Please sign this fab TSA petition

Come on, folks, let’s get this up to at least 150 signatures. If we do, it’ll go live on the main White House petition site. It was written by our perennially creative contributor Chris Bray.

NATO: Never-ending Aggression Toward Others

Well, here's definitive proof that a large organization can have a mind: NATO has clearly lost one.

NATO was supposed to "defend" Europe against the Soviet Union.  A whole lot of people believed that, at least until the Soviet Union ended.

Then NATO was supposed to "defend" Europe against Iran. I think about 8 people believed that, not counting U.S. senators. But then Iran made a deal for the toughest inspections of its non-existent nuclear weapons program in the history of the world.

And NATO rushed to expand before anyone had the logical next thought, namely, Now what do we supposedly need NATO for?

NATO is now going to open headquarters in Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Estonia -- all nations between Western Europe and Russia, all nations where the United States promised Russia NATO would never go, and all moves seen as threats by the Russian government. In fact, Russia is now putting (possibly nuclear) missiles into Kaliningrad and talking frequently about the growing likelihood of war with the United States.

The United States, for its part, is putting more nuclear weapons into Europe, arming its coup government in Ukraine, posturing over claims to the arctic (where it hopes to dig out more of the filthy fuels with which it has melted the arctic), and churning out anti-Russian propaganda by the boatload.

Tiny Guam, huge US Marine base expansions

By Sylvia Frain

On Saturday morning August 29, 2015, the United States Navy signed the Record of Decision (ROD), the final document needed for the implementation of one of the largest “peacetime” military build-ups in American history. This will cost between $8 and 9 billion, with only $174 million for civilian infrastructure, which Congress has not released yet. As a central aspect of American’s foreign policy ‘Pivot to the Pacific’, the build-up will relocate thousands of Marines and their dependents from Okinawa, Japan to Guam.

This does not auger well for the people of Guam. For decades, the Okinawans have protested the violence, pollution, military accidents, and sexual assaults committed by American Marines on the local population. Moving those Marines to tiny Guam frightens many.

Military-colonial destruction is not new to the people of Guam. The indigenous Chamorro people were nearly exterminated by invasion and colonization by Spain, then the US, then Japan during WWII, and then back into US possession. Located in the Western Pacific Ocean more than 8,000 miles from Washington D.C., Guam remains an unincorporated territory and possession of the United States. While residents are American citizens, carry U.S. passports and pay federal taxes, they have no representation in the Senate, have a non-voting delegate in Congress and cannot vote in Presidential elections.

Currently, one-third of the island of Guam (210 square miles) is US Department of Defense (DOD) property and inaccessible to non-military residents. Many people are still waiting for war reparations from World War II and compensation for their land taken by the military. In addition, people from the Guam serve and die in the United States Armed Forces at higher rates than any other state in America.

The build-up will add further strain on already fragile infrastructure and limited resources:

  • A thousand acres of limestone forest will be destroyed for housing the Marines and their dependents and the military will control the largest water source for the island.
  • Guam will become the biggest storage facility for fuel and ammunitions in the Pacific.
  • A Live Fire Range Complex (LFRC) will be constructed at Northwest Field on Anderson Air Force Base and will close Ritidian National Wildlife Refuge, a sanctuary to numerous endangered species and a sacred site to the indigenous people. The public will no longer have access to the National Wildlife Refuge, including the pristine beach, ancient caves, education center and a newly ‘rediscovered’ 4,000-year-old fishing village containing the oldest archaeological artefacts found on Guam. In the early 1990’s, local families demanded that Ritidian Point, or Litekyan, be returned to its traditional owners. However, the federal government instead created the National Wildlife Refugee, owned by the United States Fish and Wildlife Services.

While the Governor of Guam, the non-voting Congresswoman, the Guam Chamber of Commerce and other military-business lobbyists welcome the military build-up, many people on Guam consider the ROD’s release a sad day for the people, land, wildlife and culture of Guam. With an economy 60 percent derived from tourism, a massive expansion of the military on a vulnerable small island will only degrade both the environment and the native Chamorro people.

Sylvia C. Frain is a Ph.D. candidate with the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago on the South Island of Aotearoa New Zealand and a Research Associate with the Micronesia Area Research Center (MARC) at the University of Guam.

Worst president ever?: History Should and Probably Will Judge President Obama Harshly

By Dave Lindorff


President Barack Obama is on track to go down in history as one of the, or perhaps as the worst and most criminal presidents in US history. 


10 Lessons of the Iran Deal

By the latest count, the nuclear agreement with Iran has enough support in the U.S. Senate to survive. This, even more than stopping the missile strikes on Syria in 2013, may be as close as we come to public recognition of the prevention of a war (something that happens quite a bit but generally goes unrecognized and for which there are no national holidays). Here, for what they’re worth, are 10 teachings for this teachable moment.

  1. There is never an urgent need for war. Wars are often begun with great urgency, not because there’s no other option, but because delay might allow another option to emerge. The next time someone tells you a particular country must be attacked as a “last resort,” ask them politely to please explain why diplomacy was possible with Iran and not in this other case. If the U.S. government is held to that standard, war may quickly become a thing of the past.
  1. A popular demand for peace over war can succeed, at least when those in power are divided. When much of one of the two big political parties takes the side of peace, the advocates of peace have a chance. And of course now we know which senators and Congress members will shift their positions with partisan winds. My Republican Congressman opposed war on Syria in 2013 when President Obama supported it, but supported greater hostility toward Iran in 2015 when Obama opposed it. One of my two Democratic Senators backed peace for a change, when Obama did. The other remained undecided, as if the choice were too complex.
  1. The government of Israel can make a demand of the government of the United States and be told No. This is a remarkable breakthrough. None of the actual 50 states expects to always get its way in Washington, but Israel does — or did until now. This opens up the possibility of ceasing to give Israel billions of dollars worth of free weapons one of these years, or even of ceasing to protect Israel from legal consequences for what it does with those weapons
  1. Money can make a demand of the U.S. government and be told No. Multibillionaires funded huge advertising campaigns and dangled major campaign “contributions.” The big money was all on the side opposing the agreement, and yet the agreement prevailed — or at least now looks like it will. This doesn’t prove we have a corruption-free government. But it does suggest that the corruption is not yet 100 percent.
  1. Counterproductive tactics employed in this victorious antiwar effort may end up making this a Pyrrhic victory. Both sides in the debate over the agreement advanced baseless claims about Iranian aggression and Iranian attempts to create nuclear weapons. Both sides depicted Iranians as completely untrustworthy and menacing. If the agreement is undone or some other incident arises, the mental state of the U.S. public regarding Iran is in a worse position than it was before, as regards restraining the dogs of war.
  1. The deal is a concrete step to be built on. It is a powerful argument for the use of diplomacy — perhaps even less hostile diplomacy — in other areas of the globe. It is also a verifiable refutation to future assertions of an Iranian nuclear threat. This means that U.S. weaponry stationed in Europe on the basis of that alleged threat can and must be withdrawn rather than remain as an open act of aggression toward Russia.
  1. When given the choice, the nations of the world will leap at an opening for peace. And they will not easily be brought back again. U.S. allies are now opening embassies in Iran. If the United States backs away from Iran again, it will isolate itself. This lesson should be borne in mind when considering violent and non-violent options for other countries.
  1. The longer a war with Iran is avoided, the stronger an argument we have for continuing to avoid it. When a U.S. push for war on Iran has been stopped before, including in 2007, this has not only put off a possible catastrophe; it has also made it more difficult to create. If a future U.S. government wants war with Iran, it will have to go up against public awareness that peace with Iran is possible.
  1. The nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) works. Inspections work. Just as inspections worked in Iraq, they work in Iran. Other nations, such as Israel, North Korea, India, and Pakistan, should be encouraged to join the NPT. Proposals for a nuclear-free Middle East should be pursued.
  1. The United States should itself cease violating the NPT and lead by example, ceasing to share nuclear weapons with other nations, ceasing to create new nuclear weapons, and working to disarm itself of an arsenal that serves no purpose but threatens apocalypse.

Focus: Clinton, Biden, Sanders - Sep 2, 2015


State Department releases thousands of Clinton emails, 125 contain classified information - Fox News


Clinton wrote classified e-mails sent using private server - The Washington Post


State: No way to know if Clinton emails should have been classified at the time they were sent - Washington Examiner


VIDEO: Full State Department Briefing, Emails Questions Begin at 24 min thru 42 min - C-SPAN.org


Sources: Clinton email markings changed to hide contents, shielding extent of classified info - Fox News


Clinton Told Special Envoy for Middle East Mitchell to Send 'Born Classified' Info to Her Private Email Account - National Review


Hillary Clinton may have broken US secrecy rules with emails from Tony Blair and Downing Street - Telegraph


Tony Blair Shows up in Latest Clinton Emails, Discrediting Hillary's Private Server Excuses - National Review Online


Hillary Clinton emails: Cherie Blair lobbied for Qatari crown prince - The Guardian


Text of all released Secretary Clinton emails - U.S. Department of State


Hillary Clinton emails compromised spy satellite data on North Korean nukes - Washington Times


Hillary's Email Crashed: State Dept IT Staff Didn't Know The Account Was Hers! - Breitbart


State Dept Still Does Not Know Whether Clinton’s Server was Breached - Washington Free Beacon


Exclusive: Hillary Shared An Email Network With The Clinton Foundation - Breitbart


Clinton Enlisted State Employees to Steer Funds to Clinton Foundation Partner - Washington Free Beacon


Feds move to consolidate lawsuits over Hillary Clinton emails, dozens of Freedom of Information Act cases could be placed in front of a single judge - POLITICO


Emails Show How Hillary Clinton Valued Input From Sidney Blumenthal - The New York Times


Blumenthal: Being Hillary Clinton's Private Spy Was a Full-Time Job - gawker.com


Huma complained she wasn't paid enough, the Clinton’s closest aide was able to change her fortunes with a little help from friends: her pay reached $490,000 - The Weekly Standard

 

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

POLL: Biden is top choice of Democrats if Clinton falters: Reuters/Ipsos poll - PhillyVoice


POLL: Only One Quarter of Undecided Democratic Primary Voters Have Favorable View of Hillary Clinton - Washington Free Beacon


AFL-CIO’s Trumka to walk with VP Joe Biden on Labor Day - The Boston Globe


Trumka: Democratic field 'still wide open,' Biden has time, early AFL-CIO endorsement conceivable - Yahoo News


VIDEO: AFL-CIO’s Trumka Explains Low Labor Enthusiasm For Clinton, Urges Her To Reject Pacific Trade Agreement - YouTube


Draft Biden super PAC names Eaton New Hampshire director, more staff to be hired - WMUR


Stephen Colbert's Late Show lands Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders - Orlando Sentinel


Sanders to introduce bill targeting high drug prices - TheHill


Bernie Sanders applied for ‘conscientious objector’ status during Vietnam, campaign confirms - ABC


Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Tweets Support For Bernie Sanders - huffingtonpost.com


Elizabeth Warren says potential vice presidential bid 'something I'm not talking about’ - AP


Women explain why they're anti-Hillary Clinton in the anonymous posting platform Whisper - AOL

 

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

Disarm! For a Climate of Peace – Creating an Action Agenda

World Congress on Military and Social Spending

30 Sept – 03 Oct 2016 Technische Universität Berlin, Germany

“Peace” by Bart is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License: http://bit.ly/1NCbPUH

The International Peace Bureau has worked for over 10 years to develop a program on Disarmament for Sustainable Development, with a primary topic being military and social spending. In 2011 we launched the Global Day of Action on Military Spending and in late 2014 a year-round Global Campaign on Military Spending.

The IPB World Congress 2016 will be the next highlight of this campaign, bringing together a wide variety of experts, advocates and speakers from around the globe, and including talks, presentations, roundtables, panel discussions, workshops, information booths, exhibitions, and cultural activities.

Go here: http://ipb2016.berlin

Yemeni drone victim appeals to court to end German role in US strikes

From REPRIEVE

A Yemeni family whose relatives were killed in a US drone strike have appealed to a German court to ensure that a US base in the country is not used for further attacks, which might endanger their lives.
 
In May 2014, a court in Cologne heard evidence from Faisal bin Ali Jaber, an environmental engineer from Sana’a, following revelations that Ramstein air base is used by the US to facilitate American drone strikes in Yemen. Mr Jaber is bringing the case against Germany – represented by international human rights organization Reprieve and its local partner the European Center for Human Rights (ECCHR) – for failing to stop the bases on its territory from being used for the attacks that have killed civilians.
 
Although the court ruled against Mr bin Ali Jaber in the May hearing, it gave him immediate permission to appeal the decision, while the judges agreed with his assertion that it is ‘plausible’ Ramstein air base is crucial in facilitating drone strikes in Yemen. Today’s appeal, filed at the Higher Administrative Court in Münster, asks the German government to end the country’s complicity in the extrajudicial killings.
 
Mr Jaber lost his brother-in-law Salim, a preacher, and his nephew Waleed, a local police officer, when a US strike hit the village of Khashamir on 29 August 2012. Salim often spoke out against extremism, and had used a sermon just days before he was killed to urge those present to reject Al Qaeda.
 
Kat Craig, Legal Director at Reprieve said: “It is now clear that US bases on German territory, such as Ramstein, provide a crucial hub for the launching of drone strikes in countries like Yemen – leading to scores of civilians being killed. Faisal bin Ali Jaber and the countless other victims like him are right to call for an end to European countries’ complicity in these terrible attacks. The German courts have already signalled their serious concerns – now the government must be held accountable for allowing the use of German soil to carry out these killings.”  
 
Andreas Schüller of the ECCHR said: “Drone strikes carried out outside of conflict zones are nothing but extrajudicial targeted killings – the implementation of death sentences without any trial. German authorities are under an obligation to protect individuals – including people living in Yemen – from suffering harm caused by breaches of international law involving Germany, but the exchange of diplomatic notes between the German and US government has to date proven to be wholly unsuitable. There needs to be a public debate on whether Germany is really doing enough to prevent violations of international law and the murder of innocent people.”
 

Talk Nation Radio: Eve Spangler on Israel/Palestine

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-eve-spangler-on-israelpalestine

Eve Spangler is a sociologist and a human and civil rights activist.  For the last decade, her work has focused on the Israel/Palestine conflict. We discuss her new book, Understanding Israel/Palestine: Race, Nation, and Human Rights in the Conflict.

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

Tell U.S. Institute of Peace to Work for Peace

The U.S. Institute of Peace has a great name, our tax dollars, and a terrible record. Let’s move it in a better direction.

If you’ve never heard of the U.S. Institute of Peace, please keep reading. It works everyday with your money in a fancy new building next to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. It just doesn’t work for peace.

USIP-FB

If you know the USIP’s record and consider it a lost cause, please keep reading. This institute can be made to do some good. A number of us will be meeting with USIP in late September and bringing along this petition. Please click here to sign it.

The petition to USIP reads: “We urge you to oppose U.S. militarism and begin working for an end to U.S. war-making by providing to Congress and the public information on the disastrous results of recent U.S. wars and the superior results of nonviolence and diplomacy. We ask that you recommend to the President of the United States the removal from your board of Stephen Hadley, Eric Edelman, and Frederick M. Padilla, and their replacement by three seasoned peace activists, along with a recommendation to maintain at least three seasoned peace activists on your board at all times — right now there are none.”

The U.S. Institute of Peace is a federal government institute created by a bill signed into law in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan and funded annually by Congress as well as sometimes receiving funding from the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the military.[1] The law states that the “Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and the Director of Central Intelligence each may assign officers and employees of his respective department or agency, on a rotating basis to be determined by the Board, to the Institute.”

The Institute has never opposed a U.S. war and claims that it can only support things, not oppose them. But in fact, the law only forbids it from seeking “to influence the passage or defeat of legislation … except that the personnel of the Institute may testify or make other appropriate communication when formally requested to do so by a legislative body, a committee, or a member thereof.” Most U.S. wars, including the war on Libya, the newly revived war on Iraq (and Syria), and the drone wars on Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen, have been launched without legislation. And, even if there were legislation involved, it would not be at all difficult for USIP to ask a single member of Congress to request its opinion, thereby freeing it to provide its views and its research. USIP makes no claim that it cannot provide the public with information on the negative results of U.S. wars; it simply fails to do so.

The Institute in fact makes recommendations to Congress, including in formally presented testimony, it just recommends things like supporting the Syrian opposition, training and arming troops to fight both ISIS and the Syrian government, and creating a “no fly zone” in Syria, rather than working toward an arms embargo or aid or diplomacy.[2] The Institute has recommended diplomacy with Iran, and could do so in a dozen other cases, although its notion that weapons sales is part of diplomacy may be less than helpful.[3]

The law requires that the USIP Board include 15 voting members, including the Secretaries of State and “Defense,” the President of the National “Defense” University, and 12 members appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, and each having “practical or academic experience in peace and conflict resolution.” The law also states that “No member of the Board may participate in any decision, action, or recommendation with respect to any matter which directly and financially benefits the member or pertains specifically to any public body or any private or nonprofit firm or organization with which the member is then formally associated or has been formally associated within a period of two years.” There are a number of mechanisms for removing a board member, including 8 or more board members making that recommendation to the President.

The USIP does do some work aimed at peace, including hosting speakers and producing publications aimed at peace, sending skilled mediators into conflict zones, making research grants, holding essay contests, and conducting conflict-resolution trainings, but such efforts are deeply compromised by the following concerns:

USIP board member and chairman, Stephen Hadley, urges the bombing of Syria and the militarization of Ukraine, while encouraging European nations to double their military spending, and himself profiting from war as a board member of Raytheon.[4]

USIP board member Eric Edelman, a former undersecretary at the Pentagon, promotes higher military spending, an attack on Iran, and deployment of nuclear weapons to nations on Russia’s border.[5]

USIP board member Major General Frederick M. Padilla, USMC, is career military.

USIP promotes the overthrow of the Syrian government.[6]

USIP is not known to have ever opposed a U.S. war, U.S. weapons exports, U.S. foreign bases, or U.S. military spending.[7]

USIP promotes trade embargoes, economic austerity programs, and electoral interventions as tools of aggression, not peace building.[8]

USIP funds many more supporters than opponents of militarism.[9]

USIP hosts pro-war talks by leading war advocates.[10]

Appropriate board members for USIP exist in large numbers, and many of them would no doubt be happy to serve. Here are a few examples of the many possible names: Kathy Kelly, Michael McPhearson, Ann Wright, Paul Chappell, Noura Erekat, Dennis Kucinich, David Vine, Matt Daloisio, John Dear, Bruce Gagnon, Phil Donahue, Mel Duncan, David Hartsough, Mubarak Awad, Leslie Cagan, Roy Bourgeois, Cornell West, Lennox Yearwood, Osagyefo Sekou, Phyllis Bennis, Andy Shallal, Helena Cobban, Noam Chomsky, Elliott Adams.

Appropriate events that USIP could host might include:
How to Finally End the Korean War,
Abolition of Armed Drones,
A Plan to Close Overseas Bases,
Why Does NATO Still Exist?,
How Can the Kellogg-Briand Pact Be Complied With?,
What Could $2 Trillion a Year Buy Instead of War?,
Military Abolition and the Costa Rican Model,
Pondering Polling: How Did the U.S. Become Seen as the Greatest Threat to World Peace?,
Pinkerism and the Myth that War Is Vanishing,
WMD Tales From Iraq to Iran,
Vietnam Syndrome: Illness or Health?,
Benefits of Joining the International Criminal Court,
If War Makes Us Less Safe Why Can’t We Stop?,
The Economic and Moral Benefits of Transition to Peaceful Industries,
The ICCPR Ban on War Propaganda,
Diplomacy in Iran: Why Not in Eight Other Places?,
Why Arm Dictatorships?,
Whose Land Is Guantanamo?,
The Convention on the Rights of the Child – Why Not?,
What Is Preventing Spacefaring Powers from Banning Weapons in Space?,
Why Not Reinstate the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty?,
Should Palestinians Have Human Rights?,
Remembering the Maine, the Lusitania, Tonkin Gulf . . . What Would Accurate History Change?,
What Would Compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Look Like?

Reports USIP could usefully write include:
U.S. arms sales to each foreign nation, as compared to the sales of other nations — a report the Congressional Research Service has ceased producing.
U.S. military spending, as compared to non-military government spending — a report the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency has ceased producing.

Initial Signers of the Petition Are:
David Swanson
Coleen Rowley
Heinrich Buecker
Robert Fantina
David Hartsough
Medea Benjamin
Gael Murphy
Kevin Zeese
Jodie Evans
John Heuer
Norman Solomon
Elizabeth Murray
Thomas Drake
Ann Wright
Todd Pierce
Alice Slater
Kent Shifferd
Jeff Cohen
William Binney
Ray McGovern
Kevin Martin
Barbara Wien
Leah Bolger
Patrick Hiller
Jim Haber

Footnotes:
1. http://bit.ly/1JuMmJo
2. http://bit.ly/1KCzVzu
3. http://bit.ly/1LQTvtv
4. http://bit.ly/1JJcvrz
5. ibid
6. http://bit.ly/1EyQM5s
http://bit.ly/1XaJnPN
http://bit.ly/1hQPRDs
7. http://wapo.st/1ig9VPw
8. http://bit.ly/1KCAQA6
9. ibid
10.http://bit.ly/1L0oRYP

 After the Iran Deal: How to Make the Most of the Next 15 Years

By Alice Slater, The Nation

 Iran Nuclear Deal Celebrations

A group of jubilant Iranians cheer and spray artificial snow during street celebrations following the announcement of a landmark nuclear deal. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

A major sticking point for universal support for the Iran deal is the worry expressed repeatedly by doubters and supporters alike, in the plethora of mainstream media coverage, that in 15 years Iran may have the capacity to break out and produce a nuclear bomb only one year after the deal expires. David Petraeus and Dennis Ross, Obama’s former Special Assistant on the Middle East, have actually suggested, in The Washington Post, that we should “put teeth” into the deal by threatening now that “if Iran dashes toward a weapon especially after year 15, that it will trigger the use of force.”

How much better would the public be served if the extensive reporting on the deal also provided the information we need on how we could beat Iran to the punch and honor our own obligations under the 1970 Non-Proliferation Treaty to negotiate for the elimination of nuclear weapons?

First, we must stop provoking Russia and create a climate for negotiations. The United States should agree to a proposal made by Russia and China to negotiate a space weapons ban instead of continuing to block all discussions of a draft treaty they tabled at the UN in Geneva in 2008 and resubmitted this year. We should dismantle NATO, a rusty Cold War holdover, or at least reverse its eastward expansion which we promised Gorbachev would never happen beyond East Germany after the wall came down. And we should bring home the 300 US nuclear weapons now parked in five NATO countries: Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, and Turkey. We should reinstate our 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia, which the United States walked out of in 2002 after 30 years, and remove our new missile bases in Turkey, Poland, and Romania. It is ironic that underpinning the deal that Kennedy negotiated with Khrushchev, to remove Soviet missiles from Cuba, was US removal of its missiles from Turkey. Well, they’re back!

Perhaps Russia would then agree to negotiate with us about eliminating our arsenals of 15,000 deadly nuclear bombs out of the 16,000 still threatening the planet. We could then call the seven other nuclear weapons states to the table—the UK, France, China, India-Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea—to give up their combined arsenals of 1,000 warheads in a negotiated treaty for complete nuclear disarmament. Civil Society has already produced a Model Nuclear Weapons Convention, an official UN document, laying out all the required steps for verified, monitored nuclear disarmament. We know how to do it! This is what we promised in 1970 in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which provides that we “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament.” President Obama has recently proposed that the United States spend $1 trillion over the next thirty years for two new nuclear bomb factories, delivery systems, and warheads. The US just tested a dummy bunker buster nuclear warhead in Nevada in August.

It is sad that we are only hearing about Iran’s obligations under the NPT and not about our own broken promises. With the proper cooperative attitude, the United States could easily accomplish verifiable and monitored nuclear disarmament in 15 years, so we won’t have to demonize Iran when the 15 years are up. As Walt Kelly’s Pogo said, “We have met the enemy and he is us!”

The Psychology of Projection in Conflict

 

Understanding human conflict requires us to understand human psychology. And it is only when we understand the psychology that drives conflict that we can take intelligent steps to address it.


An American In Syria

An American in Syria
By John Mesler, Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox

In 1955 Alcoa was the first big sponsor to drop the Edward R. Murrow Show. Alcoa didn't just make aluminum cans. They made parts for our military fighter jets. Murrow spoke out against the communism fear mongering tactics of Senator Joseph McCarthy and eventually more corporations dropped his show. Now those companies such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, GE, and Honeywell, to name just a few, own the mainstream media TV and papers and decide what "news" we, the American public get to hear. By 1961 we were warned by President Eisenhower about the Military Industrial Complex but not enough of us were paying attention. The truth does eventually get out, however. As I write this piece, recently retired Lt. General Flynn (who also served as chief of the Department Intelligence Agency), admitted that the US has been supporting al-Qaeda with money and weaponry. Isn't that the same group we held responsible for attacking us on 9/11 in the first place?

Fascism From West Point

This headline in the Guardian is completely accurate: West Point professor calls on US military to target legal critics of war on terror.

But it hardly covers to content of the 95-page paper being reported on: see the PDF.

The author makes clear that his motivation is hatred of Islam. He includes the false myth of origins of Western Asian violence toward the United States lying in antiquity rather than in blowback. He includes the lie, now popular on all sides, of Iran pursuing nuclear weapons.

He announces, after the recent U.S. losses in Iraq and Afghanistan, that U.S. armies always win. Then he admits that the U.S. is losing but says this is because of insufficient support for the wars and for making the wars about an "economic system, culture, values, morals, and laws."

The key weapon in this war, he says, is information. U.S. crimes are not the problem; the problem, he writes, is any information distributed about U.S. crimes -- which information is only damaging because the United States is the pinnacle of support for the rule of law. It wouldn't matter if you spread news about crimes by some more lawless nation. But when you share news about crimes by the United States it hurts the U.S. cause which is upholding the rule of law and leading the world to lawfulness. The United States is the all-time world champion of the rule of law, we're told, in a 95-page screed that never mentions the Kellogg-Briand Pact and only belatedly brings up the United Nations Charter in order to pretend that it permits all U.S. wars.

You can pack a lot of existing lies about U.S. wars and some new ones into 95 pages. So, for example, Walter Cronkite lost the Tet Offensive (and by the logic of the rest of this article, should have been immediately murdered on air). The mythical liberal media is busy reporting on the U.S. killing of civilians, and the worst voices in public discourse are those of treasonous U.S. lawyers. They are the most damaging, again, because the United States is the preeminent leader of lawibidingness.

The treasonous antiwar lawyers number 40, and the author hints that he has them on a list. Though whether this is a real list like Obama's kill list or something more like McCarthy's is not clear. I lean toward the latter, primarily because the list of offenses run through to fill up 95 pages includes such an array that few if any lawyers have been engaged in all of them. The offenses range from the most modest questioning of particular atrocities to prosecuting Bush and Cheney in court. Nobody doing the latter has any voice in U.S. corporate media, and a blacklist for Congress or for the U.S. Institute of "Peace" would hardly be needed if created.

The 40 unnamed treasonous scholars are, in this treatise, given the acronym CLOACA, which in good fascist form of course means a sewer or an orifice for excreting feces or urine. Their supposed crimes include:

  • failing to concede that violations of the Laws of Armed Conflict by Muslims permit the waiving of those laws for the U.S. government;
  • interpreting the supposed standards of "distinction" and "proportionality," which the author admits are totally open to interpretation, to mean something the author doesn't like;
  • opposing lawless imprisonment and torture;
  • opposing murder by drone;
  • supporting the supposed duty to warn people before you kill them;
  • counting dead bodies (which is too "macabre" even though the U.S. is supposedly devoted to "minimizing civilian casualties" not to mention Western scientific superiority);
  • upholding laws; pointing out facts, laws, or counterproductive results;
  • filing suits in court;
  • or criticizing war advocates.

The heart of the matter seems to be this: opposing war amounts to supporting war by an enemy. And, nonetheless, among the reasons offered to explain CLOACA joining the enemy are "anti-militarism," and "pernicious pacifism." So actual opposition to war drives people to oppose war, which amounts to supporting war for the enemy. I think I've got it.

The prescriptions to heal this illness center on waging total war. The author proposes both dropping nuclear bombs and capturing hearts and minds. No doubt as part of his leading support for lawfulness, he demands that there be no restraint on U.S. warmaking against Muslims. That means no limit in time or place, a rewriting of any laws of war by the U.S. military, and no trust in the "marketplace of ideas." The U.S. must use PSYOPS, must impose loyalty oaths, must fire disloyal scholars from their jobs, must prosecute them for "material support of terrorism" and for treason, and must proceed to murder them in any time and place.

I suppose that when I point out that this illustrates the madness of militarism I should breathe a deep sigh of relief that I have no law degree.

Focus: Clinton, Sanders, Biden - Aug 31, 2015


POLL: Bernie Sanders close to 7 points of Hillary Clinton in the Iowa Poll, She's the pick for 37 percent, he for 30 percent - desmoinesregister.com


POLL: Without Declaring His Candidacy Biden Places Third in Iowa, with 14 Percent of Likely Democratic Caucus-Goers - Bloomberg Politics


VIDEO: Iowa pollster Ann Selzer joins "Face the Nation" to discuss the latest Bloomberg/Des Moines Register poll - CBS


POLL: Presidential Candidates on Both Sides Confronting Angry Iowans - Bloomberg Politics


POLL: Read the methodology and questions of the Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll - businessweek.com

 

VIDEO: Bernie Sanders Reflects on Iowa Poll Momentum: Full interview - CNN


Sanders fires off long list of policy disagreements with Clinton - Washington Examiner


Sanders: Dems ‘dead wrong’ on limiting the number of debates to just four before the first round of voting takes place - TheHill


Activists turn up heat on DNC for more debates - TheHill


Bernie Sanders Defends Gun Control Record, Brags About D-Minus NRA Grade - huffingtonpost.com


VIDEO: Raddatz Grills Bernie Sanders on Lack of Foreign Policy Positions - ABC


Sanders says he would be prepared to use military force in world affairs, 'But that should be a last resort' - AP


Sanders: I wouldn’t end drone program, but limit their use so that they do not end up killing innocent people - TheHill


VIDEO: Bernie Sanders addresses the Democratic National Committee’s summer meeting in Minneapolis - SPAN.org


Draft Biden Reaction to new Iowa Poll - Mark Halperin on Twitter


Top donors to President Obama's two national campaigns are galvanizing around a potential run by Joe Biden - Washington Examiner

 

Bill Clinton parties with rock stars while Hillary baby-sits - Page Six

 

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

Source: FBI ‘A-team’ leading ‘serious’ Clinton server probe, focusing on defense info - Fox News


Emails show Bill Clinton asked State Dept. for OK on N. Korea, Congo invites - Fox News


State Dept. bypassed ethics officers on some Bill Clinton talks, Grassley says - Miami Herald


Group: Clinton and her aides mixed State Department business with the Clinton Foundation's fundraising efforts - CNN


Panel: Who do the Clinton staff really work for? Abedin worked simultaneously for the State Dept, the Clinton Foundation and controversial consulting firm Teneo Strategies - Washington Examiner


What's Inside The Newly Released Huma Abedin State Department Emails - The Times


Elite Fundraiser for Obama and Clinton Linked to Justice Department Probe - Foreign Policy


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

Militarism Run Amok: Russians and Americans Get Their Kids Ready for War

In 1915, a mother’s protest against funneling children into war became the theme of a new American song, “I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier.”  Although the ballad attained great popularity, not everyone liked it.  Theodore Roosevelt, a leading militarist of the era, retorted that the proper place for such women was “in a harem―and not in the United States.”

Roosevelt would be happy to learn that, a century later, preparing children for war continues unabated.

Protest the Air Force Association "Arms Bazaar"

When: Monday, September 14, 2015, from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. 
 
What: A Nonviolent Vigil and Prayer Service for Peace during the AFA $310 per plate banquet (please bring a candle)
Where: Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, 201 Waterfront St., National Harbor, MD 20745. 
We will meet for the vigil at the corner of Waterfront St. and St. George Blvd., directly across from the Gaylord National Resort.

How to win hearts and minds in the Middle East

By Tom H. Hastings

In the field in which I teach, Peace and Conflict Studies, we examine alternatives to violence or the threat of violence in the management of conflict. We are a transdisciplinary field, that is, we don't only draw from an interdisciplinary set of research findings--e.g. Anthropology, Economics, Education, History, Law, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Sociology--but we do so with certain provisos.

Our stance favors fairness, justice, and nonviolence. Our research examines both why humans use destructive methods of conflict and why and how we use constructive, creative, transformative, nonviolent methods of handling conflict. We look at interpersonal conflict and social (group-to-group) conflict.

We need peace officers, not pinkertons: What’s Wrong with Police in America

By Dave Lindorff

 

            Americans got a glimpse of what policing is like in a more humane and civilized society last year when four young Swedish cops, on vacation in New York City and riding on a subway, found themselves faced with a bloody fight in the aisle by two angry black men.

Let us recommit to peace

By
PUBLISHED by Albuquerque Journal

Four score and seven years ago many nations brought forth on many continents a pact that made war illegal.

The Kellogg-Briand Pact was signed on Aug. 27, 1928, by 15 Nations, ratified by the U.S. Senate the following year with a single dissenting vote, signed by President Calvin Coolidge in January of 1929, and on July 24, 1929, President Hoover “caused the said Treaty to be made public, to the end that the same and every article and clause thereof may be observed and fulfilled with good faith by the United States and the citizens thereof.”

Thus, the pact became a treaty and therefore the law of the land.

The treaty established the important point that only wars of aggression – not military acts of self-defense – would be covered.

In the final version of the pact, the participating nations agreed upon two clauses: the first outlawed war as an instrument of national policy and the second called upon signatories to settle their disputes by peaceful means.

A call for peace: City activities honor 85-year old treaty outlawing war

 
Sally Alice Thompson, left, and Dr. Hakim Zamir, center, release white doves symbolizing peace prior to the start of a presentation by former CIA agent turned peace activist Ray McGovern at Albuquerque Mennonite Church on Thursday. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)
Sally Alice Thompson, left, and Dr. Hakim Zamir, center, release white doves symbolizing peace prior to the start of a presentation by former CIA agent turned peace activist Ray McGovern at Albuquerque Mennonite Church on Thursday. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

An 85-year-old international agreement aimed at ending American and world wars – while unsuccessful – is still worth attention, Albuquerque City Councilors declared this month, naming Aug. 27 as Rededication to the Kellogg-Briand Treaty Day.

Also in honor of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, signed in 1928, internationally known CIA agent turned peace activist Ray McGovern visited Albuquerque as part of his work fighting against “out-of-control military spending” and U.S. military policies that he said are undermining American security by causing the deaths of innocent people and fueling terrorism.

“The nation spends billions of dollars on bombs … that we don’t need,” he told a crowd of about 70 gathered Thursday afternoon for a reception hosted by the area chapter of Veterans for Peace. He urged nonviolent federal policies toward other nations.

The Weak Tough Sell of the Iran Deal

Airing on PBS on September 12 will be an interview I watched taped at the Miller Center at the University of Virginia on August 28 with Wendy Sherman, the U.S. Under Secretary of State who played the key role in negotiating the Iran agreement.

The Miller Center has cut public questions and answers out of the portion of its events that are broadcast, so what will air will only include questions from the host, Doug Blackmon, but he asked I think most of the questions, some reasonable, some absurd, that have been asked by CNN, Fox, and the Associated Press. The elderly, wealthy, white audience asked questions at the end too, and the first one was about supposedly secret side agreements that would allow Iran to build nuclear weapons. My impression was that the audience was won over by Sherman's answers to everything she was asked.

In fact, Blackmon was about to call on me to ask a question when I had to leave to go meet with a staffer of Senator Mark Warner to urge him to oppose the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and the first thing I did was give the staffer Sherman's information and ask him to ask the Senator to call her. Warner is, of course, undecided on whether the Iran deal is preferable to the course toward war that so many of his colleagues openly prefer.

My concern, which I had most hoped to ask about, would not have been a concern for Warner, I suspect. My concern was this: the White House Press Secretary has suggested, and Politico has reported that the White House has been telling Congress, that the agreement will allow the U.S. to learn useful information about Iranian facilities that will make it easier to launch an effective war against Iran in the future if "necessary." Sherman on Friday repeatedly violated the U.N. Charter by stating that the United States could launch a war on Iran, and that she had no doubt President Obama would do so, if "necessary" to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. How is that sort of talk heard in Iran?

Sherman should know. She spent two years getting to know and negotiating with Iranians. She describes friendly moments. Both she and her Iranian counterpart became grandparents during the course of this negotiation. She also describes yelling and walking out. How does she think the Iranians she knows hear threats of war? For that matter, how does she think they hear accusations of having had and desiring to have a nuclear weapons program -- accusations repeated by Sherman on Friday but for which she was not asked for any evidence. For that matter, she accused Iran of wishing death to the United States and Israel -- again, without being asked for any evidence.

Sherman was quite articulate and to-the-point and convincing in arguing every detail of the inspections. Those who want a "better deal" had better avoid listening to her at all costs if they want to maintain their belief system. But pushing for peace while threatening war is a weak sort of advocacy, even if its advocates view it as being tough. Sherman, like her former colleague Madeline Albright, brags about how much damage sanctions have done to people -- in this case Iranians. She wants to be tough. But is she being strategic? What happens when the U.S. changes presidents or Congresses or some sort of incident occurs or is alleged to have occurred? The U.S. public will have been taught to think about Iran in the least helpful manner possible.

Asked if she trusts Iran, Sherman says no way. She goes on at length about how trust is not even part of her profession, doesn't enter into it at all, that these negotiations were aimed at and achieved a regime of verification based on total mistrust. A moment later, asked if she trusts in the good faith of Benjamin Netanyahu, Sherman does not hesitate to exclaim "Oh, of course!" What does that example tell people to think about Iranians? Compared to an openly racist militarist who orders the slaughter of civilians, the Iranians are untrustworthy? If that were so, I'd oppose the agreement myself!

Sherman also says that Iran knows how to make a nuclear weapon. I'd have liked to ask her whether she learned this before or after the CIA gave Iran nuclear weapons blueprints -- for which Jeffrey Sterling sits in prison as the alleged and convicted whistleblower. And how did she learn it?

Sherman says the United States is the one indispensible nation that must lead the global fight against "terrorism." She declares that if needed the U.S. can re-impose not only its own sanctions on Iran but also those of its partners and the EU. I wouldn't be so sure. A stronger, reality-based case for this agreement would recognize that the threat is not from Iran but from the United States, that the world understands that to a huge extent, and that other nations are not going to easily re-impose sanctions on Iran. In fact they're already opening embassies there. For the United States to go back on this agreement, now or later, would indeed isolate one nation from the rest of the world. I wonder, however, if Sherman is able to allow herself to realize which nation that will be.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power wrote this week: "if the United States rejects this deal, we would instantly isolate ourselves from the countries that spent nearly two years working with American negotiators to hammer out its toughest provisions." Power goes on to explain that such isolation would be undesirable because it would prevent the United States from getting other governments to join in new sanctions to harm any other country or new wars against any other countries.

Hey, now that I think about it, I have to wonder whether U.S. isolation would be such a bad thing after all.

Our quadrennial reality TV show: Sorting Through the Bullshit in America

By John Grant


“One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. ... The realms of advertising and of public relations, and the nowadays closely related realm of politics, are replete with instances of bullshit so unmitigated that they serve among the most indisputable and classic paradigms of the concept.”

Focus: Clinton, Biden - Aug 28, 2015


POLL: Hillary declines sharply in Quinnipiac poll, 45% down from 55% a month ago, Sanders has 22% and Biden 18% - philly.com


POLL: Joe Biden polls better than Hillary Clinton against all Republicans, beating them by a larger margin - New York Post


POLL: The top three words voters think of to describe Hillary are 'liar', 'dishonest' and 'untrustworthy' - Washington Examiner


POLL: List of 50 Words Americans Used to Describe Hillary Clinton - Breitbart


POLL: Full results of the Quinnipiac Poll - Quinnipiac Poll


POLL: Biden 'Honest,' 'Genuine' in Reuters/Ipsos poll - The Times


POLL: Donald Trump would beat Hillary Clinton in Utah, BYU poll says - The Salt Lake Tribune


Biden to meet with AFL-CIO chief as he weighs White House run - TheHill


Biden to Meet With Jewish Leaders to Make Case for Iran Nuclear Deal - WSJ


Possible Biden run puts Obama fundraising network on high alert - The Washington Post


DNC chair: Biden 'would be welcomed' to presidential race - POLITICO


DNC to honor Beau Biden - TheHill


DNC announces fundraising agreement with Clinton, says it’s pursuing similar agreements with the other Democratic primary campaigns - POLITICO


O'Malley: Rallying around Clinton a 'big mistake' - TheHill


Christie: Hillary Clinton should quit presidential race - NJ.com


Obituaries Keep Requesting Loved Ones Not Vote for Hillary - Washington Free Beacon


Progressive groups press Hillary on Wall Street's golden parachutes, Two former Clinton aides received bonuses from banks when they left to join her at the State Dept - huffingtonpost.com


VIDEO: Clinton equates GOP stance on women to terrorists - TheHill


Clinton, Sanders united in call for more federal spending on higher ed, vary on college affordability approach - InsideHigherEd


Hamptons home rented by the Clintons could be yours for $32.5M - New York Post


How Chronic Disease Could End Hillary Clinton’s White House Run - The National Enquirer

 

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

Clinton Data Went Unsecured For Over a Month After ‘Classified’ Data Discovered - Washington Free Beacon


Clinton's attorney got security clearance just before handling emails - Washington Examiner


GOP senator accuses Clinton of improperly passing state secrets to her lawyer - McClatchy DC


Hillary Clinton emails: Chuck Grassley questions lack of permanent IG at State Department - Washington Times


Hillary Clinton’s State Department IG Was More Lapdog than Watchdog, Its Oversight Was Toothless, Lax - National Review Online


Top senator presses State on whether Clinton has security clearance despite FBI probe - Fox News


Group: Hillary Clinton mixed State, foundation business - CNNPolitics.com


Clinton ally accused of running interference on email scandal - Washington Examiner


How Huma Abedin operated at the center of the Clinton universe - The Washington Post


Former AG Mukasey says he was wrong to suggest that if Clinton was ever convicted of destroying government records by erasing her server, she would be legally unqualified for the presidency - NBC


Hillary Clinton’s Handling of Email Issue Frustrates Democratic Leaders - The New York Times


Dems: Grassley's probe of Clinton's email gives Biden wide opening - Washington Examiner


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

War: Legal to Criminal and Back Again

Remarks in Chicago on the 87th anniversary of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, August 27, 2015.

Thank you very much for inviting me here and thank you to Kathy Kelly for everything she does and thank you to Frank Goetz and everyone involved in creating this essay contest and keeping it going. This contest is far and away the best thing that has come out of my book When the World Outlawed War.

I proposed making August 27th a holiday everywhere, and that hasn't yet happened, but it's begun. The city of St. Paul, Minnesota, has done it. Frank Kellogg, for whom the Kellogg-Briand Pact is named, was from there. A group in Albuquerque is holding an event today, as are groups in other cities today and in recent years. A Congress member has recognized the occasion in the Congressional Record.

But the responses offered to some of the essays from various readers and included in the booklet are typical, and their failings should not reflect poorly on the essays. Virtually everyone has no idea that there is a law on the books banning all war. And when a person finds out, he or she typically takes no more than a few minutes to dismiss the fact as meaningless. Read the responses to the essays. None of the responders who were dismissive considered the essays carefully or read additional sources; clearly none of them read a word of my book.

Wisconsin Walk for Peace and Justice: Nine Arrested at Volk Field

By Joy First  

Voices for Creative Nonviolence engaged with a number of Wisconsin peace groups to organize an 8-day 90-mile walk across southwest Wisconsin from August 18-25.  The purpose of the walk was to call attention and make connections between the militarized police violence at home and the military using violence abroad through drone warfare and by other means.  In both cases the victims are people of color, which forces us to reflect on the systemic racism of our society.

The walk began at the City/County/Jail complex in Madison on August 18.  Dane County has one of the highest rates of racial disparity of any county in the country on many issues, including when it comes to incarceration - hence starting the walk at the jail.  In fact, in order to make the prison population match the general population in Dane County, we would need to release 350 Black people.  This is horrific, especially when we understand that so many people of color are in jail for nonviolent crimes and crimes of poverty that could better be solved by more positive interventions.  It is up to all of us to stand up with our brothers and sisters and proclaim that “Black Lives Matter!”

Wall Street reporting is a joke: The Stock Market is Getting Harder to Rig

By Dave Lindorff


It’s entertaining to watch and to read reports in the corporate media about the current stock market decline, which over the course of the last six business days erased $2.1 trillion in the market value of stocks of publicly-traded US corporations (and in a lot of ordinary Americans’ retirement savings). 


Speaking Events

2015

September 22, DC

More Events Here.

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