Kerry's Third Cousin Relationship With Truth


Empty Shirt's Unenviable Record for Veracity
By Ray McGovern
 

The last time major war loomed on the near horizon, Secretary of State John Kerry played fast and loose with the facts. On Aug. 30, 2013 he solemnly claimed, no fewer than 35 times, "We know" the government of Bashar al-Assad was responsible for chemical attacks outside Damascus on August 21.

The Political Objective and Strategic Goal of Nonviolent Actions

All nonviolent struggles are conducted simultaneously in the political and strategic spheres, and these spheres, which are distinct, interact throughout. I have discussed this at length elsewhere: see The Strategy of Nonviolent Defense: A Gandhian Approach. Despite this, only rarely have nonviolent struggles been conducted with a conscious awareness of this vitally important relationship. Gandhi’s campaigns were very effective partly because he understood the distinction and relationship between politics and strategy in nonviolent struggle. And the failure of many campaigns can be attributed, in part, to the fact that most activists do not.

DRONES: Free Online Screening on July 30th -- You'll Want to See This

There's a chance to watch DRONES, the movie, online on July 30th and then to join a discussion with filmmakers and experts.  There's a preview video below. The movie's website is at http://dronesthefilm.com and the free screening is at http://demandprogress.tv/drones

I saw a screening of this film back in November at the drone summit in DC. It's wonderful. I was a bit put-off and staggered, to be frank, at the time, because someone involved with the film bragged about how inexpensively it had been made, and yet the budget was so unfathomably huge that I knew that if an anti-war organization had that kind of money we could hire organizers all over the world and quite possibly make the abolition of war a major mainstream force. 

And, of course, you can't simply ask if the money was well spent, because no one will say that it was spent to end the practice of drone murder.  The director and the cast, of course, say they wanted to make a socially important film about a serious issue, but not what they wanted to accomplish, beyond raising questions and being entertaining.  Everyone's always happy to say that a film opposes racism or cruelty to animals or bullying, but not war. 

But, you hundreds of millions of odd-balls who, like me, happen to give a damn whether your government is murdering people in your name with your money will, in fact, want to make this film a huge viral success.  I'm telling you, right now, it's a good one.  It is indeed entertaining.  It's not simple, predictable, pedantic, or preaching.  But neither is the film itself reluctant to face head-on the banal, evil, arrogant mass-murder engaged in by these young people who dress up in pilots suits to sit at desks in trailers taking orders from military bureaucrats and private contractors, and ultimately from a president who reviews a list of potential men, women, and children to murder on Tuesdays. 

Drones look like a golden opportunity to war makers who don't want to ask Congress or the U.N. or the public, don't want to send in armies, just want to target people and groups for death anywhere in the world and obliterate them with the push of a button from an air-conditioned -- or, sometimes not so air-conditioned -- office.

But drones also look like a golden opportunity to those of us who have been trying to point out that murder and war are distinguished only by scale.  I suspect that many who cannot see the bombing of a city as murder will see the drone-targeting of an individual as nothing else -- particularly if they watch this film.

If you can watch the film and not want to Ban Weaponized Drones, watch it again.

Libya News - July 22, 2014


In a week Libya clashes between rival militias over Tripoli airport kill 47 - Fox News


Libya Airlines Cut Operations 70% After Damage to Planes - Bloomberg


Libya: Airport battles lead to at least US$200-mln losses - asiainsurancereview.com


VIDEO: Tripoli airport destroyed by clashing militias - YouTube


VIDEO: Tripoli Airport: Afriqiyah Airways A330 plane explosion - YouTube


Libyan militias' battle for Tripoli airport forces hundreds of families to flee - The Guardian


Libyan air controllers strike to protest against airport shelling - Reuters


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Seven killed in clashes between army and Islamic militants in Libya's Benghazi - Reuters


VIDEO: Army helicopter bombs Ansar Al- Sharia positions in Abu Atni Benghazi - YouTube


Militia Behead Filipino Construction Worker Allegedly Because He Was Non-Muslim, Philippines raises alert level 4 in Libya - ibtimes.com


U.N. mission pulls staff from Libya - usatoday.com


Update: Kidnappings, Ransoms and Stability In Libya - The Libyan Insider


Libya publishes parliamentary election results, Liberals Set to Oust Islamists in Libya Parliament - Naharnet


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Rebels siphoning off Libya’s oil bring Tripoli to halt - The Times


Eni, Repsol Expatriates Evacuated from Libya - WSJ


Libya asks U.N. Security Council for help protecting oil, ports - Reuters


Libyan Turmoil Sends Oil Prices on a Roller Coaster - WSJ


Libya Has Resumed Oil Exports, But Will It Last? - oilprice.com


Recent Violence Will Hurt Libyan Economy, Oil Revenue, Experts Say - ibtimes.com


Reserves crisis jeopardizes Libya's future - Al-Monitor


Libya will exhaust monetary reserves in 5 years - Al-Monitor


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Egyptian border guards killed at a military checkpoint near Libya, gunmen unknown - www.ajc.com


Algeria foils Ansar Sharia plan to assassinate Al-Sisi - Echorouk Online


Egyptians fear Islamist militants gathering on Libyan border - defenceWeb


Foreign ministry urges Egyptians in Libya to take measures of ‘extreme caution’ - Daily News Egypt


Algeria, Tunisia to carry out joint military operations against terrorism along the border - middleeastmonitor


Algeria's Sonatrach recalls workers from Libya - TVC NEWS


Tunisia arrests 63 terror suspects, tightens security around militant hideouts - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


Libyan jihadists in Syria and Iraq returning home to fight Haftar: security sources - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


Ex-Libyan rebel commander appeals ruling on British torture case - Reuters

 

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

Why Are Campus Administrators Making So Much Money?

Americans committed to better living for bosses can take heart at the fact that college and university administrators—unlike their faculty (increasingly reduced to rootless adjuncts) and students (saddled with ever more debt)―are thriving.

In 2011, the last year for which figures are available, 42 private college and university presidents received more than a million dollars each for their work.  Robert Zimmer (University of Chicago) was the best-paid, at $3,358,723.  At public colleges and universities, nine top administrators garnered more than $1 million each in 2012-2013, with the best-paid, E. Gordon Gee (Ohio State University), receiving $6,057,615.

What the TSA really thinks of you – as if you didn’t already know

It doesn’t take many brain cells to figure out that the TSA, institutionally and individually, holds us in contempt. In their eyes, we’re all potential terrorists. Also peons who have to be put in their place. Never mind that we pay their salaries, every penny of their $8-billion-a-year budget, and that they are supposed to facilitate flying, not impede it. 

Ukraine News - July 21, 2014

 

How Russia slipped Buk missile into Ukraine, Using intercepted calls and satellite imagery officials reconstruct sequence of events - The Times


How rebels in Ukraine built up their arsenal, it's unclear whether the Buk was stolen by rebels from a Ukrainian base or supplied by Russia - CNN


Russia may have trained Ukraine separatists to use Buk missiles, U.S. says - LA Times


MH17 crash: Ukraine officials reveal photo evidence of Buk missiles crossing border from Ukraine to Russia a day after the tragedy - The Star


Is this the Buk launcher that shot down MH17 being smuggled back to Russia? Motorist captures truck carrying Buk (VIDEOS) - Mail Online


VIDEO: Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs released a video it described as a Buk (with one missile missing) being transported in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border - YouTube


Geolocating The Video Of The 'Buk Headed Toward Russia’ (VIDEO) - Interpreter_Mag


High-tech spy satellites tracked missile's path to Malaysia Airlines jet - LA Times


TRANSCRIPTS: Ukrainian intelligence releases more intercepted calls between separatists and Russian intelligence agents discussing the location and disposition of Buk missiles in Donetsk - Forbes


The Kremlin man Kurginyan confirms separatists possess a Buk system - news.pn


VIDEO (Russian): Kremlin man Kurginyan confirm separatists having Buk missile  - YouTube


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Integrity of jet wreckage site in Ukraine compromised, Malaysia says - LA Times


MH17: Ukraine accuses rebels of interfering with evidence at crash site - The Globe and Mail


Lavrov, Kerry agree on ICAO's leading role in MH17 crash probe - CCTV News


Rebels to give Malaysia Airlines black boxes to the ICAO - FOXdfw.com


VIDEO: Separatists says black boxes from Ukraine crash site under their control - Mail Online


AUDIO: Separatists Recorded Trying To Get The Black Boxes To Moscow - Interpreter_Mag


VIDEO: First video to show "black box" at Ukraine crash site - YouTube


VIDEO: Video showing the free fall of Malaysia Airlines MH17 after being hit - YouTube


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Separatist Leader Bezler Confirms Audio Tape Authenticity, But Denies He Meant Malaysian Plane - Interpreter_Mag


Who was separatist Igor Bezler before he allegedly shot down MH-17? - Linux Beach


MH17: Rebel leader Bezler was sacked from job as undertaker for stealing - Telegraph


ARCHIVE: Itercepted conversation shows rebel commander Bezler involved in the killing of Ukrainian deputy Rybak (PHOTOS) - Ukraine Investigation

 

ARCHIVE: Alleged executions by rebel Igor Bezler - niqnaq

 

ARCHIVE: Some executions of hostages by Igor Bezler proved to be staged - stopfake.org

 

ARCHIVE: The story of separatist Igor Bezler extorting money from Ukrainian businessmen - Free Ukraine


To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

Planning for a Day of Peace

A few years back, prior to the International Day of Peace on September 21st, a school board member here in Virginia said that he would back a resolution marking that day as long as everyone understood that in doing so he was not opposing any wars.

Wars for peace, like sex for virginity, appear contradictory to some. But what about militarism for peace? What about war preparations and peace? A so-called "defense" department that arms the world; can that be compatible with peace? 

We need our governments to begin planning for a day of peace. Instead of investing everything in planning for war, preparing for war, and proliferating enough weapons to fuel plenty of wars, governments could invest in alternatives to war, nonviolent means of conflict resolution, moves toward justice that reduce conflict, international standards of law that make negotiations and diplomacy effective.

One of the tools that we can use to move our cultures and our governments toward planning for a day of peace is to ourselves plan for a day celebrating peace -- peace understood precisely as the elimination of war.  September 21st, the International Day of Peace, is one such day.  WorldBeyondWar.org is organizing events here.  And here is a list of events in the U.S. arranged on a map by Campaign Nonviolence. 

Groups and individuals interested in planning events this September can work with Campaign Nonviolence and Global Movement for the Culture of Peace and Peace One Day and A Year Without War.  Advocates of peace and environmental sanity who grasp the connections between the two may want to participate in a People's Climate March in New York City, September 20-21, and bring this flyer: PDF.

Some resources that can be used to create events of various types are here:

Screen and discuss the World Beyond War video.

Bring speakers from this Speakers Bureau.

Use this Prezi (similar to a Power Point) to present at a public forum. (Here's the same presentation as a PDF. Here's all the info to help you in a PDF.)

Here's a Power Point created by Russ Faure-Brac. (Also in older version of Power Point.)

And a Power Point by Coleen Rowley. (Also in older version of Power Point.)

Wear sky blue scarves and bracelets.

Use these flyers, sign-up cards, sign-up sheets.

Wear the message on shirts, stickers, cups, etc.

Listen to this music.

Videos, Articles, Books, etc.

At some events already planned for September 21, 2014, people will begin marking 100 years since the Christmas Truces of World War I.  You can find great information on World War I at 100 on NoGlory.org

You may want to screen Joyeux Noel: a film about the 1914 Christmas truce.  Or use this script for reenactment of a Christmas Truce: PDF. Here's more Christmas Truce information and videos. And if you're in the Northeast U.S. or the U.K. you might be able to attend or even set up a production of The Great War Theatre Project: Messengers of a Bitter Truth: Info in PDF.

Peace deserves more than empty platitudes compatible with the preservation of war as our largest public project.  Sometimes bringing truth back from propaganda is so jarring as to be humorous. "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work," said Woody Allen.  "I want to achieve immortality through not dying. I don't want to live on in the hearts of my countrymen; I want to live on in my apartment." We should not want peace only in our hearts or in the press releases of the Pentagon; we should want peace through the ending of war and the abolition of the institutions that continue to plan and create more wars even while they pretend to a sight degree of outrage that each new war has been successfully created.

Veterans to Deliver Letter to Israeli Ambassador to United States

Stop the Slaughter of Palestinian Civilians in Gaza!

Members of Veterans For Peace will deliver a letter to Israel's Embassy, 3514 International Dr. NW, WashingtonD.C. 20008, at 1:30 pm Monday afternoon, July 21. The letter calls on the government of Israel to immediately halt the bombing of Palestinian civilians and to withdraw all its troops and military assets from Gaza.  Colonel Ann Wright, who has visited Palestine and Israel several times, will head up the delegation.

The letter reads as follows:

To: Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer

From: Veterans For Peace National Board of Directors

Dear Ambassador Dermer,

As veterans who have witnessed the horror of war, we are deeply outraged by the state of Israel's slaughter of many innocent civilians in Gaza. The military assault against children, women and men, by air, by sea and now by land, is a clear violation of international laws of war and of human rights.   More than 300 Palestinians have been murdered, almost all of them civilians, nearly a quarter of them children. Thousands are wounded, including nearly 1,000 children.

Veterans For Peace joins millions of people all around the globe who are shocked by this vicious, one-sided slaughter. We understand the huge injustice of the Israeli occupation. Palestinians have been ethnically cleansed from their homes and forced to live in the Occupied West Bank, or in the open-air prison that is Gaza.

Mr. Ambassador, please tell the government of Israel to stop the massacre now! There should be an immediate end to all bombing and an immediate withdrawal of all Israeli military from Gaza.

Mr. Ambassador, please remind Prime Minister Netanyahu that you can bomb the world into pieces, but you cannot bomb it into peace.

Veterans For Peace calls for an end to the 8-year blockade of Gaza, so that normal trade and travel can occur.

Mr. Ambassador, please remind the government of Israel of the billions of dollars in aid that is provided to Israel by the United States. Veterans For Peace will push for an end to all military aid to Israel until such time as the Israeli occupation gives way to real peace negotiations based on the human rights of all the people concerned.

Veterans For Peace recommits itself to participating in the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel and Israeli products.

We encourage all parties to search for a nonviolent path to peace. We urge both Hamas and the government of Israel to refrain from targeting civilians.  We especially call on the state of Israel to stop its massive violence now. It is time to recognize the human rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to return to the homes from which they were forced to flee in 1948.

Mr. Ambassador, the peoples of Palestine, Israel and the world deserve to live in peace and harmony.  The ultimate goal of Veterans For Peace is to abolish war. In the meantime, we stand ready to assist those Israelis and Palestinians who seek peace and reconciliation.

[signed]  Patrick McCann, President

for National Board of Directors

VETERANS FOR PEACE

www.VeteransForPeace.org

One Year Jail Term for Drone Protester at Hancock AFB, NYS

by Debra Sweet.     July 10, 2014: Syracuse, NY. Anti-drone protester Mary Anne Grady was sent to county jail for a maximum 12 month sentence for violating a temporary "Order of Protection" granted by a County Judge to explicitly to protect the Commander Evans of Hancock Air Force Base, who said he wanted to keep protesters "out of his driveway." Years of non-violent protest, including civil disobedience, led by the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and Stop the Wars, have focused public attention on the role of Hancock in remotely piloting US drones around the world, particularly Reaper drones over Afghanistan, and also in training drone operators.

US + Israel Collusion = DEATH in Gaza

Israel has unleashed another murderous campaign against Gaza. If your heart is sickened by what Palestinians are living and dying through now, let us confront – and act to help many people confront -- that all this violence is backed by the $3.1 billion in military aid Israel receives each year from the U.S. People of conscience must stand against and resist the crimes of our own government, and that includes U.S. political and military support for the crimes of its cohort, its allies, when those powers commit crimes against humanity funded by and therefore “made in the U.S.A.”

Kerry, Kerry pants on fire!: If You Believed the Secretary of State’s Poison Gas Lie, You’ll Love His Latest One

By Dave Lindorff


If the best the US can do to pin the blame for the Malaysia Flight 17 downing on Russia is to have Secretary of State John Kerry say that “circumstantial evidence” points to Moscow being behind it, we can be pretty certain it was not Russia at all.


Shoot-Down Over Ukraine Needs Context -- and Caution

 

 


Facts Needed on Malaysian Plane Shoot-Down

 

 

Editor Note: As usual, the mainstream U.S. media is rushing to judgment over the crash of a Malaysian airliner in war-torn eastern Ukraine, but the history of U.S. government’s deceptions might be reason to pause and let a careful investigation uncover the facts.

By Ray McGovern

It will likely take some time to determine who downed the Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 over eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing all 298 people onboard. Initial speculation is that someone with a missile battery mistook the plane as a military aircraft, but the precise motive may be even harder to discern.

Israel News - July 19, 2014


Israel takes Gaza war underground by targeting tunnels - The Washington Post


Full text of Israeli PM statement on Gaza, Netanyahu says ground operation launched in order to damage terror tunnels - Haaretz


IDF unearths at least 20 Gaza tunnels believed used to smuggle weapons - JPost


Why the Hamas tunnels are first priority in Israel's ground offensive - The Times of Israel


VIDEO: Israel army opens fire on 13 armed Palestinians infiltrating Israel via Gaza tunnel - Haaretz


VIDEO: Tunnel and Weapons Used During Hamas Infiltration into Israel - YouTube


VIDEO: IDF Givati Brigade Detects Terror Tunnel - YouTube


VIDEO: IDF troops enter Gaza Strip as operation continues - jspacenews.com


From Gaza, an Array of Makeshift Rockets Packs a Counterpunch - NYTimes.com


20 missiles found in UN-run school in Gaza, UNRWA apologizes to Israel and condemns a ‘flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises’ - The Times of Israel


The Mofaz plan for demilitarizing Gaza - The Times of Israel


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Gaza conflict: Palestinian death toll reaches 274 amid fierce fighting - theguardian.com


20 Hamas fighters killed, 13 captured in first hours of ground offensive - The Times of Israel


Obama expresses concerns to Netanyahu about civilian Gaza deaths - Reuters


VIDEO: Obama Says Israel Has Right to Defend Itself, Is Concerned About Innocent Deaths - YouTube


US State Dep: Israel must do more to protect Gaza civilians - The Times of Israel


Kerry urges 'precise operation' from Israel in Gaza ground campaign, to target tunnels and avoid further escalation - Reuters


Hamas under pressure to accept immediate ceasefire in Gaza - theguardian.com


Hamas leader says Israel must 'lift siege' of Gaza before any ceasefire - Telegraph


VIDEO: Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal lays out terms of ceasefire - Telegraph


Arab World Increasingly Frustrated With Hamas - Algemeiner.com


REPORT: The Current Gaza Conflict: Arab World Losing Patience With Hamas - memri.org


Egypt says Qatar, Turkey and Hamas hurt Gaza ceasefire bid - Reuters


France asks Qatar to get Hamas to agree Gaza ceasefire: source - chicagotribune.com


Qatar seeks role as Gaza mediator, Israel wary - Reuters


Turkey spars with Egypt over failed Gaza cease-fire bid - todayszaman.com


Turkish PM accuses Israel of terrorism, genocide; protesters pelt consulate with stones - Fox News


After violent protests, Israel to pull some diplomatic staff from Turkey - The Times of Israel


VIDEO: Turkey Police defend Israeli consulate from furious Palestine demo - YouTube


Abbas asks France to lobby Hamas for Gaza truce - GlobalPost


Hamas slams Abbas despite condemnation of Gaza op - Ynetnews

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

‘Strident’ reporting at the Times: Already Abused by Cop, DA and Court, Occupy Protester Now Trashed by NY’s Leading Paper

By Dave Lindorff


When a journalist in a news article refers to a woman as “strident,” you know what you’re reading is a hit piece, not a dispassionate report, and that’s what the New York Times offered up to readers in today’s piece about a court appearance yesterday by Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan.

Drone Activist Mary Anne Grady Flores Released on Appeal of Violation of Order of Protection

Mary Anne Grady Flores at sentencing at DeWitt Town Court, July 10, 2014

Last night Mary Anne Grady Flores was released on $5,000 bail from the Syracuse Justice Center after appearing before County Court Judge Thomas J. Miller who granted a stay of execution of her one year sentence, pending appeal of the Order of Protection granted to Col. Earl A. Evans by the DeWitt Town Court judges requiring drone protesters to stay away from the Hancock Airbase.

“The local judges of the Town of DeWitt have helped shut down the protests of the murder of Afghan civilians by drones piloted from the airbase.  They have prevented us from exercising our First Amendment rights by issuing the Orders of Protection on behalf of the base,” said John Hamilton of Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones.

Hancock is a training center for drone pilots, technicians and maintenance workers, as well as a hub of drone activities. From the base the unmanned aircraft are flown over Afghanistan, where they kill people, including numerous civilians.

Grady Flores, grandmother of three, was the first alleged violator of the 50 drone activists who have been given the Order of Protection in 2012. She was tried and sentenced for a year in jail.  Despite being out on bail, she still faces returning to jail. Her appeals process will take months.

“There are 30 upcoming trials over the next year. DeWitt Town judges threaten to sentence activists to a year in jail, many of them in their 60’s and 70’s,” said Judy Bello of Rochester. Bello noted that donations are essential to meet the costs of bail for so many as well as $5,000 transcripts for the appeals to move forward. 

“This is far from over! The drones are still flying and the killing continues. We invite people to join the non-violent witness at the base,” said Rae Kramer of the Syracuse Peace Council. 

  ###

The Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Warswww.upstatedroneaction.org is made up of antiwar organizations and formed around resistance to the MQ-9 Reaper Drone program at Hancock Field Air Force Base.

Ukraine News - July 18, 2014


Malaysia Airlines passenger jet shot down over Ukraine, 295 dead - Fox News


Buk missile system suspected in Malaysia plane disaster, its radar could have led to mistakenly targeting a civilian plane - AP


VIDEO: Aftermath of Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 crash, Burning wreckage and bodies scattered - YouTube


VIDEO: Unconfirmed (it may be fake) live footage of the ground impact of Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 - YouTube


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Separatists stole Buk missiles from Ukrainian regiment A-1402 on June 29,  Buk seen in rebel controlled areas (PHOTO, VIDEO) - foxtrotalpha


Evidence of DNR separatists being in possession of Buk missile system since June 29 (PHOTOS) - LiveLeak.com


PHOTO: Deleted DNR tweet confirming Ukrainian separatists indeed have a Buk system - Twitter / RobPulseNews


Local Ukraine Residents Say They Saw Separatists With Missiles Suspected Of Taking Down Malaysia Plane - Business Insider


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Ukrainian security intercepts phone conversations of separatists admitting downing a civilian plane (TRANSCRIPT) - kyivpost.com


VIDEO (English Subtitles): Intercepted phone conversation of separatists discussing the shooting down of the Malaysian Airlines airliner - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT (same as above, in case there is problem downloading the kyivpost): Intercepted calls of separatists admitting downing a civilian plane - Gladstone Observer


Thinking the Boeing 777 was a Ukrainian military transport plane, separatist commander Strelkov says: 'We Did Warn You — Do Not Fly in Our Sky'- Business Insider


VIDEO: Malaysia Airlines crash: Watch chilling video showing separatists appearing to celebrate downing of Boeing 777 thinking it was a Ukrainian military plane - Mirror Online

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

Unbroken and out to expose US prison system: Exclusive Interview with Police Abuse Victim and Occupy Activist Cecily McMillan

By Dave Lindorff


In an exclusive intervew on the Progressive Radio Network’s “This Can’t Be Happening!” program, Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan, just released after two months of a three-month sentence to the Women’s Prison on Riker’s Island, talks about her conviction on a trumped-up charge of felony assault of a New York Police Officer. 


Worth Fighting For?

I was not sure I would like a book called Worth Fighting For by a former soldier who walked across the United States to raise money for the Pat Tillman Foundation.  The website of that foundation celebrates military "service" and the "higher calling" for which Tillman left professional football, namely participation in the U.S. war on the people of Afghanistan and Iraq.  Rather than funding efforts to put an end to war, as Tillman actually might have wished by the end of his life, the foundation hypes war participation, funds veterans, and to this day presents Tillman's death thusly:

"On the evening of April 22, 2004, Pat's unit was ambushed as it traveled through the rugged, canyon terrain of eastern Afghanistan. His heroic efforts to provide cover for fellow soldiers as they escaped from the canyon led to his untimely and tragic death via fratricide."

Those heroic efforts happened, if they happened, in the context of an illegal and immoral operation that had Tillman defending foreign invaders from Afghans defending their homes.  And the last two words above ("via fratricide") tell a different story from the rest of the paragraph, page, and entire website of the Pat Tillman Foundation.  Tillman was shot by U.S. troops.  And he may not have died a thorough-going supporter of what he was engaged in.  On September 25, 2005, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Tillman had become critical of the Iraq war and had scheduled a meeting with the prominent war critic Noam Chomsky to take place when he returned from Afghanistan, all information that Tillman's mother and Chomsky later confirmed. Tillman couldn't confirm it because he had died in Afghanistan in 2004 from three bullets to the forehead.

Rory Fanning's book -- Worth Fighting For -- relates, however, that Tillman looked forward to getting out of the military and sympathized with the actions of Fanning, a member of his battalion who became a conscientious objector and refused to fight.  According to Fanning, Tillman "knew his very public circumstances forced him to stick it out." 

That's obviously a different use of the word "forced" from "gravity forced the weight to drop" or "the missile striking the house forced the people inside to split apart into fragments of flesh and gore." Imagine the benefits to the cause of peace if the one troop who had a name, face, and voice had shattered the bullshit choruses of "Support the Troops!" by doing what Fanning did, and thus living to tell the tale?  Instead Tillman stuck it out and left many believing that military propagandists had either become quite fortunate or something worse, when Tillman did not live to quite possibly oppose -- better late than never -- what he had been doing.

When I worked with a number of talented people to draft articles of impeachment for George W. Bush that were introduced by Congressman Dennis Kucinich, they included this:

"The White House and the Department of Defense (DOD) in 2004 promoted a false account of the death of Specialist Pat Tillman, reporting that he had died in a hostile exchange, delaying release of the information that he had died from friendly fire, shot in the forehead three times in a manner that led investigating doctors to believe he had been shot at close range.

"A 2005 report by Brig. Gen. Gary M. Jones reported that in the days immediately following Specialist Tillman's death, U.S. Army investigators were aware that Specialist Tillman was killed by friendly fire, shot three times to the head, and that senior Army commanders, including Gen. John Abizaid, knew of this fact within days of the shooting but nevertheless approved the awarding of the Silver Star, Purple Heart, and a posthumous promotion.

"On April 24, 2007, Spc. Bryan O'Neal, the last soldier to see Specialist Pat Tillman alive, testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that he was warned by superiors not to divulge information that a fellow soldier killed Specialist Tillman, especially to the Tillman family. The White House refused to provide requested documents to the committee, citing 'executive branch confidentiality interests.'"

What made Pat Tillman a particular hero to many in the United States was that he had given up huge amounts of money to go to war.  That he had passed up the evil of hoarding wealth in order to engage in something even more evil does not register with supporters of war.  And had the U.S. Army not killed him, and had he not subsequently killed himself (the leading cause of U.S. military deaths now being suicide), Tillman might have lengthened his life by leaving the NFL, which abandons its players to an average lifespan in their 50s and in some cases dementia in their 40s -- an issue that arises in Fanning's book as he meets with former NFL greats to raise money for the Pat Tillman Foundation.

Tillman was, by all accounts, kind, humble, intelligent, courageous, and well-intentioned.  He clearly inspired many, many people whom he met, and whom he never met, to be better people.  Fanning would, I think, include himself in that list.  But when Fanning decided to walk across the country raising funds, and finding support and shelter for himself along the way, in the name of Pat Tillman, he was playing on the beliefs of a propagandized public, beliefs that he himself had ceased to fully share.  A sheriff, in a typical example, takes Fanning's empty water bottles, drives 12 miles to refill them, and hands them back to Fanning with tears in his eyes, saying, "What Pat did for our country is one of the bravest, most admirable things I can remember anyone doing. Take this for your cause." And he handed Fanning $100. 

Was generating hatred and resentment in Afghanistan by killing helpless people a service to the United States? Was the environmental destruction and economic cost and eroded civil liberties a benefit to us all?  In the minds of the people whom the Pat Tillman Foundation is still trying to milk for funding, perhaps so.  Such a foundation not only saves the government from providing for veterans (or anyone else) while investing more in weaponry, but it also generates public support for and identification with supposed military heroism.  It's a double-victory for the makers of war in Washington, most of whom are far more misguided than Pat Tillman ever was, but most of whom are more remarkable for cowardice than bravery.

As I say, I wasn't 100% sure I would like Fanning's book. I believe things are worth working for, struggling for, suffering for, and dying for, but not fighting for.  What could he mean?  I was very pleasantly surprised, and recommend the book enthusiastically.  It recounts an adventure worth having that contained no fighting at all.  It's a tale told with wisdom, erudition, kindness, humor, humility, and generosity of which I think Tillman might have been proud. 

Like the guy in that Craig's List movie, Fanning finds people going out of their way to help him as he very publicly walks across the country, doing interviews along the way, speaking at events, and chronicling his progress on a website (now gone).  This does not, of course, prove that anyone without a public cause or celebrity label, or anyone of any race or sex or appearance, could safely and successfully find the same sort of selfless support from so many Americans.  It is heartening and encouraging, nonetheless, to read.  And these accounts come interspersed with descriptions and historical background on the places Fanning walks through that suggest he has a future as a travel writer if he wants it. Intermingled as well quite seamlessly is an account of how Fanning himself moved from being "a devout Christian to an atheist and from a conservative Republican to a socialist." He later adds that he ceased opposing environmentalists and became one.  As this world needs such transformations on a large scale, a smart account by someone who's been through one has great value.

One aspect of Fanning's own drama that sheds light on the notion that Tillman was "forced" to "support the troops" even while being one (that is, support a war he may have disagreed with), is the description of how hard it was for Fanning to turn against the military (a process that may perhaps remain incomplete for him even now).  Fanning had joined after 9-11 for similar reasons to Tillman, believing it his duty.  He then found he "did not have it in him" to kill.  And he saw the injustice and absurdity of capturing people falsely ratted out by rivals to an ignorant foreign occupier eager to punish (and torture) anyone it could.  He came to see himself as an imperialist pawn rather than a rescuer on a mission for humanity.  When he refused to go along to get along, he was ostracized and abused by everyone around him except Pat Tillman and his brother Kevin Tillman.  Despite his refusal to fight, Fanning was sent to Afghanistan again, made to do chores, labeled "bitch" by his commander, and forced to sleep outside alone in the snow.  And Fanning supported his own abuse, attempting to make himself ill, afraid of the shame of his own behavior rather than wishing to expose the shame of the evil behavior of those around him.

Fanning recounts a conversation with a military chaplain.  Fanning made the case that the whole war was unjust.  The chaplain made the case that God wanted him to do it anyway.  The loser in that contest was apparently Fanning's use for the concept of "God." 

But Fanning's struggle continued within himself even after getting home and getting out.  "After I left the military," he writes, "the hardest thing I had to do was look someone in the eyes. I was afraid I would be exposed for breaking my oath."  Not for having been part of an operation of mass-murder, but for having abandoned it.  That's how Fanning thought even after getting out, so one can imagine how Tillman thought while still in -- and while in with a world telling him he was a god himself for being there.  Fanning sees the contradiction. "I knew U.S. imperialism was destroying the planet," he writes, "but I still felt guilty for leaving."

Through Fanning's walk he gives talks that avoid mentioning what he (and perhaps Tillman) actually thought, until -- three-quarters of the way along -- a boy asks him which branch of the military to join, and he answers "I don't think you should join any of them."  He then gives the $100 from the sheriff to a homeless man under an overpass.

Is NZ violating the SIS Act over US drone strikes?

By Bob Rigg

After decades of lively public debate, New Zealand abolished the death penalty for murder in 1961. It is not widely known that the death penalty for treason remained on the statute books until it was also abolished in 1989.

From then on no one could be legally sentenced to death or executed in accordance with New Zealand law, for any reason. Until the death penalty was abolished, all persons charged with capital offences were entitled to defend themselves through legal process.

In mid-April of this year the Australian newspaper revealed that five people including one Australian citizen and one man with dual Australian-New Zealand citizenship had been killed by a US Predator drone strike on 19 November 2013. It is noteworthy that neither the Australian nor the New Zealand government fronted up voluntarily with this story.

Fake TSA clerk gropes women at SFO; but hey, no harm, no foul


Ah, I love waking up to stories like this! It's like living in absurdist theater, only the people running the theater are too stupid to see it for what it is. 

The Oxymoron of Peace

By Robert C. Koehler

“At the same time, values and ideas which were considered universal, such as cooperation, mutual aid, international social justice and peace as an encompassing paradigm are also becoming irrelevant.”

Maybe this piercing observation by Roberto Savio, founder of the news agency Inter Press Service, is the cruelest cut of all. Geopolitically speaking, hope — the official kind, represented, say, by the United Nations in 1945 — feels fainter than I can remember. “We the peoples of the United Nations, determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war . . .”

I mean, it was never real. Five centuries of European colonialism and global culture-trashing, and the remaking of the world in the economic interests of competing empires, cannot be undone by a single institution and a cluster of lofty ideals.

As Savio notes in an essay called “Ever Wondered Why the World Is a Mess?,”: “The world, as it now exists, was largely shaped by the colonial powers, which divided the world among themselves, carving out states without any consideration for existing ethnic, religious or cultural realities.”

And after the colonial era collapsed, these carved-out political entities, defining swatches of territory without any history of national identity, suddenly became the Third World and floundered in disarray. “. . . it was inevitable that to keep these artificial countries alive, and avoid their disintegration, strongmen would be needed to cover the void left by the colonial powers. The rules of democracy were used only to reach power, with very few exceptions.”

Whatever noble attempts at eliminating war the powers that be made in the wake of World War II — Europe’s near self-annihilation — didn’t cut nearly deep enough. These attempts didn’t set about undoing five centuries of colonial conquest and genocide. They didn’t cut deeper than national interest.

And global peace built on a foundation of nation-states is an oxymoron. As historian Michael Howard noted in his book The Lessons of History (quoted by Barbara Ehrenreich in Blood Rites): “From the very beginning, the principle of nationalism was almost indissolubly linked, both in theory and practice, with the idea of war.”

All of which leads me to the $400 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the most expensive warplane ever built, or not quite built. The aircraft, designed by Lockheed, is now seven years behind schedule, but the Pentagon had planned to display its new baby this week at the Royal International Air Tattoo and the Farnborough International Airshow in the U.K. This debut has now been called off because the engine of one of the planes caught fire on a runway in Florida in June, and officials feared the problem was systemic.

In other words, it could happen again. It could happen at the airshow, with the jet’s prospective customers — Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan and eight other U.S. allies — in attendance. Grounding it was a business decision. Indeed, it was a decision made at the delicate intersection of business and war.

“The setbacks follow a series of technical problems and development delays that have affected the F-35, one of the world’s most ambitious weapons programs, with estimated development costs of around $400 billion,” Nicola Clark and Christopher Drew wrote this week in the New YorkTimes. “Analysts said the timing of the problems, just as Lockheed Martin was hoping to demonstrate the plane to prospective export buyers here, could not have been worse.”

What I found interesting — well, overwhelmingly depressing, actually — was the fact that this story ran in the Times’ International Business section. When Savio writes, “Attempts to create regional or international alliances to bring stability have always been stymied by national interests,” this may be what he’s talking about. National interests are business interests. In the mainstream media, this is simply a given.

And the ongoing setbacks and escalating cost don’t matter. The F-35 project is still going forward, even though, as Kate Brannen wrote recently in Foreign Policy, “over the course of the aircrafts’ lifetimes, operating costs are expected to exceed $1 trillion.”

The warplane’s supply of funding is inexhaustible, apparently. Congress is behind it all the way. And it’s hardly news. “Lockheed has carefully hired suppliers and subcontractors in almost every state to ensure that virtually all senators and members of Congress have a stake in keeping the program — and the jobs it has created — in place,” Brannen wrote.

Austerity is for losers. There’s always money to wage war and build weapons, indeed, to continue developing weapons, generation after generation after generation. The contractors are adept at playing the game. Jobs link arms with fear and patriotism and the next war is always inevitable. And it’s always necessary, because we’ve created a world of perpetual — and well-armed — instability.

The problem with the United Nations is that it’s a unity of entities defined by their hatred of one another and committed to the perpetuation of “the scourge of war.” We won’t begin creating global peace until we learn how to bypass nationalism and the single, unacknowledged agreement binding nation-states to each other: the inevitability of war.

Robert Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist and nationally syndicated writer. His book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound (Xenos Press), is still available. Contact him at koehlercw@gmail.com or visit his website at commonwonders.com.

© 2014 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, INC.

Tariq Khdeir's Statement

"Hello everybody. Thank you so much for coming out tonight to welcome me home. It feels so good to be back in Tampa. I cannot even put it in words. I can’t wait to go back to play with my friends and go fishing. I got through these past two weeks because I know you were all thinking of me, praying for me and sending me messages to support me.

"There’s one main thing that I wanted to say, which is that you will only know my story because I’m an American. But I hope you will also remember my cousin, a sixteen-year-old Palestinian named Mohammed Abu Khdeir. He was just a kid like me and this whole thing started because he was killed. I know he must have been terrified like I was. I was in a new place and suddenly attacked by masked police. It was by far the scariest thing that has ever happened to me. The physical pain in those first hours was really rough. And I’m only fifteen but I’ll never think about freedom in the same way as I did two [weeks] ago.

"I wanted to ask you all to please remember my cousin Mohammed and the thirty-six kids that died in Gaza over the past several days. They have names like mine. I hope the violence will stop for their sake. No child, whether they are Palestinian or Israeli, deserves to die that way.

"I’m so glad to be back home again and healing. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. I feel really good. I feel great."

Source: WMNF.

Israel News - July 17, 2014


Israel, Hamas agree to 5-hour cease-fire to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza - Fox News


Hamas demands changes to Egypt Gaza ceasefire plan - AFP


Hamas and Islamic Jihad set ten conditions in return for ten years of truce with Israel - israelmatzav.blogspot.com


Islamic Jihad: Fighting in Gaza will continue until demands met - Maan News Agency


'I want peace. I'm exhausted by war': Gazans speak out amid brief lull - theguardian.com


POLL: Gaza Public Rejects Hamas, Wants Ceasefire - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy


POLL: Violence is not a popular option among Palestinians, Hamas is not benefiting from the crisis - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy


While Gazans suffer in poverty leaders of Hamas live in luxury, They built their wealth through taxes on goods that were smuggled through the tunnels - The Tower


PA and Fatah have no ability to intervene in the Gaza strip because it is ruled exclusively by Hamas despite the unity agreement, Abbas adviser says - The Canadian Jewish News


For ceasefire, Abbas proposes PA forces along Gaza-Egypt border - The Times of Israel


Gaza: An exclusive look into the roles of Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades and Islamic Jihad - Al Akhbar English


Military wing of Hamas says it launched drones into Israel -- one of them downed by an Israeli Patriot missile - LA Times


VIDEO: Hamas releases own footage of armed drone and rocket fire at Israel - Haaretz


VIDEO: Israel shoots down homemade Hamas drone - Fox News


Analysis-Hamas homemade rocket industry bypasses crumbling supply lines - Reuters


Blog: Hamas Rocket Technology Moving Up - americanthinker.com


Israeli app tracks Hamas rocket attacks - THE DAILY STAR


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

Israeli Shells Kill Four Children Playing Football On Gaza Beach - NYTimes.com


Witness Accounts of Israeli Gaza Attack That Killed 4 Boys - NYTimes.com


Police: First Israeli citizen killed by Hamas rocket fire, He was a rabbi delivering food to IDF troops - AP


Netanyahu Says Demilitarizing Gaza Strip Is Israel Priority - Businessweek


Analysis: Netanyahu talks of demilitarization as rocket barrage continues - JPost


Israel to Pause Bombing on Thursday, but Gaza Invasion Is Still Seen Likely - NYTimes.com


Livni: If Hamas rocket fire persists, Israel will have no choice but to invade Gaza - JPost


Undermining PM, Liberman calls to retake Gaza, denounces truce efforts - The Times of Israel


Ex-Israel Intelligence chief Efraim Halevy calls for talks with Hamas: ‘There are worse options than Hamas’ (VIDEO) - CNN.com Blogs


Israel warns Gazans to flee as air campaign intensifies, Hamas tells residents to ignore evacuation instructions - The Times of Israel


Israel charges 3 suspects in Palestinian teen 'revenge killing' - Fox News


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

Obama: US using all means to get Israel cease-fire - US News


VIDEO: Barack Obama Calls for Israel Gaza Ceasefire - " Want to Protect Civilians on Both Sides " - YouTube


US blocks Qatari funds to pay salaries to thousands of Hamas employees, Hamas won’t accept truce unless it receives payments - Times of Israel


Israel's Iron Dome Gets New Funding by US Lawmakers - foreignpolicy.com


Why More of Israel's Iron Dome Will Be Made in the U.S. - Businessweek


POLL: Republicans sympathize with Israel much more strongly than Democrats - WashingtonExaminer.com


POLL (Full Report): As Mideast Violence Continues, a Wide Partisan Gap in Israel-Palestinian Sympathies - Pew Research Center


Erdogan Dismisses Reconciliation With Israel Over Gaza ‘Terror’ - Bloomberg


Hamas reaches out to Qatar and Turkey for mediation - The Times of Israel


To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

Another Hancock Anti-Drone Protester Convicted of a Misdemeanor

Jack Gilroy of Binghamton, NY was convicted after a two-day jury trial in DeWitt Town Court of charges stemming from his arrest during a nonviolent protest at Hancock Air National Guard Base on April 28, 2013.   Jack was convicted of Trespass, a violation, and Obstructing Governmental Administration, a misdemeanor by a jury of five women and one man.   He will be sentenced by Judge Robert Jokl on October 1st, a year and a half after his arrest.  The sentence for the latter charge may be up to one year in jail and a fine of $1000.  Jack’s Order of Protection was also reissued today as a 2 year Permanent Order protecting Commander Greg Semmel, the commanding officer at Hancock Base.
 
Jack testified that he joined the Army out of high school, and was stationed in Austria in the early 50s at a time when the Cold War was hot. He says that despite a climate of distrust and contempt towards Russians, when he actually had to look a young Russian soldier in the eye during a ceremonial event, he didn’t see the evil he’d been trained to expect.  Since then, Jack has spent 30 years as a teacher.   A member of Veterans for Peace and Peace Action New York, Jack  is currently working with Peace Action at Binghamton University to convince the college to offer a Peace Studies Program. 
 
Regarding the April 2013 protest, Jack testified that the boundaries of the base were unclear and unmarked at the time.   He said his intention was to send a message to base personnel and the public, not to disrupt the operation of the base.   Only one gate was affected by the symbolic die-in he participated in, which blocked the inbound lane of the access road.  Jack was arrested and removed 30 seconds after lying in the road so he had little effect on potential base traffic.
 
Hancock Air National Guard Base, home of the 174th Attack Wing, is a domestic hub for MQ-9 Reaper drone support.  It is a training site for pilots and technicians, a drone test location and an active site in the ongoing wars overseas.  Heavily armed Reapers piloted at Hancock fly lethal missions over Afghanistan and possibly elsewhere.   Hancock pilots also fly test flights from Fort Drum over Lake Ontario. 
 
Upstate Drone Action has been protesting the Drones at Hancock Base since 2009 with bimonthly vigils, annual rallies and a Gandhian Wave of civil resistance.  Mary Anne Grady Flores was convicted of violating an Order of Protection by standing in the road in front of Hancock Base and sentenced on July 9 to one year in prison.  There are 11 trials scheduled for Hancock protesters in DeWitt between now and next July stemming from the April 28 protest.   Several more trials are pending.   On July 30th and 31st Russell Brown will be tried pro se, serving as his own defense council, on the same charges Jack Gilroy faced today.
 

Some FACTS re Genesis of Current Crisis in Ukraine

www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-shevardnadze-20140715,0,3983982.story

baltimoresun.com

When the U.S. welched on Shevardnadze [Commentary]

The Ukraine crisis owes its roots to a deal America made and broke with the recently deceased Soviet foreign minister

By Ray McGovern

July 16, 2014

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