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.

Syria/Turkey News - Oct 20, 2014


US Airdrops Arms to Kurds in Syrian Town of Kobani - Foreign Policy


PYD Syrian Kurds say US discussed arms supplies in direct talks - Rudaw


US confirms sharing intelligence with Syrian Kurds against Islamic State - Kurdpress News Aganecy


US officials in contact with Syrian Kurds “for more than two years”: PYD spokesman - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


Kobane's YPG Kurds confirm coordination between them and factions of the Free Syrian Army - Rudaw


Statement of YPG General Command on Kobani and fight against IS, affirming its coordination with factions of the Free Syrian Army - Mutlu Civiroglu


More on the FSA factions helping Kurds in fight against IS militants - Middle East Eye


We won't stop any one from defending Kobani: Salih Muslim - Kurdpress News Aganecy


FSA 1st Dawn Brigade says controls parts of Kobane in video (VIDEO) - Al Arabiya News


Fifteen-year-old boy taken captive with suspected jihadist 'shot in the head by FSA Revolutionaries of Raqqa Brigade fighting against Islamic State - The Independent


VIDEO: Here’s what's likely the child Islamic State fighter reportedly executed after being captured by the FSA faction in Kobane - Brown Moses on Twitter


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

Islamic State incurs heavy losses in battle for Syrian border town Kobane - The National


Kurds: Four areas liberated from Islamic State gangs in Kobanê - ANF


VIDEO: Kurdish fighters 'recapture' parts of Kobani - YouTube


Dozens of Islamic State mortars, two car bombs pound Kobane - Al Jazeera America


There are still IS forces in Kobani: journalist tells Kurdpress - Kurdpress News Aganecy


VIDEO: This is allegedly a video that shows one of IS car bombs in security zone of Kobane today. Huge explosion - Jenan Moussa on Twitter


IS commits ‘fatal’ blunders in Kobane battle: Analyst - Al Arabiya News


My sources inside Kobane confirms: 5000 civilians are cut from food and water as we speak, caught in the middle between fighting factions - Mudar Zahran on Twitter


YPJ fighter: Aid corridor for Kobane civilians is essential - ANF


Islamic State Group Destroys Three Kobani’s Hospitals and All Ambulances - teleSUR


‘Even animals don’t do it’: Kobani siege survivors on Islamic State brutality (VIDEO) - RT News


Syrian Kurds found vile image of baby girl being 'beheaded' on phone taken from dead IS militants - ekurd


Syrian Kurdish female 'Lions' warriors terrorising Islamic State: The real story of Narin Afrini - ekurd


IS Attacks Kurdish Town of Serêkanîye - BAS NEWS


IS chief Baghdadi's video 'being reviewed' by U.S. intelligence (VIDEO, English Subtitles) - Al Arabiya News


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

Erdogan opposes transfer of US arms to Kurds fighting Islamic State, "PYD is for us equal to PKK. It is a terror organization" - CSMonitor.com


No way for change to Öcalan’s prison conditions: President Erdoğan - hurriyetdailynews


Islamic State foiled in attempt to kidnap FSA leader in Turkey, raising questions on Ankara’s readiness to stop jihadists in its soil - Telegraph


200,000 Syrian Kurds find a cold reception as they flee Kobani across border into Turkey - The Independent


Camp on the Turkish-Syrian Border Funded by Kurdistan for Kobane Refugees - Rudaw


VIDEO: Kurds say Turkey stops people returning to Kobane - CNN


YPG member Dilek remanded in Turkey before treatment completed - ANF


Second Democracy and Peace Conference begins in Turkey under the slogan “We salute the Kobanê resistance” - ANF


Senior AKP deputy slams Erdoğan, his party over Kurdish policies: BBC - hurriyetdailynews


Dropping of Dec. 17 probe draws widespread criticism - todayszaman.com


New government-drafted bill to further suppress dissidents - todayszaman.com


UK finally sanctions Qatari terror funder, 10 months after US - RT UK


Lebanon pulled into war with Islamic State - Al Arabiya News

 

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

Overlooking the Obvious With Naomi Klein

By CRAIG COLLINS, CounterPunch

First off, I want to congratulate Naomi Klein on her inspiring book.  This Changes Everything has helped her readers better understand the germination of a broad based, multi-dimensional climate movement from the ground up and its potential to galvanize and revitalize the Left.  Also, she’s shown the courage to name the source of the problem—capitalism—when so many activists shrink from mentioning the “c” word.  In addition, her focus on the fossil fuel industry as the strategic target of the movement clearly highlights the importance of isolating one of the most malignant sectors of industrial capitalism.

But despite her insightful and inspirational treatment of the climate movement’s potential to change everything, I believe Klein over-states her case and overlooks crucial features of the dangerously dysfunctional system we’re up against.  By putting climate change on a pedestal, she limits our understanding of how to break capitalism’s death grip over our lives and our future.

For instance, Klein ignores the deep connection between climate chaos, militarism, and war.  While she spends an entire chapter explaining why Virgin Airlines owner, Richard Branson, and other Green billionaires won’t save us, she devotes three meager sentences to the most violent, wasteful, petroleum-burning institution on Earth—the US military.[1]  Klein shares this blind spot with the United Nations’ official climate forum.  The UNFCCC excludes most of the military sector’s fuel consumption and emissions from national greenhouse gas inventories.[2]  This exemption was the product of intense lobbying by the United States during the Kyoto negotiations in the mid-1990s.  Ever since, the military establishment’s carbon “bootprint” has been officially ignored.[3]  Klein’s book lost an important opportunity to expose this insidious cover-up.

The Pentagon is not only the largest institutional burner of fossil fuels on the planet; it is also the top arms exporter and military spender.[4]  America’s global military empire guards Big Oil’s refineries, pipelines, and supertankers.  It props up the most reactionary petro-tyrannies; devours enormous quantities of oil to fuel its war machine; and spews more dangerous toxins into the environment than any corporate polluter.[5]  The military, weapons producers, and the petroleum industry have a long history of corrupt collaboration.  This odious relationship stands out in bold relief in the Middle East where Washington arms the region’s repressive regimes with the latest weaponry and imposes a phalanx of bases where American soldiers, mercenaries, and drones are deployed to guard the pumps, refineries, and supply lines of Exxon-Mobil, BP, and Chevron.[6]

The petro-military complex is the most costly, destructive, anti-democratic sector of the corporate state.  It wields tremendous power over Washington and both political parties.  Any movement to counteract climate chaos, transform our energy future, and strengthen grassroots democracy cannot ignore America’s petro-empire.  Yet oddly enough when Klein looks for ways to finance the transition to a renewable energy infrastructure in the US, the bloated military budget is not considered.[7]

The Pentagon itself openly recognizes the connection between climate change and war.  In June, a US Military Advisory Board’s report on National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change warned that “…the projected impacts of toxicloopclimate change will be more than threat multipliers; they will serve as catalysts for instability and conflict.”  In response, the Pentagon is gearing up to fight “climate wars” over resources threatened by atmospheric disruption, like fresh water, arable land, and food.[8]

Even though Klein overlooks the connection between militarism and climate change and ignores the peace movement as an essential ally, the peace movement isn’t ignoring climate change.  Anti-war groups like Veterans for Peace, War Is A Crime, and the War Resisters League have made the connection between militarism and climate disruption a focus of their work.  The climate crisis was a pressing concern of hundreds of peace activists from around the world who gathered in Capetown, South Africa in July 2014.  Their conference, organized by War Resisters International, addressed non-violent activism, the impact of climate change, and the rise of militarism around the world.[9]

Klein says she thinks climate change has a unique galvanizing potential because it presents humanity with an “existential crisis.”  She sets out to show how it can change everything by weaving “all of these seemingly disparate issues into a coherent narrative about how to protect humanity from the ravages of a savagely unjust economic system and a destabilized climate system.”  But then her narrative ignores militarism almost entirely.  This gives me pause.  Can any progressive movement protect the planet without connecting the dots between climate chaos and war or confronting this petro-military empire head on?  If the US and other governments go to war over the planet’s shrinking reserves of energy and other resources, should we keep our focus locked on climate change, or should resisting resource wars become our most immediate concern?

Another important blind spot in Klein’s book is the issue of “peak oil.”  This is the point when the rate of petroleum extraction has maxed out and begins to terminally decline.  By now it’s become widely accepted that global CONVENTIONAL oil production peaked around 2005.[10]  Many believe this produced the high oil prices that triggered the 2008 recession and instigated the latest drive to extract expensive, dirty unconventional shale oil and tar sands once the price point finally made them profitable.[11]

Although some of this extraction is a heavily subsidized, financially speculative bubble that may soon prove over-inflated, the temporary influx of unconventional hydrocarbons has given the economy a brief respite from recession.  However, conventional oil production is predicted to drop by over 50 percent in the next two decades while unconventional sources are unlikely to replace any more than 6 percent.[12]  So the global economic breakdown may soon return with a vengeance.

The peak oil predicament raises important movement-building issues for climate activists and all progressives.  Klein may have avoided this issue because some folks in the peak oil crowd downplay the need for a powerful climate movement.  Not that they think climate disruption isn’t a serious problem, but because they believe we are nearing a global industrial collapse brought on by a sharp reduction in the net hydrocarbons available for economic growth.  In their estimation, global fossil fuel supplies will drop dramatically relative to rising demand because society will require ever-increasing amounts of energy just to find and extract the remaining dirty, unconventional hydrocarbons.

Thus, even though there may still be enormous amounts of fossil energy underground, society will have to devote ever-greater portions of energy and capital just to get at it, leaving less and less for everything else.  Peak oil theorists think this energy and capital drain will devastate the rest of the economy.  They believe this looming breakdown may do far more to cut carbon emissions than any political movement.  Are they right?  Who knows?  But even if they’re wrong about total collapse, peak hydrocarbons are bound to trigger escalating recessions and accompanying drops in carbon emissions.  What will this mean for the climate movement and its galvanizing impact on the Left?

Klein herself acknowledges that, so far, the biggest reductions in GHG emissions have come from economic recessions, not political action.  But she avoids the deeper question this raises: if capitalism lacks the abundant, cheap energy needed to sustain growth, how will the climate movement respond when stagnation, recession, and depression become the new normal and carbon emissions begin falling as a result?

Klein sees capitalism as a relentless growth machine wreaking havoc with the planet.  But capitalism’s prime directive is profit, not growth.  If growth turns to contraction and collapse, capitalism won’t evaporate.  Capitalist elites will extract profits from hoarding, corruption, crisis, and conflict.  In a growth-less economy, the profit motive can have a devastating catabolic impact on society.  The word “catabolism” comes from the Greek and is used in biology to refer to the condition whereby a living thing feeds on itself.  Catabolic capitalism is a self-cannibalizing economic system.  Unless we free ourselves from its grip, catabolic capitalism becomes our future.

Capitalism’s catabolic implosion raises important predicaments that climate activists and the Left must consider.  Instead of relentless growth, what if the future becomes a series of energy-induced economic breakdowns–a bumpy, uneven, stair-step tumble off the peak oil plateau?  How will a climate movement respond if credit freezes, financial assets vaporize, currency values fluctuate wildly, trade shuts down, and governments impose draconian measures to maintain their authority?  If Americans can’t find food in the supermarkets, money in the ATMs, gas in the pumps, and electricity in the power lines, will climate be their central concern?

Global economic seizures and contractions would radically reduce hydrocarbon use, causing energy prices to tumble temporarily.  In the midst of deep recession and dramatic reductions in carbon emissions would climate chaos remain a central public concern and a galvanizing issue for the Left?  If not, how would a progressive movement centered on climate change maintain its momentum?  Will the public be receptive to calls for curbing carbon emissions to save the climate if burning cheaper hydrocarbons seems like the fastest way to kick start growth, no matter how temporary?

Under this likely scenario, the climate movement could collapse faster than the economy.  A depression-induced reduction in GHGs would be a great thing for the climate, but it would suck for the climate movement because people will see little reason to concern themselves with cutting carbon emissions.  In the midst of depression and falling carbon emissions, people and governments will be far more worried about economic recovery.  Under these conditions, the movement will only survive if it transfers its focus from climate change to building a stable, sustainable recovery free from addiction to vanishing reserves of fossil fuels.

If green community organizers and social movements initiate nonprofit forms of socially responsible banking, production, and exchange that help people survive systemic breakdowns, they will earn valuable public approval and respect.  If they help organize community farms, kitchens, health clinics and neighborhood security, they will gain further cooperation and support.  And if they can rally people to protect their savings and pensions and prevent foreclosures, evictions, layoffs, and workplace shutdowns, then popular resistance to catabolic capitalism will grow dramatically.  To nurture the transition toward a thriving, just, ecologically stable society, all of these struggles must be interwoven and infused with an inspirational vision of how much better life could be if we freed ourselves from this dysfunctional, profit-obsessed, petroleum-addicted system once and for all.

The lesson that Naomi Klein overlooks seems clear.  Climate chaos is just one DEVASTATING symptom of our dysfunctional society.  To survive catabolic capitalism and germinate an alternative, movement activists will have to anticipate and help people respond to multiple crises while organizing them to recognize and root out their source.  If the movement lacks the foresight to anticipate these cascading calamities and change its focus when needed, we will have squandered a vital lesson from Klein’s previous book, The Shock Doctrine.  Unless the Left is capable of envisioning and advancing a better alternative, the power elite will use each new crisis to ram through their agenda of “drilling and killing” while society is reeling and traumatized.  If the Left cannot build a movement strong enough and flexible enough to resist the ecological, economic, and military emergencies of declining industrial civilization and begin generating hopeful alternatives it will quickly lose momentum to those who profit from disaster.

Craig Collins Ph.D. is the author of “Toxic Loopholes” (Cambridge University Press), which examines America’s dysfunctional system of environmental protection. He teaches political science and environmental law at California State University East Bay and was a founding member of the Green Party of California. 

Notes.


[1] According to rankings in the 2006 CIA World Factbook, only 35 countries (out of 210 in the world) consume more oil per day than the Pentagon.  In 2003, as the military prepared for the Iraq invasion, the Army estimated it would consume more gasoline in only three weeks than the Allied Forces used during the entirety of World War II.  “Connecting Militarism and Climate Change” Peace & Justice Studies Association https://www.peacejusticestudies.org/blog/peace-justice-studies-association/2011/02/connecting-militarism-climate-change/0048

[2] While the military’s domestic fuel use is reported, international marine and aviation bunker fuels used on naval vessels and fighter aircraft outside national borders are not included in a country’s carbon emissions total. Lorincz, Tamara. “Demilitarization for Deep Decarbonization,” Popular Resistance (Sept. 2014) http://www.popularresistance.org/report-stop-ignoring-wars-militarization-impact-on-climate-change/

[3] There is no mention of the military sector’s emissions in the latest IPCC assessment report on climate change to the United Nations.

[4] At $640 billion, it accounts for about 37 percent of the world total.

[5] The U.S. Department of Defense is the largest polluter in the world, producing more hazardous waste than the five largest American chemical companies combined.

[6] The National Priorities Project’s 2008 report, titled The Military Cost of Securing Energy, found that nearly one-third of US military spending goes toward securing energy supplies around the world.

[7] On page 114, Klein devotes one sentence to the possibility of shaving 25 percent off the military budgets of the top 10 spenders as a source of revenue to confront climate calamities—not to finance renewables.  She fails to mention that the US alone spends as much as all those other nations combined.  So an equal 25 percent cut hardly seems fair.

[8] Klare, Michael. The Race for What’s Left. (Metropolitan Books, 2012).

[9] WRI International. Resisting the War on Mother Earth, Reclaiming Our Home. http://wri-irg.org/node/23219

[10] Biello, David. “Has Petroleum Production Peaked, Ending the Era of Easy Oil?” Scientific American. Jan. 25, 2012. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/has-peak-oil-already-happened/

[11] Whipple, Tom. Peak Oil & the Great Recession. Post Carbon Institute. http://www.postcarbon.org/publications/peak-oil-and-the-great-recession/

and Drum, Kevin. “Peak Oil and the Great Recession,” Mother Jones. Oct. 19, 2011. http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2011/10/peak-oil-and-great-recession

[12] Rhodes, Chris. “Peak Oil Is Not A Myth,” Chemistry World. Feb. 20, 2014. http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2011/10/peak-oil-and-great-recession

http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/2014/02/peak-oil-not-myth-fracking

Stop the Killing

By Kathy Kelly

On August 9, 1983, three people dressed as U.S. soldiers saluted their way onto a U.S. military base and climbed a pine tree. The base contained a school training elite Salvadoran and other foreign troops to serve dictatorships back home, with a record of nightmarish brutality following graduation. That night, once the base's lights went out, the students of this school heard, coming down from on high, the voice of Archbishop Oscar Romero.

 "I want to make a special appeal to soldiers, national guardsmen, and policemen: each of you is one of us. The peasants you kill are your own brothers and sisters. When you hear a man telling you to kill, remember God's words, 'thou shalt not kill.' No soldier is obliged to obey a law contrary to the law of God. In the name of God, in the name of our tormented people, I beseech you, I implore you; in the name of God I command you to stop the repression."

The three in the tree with the loudspeaker weren't soldiers – two of them were priests. The recording they played was of Archbishop Romero's final homily, delivered a day before his assassination, just three years previous, at the hands of paramilitary soldiers, two of whom had been trained at this school.

Fr. Larry Rosebaugh, (who was killed in Guatemala on May 18, 2009), Linda Ventimiglia, and Fr. Roy Bourgeois, (a former missioner expelled from Bolivia who was later excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church because of his support for women’s ordination) were sentenced to 15 -18 months in prison for the stirring drama they created on the base that night. Romero's words were heard loud and clear, and even after military police arrived at the base of the tree and stopped the broadcast, Roy Bourgeois, who would later found a movement to close the school, continued shouting Romero's appeal as loudly as he could until he was shoved to the ground, stripped, and arrested.

As we approach the nightmare of renewed, expanded U.S. war in Iraq, I think of Archbishop Romero’s words and example. Romero aligned himself, steadily, with the most impoverished people in El Salvador, learning about their plight by listening to them every weekend in the program he hosted on Salvadoran radio.  With ringing clarity, he spoke out on their behalf, and he jeopardized his life challenging the elites, the military and the paramilitaries in El Salvador.

I believe we should try very hard to hear the grievances of people in Iraq and the region, including those who have joined the Islamic State, regarding U.S. policies and wars that have radically affected their lives and well-being over the past three decades.  It could be that many of the Iraqis who are fighting with Islamic State forces lived through Saddam Hussein’s oppression when he received enthusiastic support from the U.S. during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. Many may be survivors of the U.S. Desert Storm bombing in 1991, which destroyed every electrical facility across Iraq.  When the U.S. insisted on imposing crushing and murderous economic sanctions on Iraq for the next 13 years, these sanctions directly contributed to the deaths of a half million children under age five.  The children who died should have been teenagers now; are some of the Islamic State fighters the brothers or cousins of the children who were punished to death by economic sanctions?  Presumably many of these fighters lived through the U.S.-led 2003 Shock and Awe invasion and bombing of Iraq and the chaos the U.S. chose to create afterwards by using a war-shattered country as some sort of free market experiment; they’ve endured the repressive corruption of the regime the U.S. helped install in Saddam’s place. 

The United Nations should take over the response to the Islamic State, and people should continue to pressure the U.S. and its allies to leave the response not merely to the U.N. but to its most democratic constituent body, the General Assembly. 

But facing the bloody mess that has developed in Iraq and Syria, I think Archbishop Romero’s exhortation to the Salvadoran soldiers pertains directly to U.S. people.   Suppose these words were slightly rewritten:  I want to make a special appeal to the people of the United States.  Each of you is one of us. The peoples you kill are your own brothers and sisters. When you hear a person telling you to kill, remember God's words, 'thou shalt not kill.' No soldier is obliged to obey a law contrary to the law of God. In the name of God, in the name of our tormented people, I beseech you, I implore you …I command you to stop the repression.

The war on the Islamic State will distract us from what the U.S. has done and is doing to create further despair, in Iraq, and to enlist new recruits for the Islamic State.   The Islamic State is the echo of the last war the U.S. waged in Iraq, the so-called “Shock and Awe” bombing and invasion.   The emergency is not the Islamic State but war. 

We in the U.S. must give up our notions of exceptionalism; recognize the economic and societal misery our country caused in Iraq; recognize that we are a perpetually war-crazed nation; seek to make reparations; and find dramatic, clear ways to insist that Romero’s words be heard:  Stop the killing.

This article first appeared on Telesur English.

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

Shadow Facts About Shadow Government

Tom Engelhardt keeps churning out great books by collecting his posts from TomDispatch.com. His latest book, Shadow Government, is essential reading. Of the ten essays included, eight are on basically the same topic, resulting in some repetition and even some contradiction. But when things that need repeating are repeated this well, one mostly wants other people to read them -- or perhaps to have them involuntarily spoken aloud by everybody's iPhones.

We live in an age in which the most important facts are not seriously disputed and also not seriously known or responded to.

The United States' biggest public program of the past 75 years, now outstripping the rest of the world combined, is war preparations. The routine "base" military spending, not counting spending on particular wars, is at least 10 times the war spending, or enough to totally transform the world for the better. Instead it's used to kill huge numbers of people, to make the United States less safe, and to prepare for wars that are -- without exception -- lost disastrously. Since the justification of the Soviet Union vanished, U.S. militarism has only increased. Its enemies are small, yet it does its best to enlarge them. U.S. Special Operations forces are actively, if "secretly," engaged in war or war preparations in over two-thirds of the nations on earth. U.S. troops are openly stationed in 90 percent of the nations on earth, and 100 percent of the oceans. A majority of the people in most nations on earth consider the United States the greatest threat to world peace.

The U.S. military has brought death, terror, destruction, and lasting damage to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya -- and spilling out of Libya into Mali, sparked a Sunni-Shiite civil war in Iraq that has spread to Syria, rendered Pakistan and Yemen more violent and insecure with drone strikes, and fueled violence in Somalia that has spilled across borders.

These facts are well-established, yet virtually incomprehensible to a typical U.S. news consumer. So, if they can be repeated brilliantly and convincingly, I say: the more times the better.

We're rendering the earth uninhabitable, and the October 27, 2014, issue of Time magazine includes a section headlined "Why the Price of Oil Is Falling -- And What It Means for the World." In reality, of course, it means devastation for the world. In Time it means a happy American oil boom, more sales for Saudi Arabia, and a good reason for Russia to rein in its military. Yes, the same Russia that spends 7% of what the United States does on its military. To get a sense of how Russia could rein in that military, here is a video of a Pentagon official claiming that Russia has physically moved closer to NATO (and put little green men into Ukraine).

Years ago I wrote an article for TomDispatch called "Bush's Third Term." Now of course we're into Bush's fourth term, or Clinton's sixth. The point is that presidential power abuses and war-making expand when a president gets away with them, not when a particular party or individual wins an election. Engelhardt explains how Dick Cheney's 1 percent doctrine (justifying war when anything that has a 1% chance of being a danger) has now become a zero percent doctrine (no justification is needed). Along with war today comes secrecy, which encompasses complete removal of your privacy, but also -- Engelhardt notes -- the abandonment of actual secrecy for "covert" operations that the government wants to have known but not to have held to any legal standard.

The White House went to the New York Times prior to President Obama's reelection and promoted the story that Obama personally goes through a list of men, women, and children on Tuesdays and carefully picks which ones to have murdered. There's no evidence that this hurt Obama's reelection.

The Bush White House went to the New York Times and censored until after Bush's reelection, the story that the government was massively and illegally spying on Americans.  The Obama White House has pursued a vendetta against whistleblower Edward Snowden for making public the global extent of the spying. While Engelhardt tells this story with the usual suggestion that Snowden let us in on a big secret, I always assumed the U.S. government was doing what people now know it is. Engelhardt points out that these revelations have moved European and Latin American governments against the U.S. and put the fear of major financial losses into Silicon Valley companies known to be involved in the spying.

Engelhardt writes that with the NSA and gang having eliminated our privacy, we can now eliminate theirs by publicizing leaked information. At the same time, Engelhardt writes that dozens of Snowdens would be needed for us to begin to find out what the U.S. war machine is doing. Perhaps the point is that the dozens of Snowdens are inevitable. I hope so, although Engelhardt explicitly says that the shadow government is an "irreversible way of life." I certainly hope not, or what's the point of opposing it?  

Engelhardt notes that the U.S. government has turned against massive ground wars, but not against wars, so that we will be entering an era of "tiny wars." But the tiny wars may kill in significant numbers compared with wars of centuries gone by, and may spark wars by others that rage on indefinitely. Or, I would add, we might choose to stop every war as we stopped the Syrian missile crisis of 2013.

Engelhardt pinpoints a moment when a turning point almost came. On July 15, 1979, President Jimmy Carter proposed a massive investment in renewable energy. The media denounced his speech as "the malaise speech." "In the end, the president's energy proposals were essentially laughed out of the room and ignored for decades." Six months later, on January 23, 1980, Carter announced that "an attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force." The media took this speech quite seriously and respectfully, labeling it the Carter Doctrine. We've been having increasing trouble with people whose sand lies over our oil ever since.

Time to Unite the Peace and Climate Movements

Confronting 13 Years of Permanent War

by RON RIDENOUR

This month of October presents us with 13 years of permanent war for profit or, as the warmongers call it, the “war against terror”. This “operation” is killing and maiming millions of people especially in the oil rich Middle East. Simultaneously these Juggernaut nations “of the willing” are choking Mother Earth to death—polluting the air we breathe, the water we drink, the soil that spawns our food, and eradicating millions of species.

Most people are clearly aware that the main cause of climate change, which is destroying the planet, is human motivated. And many are acting against this. But most environmental organizations and activists ignore the wars that kill people while they pollute the planet.

People in the east and south are usually the major victims of the wars started or backed by the west, and they want no part of this violence. Most people in the west, however, are not upset enough about this warring to act against it, although when asked most acknowledge that they wish for peace. A minority in the warring countries does speak out and a few act against this permanent state of war.

The Danish Peace Watch (Fredsvagten) is made of such moral fiber. For thirteen years since October 19, 2011, these few dedicated pacifists have stood before the castle of war (Christiansborg) decrying that War is Terror. They took up their peace torch on the day that the Danish government bowed before its self-appointed superior in Washington and sent a corvette warship to assist US and UK bombing of Afghanistan.

(George Bush had ordered the Taleban government to extradite Osmana bin Laden/Al Qaeda for being behind the 9/11 terror attacks. Taleban asked the US for evidence of guilt. The US refused, and bombed the government out of office. The US then set CIA agent Hamid Karzai in as president under US scrutiny.)

We need more peace watchers. And we need to unite the movements against war and against environmental death. They are naturally joined given that the main cause of these miseries is the same: PROFIT and POWER GREED; and the consequences are the same: DEATH to humans and any and all other species.

Listen to what Bolivian President Evo Morales says about the causes in his “10 Commandments to Save the Planet, Humankind and Life”:

“There is no worse aggression against Mother Earth and her children than war. War destroys life. Nothing and nobody can escape war. Those who fight suffer as much as those who remain without food just to feed the war. Land and biodiversity suffer. Thus, the environment will never be the same after a war. Wars are the greatest waste of life and natural resources.”

In President Morales’ writing of 2008 he cites a study made by Oil Change International, written by Nikki Reisch and Steve Kretzmann. This study focuses on the damage to Iraq in the first five years of war (2003-08).

“1) Projected total US spending on the Iraq war could cover all of the global investments in renewable power generation that are needed between now and 2030 in order to halt current warming trends.

2) The war is responsible for at least 141 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) since March 2003. To put this in perspective:

• CO2 released by the war to date equals the emissions from putting 25 million more cars on the road in the US this year.

• If the war was ranked as a country in terms of emissions, it would emit more CO2 each year than 139 of the world’s nations do annually.

Military emissions abroad are not captured in the national greenhouse gas inventories that all industrialized nations, including the United States, [should] report under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It’s a loophole big enough to drive a tank through.”

The CIA reported in its 2006 Factbook that only 35 countries consume more oil per day than does the Pentagon. The US war machine destroyed millions of lives in its war against Southeast Asia and ruined forever 14% of Vietnam’s land. Today the US has 6,000 military facilities inside the country, and over 800 bases in 150 countries with a total of 1.4 million military personnel, plus tens of thousands of highly paid civilian mercenaries.

President Morales knows what the main cause of the wars against humanity and the planet is. His   first commandment is, “To end with capitalism”. “We know that in order to cure Mother Earth it is necessary to be conscientious that this disease has a name: the global capitalist system.

“It is not sufficient, not fair, to say that the climate change is just the result of the activity of human beings on the planet. It is necessary to say that it is a system, a way of thinking and feeling, a way of producing wealth and poverty, a pattern of ‘development’ that is taking us to the edge of an abyss. It is the logic of the capitalist system that is destroying the planet…the endless logic of consumption, of using war as an instrument to obtain markets and appropriate markets and natural resources…there are no objects sacred or worthy of respect.”

Evo speaks simply, clearly. If we wish to stop the destruction of humankind, of all life and the planet we must put an end to the “culture of trash and death” and create the “culture of life and peace”—so that all can live well and not so that a few can live materially better than others.

The warmongers of the Wall Streets and their parliaments tell us there is not enough money for a decent social network system, for adequate health care and education. They tell us we must cut back. Yet there is plenty of money for their wars, and plenty of profits for the rich. Profits soar in the US, in Denmark and most western countries in this period of Permanent War.

Under Obama’s regime corporate profits after taxes has grown 171%, more than under any other presidency since World War 11. Profits are twice as high as their peak under the supra neo-liberal Reagan regime.

The numbers of billionaires increased to 2,325 this year, 155 more than in 2013. US has the most with 153 while little banana republic Denmark doubled its 2013 number to 11 this year.

The military-industrial complex garners extraordinary rates of profit.

According to a study by financial advisory firm Morgan Stanley, shares in the major US arms manufacturers have risen 27,699% over the past fifty years versus 6,777% for the broader market. In the past three years alone, arms corporation Lockheed Martin has returned 149% to their investors, Raytheon 124% and Grumman 114%.

About one-third of the more than 1000 organizations involved in the climate actions around the world last September 21 agreed to a declaration on the causes and solutions to our crises. Among the better known groups are: La Via Campesina, ATTAC (France), and Global Justice Alliance (US). The essence of this statement was inspired, in part, by the people’s world conference on climate held in April, 2010, in Bolivia. It was called by President Evo Morales following the COP 15 disaster in Copenhagen the previous December. 35,000 persons came from 100+ countries.

Here are extracts:

“Climate change is the result of an unjust economic system and to deal with the crisis, we must address the root causes and change the system. There will be no going back from the climate chaos if we do not fight for real solutions and do nothing to confront and challenge the inaction of our governments’ policy-making being hijacked by polluting corporations. It is crucial for us to unify and strengthen our economic, social and environmental struggles and focus our energies on changing the capitalist system.”

I emphasize three of their 10-point action program:

1. Stimulate the transition from industrialized, export-oriented agriculture for the global supermarket to community-based production to meet local food needs based on food sovereignty.

2. Develop new sectors of the economy designed to create new jobs that restore the balance and equilibrium of the Earth system such as climate jobs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and Earth restoration jobs.

3. Dismantle the war industry and military infrastructure in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated by warfare, and divert war budgets to promote genuine peace.

I believe our most important task today is namely that which these environmental groups and President Morales indicate: we must unite our movements and fight with one strong fist.

Ron Ridenour can be reached through his website: www.ronridenour.com

Syria/Turkey News - Oct 18, 2014

 

Kurds are repelling Islamic State attack on Kobani with help of US air strikes - The Independent


Kurds: Islamic State 'being driven out of Syria's Kobane’ - BBC News


VIDEO: Islamic State pushed back with help of U.S. airstrikes in Kobani - CNN.com


Rights Group: More Than 600 Killed on Both Sides in Fight for Kobani - VOA


Kobani fight an opportunity to blunt Islamic State, general says - CNN.com


VIDEO: Pentagon: Expanded airstrikes show desired effects against Islamic State - YouTube


VIDEO: Full Pentagon Briefing On Operation Inherent Resolve Against Islamic State - DoD News


Kobani key to US strategy against Islamic State - Yahoo News


Why The Fight Against IS In Kobani Matters - huffingtonpost.com


Islamic State Militants Have Been Flying 3 Captured Warplanes Over Syrian Airport, Witnesses Say - Reuters


The Islamic State operating fighter aircraft, fact or fiction? - Oryx Blog


VIDEO: Expert: decades-old warplanes stand almost no chance against the modern ones of the US-led coalition - Fox News


VIDEO: This video shows the jets captured at Jarrah airbase last November by Jaish al Islam now used by the Islamic State - Brown Moses on Twitter


Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula portrays US-led bombing campaign as 'Crusade' against Islam - The Long War Journal


Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula Statement: Solidarity with the Islamic State - Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi


Foreign Fighters Bring Their Kids To Join IS, But Moms Are Fighting Back - huffingtonpost.com


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

In policy shift, U.S. opens direct talks with Syrian Kurds - McClatchy DC


VIDEO: State Department: U.S. holds first direct talks with Syrian Kurdish PYD party - Ohaber


Syrian Kurds Gain Importance In Campaign Against Islamic State - huffingtonpost.com


Syrian Kurdish official calls for antitank weapons for Kobani - The Boston Globe


Syrian Kurdish parties to reach an Agreement on Rojava, which will be a principle for governing jointly in Syrian Kurdistan - BAS NEWS


Interview with Ibrahim Biro, secretary-general of the Union Kurdish Party in Syria: Syrian Kurds seeking unity in face of ISIS threat - Rudaw


Kurdistan Parliament Wants KRG to Recognize Kurdish Syrian Cantons - BAS NEWS


Peshmerga train Syrian Kurd fighters in northern Iraq - Worldbulletin News


Peshmerga head speaks of struggle against IS - Al-Monitor


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

Exclusive: Turkey OK’s American drones for reconnaissance to monitor Islamic State, but does not allows the use of manned aircraft - Daily Beast


Air strikes against Islamic State in Kobani are just a PR exercise, Turkey says - National Post


Turkey will not allow its citizens to fight in Kobane: PM Davutoğlu - hurriyetdailynews


Ankara outlines border of possible ‘safe zone’ inside Syria (MAP) - yenisafak.com


Islamist Terrorists Are Quiet Neighbor for Turkey 20 Miles From Kobani - Bloomberg


Kurdish militants warn of “violent conflict” if Turkish police given more powers - Rudaw


Turkey, Qatar Complicate Operation Against IS: Special Report - Fox News Channel


UNSC failure a strong message to Turkey on its faulty foreign policy - todayszaman.com


Turkey's massive corruption case dropped by prosecutor - hurriyetdailynews


HSYK inspector requests prosecutor Akkaş be barred from profession, He carried out an investigation into the corruption scandal - todayszaman

 

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

What Happens When You Talk With Americans About Drone Murders

By Joy First  

Mount Horeb, Wisc. -- Bonnie Block, Jim Murphy, Lars and Patty Prip, Mary Beth Schlagheck, and I were at Rest Area 10 along I- 90/94, about 5 miles south of Mauston, from 10:00 am – noon on Thursday October 9, 2014.  We had a model drone and a stack of flyers “6 Things You Should Know About Drones” to help us in reaching the public and so they can learn more about what is going on just up the road at Volk Field Air National Guard Base.  We were there in solidarity with others around the country as part of “Keep Space for Peace Week” and global days of actions against drones sponsored by Code Pink, Know Drones, and other groups.

We chose to leaflet at this particular rest area because it is the closest one to Volk Field Air National Guard Base, about 20 miles south of the base.  We, as Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars, have been vigiling outside the gates of Volk Field for almost three years, protesting the training there of pilots who operate the Shadow Drones.  We are at the base with our signs every 4th Tuesday of the month from 3:30-4:30.  At 4:00 pm around 100 cars leave the base and drive right past us and so we have a lot of exposure. 

Jim has been urging us to try leafleting at the rest area for a couple of years and it turned out to be an excellent opportunity for public education.  We were able to connect with a real cross-section of middle America and we had a chance to hand out our leaflets and talk to people about what is going on at Volk Field, as well as in the drone wars overseas.  A fair number of people were very supportive and engaged with us.  Quite a few seemed like they did not have a lot of feelings about drone warfare one way or the other.  There were a small number of people who were very unhappy to see us there and let loose with some pretty unfriendly language.

Shortly after we arrived at the rest area and began setting up the drone, the manager of the rest area came out and told us we would have to pack up and leave.  We said we were on public property and that we planned to stay there until noon.  We also told her that we would not block anyone or act threatening, and we gave her a flyer.  She became upset and angry when we told her this and she said that if we didn’t leave she would have to call the State Patrol and she didn’t think that we would want it to go that far.  We responded that we would like her to call the State Patrol because we knew we had the right to be there.  She left in a huff.

It was 15 minutes or so before a plain clothes officer dressed in a suit with a neat crew cut and a badge around his neck approached us.  He said that he had been told there was a disturbance, and he asked us if there was a disturbance.  Jim responded by asking if it looked like there was a disturbance.  The officer angrily replied that he would be asking the questions and we would answer. 

We explained to him what we were doing, that we were on public property and it was our constitutional right to be there.  We told him we were not blocking anyone and if they didn’t want a flyer we didn’t push it.

At that point a uniformed State Patrol officer arrived at the scene.  The officer we were talking to said that the uniformed officer would be taking over.  After the two of them talked for several minutes, the uniformed officer came over and we told him what we were doing.  He told us that some people might not appreciate our position, and he said that if they started saying things we didn’t like we should turn the other cheek.  We told him we practice nonviolence and are good at de-escalating those kinds of situations.  He told us to have a good day and walked away.  It felt like this was a small win for us.  It is not often that the police are called and they end up telling us to go ahead and keep doing what we are doing.

Several minutes later a Juneau County Sheriff car pulled into the rest area and parked.  He didn’t talk to us, but spent several minutes talking to someone in an unmarked police car before they both drove away.  Citizen activism seemed to have won out for the day.  

I want to relate a story about one man I talked to.  As I handed him a leaflet, he said he was supportive of what we are doing.  But, he said, his grandson was in the military and operated a camera for the drones and he didn’t kill children.  (One of our signs said “Drones Kill Children”.)  I replied that there are many innocent people, including many children, who are being killed by drone attacks in countries overseas.  He said again that his grandson didn’t kill children.  I told him that we had a list of names of many of the children who have been killed.  He said again that his grandson was a family man with four children and he wouldn’t kill children.  He added that he had been a nurse assisting in surgery with children for many years and he knew what it was like for traumatized children and his grandson would not kill children.

This story really illustrates the disconnect and denial going on in our society, about how much we want to believe that we are the good guys, that we wouldn’t hurt others.  Yet, people are dying all around the world as a result of our government’s policies.  It seems like there are not enough people speaking out against what is going on because so many people refuse to really look at the death and destruction our military is leaving all around the globe.  It is so much easier to close our eyes.  I think this was a genuinely good man that I talked to, and there are so many good people like him.  How do we get these good people to wake up and join the fight, to be able to admit to and take responsibility for the horrors that our government, and we, are perpetrating around the world?

All six of us who were there felt like it was a successful venture and we all agreed that we need to go back to the rest area where we can reach people who would otherwise not be reached.  It is impossible to know what kind of impact we may have had, but we are hopeful that we touched a few people.

Please consider rest areas near you as a possible place for demonstrations.  We no longer have town squares.  It is illegal, at least in Wisconsin, to protest at shopping malls because they are privately owned.  It is not always easy to find a public space where there are a lot people, but this was a good test today and we discovered that the police will not try to prevent us from demonstrating at a rest area in Wisconsin.  But then again, who knows what may happen the next time.  All I know for sure is that we will be back.

Our Culture is a Crime | Acronym TV 019

Originally posted at AcroynmTV

Episode Breakdown |

Spoken word from Immortal Technique and Erica Violet Lee of Idle No More, plus:

3 interviews looking at the climate crisis from 3 angles:
Medea Benjamin of Code Pink talks about the links between the peace movement and the climate justice movement – and how Code Pink started as an Environmental group-

Then Howie Hawkins, as his momentum in the New York gubernatorial race is ramping up, talks about Green justice in the electoral arena.
Also, Occupy Sandy organizer Nastaran Mohit talks about our need to face down white privilege within the movement, and step out of our comfort zones.

Finally, Jill Stein points out that we have critical mass and critical momentum to win the day.

TAGS

A Different War-Is-Good-For-Us Argument

It seems like we just got through dealing with the argument that war is good for us because it brings peace. And along comes a very different twist, combined with some interesting insights. Here's a blog post by Joshua Holland on Bill Moyers' website.

"War has long been seen as an endeavor urged on by the elites who stood the most to gain from conflict – whether to protect overseas assets, create more favorable conditions for international trade or by selling materiel for the conflict – and paid for with the blood of the poor, the cannon fodder who serve their country but have little direct stake in the outcome.

". . . MIT political scientist Jonathan Caverley, author of Democratic Militarism Voting, Wealth, and War, and himself a US Navy veteran, argues that increasingly high-tech militaries, with all-volunteer armies that sustain fewer casualties in smaller conflicts, combine with rising economic inequality to create perverse incentives that turn the conventional view of war on its head. . . .

"Joshua Holland: Your research leads to a somewhat counterintuitive conclusion. Can you give me your thesis in a nutshell?

"Jonathan Caverley: My argument is that in a heavily industrialized democracy like the United States, we have developed a very capital intensive form of warfare. We no longer send millions of combat troops overseas – or see massive numbers of casualties coming home. Once you start going to war with lots of airplanes, satellites, communications – and a few very highly trained special operations forces — going to war becomes a check writing exercise rather than a social mobilization. And once you turn war into a check writing exercise, the incentives for and against going to war change.

"You can think of it as a redistribution exercise, where people who have less income generally pay a smaller share of the cost of war. This is especially important at the federal level. In the United States, the federal government tends to be funded largely from the top 20 percent. Most of the federal government, I’d say 60 percent, maybe even 65 percent, is financed by the wealthy.

"For most people, war now costs very little in terms of both blood and treasure. And it has a redistributive effect.

"So my methodology is pretty simple. If you think that your contribution to conflict will be minimal, and see potential benefits, then you should see an increased demand for defense spending and increased hawkishness in your foreign policy views, based on your income. And my study of Israeli public opinion found that the less wealthy a person was, the more aggressive they were in using the military."

Presumably Caverley would acknowledge that U.S. wars tend to be one-sided slaughters of people living in poor nations, and that some fraction of people in the United States are aware of that fact and oppose wars because of it. Presumably he is also aware that U.S. troops still die in U.S. wars and are still drawn disproportionately from the poor.  Presumably he is also aware (and presumably he makes all of this clear in his book, which I have not read) that war remains extremely profitable for an extremely elite group at the top of the U.S. economy. Weapons stocks are at record heights right now. A financial advisor on NPR yesterday was recommending investing in weapons. War spending, in fact, takes public money and spends it in a way that very disproportionately benefits the extremely wealthy. And while public dollars are progressively raised, they are far less progressively raised than in the past. War-preparations spending is in fact part of what drives the inequality that Caverley says drives low-income support for wars. What Caverley means by his claim that war is (downwardly) redistributive is made a bit clearer further on in the interview:

"Holland: In the study you point out that most social scientists don’t see military spending as having a redistributive effect. I didn’t understand that. What some call “military Keynesianism” is a concept that’s been around for a long time. We located a ton of military investments in the Southern states, not only for defense purposes, but also as a means of regional economic development. Why don’t people see this as a massive redistribution program?

"Caverley: Well, I agree with that construction. If you watch any congressional campaign or you look at any representative’s communication with his or her constituents, you will see that they talk about getting their fair share of defense spending.

"But the larger point is that even if you don’t think about defense spending as a redistributive process, it is a classic example of the kind of public goods that a state provides. Everyone benefits from defense of the state – it’s not just rich people. And so national defense is probably one of the places you’re most likely to see redistributive politics, because if you’re not paying too much for it, you’re going to ask for more of it."

So, at least part of the idea seems to be that wealth is being moved from wealthy geographical sections of the United States to poorer ones. There is some truth to that. But the economics is quite clear that, as a whole, military spending produces fewer jobs and worse paying jobs, and has less overall economic benefit, than education spending, infrastructure spending, or various other types of public spending, or even tax cuts for working people -- which are by definition downwardly redistributive as well. Now, military spending can drain an economy and be perceived as boosting an economy, and the perception is what determines support for militarism. Similarly, routine "normal" military spending can carry on at a pace of over 10-times specific war spending, and the general perception on all sides of U.S. politics can be that it is the wars that cost large amounts of money. But we should acknowledge the reality even when discussing the impacts of the perception.

And then there's the notion that militarism benefits everyone, which conflicts with the reality that war endangers the nations that wage it, that "defense" through wars is in fact counter-productive. This, too, should be acknowledged. And perhaps -- though I doubt it -- that acknowledgement is made in the book.

Polls show generally diminishing support for wars except in particular moments of intense propaganda. If in those moments it can be shown that low-income U.S.ians are carrying a larger load of war support, that should indeed be examined -- but without assuming that war supporters have good reason for giving their support. Indeed, Caverley offers some additional reasons why they might be misguided:

"Holland: Let me ask you about a rival explanation for why poor people might be more supportive of military action. In the paper, you mention the idea that less wealthy citizens may be more prone to buy into what you call the “myths of empire.” Can you unpack that?

"Caverley: In order for us to go to war, we have to demonize the other side. It’s not a trivial thing for one group of people to advocate killing another group of people, no matter how callous you think humanity might be. So there is typically a lot of threat inflation and threat construction, and that just goes with the territory of war.

"So in my business, some people think that the problem is that elites get together and, for selfish reasons, they want to go to war. That’s true whether it’s to preserve their banana plantations in Central America or sell weapons or what have you.

"And they create these myths of empire — these inflated threats, these paper tigers, whatever you want to call it — and try to mobilize the rest of the country to fight a conflict that may not necessarily be in their interest.

"If they were right, then you would actually see that people’s foreign policy views – their idea of how great a threat is — would correlate with income. But once you control for education, I didn’t find that these views differed according to what your wealth or income is."

This seems a little off to me. There is no question that Raytheon executives and the elected officials they fund will see more sense in arming both sides of a war than the average person of any income or education level will tend to see. But those executives and politicians are not a statistically significant group when talking broadly about the rich and poor in the United States. Most war profiteers, moreover, are likely to believe their own myths, at least when speaking with pollsters. That low-income Americans are misguided is no reason to imagine that upper-income Americans are not misguided too. Caverley also says:

"What was interesting to me is that one of the best predictors of your desire to spend money on defense was your desire to spend money on education, your desire to spend money on healthcare, your desire to spend money on roads. I was really shocked by the fact that there is not much of a ‘guns and butter’ tradeoff in the minds of most respondents in these public opinion polls."

This seems exactly right. No large number of Americans has managed in recent years to make the connection between Germany spending 4% of U.S. levels on its military and offering free college, between the U.S. spending as much as the rest of the world combined on war preparations and leading the wealthy world in homelessness, food-insecurity, unemployment, imprisonment, and so on. This is in part, I think, because the two big political parties favor massive military spending, while one opposes and the other supports various smaller spending projects; so a debate develops between those for and against spending in general, without anyone ever asking "Spending on what?"

Speaking of myths, here's another one that keeps the bipartisan support for militarism rolling:

"Holland: The bumper sticker finding here is that your model predicts that as inequality increases, average citizens will be more supportive of military adventurism, and ultimately in democracies, this may lead to more aggressive foreign policies. How does this jibe with what’s known as “democratic peace theory” — the idea that democracies have a lower tolerance for conflict and are less likely to go to war than more authoritarian systems?

"Caverley: Well, it depends on what you think is driving democratic peace. If you think it’s a cost-avoidance mechanism, then this doesn’t bode well for the democratic peace. I’d say most people I talk to in my business, we’re pretty sure democracies like to fight lots of wars. They just tend not to fight with each other. And probably the better explanations for that are more normative. The public is just not willing to support a war against another public, so to speak.

"To put it more simply, when a democracy has the choice between diplomacy and violence to solve its foreign policy problems, if the cost of one of these goes down, it’s going to put more of that thing in its portfolio."

This is truly a lovely myth, but it collapses when put into contact with reality, at least if one treats nations like the United States as being "democracies." The United States has a long history of overthrowing democracies and engineering military coups, from 1953 Iran up through present day Honduras, Venezuela, Ukraine, etc. The idea that so-called democracies don't attack other democracies is often expanded, even further from reality, by imagining that this is because other democracies can be dealt with rationally, whereas the nations that ours attacks only understand the so-called language of violence. The United States government has too many dictators and kings as close allies for that to hold up. In fact it is resource-rich but economically poor countries that tend to be attacked whether or not they are democratic and whether or not the people back home are in favor of it. If any wealthy Americans are turning against this type of foreign policy, I urge them to fund advocacy that will replace it with a more effective and less murderous set of tools.

Syria/Turkey News - Oct 16, 2014


Air raids slow Islamic State advance around Syria's Kobani: US military - AFP


Kurdish fighters take back swathes of Kobane as US step up airstrikes (PHOTOS, VIDEOS) - Daily Mail Online


Pentagon: Strikes near Kobani have killed hundreds of Islamic State fighters - The Washington Post


Syrian Kurds say giving targets for U.S. strikes near Kobani - Reuters


U.S. Airstrikes Cut Islamic State Oil Production by 70 Percent - Businessweek


VIDEO: Special presidential envoy General John Allen briefs reporters on U.S. efforts to combat IS militants in Iraq and Syria - C-SPAN.org


VIDEO: The U.S.-led coalition launches fresh air strikes on Islamic State in and around Kobani - Reuters


Obama 'Deeply Concerned' by IS Advances in Kobane - VICE


Remarks by the President After Meeting with Chiefs of Defense - The White House


C.I.A. Study of Covert Aid Fueled Skepticism About Helping Syrian Rebels - NYTimes.com


U.S. won’t work with current Syrian rebel groups to battle Islamic State - Columbus Ledger Enquirer


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

Kurdish leaders meet to end feud and save Kobane - Rudaw


Appeal on Kobane by the newly established Joint Diplomatic Committee of several Kurdish political parties - Peace in Kurdistan


US won’t support Syrian Kurds as long as they are divided: official - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Barzani: It is very important for us as Kurds to show the world a united front, No difference between Kobane and Erbil - Kurdish Question


Kurdistan Parliament Invites Kurdish Syrian Cantons to Erbil - BAS NEWS


Iraqi Kurds say sent arms to Kobani; Syrian Kurds say they didn't arrive because Turkey would not open the transit corridor - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Iraqi Kurds to sends weapon to Kurdish fighters in Kobani in the next 24 hours, “If Turkey doesn’t respond in positive, then the weapons will be sending by planes” - BAS NEWS


France will keep delivering arms to Kurdish Syrian rebels to fight Islamic State group - Fox News


Syrian Kurds Press Hundreds of Young Men Into Army - ABC News


Dutch biker gang grabs rifles, joins Kurds in fight against ISIS - Fox News


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

Syrian Kurds claim wounded fighters stranded at Turkish border, Three died while Turkish border guards refused to let them in - todayszaman


Turkey says only Syrian refugees can cross border to Kobane, but Turkish and other nationals would not be allowed - Yahoo News


Turkish opposition wants 'volunteers' in Kobani, slams President Erdogan for equating PKK with the Islamic State - Worldbulletin News


VIDEO: Turkey’s Border War (Dispatch 1) - VICE News


France calls on Turkey to open border with Kobani - Worldbulletin News


Syria harshly criticizes Turkey on buffer zones - hurriyetdailynews


160 Kobane Kurds detained in Turkey still on hunger strike - usatoday.com


İstanbul rattled by signs of IS support - todayszaman


Did Islamic State open ‘consulate’ in Turkey? - WND


Turkey eyes new police powers after pro-Kurdish protests - THE DAILY STAR


Families tell grim story of three Turkish youths killed and mutilated by Kurds - Worldbulletin News


PKK reports first Turkish air strikes against it in two years - Rudaw

 

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

OUR SOULS TURNED INTO WEAPONS

By Robert C. Koehler

“During basic training, we are weaponized: our souls turned into weapons.”

Jacob George’s suicide last month — a few days after President Obama announced that the US was launching its war against ISIS — opens a deep, terrible hole in the national identity. George: singer, banjo player, poet, peace warrior, vet. He served three tours in Afghanistan. He brought the war home. He tried to repair the damage.

Finally, finally, he reached for “the surefire therapy for ending the pain,” as a fellow vet told Truthdig. He was 32.

Maybe another war was just too much for him to endure. Military glory — protection of the innocent -- is a broken ideal, a cynical lie. “Times for war veterans are tough because we know exactly what is going to happen with the actions that Obama talked about in his recent speech,” his friend Paul Appell told Truthdig. “Jacob and other war veterans know the pain and suffering that will be done to our fellow man no matter what terms are used to describe war, whether it is done from afar with drones and bombs or up close eye to eye.”

And wars don’t end. They go on and on and on, inside the psyches of the ones who fought and killed. War’s toxins hover in the air and the water. Landmines and unexploded bombs, planted in the earth, wait patiently to explode.

In a chapbook that George published called “Soldier’s Heart,” which contains the lyrics to a number of his songs accompanied by essays discussing the context in which they were written, he explains his song “Playground of War.” It was written when he returned to Afghanistan with a peace delegation — George was one of the first Afghan vets to do such a thing — and at one point visited, God help us, a landmine museum.

The guide, “hard-faced,” overflowing with emotion, explains, George writes, that “it would take over a hundred years of working seven days a week to clear every single landmine out of Afghanistan. He says their fathers and grandfathers used to work their fields with plows, but now they work their fields with metal detectors and wooden rods. Instead of harvesting potatoes, they harvest explosives. He tells me all kinds of things that change my life in a matter of minutes.”

This is war. War never ends. George came home with the war raging inside him and rode his bicycle across the country to promote peace. Inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh, he understood that veterans “can help lead the healing of the nation” In 2012, he marched in Chicago in protest of NATO and returned his medals. Marching with fellow vets, he led this cadence call: “Mama, Mama, can’t you see/What Uncle Sam has done to me?”

He called his peace work a “righteous rite of passage.” He said it was “how we transform PTSD into something beautiful.”

He also chipped the last letter off the acronym: post-traumatic stress is not a disorder, he realized, but a completely natural, sane reaction to causing harm to others. He called it a moral injury.

A fellow vet, Brock McIntosh, interviewed on “Democracy Now” shortly after George’s suicide, said: “. . . he saw a lot of killing in Afghanistan, and he also talked about seeing fear in the eyes of Afghans. And the idea that he could put fear in someone kind of haunted him. And he had lots of nightmares when he returned, and felt kind of isolated and didn’t really tell his story. But over the last few years, he’s had the opportunity to tell his story and to build long-lasting relationships, not only with other veterans who are like-minded, but also with Afghans.”

In “Soldier’s Heart,” George talked about the dehumanization process that begins in basic training. Young people’s souls are “turned into weapons.” This is an image I can’t move beyond. It’s an insight into the nature of war that cannot be allowed to remain trapped inside every used up vet — that our deepest hunger to do good, to contribute to the good of the world, is commandeered by selfish and cynical interests and planted back into the soil of our being like a landmine.

“Through my personal healing from PTSD, I’ve discovered it’s not possible to dehumanize others without dehumanizing the self,” he wrote in “Soldier’s Heart.”

George, unable to find a place in the society he thought he was leaving home to protect, spoke primarily to all the other returning vets trapped in the same existential hell. What he came to realize was that only by surrendering the rest of his life to the elimination of war could be himself find any peace. In doing so, he made a spiritual transition, from soldier to warrior.

“You see,” he wrote, “a soldier follows orders, a soldier is loyal, and a soldier is technically and tactically proficient. A warrior isn’t so good at following orders. The warrior follows the heart. A warrior has empathic understanding with the enemy, so much so that the very thought of causing pain or harm to the enemy causes pain to the warrior.”

And now one more warrior lets go just as another war begins.

“We have been at war for 12 years. We have spent trillions of dollars,” Bernie Sanders said recently on CNN. “What I do not want, and I fear very much, is the United States getting sucked into a quagmire and being involved in perpetual warfare year after year after year. That is my fear.”

I’m sure that was Jacob George’s fear as well. I’m sure he felt it in his soul.

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.

Sociopaths Preparing 8-Year-Olds for War Just Sent Me This Press Release

GLOCK donates $50,000 to the Young Marines at the 2014 AUSA Annual Meeting

[WASHINGTON D.C. – Oct. 15, 2014]   The Young Marines received a $50,000 donation from GLOCK on Monday, Oct. 13, at the Association of United States Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting & Expo which was held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt. Vernon PL, NW, Washington D.C.

The check was gratefully accepted by Lt. Col. Mike Kessler USMC (Ret), the national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines and Young Marine of the Year, YM Sergeant Major Blake DeWeese of Beaverton, OR.

“GLOCK has been a champion of the Young Marines since 2004,” Kessler said. “I have had the great pleasure of dining with Mr. Glock and can attest to the fact that he supports our mission, our vision and our ideals. He has had first-hand knowledge at the many successes enjoyed by our members and wishes to see that continue. We are forever grateful to Mr. Glock and GLOCK, USA, for their support of our program.”

While attending their National Leadership Academy, members of the Young Marines received a comprehensive gun safety class and then had the opportunity to shoot the Scholastic Pistol Program series of targets. GLOCK provided the handguns, and Tori Nonaka, GLOCK’s national junior champion, provided demonstrations and assisted with the challenge.

“We are proud to have the GLOCK name associated with our National Leadership Academy,” Kessler said.

“It’s important for the future of all of us that we have organizations that help foster and champion young people into leaders of strong character,” said Josh Dorsey, VP of GLOCK, Inc. and also a Marine veteran. “The Young Marines organization has a proven track record of doing so.”

The Young Marines is a national non-profit 501c(3) youth education and service program for boys and girls, age eight through the completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral and physical development of its members. The program focuses on teaching the values of leadership, teamwork and self-discipline so its members can live and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

Since the Young Marines' humble beginnings in 1959 with one unit and a handful of boys, the organization has grown to over 300 units with 11,000 youth and 3,000 adult volunteers in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Germany, Japan and affiliates in a host of other countries.

For more information, visit the official website at: http://www.YoungMarines.com/.

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