The Night of the Generals: When Brazilians were Tortured and Disappeared

By Michael Uhl


“The Face of Evil,” flashed the eye catching headline in Brazil’s major daily on a morning late this March, and the accompanying photo of Army lieutenant-colonel Paulo Malhaes, retired, could not have portrayed a more convincing ogre had it been photo shopped by central casting. Malhaes, a self-described torturer and murderer operated in the early 1970′s, the most repressive period in Brazil’s harsh era of prolonged military rule,

IRAQI KURDISTAN: Syrian and Iraqi Kurds protest separation ditch

By Kathy Moorhead Thiessen, CPTnet

Streamers of blue, green, yellow and brown election pennants crisscrossed over the street and almost blocked out the sun. The symbols of the major parties in Iraqi Kurdistan for the 30 April election dominated the landscape.  However, on Tuesday, 15 April, new flags waved from hand-held flagpoles. Many Syrian Kurds who have fled their country because of the turmoil marched through the streets of Sulaimani.  They were crying out because the government of the region in which they have taken refuge has decided to create a dividing ditch.  The KDP (Kurdish Democratic Party) that governs the area of Iraqi Kurdistan bordering Syria has sent workers, bulldozers, and security guards to facilitate the digging. It claims that the seventeen-kilometers-long, three-meters-deep, and two-meters-wide ditch will prevent terrorists and smugglers from entering the autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq.

However, the people of Rojava/Western/Syrian Kurdistan and their Iraqi Kurd supporters see the ditch differently.  One man CPT’s Iraqi Kurdistan team spoke to said, “After WWI Britain drew lines that artificially separated the Kurds into four countries.  Now Kurds are dividing Kurds from Kurds with ditches.”

Opinions about what is happening on the border—who is responsible and why they are doing it fly fast and furious.  Kamal Chomani, an independent journalist in Iraqi Kurdistan told the team, “The root of this is that KDP wants to have power in Rojava and PYD (Democratic Union Party), the party in power there, won’t let them.  KDP have some small “puppet parties” in Rojava but they don't have much support. PYD don't accept the demands of KDP. So closing the border is a way to punish them and put pressure on them.”

The political parties deny these allegations against them.  But whatever the reason for the ditch, the ordinary people who have already experienced the trauma of war suffer the most. In the last week, there have also been several demonstrations on the Syrian side of the border, joined by men and women, old and young who are upset by the closing of the border.  Some people showed their desperation by trying to fill in the ditches.  They want to be able to go to Iraqi Kurdistan to work, have access to hospitals or to buy goods that are unavailable in Syria.  Now they are denied these opportunities by other Kurds.

Marshall Islands Sues the Nuclear-Armed Nations

Nuclear Zero LawsuitsJust a few hours ago, the Republic of the Marshall Islands filed lawsuits against all nine nuclear-armed nations. All nine were named in applications to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, while an additional lawsuit was filed against the United States in U.S. Federal District Court in San Francisco.

The courage of the Marshall Islands in filing these lawsuits is admirable. The people of the Marshall Islands were subjected to 67 nuclear weapon tests by the United States from 1946-1958. The tests caused untold suffering that continues to this day through cancers, displacement and death.

Saying ‘Hell No’ To Obamacare

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org Recently, Dr. Margaret Flowers initiated an online petition declaring herself a consciences objector to the Affordable Care Act and asking others to send a message to President Obama that the ACA is a scam.

In this short clip (above), Dr. Flowers states:

“The most important question we should be having right now, knowing that insurgence is not protective, is do we want to continue to treat health care as a commodity and people only get what they can afford, or do we want to join the rest of the industrialized nations in the world and treat health care as a public good and create a system where people can get what they need.”

You can watch the full interview below:

Ukraine News - Apr 24, 2014

 

Ukraine president calls for new offensive after party member found dead - Al Jazeera America


Russia threatens retaliation as Kiev orders military moves in eastern Ukraine - The Washington Post


Russia insists on Ukrainian troop pullout from the Eastern region - DW.DE


VIDEO: Lavrov says Russia will respond if Ukraine interests attacked - RT


Russian FM warns Ukraine election will be 'destructive' without southeastern regions' support - The Voice of Russia


Expert: Putin Strategy With Ukrainian Separatists Differs From Crimea, He sees them not as future Russians, but as a lever to influence what happens in Ukraine - VOA

 

Ukraine: Three Russian military intel officers detained - usatoday.com

 

Scrutiny Over Photos Said to Tie Russia Units to Ukraine - NYTimes.com

 

Does US evidence prove Russian special forces are in eastern Ukraine? - The Guardian

 

Exclusive: Meet the Pro-Russian Separatist Accused to be a Russian Agent in Eastern Ukraine - time.com

 

Russia continues supplying its nuclear fuel to Ukrainian NPP - The Voice of Russia

 

US troops arrive in Poland for exercises across Eastern Europe amid Ukraine crisis - Fox News

 

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'Murdered' Ukraine politician faced hostile mob, video shows - Reuters


VIDEO (Scroll down): Ukrainian politician is mobbed by furious crowd hours before being abducted and 'tortured to death' by pro-Russian militia - Mail Online


Murdered politician in Ukraine suffered 'many knife wounds' - GlobalPost


US journalist Simon Ostrovsky held by pro-Russian militia in Ukraine - theguardian.com

 

Ukraine militants singled out American-Israeli journalist as valuable hostage - Haaretz

 

Full List Of Journalists Captured In Ukraine: Simon Ostrovsky Among 7 Reporters Kidnapped - AFP

 

Profile of an hardline pro-Russia separatist: From soap factory to commanding a rebel town in Ukraine - Yahoo News

 

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VIDEO: Pro-Russian Separatists Plan Referendum in Eastern Ukraine - VOA


Donetsk Region invites Kiev to sign provisional constitutional treaty, covering regions’ rights, governors’ electivity and the Russian language - ITAR-TASS


Pro-Federalization Supporters Gather for Rally in Ukraine’s Donetsk - RIA Novosti


Pro-federalization protesters picketed mayor's office in Ukraine's Kharkov - The Voice of Russia


At Funeral of Pro-Russian militants, Expressions of Grief and Anger Toward Kiev Officials (VIDEO) - NYTimes.com

 

POLL: In the Luhansk region, 41.9% said they would vote for a Ukraine Federation, 38.4% in Donetsk region and 32.2% in Kharkiv region - WSJ

 

In a bid to prevent a referendum on the federal status of the eastern region, Ukraine’s security service blocks state register of voters in Donetsk - ITAR-TASS

 

Ukraine’s authorities say they are ready to hear demands of Ukrainian regions - ITAR-TASS

 

Ukraine's government announces its forces have "liberated" an eastern town from pro-Kremlin separatists, but AFP finds no sign of military units and puzzled residents say they had never been under rebel control - AFP

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Taking the low road to war: Washington and the Corporate Media are in Full Propaganda Mode on Ukraine

By Dave Lindorff


The lies, propaganda and rank hypocrisy emanating from Washington, and echoed by the US corporate media regarding events in Ukraine are stunning and would be laughable, but for the fact that they appear to be aimed at conditioning the US public for increasing confrontation with Russia – confrontation which could easily tip over the edge into direct military conflict, with consequences that are too dreadful to contemplate.


Vice President Joe Biden Promotes U.S. as Fracking Missionary Force On Ukraine Trip

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

During his two-day visit this week to Kiev, Ukraine, Vice President Joe Biden unfurled President Barack Obama's "U.S. Crisis Support Package for Ukraine."

Robert Musil's "Rachel Carson and Her Sisters"

Despite the central role of women in environmental activism, surprisingly little is known about them.  Furthermore, what is known is usually limited to the work of Rachel Carson, whose powerful call to action, Silent Spring (1962), is widely credited with jump-starting the modern environmental movement.  Fortunately, Robert Musil’s new book, Rachel Carson and Her Sisters (Rutgers University Press, 2014), remedies this situation.

Musil notes that, as the nineteenth century progressed, increasing numbers of American women obtained better education and the ability to travel, write, and take action.  Hiking and botanizing, they observed the encroachment of manufacturing and urban life on the countryside.  Eventually, they produced a flood of books, magazine articles, journals, and children’s stories about nature.

Talk Nation Radio: Charles Komanoff: We Need a Carbon Tax

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-charles-komanoff-we-need-a-carbon-tax

Charles Komanoff is an activist, economist and policy-analyst. He directs the Carbon Tax Center and develops traffic-pricing modeling tools for the Nurture Nature Foundation. His work includes books (Power Plant Cost Escalation, Killed By Automobile, The Bicycle Blueprint), computer models, scholarly articles, and journalism. He discusses the need for a carbon tax. See http://carbontax.org

Total run time: 29:00

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

Download from Archive or LetsTryDemocracy.

Pacifica stations can also download from AudioPort.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at
http://davidswanson.org/talknationradio

Ukrainian Government Is Illegitimate

By David Morrison

(1) Why the Ukraine regime is wholly illegitimate

The resolution passed by the Rada (the Ukranian Parliament) which is supposed to have impeached and removed President Yanukovych doesn’t even mention impeachment.

The Ukranian constitution allows the Rada to appoint the Prime Minister as an Acting President, in the event of the presidency becoming vacant.  The Rada appointed Olexander Turchynov Acting President even though he wasn’t Prime Minister.

An Acting President has much less power than an elected president, but Turchynov has acted as if he has the powers of an elected president.

(2) UK Parliamentarians are happy to be misled

The British Government has seriously misled both Houses of Parliament about the removal of Ukraine’s elected President from power on 22 February 2014, giving the impression that it was carried out in accordance with the Ukranian constitution in response to popular pressure, when it wasn’t.  But of the 1400 or so Parliamentarians, only one has queried the matter – and the answer he received contained an outright lie.

Lawsuit to Protect Atmosphere as Public Trust to Be Heard in DC

The groundbreaking atmospheric trust case, Alec L, et al., vs. McCarthy, et al. will be heard before the Court of Appeals on May 2 in Washington DC.  You can be part of this historic event in two ways:

  1.  If you are in the DC area, come help us fill the Court of Appeals, 333 Constitution Ave, NW at 8:30 am.  
  2.  If you can't come in person, donate to cover expenses for the youth plaintiffs who filed this lawsuit to attend.

Dr James Hansen, formerly of NASA's Goddard Institute, will be attending the hearing, along with plaintiffs, supporters from iMatter and other youth organizations....as well as oil industry lobbyists who are co-defendants with the Federal Government, fighting for their right to pollute as much carbon into the atmosphere as they desire.  It's important to get as many young people in the gallery as possible.  Can you help?

Dr Hansen's prescription, written with 11 of the world's top climate scientists, provide the backbone of the remedy we seek in our lawsuit:  a national Climate Recovery Plan based on science rather than politics.  One that will actually restore the balance in the atmosphere for future.  Please stand with us.


Thank you,
The Teenagers suing the US Government to protect the atmosphere for our generation's future

alec loorz

"My generation knows that this planetary crisis will require a human shift of massive proportions. We cannot create that shift alone.  We need our government, our leaders, businesses and our elders to understand that it is unethical and can no longer be legal to pollute our atmosphere as if there are no consequences.  Our futures depend on a society that lives according to the implicit demands of the public trust doctrine.  We trust the legal system to protect our right to a livable planet."

Alec Loorz, lead plaintiff
Founder, Kids vs Global Warming



Gs for thing

"The good news of our lawsuit being heard in the Court of Appeals is that we are one step closer to realizing a restored future for our generation. This could change the tides of the good fight that many have been fought for so long. It should be illegal for fossil fuel companies to pollute our air and destroy our future. We trust the scientists who have studied the climate and have recommendations to lower carbon emissions."

Garrett Serrels and Grant Serrels
Plaintiffs and members of iMatter Youth Council

Madeline Wallace (1) 3

"I am very concerned that the continued rate of business-as-usual carbon dioxideemissions will affect our daily life and our use and enjoyment of lands, waters and wildlife that I love. We are relying on the courts to demand our federal government do its job to protect the atmosphere, as one of our most precious natural resources. This is about humanity’s survival and all of life on earth."

Madeleine Wallace
Plaintiff  




Screen shot 2014-04-22 at 7.58.48 AM

"The government needs to put a more daring carbon emissions reduction plan in place as soon as possible, and at this point, the most direct and most efficient way to encourage that is through the federal courts. This is why I am a plaintiff with several other kids from across the country who believe the government must do more to protect the future of our planet."

Zoe Johnson
Plaintiff




Forty Years After the Carnation Revolution

Portugal as a Model for a New Socialism?

by Leila Dregger

 

Preliminary note of the author:
In this text the words socialism and communism are used synonymously. I see their differentiation and the rift, which has been stretched between their representatives, as no longer appropriate today. This article is directed toward all those interested in justice, solidarity and freedom.

 

 

Vicenza's “bomb day”

April 25th, 2014, national holiday, the "Liberation Day" recalling the 25th of April 1945 when some of the main Italian cities reached the freedom from the Nazi-Fascists thanks to the long battle of the Partisans and Allied Forces.

This Friday, the 25th of April, approx 27000 of Vicenza's residents will have to leave their homes within 08:30 a.m. for the defusing  of the "Old Lady", a British bomb containing 4000 pounds of explosives.

One of the thousands of bombs dropped on Vicenza  between the 17th and the 18th November 1944.

“Old Lady” is probably the heaviest and most powerful of those bombs.

In those days, the 18th in particular, when many civilians were also brought to patch the holes caused by the bombing of the day before, some hundred people lost their lives.

Many were injured and died during the following days.

Many children got killed and mutilated in the weeks after, playing in the fields where many cluster bombs were still active.

A good amount of bombs ended deep underground. Some were found years later during farming works.

A reasonable quantity, over 130, have been found in these last few months during the land reclamation of a portion of the former small airport now named "Parco della Pace" (Peace Park) adjacent to the new (and second) US military base in Vicenza.

It's a big field that for 70 years stored these bombs as seeds unable (fortunately) to sprout.

I really think that this fact, the big "Old Lady" and the other 130 and more bombs found so far, should offer the occasion to think about the long lasting damages of war.

After 70 years these bombs are still dangerous to the point that people must be evacuated in a radius of 2500 meters this coming Friday.

The military experts working on the bombs declared that the "Old Lady", with its 1500 kilos of "Minol II" equivalent to approx 1800 kilos of TNT, is one of the most dangerous ever found in Italy.

In case of explosion, after 70 years, more people would be added to the victim list of WW II!

How many other bombs and mines are sleeping under a few inches of soil around the World ?

How many people die every year or loose legs or arms because of bombs and mines even years after the official ending of a war ?

In almost every continent there are still wars and fights.

During these 70 years we didn't learn much.

Not here in Italy, as well not in many other parts of the World.

Having a foreign military base next to the "park of the bombs" is a clear proof.

These foreign soldiers are deployed "promoting democracy" supported by aircrafts and drones utilizing those "intelligent/smart" bombs we all have known for causing the death of many civilians in villages, markets, hospitals and schools.

It's a very sad aspect of this modern world.

Considering our “bomb day”, leaving home this Friday morning, I would like to imagine that probably the "Old Lady" and these other 130 and more “sleeping” bombs found are the real "intelligent" bombs

I imagine that while falling down from the aircrafts, seeing the massive destruction below, a real hell on earth, these bombs in some way said “enough is enough” and chose to refuse to do their job.

They deserted and went to hide under soft ground instead of blowing up causing further destruction.

May be they are trying to teach us something ?

Until now this “Old Lady” has been really capable to learn from human errors and horrors.

Enzo Ciscato

Via Marosticana 299/Z, 36100 Vicenza, Italy 

UNESCO Heritage City

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION OF NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

The management of the Nobel Peace Prize has become a case for the Norwegian police, following a request for criminal investigation from 16 prominent Scandinavians, parliamentarians, lawyers, authors and peace activists, 10 Swedes and 6 Norwegians, to the authority on economic crime, the ØKOKRIM. The move is based on the research of Norwegian lawyer Fredrik S. Heffermehl who in his books has called for respect for Alfred Nobel and the peace plan he wished to support. -- In his last years Nobel joined the peace movement and wished to support financially its idea of co-operation on disarmament to replace military force and forces. The Norwegian Parliament appoints the five-member selection committee that must step down and be replaced by people who favor the idea of the prize,” says Heffermehl. He claims that his demands through 6 years, and even an order in March 2012 from the Swedish Foundations Authority have not led the awarders to show any interest in Nobel and what he really wanted. This is unlawful and criminal, and the requested police investigation comes as a last resort to secure justice for “the champions of peace” Nobel specified in his will.

The letter of accusation points in particular to Thorbjørn Jagland, the chair of the Nobel Committee and the incumbent Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and to Geir Lundestad, the powerful secretary of the committee. “The laws must be respected also by politicians, it is particularly worrisome that the Nobel awarders act as if they were above the law and seem to feel confident that society will not enforce the law against them,” says Sweden´s Tomas Magnusson, a former president of the International Peace Bureau. “Ignoring dissent and mowing down dissidents is a dangerous path to embark on. If we allow such norms to become political standard, how much democracy do we then have?”

The 16 persons signing the request for criminal investigations are:

Anna-Lisa Björneberg, Sweden, chair of Fredsam (Gothenburg),

Nils Christie, Norway, professor, University of Oslo

Erik Dammann, Norway, founder “Future in our hands,” Oslo

Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Norway, professor, University of Oslo

Ståle Eskeland, Norway, professor of criminal law, University of Oslo

Erni Friholt, Sweden, Peace movement of Orust

Ola Friholt, Sweden, Peace movement of Orust

Gunnar Garbo, Norway, ex MP, leader of Venstre, the Liberal Party

Fredrik S. Heffermehl, Norway, lawyer and author on the Nobel Peace Prize

Lars-Gunnar Liljestrand, Sweden, Chair of the Association of FiB lawyers

Tomas Magnusson, Sweden, ex President, International Peace Bureau

Birger Schlaug, Sweden, author, ex MP

Sören Sommelius, Sweden, author and culture journalist

Maj-Britt Theorin, Sweden, ex President, International Peace Bureau

Gunnar Westberg, Sweden, Professor, ex Co-President IPPNW (Nobel peace prize 1985)

Jan Öberg,TFF, Sweden, Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research.

Earth Day Greenwash: API Front Group Iowa Energy Forum Sponsors Pro-Keystone XL Event

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

The political carnival that is the prelude to the Iowa caucuses has started over a year and a half early. At the center of it this time around: a game of political hot potato over the northern leg of TransCanada's Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

War Cost World $9.46 Trillion in 2012

By Talia Hagerty, Pacific Standard

Economists are not new to the study of war. Many in the U.S. have argued that war is good for the economy, and those in Washington have seemed eager to believe them. Indeed, war is an ideal economics topic. It’s very expensive, and the numbers involved—money spent, weapons used, casualties—can be easily counted and crunched.

There is, however, a more challenging topic that has recently caught the eye of economists: peace.

In the last decade, researchers and economists from all over the world have made great gains in the nascent field of peace economics. They’re finding that violence and war are terrible for the economy, but also that we can use economics to prevent them.

Obama Endorses a Forgery

The Smoking Pop-Gun
by DIANA JOHNSTONE, CounterPunch

On Friday, April 18, President Obama voiced his righteous indignation over anti-Semitic fliers pasted on synagogue walls in the pro-Russian eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk.  The fliers, calling on all Jews to register or face expulsion, had appeared the day before and were instantly denounced by Donetsk leaders as a gross provocation and a forgery.

The next day, however, Obama “expressed his disgust quite bluntly”.  At least, that is what his hawkish national security advisor, Susan Rice, told the public. “I think we all found word of those pamphlets to be utterly sickening, and they have no place in the 21st century,” she declared.

War Destroys Environment

Costs of War

The impact of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan can be seen not only in the social, economic and political situations of these areas but also in the environments in which these wars have been waged. The long years of war have resulted in a radical destruction of forest cover and an increase in carbon emissions. In addition, the water supply has been contaminated by oil from military vehicles and depleted uranium from ammunition. Along with the degradation of the natural resources in these countries, the animal and bird populations have also been adversely affected. In recent years, Iraqi medical doctors and health researchers have called for more research on war-related environmental pollution as a potential contributor to the country’s poor health conditions and high rates of infections and diseases.

27 Water & Soil Pollution: During the 1991 aerial campaign over Iraq, the US utilized approximately 340 tons of missiles containing depleted uranium (DU). Water and soil may be contaminated by the chemical residue of these weapons, as well as benzene and trichloroethylene from air base operations. Perchlorate, a toxic ingredient in rocket propellant, is one of a number of contaminants commonly found in groundwater around munitions storage sites around the world.

The health impact of war-related environmental exposure remains controversial. Lack of security as well as poor reporting in Iraqi hospitals have complicated research. Yet, recent studies have revealed troubling trends. A household survey in Fallujah, Iraq in early 2010 obtained responses to a questionnaire on cancer, birth defects, and infant mortality.  Significantly higher rates of cancer in 2005-2009 compared to rates in Egypt and Jordan were found.  The infant mortality rate in Fallujah was 80 deaths per 1000 live births, significantly higher than rates of 20 in Egypt, 17 in Jordan and 10 in Kuwait.  The ratio of male births to female births in the 0-4 age cohort was 860 to 1000 compared to the expected 1050 per 1000. [13] 

Toxic Dust: Heavy military vehicles have also disturbed the earth, particularly in Iraq and Kuwait. Combined with drought as a result of deforestation and global climate change, dust has become a major problem exacerbated by the major new movements of military vehicles across the landscape. The U.S. military has focused on the health effects of dust for military personnel serving in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan.  Iraq service members’ exposures to inhaled toxins have correlated with respiratory disorders that often prevent them from continuing to serve and performing everyday activities such as exercise.  U.S. Geologic Survey microbiologists have found heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, cobalt, barium, and aluminum, which can cause respiratory distress, and other health problems. [11] Since 2001, there has been a 251 percent rise in the rate of neurological disorders, a 47 percent increase in the rate of respiratory problems, and a 34 percent rise in rates of cardio-vascular disease in military service members that is likely related to this problem.[12]

Greenhouse Gas and Air Pollution from Military Vehicles:  Even setting aside the accelerated operational tempo of wartime, the Department of Defense has been the country’s single largest consumer of fuel, using about 4.6 billion gallons of fuel each year.[1] Military vehicles consume petroleum-based fuels at an extremely high rate: an M-1 Abrams tank can get just over a half mile on a gallon of fuel per mile or use about 300 gallons during eight hours of operation.[2]  Bradley Fighting Vehicles consume about 1 gallon per mile driven. 

War accelerates fuel use.  By one estimate, the U.S. military used 1.2 million barrels of oil in Iraq in just one month of 2008.[3]  This high rate of fuel use over non-wartime conditions has to do in part with the fact that fuel must be delivered to vehicles in the field by other vehicles, using fuel.  One military estimate in 2003 was that two-thirds of the Army’s fuel consumption occurred in vehicles that were delivering fuel to the battlefield.[4]  The military vehicles used in both Iraq and Afghanistan produced many hundreds of thousands of tons of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, and sulfur dioxide in addition to CO2. In addition, the allied bombing campaign of a variety of toxics-releasing sites such as ammunition depots, and the intentional setting of oil fires by Saddam Hussein during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 led to air, soil, and water pollution.[5]

War-Accelerated Destruction and Degradation of Forests and Wetlands: The wars have also damaged forests, wetlands and marshlands in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.  Radical deforestation has accompanied this and the previous wars in Afghanistan.  Total forest area decreased 38 percent in Afghanistan from 1990 to 2007.[6]  This is a result of illegal logging, which is associated with the rising power of the warlords, who have enjoyed U.S. support.  In addition, deforestation has occurred in each of these countries as refugees seek out fuel and building materials.  Drought, desertification, and species loss that accompany habitat loss have been the result.  Moreover, as the wars have led to environmental destruction, the degraded environment itself contributes in turn to further conflict.[7]

War-Accelerated Wildlife Destruction: Bombing in Afghanistan and deforestation have threatened an important migratory thoroughfare for birds leading through this area. The number of birds now flying this route has dropped by 85 percent.[8]  U.S. bases became a lucrative market for the skins of the endangered Snow Leopard, and impoverished and refugee Afghans have been more willing to break the ban on hunting them, in place since 2002. [9] Foreign aid workers who arrived in the city in large numbers following the collapse of the Taliban regime have also purchased the skins.  Their remaining numbers in Afghanistan were estimated at between 100 and 200 in 2008.[10](Page updated as of March 2013) 


[1] Col. Gregory J. Lengyel, USAF, Department of Defense Energy Strategy: Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks. 21st Century Defense Initiative. Washington, DC:  The Brookings Institution, August, 2007, p. 10.

[2]Global Security.Org, M-1 Abrams Main Battle Tank. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/m1-specs.htm

[3] Associated Press, "Facts on Military Fuel Consumption," USA Today, 2 April 2008, http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2008-04-02-2602932101_x.htm.

[4] Cited in Joseph Conover, Harry Husted, John MacBain, Heather McKee. Logistics and Capability Implications of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle with a Fuel Cell Auxiliary Power Unit. SAE Technical Papers Series, 2004-01-1586. 2004 SAE World Congress, Detroit, Michigan, March 8-11, 2004. http://delphi.com/pdf/techpapers/2004-01-1586.pdf

[5] United Nations Statistics Division. "United Nations Statistics Division - Environment Statistics." United Nations Statistics Division. http://unstats.un.org/unsd/environment/Questionnaires/country_snapshots.htm.

[6] Carlotta Gall, War-Scarred Afghanistan in Environmental Crisis, The New York Times, January 30, 2003.

[7] Enzler, S.M. "Environmental effects of war." Water Treatment and Purification - Lenntech. http://www.lenntech.com/environmental-effects-war.htm.

[8] Smith, Gar. "It's Time to Restore Afghanistan:  Afghanistan's Crying Needs." Earth Island Journal. http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/eij/article/its_time_to_res... Noras, Sibylle. "Afghanistan." Saving Snow Leopards. snowleopardblog.com/projects/afghanistan/.

[9] Reuters, "Foreigners threaten Afghan Snow Leopards," 27 June 2008. http://www.enn.com/wildlife/article/37501

[10] Kennedy, Kelly. "Navy researcher links toxins in war-zone dust to ailments." USA Today, May 14, 2011. http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/2011-05-11-Iraq-Afghanistan-dust-soldiers-illnesses_n.htm.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Busby C, Hamdan M and Ariabi E. Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005-2009. Int.J Environ.Res. Public Health 2010, 7, 2828-2837.

[13] Ibid.

Appeals Court Rules Government Can't Have It Both Ways on Targeted Killing

In an important opinion issued today in the ACLU's ongoing litigation surrounding the government's targeted killing program, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit roundly rejected the government's extreme claims of official secrecy over information about the program.

Did Israel steal bomb-grade uranium from the United States?

Victor GilinskyRoger J. Mattson, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Last month the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP), the nation’s highest classification authority, released a number of top-level government memoranda that shed additional light on the so-called NUMEC affair, "the story that won't go away—the possibility that in the 1960s, Israel stole bomb-grade uranium from a US nuclear fuel-processing plant.”

Ukraine News - Apr 22, 2014

 

Joe Biden arrives in Ukraine as militants seize more buildings in east - latimes.com


Press Briefing on Biden's Trip to Ukraine: Focus on constitutional reform including decentralization, free elections and economity stability - White House


Biden offers Ukraine U.S. help on energy, aid allocation - Reuters


Russia accuses Ukraine of violating Geneva peace deal - theguardian.com


Kiev should put end to violence of "Right Sector”: Lavrov to Kerry by phone - The Voice of Russia


VIDEO: Russia accuses Kiev of violating Geneva agreement on Ukraine - YouTube


Photos suggest that many of the green masked men in East Ukraine are indeed Russian military and intelligence forces (PHOTOS) - NYTimes.com

 

Ukraine hunts for suspected undercover Russian agent Igor Strelkov, releases a sketch of what it says is his face (SKETCH) - National Post

 

OSCE mission in Donetsk doesn't exclude presence of foreign 'consultants' on Ukrainian soil - interfax.com

 

OSCE mediator in Ukraine meets Slaviansk militants - Reuters

 

VIDEO: OSCE mediators arrive in eastern Ukraine - CCTV News

 

VIDEO: Ukraine: OSCE Deputy Chief interview - YouTube

 

Over 200 Russian Bank Branches to Open in Crimea: Central Bank - RIA Novosti

 

Russian CB halts operations of units of several Ukrainian banks in Crimea - The Voice of Russia

 

Ukraine crisis: Russia plans Crimea casino boom - BBC News

 

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VIDEO: Ukraine PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk Meet The Press 4/20/14 (COMPLETE INTERVIEW) - LiveLeak.com


Kiev authorities deny involvement of Ukrainian organizations in Slavyansk killings, Right Sector badge found among belongings of attacker - ITAR-TASS


VIDEO: 'Right Sector' radicals behind deadly gunfight in eastern Ukraine? - YouTube


VIDEO: 'Right sector' marching through Ukraine on Easter Sunday - YouTube


Pro-Russian rebels create Management Headquarters in Southeastern Ukraine - Prensa Latina News Agency


New governor of Lugansk region takes control of courts and police: media - The Voice of Russia

 

VIDEO: Hundreds of pro-Russian Ukrainians rally in Lugansk - Yahoo News

 

 'People's governor' elected in Kharkov - The Voice of Russia

 

Pro-federalization activists rally outside authority buildings in Ukraine's Kramatorsk - The Voice of Russia

 

Unidentified people take control over Ukraine's Kramatorsk police office - The Voice of Russia

 

Federalists Rally by Administration Building in Ukraine’s Donetsk - RIA Novosti

 

Ukrainian journalist held by separatists says conditions 'OK' - Reuters

 

Woman detained in eastern Ukraine denies being spy, says she's reporter - RT News

 

Ukraine Conflict Becomes Hostage Crisis as Separatists Take Prisoners - TIME.com

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Protest at NSA Headquarters Planned Over Role in Drone Murders

JOIN US CALLING OUT THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY!
 
STOP THE ARMED DRONE WARS!
 
HOLD THE WAR CRIMINALS ACCOUNTABLE!
 
COME OUT SATURDAY, MAY 3, 2014 at 1 PM TO THE NSA HEADQUARTERS in FORT MEADE, MARYLAND.
 
Just the other day yet another US drone strike took place in Yemen killing dozens of "suspected terrorists" we are told. However, due to the US Government’s lies, both the Obama and Bush Administrations, keeping us in perpetual war, we cannot take these official statements on face value. We know that innocent civilians including children have been killed by US drone strikes and other acts of violence. The NSA plays an integral role in providing information, including faulty data as reported by leading award-winning journalists, to the Central Intelligence Agency and US Military which in turn carry out the drone strikes. US militarism including the illegal drone program is responsible for violations of international law and is going unchecked by the US Congress. We must hold the US and NSA accountable for the illegal and immoral drone program.
 
The US/NSA is spying on US citizens, our friends around the world, foreign leaders, while waging -Thanks to revelations by courageous whistle-blowers like Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden- extra-judicial killing and war crimes in countries like Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
 
We must speak out FOR the voiceless victims and AGAINST the US aerial assassination program, the death squads of the skies, and unbridled US military aggression.

 
"I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945: "Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring."
 
-- Edward Snowden
 
 
TIME AND DATE: 1 PM, SATURDAY, MAY 3, 2014
 
LOCATION: NATIONAL SECURITY HEADQUARTERS, FORT MEADE, MARYLAND
 
DIRECTIONS:
 
From I-95 take Route 32 towards Fort Meade, enter on Canine Road, bear to the left and park in the visitor’s parking lot and wait.
 
For those risking arrest and those directly supporting them there will be a meeting before at 10AM. For more information contact: joyfirst5@gmail.com
 
JOIN US ON MAY 3,
 
NATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE

President Obama: Commutation for Weldon Angelos - 55 years for marijuana

Lisa Angelos:

My brother Weldon Angelos, has already been in a federal penitentiary for 10 years.  He faces 45 more years in prison.  All because he sold small amounts of marijuana and possessed – only possessed, didn’t use – guns at the same time! Even the judge who sentenced Weldon disagreed with the mandatory sentence of 55 years.

The father of two young boys and a daughter, Weldon had never before been in trouble with the law.  He was convicted when he was 24 years old of selling small amounts of marijuana to a federal law enforcement informant three times.  The informant testified that a gun was present (never displayed or used) during two of the pot deals.  

When police officers presented a warrant for Weldon’s arrest, he consented to a search of his apartment, where officers found some marijuana, a handgun in his briefcase, and two guns in a locked safe. 

A Letter to President Obama

Dear President Obama,

During the closing session of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague on March 25, 2014, you cited a number of concrete measures to secure highly-enriched uranium and plutonium and strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation regime that have been implemented as a result of the three Nuclear Security Summits, concluding: “So what’s been valuable about this summit is that it has not just been talk, it’s been action.”

Ten Years Later: Questions Still Surround Pat Tillman’s Death

Dave Zirin, The Nation

When someone dies of decidedly unnatural causes, two words come immediately to mind: “closure” and “accountability.” The idea is that by holding the perpetrators of a crime accountable, we can both provide a measure of closure for the family and friends of the deceased as well as limit the possibility of such a fate befalling our own loved ones too.

Legalize it!: NJ Gov. Christie Castigated for Cannabis Law Roadblocks

By Linn Washington, Jr.


The spirited protest outside the front door of the New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton, where nearly 150 demonstrators bashed NJ Governor Chris Christie for scandalous obstruction of the state's medical marijuana law, featured the presence and participation of the youngest offspring of two of the most legendary stars in reggae music history.

Easter and Weaponry

By Winslow Myers

When Jonathan Schell, the most cogent moral philosopher of the nuclear age, died of cancer last month, it left a rift in the moral fabric of our small planet, a hole similar in size to those left by the three Alberts—Camus, Einstein and Bigelow. Never heard of Bert Bigelow? He was the Harvard grad who in 1958 twice tried to sail his ketch, the Golden Rule, into the waters of the South Pacific where nuclear weapons were being tested—and found time as well to be beaten up by racist thugs alongside Congressman John Lewis while protesting for civil rights.

Compared to giants like Schell, Bert Bigelow, or General Lee Butler, a former head of the Strategic Air Command who now advocates for nuclear abolition, the people who presume to military, political and industrial leadership here and abroad sometimes seem, from top to bottom, like a bunch of corrupt, deluded, hypocritical flunkies.

I take this indignant tone not out of moral superiority, but because like many ordinary citizens I experience periodic spasms of hopelessness. I have no say—except here—in deliberations over war and climate change that could affect the lives of billions of my fellow inhabitants of spaceship earth.  

I take comfort that a similar spleen occasionally overtook the prophet of love whose rise from death into new life we celebrate on Easter: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness!”

NATO presses against the Western flank of Russia, risking a game of nuclear chicken, and then feigns surprise when Russia pushes back. While the U.S. administration self-righteously excoriates Iran for its mere intent to build a nuclear weapon, our Congress in January happily funds the production of the latest version of a 700-pound hydrogen bomb that will be fitted to fighter planes in Belgium, Holland, Turkey, Germany and Italy. A more blatant violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is hard to imagine.  

That the law of force still prevails over the force of law has its roots in a collective insanity, a gigantic echo chamber of projection. Possessing such enormous destructive power themselves, the nuclear nations cannot afford to acknowledge that they are potential agents of genocide—even omnicide—so we project onto each other the malevolence contained in our own weapons. The effect is a grotesque chimera, a monster “meme” that does nothing but make apocalypse more likely. Some in the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) coalition which focuses on genocide, have rightly turned their attention to the genocide-in-waiting that reside under the wings, in the silos, and within the submarines of the nuclear powers.

Do Costa Rica or Sweden feel so threatened by each other that they obsess with obtaining nuclear weapons to keep them “safe”? They do not. Nonetheless if, God forbid, nuclear winter happened, they would perish alongside those in the nuclear club. The whited sepulcher of our international system is based in the gross illusion that the potential for perfect destruction will maintain perfect security. And behind that looms a far older illusion, that the best way to resolve a conflict is to kill those with whom you disagree.  Did this work between Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda 20 years ago? It did not. Will it work between separatists and their opponents in the Ukraine—or between Russia and NATO? It will not. 

The vast majority of our leaders and lawmakers do not yet seem to understand that national interest can no longer be at cross-purposes with planetary interest.  Spending billions more on nuclear weapons will do nothing to solve growing climate instability or the withering away of life in our oceans.

Effective leadership must now initiate on the basis that the self-interest of my country is intimately bound up with the self-interest of my “adversaries.” Shia will not be secure until Sunnis feel secure. Israelis will not feel secure until Palestinians feel secure. Ukraine will not feel secure until Russia feels secure. No one will feel secure until we start spending less on weapons and more on clean, renewable energy.

Out of the crucifixion that was Dresden and Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, out of the crucifixion that is Iraq or Syria or the Central African Republic today, may a resurrection come where military creativity measures its effectiveness by something other than the sheer level of destruction at its command. Let us call upon all the institutions that enshrine our values and powers, the governments and their armies, the churches and mosques and synagogues and temples, the universities, and the corporations, to turn their creativity toward the life-affirming mission of caring for the entire earth community.

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

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