truce information and videos. And if you're in the Northeast U.S. or the U.K. you might be able to attend or even set up a production of The Great War Theatre Project: Messengers of a Bitter Truth: Info in PDF.

Peace deserves more than empty platitudes compatible with the preservation of war as our largest public project.  Sometimes bringing truth back from propaganda is so jarring as to be humorous. "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work," said Woody Allen.  "I want to achieve immortality through not dying. I don't want to live on in the hearts of my countrymen; I want to live on in my apartment." We should not want peace only in our hearts or in the press releases of the Pentagon; we should want peace through the ending of war and the abolition of the institutions that continue to plan and create more wars even while they pretend to a sight degree of outrage that each new war has been successfully created.

Veterans to Deliver Letter to Israeli Ambassador to United States

Stop the Slaughter of Palestinian Civilians in Gaza!

Members of Veterans For Peace will deliver a letter to Israel's Embassy, 3514 International Dr. NW, WashingtonD.C. 20008, at 1:30 pm Monday afternoon, July 21. The letter calls on the government of Israel to immediately halt the bombing of Palestinian civilians and to withdraw all its troops and military assets from Gaza.  Colonel Ann Wright, who has visited Palestine and Israel several times, will head up the delegation.

The letter reads as follows:

To: Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer

From: Veterans For Peace National Board of Directors

Dear Ambassador Dermer,

As veterans who have witnessed the horror of war, we are deeply outraged by the state of Israel's slaughter of many innocent civilians in Gaza. The military assault against children, women and men, by air, by sea and now by land, is a clear violation of international laws of war and of human rights.   More than 300 Palestinians have been murdered, almost all of them civilians, nearly a quarter of them children. Thousands are wounded, including nearly 1,000 children.

Veterans For Peace joins millions of people all around the globe who are shocked by this vicious, one-sided slaughter. We understand the huge injustice of the Israeli occupation. Palestinians have been ethnically cleansed from their homes and forced to live in the Occupied West Bank, or in the open-air prison that is Gaza.

Mr. Ambassador, please tell the government of Israel to stop the massacre now! There should be an immediate end to all bombing and an immediate withdrawal of all Israeli military from Gaza.

Mr. Ambassador, please remind Prime Minister Netanyahu that you can bomb the world into pieces, but you cannot bomb it into peace.

Veterans For Peace calls for an end to the 8-year blockade of Gaza, so that normal trade and travel can occur.

Mr. Ambassador, please remind the government of Israel of the billions of dollars in aid that is provided to Israel by the United States. Veterans For Peace will push for an end to all military aid to Israel until such time as the Israeli occupation gives way to real peace negotiations based on the human rights of all the people concerned.

Veterans For Peace recommits itself to participating in the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel and Israeli products.

We encourage all parties to search for a nonviolent path to peace. We urge both Hamas and the government of Israel to refrain from targeting civilians.  We especially call on the state of Israel to stop its massive violence now. It is time to recognize the human rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to return to the homes from which they were forced to flee in 1948.

Mr. Ambassador, the peoples of Palestine, Israel and the world deserve to live in peace and harmony.  The ultimate goal of Veterans For Peace is to abolish war. In the meantime, we stand ready to assist those Israelis and Palestinians who seek peace and reconciliation.

[signed]  Patrick McCann, President

for National Board of Directors

VETERANS FOR PEACE

www.VeteransForPeace.org

One Year Jail Term for Drone Protester at Hancock AFB, NYS

by Debra Sweet.     July 10, 2014: Syracuse, NY. Anti-drone protester Mary Anne Grady was sent to county jail for a maximum 12 month sentence for violating a temporary "Order of Protection" granted by a County Judge to explicitly to protect the Commander Evans of Hancock Air Force Base, who said he wanted to keep protesters "out of his driveway." Years of non-violent protest, including civil disobedience, led by the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and Stop the Wars, have focused public attention on the role of Hancock in remotely piloting US drones around the world, particularly Reaper drones over Afghanistan, and also in training drone operators.

US + Israel Collusion = DEATH in Gaza

Israel has unleashed another murderous campaign against Gaza. If your heart is sickened by what Palestinians are living and dying through now, let us confront – and act to help many people confront -- that all this violence is backed by the $3.1 billion in military aid Israel receives each year from the U.S. People of conscience must stand against and resist the crimes of our own government, and that includes U.S. political and military support for the crimes of its cohort, its allies, when those powers commit crimes against humanity funded by and therefore “made in the U.S.A.”

Support WarIsACrime



Donate.








Tweet your Congress critters here.


Advertise on this site!




Facebook      Twitter





Our Stores:























Movie Memorabilia.



The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.