What I Said at the Peace Hub of the Climate March

Most countries on earth have the U.S. military in them.

Most countries on earth burn less fossil fuel than does the U.S. military.

And that's without even calculating how much worse for the climate jet fuel is than other fossil fuels.

And it's without even considering the fossil fuel consumption of the world's leading weapons makers, or the pollution caused by the use of those weapons all over the world.

The U.S. is the top weapons dealer to the world, and has weapons on multiple sides of most wars.

The U.S. military created 69% of super fund environmental disaster sites and is the third leading polluter of U.S. waterways.

When the British first developed an obsession with the Middle East, passed along to the United States, the desire was to fuel the British Navy.

What came first? The wars or the oil? It was the wars.

Wars and the preparations for more wars consume a huge amount of oil.

But the wars are indeed fought for control of oil. So-called foreign intervention in civil wars is, according to comprehensive studies, 100 times more likely -- not where there is suffering, not where there is cruelty, not where there is a threat to the world, but where the country at war has large reserves of oil or the intervener has a high demand for oil.

We need to learn to say

No More Wars for Oil
and
No More Oil for Wars

You know who agrees with that? Pre-presidential campaign Donald Trump. On December 6, 2009, on page 8 of the New York Times a letter to President Obama printed as an advertisement and signed by Trump called climate change an immediate challenge. "Please don't postpone the earth," it said. "If we fail to act now, it is scientifically irrefutable that there will be catastrophic and irreversible consequences for humanity and our planet."

In fact, Trump is now acting to speed up those consequences, an action prosecutable as a crime against humanity by the International Criminal Court -- at least if Trump were African.

It's also a crime impeachable by the United States Congress -- at least if there's some way to involve sex in it.

Holding this government accountable is up to us.

No More Wars For Oil
No More Oil for Wars

Say it with me.

Tomgram: Nick Turse, The U.S. Military Moves Deeper into Africa

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

[Note for TomDispatch Readers: The next post will appear on Tuesday, May 2nd. Tom]

WOMEN BEWARE: SAUDI ARABIA CHARGED WITH SHAPING GLOBAL STANDARDS FOR WOMEN’S EQUALITY

 Who Let the Saudi Fox in the Hen House?

Medea Benjamin

 

It’s hard to sink to a greater depth of hypocrisy than voting Saudi Arabia onto a UN Commission charged with promoting women’s equality and empowerment. And yet, on April 23rd, that is precisely what the UN Economic and Social Council did. Of the 54 countries on the Council, 47 of them agreed to add Saudi Arabia to a four-year term on the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

 

Hey Ireland, Your Ambassador Just Told Me You’ll Do Anything Trump Wants

Dear brothers and sisters of Ireland, your ambassador to the United States Anne Anderson spoke at the University of Virginia Tuesday afternoon.

After consulting one of your fine citizens named Barry Sweeney, I asked her this: “Since the U.S. government assures the Irish government that all U.S. military aircraft being refueled at Shannon are not on military operations and are not carrying weapons or munitions, and since the Irish government insists on this in order to comply with Ireland’s traditional policy of neutrality, why does the Irish department of transportation almost daily approve civilian aircraft on contract to the U.S. military to carry armed U.S. troops on military operations, weapons, and munitions through Shannon Airport in clear breach of international laws on neutrality?”

Ambassador Anderson replied that the U.S. government at the “highest levels” had informed Ireland that it was in compliance with the law, and Ireland accepted that.

Tomgram: Aviva Chomsky, The Criminalization of Immigrants From Clinton to Trump

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Talk Nation Radio: Deirdre Enright on Freeing Innocent People from Prison

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-deirdre-enright-on-freeing-innocent-people-from-prison

Deirdre Enright is director of investigation for the University of Virginia Law School's Innocence Project Clinic. Enright previously worked at the Virginia Capital Representation Resource Center, where she represented clients and consulted on cases in all stages of capital litigation, with primary focus on federal and state post-conviction proceedings and Supreme Court certiorari review. After graduating from the University of Virginia Law School in 1992, Enright worked as a staff attorney at the Mississippi Capital Defense Resource Center. We discuss the work of freeing innocent people from prison.
 
Total run time: 29:00

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

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.

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
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Focus: Syria - Apr 24, 2017


U.S. sanctions 271 employees of Syrian research center, says they are responsible for developing chemical weapons - Reuters


Press Release: Treasury sanctions 271 Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center staff in response to sarin attack on Khan Sheikhoun - treasury.gov


VIDEO: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announces Syria sanctions - YouTube


‘Full, transparent’ investigation into Idlib chemical attacks needed: EU official Mogherini - kurdistan24.net


UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria says has reached no conclusions on alleged Idlib gas attack - RT


OPCW decision not to send chemical weapons experts to Syria ‘strange’: Lavrov - Sputnik


Ceasefire for Khan Sheikhoun if experts come to probe Syria chemical incident: Russian MoD - RT News


Iran, Russia boost military ties amid U.S. action in Syria - freebeacon.com


Unconfirmed: Russia ready to deploy ground forces in the areas where Syrian troops are engaged in serious battles - PressTV


Russian National Guard do not participate in military operations in Syria, press service says - Sputnik


IMPORTANT CORRECTION TO The nerve agent attack that did not occur, by T. Postol - washingtonsblog.com


The White House statement on the Khan Sheikhoun crater, the shell and the impact are all absolutely wrong - Lame Cherry


VIDEOS: Collection of videos that show changes in the claimed impact crater of the chemical strike in Khan Sheikhoun from Apr 4 to Apr 6 - Pastebin.com


Monitor on massacre marketing: Everything says impure, not military-grade sarin was used in Khan Sheikoun - libyancivilwar.blogspot.com


Anatomy of a sarin bomb explosion (Part I) - bellingcat


Anatomy of a sarin bomb explosion (Part II) - bellingcat


Why is US media ignoring all dissenting expert voices on the Khan Sheikhoun attack? - RT Op-Edge


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

Wanted to Hire: Someone who can convert websites from Drupal to Wordpress

I have four Drupal websites, two of them quite large, that I need to convert to Wordpress, because I'm unable to deal with all the updating that Drupal requires. A month and a half ago, I hired a guy named David Gusick who did part of the job and was paid for it, but still hasn't given me the work he did. I've given up on him. I'm looking to hire someone who can do the job in a reasonable and agreed upon amount of time for a reasonable and agreed upon price to be paid upon completion. The job requires moving thousands of posts, pages, and images, and working with Wordpress to make them all accessible, including the images, in Wordpress. It does not require designing the new Wordpress sites beyond adjusting templates to make images visible. If you're interested, please send resume and references to david AT davidswanson.org.

Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Chameleon Presidency

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

The F-35 and the Incinerating Ski Slope

By David Swanson
Remarks in Burlington, Vermont, April 22, 2017

Thank you all for inviting me. There is no place I’d rather be on earth day. And that includes marching for science at the March for Science in Washington. Although I certainly support marching for honesty, and I’d even march for the cause of getting more scientists to march — and any other group that hasn’t yet found the time to bother.

Unless resisting madness becomes mainstream, the madmen will decide our fate.

Thank you also for having started the first chapter of World Beyond War and for having given us the idea to have chapters. We now have people working on starting dozens of chapters in over a dozen countries. And we have staff to help them, and we have people in 151 countries who have signed the pledge that I’ll pass around here, pledging to work to end all war. We’re trying to get to 175 countries, because that’s how many the U.S. military admits to having troops in. So, 24 more to go. If you know anybody in Venezuela, Cuba, Honduras, Mongolia, Algeria, Lithuania, Ethiopia, or Papua New Guinea, please point them to WorldBeyondWar.org.

And thank you for having set up such a terrific program of workshops today, and — I hope — of work that will follow the workshops.

I hope my comments fit into the program, because I’m going to take a round about way of speaking in support of peace and environmentalism by praising garbage incinerators.

Why Is There So Little Popular Protest Against Today's Threats of Nuclear War?

In recent weeks, the people of the world have been treated to yet another display of the kind of nuclear insanity that has broken out periodically ever since 1945 and the dawn of the nuclear era.

How U.S. Race Laws Inspired Nazis

James Q. Whitman's new book is called Hitler's American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law. It is understated and overdocumented, difficult to argue with. No doubt some will try.

In cartoonish U.S. historical understanding, the United States is, was, and ever shall be a force for good, whereas Nazism arose in a distant, isolated land that lacked any connection to other societies. In a cartoonish reversal of that understanding that would make a good strawman for critics of this book, U.S. policies have been identical to Nazism which simply copied them. Obviously this is not the case.

The 'mother of all bombs' is big, deadly – and won't lead to peace

 Trump dropped the biggest non-nuclear bomb ever used in Afghanistan on Thursday. Just where is this escalation going?


 

Tomgram: Michael Klare, Do African Famines Presage Global Climate-Change Catastrophe?

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

There are the terrorists, who get attention out of all proportion to their actual clout, and then there are those with big-time clout -- I think of them as the terrarists -- who get almost no attention at all. Back in May 2013, I came up with that term and here’s how I described those I thought it should apply to:

Focus: Syria - Apr 19, 2017


Note: To stimulate the discussion and full independent investigation of the Syrian chemical explosion, I focus on expert opinions that oppose the narrative that the Syrian government carried out the gas attack.


OPCW Director-General shares incontrovertible laboratory results concluding exposure to sarin in Khan Sheikhun - OPCW


Russia April 20 will submit a proposal for a vote to the OPCW on the situation in Idlib - Russian Reality


Comment by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov on the OPCW Executive session re-opening in The Hague on April 19 - Russian Federation


British chair to both OPCW probes on Syria ‘chemical attack’ is against int’l principle: Lavrov - RT News


FM Ayrault says France will prove Syria's Assad used chemical weapons - usatoday.com


VIDEO: Attaque à l'arme chimique: le renseignement français va apporter "les preuves" de l'implication de Bachar, promet Ayrault - LCP


Top U.S. intelligence analyst Theodore Postol accuses White House of fraud about Syrian sarin gas attack - washingtonsblog.com


The nerve agent attack that did not occur: Analysis of the times and locations of critical events in the alleged nerve agent attack in Khan Sheikhoun, by T. Postol - washingtonsblog.com


Ex-UN inspector Barton says Syrian crater ‘too small’ for toll, 'To kill the number of people killed there would require more than one little rocket’ - theaustralian.com.au


For those who ask: HOW COME THE FIRST RESPONDERS DIDN'T DIE FROM THE SARIN GAS THE NEXT DAY? Handy chart re chemical warfare agent persistency - S. Rifai on Twitter


IR data collected by the U.S. combined with eyewitnesses and videos shows the Syrian government employed only conventional weapons against Khan Shaykhun (read page 3) - Truthdig


Talk: Alleged chemical attack Khan Sheikhoun 4 April 2017 - A Closer Look On Syria


PHOTO: Geolocation of the four plumes caused by the explosions at 6:30-7:00 AM on April 4 in Khan Sheikhoun - A Closer Look On Syria


VIDEO: Virginia Sen Dick Black explains why Assad had no motive to gas civilians. - YouTube


VIDEO (and transcript): Former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson says the Syrian Government may not be responsible for the chemical attack - therealnews.com


'Truth is first casualty of war': GOP Rep. skeptical Assad carried out gas attack - Fox News Insider


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

Tomgram: Danny Sjursen, Remind Us How This Ends...

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Truth defenders: Two Men Who Made Their Mark on History

By Linn Washington, Jr.

 

One man enhanced the legacy of a legend revered around the world.

Accomplishments of the other man include his involvement in a seminal court battle where the trial judge issued a pivotal ruling about racism that sparked enraged denials among authorities in that nation.

Tomgram: Ira Chernus, Love Trumps Domination (Without the Combover)

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

A metaphoric right-brained essay: President MOABA (Mother of All Bullshit Artists)

By John Grant

 

Painting isn’t an aesthetic operation; it’s a form of magic designed as mediator between this strange hostile world and us. . . . It’s an offensive and defensive weapon against the enemy.

Never-Ending War in the Time of Trump and How to Stop It

By David Swanson

Remarks in Cambridge, Mass., April 13, 2017

The Mother of All Lies is this: you can fix things by blowing them up. Alcoholics should not drink, and people who cannot watch TV and distinguish it from reality should not watch TV. Donald Trump watches a lot of TV and may very well believe what it teaches, namely that blowing things up solves problems. He certainly has figured out, as I knew he would, that the way to get love from the U.S. corporate media is to blow stuff up.

For many of us who are not believers in myths about good wars and just wars and defensive and humanitarian wars, war may have initially struck us as evil because it so directly does harm. Driving a gas-burning car helps render the earth uninhabitable, but only very slowly and only in combination with larger factors. Building a nuclear power plant risks horrible disaster, but it doesn't intentionally and immediately create it. War, on the other hand, when looked at clearly, consists of mass murder described with other words. It's direct and immediate and fatal and large-scale violence. What could be more evil?

It's ironic, then, that the bulk of the damage that war does, and the vast majority of the deaths it causes are caused indirectly. The United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees put out a statement this week that warned of mass starvation in Yemen without mentioning that there is a war there. The Washington Post yesterday published a shockingly honest article that described the famines in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan, and Nigeria, and noted that they would be unimaginable without the wars in those countries. At least 20 million people are at risk of starving to death there, a number that dwarfs the number killed directly in wars in a given year -- and that is true even using credible numbers, not the super low estimates of which the U.S. media is so fond.

Tomgram: William Astore, From Deterrence to Doomsday?

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Focus: Syria - Apr 12, 2017


Leading MIT rocket scientist Theodore Postol issues a report: White House claims on Syria chemical attack 'cannot be true' -washingtonsblog.com


REPORT (Full text): A Quick Turnaround Assessment of the White House Intelligence Report About the Nerve Agent Attack in Syria - Theodore Postol


VIDEO: Interview with Theodore Postol: US report on Idlib attack ‘misinterprets evidence’, ‘politically motivated' - YouTube


Discussion: Leading CW expert Postol of MIT published a 14-page document questioning WH claims that Sarin was dropped from Syrian AF plane - Reddit


ARCHIVE: Possible Implications of Faulty US Technical Intelligence in the Damascus Nerve Agent Attack of August 21, 2013 - Postol, Lloyd


REPORT (Full text): The Assad regime's use of chemical weapons on 4 April 2017 - White House


White House background Press Briefing on Syria chemical attack, 4/11/2017 - whitehouse.gov


Former UN weapons inspector Blix: Send investigators to Syria, not cruise missiles - Utrikesmagasinet


VIDEO: 'I believe nobody, I’d like to see impartial investigation’: ex head of UNMOVIC Blix on Idlib gas attack - YouTube


OPCW to begin Syria probe after use of chemicals in idlib attack is confirmed - The Siasat Daily

 

Last two chemical weapons facilities in Syria belong to rebels and they were not destroyed: OPCW - Maeplet


Syria invited OPCW to send inspector to Shayrat airfield: Representative to UN - Sputnik


At UN, Britain says it has evidence of Syria sarin gas use - WGNO


Turkey: Autopsies show sarin gas used against Syrian town - The Ledger


Putin says chemical weapons incident in Syria’s Idlib could be a provocation - TASS

 

Putin: Russia has data on new provocations planned against Syrian authorities - TASS


Chief of Russian General staff: chemical weapons are being brought to Khan Shaykhun, Jira airport, Eastern Ghouta and West Aleppo to further blame Syrian government in attack - syria.liveuamap.com


Trump: 'Unlikely' Russia had no knowledge of Syrian chemical attack - ABC News


Tillerson warns Russia on Syria, saying Assad era is ‘coming to an end’ - The New York Times


Defense chief Mattis says Syria will pay a big price if it uses gas again - usatoday.com


McMaster: U.S. eager for regime change in Syria, but 'we’re not the ones who are going to effect that change.' - POLITICO


McMaster and Russia - Sic Semper Tyrannis


Out of 47 major editorials on Trump’s Syria strikes, only one opposed - FAIR


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

Tomgram: Mattea Kramer, Road Rules, or Rediscovering My Country from Cuban Soil

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

It has to be one of the oddities of our history: the near-obsessive level of attention that, for almost 60 years, Washington has lavished on a modest-sized, impoverished island-nation of little strategic importance 90 miles off our southern coast. I’m talking, of course, about Cuba, which the U.S. has embargoed since 1959, as it hasn’t North Korea or any other country on this planet.

Syria: Was It Really a “Chemical Weapons Attack?”

 

 


Trump Should Rethink Syria Escalation

 

 

 

Two dozen ex-U.S. intelligence officials urge President Trump to rethink his claims blaming the Syrian government for the chemical deaths in Idlib and to pull back from his dangerous escalation of tensions with Russia.

 

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)*

SUBJECT: Syria: Was It Really “A Chemical Weapons Attack”?

Don't Be a United Airlines Passenger

Do not sit still like a United Airlines passenger in a video when an injustice is happening. If the other passengers had simply blocked the aisles, corporate thugs could not have dragged their fellow passenger away. If everyone on board had demanded that the airline offer higher compensation until someone volunteered to take a later flight, rather than being violently "reaccommodated," then it would have done so.

Passivity in the face of injustice is the greatest danger we face. This fact does not mean I'm "blaming the victims." Of course United Airlines should be shamed, sued, boycotted, and compelled to reform or "reaccommodate" itself out of our lives entirely. So should the government that has deregulated the industry. So should every police department that has come to view the public as an enemy in a war.

But one should expect corporations and their thugs to behave barbarically. They are designed to do so. One should expect corrupt governments that lack popular influence or control to abuse power. The question is whether people will sit back and take it, resist with some nonviolent skills, or disastrously resort to violence themselves. (I've not searched yet for proposals to arm airline passengers, because I really don't look forward to reading them.)

The one nonviolent skill that seems to be advancing most encouragingly is videotaping and livestreaming. People have got that down. When police blatantly lie, such as by claiming to have carried a passenger who fell, rather than dragging a passenger whom they assaulted, video sets the record straight. But we often lack video of events far away that the U.S. military blatantly lies about, events locked out of sight that prison guards blatantly lie about, and events that happen over long periods -- such as the willful destruction of the earth's climate.

When it comes to those injustices that can't be videotaped or sued in court, too often people fail to act entirely. This is extremely dangerous behavior. We're collectively being dragged down an airplane aisle, and we're failing to act. A U.S.-Saudi war is threatening millions with starvation in Yemen. In Syria, the U.S. is risking a nuclear confrontation with Russia. The Pentagon is considering attacking North Korea. Baby steps toward slowing down the destruction if the earth's climate are being reversed. Warrantless spying, lawless imprisonment, and presidential drone murder have been normalized.

What can we do?

We can educate and organize. We can confront Congress members while they're home. We can pass local resolutions. We can divest from horrible businesses. We can build global alliances. We can go and stand in the way of deportations, of weapons shipments, or of the broadcasting of corporate "news." We can put a stop to injustice wherever we see it and require diplomatic negotiation and resolution from dying domestic industries and killing foreign service officials alike.

Civil disobedience is not something we should shy away from.

Civil obedience should horrify us. There is an epidemic.

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