Syria/Turkey News - Aug 2, 2015

 

US-backed rebel group flees north Syria HQ after clash with Nusra - THE DAILY STAR


Saga of U.S trained Syria rebels continues. Nusra attacks their HQ. 5 dead, 18 injured & 20 captured out of 60 - Jenan Moussa on Twitter


Al Qaeda’s branch in Syria says it captured US-backed rebels - The Long War Journal


Nusra statement: About Division 30 and Assistance of the Coalition Airplanes With Bombing Nusra (English) - justpaste.it


VIDEO (Arabic): Nusra publishes video of abducted U.S trained Syrian rebels including an interview with one of them - YouTube


According to the New York Times U.S officials thought Nusra would welcome U.S trained rebels as an ally in its fight against Islamic State - Jenan Moussa on Twitter


Syria's rebel fighters recruited to fight Isis, but captured and beaten by Jabhat al-Nusra for 'collaborating with crusaders' - The Independent


More on the relationship between U.S backed rebel group Division 30 and Al-Qaida affiliate Nusra Front - Juan Cole


According to local sources Turkey opens its border for Al Nusra - ANF


Al-Qaeda-linked group in Syria flaunts U.S.-made TOW anti-tank missiles - Al Arabiya News


Qaeda-led court executes 10 in Syria's Aleppo, two were accused of adultery and the rest of collaboration with the Syrian government: monitor - Yahoo News

 

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Syrian Kurds Accuse Turkey Of Attacks, Ask U.S. For Explanation - huffingtonpost.com


Ascendant Kurds emerge from Syrian civil war as major power player - The Guardian


US commander Killea hails Kurdish group opposed by Turkey, 'YPG for the coalition against ISIL has been a very reliable partner' - Military.com


VIDEO: Marine Corps Brigadier General Kevin J. Killea on the coalition against ISIL - dvidshub.net


YPG kills 25 IS militants and drags their bodies at the outskirts of the city of al- Hasakah - Syrian Observatory For Human Rights


VIDEO: Hasakah : Syrian Army 104th Repulican Guards and Tribal Fighters capture the Central Prison from ISIS - LiveLeak.com


Syrian army advances on plain after rebel offensive: activists - THE DAILY STAR


25 Syria rebels killed in failed Aleppo attack - Al Arabiya News

 

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Turkey military presses ahead with strikes against PKK in northern Iraq, as many as 28 F-16 jets raid 65 PKK targets - todayszaman.com


Turkish Airstrikes Kill Nine Civilians in Kurdistan Region, Local villagers ask PKK to leave the area - BasNews


Witnesses tell the massacre in Zergêle village in Kandil caused by Turkey bombing (VIDEO) - ANF


PHOTOS: Photos of civilians killed by Turkish airforces in village near mountain Kandil - LiveLeak.com


VIDEO: Turkish F16 hit kurdish village killing civilians - LiveLeak.com


Turkey says ’saddened’ over reports of civilian deaths in air strikes, vows probe - todayszaman.com


Iraqi Kurdish regional government asks PKK to 'withdraw' to prevent civilian deaths amid Turkish airstrikes targeting the group - AP


KRG condemns PKK attack on Turkey's oil pipeline - middleeastmonitor.com


Sources: Turkey Military operations 'kill 260 PKK terrorists’ - Anadolu Agency


HDP leader Demirtas denies his brother injured in air strikes on PKK in northern Iraq - todayszaman.com


Turkey has not struck IS targets since 24 July, but strikes against PKK targets have continued every night since then - Alev Scott on Twitter


Turkey used 3 planes to strike IS targets in Syria on night of 23-24 July. The next night it used 75 planes to hit PKK targets in Iraq - Alev Scott on Twitter

 

Kurds Claim Turkish Airstrikes on PKK Destroyed Health Clinic in Iraqi Kurdistan - breitbart.com


2 Soldiers Dead, 24 Wounded in PKK Suicide Attack in Turkey: Officials - ABC News


PKK military wing HPG: At least 14 soldiers and 2 police officers killed in the past days - ANF


We are ready to sacrifice our sons, Davutoğlu says amidst terror attacks - todayszaman.com


Turkish prime minister Davutoglu op-ed : We will stop at nothing to defeat terrorism - The Washington Post


Police break up march in Turkey demanding PKK leader's freedom - Middle East Eye


HDP co-chairs file complaints against Erdogan, Davutoglu for swaying judiciary - todayszaman.com

 

HDP co-leader Yuksekdag faces propaganda investigation - Anadolu Agency


There are ‘preparations’ to close HDP, says co-leader Demirtaş - hurriyetdailynews.com


Are Turkish courts delaying trials of IS militants? - Al-Monitor


The one who got away: 40 Indian workers in Mosul were abducted and 39 killed by the Islamic State - Fountain Ink Series


US Report: ISIS Still Kidnapping and Selling Women - aina.org


al-Ḥayāt Media Center presents a new magazine issue from The Islamic State: “Istok #2″ - JIHADOLOGY


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

Revolting World

There is much that is revolting about the current world and Andre Vltchek, Christopher Black and Peter Koenig are well placed to document it, which they have done in their new book The World Order and Revolution! Essays from the Resistance.

Using a combination of political, legal and economic analyses, Vltchek, Black and Koenig carefully strip away the façade that the corporate media presents to us, and which the imperial elite wants us to believe, so that we can see some of the ugly, underlying truth about our world.

Saudis continue Qatif, Yemen killings, Crimes Against Humanity in Bahrain

On 27th July young citizen from Qatif in the Eastern Province of Arabia was cold-bloodedly shot and killed by regime forces. Mohammad Al Faraj was added to the list of victims of Saudi regime’s terror campaign against activists seeking political change. More than 30 people were killed in those attacks. In addition, there have been two terrorist attacks by regime’s allies on two mosques in the past three months in which scores were martyred. Several others were gunned down in Al Ihsa last year by those groups. The killing came as hundreds of Yemenis were killed by Saudi air attacks in the past few days despite declaring a temporary ceasefire to allow humanitarian work. The Saudis and their Alkhalifa allies have been bombing Yemen mercilessly for four months in an unprecedented aggression. Human rights groups have described some of the atrocities committed by the unholy alliance of evil forces as “war crimes”.

A public statement was issued on 27th July by Amnesty International calling on the Bahraini authorities to make public investigations into allegations of torture and other ill-treatment of prisoners during a riot in Jaw prison, south of the capital Manama, on 10 March and other abuses that continued for several weeks afterwards and to bring to justice any officials responsible for ordering or committing such acts.  The call came after the trial of 57 individuals, including on charges of assault on public officials and destruction of public property, started on 23 July. It was postponed to 17 September. Many people were severely tortured as the regime sent Jordanian troops to the jail to attack native Bahrainis.

The wave of arrests and detentions has continued unabated. In the week 20-26th July at least 38 people were arrested including six children. Last night four people from Sitra-Wadyan were detained from their homes. Hussain Taqi and his brother, Sadiq, Khalil Ibrahim AlTawq and Abdulla Essa Khudayyer were snatched from their homes. They were arrested within hours after an “explosion” that killed two Pakistani mercenaries attacking native Bahrainis in the area. The circumstances of their death are not clear. Bahraini Revolution is the most peaceful among the Arab Spring protests; the opposition has condemned violence and called for peaceful transformation to democracy. The regime has used violence as main tool against native Bahrainis. The Community Care Advisor at the Embassy of Pakistan in Manama, Maqsoud Lader Jah, revealed that 100 thousand Pakistanis live in Bahrain, most of whom work in construction and driving. But he said that 20% of them work as security guards in t he Bahraini Ministry of Interior (nearly 20 thousand Pakistanis). Other sources said estimated that more than 25,000 Pakistanis have been naturalised at a time when hundreds of native Bahrainis had their nationality revoked.

On 27th July Salah Saeed was kidnapped from Satra-Wadyan by masked members of the regime’s Death Squads.  Another youth, Sadiq Jaffar Al Asfoor from Sitra was detained on 21st July. Concern is rising for the safety of two native Bahrainis; Sadiq Thamer, Jaffar Sultan and Abdul Hamid Nasser who had been kidnapped by regime’s Death Squads on 8th June, but their families haven’t heard from them.  Reports of systematic torture have continued. It is now established that the under-aged Ahmad Al Arab has been repeatedly tortured at the toilet facilities, while other private houses and farms have become the new torture centres, away from the main prisons.

On  25th July Ali Abdulla AlAradi, 50, was kidnapped from his home, tortured with heavy tools before being drowned in the pool of a house, several miles from his town of Arad. The torture included the use of blunt instrument that split his head with deep wound. It is now almost a week but the regime has failed to catch the killers while claiming to have caught the alleged perpetrators of the Sitra explosion within hours. The general belief is that Mr AlAradi has been liquidated by regime’s Death Squads to send a message to the native Bahrainis that Alkhalifa, Saudi occupiers will stop at nothing in their war on the natives.

In recognition of the sad episode of Dr Abdul Jalil AlSingace who has been on hunger strike for more than four months, the English PEN has adopted him as a chained writer and thinker. It has urged its members to adopt Dr AlSingace and protest against his continued incarceration. A protest has been organised by English PEN at the Bahrain’s Embassy  in London on Wednesday 29th July to highlight the plight of Dr AlSingace.

On 24th July, The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) declared an additional eight Bahraini prisoners of conscience to be arbitrarily detained. Last week, the group of experts issued a series of official decisions on the Bahrain government’s detention of Jassim al-Hulaibi, Mohamed Sudaif, Abdulaziz Mousa, Ebrahim al-Sharqi, Ahmed Abdulla Ebrahim, Taleb Ali Mohammed, and two unnamed minors. The Group found that these detentions were arbitrary and in contravention of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Bahrain acceded to the ICCPR in 2006. Additionally, the WGAD held that the detention of one of the minors contravened the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Bahrain acceded in 1992. The opinion also pointed out, “Under certain circumstances, widespread or systematic imprisonment or other severe deprivation of liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law may constitute crimes against humanity.”

Bahrain Freedom Movement

A Campaign to Save Egypt

Message to The United Nations, European Union, United States, and all Democratic and Free countries

There are growing concerns that the government of Egypt intends to execute Egypt’s first ever democratically elected President, Mohamed Morsi in the coming weeks. Mr. Morsi along with hundreds of political opponents received the death sentence following what major international human rights organizations described as a hopelessly flawed and politically motivated trials that ignored acceptable minimum international standards.

Imagine there’s no army

By CJ Hinke
Excerpted from Free Radicals: War Resisters in Prison by CJ Hinke, forthcoming from Trine-Day in 2016.

hammer
Acting Costa Rican President José “Don Pepe”Figueres Ferrer takes a sledgehammer to the Cuartel Bellavista military barracks, 1948

The 22 countries which have abolished their militaries or were founded without one are uniformly tiny, isolated, and often island nations. In many cases, these states maintain national police or paramilitary forces for internal protection (some might say from their own citizens in the event of a popular uprising to effect regime change), maritime defence patrols, or are defended by their former colonial masters. Some might say they are at little risk of invasion because there’s nothing more to take and few to fight back!

Although countries with armies may be more complex and have extensive economic and foreign policy agendas, there is no reason why they, too, could not take the first step in abolishing their large and costly militaries. One country’s standing army can only be an implied threat against other nations. When a country has an army, there is every incentive to put it to aggressive use.

Bluntly stated, war is illegal under international law. All member states of the United Nations signed its Charter in 1945: “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.” The ‘purposes’ in Chapter I of the Charter are focused on the need “to maintain international peace.” The Preamble to the Charter emphasise its purpose: “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind.”

Syria/Turkey News - July 31, 2015

 

U.S.-backed Syrian group says Nusra abducted its leader and members, a blow to U.S. efforts to train fighters to combat ISIS - Al Arabiya


US moves to quash reports on Syria trainees captured by al-Nusra - Middle East Eye


Despite Pentagon Denial, Reports Confirm That U.S.-Trained Syrian Rebels Were Kidnapped By Al-Qaeda Almost Immediately - PJ Tatler


If u want to know more about U.S trained rebel group allegedly captured by an Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, read this - Jenan Moussa on Twitter


Kidnapping of Pentagon-Trained Fighters in Syria Is New Hurdle for U.S. Effort - The New York Times


Pentagon price tag for Syrian rebels: $4 million each - POLITICO


Pentagon: Cost of War Against ISIS Already Exceeds $3 Billion - Breitbart


US, Turkey differ over how to fight IS from Incirlik air base, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Bilgic: support for the YPG is not one of the elements of the agreement - Asharq Al-Awsat


Syrian Kurds fear their territorial gains are at risk after Turkish action - The National


Syria Kurds’ spending plans reflect ambition as the authorities provide services for a greater population due to the territorial gains - THE DAILY STAR


Syrian Kurds refine oil for themselves for first time - Yahoo News


Turkey Seeks To Prevent Syria Kurds' Autonomy, Not Fight IS, Analysts Suggest - rferl.org


Turkish military builds 2.5 meter-high, rocket-proof wall on Syria border - Todays Zaman


POLL: Majority of Turks would prefer Kurds over ISIL controlling northern Syria - Todays Zaman


ICJ acknowledges request for inquiry into Syria-bound MİT trucks - Todays Zaman


Assyrian Christians Demand Turkey Stop Bombing YPG - Breitbart


Cairo slams Turkey’s proposed safe zone in Syria, defends territorial unity - bgnnews.com


Egypt accuses Turkey of working with the Islamic State on the Sinai Peninsula - Washington Times


Syria ‘doubts Turkey’s intentions in anti-ISIS effort’ - Al Arabiya News


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Erdogan taking Turkey to war to avenge Kurdish territorial and political gains: leader of pro-Kurdish opposition Demirtas - Reuters


VIDEO: Kurd leader Demirtas attacks Turkey's 'safe zone' plan for Syria - BBC News


Demirtas: PKK withdrew from its separatist agenda 20 years ago, it is Erdogan’s fault that the PKK did not lay down their arms - Rudaw


Turkey prosecutors open probe into Kurdish leader Demirtas - France 24


Summary of proceedings prepared for Demirtas' immunity to be lifted - Todays Zaman


Erdoğan hits out at the Kurds, says their representatives have links to terrorist groups and the peace process is impossible – POLITICO


VIDEO: Erdogan responds to accusations by the head of a pro-Kurdish party - YouTube


New wave of attacks in southeastern Turkey blamed on the PKK with at least 11 police and army members killed since last week - AFP


PM’s office: 1,302 detained in 39 provinces in terror raids across Turkey targeting ISIL, the PKK and illegal extreme leftist groups - Todays Zaman


CPJ calls on Turkey to restore access to banned websites - Todays Zaman


Turkey onslaught on Kurds fuels anger - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Turkey’s Kurds condemn renewed fighting with PKK - France 24


In Iraq bastions, PKK braces for new war with Turkey - Yahoo News UK


Turkish Lira Declines as Soldier Deaths Spur Security Risk - Bloomberg Business


German defense minister cautions Turkey about attacks on PKK - Todays Zaman


Germany Wants to Withdraw Patriot Missiles From Turkey due to attacks carried out by the government forces against the Kurds - Sputnik International


Iraqi PM: Turkish Airstrikes on Kurds 'Dangerous Escalation and Violation of Sovereignty' - Breitbart


Turkey urged by Nato to show restraint as Erdogan says Kurdish peace process 'impossible' - Telegraph


UN calls on Turkey and PKK to find peaceful solution - Rudaw


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

Iran Deal Prevents Naked Muslim Ray Gun

Nukes get all the attention, but the fact is that intense inspections of Iranian facilities will also prevent Iran from developing a ray gun that causes your clothes to vanish and your brain to convert to Islam.

No, there is not the slightest scrap of evidence that Iran is trying to create such a thing, but then there's also not the slightest scrap of evidence that Iran is trying to create a nuclear bomb.

And yet, here are a bunch of celebrities in a video that certainly cost many more dollars than the number of people who've watched it, urging support for the Iran deal after hyping the bogus Iranian nuclear threat, pretending that the United States gets "forced into" wars, making a bunch of sick jokes about how nuclear death can be better than other war deaths, suggesting that spies are cool, cursing, and mocking the very idea that war is a serious matter.

How #AllLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter Can Devalue Life

By Sam Husseini


"This doesn't happen in the United States -- okay. This might happen in Afghanistan or somewhere. This just does not happen in the United States."
-- Cincinnati Prosecutor Joe Deters

The last several months have seen a debate, at times heated, between the #BlackLivesMatter movement and those who respond with #AllLivesMatter.

I think a lot of people -- perhaps not all -- who are using both tags are missing a larger point and opening themselves up to ultimately devaluing a lot of lives. 

People use #BlackLivesMatter to denote that given our criminal "justice" system, African Americans are frequently targeted, endangered and at times killed largely because they are black. And that's totally true and needed saying a long time ago.


People saying #AllLivesMatter presume to appeal to universal values, perhaps also noting that poor whites and others have particular vulnerabilities to police abuse as well. And the last part is certainly true. But it is odd to seem to appeal to universal values in a way that seems to seek to broaden the point to include a relatively privileged group. 

They crit each other: "The Defacement of Sandra Bland Mural Proves #AllLivesMatter Is Destructive" ("#AllLivesMatter is a mantra of white supremacy that ignores history..." and "#BlackLivesMatter Should Move Towards #AllLivesMatter" ("Twice as many Whites are killed than Blacks by cops, which means they are killed at about a third of the rate as Blacks.")

But both sides limit who they mean by "lives." They effectively exclude the victims of the U.S.'s highest officials. When most people use #BlackLivesMatter, they seem to be saying that all black U.S. lives matter when taken unlawfully by the government. And when most people who use #AllLivesMatter use it, they seem to be saying all U.S. lives matter when taken at the hands of police authorities -- not just black U.S. lives. But the formulation effectively excludes the lives of millions of people who U.S. officials have deemed expendable for reasons of state. 

Charles Blow of the New York Times for example at one level makes a legitimate point: "#AllLivesMatter may be your personal position, but until that is this COUNTRY'S position it is right to specify the lives it values less..." But aren't some of the lives that this country values less the lives our government and military has taken in Iraq and Afghanistan the last 15 years? Blow also tweeted: "I will not be an accessory to my own oppression. #BlackLivesMatter” But nor should one be an accessory to the oppression of others. 

What should be a glaring blind spot has at time reached absurd proportions. Hillary Clinton saying "all lives matter" at a predominantly black church was deemed a "misstep" by NPR, but why not examine if it makes any sense coming from her? While Senator, Clinton voted for authorizing Bush to invade Iraq, resulting in hundreds of thousands killed and millions displaced. While Secretary of State, Clinton helped preside over the U.S. massive nuclear weapons arsenal, which threatens the entire planet, the drone assassination program which has killed thousands and the NATO bombing of Libya, boasting afterward of Muammar Gaddafi: "We came, we saw, he died." That doesn't exactly square with a position of "all lives matter."

As it is, #BlackLivesMatter fails to genuinely uplift the lives of the most discarded by remaining within a national confine. And #AllLivesMatter isn't being universal at all -- in its current form, it's being outright nationalistic and parochial. 

Many now know the names of Sandra Bland and of Samuel DuBose and other African Americans whose lives were devalued by law enforcement officials, we know their names and we know some of their stories.  

The U.S. government has been outright bombing and attacking several countries in the Mideast for years now. Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen. How many names do you know of the victims of U.S. foreign policy? 

We know the names of the victims of the so-called Islamic State, people like Steven Sotloff. We know the names of victims of the Taliban, like Malala Yousafzai, who recovered from their attack on her. But the U.S. government has killed thousands of people in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we don't know the names, we don't listen to their stories. Virtually the only time we meaningfully perceive the violence of U.S. foreign policy -- in media or anywhere really -- is when U.S. soldiers are hurt or killed. Otherwise, the violence is normalized as in Deters's quote atop this article. It is decidedly off stage, a sideshow at best. 


Have you thought of a civilian victim of U.S. policy who you could name? You probably came up with Anwar al-Awlaki. But the reason you know his name is he was a U.S. citizen, proving the point that often that is what bestows value upon a human life. 

A study by Physicians for Social Responsibility earlier this year found: "The number of Iraqis killed during and since the 2003 U.S. invasion have been assessed at one million, which represents 5 percent of the total population of Iraq. This does not include deaths among the three million refugees subjected to privations." 

But that's a non-story. We've ended up in a sense embracing Stalin's aphorism: "The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic." 

A year ago, the U.S. government backed the latest of Israel's regular brutal bombing on Gaza, in which Israel killed over 1,000 Palestinians, hundreds of them children. For several months now, U.S. ally Saudi Arabia has been bombing Yemen to minimal attention and virtually no protest. President Obama just visited Ethiopia and Kenya -- with barely any criticism of how those nations have carved up Somalia, perpetuating killing there

It may be possible to honor the noblest possible intent in #BlackLivesMatter: That we should rush to aid those lives that are disregarded by many. Likewise for #AllLivesMatter: We should be universal and apply the principle of veneration of the value of life truly to all

Both impulses in their best form would argue to seriously scrutinize the U.S. government's role as global rogue cop -- a "cop" more dangerous than the most violent, racist police operating in the U.S. today. 

Addendum: When I made an abbreviated version of this argument to my partner, Emily, and said: Both #BlackLivesMatter and #AllLivesMatter can in effect devalue non U.S. lives, she replied that it actually devalued all lives -- including U.S. lives. "How's that?" I asked. She said: "It helps continue the militarism and that will eventually take U.S. lives, so it devalues those lives as well." If it were not a pseudo military analogy, I'd say "touché."

Viet Nam a Half Century Later

Jimmy Carter called a war waged in Vietnam by the United States -- a war that killed 60,000 Americans and 4,000,000 Vietnamese, without burning down a single U.S. town or forest -- "mutual" damage. Ronald Reagan called it a "noble" and "just cause." Barack Obama promotes the myth of the widespread mistreatment of returning U.S. veterans, denounces the Vietnamese as "brutal," and has launched a 13-year, $65 million propaganda program to glorify what the Vietnamese call the American War:

"As we observe the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, we reflect with solemn reverence upon the valor of a generation that served with honor. We pay tribute to the more than 3 million servicemen and women who left their families to serve bravely, a world away . . . They pushed through jungles and rice paddies, heat and monsoon, fighting heroically to protect the ideals we hold dear as Americans."

Which ideals might those have been? Remember, this was the bad war in contrast to which World War II acquired the ridiculous label "good war." But the Pentagon is intent on undoing any accurate memory of Vietnam. Members of the wonderful organization, Veterans For Peace, meanwhile have launched their own educational campaign to counter the Pentagon's at VietnamFullDisclosure.org, and the Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee has done the same at LessonsOfVietnam.com. Already, the Pentagon has been persuaded to correct some of its inaccurate statements. Evidence of the extent of the killing in Vietnam continues to emerge, and it has suddenly become universally acceptable in academia and the corporate media to acknowledge that presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon secretly sabotaged peace talks in 1968 that appeared likely to end the war until he intervened. As a result, the war raged on and Nixon won election promising to end the war, which he didn't do. There would seem to be at work here something like a 50-year limit on caring about treason or mass-murder. Imagine what it might become acceptable to say about current wars 50 years hence!

No Warlords Need Apply -- a call for credible peacemaking in Afghanistan

By Kathy Kelly and Buddy Bell

A second round of peace talks between Afghan government officials and Taliban representatives, expected to begin before the end of July, 2015, suggests that some parties to the fighting want to declare a cease fire.  But even in the short time since the first round on July 7th, fighting has intensified.  The Taliban, the Afghan government forces, various militias and the U.S. have ramped up attacks, across Afghanistan.

Hancock Anti-Drone Resisters Jailed Tonight

From UpstateDroneAction.org

Four anti-drone resisters were sentenced tonight in Judge Joseph J. Zavaglia’s DeWitt (NY) Town Court for alleged trespass at a “die-in” on April 28, 2013 at Hancock Air Base, home to the 174th Attack Wing of the NY National Guard, just north of Syracuse, NY. At their four-day trial this past June trial the six-person jury acquitted the four of disorderly conduct and obstruction of government administration.

The four are members of Upstate Drone Action Coalition – a scrupulously nonviolent, loosely-knit grassroots network which, since 2009 has actively opposed the Hancock Reaper drones flying missions over Afghanistan. The Reaper, an unmanned robot, is notorious for violating international law by killing, maiming and terrorizing civilians in several U.S. undeclared wars.

There have been over 160 anti-drone arrests at Hancock resulting in bails as high as $10,000, numerous trials, many incarcerations, and Orders of Protection (a legal device usually meant to protect spouses and other vulnerable persons against violence).

The four defendants are: Joan Pleune of Brooklyn, Beverly Rice of Manhattan, Ellen Barfield of Baltimore, and Jules Orkin of Bergenfield, New Jersey. Pleune is a former Freedom Rider; Barfield, Rice and Orkin are active with Veterans for Peace.

All four were identically sentenced to one year’s conditional discharge, $250 fine, $125 court costs and a two-year order of protection. Both Pleune and Rice told Judge Zavaglia, through their attorney Lewis Oliver, that they would not agree to the conditional discharge – which led him to sentence the two to 15 days in Jamesville Penitentiary. Pleune and Rice were taken from court in handcuffs.

The circus is in town: The United States of Absurdity, Circa 2015

By John Grant

 

"Someone must have been telling lies about Joseph K., for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one fine morning."

Effects of Oppression and Occupation

I am sure there are many effects of the Israeli oppression and occupation of the Palestinian people.  I probably have written about some of them in past entries.  I have had so many experiences living behind the wall.  Part of me wanted this blog to be about the stories that I have heard but I also wanted it to be about the experiences I have had living behind the wall.  It's interesting too because after the first few weeks, random people stopped telling me their stories, as my Arabic got better, people stopped telling me their stories, as I went from  being known as a tourist to known as someone who lived here, people weren't flocking to me to tell me their stories.  But also as I stayed here and as my Arabic got better and as I went from being known as a tourist to someone who lived here, my personal stories about living behind the wall were racking up but I became blocked mentally.  One day in the Palestinian life is like a week.

The Only Democracy in the Middle East

Doesn't that indicate freedom.  Freedom of movement.  Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of travel.  Maybe equal rights.  Liberty...if it's the only democracy in the Middle East then why is it the only country in the Middle East that I have traveled to where I have been interrogated at the airport on the way in and the way out...each time I have been there?  Why is it the only country I have traveled to in the Middle East where I am scared to post on Facebook?  Where I'm scared to blog about my experiences?  Where I'm scared to tell people where I am living?  Where I am scared to tell people where I am volunteering and what I am doing?  Why is it the

Focus: Hillary Clinton - July 29, 2015

 

Hillary Clinton dodges Keystone pipeline question - POLITICO


VIDEO: Hillary Clinton refuses to take a position on Keystone XL pipeline - The Guardian


VIDEO: Clinton Dodges Twice More On Keystone - YouTube


Fact sheet: Hillary Clinton's Vision for Renewable Power - hillaryclinton.com


VIDEO: The Clinton plan: Taking on the global threat of climate change, Building an economy for tomorrow - Hillary for America


CHART: One Simple Chart Explains The Climate Plans Of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley - ThinkProgress


Bernie Sanders attacks Clinton: It is hard for me to understand how one can be concerned about climate change but not vigorously oppose the Keystone pipeline - POLITICO


VIDEO: Bernie Sanders on climate change - YouTube


How does Hillary's climate change plan compare to Martin O'Malley's? - Yahoo News


A Jobs Agenda for our Renewable Energy Future - Martin O'Malley for President


The holes in Hillary Clinton's climate plan, She has avoided taking stands on Keystone XL, fracking, oil exports and Arctic offshore drilling - POLITICO


Hillary Clinton's Climate-Change Plan Is Anything But Comprehensive - The New Republic


Hillary Clinton's clean energy challenge doesn't match up with climate - slate.com


Hillary Clinton has a renewable energy plan, but she still needs one for fossil fuels - Grist


Hillary Clinton’s platform on climate and energy made headlines, but it did not break much new ground - InsideClimate News


Yet another study finds that reducing carbon emissions saves Americans money - Vox


Clinton's 'clean energy' agenda would benefit her corporate allies - Washington Examiner


Clinton Solar Plan Winners Include Supporters’ Clients, Employers - Washington Free Beacon


Hillary Clinton boards private jet hours after global-warming push (VIDEO) - Daily Mail Online


Hillary Clinton campaign pledges to go 'carbon neutral,' after private jet video - Daily Mail Online

 

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House speaker: Hillary Clinton should "come clean" and hand over private email server - Reuters


The Missing Hillary Emails No One Can Explain - The Daily Beast


Intel Community Warns: Posting Hillary's Supposedly Harmless Email Could Jeopardize National Security - Breitbart


Did Hillary doomed Stevens with ‘classified’ emails? Inspectors-general query points to info on ambassador's movements in Benghazi - WND


The Clinton Emails: Will DOJ Conduct a Real Investigation? - dailysignal.com


Donald Trump: Hillary Clinton's private email use was 'criminal’ - The Guardian


Attorney seeks oral arguments on case bringing RICO claims against Clinton Foundation - WND


Bill and Hillary Clinton's charities got £50million of British taxpayer-funded foreign aid cash - Daily Mail Online


Clinton adviser Huma Abedin earned $69,263 for the first quarter of the campaign - OmniTalk


Hillary Clinton’s $600 haircut puts Bergdorf on lockdown - Page Six


Martin O'Malley Faults Hillary Clinton for 'Closeness' to Wall Street - The New York Times


Liberal Organization Democracy for America Slams Clinton Econ. Speech - The Daily Caller


Tell Hillary Clinton to join Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin in standing up against the Wall Street revolving door - Democracy For America


Hillary Clinton aides' Wall Street links raise economic policy doubts - The Guardian


POLL: Trump leads GOP field in NBC poll; Sanders gains on Clinton - StarTribune.com


POLL: The 2016 unpopularity contest, presidential candidates are unpopular in New Hampshire and Iowa, The one exception? Bernie Sanders - NBC News


POLL: Why Hillary Clinton’s numbers are down in the states that matter - The Washington Post


POLL: 95 Percent of Registered Voters Deem It Important That Next President Be Honest, Trustworthy - Washington Free Beacon


Barack Obama: I think if I ran I could win a third term, but I can't under our constitution - Daily Mail Online


Obama: I'd win a third term, but I can't under our constitution - YouTube


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

Only thing that we did right was the day we refused to fight

By CJ Hinke, WorldBeyondWar.org

Excerpted from Free Radicals: War Resisters in Prison by CJ Hinke, forthcoming from Trine-Day in 2016.

The lines of resistance to war take many forms as these stories of resisters in prison in World Wars I (“the Great War”, “the war to end all wars”) and II (‘the good war”), the Cold War, the undeclared Korean “conflict”, the ‘Red Scare’ of the McCarthy period, the 1960s and, finally, the US war against Vietnam, demonstrate. There are as many reasons and methods to refuse war as there are refusers. The Department of Justice classified WWII resisters as religious, moral, economic, political, neurotic, naturalistic, professional pacifist, philosophical, sociological, internationalist, personal and Jehovah’s Witness.

Why are some awake and aware, why do some feel their conscience so strongly they cannot ignore it? As A.J. Muste proclaimed, “If I can’t love Hitler, I can’t love at all.” Why isn’t that spirit inside all of us? Most of us have unconsciously shut up the voice of our troublesome conscience to make our lives easier. I assure you, however, the world would be immeasurably better if we all learned to listen to even its faintest of stirrings.

The reason The Resistance was so effective against the draft is that meetings listened to everybody. This stratagem was learned in vivo from Quakers,  SNCC, and CNVA. The Resistance functioned because of its underlying commitment to principled consensus. Many of us—(does not play well with others)—went ahead to devise our own actions out of frustration with this long and often tedious performance. Sometimes others joined us seeing its value and sometimes they did not. If there were “leaders” of The Resistance, I never met any!

Talk Nation Radio: Do Ethics Professors Behave Ethically? Someone Checked.

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talknationradio-20150728

Eric Schwitzgebel is Professor of Philosophy at University of California at Riverside.  His most recent book is Perplexities of Consciousness. We discuss his article "Cheeseburger Ethics" on his research into whether ethics professors are any better behaved than anyone else. See http://schwitzsplinters.blogspot.com

Total run time: 29:00

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

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Help Prevent a War on Iran! Public Forum in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 5, 2015

PUBLIC FORUM ON IRAN DEAL

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Print and distribute flyer.

To be held exactly 70 years after nuclear age opened in Hiroshima (including time zone difference).

7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 5, 2015

At The Haven, 112 W. Market Street Charlottesville, VA 22902

Sponsored by World Beyond War, Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice, RootsAction.org, and Amnesty International Charlottesville, (more welcome to join).

Video of event to be widely distributed.

Speaker: Gareth Porter, independent investigative journalist and historian who specialises in U.S. national security policy. He is the author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, and the winner of the Gellhorn Prize for journalism in 2012 for exposing lies and propaganda about the Afghanistan War. Porter spent two weeks in Vienna covering the final round of negotiations and is now writing the definitive account of the how U.S. and Iran finally reached agreement.

Also invited, not confirmed (so please invite them!): Rep. Robert Hurt, Sen. Tim Kaine, Sen. Mark Warner.

Tomgram: Eduardo Galeano, The Previous Sole Superpower

 Recently, Susan Bergholz, the devoted literary agent of the late Uruguayan writer and planetary great Eduardo Galeano, sent me this brief email: “A friend of Eduardo's and mine called yesterday to tell me, ‘Now we know where Eduardo went: he became pope!’” Somehow, that thought raised my spirits immeasurably.

Turkey News - July 27, 2015


Turkish Jets Hit Kurdish Militant Camps Again, Security Sources Say - huffingtonpost.com


Kurdish Separatists End Cease-Fire After Turkish Airstrikes - VOA


Merkel urges Turkey to continue Kurdish peace process despite violence - DW.COM


EU’s Mogherini urges Turkey to keep Kurdish peace process alive - BasNews


Here's what the US has to say about Turkey and the PKK - Al Bawaba


NATO: North Atlantic Council to meet at Turkey's request - US News


Iraq’s Kurdistan slams Turkish airstrikes on PKK - Al Arabiya News


In a phone call to Turkish Prime Minister Davutoğlu Barzani urges Turkey to Stop Attacks on PKK - BasNews


Barzani's statement on Turkish airstrikes contradicts Davutoğlu's remarks - hurriyetdailynews.com


The Kurdistan Parliament condemns the Turkish air campaign targeting bases of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) inside Iraqi territory - NRT English


HDP slams operations targeting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party: AKP is setting Turkey on fire - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Erdogan’s shift on Islamic State linked to Kurdish gains in Syria, implementing a safe-zone project controlled by Turkey-supported Syrian opposition forces - Al-Monitor


Le Monde publishes indictment claiming MİT involved in Paris murder of 3 PKK women - todayszaman.com


Turkey Uses ISIS as Excuse to Attack Kurds - gatestoneinstitute.org


Report: Seized USB drives reveal Turkey’s links to ISIL - todayszaman.com


Report: Turkish President Erdogan's daughter heads ‘covert' medical facility for treating injured Isis fighters, These claims however could not be independently verified - IBTimes


ARCHIVE: Research Paper: ISIS-Turkey List - huffingtonpost.com

 

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Turkey policeman killed during clashes with protesters in Istanbul district of Gazi - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Turkey: Clashes erupt as activists protest Turkish airstrikes, dozens arrested - YouTube


Turkey bans 'peace march' on security concerns - hurriyetdailynews.com


Turkish police break up anti-IS march in Ankara - theSundaily


Protesters, police clash in eastern Turkey - The Journal of Turkish Weekly

 

Hundreds detained in operations across Turkey and North Kurdistan - ANF


Turkey blocks Kurdish websites as Twitter and Facebook slows down - hurriyetdailynews.com


People march from Ranya to Kandil to protest Turkish airstrikes - ANF


PHOTOS: Kurds are marching to Qandil to prevent Turkish attacks on PKK - International Brigades of Rojava


VIDEO: Hundreds of French Kurds stage demonstration in Paris against the attack by ISIL that killed 32 people, but also against the government’s bombing of PKK - euronews


Politicians, protesters in Germany condemn Turkey attacks on PKK - rudaw.net


Kurds and others protest against Turkey in Washington - rudaw.net


Jailed prosecutor says complacency towards Salafists made Suruç bombing possible - todayszaman.com

 

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ISIS on retreat as Syrian Kurdish forces make more territorial gains in - rudaw.net


Syrian army, Kurds advance against IS in Hasakeh - Yahoo News


Syrian Kurds: Turkish army tanks shelled our positions - International Brigades of Rojava


PYD Leader Muslim: Iraqi Kurdistan is Our Main Provider of Weapons - BasNews


KRG Releases Details of Weapons Sent to YPG in Rojava - BasNews


Airstrikes Continue Against ISIL Terrorists in Syria, Iraq - Defense.gov


Syrian President Bashar Assad makes rare speech, vows to crush enemies - CBS News


VIDEO (English):  Assad's Damascus speech (Full) - Al Bawaba


Syria's Assad announces amnesty for draft dodgers -Syrian TV - Yahoo News

 

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

Israel Sees Nazism in Mirror it Mistakes for Window

Israel is trying to expel the population of a village for the crime of not being Jewish, the same crime for which Israel bombs the people of Gaza for a month or so every few years and blockades them in between these bursts of violence.

Meanwhile, Mike Huckabee declares that making peace with Iran amounts to marching Israelis "to the door of the oven."

Guess which of the two stories will get more coverage!

A crime of over 70 years ago, part of a war that in my unscientific estimate forms the single most common theme of U.S. historical fiction -- whether print or film -- is more important news in the view of U.S. editors than is a crime of right now.

And that was true 60 years after World War II and 50 years after and 40 and 20 and even 3 years after World War II.

Eve Spangler has just published a wonderfully well documented book that should be the text for universal history classes, called Understanding Israel/Palestine: Race, Nation, and Human Rights in the Conflict. Spangler, the U.S. child of two holocaust survivors, was a college professor before she had the slightest idea what had happened in Palestine during the twentieth century. When she found out, she went all-in and found out as much as could be known.

Spangler takes students to Israel/Palestine every year. When visiting the Arab market in Hebron, she learned that the heavy metal mesh screen overhead was hung there to protect shoppers from bricks and chairs thrown down from balconies by Israeli settlers. However, Spangler was struck with the contents of one of the objects settlers had learned could penetrate the screen: a plastic bag of human excrement. Israeli settlers behave like prisoners gone mad from confinement even as they steal the land and homes of non-Jewish people with impunity.

How can this be? What went wrong?

Well, at least a part of what went wrong went wrong from the start, from even before the 1948 Nakba in which Israelis-to-be ethnically cleansed the land without a people for the people without a land. The land without a people was more densely populated than the United States, but was seen as populated by subhuman non-people, not even Untermenschen.

"Clearly, the aspiration to creating a 'new man,'" Spangler writes, "defined by a hyper-masculine ethos of physical and military strength and by 'clean and pure blood' (and a 'new woman' defined by fecundity) had echoes of fascist ideology and profoundly racist implications. Consider, for example, the iconic photo of an Israeli soldier gazing reverently at the Western Wall on the day that the Israeli army conquered East Jerusalem in 1967. He is startlingly Aryan in appearance. Nor did the preference for blondes end in 1967. Recently social workers told an Israeli friend of mine who is waiting to adopt a baby, that her family could have a 'defective' baby immediately, but would have to wait about a year for a 'normal' baby or up to five years if they insisted on having a blond, blue-eyed child. 'Defective' children, this family discovered, were dark-skinned."

Two years after the liberation of the concentration camps in Europe, Jewish militias besieging the town of Beisan (Bet She'an), Spangler notes, "required some Arabs to don yellow armbands, and marked Arab stores with yellow decals, targeting them for looting." Spangler, whose book covers many subtopics other than the one I'm focusing on, is infinitely careful to stress the obvious, namely that similarities are not exact equivalencies. Her point in noting the similarities is, I think, clearly and legitimately enough to expose the imperfect yet startling mimicry and the motivation of misdirected revenge in the basic policies of the Israeli government from that day to this toward the people who lived in the "uninhabited" land.

Lillian Rosengarten's forthcoming Survival and Conscience: From the Shadows of Nazi Germany to the Jewish Boat to Gaza is an account by a Jewish woman who fled Nazi Germany for the United States as a little girl with her parents. "Nationalism revisited," she writes, "is now twisted into a parody of the Nazi credo, 'Deutschland über alles,' extolling Germany over all others with only pure Germans as inhabitants. Get rid of the undesirables who are beneath contempt. I must not make such a comparison, you say. Yet I must, for I fear a Jewish State that belongs only to Jews is a dangerous road. I must question the profound psychological impairment suffered and internalized by generations of Jews that follows the Nazi Holocaust. The cycle of paranoia and abuse is playing out its destructive course: this is how I understand Palestinians as the last victims of the Holocaust."

I would question only how Rosengarten can see into the future and find the last victims of the influence of Nazism. After World War II, the military of the United States -- which, of course, arms the Israeli military free of charge while whining about how it can't afford luxuries like schools, housing, and bridges that don't collapse -- hired sixteen hundred former Nazi scientists and doctors, including some of Adolf Hitler’s closest collaborators, including men responsible for murder, slavery, and human experimentation, including men convicted of war crimes, men acquitted of war crimes, and men who never stood trial. Some of the Nazis tried at Nuremberg had already been working for the U.S. in either Germany or the U.S. prior to the trials. Some were protected from their past by the U.S. government for years, as they lived and worked in Boston Harbor, Long Island, Maryland, Ohio, Texas, Alabama, and elsewhere, or were flown by the U.S. government to Argentina to protect them from prosecution. To observe and note the Nazification of the U.S. military is neither to absolve the U.S. military of its pre-WWII crimes nor to pass blame off to the Nazis instead of blaming U.S. officials of later generations for their own actions. Blame is not a limited quantity.

I don't think we can dismiss Huckabee's comments about ovens as simply a bid to be dumber than Donald Trump and win the pro-stupidity vote in the Republican primaries. Transforming Iran from devil to negotiation partner victimizes Israel precisely by stripping Israel of some of its victim-status. Without the status of eternally current victim of the fantasized reenactment of long-past crimes, Israel has to be viewed through a filter of actual facts. Were Jews victimized by Germany? Of course! Did Palestinians deserve to suffer for it? Of course not! Did Iran have anything to do with it? Of course not! Would I support pulling all the U.S. military bases out of Germany and turning all of their land over to Jewish settlers? Sure!

But only those who want to leave Palestine should leave it. Only those who want to stay in a nonviolent, pluralist, secular, democratic, state with equal rights for all and compensation for Palestinians harmed over the past many decades should remain.

Photo above is from MiddleEastMonitor.

Hey, I Have an Idea Where They Can Stick the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia campaigned on green energy (and I hear some people may have believed him, though I haven't met one) and then immediately backed the proposed construction of a giant fracked-gas pipeline through the mountains and farms of Virginia to carry fossil fuels from West Virginia to North Carolina.

Dominion Virginia Power paid $1.3 million this year in legal bribes to candidates' election campaigns, more than anyone else in Virginia except the two Parties. Every single bill Dominion opposed in the legislature died. Dominion, according to the dictionary, is "the power or right of governing and controlling; sovereign authority; rule; control; domination."

In Virginia it's easy to think of the evictions of the poor farmers 80 years ago to create Shenandoah National Park as something ancient that civilization has outgrown and would never do again. (And the old lyrics of the song Shenandoah, about giving the Native American chief liquor in order to steal his daughter, are not celebrated in this day and age.) But at least the injustice of the 1930s evictions created a park. At least there was some sort of public interest involved.

Now here comes the Virginia government as the bought-and-paid-for servants of their corporate masters at Dominion to claim a 40-yard-wide path of destruction and potential catastrophe right through the middle of numerous private properties and public properties for the sake of escalating the collapse of a livable climate on the planet, not to mention facilitating the destruction in West Virginia where the fracking frackers will do their fracking. What's the public interest to justify it? It's going to ruin parks and not create any.

A good short documentary on the growing resistance, called Won't Pipe Down, shows the owner of Silverback Distillery explaining that he supported the Keystone Pipeline but opposes this one because it impacts his own personal private property and his business. The correct response to that attitude is not "Serves you right," but "Glad you're now with us." Because NIMBYism keeps getting the proposed path of the pipeline moved, and if those who succeed in moving it stick with the struggle to keep it from getting built at all, perhaps it can be prevented entirely.

The pipeline is also proposed to cut right through a communal farm property, where an existing sense of community may aid the movement.

In fact the movement is doing well. Check out FriendsofNelson.com. There are big protests. Driving through Nelson County, or even through Charlottesville, one sees lots of "No Pipeline" signs. Some 69% of Nelson County landowners in the proposed path have refused to allow surveys on their land.

The film, Won't Pipe Down, uses a quote from local hero slave-owner, rapist, coward, sadist, and father of States Rights, Thomas Jefferson, to emphasize the supreme value of "private property." But the pipeline is not going through the private property of most of the people opposing it, or of most of the people who ought to be opposing it and who will have to start opposing it if it is to be stopped.

The U.S. government fights wars for oil and gas, for godsake. It bombs people's homes for this stuff. If we only protest when our own personal property is impacted disproportionately, we're going to see the climate severely impact each and every piece of private property on earth. This pipeline needs to be opposed by everyone in the area and everyone in the world. Help out, won't you? FriendsofNelson.com and AugustaCountyAlliance.org

Oh, and here's my idea for where to stick the thing if it can't be stopped. Governor McAuliffe is living in public housing in Richmond, Va., and I suspect that Thomas F. Farrell II is able with his personal $12 million per year from Virginians' utility bills, to afford some sort of residence in that area. McAuliffe must bow before the $2500 Farrell gave him for his campaign, even knowing that Farrell gave his opponent $5000. Why not build a pipeline from the sewer beneath each of these two gentlemen's houses, connecting them, and let the question of which produces more filth, the public or private realm, finally be answered when we see which house's plumbing backs up first?

"We Don't Want Your Pipeline" By Robin and Linda Williams from Richard Adams on Vimeo.

Protest Song about proposed Dominion Gas Pipeline coming through
West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina.
Robin and Linda Williams (copyright 2014)
www.augustacountyalliance.org

Image above shows the results of building a leaking pipeline in another state, what Virginians can look forward to if the ACP is built.

The Last Draft Dodger: We still won’t go!

By CJ Hinke
Excerpted from Free Radicals: War Resisters in Prison by CJ Hinke, forthcoming from Trine-Day in 2016.

My father, Robert Hinke, was not political. Nor was he religious. Nevertheless, he was a complete pacifist.

When I was a very small boy, he took me to one of the many demonstrations opposing the death penalty for the accused atomic spies, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. He was passionate and outspoken his whole life against the death penalty, a mistake which could never be undone.

My father was of draft age when the US threw itself into World War II. If he knew about conscientious objectors, I never heard him say so. Nor did I ever see him vote.

He was a football player at Rutgers. When he was called for a draft physical, he goaded another player to break his nose by insulting his mother. When the draft authorities told him he was still able to fight, he goaded the same football player to bust him in the nose again. He failed the second physical—a deviated septum meant a soldier who could not wear a gas mask.

I come from the ‘duck and cover’ generation. We were taught in school that to hide under our desks and cover our heads would save us from the bomb!

I was not a particularly rebellious boy. Pledging allegiance to the flag is still the reason I determine right from left. But, on joining the Cub Scouts, appearing at assembly to take the pledge, I knew I could not wear a uniform and follow orders; I threw down my pin in disgust and stalked off the stage.

I was 13 in 1963, when the National Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy marched through my hometown of Nutley, New Jersey, led by pædiatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock (1903-1998). I read SANE’s leaflet about mutually-assured destruction.

Without a moment’s hesitation, I joined SANE’s march to the United Nations in support of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. This was my first arrest for civil disobedience. In New York City’s Tombs, I met my first transsexuals and learned to play blackjack using tobacco for currency.

From this point, I read everything I could find about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and nuclear weapons testing. I began to study Japanese language the next year in order to get closer to this issue and the terrible crime which America had perpetrated on the Japanese and the world.

Family friends introduced me to Friends’ silent meeting for worship and their peace testimony, seeing the Light in every person. Quakers are a traditional peace church but my attender friends were not religious, nor was I. It did not take a great deal of reflection by age 14 to decide I would not register for the Vietnam draft.

Simply put, conscription feeds the war machine. If you don’t believe in war, you must refuse the draft.

It was about this time I began to refuse to pay war taxes from my part-time job. These acts led logically to becoming a vegetarian: If I will not kill, why should I pay anyone to do my killing for me. I didn’t know any vegetarians; I actually had never heard of any but it was a question of making nonviolence work for me. I’m still a vegetarian today.

I began to devote all my free time to the pacifist groups at 5 Beekman Street in lower Manhattan. I started out in the Student Peace Union national office and was mentored by the dean of American pacifists, A.J. Muste. I put my efforts into the War Resisters League and the Committee for Nonviolent Action, often working on their newsletters and helping with mailings.

This period saw much draft card burning as political protest. Draft card burnings and returnings had taken place since the beginnings of the ‘peacetime’ SSA in 1948 but destruction of draft cards was not made illegal until a special act of Congress was passed in 1965. Among the first to burn, in 1965, was my friend, Catholic Worker David Miller, at New York’s Whitehall Street Induction Center. 30,000 draft refusals in July 1966 rose to 46,000 by October.

A small group of us, including Dr. Spock, was arrested that day for chaining shut the doors of the center. I was, however, determined I would never have a draft card to burn. I did, however, get to enjoy this singular act of rebellion when one of my draft counselees gifted me with his own! This action was followed by the Fifth Avenue Peace Parade Committee, chaired by Norma Becker, which I helped organize in March 26, 1966 with Sybil Claiborne of the Greenwich Village Peace Center.

We brainstormed into being a new group of draft-age young men, The Resistance. I worked full-time for The Resistance and was eventually chosen the liaison with the many disparate groups forming the Mobe in planning the Spring Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam on April 15, 1967.

That fall, our  pacifist coalition marched across the border to Montréal where the 1967 world’s fair, Expo ’67, was being held in the capital of French Canada. The U.S. had commissioned  a giant geodesic dome designed by futurist architect Buckminster Fuller for its national pavilion. We wore t-shirts painted with antiwar slogans under our street clothes into the fair and stepped off the escalators to climb into its structure. We were arrested by ladder and removed, and held the night before being released without charge from the 1908 Prison de Bordeaux. Of course, we made international news. Welcome to Canada!

The Resistance was the yeast that grew the Mobe; we raised the bread to make it happen. The Spring Mobe evolved into the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, chaired by Dave Dellinger, which spearheaded the 100,000-strong Confront the Warmakers march on the Pentagon on October 21, 1967.

682 of us were arrested at the Pentagon, the largest civil disobedience arrest in American history. (Yes, some people put flowers into the barrels of the rifles of the National Guardsmen keeping us at bay and some soldiers joined us—I saw it!)

The Mobe was composed of many traditional lefties but also much of the ’New Left’, like Students for a Democratic Society and other stakeholders against the war such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Black Panthers, the Congress of Racial Equality, the Industrial Workers of the World, and the Yippies.

As a movement representative, I attended the first national convention of the Wobblies and the first American Communist convention since McCarthy’s Red scare. I saw my job as holding the movement coalition to nonviolence. Violence was the self-defeating tactic of big government.

I was doing a great deal of counseling of draft-age young men for The Resistance. Many of my pacifist pals were going to prison, sentenced to three to five years under the Selective Service Act. I could honestly not expect less. My father was not happy about this probability but never tried to dissuade me, either. I started to draft counsel in Canada, so-called draft ‘dodgers’ and military deserters as well, and he was delighted when I fell for a Canadian Quaker girl while editing Daniel Finnerty and Charles Funnell’s Exiled: Handbook for the Draft-Age Emigrant for the Philadelphia Resistance in 1967.

On May 6, 1968, five days after my 18th birthday, we held a demonstration in front of the Federal Building in Newark, New Jersey, where physicals and inductions were scheduled. However, that day more than 1,500 people, entertained by the Bread and Puppet Theater and General Hershey Bar, (parodying Selective Service director, Gen. Lewis B. Hershey), showed up to celebrate my refusal to register. There were no inductions or physicals that day. The Feds were spooked and turned away all draftee appointments.

More than 2,000 of my supporters signed a statement declaring they had counseled, aided and abetted me to refuse the draft, an act carrying the same legal penalties of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. We turned ourselves in to the Federal Marshal in Newark who simply refused to arrest me. And I’d packed a toothbrush!

The word ‘evader’ has an ignoble ring to it, as if one were a coward. We need to change the perspective because the only thing resisters are evading is injustice. COs also get called, pejoratively, ’shirkers’ or ’slackers’. The only thing we shirk is shrugging off the chains of militarism.

I had already planned to move to Canada. However, I had a few more things to do to end the war.

My summer of 1968 was spent at the Polaris Action Farm of the New England Committee for Nonviolent Action, centered around a 1750 farmhouse in rural Voluntown, Connecticut. During this summer, a paramilitary right-wing group calling themselves the Minutemen were plotting to attack the CNVA farm and murder all the pacifists. The police knew about the plot but did not inform us because they thought (rightly) that we would warn the Minutemen.

The five right-wingers arrived in the dead of an August night and set up an automatic weapon on a tripod in the field. At that point, the Connecticut State Police ambushed the Minutemen into a firefight. One of the rounds blew a hole into the hip of one of our residents, Roberta Trask; she needed extensive surgery and rehabilitation. For some years, I wrote to one of the Minutemen in prison. New England CNVA lives on as the Voluntown Peace Trust.

My summer of 1969 was spent working with Arlo Tatum, George Willoughby, Bent Andressen and others at the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors in Philadelphia, counseling draft-age men and editing the 11th edition of CCCO’s Handbook for Conscientious Objectors. I was fortunate to live with veteran peace activists Wally and Juanita Nelson. I have never met more positive committed activists nor anyone more in love.; they celebrated life in every way possible.

New England CNVA chose me as their representative to the Japan Socialist Party’s annual Conference Against A and H Bombs in 1969 due to my research on the atomic bombings and Japanese language skills. I was one of eight international delegates and certainly the youngest.

Nothing could have prepared me for Hiroshima at 8:15 am on August 6th at the epicenter of “Little Boy”’s atomic blast; there is no greater call to peace. Working with the World Friendship Center founded in 1965 by Barbara Reynolds, I spent much of my time in both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Hospitals where people are still dying from nearly 70-year old radiation illnesses.

Outside the U.S. military base in Naha, Okinawa, I gave a speech in Japanese. Then I turned around the speakers to blast the giant U.S. base with instructions for deserters.

In September 1969, I found myself living in Canada. My gainful employment was working with the massive collection of archived papers of British pacifist vegetarian philosopher Bertrand Russell at McMaster University. Russell was of enormous support to conscientious objectors as were Henri Barbusse, Albert Einstein, and H.G. Wells.

I was greatly supported by Toronto Quaker pacifists, Jack and Nancy Pocock who opened their Yorkville home and hearts to many draft exiles, later Vietnamese boat people and again for Latin American refugees.

My experience as a draft counselor led me to work with Mark Satin of the Toronto Anti-Draft Programme to edit and revise the fourth edition of his Manual for Draft-Age Immigrants to Canada,  published in 1970. The book’s publisher, House of Anansi Press, began my association with the alternative education of Rochdale College in Toronto, where I became both resident and part of the administration.

My gainful employment at the time was for Toronto’s prestigious Addiction Research Foundation, walking distance from The Rock, from one drugstore to another! I ferried drug samples from Rochdale dealers to ARF’s doctors for testing, protecting the safety of the youth community. Eventually I migrated from ARF to the province’s Whitby Psychiatric Hospital where I hosted radical British psychiatrists, R.D. Laing and David Cooper. We disabled the electroshock machines there and took a lot of psychedelics.

It was during this period that I was most active in a sort of latter-day underground railroad which arranged transportation to Canada and Sweden for American military deserters and draft resisters already charged.

I have to mention that life in the supercharged peace movement was a hard act to follow. But nonviolent activism requires constant reinvention. Specific noncoöperation has an expiry date and then one must move on to new issues, new tactics. Unlike many of my activist contemporaries who remained in the U.S., moving to Canada was, for me, like Lowell Naeve in these pages, a refreshing reset which enabled me to remain true to my conscience and ethical values but still remain on the cutting edge of critical thinking and analysis.

It would be remiss of me not to credit wide use of LSD among young people for encouraging draft resistance. It’s pretty hard to be one with everything when harming anyone is just like killing yourself. I hope the spiritual self-exploration made possible by psychedelics comes back to us. We need it…

Over the intervening decades, I have honed and sharpened what nonviolent direct action means to me. My definition has broadened considerably. I now fully embrace the concept of economic sabotage and destruction of the machinery of evil. I no longer think an activist needs to do so openly and thus be sacrificed. Better to do so secretly and live to plant another monkeywrench where it will do the most good at stopping violence.

Draft “exile” may have altered my circumstances but not my life. In Canada, I never failed to inform the FBI of my changes of address. However, after I was indicted in 1970, they didn’t notify me. I was aware of my illegal status when traveling to the US but I was not burdened with it.

In the autumn of 1976, I rented a retreat cottage in the bucolic farmland of Point Roberts, Washington. Point Roberts is American solely because of its location below the 49th parallel. It can only be reached via American waters or by road…through Canada.

The American war had been over for more than a year. However, one dark December evening, a knock on the door announced, US Marshals, local police and sheriff’s deputies. When I told them I was Canadian and would simply get out of their car when we reached the border, they advised me to dress warmly.

Shackled and handcuffed, they rowed me in a tiny aluminum boat to a 70-foot Coast Guard cutter with a crew of 15 men. When these boys, all younger than I, asked what I had done, they were amazed; to a man, they thought the draft was over. It was thus I arrived at Whatcom County Jail. In order to confuse my supporters who were gathering around the jail, they moved me incommunicado to King County Jail in Seattle. I fasted until the new President was inaugurated.

I had just become the last American arrested for the Vietnam draft, and the first pardoned.

Jimmy Carter was elected President in November of 1976. The day after he took office, January 21, 1977, Carter’s first official act as President was Proclamation 4483 which pardoned unconditionally all those accused of draft law violations from 1964 to 1973. Including me—I walked! A huge celebration of supporters was held at the Capitol Hill Methodist Church.

Due to my central position in the American peace movement, I started these interviews in 1966 when I was 16 years old. I fully expected to go to prison for the draft and I wanted to be forearmed. I soon saw that these interviews would be of the same inspiration and encouragement to other draft resisters as they were to me.

Moreover, my friendship with these fearless activists convinced me that conscience led to commitment, commitment to defiance, defiance to refusal, and refusal to noncoöperation. Radical pacifists seasoned me from a principled teenager into a lifelong radical.

I decided to make this body of work into a book to share. Pacifist friend, poet Barbara Deming, was published by Richard Grossman in New York. With her introduction, Dick agreed to publish this book. Dick gave me a $3000 advance and let us live in his Lower East Side apartment for a month. However, I was in process of moving to Canada, the manuscript was lost, and I ran away with Grossman’s money. (Sorry, Dick!) My sister only recently rediscovered it in my boxes of family archives, after more than 40 years.

Sometimes I feel like the Forrest Gump of the modern pacifist movement. I met everybody, I demonstrated everywhere, I got arrested frequently. I have been privileged to have been made family to three generations of well-known refuseniks. Today I do my best to impart those teachings of conscience to my students.

I wanted to know if these writings were purely of historical interest or if they had relevance to today’s antiwar activists. In working again with these interviews, I find that these refusers sowed the seeds of my lifetime philosophy of anarchism, socialism, and pacifism, justice equality, civil liberties. They are no less moving now to me as an old man as they were when I was a teenager. These peace activists still teach us all the true meaning of courage.

I agonized over the title for this book in 1966. I used Thoreau’s quote and called the manuscript, “In Quiet Desperation…”. I think now, however, that title was a product of its time, when young men felt a little desperate about going to prison—jail was a last choice. I don’t believe that anymore. I think nonviolent civil disobedience in the 21st century should be our first choice…if we are committed to genuine and meaningful change. And CD needs to have a sense of humor! Better still, don’t get caught and live to act another day. That is revolutionary nonviolence…

Voting with my feet by no means dampened my personal activism. I was arrested with 1,500 others at the Nevada Nuclear Test Site in 1983; Quakers were my “affinity group” (sheesh!); we locked arms and ran as fast and as far as we could get over the fence, making Wackenhut goons play whack-a-mole chasing us among the cacti with SUVs. When asked by state police, I gave my name as “Martin Luther King”.

I hand-built a cabin in Clayoquot Sound off the west coast of Vancouver Island in 1975. First Nations people have lived here for 10,000 years. They arrived with the cedars as the last ice age receded. From 1984 to 1987, I defended the 1,500-year old Pacific temperate rainforest, first at Meares Island, my front-yard view.

My strategy was taken from native loggers. I supported driving big spikes into the most valuable trees to make them worthless to an industry producing toilet paper and copy paper. In all, 12½  square miles of proposed logging were spiked on Meares Island, more than 23,000 old-growth trees. I followed this up with contributions on tree-spiking to the Earth First! book, Ecodefense: A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching by EF! co-founder Dave Foreman.

Sulphur Passage on the Clayoquot mainland of Vancouver Island was also threatened by old-growth clearcut logging. My daughter and I pitched a tiny puptent in the logging road to stop its progress. Who speaks for the trees, so far up the evolutionary ladder from ourselves? After being arrested by helicopter, I acted in my own defense in B.C. Supreme Court and served 37 days for civil contempt in provincial prisons.

The largest Antipodean corporado, controlling 20¢ of every New Zealand dollar, was behind the clearcutting on the westcoast. I traveled to New Zealand with a group of Clayoquot Sound natives to make our voice heard at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland. We also managed to shut down the loggers’ company tower and send its robber baron to flight.

I was again arrested at Oakland, California for blocking munitions trains to the Concord Naval Weapons Station in 1987. A small group of us covered the tracks with tenting. Inside the tent, we’d brought heavy tools and were busy removing the rails.

Upon moving to Thailand, secret, extensive, irrational censorship was impacting my academic research and hobbling the ability of my students to produce internationally-competitive papers. I started Freedom Against Censorship Thailand (FACT) with a petition to the National Human Rights Commission. No one was publicly talking about Thai censorship where, to date, government has blocked more than a million webpages. FACT turned knowledgeable conversations about censorship from taboo to trendy. Censorship remains a hot-button issue here.

FACT posted leaked government blocklists as some of the first documents on WikiLeaks in 2006. Early in 2007, Julian Assange invited me to serve on WikiLeaks’ international advisory board, a position I still hold.

Currently, I am a founder of the Nonviolent Conflict Workshop in Bangkok. We hope to secure recognition for conscientious objection under Thailand’s military draft with the long-range goal of ending conscription entirely.

I wish especially to acknowledge with the deepest gratitude and fondness the pacifist luminaries who mentored me at 5 Beekman Street: A.J. Muste (1885-1967); Dave Dellinger (1915-2004) (Liberation); Karl Bissinger (1914-2008), Grace Paley (1922-2007), Igal Roodenko (1917-1991), Ralph DiGia (1914-2008), Jim Peck (1914-1993), David McReynolds (War Resisters League); Bradford Lyttle, Peter Kiger, Marty Jezer (1940-2005), Maris Cakars (1942-1992) & Susan Kent, Barbara Deming (1917-1984), Keith & Judy Lampe, Paul Johnson, Eric Weinberger (1932-2006), Allan Solomonow (Committee for Nonviolent Action, New York Workshop in Nonviolence and WIN Magazine); Joe Kearns (Student Peace Union). In our wider pacifist circle, Max & Maxine Hoffer (Montclair Friends Meeting); Marjorie & Bob Swann, Neil Haworth (New England Committee for Nonviolent Action); Wally (1909-2002) & Juanita Nelson, Ernest (1912-1997) & Marion (1912-1996) Bromley, (Peacemakers); Arlo Tatum, George Willoughby (1914-2010), Bent Andresen, Lawrence Scott (Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors). These brave pacifists remain my resistance family. They were gentle and forceful in making a better world for everyone. They gave me the best peace education a ‘Murrican boy could have. It’s lasted to this day.

It would be remiss of me not to include my wider peace movement influences and inspirations: Radical pro bono movement lawyers, (and often mine): Bill Kunstler (1919-1995), Gerry Lefcourt, Len Weinglass (1933-2011), and Lenny Boudin (1912-1989). They were often cited for contempt in our defense. Timothy Leary (1920-1996); Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997); A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami (1896-1977) (Krishna Consciousness); Michael Francis Itkin (1936-1989) (Gay Bishop); Paul Krassner (The Realist); Stokely Carmichael (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee); Gary Rader (1944-1973) (Chicago Area Draft Resisters); Peace Pilgrim (1908-1981); Mario Savio (1942-1996); Jim Forest (Catholic Peace Fellowship); Aryeh Neier (New York Civil Liberties Union); Abie Nathan (1927-2008) (Voice of Peace); Abbie Hoffman (1936-1989) (Yippie!); Bob Fass (WBAI); Dee Jacobsen (Students for a Democratic Society); and Walter Dorwin Teague III (U.S. Committee to Support the National Liberation Front of Vietnam). The antinuclear activists: Grey Nun Dr. Rosalie Bertell; Australian physician Dr. Helen Caldicott; Sister Megan Rice, Michael Walli, Gregory Boertje-Obed (Transform Now Plowshares); Catholic Worker Sisters Rosemary Lynch and Klaryta Antoszewska (Nevada Desert Experience). And our philosophers: Richard Gregg (1885-1974), Gene Keyes, George Lakey, Gene Sharp, Paul Goodman (1911-1972), Howard Zinn (1922-2010), Dwight Macdonald (1906-1982), Noam Chomsky.

Not All Police Murders in U.S. Prisons Are Getting the Attention They Deserve

Mississippi Civil Rights Martyrs Memorial Service & Cold Case Justice Initiative Syracuse U College of Law writes:

A plane just left Mississippi carrying the body of Rexdale Henry. His family has asked for an independent autopsy by a Florida board certified pathologist. Mr. Henry was found dead in Philadelphia, Mississippi, in a Neshoba County jail cell on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 just two days after the death of Sandra Bland in a Texas jail. A lifelong community activist and member of the Choctaw tribe, Mr. Henry was arrested July 9 allegedly for failure to pay an old fine.

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