Ukraine Restarts War on Eastern Regions Sources Say

nosurrender

The Kiev government of U.S. puppet Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is about to restart the failed attempt to subdue the southeastern region of the country known as Novorussia according to highly credible sources. (Image)

Colonel Igor Strelkov, a native Russian, helped create and led the Novorussian forces during the critical phases of resistance to the Kiev regime. At the height of his success, he left active command and was replaced by local leaders. As Strelkov sees it:

[An] "Endless flow of [Ukraine government] military columns moves towards Donetsk and Makeevka areas and towards Gorlovka area. Troops are being moved at ever increasing pace.

"At the same time they engage in massive use of heavy MLRS fire, heavy artillery and tactical missiles “Tochka-U” (SS-21 Scarab B) [a tactical ballistic missile - see Ukraine Firing Ballistic Missiles - Obama-Kerry Say Nothing].

"The number of victims among the population during this so-called truce is higher than it was in the period of active hostilities one month ago. Igor Strelkov, Important Statement, 20.10.2014 (click "Show More" for full text)

Syria/Turkey News - Oct 25, 2014


Pentagon: “The coalition continues to gain both momentum and strength and we know we’re having a direct effect on Islamic State - Defense.gov


VIDEO: Hagel: Islamic State Strategy Working - DoD Videos


VIDEO: Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby Briefing - DoDNEWS Videos


VIDEO: Pentagon says 1,700 bombs dropped in Iraq and Syria - YouTube


At least 500 Islamic State militants killed in US-led strikes in Syria, observer group says - The Boston Globe


US airstrike obliterate Islamic State' banner and Kurdish fighters raise their own (PHOTOS, VIDEO) - Daily Mail Online


VIDEO: Air strike targets Islamic State militants on a hill in Kobane obliterating their flag - YouTube


Islamic State said to be using chlorine bombs in Syria and Iraq - AP


FBI warns news outlets that group affiliated with Islamic State is targeting journalists - The Washington Post


POLL: 2 of 3 Americans say Islamic State threat is important - AP


Airstrikes against Islamic State diminish oil financing but more is needed to end the group's reign of terror - UPI.com


Cutting off Islamic State' cash flow, the U.S. government’s assessment of the terror group' finance and a strategy to counter it - Brookings Institution


U.S. warns of sanctions on buyers of Islamic State oil, threatens Kurdish and Turkish middlemen - ekurd


How Long Will Islamic State Last Economically? - Oye Times


Jihadist training camps proliferate in Iraq and Syria - The Long War Journal


The White Shroud: A Syrian Resistance Movement to the Islamic State - Syria Comment


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Syrian Kurdish factions unite over Islamic State threat, reach an agreement to share power after years of disputes - Middle East Eye


VIDEO (Kurdish): Barzani’s statement after the signed agreement of the Kurdish parties - YouTube


Interview of PYD leader Salih Muslim after the signed agreement of the Kurdish parties - diclehaber.com


PYD leader's assessment of the fight agaist Islamic State in Kobani - Yahoo News


"We do not have organic links with the PKK...The PYD doesn't take orders from anyone", PYD leader says - Daily Sabah


150 Peshmerga will go to Kobani: Erdogan - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Peshmerga forces won’t receive order from YPG: minister - Kurdpress News Aganecy


The White House online Petition to officially arm YPG may have a Tallying Glitch - ekurd


Kurds reject Erdogan report of deal with Free Syrian Army rebels to aid besieged Kobani, "no such agreement has been reached yet" - Reuters


Syria Kurds say Free Syrian Army rebels should focus on fighting Islamic State elsewhere, not Kobani - ekurd


Rebels plead for U.S. military help against Assad forces closing on Aleppo, deny that they are sending 1,300 troops to Kobani - FresnoBee.com


Here is the Aleppo FSA military council denying sending troops to Kobane, this follows lots of criticism from locals - lou zay on Twitter: “


Zahran Aloush (Jaysh al-Islam/Islamic Front leader) rejects all media reports that he's sending troops to Kobane - Ibn Nabih on Twitter


Syrian Rebels Oppose New U.S. War Strategy - foreignpolicy.com


U.S.: Rebel force in Syria to be built from scratch, building an opposition capable of mounting offensive operations against Islamic State militants will take at least a year - usatoday.com


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Erdoğan: US carried out airdrops to Kobani despite Turkish objection - todayszaman.com


Airdrops to Kobani not wrong at all, US says after Erdoğan's criticism - todayszaman.com


US reiterates PYD is not terrorist after Erdoğan's critical remarks - todayszaman.com


Turkey's U.S. relations show strain as Washington's patience wears thin - Reuters


PYD leader accuses Turkey of allowing ISIS militants into Kobane - Al Akhbar English


Turkish PM reiterates: CHP, HDP collaborators of Assad’s cruelty - hurriyetdailynews


Report: Suspect in assasination attempt on Danish writer released in Turkey - todayszaman.com


Danish PM: Turkey must face repercussions over suspect's release - todayszaman.com

 

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

Understanding and Defeating Resurgent Fascism

As fascism is being intruded more widely and deeply into key areas of world politics, it is important to identify this trend, to explain the psychology of fascism and to nominate key elements of any strategy to defeat it.

Combat vs. The Climate: The Military and Climate Security Budgets Compared

A new report connects U.S. military engagement and the threat of climate change.

 
The report argues that a change from security spending is not commensurate with the role U.S. military strategy now assigns to climate change: as a major threat to U.S. security.
As the U.S. debates the President’s plan for new military engagement, hundreds of thousands converged on New York to urge the world’s nations to take stronger action against the threat of climate change.  A new report connects these two issues, and finds that the gap between U.S. spending on traditional instruments of military force and on averting climate catastrophe has narrowed slightly.  Between 2008 and 2013, the proportion of security spending on climate change grew from 1% of military spending to 4%.
The report argues that a change from 1% to 4% of security spending is not commensurate with the role U.S. military strategy now assigns to climate change: as a major threat to U.S. security. Nor is it remotely sufficient to bring greenhouse gas emissions under control.
The U.S. balance between military and climate security spending compares unfavorably to the record of its nearest “peer competitor,” China.  Although China’s environmental record is unquestionably problematic, it strikes a far better balance than the U.S. in the allocation of its spending on military force and on climate change.  Its climate security spending, at $162 billion, nearly equals its military spending, at $188.5 billion.
Other Key Findings:
  • The balance in the area of international assistance has not improved.  The U.S. actually increased its military aid to other countries from 2008-2013, relative to the help it gave them to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
  • For the price of four Littoral Combat Ships — currently there are 16 more in the budget than the Pentagon even wants — we could have double the Energy Department’s entire budget for renewable energy and energy efficiency.
  • The U.S. currently spends more on its military than the next seven countries combined. The disparity between U.S. military spending and the countries presumed to be threats to our security is even more extreme.
© 2014 Institute for Policy Studies

The Inextricable Link Between Social and Environmental Justice

Erica Violet Lee of Idle No More in conversation with Dennis Trainor, Jr. of Acronym TV on the eve of the largest Climate Justice march in history.

“It is important to acknowledge the Indigenous people who have been fighting this battle on the front lines for centuries,” says Lee. “The big marches and massive actions (like the People’s Climate March) serve as motivation. I take it back to my community (because) ultimately I think it is acts of everyday resistance that will change they way things are done.”

Erica speaks about the violence that goes hand in hand with Canada pushing through Keystone XL Pipeline, “pushing first nations people off their lands to get to resources on the lands. There is a lot of violence – especially towards Indigenous Women who are going missing and getting murdered in record numbers.”

Dropping in on Assange, Harrison, and "Citizenfour"

 

 


Citizenfour’s Escape to Freedom in Russia

 

 

Editor Note: An international community of resistance has formed against pervasive spying by the U.S. National Security Agency with key enclaves in Moscow (with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden) and in London (with WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange), way stations visited last month by ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

In early September in Russia, National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden told me about a documentary entitled “Citizenfour,” named after the alias he used when he asked filmmaker Laura Poitras to help him warn Americans about how deeply the NSA had carved away their freedoms.

War Culture

According to a book by George Williston called This Tribe of Mine: A Story of Anglo Saxon Viking Culture in America, the United States wages eternal war because of its cultural roots in the Germanic tribes that invaded, conquered, ethnically cleansed, or -- if you prefer -- liberated England before moving on to the slaughter of the Native Americans and then the Filipinos and Vietnamese and on down to the Iraqis. War advocate, former senator, and current presidential hopeful Jim Webb himself blames Scots-Irish American culture.

But most of medieval and ancient Europe engaged in war. How did Europe end up less violent than a place made violent by Europe? Williston points out that England spends dramatically less per capita on war than the United States does, yet he blames U.S. warmaking on English roots. And, of course, Scotland and Ireland are even further from U.S. militarism despite being closer to England and presumably to Scots-Irishness.

"We view the world through Viking eyes," writes Williston, "viewing those cultures that do not hoard wealth in the same fashion or make fine iron weapons as child-like and ripe for exploitation." Williston describes the passage of this culture down to us through the pilgrims, who came to Massachusetts and began killing -- and, quite frequently, beheading -- those less violent, acquisitive, or competitive than they.

Germans and French demonstrated greater respect for native peoples, Williston claims. But is that true? Including in Africa? Including in Auschwitz? Williston goes on to describe the United States taking over Spanish colonialism in the Philippines and French colonialism in Vietnam, without worrying too much about how Spain and France got there.

I'm convinced that a culture that favors war is necessary but not sufficient to make a population as warlike as the United States is now. All sorts of circumstances and opportunities are also necessary. And the culture is constantly evolving. Perhaps Williston would agree with me. His book doesn't make a clear argument and could really have been reduced to an essay if he'd left out the religion, the biology metaphors, the experiments proving telepathy or prayer, the long quotes of others, etc. Regardless, I think it's important to be clear that we can't blame our culture in the way that some choose to blame our genes. We have to blame the U.S. government, identify ourselves with humanity rather than a tribe, and work to abolish warmaking.

In this regard, it can only help that people like Williston and Webb are asking what's wrong with U.S. culture. It can be shocking to an Israeli to learn that their day of independence is referred to by Palestinians as The Catastrophe (Nakba), and to learn why. Similarly, many U.S. school children might be startled to know that some native Americans referred to George Washington as The Destroyer of Villages (Caunotaucarius). It can be difficult to appreciate how peaceful native Americans were, how many tribes did not wage war, and how many waged war in a manner more properly thought of as "war games" considering the minimal level of killing. As Williston points out, there was nothing in the Americas to compare with the Hundred Years War or the Thirty Years War or any of the endless string of wars in Europe -- which of course are themselves significantly removed in level of killing from wars of more recent years.

Williston describes various cooperative and peaceful cultures: the Hopi, the Kogi, the Amish, the Ladakh. Indeed, we should be looking for inspiration wherever we can find it. But we shouldn't imagine that changing our cultural practices in our homes will stop the Pentagon being the Pentagon. Telepathy and prayer are as likely to work out as levitating the Pentagon in protest. What we need is a culture dedicated to the vigorous nonviolent pursuit of the abolition of war.

Syria/Turkey News - Oct 23, 2014

 

Pentagon: 1 airdrop of 28 bundles of weapons to Kurds intercepted by Islamic State in Kobani, not enough to advantage the enemy - Defense.gov


VIDEO: Islamic State Intercepted Supplies From U.S. Airdrop - YouTube


US working closely with Kurds to save Kobani, report says - Fox News


PYD not terrorist under US law: Washington - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Pentagon: Six more airstrikes near Kobani in support of Operation Inherent Resolve - Defense.gov


VIDEO: Huge Blasts Rock Kobani in Effort to Oust Islamic State - NBC News.com


The Administration Goes All In On Kobani - foreignpolicy.com


Pentagon: Kurds hold majority of Syria's Kobani town, Islamic State stalled - ekurd


VIDEO: John Kirby, Pentagon Full Press Briefing - DoDNEWS


TRANSCRIPT: Department of Defense Press Briefing by Admiral Kirby - Defense.gov


Islamic State video shows jihadis on patrol in Kobane as US warplanes circle overhead (VIDEO, PHOTOS) - Daily Mail Online


Possible Islamic State Chemical Attack On Kurdish Civilians In Kobani - ibtimes.com


PHOTOS: Doctors release these photos about symptoms of a possible chemical attacks in Kobani - Kobane News ! on Twitter


Islamic State used chemical weapons in Kobane, says American fighting with Kurds in Syria (VIDEO) - UPI.com


AUDIO (Arabic): Dr Dara Mahmud on Claims of Chemical Attacks in Kobane - Kobane News ! on Twitter


Interview with the President of Syrian Kurdistan's Kobani Canton Anwer Muslim - ekurd


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Kurdish parliament approves the proposal to send its Peshmerga to support under-armed Kurdish fighters in Kobane - Rudaw


Kurdish presidency: Peshmerga to fight in Kobane “within days”, will be operating heavy weapons - Rudaw


Report: KRG to initially send 200 peshmerga fighters to KobanI - todayszaman.com


Syrian Kurdish parties are close to make deal: Salih Muslim - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Syria says giving military and logistic support to Kurds in Kobani, supplying ammunition and arms to the town - AFP


Syria claims it destroyed jets seized by Islamic State as they were landing at Jarrah airbase in the eastern countryside of Aleppo - AP


Syria air force strikes 200 times in 36 hours: monitor - Reuters


No Mercy: Islamic State, Father Stone to Death Daughter for Alleged Adultery in Hama, Syria - International Business Times


VIDEO: Islamic State, Father Stone Daughter to Death for Adultery in Hama - liveleak.com


Dutch and German Biker Gangs Arrive in Kobani to Fight Islamic State - breitbart.com


Internet sensation Syrian girl who posts her views on IS, al-Assad, and the US (PHOTOS, VIDEO) - Daily Mail Online


Meet Syria's answer to Kim Kardashian - Metro News


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Erdoğan: I don’t understand why Kobani is so strategic for US, weapons airdrop is wrong because it was seized by Islamic State - todayszaman


Kurds Accuse Turkish Government of Supporting Islamic State - Reuters


Kurdish exiles of Kobani, Syria, doubt Turkey's promise of help - LA Times


VIDEO: Kurds' anger at Turkey as Kobane battle rages on - BBC News


PYD not on Turkey's terrorist list, report reveals - todayszaman.com


Turkey unveils stringent new anti-protest laws - Yahoo News


HRW says security bill would reverse reforms, should be rejected - todayszaman.com


TV reporter Serena Shim killed days after she claimed Turkish intelligence services had threatened her (PHOTOS, VIDEO) - Daily Mail Online


Iranian TV Says Death Of Journalist In Turkey Is 'Very Suspect' - huffingtonpost.com


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

One My Lai a Month

By Robert C. Koehler

“When somebody asks, ‘Why do you do it to a gook, why do you do this to people?’ your answer is, ‘So what, they’re just gooks, they’re not people. It doesn’t make any difference what you do to them; they’re not human.’

“And this thing is built into you,” Cpl. John Geymann testified almost 44 years ago at the Winter Soldier Investigation, held in Detroit, which was sponsored by Vietnam Veterans Against the War. “It’s thrust into your head from the moment you wake up in boot camp to the moment you wake up when you’re a civilian.”

The cornerstone of war is dehumanization. This was the lesson of Nam, from Operation Ranch Hand (the dumping of 18 million gallons of herbicides, including Agent Orange, on the jungles of Vietnam) to My Lai to the use of napalm to the bombing of Cambodia. And the Winter Soldier Investigation began making the dehumanization process a matter of public knowledge.

It was a stunning and groundbreaking moment in the history of war. Yet — guess what? — the three-day hearing, in which 109 Vietnam veterans and 16 civilians testified about the reality of American operations in Vietnam, doesn’t show up on the “interactive timeline” of the Department of Defense-sponsored website commemorating, as per President Obama’s proclamation, the 50-year anniversary of the war.

This is no surprise, of course. The awkwardly unstated, cowardly point of the site, as well as the presidential proclamation — “they pushed through jungles and rice paddies, heat and monsoon, fighting heroically to protect the ideals we hold dear as Americans” — is to “nice-ify” the ghastly war, wipe off the slime, return public consciousness to a state of unquestioning adoration of all U.S. military operations and banish “Vietnam Syndrome” from the national identity.

So what if somewhere between 2 and 3 million Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians were killed in it, along with 58,000 American soldiers (with, by some measures, a far greater number of vets committing suicide afterward)? A bad war is nothing but trouble for those who want to wage the next one. It took a generation of retooling before the military-industrial economy was able to launch the war on terror, which itself no longer has massive public support. Maybe restoring Vietnam to a state of false glory is part of a larger plan to make the American public proud of all its wars and, thus, more compliant about the idea (and the reality) of permanent war.

The Vietnam War Commemoration website is generating serious pushback, such as the Veterans for Peace “full disclosure” campaign; and a petition, signed by such iconic antiwar activists as Tom Hayden and Daniel Ellsberg, demanding that the tidal wave of protests against the war in the ’60s and ’70s be included as part of the war’s legacy. I agree, of course, but hasten to add that there’s far more at stake here than the accuracy of the historical record.

As long-time journalist and Middle East scholar Phyllis Bennis told the New York Times, “You can’t separate this effort to justify the terrible wars of 50 years ago from the terrible wars of today.”

I repeat: The cornerstone of every war is the dehumanization, a terrifying process with long-lasting and infinitely unfolding consequences. And the Vietnam War was the first in which the full horror of this process, stripped of all glory and pseudo-necessity, reached significant public awareness.

The website’s effort to undo this awareness is pathetic. In an early version of the timeline, for instance, the My Lai massacre was dismissed as an “incident.” Public objection forced the website to bite the bullet and acknowledge, in its March 16, 1968 listing: “Americal Division kills hundreds of Vietnamese civilians at My Lai.”

Ho hum. It was still a good war, right? My Lai was just an aberration. A scapegoat was arrested, tried, convicted . . .

But as the vets’ Winter Soldier testimony and numerous books and articles make horrifically clear, My Lai was not an aberration but situation normal: “They’re just gooks, they’re not people.”

As Nick Turse and Deborah Nelson pointed out in a 2006 article in the Los Angeles Times (“Civilian Killings Went Unpunished”), based on the examination of declassified Army files: “Abuses were not confined to a few rogue units, a Times review of the files found. They were uncovered in every Army division that operated in Vietnam.” The documents substantiated 320 incidents of torture, abuse or mass murder of Vietnamese civilians, with many hundreds more reported but not substantiated, they wrote.

The article describes in detail a number of incidents of wanton killing of Vietnamese civilians and includes a letter an anonymous sergeant sent to Gen. William Westmoreland in 1970, which “described widespread, unreported killings of civilians by members of the 9th Infantry Division in the Mekong Delta — and blamed pressure from superiors to generate high body counts.”

The letter stated: “A batalion [sic] would kill maybe 15 to 20 [civilians] a day. With 4 batalions in the brigade that would be maybe 40 to 50 a day or 1200 to 1500 a month, easy. If I am only 10% right, and believe me it’s lots more, then I am trying to tell you about 120-150 murders, or a My Lay [sic] each month for over a year.”

And there’s so much more. Some of the testimony is unbearably gruesome, such as Sgt. Joe Bangert’s testimony at the Winter Soldier Investigation:

“You can check with the Marines who have been to Vietnam — your last day in the States at staging battalion at Camp Pendleton you have a little lesson and it’s called the rabbit lesson, where the staff NCO comes out and he has a rabbit and he’s talking to you about escape and evasion and survival in the jungle. He has this rabbit and then in a couple of seconds after just about everyone falls in love with it — not falls in love with it, but, you know, they’re humane there — he cracks it in the neck, skins it, disembowels it. he does this to the rabbit — and then they throw the guts out into the audience. You can get anything out of that you want, but that’s your last lesson you catch in the United States before you leave for Vietnam where they take that rabbit and they kill it, and they skin it, and they play with its organs as if it’s trash and they throw the organs all over the place and then these guys are put on the plane the next day and sent to Vietnam.”

This much is perfectly clear: American soldiers were pressured from above, indeed, trained and ordered, to treat the “enemy” – including civilians, including children – as subhuman. All the carnage that followed was predictable. And as the morally injured vets who home from Iraq and Afghanistan keep letting us know, it’s still the way we go to war.

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.

It Can Happen To Anyone: How I Became Radicalized

By John Grant


       saw the masked men
       Throwing truth into a well.
       When I began to weep for it
       I found it everywhere.

                  -Claudia Lars
 

Libya News - Oct 22, 2014


Three Years After Gadhafi's Death, Libya Slides Into Civil War - ibtimes.com


VIDEO: Libya On The Brink Of New Civil War - Fox News


Libya Tobruk-based parliament allies with renegade general Haftar, struggles to assert authority - Reuters


Libyan army advancing in Benghazi: spokesman - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


Operation Dignity expects Benghazi battles to end in a week as further reinforcements arrive - libyaherald.com


Benghazi Medical Centre struggles to keep up as 75 bodies arrive in five days - libyaherald.com


VIDEO: Libya PM Thinni requesting foreign ‘logistical support’ to overcome conflict - MaltaToday.com.mt


Near Benghazi, Libya's army liberates a ghost town - THE DAILY STAR


VIDEO: Near Benghazi Libya's army liberates a ghost town - Frequency


Libya's persecuted Tawergha people displaced for the 2nd time amid Benghazi clashes - usnews.com


VIDEO ARCHIVE: Islamic militants resist general Haftar’s offensive in Benghazi - YouTube


VIDEO ARCHIVE: Ansar al Sharia Seize Libyan Special Forces Base In Benghazi - YouTube


Libya's Tobruk government calls on army to 'liberate' Tripoli - Middle East Eye


Libya Dawn are Muslim Brotherhood who receive orders from masters abroad: PM Thinni - libyaherald.com


Three Years After Gaddafi’s Death Government and Militias Compete for a Share of Oil Revenues - ibtimes.co.uk


ARCHIVE: Tripoli’s new rulers take over Libya government, oil company websites - Reuters


ARCHIVE: Two rival Libyan governments claim to control oil policy - Reuters


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UN: Islamic State already in Libya and expanding - pangeatoday.com


Islamic State, Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb enter Libya through neighbouring states: PM Thinni - libyaherald.com


VIDEO: Libya’s Islamist militants parade with Islamic State flags in Derna - YouTube


Analysis: Islamic State expands in Libya - Al-Monitor


The Islamic State's First Colony in Derna, Libya - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy


Public lashings follow Derna “Sharia Court” verdicts - libyaherald.com


Islamic State to launch Sat-TV station in Libya: Herald - MaltaToday.com.mt


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EU calls for a political solution in Lybia, urges all parties to observe an unconditional ceasefire. - Libya Business News


EU Council Conclusions on Libya - eu-un.europa.eu


VIDEO: US Ambassador to Libya Deborah Jones speaks to CNN about the current situation in the country - CNN


In surprise Libya trip, U.N. chief calls for halt to fighting - Al Arabiya News


VIDEO: UN and EU speak out on escalating conflict in Libya - YouTube


UN Special envoy to Libya Bernardino Leon interview with Alarabiya’s Panorama program - United Nations Support Mission in Libya


Rival Libyan PM meets Turkish envoy in first known meeting with foreign visitor - Reuters


Gaddafi cousin hopes to participate in Libyan peace talks - Yahoo News


Libyan tribal leaders gather in Cairo for unity talks - Daily News Egypt


Egypt, Sudan to coordinate on Libya unrest - Yahoo News


Foreign minister: Egypt will not deal with Libya’s Islamists, "We will only deal with the House of Representatives” - dpa news


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Libya-Goldman clash sheds light on formerly secretive fund - FT.com


How Goldman's Libya case could disrupt derivatives - cnbc.com


ARCHIVE: Libya’s Sovereign Fund and Goldman Sachs Clash in Court - NYTimes.com


ARCHIVE: Libyans ‘taken for a ride’ by Goldman Sachs, court hears - FT.com


ARCHIVE: Goldman Sachs 'charmed Gadaffi-era sovereign wealth fund employees with girls and alcohol' in trip to Morocco - The Independent


ARCHIVE: SEC Official Backs Libya Fund’s Claim Against Goldman, According to Court Documents - WSJ


ARCHIVE: Goldman Ordered to Pay Some Costs in Libya Case - NYTimes.com

 

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

Talk Nation Radio: Gandhi's Grandson Warns of World War III

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-gandhis-grandson-warns-of-world-war-iii

Arun Gandhi discusses his new children's book about his grandfather, applies its lessons to the world, and warns that we are currently on a path toward a third world war.

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://TalkNationRadio.org

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

Everything Wrong With Liberalism in One Image Found on FaceBook

Here's a fairly typical image of a sort that constantly clogs up my FaceBook page. I take it to be the full and open expression of someone or some group's honest outlook. I don't think they'd identify themselves at the bottom as "Jesus, Republicans & Other Bullshit" if they were self-censoring.

And I certainly appreciate the cursing and the criticism of religion.

Here are my concerns:

"We've been at war now for over 12 years."

No, we haven't. The U.S. government and the U.S. military have, and it's been for over two centuries now. This latest installment has been actively opposed by many of us and opposed in many ways in opinion polls by a majority of the U.S. population for years. It's OK to take responsibility and blame for insufficient resistance, but not to identify with the criminals. If "we" are at war, we want "us" to win or to "redeploy responsibly," but certainly not to face prosecution or to make restitution -- as basic morality requires.

"Experts put the total cost at $4 - $6 trillion dollars." That's a sum of direct and indirect costs of war spending. The direct spending on the wars that is included in it is much smaller. It's certainly right to include the indirect damage. But we should start from the right place. The Pentagon and the media, and everyone who sees or reads the media, separate war costs from routine basic military spending. The latter is spending preparing for wars and provoking wars. It is justified by the existence of the wars. The wars are fought using the weapons and bases not counted as "war spending." That basic war preparations cost is now over $1 trillion each year. That's over $10 trillion each decade. Then add some extra hundreds of billions in "war costs." And then calculate the indirect damages and lost opportunities, which are enormous. The $4 - $6 trillion figure is ridiculously low, subservient to propaganda, and builds in the notion that possessing the sort of massive military that guarantees eternal wars is perfectly acceptable.

"Imagine if we had invested that in our own country and people." The war on Iraq was not an investment in the people of Iraq. It killed a million, injured millions, made millions into refugees, and absolutely destroyed a society, leaving behind the disaster now being addressed with another war. Yes, of course, we should have invested many trillions of dollars in people's needs rather than in mass murder. But anyone who's really tried to figure out how to spend many trillions of dollars would know that it's almost impossible to do. One will be obliged to let the other 95% of humanity have some of it for sheer lack of ways to spend it in the United States. And anyone who's given any thought to global suffering would be sickened by the idea of 5% of humanity hoarding such unfathomable wealth, just as many of us are sickened by the military using it to kill -- and to kill many more by taking that money away from where it's needed than the military ever kills using weapons.

Moving away from militarism requires identifing with humanity, not a nation. "We" must begin to mean humanity. Our graphics should not push nationalism, falsify numbers to make militarism seem normal, pretend war is something new to the United States -- which was born out of war and for the sake of war. Moving away from militarism requires dumping the Democratic Party along with the Republican, and along with both great mountains of bullshit. In certain of his comments, Jesus was actually closer to where we need to go than FaceBook posters are.

Public Says No to Silencing Prisoners' Speech

I would not have guessed that people cared so much and so well about U.S. prisoners. The Governor of Pennsylvania is expected to sign into law a dangerous precedent that we all need to speak out against and put a quick stop to. In the first day since posting the following petition, over 10,000 people have signed it and added quite eloquent reasons why. It can be signed here.

We stand against the passage, in Pennsylvania, of the so-called "Revictimization Relief Act," which affords virtually unlimited discretion to District Attorneys and the state Attorney General to silence prisoner speech, by claiming that such speech causes victims' families "mental anguish." Politicians are claiming a power that if granted to them will be difficult if not impossible for citizens to check.

In seeking to silence the legally protected speech of prisoners, the state also damages citizens' right and freedom to know -- in this case, to better understand an area of U.S. life physically removed from public scrutiny.

This legislation emerged following the failure of the Fraternal Order of Police and its allies to stop prisoner and radio journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal from delivering an October 5, 2014, commencement address. This bill sacrifices the rights of all prisoners in Pennsylvania in order to silence Abu-Jamal -- an unethical deployment of collective punishment by those in power.

Victim relief is not served by denying fundamental rights to those convicted, especially because prisoner freedom of speech is crucial for redressing wrongful convictions and the current crisis of harsh sentencing that is often disproportionate to alleged crimes. Our society is currently engaged in a full-scale debate on the problems of mass incarceration that could not have developed without prisoners' voices.

Here's a PDF of the names and comments of the first 10,000 plus people to sign this. Flipping through the first few pages, these comments jump out at me:

Lawrence       Fine     NY       This is an ill-conceived bill.

Christopher   Scerbo            ME      Democracy is never served by silence.

Robert            Post     NJ        The only proper answer to bad speech is good speech!

Ellen   Kirshbaum     NY       Why does speech frighten these corrupt politicians?  Let all prisoners SPEAK!

Jenefer           Ellingston       DC       Why is our local or national gov't afraid of Free Speech?

Allan   Carlson           NJ        This is a FASCIST law. It represents that antithesis of the intent of the Founding Fathers who penned the U.S. Constitution.

Jesse   Reyes  NJ        This bill only makes sense if it is known, beyond all shadow of doubt, that the incarcerated person is actually "guilty."  The Innocence Project and several other high profile cases ("The Central Park Jogger" case) has proven that far too many incarcerated people are not guilty of the crimes they were sent to prison for.  I would not want to deny anyone their rights on that basis alone.  This bill is wrong and should not be signed by anyone who actually cares about our Constitution and our Bill of Rights.

Jan      Clausen          NY       This bill threatens to make Pennsylvania a poster child for the unconstitutional curtailment of the free speech rights that are known around the world as one of the great strengths of U.S. system. Pennsylvanians and all U.S. citizens need to wake up and soundly reject this ill-conceived measure that threatens the freedoms of all.

Dallas C.          GalvinNY       Censorship for the state that promotes itself as the site of the U.S. Constitution and home of Benjamin Franklin and William Penn? Deeply troubling behavior.  Rethink, then reject.  Mr. Jamal (let's be clear about motivation here) has been able to show the corruption and disingenuousness of the D.A., the state senate, and police.  Clean up your own acts, then you need no longer fear free and unfettered speech.

David  Drukaroff       NJ        I have tried to win exoneration for a wrongfully convicted inmate for the last 25 years. People have a right to know how this inmate feels.

Chad   Sell      PA       Does anyone care about the constitution anymore?

Katharine       Rylaarsdam    MD      Public officials are servants of the law, not demigods who should be granted unlimited arbitrary power.

Edward          Costello           CA       This is outrageous.

Julimar           CastroMN      Wrongful and disproportionate convictions exist. To prevent these people from speaking is outrageous. I suspect those proposing this law care more about silencing convicts and preventing them from telling the truth regarding the system, than about the families themselves.

Robert            Belknap          NC       This is theft of rights, pure and simple.

Paul    Palla    PA       Have you heard of the Constitution?  You know, that thing that guarantees everybody FREEDOM OF SPEECH??!?

NancyNorton            NY       I used to visit prisoners in our local jail.  It is too easy to forget these people, members of our community and citizens of our county.  The right of free speech should not be abridged because a person is serving a sentence in prison or jail.  We need to remember these people and not dismiss them as a group we can ignore.

J. R.      Jarvis  WA      I believe in justice, human rights and the constitution - this ain't it!

ralph   Calabrese       NY       Too many of our freedoms are being taken from us.

Sean    Murphy          FL        These abuses of power must be stopped and we must resist the 1% from using criminals and other hot topics to pass laws that ultimately will affect us all.

Sharyn            Diaz     OR       prisons have replaced the poorhouses in America and now you want to silence the common folk...shame on you...all of you who support just another try at control. 

r.          tippens           MA      This is a law straight from Stalin's text book.  Please...do not embarrass this democracy.

BetseyPiette  PA       Once again Corbett & Co. will waste millions of tax dollars to defend their criminal violation of citizens' Constitutional Rights but can't find money for public education?

Dave   JeckerTX       Being a prisoner is bad enough and their punishment is that given to them for their actions.  Words should never be silenced and that is a human right.  We have seen how governments silent individuals and groups and it leads to nothing except rebellion.  Right to speech is everyone's human right, it is not something you can take away.

Samuel           Perry  NJ        Prisoners are on the front line of our civil liberties battles. The rights that oppressive governments first strip from prisoners are the rights the same regimes will later strip from "non-citizens" and finally "citizens" themselves. Free speech doesn't come from Government and cannot be taken away by government. Philadelphia should know that.

DonnaFriedman       FL        So many in prison for drug use, mental illness and even falsely accused.  They should have the right to say what goes on there.

Joanne            Snyder            CA       No lessons learned about corrupt Pennsylvania judges who sentence juvenile offenders in exchange for money?  Who is paying for this?

Rev. Jake         Harrison         TX       Freedom of speechdoes not exclude inmates - and some of the most poignant voices in history were those of inmates.

Casey  Lyon    VT       Let us not forget the insightful words of Dostoyevsky: "The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons."

JG        Tentler           NY       This dangerous precedent must not be allowed to be established.It's implications are chilling and are clearly designed to muzzle the free speech of one Political Prisoner,at the expense of every wrongly incarcerated petitioner who is stifled by it.

Carol   Stanton           NC       We must not become a gulag state.

Add your signature.

For more information:
Bring Mumia Home
Free Mumia
Text of the bill

Saturday Marked 13 Years of Denmark's Participation in U.S. Wars, and 13 Years of Protest

Thirteen years ago Denmark joined in U.S. aggressive war making. Immediately and ever since Danes have protested in front of Parliament. More info and photos here.

Giants on the Earth: A Review of Waging Peace by David Hartsough

By Winslow Myers

There were giants on the earth in those days . . . (Genesis 6:4)

The fear that we citizens of the United States have been seduced into since 9/11 spreads across our benighted nation like a fog, inhibiting all policy alternatives not based in blind vengefulness. Special are those who have the spiritual clear-sightedness and persistence to make people-oriented global connections that pierce the fog of fear with the light of visionary possibility.

One such giant is David Hartsough, whose vivid, even hair-raising, memoir of a lifetime of peace activism, Waging Peace: Global Adventures of a Lifelong Activist, has just been published by PM press. It ought to be required reading for every U.S. citizen befogged by the crude polarization between Islamic extremism and the equally violent, ineffective, but seemingly endless Western military reaction it has elicited.

It hardly seems possible that Hartsough has been able to crowd into one lifetime all his deeds of creative nonviolence. He was there with Martin Luther King in the late fifties in the South. He was there when a train loaded with bullets and bombs on their way to arm right-wing death squads in Central America severed the leg of his friend Brian Willson in California. His initiatives of support for nonviolent resistance movements span both decades and continents, from efforts to get medical supplies to the North Vietnamese, to reconciliation among Israelis and Palestinians, to support for Russian dissidents as the Soviet Union was breaking up, to the resistance to Marcos in the Philippines, and on and on. Hartsough’s book thus becomes a remarkably comprehensive alternative history to set against “the official story” of America’s—and many other nations’—often brutal and misguided reliance upon military intervention.

David Hartsough gave himself a head start by getting born into the right family. As a boy he heard his minister father preach the gospel of loving your enemies and almost immediately got a chance to try it out when bullies pelted him with icy snowballs. It worked, and Hartsough never looked back. Having determined to do integration in reverse by attending the predominantly black Howard University, he soon found himself sitting in with courageous African-American students at segregated restaurants in Virginia. A white man crazed with hate threatened him with a knife. Hartsough spoke to him so gently that the man was “disarmed” by the unexpected shock of a loving response and retreated open-mouthed and speechless.

Sixty years of innumerable protests, witnesses, and organizing efforts later, Hartsough is still at it as he helps to begin a new global movement to end war on the planet, called “World Beyond War.” While his book is a genuinely personal memoir that records moments of doubt, despair, fear of getting shot, and occasional triumph, even more it is a testament to the worldwide nonviolent movement that still flies completely under the radar of American media. Living in a bubble of propaganda, we do not realize how intrusive the bases of our far-flung empire are felt to be. We do not feel how many millions worldwide regard the U.S. as an occupying force with negative overall effects upon their own security. Even more importantly, we remain insufficiently aware how often nonviolence has been used around the world to bring about positive change where it appeared unlikely to occur without major bloodshed. The U.S. turns to military force reflexively to ”solve” problems, and so it has been difficult indeed, as we are seeing in our ham-handed response to ISIS and the chaos in Syria, for us to learn lessons that go all the way back to the moral disaster of Vietnam. We have not registered how sick of the madness of war the world really is. Now academic studies are starting to back up with hard statistical evidence the proposition that nonviolent tactics are more effective than militarism for overthrowing dictators and reconciling opposing ethnic or religious groups.

Coincidentally, the book I read just before Waging Peace was its perfect complement: a biography of Allen Dulles, first director of the CIA, and his brother John Foster Dulles, longtime Secretary of State. The Dulles book goes a long way toward explaining the hidden motives of the military-industrial-corporate behemoth which Hartsough has spent his life lovingly but persistently confronting—truly a moral giant named David against a Goliath of clandestine militarism that props up narrow business interests at the expense of the human rights of millions. Always this David has kept in his heart one overarching principle, that we are one human family and no one nation’s children are worth more than any other’s.

Hartsough’s tales of persistence in the face of hopeless odds remind us not to yield to despair, cynicism, fear mongering or enemy posing, all temptations when political blame is the currency of the day. Hartsough is a living exemplar of the one force that is more powerful than extremist hate, reactive fear, and weapons, including nuclear bombs—the human capacity to be harmless, helpful and kind even to supposed adversaries.

If—let us say optimistically when—peace goes mainstream and deluded pretentions to empire are no longer seen as the royal road to security, when we wake up to the hollowness of our selfishness and exceptionalism, when we begin to relate to other nations as opportunities to share good will and resources rather than to bomb, it will be largely because of the tireless efforts of insufficiently heralded giants like David Hartsough.

Winslow Myers, the author of “Living Beyond War: A Citizen’s Guide,” serves on the Advisory Board of the War Prevention Initiative and writes for Peacevoice.

Stop Bombing Iraq and Syria!

by Debra Sweet        ISIS = Bad     U.S. War for Empire = Even Worse!     Friday October 10, World Can't Wait brought the message of NO War on Iraq & Syria when Barack Obama spoke in San Francisco.  Press Coverage of Protests in San Francisco Outside of Obama Fundraiser  

Epidemic of Birth Defects in Iraq

by Carol  Dudek          On Tuesday, Oct. 14, Columbia University's School of Public Health hosted a presentation by two prominent researchers who have been documenting the shocking increase of birth defects and cancers in newborns in Iraq after bombardments by the US and its coalition.  Dr Mozhgan Savabieasfahani of the University of Michigan's School of Public Health is an environmental toxicologist. She has written two dozen articles and a book, Pollution and Reproductive Damage. Dr Muhsin Al-Sabbak is the Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Basra Maternity Hospital.

National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality

Wednesday October 22nd is the National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. Take 3 minutes to hear from “Uncle Bobby,” uncle of Oscar Grant, killed by Oakland, CA police, and youth from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network & Revolution Club of the Bay Area. Then, share it!

Protest Petraeus & War Expansion at 92nd St. Y!

Doing  a second grand NYC appearance just before Halloween, Gen. David Petraeus will be speaking at the 92nd Street Y.  Quite scary!  Given Petraeus' criminal responsibility for much of the war on Iraq and Afghanistan and given the current relentless US bombing of Iraq and Syria, this is an important time to be visibly protesting – drawing connections between what he advocates, his history and current and future US policy - to make a statement about Petraeus and about the continuing and expanding US wars. We also want to point out that the General continues to teach at CUNY's Macaulay Honors College, every Monday from 3:00-6:00.

On Killing Trayvons

This Wednesday is a day of action that some are calling a national day of action against police brutality, with others adding "and mass incarceration," and I'd like to add "and war" and make it global rather than national. This Tuesday, the Governor of Pennsylvania is expected to sign a bill that will silence prisoners' speech, and people are pushing back. A movement is coalescing around reforming police procedures and taking away their military weapons. And a powerful book has just been published called Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence.

Saving Trayvon Martin would have required systemic reforms or cultural reforms beyond putting cameras on police officers. This young man walking back from a store with candy was spotted by an armed man in an SUV who got out of his vehicle to pursue Trayvon despite having been told not to when he called the police. George Zimmerman was not a police officer, though he wanted to be one. He'd lost a job as a security guard for being too aggressive. He'd been arrested for battery on a police officer. He had left Manassas, Va., and its climate of hatred for Latinos in which he participated, for Florida, where he was a one-man volunteer neighborhood watch group in a gated neighborhood. He'd phoned the police on 46 previous occasions. He apparently expressed his contempt for Trayvon Martin in racist terms. When the police arrived, they let Zimmerman ride in the front seat (no handcuffs, of course) and never tested him for drugs, testing instead the dead black boy he'd murdered. When public outrage finally put Zimmerman on trial, his defense displayed a photo of a white woman living in the neighborhood who had nothing to do with the incident but who was used to represent what Zimmerman had been "defending." He was found innocent.

Killing Trayvons is a rich anthology, including police records, trial transcripts, statements by President Obama, accounts of numerous similar cases, essays, poetry, and history and analysis of how we got here . . .  and how we might get the hell out of here.

Recently I was playing a game with my little boy that must have looked to any observer like I was secretly spying on people. I found myself thinking that it was a good thing I wasn't black or I'd risk someone reporting me to the police, and I'd find myself struggling to explain the situation to them rather than yelling at them, and they wouldn't listen. "What do I tell my son," wrote Talib Kweli, "He's 5 years old and he's still thinking cops are cool / How do I break the news that when he gets some size / He'll be perceived as a threat and see the fear in their eyes." I remember a character of James Baldwin's explaining to a younger brother on the streets of New York that when walking in the rich part of town you must always keep your hands in your pockets so as not to be accused of touching a white woman. But a set of rules devised by Etan Thomas in Killing Trayvons includes: "Keep your hands visible. Avoid putting them in your pockets." Opposite advice, same injustice. I can recall how offended I was when, as a young white man, I became old enough for a strange woman in a deserted place to hurry away from me in panic. Maybe if I'd been black someone would have prepared me for that. Maybe I'd have experienced it a lot earlier. Maybe I'd have experienced it as racist. Maybe it would have been. But would I have come around to the conclusion, as I have, that there's nothing I have a right to be indignant about, that people's fear -- wherever it comes from -- is more important to reduce than other people's annoyance?

But what about fear that leads to murder? What about white fear of black violence that leads to the killing of so many African Americans -- and many of them women, suggesting that fear isn't all there is to it? Police and security guards kill hundreds of African Americans each year, most of them unarmed. In most cases, the killers claim to have felt threatened. In most cases they escape any accountability. Clearly this is a case of fear to be doubted and treated with appropriate skepticism, fear to be understood and sympathized with where real, but fear never to be respected as reasonable or justified.

We need a combination of addressing the fear through enlightenment and impeding the violence with application of the rule of law in a manner that does not treat murdering black kids as what any reasonable person would do. We need to rein in and hold accountable individuals and institutions -- groups like the NRA and ALEC that push racist policies on us. Police and neighbors should not see a black boy as an intruder in his own house when his foster parents are white. They also shouldn't spray chemical weapons in someone's face before asking him questions.

The editors of Killing Trayvons, Kevin Alexander Gray, Jeffrey St. Clair, and JoAnn Wypijewski put killing in context. What if Trayvon actually got into a fight with his stalker superhero? Would that have been a good reason to kill him? "It takes a jacked-up disdain for proportionality to conclude the execution is a reasonable response to a fistfight. And yet . . . high or low, power teaches such disdain every day. Lose two towers; destroy two countries. Lose three Israelis; kill a couple thousand Palestinians. Sell some dope; three strikes, you're out. Sell a loosey; choke, you're dead. Reach for your wallet; bang, you're dead. Got a beef; bang, you're dead."

This is exactly the problem. High and low includes supreme courts that kill black men like Troy Davis, and presidents who kill dark-skinned Muslim foreigners (some of them U.S. citizens) with drones, leading Vijay Prashad to call Zimmerman a domestic drone and Cornel West to call President Obama a global Zimmerman. Two bizarre varieties of murder have been legalized at the same time in the United States. One is Stand-Your-Ground killing justified by fear and applied on a consistently racist basis. The other is drone missile killing justified by fear and applied on a consistently racist basis. Both types of murder are much more obviously murder than other instances that have not been given blanket legalization.

Stand-your-ground murders are facilitated by racism; and racist propaganda that blames the victims protects the killers after the fact. Drone murders are driven by profit, politics, power lust, and racism; and the guilt of President Obama is sheltered by the prevalence of racist hatred for him -- which comes from generally the same group of people who support stand-your-ground laws. (How can Obama be guilty of any wrong in overseeing a global kill list, when racists hate him?) Millions of Americans think of themselves as above the ignorant whites who fear every black person they see, and yet have swallowed such a fear of ISIS that even giving ISIS a war it wants and benefits from seems justified. After all, ISIS is barbaric. If it were civilized, ISIS wouldn't behead people; it would have its hostages commit suicide while handcuffed in the backseat of police cars.

My father was killed by a computer, says 7 year old Afghan child

By Dr. Hakim

Imal, a 7 year old Afghan student in the 2nd grade, came to visit us in Kabul.

As Imal grew up, he kept asking his mother where his father was. His mother finally told Imal that his father had been killed by a drone when he was still a baby.

If you could see Imal in this video, you would want to hug Imal immediately.

Imal

If Imal were a white American kid, this tragedy would not have befallen his father. Which American would allow any U.S. citizen to be killed by a foreign drone?

Suppose the UK wanted to hunt ‘terrorists’ in the U.S., with their drones, and every Tuesday, David Cameron signed a ‘secret kill list’ like Obama does. Drones operated from Waddington Base in the UK fly over U.S. skies to drop bombs on their targets, and the bombs leave a 7 year old American kid, say, John, fatherless.

John’s father is killed, shattered to charred pieces by a bomb, dropped by a drone, operated by a human, under orders from the Prime Minister /Commander-in-Chief.

“John, we’re sorry that your father happened to be near our ‘terrorist’ target.’ He was collateral damage. It was ‘worth it’ for the sake of UK national security.”

Unfortunately, no U.S. official or military personnel had met with Imal’s widowed mother to apologize.

Raz, Imal’s uncle who brought him to visit us, asked his young nephew, “Will you bring me some marbles to play with?”

Imal was friendly, like any other 7 year old kid. “Yes!” His voice was a trusting one, eager to be a good friend and playmate.

“Do you also play with walnuts? Tell us how you play with walnuts,” Raz requests.

“We put them in a line, and flick a walnut to hit other walnuts, like playing with marbles,” Imal explains diligently, like he was telling a story we should all be interested in.

“Besides beans, what other food do you like?”

“I also like….potatoes...and meat……and….rice!” All of us were smiling with the familiar love of Afghan oiled ‘palao’ or ‘Qabuli’ rice.”

Imal knew what my laptop was. He said, “We can look at photos & watch films…”

But, then, it seemed that he took on the understanding of an older person when his voice became serious.

”My father was killed by a computer.”

I wanted to tell Imal that nowadays, it takes children and young people like Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai to tell us adults the plain facts.

When Malala was 16 years old and met with the Obamas at the White House, Malala had told Obama that drones were fuelling terrorism.

Do we get it? Drones are employed in the ‘war against terrorism’, but instead, drones fuel terrorism.

How many drone attacks are there in Afghanistan every month, and how many women, children and young men like Imal’s father are killed?

We don’t know. It’s not a transparent strategy.

We would all want to know everything about the possible effects of a drone strategy on our children, especially if our country was the most drone-bombed country in the world, like Afghanistan is.

A Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s ‘Naming the Dead’ report says that fewer than 4% of the people killed by drone attacks in Pakistan have been identified by available records as named members of Al Qaeda. If this is true for drone attack victims in Afghanistan too, then 96% of drone victims in Afghanistan have been innocent civilians like Imal’s father.

In another Bureau of Investigative Journalism report,  ‘Tracking drone strikes in Afghanistan’, (July, 2014),the Bureau states that “nobody systematically publishes insurgent and civilian deaths from drones on a strike-by-strike basis. Neither the US nor UK authorities publishes data on the casualties of their drone operations.”

So, we are unable to find out for Imal’s mother if it was a U.S./UK drone that killed her husband, and who the drone operator was.

If Imal were John, could he or his mother sue David Cameron? Stop the drone? Stop the human drone operator? Disable the computer?

We gave Imal a Borderfree blue scarf, and thanked him for coming.

His eyes were bright and cheerful, taking in the photos on the wall, including a poster of Gandhi and Badshah Khan. Badshah Khan was a Pashtun like Imal, and has been called the Frontier Gandhi for his lifelong struggle for nonviolence.

I have been thinking hard about Imal, about whether anyone would hear him, when few among the elites who declare wars and order drone strikes seem to have heard the now famous Malala, not even President Obama.

“I wish to tell the world, ‘We don’t want war. Don’t fight!’”

Imal with poster of Badshah Khan

Dr Hakim is a medical doctor from Singapore who has done humanitarian and social enterprise work in Afghanistan for the past 9 years, including being a friend and mentor to the Afghan Peace Volunteers, an inter-ethnic group of young Afghans dedicated to building non-violent alternatives to war. He is the 2012 recipient of the International Pfeffer Peace Prize.

Pennsylvania’s for lovers...of convictions: The Scandal Hidden Inside a State’s Porn Emails Scandal

By Linn Washington Jr.

 

(Part I of II)
 

Obscured by a current scandal involving pornographic emails currently rocking the top reaches of Pennsylvania’s state government, a scandal that has cast a shadow over embattled Pennsylvania Governor and former state's attorney general Tom Corbett and the state’s judiciary, including a state Supreme Court member, is another explosive scandal.

“Stop Killing Us” Say Strong Youth Leaders in Ferguson, Missouri’s Weekend of Resistance to Police Brutality

By Ann Wright
 
Almost 60 days after 18 year old Michael Brown was shot six times and left for 4 hours and 34 minutes in the street in front of the apartment complex where he lived, the youth of Ferguson, Missouri are not letting their community, state or country forget. Their cries of “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” have echoed across American cities as they press for police accountability in the large numbers of police shootings of unarmed persons of color. Nor are they letting the country forget the militarized response by local and state police agencies to protests that followed Brown’s shooting. After two months days, there still is no decision by the county’s grand jury on whether Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson will be charged in the death of Brown.
 
I joined CODEPINK: Women for Peace, Veterans for Peace and Palestine Solidarity groups in Ferguson and St. Louis for the Weekend of Resistance October 9-12, 2014.  The weekend was an important acknowledgement of continuing local community and national concern for police brutality, racism and injustice.  Organized by those who daily have challenged police brutality in Ferguson, the four days of solidarity provided an opportunity for persons from around the country to join those on the front lines.  http://www.democracynow.org/2014/10/13/thousands_march_in_ferguson_for_police

 
The protest baton in Ferguson is firmly in the hands of the youth of the community.  While supported by many of their elders, the spirit and commitment to challenge police brutality has been generated by the younger generation as they take on the mantel of the leaders of the movement.  During the sixty days since Michael Brown’s death, they have held a daily vigil, sometimes 24-hour a day, in front of the Ferguson police station.  In the evenings, a larger group forms across the street from the police station with signs against police brutality and in the evening a larger group crosses  the street to stand directly in front of the police station. 
 
With the killing of 18 year old Vonderrit Myers on October 9, the night before the Weekend of Resistance began, vigils are also held at the site where he was killed on Shaw Street in South St. Louis by an off-duty St. Louis police officer working for a private security company who fired 17 bullets hitting Myers 7 times, including the fatal shot to his head.  The police say the off-duty officer felt three youth were “suspicious” upon emerging from a local deli and began following them.  The police officer reportedly said that three shots were fired at him and he returned fire with 17 bullets.  Surveillance tapes at the deli show him buying a sandwich with no weapon visible. Police say that a weapon that had been fired 3 times was found at the shooting scene.  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2787491/Surveillance-video-shows-Vonderrit-Myers-buying-sandwich-friends-just-minutes-killed-duty-police-officer-no-visible-sign-gun.html

 
Many of the youth leaders have been very disappointed by the lack of assistance from major civil rights groups including the Missouri NAACP.  They feel they have been carrying the load without much help from organizations they had hoped would have spoken out more strongly and would have provided long-term support to challenge systemic police brutality.
 
During the Weekend of Resistance, activists joined many actions planned by the youth organizers.  On Friday, October 10, despite an intense rainstorm, hundreds marched in Clayton, Missouri demanding that the county prosecutor step down.  
 
On Saturday, October 11, thousands marched in St. Louis challenging police brutality and racism and in the evening marched from Michael Brown’s memorial in the apartment complex where he lived and died to the Ferguson police station.
 
On Sunday, October 12, 150 women gathered to share stories of social injustice in the St. Louis area.  Later in the afternoon, nationally known Hip Hop artists portrayed police brutality and injustice intensely in spoken word and songs.  That evening, an interreligious symposium with local and national speakers including Dr. Cornell West culminated with rebellion in the audience in support of youth of the front lines of protest being allowed to speak to the 4,000 person audience. Democracy prevailed when the organizers rightfully changed the program to include the voices of the youth leaders.
 
Later than evening, the vigil for Vonderritt Myers ended in marches that came together at 1am on the campus of St. Louis University, where Myers father is employed.  Police attempted to stop the march by blocking the sidewalk on a major bridge leading to the campus, but with the intervention of the National Lawyers Guild, the riot police who had been ominously hitting their police batons on the street in an attempt to intimidate the 500 marchers, finally faded away without instigating an incident with the marchers.
 
With national and international media in St. Louis to cover the protests and the heightened national dialogue on militarization of police, law enforcement had made the decision to keep their military vehicles out of sight.  However, heavily armed riot police used pepper spray and tear gas  twice during the weekend, once when protesters blocked an intersection at the end of a march in memory of Myers and a second time when marchers blocked the entrance to a local gas station.
 
On Monday, October 13, religious leaders in the community joined in a “Moral Monday” march to the Ferguson police station.  Clergy talked nose to nose with members of the Ferguson police department who were lined up in front of the station.  Displaying for the cameras a different image from 60 days ago, Ferguson police had name tags on their shirts and had ditched the hard helmets with visors for a softer look with regular police hats.  However, lurking in the parking lot were the ninja turtle riot police fully decked out with padded uniforms with no name tags, black batons, plastic shields, tasers and weapons.
 
Religious leaders of Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths talked with about 20 Ferguson police officers as they stood in a line in front of the police station.  Remarkably, a few of the police officers actually responded to the comments of the clergy and a couple of conversation developed. More remarkably, a several of the conversations ended with hugs between the clergy and the police officers!
 
However, as one could predict, most police officers stood stone-faced with jaws clenched.  They are the ones we hope can be reached to do their jobs with respect for those they serve.
 
Other actions on Moral Monday included actions at three Wal-Marts in memory of John Crawford, 22, who was killed on August 5, 2015 by police in an Ohio Wal-Mart while carrying a pellet gun sold at Wal-Mart.
 
Other actions on Monday to remind the community of police killings took place at an upscale Mall, at a Missouri State office and at a political fundraiser.
 
The Weekend of Resistance was a time for mothers and fathers whose children had been killed by police to get together.  Colletta Flanagan  travelled to Ferguson from Dallas, Texas.  Flanagan’s son Clinton Allen was killed by police last year in Dallas.  Flanagan formed a group called Mothers Against Police Brutality
 (www.mothersagainstpolicebrutality.com) and was in Ferguson in support of the mothers of Michael Brown and Vonderrit Myers and other mothers whose children haven been killed by police.  Flanagan said, “I've seen claims of 'public safety' used to justify senseless abuses,

including my son Clinton Allen’s murder at the hands of a Dallas police
officer. I don't want the same unaccountable culture of secrecy to protect
the agencies using "national security" as a pretext to assault me and my
neighbors' rights. No one's security required my son to be taken from me,
or his life to be taken from him, and no one's security requires that my
government tap my phone or track my use of the Internet.” 
 
Communities around the country will hold more actions for police accountability on October 22, the national day of action against police brutality. 
 
About the Author:  Ann Wright served 29 years in the U.S. Army/Army Reserves and retired as a Colonel.  She was a U.S. diplomat for 16 years and served in U.S. Embassies in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia.  She resigned from the U.S. government in March, 2003 in opposition to the war on Iraq.  She is the co-author of “Dissent: Voices of Conscience.”

Shadow Report on Torture

Shadow Report to the United Nations Committee Against Torture on the Review of the Periodic Report of the United States of America

Prepared by

Advocates for U.S. Torture Prosecutions

Dr. Trudy Bond, Prof. Benjamin Davis, Dr. Curtis F. J. Doebbler, and The International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School

Summary:

Since the United States last reported to the Committee Against Torture in 2006, even more evidence has emerged confirming that civilian and military officials at the highest level created, designed, authorized, and implemented a sophisticated, international criminal program of torture. In August 2014, President Barack Obama conceded that the United States tortured people as part of its so-called “War on Terror,” yet the United States continues to shield senior officials from liability for these crimes, in violation of its obligations under the Convention Against Torture.

OPEN AS PDF.

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